Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Kevin Millwood, 2011 Topps Heritage #203

Everyone who predicted that Kevin Millwood would pitch a no-hitter in 2012, take one step forward. Yeah, that's what I thought.

Okay, so it comes with a small caveat. The 37-year-old Mariners pitcher tossed six hitless innings against the Dodgers last night, and the score was still 0-0 when he took the mound to warm up in the top of the seventh. But Millwood quickly signaled to the dugout, indicating that he needed to be pulled from the game. It turned out that he had strained his groin in the previous inning. Seattle manager Eric Wedge walked a tightrope for the final three innings, using five relievers to record the last nine outs of the game. Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, Lucas Luetge, Brandon League, and Tom Wilhelmsen did the honors. Kyle Seager singled in the only run of the game in the bottom of the seventh; Pryor was tabbed as the winning pitcher despite walking two of the three hitters he faced. Wilhelmsen earned the save with a perfect ninth inning that included a controversial bang-bang out call at first base with Dee Gordon running down the line.

Last night's game was the first combined no-hitter since Roy Oswalt and five other Astros pitchers teamed up to stymie the Yankees in 2003. After a putrid 2010 season in Baltimore (4-16, 5.10 ERA), Millwood spent most of 2011 at AAA with the Yankees and Red Sox before turning in nine decent starts for the Rockies. Now he's 3-5 with a solid 3.57 ERA in a dozen starts for the Mariners. I'm sure spacious Safeco Field gets some of the credit, but ol' Kev is still faring much better than I would have expected. Now he's a part of the second no-hitter of his career, the first being his April 27, 2003 complete-game effort. In that game, he squeaked by the Giants 1-0. Meanwhile I'm still waiting to see the first Oriole no-no of my fandom. No rush, guys.

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