It’s probably going to be an unpopular opinion, but I admire Kevin Millwood.
Yes, I admire a pitcher with a 3-15 record, a new career high in losses and ERA of 5.38. The pitcher that leads the American League in losses.
I remember that he pitched the first two months of this season without a win, despite a 3.89 ERA. That was the lowest ERA for a starter who opened the season with 11 straight winless decisions since Rick Langford had a 2.62 to open the 1978 season with Oakland.
He continues to be a pitcher that gets among the worst run support in baseball.
I am not saying, by any stretch, that he has pitched well all year or had a good season, of course.
Or even that he should come back next year, because he almost certainly will not.
But I do admire how he has handled himself this year and served as an example, yes mentor, to some of the young pitchers.
Early on and even now, when he has pitched well but not been backed by much offense, he has never complained about that. He hasn’t even come close to ever pointing a finger at anyone but himself.
He always wants the ball and always wants to pitch deep in the game. If Buck had said to him before last night’s start ‘I need you to throw 150 pitches’ tonight, he probably would have said ‘I can give you 175 if that helps more.’
Many fans may not care that he is a real pro and stand up guy, a gamer for sure.
They just see the results and that is fine. When you are a reporter and stand in front of a guy’s locker after another game like last night you can come to respect a guy like Millwood.
I do. That’s all I’m saying.
If some of the O’s young pitchers have been paying attention this year, and I’m sure they have, they have seen and watched Millwood do things this year that will help them down the road.