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April 6, 2010

Orioles: Millwood knows best

Kevin Millwood had everyone fooled in spring training. He couldn't get anybody out when he pitched against major league competition early in the spring and he spent much of March pitching against minor league competition, but he delivered a pretty solid performance in his Orioles regular season debut.

He gave up just a run on six hits through five, but the Rays finally got to him in the sixth when Evan Longoria launched a moonshot into the upper deck above left field. Two hits later, he turned the game -- and a one-run lead over to middle reliever Matt Albers, who worked out of a two-on, no out jam to keep the O's in front.

Millwood's line: 5 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 9 H, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR. He threw 100 pitches, 64 for strikes.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 9:02 PM | | Comments (75)
Categories: Just baseball


Not a great outing by Millwood, but I'll take it.

Albers didn't look too shabby himself.

With Matt Wieters catching for the O's in 2010, the AL Cy Young Award finalists were:

1. Kevin Millwood
2. Brian Matusz
3. Matt Wieters
4. Brad Bergesen
5. Matt Wieters

Nice storyline with the two back end guys from Atlanta's '09 squad squaring off against each other in the 9th inning of an AL East opener.

Tejada just reinvented the term "Attem Ball".


good commentary by Palmer about the sudden increase in Gonzo and Johnson's Fastball speed.

Spring Training, Smring Training.

Somebody tell Gonzales that was Kelly Shoppach, not Evan Longoria.


So I guess that was DT's fault, right?

All he did was put in the guy AM brought in as the new closer.....

Now we get to listen to Jim Hunter tell us how it was a moral victory....

And so it goes.......

Uggghhhhh. That's not what I wanted to take the day off for...

Too many guys left on base in this one.

Back at it tomorrow with Guts.

'with guts'? lol...

gutsy losers, those o's

Now listen to Dempsey.... Wow, did he get the memo, or what?

new year, same old script...waste opportunity after opportunity and blow the game in the 9th....bullpen did great until we go again!

Nice job by Roberts in the ninth getting the runner in.

Way to show up AFTER the loss, wayne.

A lot of missed opportunities for the orioles in this one. And the script for losing continues......

180 days remaining

Wow, dude couldn't even get out those scrubs at the bottom of the Rays batting order. Of course he gets out Burrell, the real challenge and then throws it away to guys you've never heard of. Great closer pickup.

Good stuff. Man the O's looked tough in defeat. Almost winning matters this year!

Very disappointing loss. Two main flaws in the game--obviously Gonzales was one, but the O's couldn't buy a hit with risp. I go back to the fourth inning--runners on second and third with no outs, and we couldn't score anyone. Thats a disturbing problem that goes back to last year and it has to be fixed. Especially disappointed with BRob--it seems like he had quite a few chances with risp and couldn't get it done.

A few positives however...Milwood put some of my concerns to rest, Markakis, Jones, and Weiters looked good at the plate, Tejada looked good at thrid, and bullpen--except Gonzales--did very well.

O's will have to put it all together, especially hitting with risp, in order to win that type of game.

Picking up where we left off last year..... keep bringing in the relievers until you find one who will lose the game for you.... classic Trembly...

And name one Oriole fee agent that helped out tonight? And why did Bell and Snyder get sent down? Couldn't they leave as many runners on base? The season is over before it starts. Sad sad sad.

Mike Gonzales tried too hard, attempting to pace Matt Wieters' amazingness.

Matt Wieters will not let that happen in the future.

Sorry chris, I wouldn't want to take the moral victory away from you.

I would have been here with a win as well. Winning makes going to the park more fun, ya know?

And like I've been saying ALL off season chris. Gonzo had 10 saves and 7 blown saves last year. That's not a closer... and you know it.

A shame!

Here we go again! Get rid of the O's coaching staff. Over-aggressive base running turning into lead runner outs costing us runs. Using too many pitchers to hold a 1 run lead. Bringing in 4 pitchers to hold a 1 run lead late in the game. Someone is bound to have a bad game. Stick with the Hot Hand and get the victory. Same O's, Same Result.

Look, someone above IS in fact blaming Trembley. Where do you morons come from. Oh, and there's SHAMROCK saying Weiters won't let that happen again. I have to tell you. Baltimore fans may be the dumbest in baseball.

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same old birds. when does football start up

You don't run on contact late in the game with a slow runner at 3rd base with 0 outs unless the runner is sure that the ball is through to the shortstop or second baseman. The ball was hit directly to the 3rd baseman. He bobled it and still had plenty of time to get the runner. This is common sense for the baseball minded. Trembley should know this. That was an important insurance run that would have scored.


