Millwood sizes up the O's clubhouse

Has there ever been a pitcher that deserved a win on his record more than Kevin Millwood?

The Orioles had a game recently where they beat Boston 12-9 with Brad Bergesen as the starter.

Meanwhile they have scored 3,2,2,1, 5 and 3 in the games started by Millwood. That's 16 runs in six games.

Yet he has allowed 2 ER or less in four of his six starts and gave up 3 ER and 4 ER in the other two. He always seems to keep his team in the game.

At the same time, he is showing the younger pitchers how to pitch tough hitters and that you don't need to start looking for the bullpen when your pitch count reaches 100.

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He has been about as good as any fan could have hoped for. He is scheduled to face the Twins tonight in game two of a four-game series.

Meanwhile, on another topic, I recently talked with Millwood about the atmosphere inside the Orioles clubhouse. There are a lot of low-key types in there.

I wondered how Millwood, a pitcher that has also played for Atlanta, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Texas found things inside this particular clubhouse.

Millwood said the somewhat quiet nature of a lot of the Orioles players, doesn't mean the O's don't have the passion burning on the inside or that they don't have leaders on the team.

"Even when I was in Atlanta, there were some dominant personalities but they were quiet. Not a big rah-rah team and we did pretty well there. You don't necessarily need a guy to be loud, but you need some guys that will speak up when need be and we definitely have a couple of those guys.

"If you think nobody in here will speak up, then you are definitely mis-reading this team. If you try to be like a football team in a baseball season, you'll be dead in two weeks. You can't do it. You have to stay more on an even keel. But when time comes when something needs to said, it gets said."

Millwood, who finished 8th in the AL in ERA last year with Texas, is 0-3, 3.15 with the Orioles. With young players in the clubhouse, Millwood said that theory that a team needs to "learn how to win" might apply to these Orioles.

"Without a doubt. Especially in this division, where nothing comes easy. There is an art to winning games and pulling games out. Maybe we are starting to grasp that a little bit too."

The Orioles lost Millwood's first four starts, but have won his last two. Those two came vs. Boston and New York and Millwood pitched to an ERA of 2.70 in those outings.

By the way, three of the O's starters rank among the pitchers in the AL getting the worst run support per nine innings this year.

1.53 - Dontrelle Willis, Detroit
1.72 - David Hernandez, Balt
2.15 - Jeremy Guthrie, Balt
2.48 - Kevin Millwood, Balt
2.48 - C.J. Wilson, Tex

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