Mariners Insider

Millwood milestone conversation & a lineup

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on May 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm with 7 Comments »
May 16, 2012 3:13 pm
Kevin Millwood

Veteran Kevin Millwood hit a pitching milestone in New York – his 2,000th career strike out – which led to a discussion today on what to do to commemorate the occasion.

“I saved the ball,” he said.

A baseball is nice, but didn’t seem enough for such a significant moment in a career. What else might Millwood do?

“Buy yourself that tractor,” reliever Shawn Kelley suggested.

Millwood beamed.

 “I’m going to buy a tractor,” he said.

Asked if his career had ended on 1,999 strikeouts what he might have done, Millwood didn’t hesitate.

 “I’d buy the tractor,” he said. “I need one.”

The conversation then moved to Kelley, who was asked what a middle reliever might consider a milestone.

“I don’t know, 200 strikeouts? Maybe appearances,” Kelley said. “A closer has saves, but guys who pitch the sixth, seventh, eighth innings? I don’t what you’d consider a milestone.”

Kelley saved a baseball from his first career appearance and has only one more thing in mind now.

“I want to hit a home run and save that ball,” he said.

When was the last time he had an at-bat?

“College,” he said. “I’d have to be pitching in extra innings and be going two or three innings and have my spot in the lineup come up early to get an at-bat.”

What would be the chances of him hitting one out?

 “Maybe if I faced a guy throwing 95 mph and he threw me an 88 mph slider – and hung it,” Kelley said, thinking out loud. “Then I’d be swinging late on his fastball and might get that slider.”

How likely is that?

“Not very,” Kelley admitted.

And now, tonight’s lineup – with a late change. Mike Carp was scratched and replaced in left field by Chone Figgins:

Dustin Ackley  2B
Michael Saunders  CF
Ichiro  RF
Jesus Montero C
Kyle Seager  DH
Justin Smoak  1B
Alex Liddi  3B
Chone Figgins  LF
Brendan Ryan  SS
Felix Hernandez  RHP

Leave a comment Comments → 7
  1. Larry, is there any speculation amongst the journalists that Felix may be covering up an injury?

  2. Coach81 says:

    Is the injury concern because of his slight drop in velocity? Because (besides tonight) his last 5 starts have been fantastic.

  3. timeout says:

    moo, hopefully Larry will take on your question. But from my perspective, Felix is being Felix. He has a career 9-18 record in May, with a 4.57 ERA, almost a run and a half higher than any other month. I’m not sure whether that includes tonight’s performance or not; don’t think so.

    Iwakuma, on the other hand, looked cool and reasonably competent. (At least he wasn’t left out in the bullpen after warming up again. There’s a reason why relievers refer to it as being dry humped.) Ackley and Saunders were good; otherwise, the road trip from Hell continues to deliver unpleasant results.

  4. Larry Larue says:

    Felix might not tell anyone if he were feeling bad, but i don’t think he could hide it from everyone while pitching. there’s been no indication he’s felt pain, even discomfort, whille pitching. the team had him thoroughly checked out in spring training. they insist he’s healthy. felix agrees.

  5. bbnate420 says:

    Felix just had a bad start. I don’t get why everyone is NOW talking about his velocity. He HARDLY EVER threw over 94 last year, really the year before as well. I personally wish he would throw some more 4-seam fastballs but, he seems to not want to and you cannot really argue with the results. I like the fact that he doesn’t throw a ton of 4-seamers like he did early in his career but, I think he would benefit from throwing 5-10 of them a game in certain spots. Enough to make the hitter think about it. I think he would still throw it at 93-97 if he did that. It seems like he never throw a 4-seamer anymore. Also, a little velocity might have been lost when he changed to the more deceptive wind up, where he turns his back more and hides the ball longer. You don’t have to throw as hard if the hitter picks the ball up later!

    Off topic, this team sucks right now. Jack made some good moves the last few years but, the Fister deal looked bad last year and looks HORRIBLE right now. Hopefully, Hultzen and Paxton can get here by the end of 12. I think Walker needs at least another year to build up innings. They should move Iwakuma to the rotation and bring up Ramirez once he is stretched out enough. Millwood looked better last start but, I would rather have Ramirez or Iwakuma pitch with a 4.5-5 era and learn how to pitch in the majors rather than wasting the innings on someone that’s not going to be around when/if the Mariners are ever good. I think Noesi needs to go to AAA and work on his command and learning how to PITCH. That said, he seems to have good stuff. Better than I thought when the trade went down.

  6. bbnate420 says:

    Also, when are these idiots GOING TO MOVE THE FENCES IN AT SAFECO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. chucko24 says:

    What was that Fister deal even about? Why trade a cheap and very efective commodity just to stock the minor-league cupboards with a bunch of “maybes”?

    The most offensive part of the Mariners front office the past decade has been them trading away talent before they mature, and now we watch them blossom on other teams.

    The Tampa Bay Rays entire rotation is home grown. They not only draft smart…but they really know how to develop their talent. Thus…they can compete in the beast that is the AL East with a 65 million dollar payroll and 10,000 fans a night.

    When will the Mariners follow THAT model and give us fans something to believe in besides trading away our talent and rebuilding every year.

    Sigh. OK. Go M’s.

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