Only three of Gonzales' 10 blown saves occured as the 'closer' in the 9th inning. The other 7 occurred as the 8th inning set up guy.

The guy is probably better suited as a set up man. He is holding Mickolio's place until next year or later this season. But I will be happy to have him and his career 2.57 ERA in the set up role any day of the week.

You keep saying you disagree with signing him to close, but who, in your infinite wisdom and hindsight, do you think the O's should have magically clicked the X button to sign as closer for this season?

NFL draft in 2 weeks.....

i agree CK. If JJ is on, let him start the ninth. he's a big strong kid.surely he can go more than one inning. i hate managing by the book.

I don't think it was a moral victory, wayne. I just think it's funny that you could have been here at any point while the O's were ahead, but you chose to only show up right at the end, after the loss.


You can't make it back to the bag on a directly hit ball with the third basemen playing tight and behind you.

I am sure people would be writing their senators if he tried to make it back and got tagged out.

Brob, Izturis and Atkins needed to manufacture runs when they had the chance through out the game.

Little bad luck too...

Tejada's shot in the 9th right at Crawford, Wieters drive getting snagged by Upton early on, BRob's liner to center hanging just long enough to be caught, Kelly Shoppach deciding to start a round of steroid injections this past weekend instead of next.....

Good teams make their own luck, the O's just aren't there yet.


When do you think you'll stop using that as an excuse? I mean no matter the position, you simply say something like 'who should the O's have brought in'. .....

When does the spin and hype that people like you throw around end - especially when it comes to the overall team?

Bless you for loving L's. Someone has to, I guess...

While I have been a defender of the plan, I will hold this team to Major league and AL East standards...

I thought it was a good game considering it is opening day. Tejada played a good 3rd base and Atkins was fine as well...

Gonzalez should not be allowed to close another game. The guy looked scared before he threw his 1st pitch. I would rather have Mikolio out there blowing saves, at least he pitches without fear and with some attitude...two major qualities every closer must have... Hell, Soriano almost coughed up some runs to the O's in the 9th, but he sacked up and got the job done... This guy does not have the make-up to close 1 run games...maybe he can get some saves when he has a 3 run lead... UNACCEPTABLE!!! it is one thing to blow a game, it is another to blow it before you throw a pitch... If I were at the plate and looked out at that that guy, I would be licking my chops!!!


In all seriousness...and I am not trying to start an argument with you...who do you think the O's should have used/brough in as a closer? Gonzales definately did not look good tonight and his career numbers certainly don't reflect those of a quality closer, but I don't really see many other options. Let me know what you think.

You could have just answered SHAM's question, Wayne. But instead you chose to (as always) deflect the question. It was an easy question too. You have choices like Valverde, Rodney... a trade for Soriano... It's a simple question, wayne. It'd be nice if you answered one... ever.


AM brought this guy in to close. DT must put him in. How else will Dave be a scapegoat this season? And I'm being serious......

This guy is not a closer. SHam is justifying 4 of his 7 blown saves by saying he did it out of the set up role. Can you believe that? WHO CARES?

The guy blew 7 out of 17 last year. Is there a worse ratio than that?

This is AM's guy. And people on the blog will be out for Trembleys head.

And so it goes......


That isn't spin. I am calling you out. You rant and rave and never offer reasonable solutions. Then you change the subject by saying I like losing. I don't like losing, I just don't let the local baseball team and its lousy past 12 years alter my emotions.

Again, put on your GM hat.

Who does Wayne MacPhail bring in to close for the O's?

We had a great closer last year. Unfortunately we traded him away.

I agree with the other posters. Gonzales is NOT closer material.

I agree with the other poster who said that Gonzales looked scared.

Until proven otherwise, this looks like a 70-win season. I hope I'm wrong.

I totally agree with you on the closer and the fact that this is not a Trembley issue... I think this team showed a lot tonight and by having it ruined by a guy like that just sends me over the deep end...
The difference between winning 75 and 81 games are games like this...


I have absolutely no idea..... None!

How's his though? You ever watch Seinfeld? The episodes where George finds success by always doing the opposite?

Well when it comes to AM, I choose 'opposite'. When it comes to the free agents this guy has brought in, I'll take the guy he 'doesn't' want.

I'm no GM, but how in the world could I do worse? Answer: I couldn't possibly do worse.....

You're the GM Chris. You're the one with the answers. All I know is what I see...... Losses. You see something else Chris. Perhaps that's why you took off work.... to watch another loss!

Hope it was worth it.....

You can't blame Trembley for this one. With a one-run lead, you bring in your closer. That's a no brainer and exactly the move most managers would make.

Problem is, we have a closer who makes mediocre hitters look like the next Ted Williams.

