Kevin Millwood just wants to have a strong finish to a disappointing season.
With Philadelphia all but eliminated from postseason contention, Millwood will continue his recovery from an elbow injury when the Phillies meet the Montreal Expos in the middle game of their series at Olympic Stadium.
The 29-year-old right-hander made his first start in two weeks on Sunday. He was limited to just two innings, allowing one run and three hits in the Phillies’ 7-2 win over the Expos.
Millwood, who has struggled with his consistency throughout the season, had been out since Aug. 5 with a sprained ligament in his right elbow. He had good velocity on Sunday, pitching in the low-90 mph range, but had trouble with his command and walked two.
“I honestly wasn’t looking to throw that hard,” Millwood said. “I was a little anxious before the game. I don’t know if I was pumped up. It was a fun day, but I still have things to work on.”
Millwood, eligible to become a free agent after the World Series, won three of four starts going into an Aug. 5 game at San Diego. He left that game after two innings with soreness in his elbow, but now he is simply trying to enter the offseason on a positive note.
“I thought Millwood threw well,” Phillies manager Larry Bowa said Sunday. “I wasn’t expecting that kind of velocity. I expected 89-90 the first time out. He had good life on his fastball.”
Philadelphia had won four straight and 11 of 15 before falling to Montreal 8-1 on Friday. Sun-Woo Kim came within an out of his first career complete game and had a two-run double to help the Expos win for just the second time in five games.
Kim lost his shutout bid on Jason Michaels’ RBI double in the ninth, his 123rd—and final—pitch of the game.
“Nobody was rooting harder for him to pitch a complete game and shutout than I was,” Montreal manager Frank Robinson said. “But I wasn’t going to let him throw any more after he lost the shutout because that was more pitches than he’s thrown all year long.”
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