Kevin Millwood did not want his season to end on the disabled list.
After missing six weeks with tendinitis in his right elbow, Millwood will return to the mound when the Philadelphia Phillies conclude their three-game series against the Montreal Expos at Citizens Bank Park.
Expected to be the staff ace this season, Millwood struggled throughout the first half of the season—going 6-5 with a 5.15 in 18 starts before the All-Star break.
After winning three of his first four starts in the second half, the 29-year-old right-hander left with elbow discomfort after two innings in the Phillies’ 5-3 win over San Diego on Aug. 5. Although he will only pitch two innings Sunday, Millwood is eager to show that he is healthy heading into the offseason.
“I don’t think anybody wants to go into the offseason with a big question mark,” he said. “I’m hoping to show that I can pitch.”
Millwood signed a one-year contract with Philadelphia last winter and will again be a free agent after the season, but he said he has not given the offseason much serious thought.
“I haven’t really thought much about it,” Millwood said. “I’ve been hurt for the last month and a half. The whole year has been a mess.”
Before he thinks about his future plans, Millwood will try to help the Phillies avoid a three-game sweep against the Expos. Philadelphia has lost four of five after a season-high six-game winning streak.
Tony Batista went 4-for-6, falling a home run short of the cycle, and hit a two-run single in the top of the 14th inning Saturday to lead the Expos to a 6-5 win.
“We had some opportunities to cash in and we didn’t, but we had the will to hang in there and get a win,” Expos manager Frank Robinson said.
The Phillies, who barely remain in playoff contention, stayed 7 1/2 games behind the San Francisco Giants in the NL wild-card race. They also trail four other teams.