How many Closers go the whole season with out a blown save?

We just got one out of the way early in the season.

Sorry to post a slightly positive thought. I know that is not the norm around here.

Even the Yankees and Red Sox lose some games. I bet they even will have some blown saves.

Not a great way to start, and it sucks, but from the sound of it around here Baltimore police better close all the bridges to keep al the "O's Fans" from jumping to there death.

If everyone see's the same thing, how come Andy couldnt' see it. This guy looked awful in spring training, and he remains awful. He was awful in the 8th and 9th innings last year.

So how come we all can see it, yet Oriole execs can't? And Wayne, I though you gave the perfect answer. We're not paid to do what the baseball execs do. But really, could we do any worse? I'm sorry Chris in Hawaii, but I think you're being unfair this time.

Ok, Doug, but you apparently haven't been watching much baseball in this town for the past 12 years.

Games like tonight have become the norm around here.

But ah, we must put a positive spin on this game. Uh, well, we only lost be a run, gee, I'm thrilled!


I'm not the GM. I said back when the off season began that we should give Uehara a shot at closing. Obviously, that wouldn't have done the team any good tonight.

But, ok, you do the opposite. You sign no one. You don't trade for Millwood. Michael Aubrey is at first and Scott Moore is at third... because Tejada is still at short since you didn't trade him (or did you not resign him? Is Blake Davis at SS? is Luis Hernandez still here?) In your world, how did the O's do tonight? Guthrie started... no wait... Bedard started (because you wouldn't have traded him in the first place) and his arm fell off in the second inning. How did wayne's O's do tonight? Was it even close?

Typical fairweather Oriole fans. While yes I agree Gonzalez was trying too darn hard to show everyone his velocity hadn't disappeared, it's the first friggin game of the season and here come the fire trembley and get rid of Gonzalez cries. For goodness sakes guys sit down shut up and hold on. We still have 161 more games of baseball left. If you all start your whining now, what are you going to complain about come August.
My personal highs, Jonesy showing exactly what we know he can do, Wieters having not lost a step since the end of last season, and the real kevin Millwood appearing. Now if we actually can hit with runners on like we know we can, different story tonight. Quit complaining, yeah it was a crappy loss but lets get behind em and cheer em on tomorrow like I know I will be doing.

great idea wayne. That can solve ALL the problems of this team. I love those episodes. Now all Macphail has to do is tell us who he's thinking about getting so we can say NOOOOOOO. Opposite. Now that's good

The worst part about this is that now the guys in the line-up have the added pressure of knowing that they need a multi-run lead going into the 9th...

I am sorry, but this was a gut wrenching loss... I know it's a long season, I know it is only the 1st game, but it doesn't change the fact that it sets the wrong tone for this team right off the bat...

I am not saying the sky is falling... I am sure I will be over it by 1st pitch tomorrow. I just hope the guys in that lockerroom can get over it that soon too...

As I stated over a month ago -

Why did we give away a second round pick to sign Gozales?

Sometimes you have to wonder about how"sharp" the Orioles front office is.

The 2010 Orioles are just not good.

70 wins here we come!

oh yeah... almost forgot...

GO O's!!!


If Chris has all the answers, you have all the b!tching. The O's will never do enough to please you, winning, losing, you will be miserable, that is your nature. Anyone can hate on the way things are. A real fan would learn a few things about their team and the sport, and come up with an informed opinion.

Each of the relievers in last years FA class had big performance or health question marks, or were not traditional relievers at all. Some (Rodney, Valverde, Wagner) chose to play for contenders. The O's just aren't there yet.

My opinion- they should have gotten two of the bunch and sunk about 12-14 mil into the BP.

Your thoughtful response?

Yeah, whatever James...LOL. You and 300 of your closest friends will be sitting in that stadium by yourselves once football training camp starts. Keep drinking that orange kool-aid buddy...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!


No I am painfully aware of our teams recent history. It sucks. It is real bad. We have sucked for so long porn stars are in envey of how good we are at sucking.

I just cannot be negative. In August when we are implodding I still look for something positve. Cannot let the negative stuff drive my life.

Doug M-

You are right. In fact that the Yankees and Sox both blew leads to start the season!

The Yanks blew two multiple run leads opening night!


Again, when it comes to relievers, I have no idea who AM should have brought in. I have been saying however, that Gonzo was not a sufficient closer. I guess we just got a taste of why he's not in Atlanta anymore....

As for saying the O's will never do enough to please me? Come again!

How does that even resemble an intelligent question? Think about it.

Listen Sham and CIH. I don't want to bring you down from your highs... I really don't. Just ignor my post and be happy with the team. That's your right.

