Early in the 2010 season, the stories written about Kevin Millwood made reference to the hard-luck pitcher, frequently referencing that "he pitched well enough to win". Sometimes the statement was even true. Millwood had combined poor run support from the team with ill-timed bullpen meltdowns to accrue an 0-7 record through 13 starts. Today, his record fell to 0-8 but there was nothing hard-luck about it. He did not pitch well enough to win, or even close enough.
In the top of the first inning, five of the first six batters reached base with David Wright and Chris Carter hitting home runs. The result was a 5-0 deficit before the Orioles hitters even came to the plate and given how few times the team has mustered more than even 3 runs this season, it looked pretty hopeless from the outset.
Mets starter Mike Pelfrey (9-1) seemed shaky early, allowing two runs in the bottom of the first and another in the bottom of the second as the Orioles scratched together some hits and sac flies to get as close as 5-3, but that was all the meaningful offense they managed. After the bottom of the first, the Orioles never sent more than five men to the plate in a single inning. Out of eleven total hits, only one was for extra bases. This is another familiar refrain for the 2010 Orioles season, to go along with the continuing futility with runners in scoring position. Today's 2-8 with RISP actually constitutes an improvement. A 3-4, 2 RBI performance from Adam Jones was about the lone offensive bright spot for the Birds.
Millwood's final line was 5.1 IP, 11 H, 8 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO and 3 HR allowed. Coming in from the bullpen, Mark Hendrickson didn't do much better, allowing 3 ER over 1.1 IP. Brad Bergesen contributed 1.1 scoreless innings and Matt Albers pitched a scoreless ninth. So at least that's something.
Interleague play continues tomorrow as the Orioles will take their three-game losing streak out west to face the San Francisco Giants, whose team leader in on-base percentage is Aubrey Huff. Hey, we know that guy, don't we? In the series opener, Chris Tillman faces off against the Giants' Jonathan Sanchez