Kevin Millwood flings one-hitter at Harrisburg
TRENTON — On April 27, 2003, Kevin Millwood pitched a no-hitter as a member of the Phillies. For a while in the Thunder’s 8-0 win over the Senators in Game 1 of yesterday’s doubleheader, it appeared he might do it again, albeit under much less dramatic circumstances.
Primarily using a cutting fastball that topped out at 87 miles per hour, Millwood held the Senators hitless for 5 2/3 innings before Tyler Moore’s sharp single through the middle broke up the bid.
Millwood went the distance, allowing just the single to Moore, with three strikeouts and four walks mixed in. Of his other outs, 10 were on the ground and five came through the air.
Even though he admitted his curveball wasn’t as sharp as he’d like it to be, Millwood was satisfied with yesterday’s results.
“I feel like I’m getting closer to where I need to be,” he said. “Aside from the walks, I felt like I threw the ball well.”
Manager Tony Franklin was pretty impressed with Millwood’s outing as well, especially the way it showcased how an aging pitcher adapts to his declining stuff.
“I was pretty impressed with the way he went in and out and when he got ahead and exploited the hitters’ weaknesses,” Franklin said. “I think he’d be the first to tell you he’s no longer a flamethrower.”
Along with Mark Prior, Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, and most recently Carlos Silva, Millwood was one of many darts Yankees general manager Brian Cashman threw at the wall this offseason after Cliff Lee, the winter’s biggest prize, shocked everyone by signing with the Phillies.
So far, Garcia and Colon have helped seal an at-times leaky pitching staff, Prior was moved up to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s bullpen, and Silva is in extended spring training down in Tampa, Fla.
As for Millwood, he’s got an out clause in his contract that allows him to opt out and become a free agent again. That’s nearly two weeks away, though, plenty of time to get him another minor league start or two.
His number would come up again on Friday, when the Thunder play the Senators again, this time at Metro Bank Park in Harrisburg. If the Yankees don’t want to send aging righty on the road, they could promote him to Scranton, who play at home that day against Syracuse.
In the nighttcap, after spot starter Craig Heyer tossed five innings of three-run (one earned) baseball, Pat Venditte and Fernando Hernandez allowed five runs over the next two innings.
On the other side, Brad Peacock stifled the Thunder, holding them to two runs (one earned) on just two hits. He struck out nine.