I hope they win tomorrow... I really do...

OMG!!!! Here we go again!!! Same old S--t!!! Different year. It's utterly ridiculous!!! Yeah, Mike "millions" Gonzalez.....says give me the ball. Well, he's one for one in blown saves. What a piece of overpaid crud. The O's had one of the most respectable BA's last year but just about the worst BA with men on base. Tonight .... 16 STRANDED. Miggy's back...anyone notice? You can bet your crabcakes that this one one of many many many many blown games. We lead in that department each and every year. OMG, is this familiar or what???? Gonzalez is a joke and he's going to be released before you know it. When he blows 10 to 15 saves this year (before the season is ended) he'll be gone. And then he'll pitch just fine.

Come on Wayne stop being so smug. Just answer the question. If you disagree so much with bringing Gonzales in, which by the way you are looking pretty smart for disagreeing right now, then you had to have had someone else in mind. That's just implied when someone disagrees with something--that there is alternative that they feel would have been better.

And please give the whole "I don't want to bring you all down from your high" thing a rest. Nobody is happy that the Orioles lost tonight. I am just as disgusted with Gonzales as you are, but I am more optimistic about the O's in general than you are. That doesn't mean I am on a high and it doesn't mean that I know less about baseball than you, it just means we disagree. So just cut the crap and have a legitimate discussion.

That wasn't a question it was a statement.

The O's will never please you and the Ravens apparently never disappoint you.

Its bizarre.

You are like the goobers that call the afternoon radio shows. "The Ravens need to get a WR!" the "O's need better pitchers and a clean up guy!" Well no foolin' Connie Mack, how to you suggest they make that happen?

There ya go Sham, That's me... just like all the goobers...

Just so you know - I like organizations that respect their fans and do everything they can to ensure their team is playing meaning games.

That's the Ravens.

The Orioles ....Well they're the opposite.

I honestly and seriously don't think you can possibly understand. I don't know what kind of work you do, or if you're in charge of anything.... but I'm simply convinced guys like yo and chris 'can't' understand what people like Gil and I are saying.

And that's ok.......

Everything you say and do is a diversion from the losing.

Good luck with that approach Sham and Chris......

Wayne.argung or disagreeing with Chris from Hawaii is like mud wrestling with a pig.The pig likes it and you get all muddy.I disagrred with him once last year and suggested he read an article by Forbes magazine about the sweet deal that Peter Angelos had pulled on MLB and how much money he is raking in each and every year.And Chris attacked me personally,never read the article,because he doesn't want to be confused by facts,and I try to stay away from here.But two things stick out in my ind about tonight.Number one,telling everybody you're starting Pie 4 days ago when the hotttest hitter on your team to end spring training is Reimhold.And why you don't pinchrun for Garrett Atkins,who might be the slowest Oriole on the team.Let's see,how is the signing for Atkins and Gonzalez looking so far?At least Tejada has a decnt track record and he scorched that ball in the 9th.Repeat after me,we will never ,ever win with Trembley as manager.Finally why does Markakis play so far off theline with left handers up,and the pitcher pitching them in?Can't understand it.


Please show me where I attacked you personally. I just don't believe it.

I could say the same thing about you, that you just personally attacked me without reason. The only difference is, it's right here for everyone to see.

And Trembley said before that holding Reimold out today had a lot to do with him only recently being 100% and he didn't want him to come out and play on the turf at the Trop. The only way you get him in the lineup is at the DH slot and you have to start Luke vs. the righty. And sure, Pie struck out twice, but he also nearly belted one off of Sheilds. Had anyone but Wieters been on first, that would have knocked in a run.

Also, the only person in the organization scoring on the Roberts' ground ball to 3rd is Joey Gathright and he's in Norfolk. Who would you have pinch ran for Atkins... Lugo, Reimold, Tatum or Wigginton?

I am not happy about the way Gonzo pitched tonight, but I am not saying he's a bust like some people are. The biggest concern I have is going 1 for 12 RISP because this was the HUGE problem last year. I wasn't at ST so hopefully Pete can chime in, but I am curious how much the O's worked on moving runners over, going from 1st to 3rd and plate discipline because these things not only help win games, but they make the other pitchers worker longer and harder than they want.

Reading some of the comments on all the blogs that Pete wrote, it feels like even if the O's won that some people would say "well it's only one game," but those same people are saying "same team as last year and Andy sucks" so pretty much those folks can't lose.

It's a long season no matter what happens the 1st couple of weeks of the season plus I am not sure what will come 1st, the calls for DT to be fired or someone questioning the integrity of Pete Schmuck which will lead that poster to beg to be let back onto the blog. I am going with the call for DT to be fired, but I am not much of betting man.

