O's frustations boil over & Millwood gets it together

For some fans, even in a 5-0 loss to Minnesota last night, maybe there was something to be pleased about.

They saw passion, emotion and a little anger from Juan Samuel and Ty Wigginton.

They both got ejected but also got some of their loudest ovations of the year. You could almost sense the crowd saying "Right on, it's about time you guys showed you are as ticked off as we are."

Pitching coach Rick Kranitz, who was also ejected, pretty much admitted what seemed obvious. The arguments and ejections last night were probably about more than one umpire's blown call at first base. They were showing frustration and blowing off some steam from a season long-since gone bad.

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They acted how most fans feel.

In a season where almost everything has gone wrong and the club has become fodder for jokes on late-night TV shows, it also seems every close call, especially versus a good team like Minnesota, never goes the O's way.

"Sure there's frustration," Kranitz said. "I think anytime you are not winning ball games, as many as we think we should be winning. Pavano had that game in hand obviously. That call didn't change the outcome of the game by any stretch of the imagination. It was just frustration on everybody's part. I think we're all tired of losing some ball games. And when something happens and it doesn't go our way, you say and do things you shouldn't do."

Maybe they shouldn't have done some of the things they did in their arguments with the umpires, but I sense most fans were quite pleased to see the emotions boil over a bit last night.

Meanwhile, O's starters have pitched to an ERA of 12.23 over their last five games, but perhaps Kevin Millwood turned a bit of a corner last night.

After giving up three first-inning runs, he really settled in between the second and sixth innings, allowing just a run during that time.

"I felt like I was able to figure a few things out later on in the game (after the first frame) and I feel good going into my next outing, so I definitely feel healthy. I don't think I came off too early and I feel real confident about five days from now," Millwood said.

He still needs to solve that first-inning issue. Even after getting the first two hitters out, Millwood allowed the three runs and has now been scored on in the first inning in nine of his last ten starts.

He has given up 80 runs on the year, with 28 of them coming in the first inning.

Five days from now we'll begin to find out if what happened after the first inning was a turning point for Millwood and if he'll begin to look more like the pitcher that worked to an ERA of 3.89 over his first 11 starts.

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