OH NO, the O's lost their FIRST game of the year -- the season is DOOMED!!!! Well, since the Yanks lost their first game, I guess their season is shot too. That's comforting............It's ONE game, morons!!!!

I did not see the game last night but two thoughts came to my head when looking at the box score.

(1) 3 R, 11 H -- once again the Oriole lack of genuine power hitters (should be two but one would be novel these days) leave the Orioles with runs being less than 50% of the their hits. This is the recipe for men left on base because without walks it takes three singles or a double with a single to score just one run. That means you have to bat .500 or .400 in that inning to score just one run. And so the Orioles score either no runs or one run. This is nothing new.

(2) Five pitchers used -- Millwood has averaged 5.93 innings per start over his 91 starts of 2007-09. He only goes five innings because he can't get anyone out in the sixth. Fair enough. But why is Albers exiled after only 16 pitches thrown? And is Ohman only good for eight tosses? And Jim Johnson throws 13 in his inning, nine for strikes.

Each one of these guys had spring training, too. Certainly they are better prepared than just to throw a few pitches.

This is the recipe for burning out the bullpen. Most relievers warm up, many come in, one is bound to fail, see you tomorrow for the same thing.

I don't know if Gonzalez is going to get lit up like a Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center each night, and he could have been one of the fewer pitchers used if that was done correctly (meaning: not push-button automatic) -- thereby still yielding the same sad results short term.

At some point, you have to trust the doodle that is in there doing well to be extended further -- whether it is a starter or a reliever.

It hurts even more when the long term harm isn't at least offset bu short term good.

Picking up where we left off last year..... keep bringing in the relievers until you find one who will lose the game for you.... classic Trembly...

o true

Picking up where we left off last year..... keep bringing in the relievers until you find one who will lose the game for you.... classic Trembly...

o true

Severn Dave-

Whats worse, the Yanks blew 5-1 and 7-5 leads! I would be more p!ssed about that than our closer getting juiced up and blowing the first win of the season.


Gonzlaez blew 38% of his save chances last yr in the inferior hitting NL (10 of 17)

Get used to seeing this throughout the year

Everyone saw this coming, except MacPhail and his adoring fan club

SHAMROCK judges a reliever by his era? LOL

So if Gonzo comes in and lets the runners already on base score thats ok ? After all, Those runners wouldn't count against his era.

That's why people who actually know what they're talking about judge relievers by inherited runners scored.

Shamrock tries to spin, he just doesn't know enough about baseball to do it effectively. No one said the fan club were astute baseball people

burt from essex,

chris doesn't know how to read the forbes article, that's why he dismissed it. He was afraid he would learn something and leave his comfort zone. If he ever read that and understood it, he wouldn't be able to defend what this team is doing to its fans

Of course, Shamrock dismisses it too, but he probably couldn't understand it either/Its a lot easier to ignore that learn

Good point, waspman, about the use of 4 relievers last night. That's not a recipe for long-term success, and in this case it still only got us a loss. Tonight Trembley will have 4 pitchers in his bullpen who already pitched the night before, and with Guthrie starting, that could be a problem.

Yes, our "closer" should have closed last night's game, but Trembley better have a long-term plan for how he is going to get 9 innings out of his pitching staff each game, especially when 3 of our 5 starters are relatively inexperienced.


I hear what you are saying, loud and clear. You are upset over the last 12 years of losing. There is nothing you can do about it. (Insert Will Hunting, "It's not your fault" clip.) I have read what you wrote on the Ravens blogs pages and it is glowingly the opposite of what you say about the O's. You were critical in the least of them last season.

Last nights loss sucked big time, but it is what it is. They have 161 chances to make up for it over the next 6 months.

Go ahead and continue to blindly complaining and make uninformed rants. Makes for good baseball talk. Like farting into the wind.

hey stat genius-

7 of the 10 blown saves came as the set up man in the 8th inning. He made 80 appearances last year and had a 2.42 ERA. I will ask you the same as I asked wayne, in your magic land, who do you sign to be closer? All b!tching, no viable solutions.

Speaking of Forbes- I get to hear him speak at school tonight, want me to ask him about your beloved team valuation bible?

So we were winning for 8 of 9 innings, or 0.888. Well above the .500 AM was hoping for. Wahoo!

Oh wait, that's not what we mean by .500?

Braves new Gonzalez was flawed as a closer. O's should use Hernandez or Berken to close. 2 pitch starters can be good closers - like Papelbon.

I like the comment that Trembley uses enough relievers to find one to blow the game. You have to admit there is some truth to this.


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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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