If Millwood can’t go, who will?
When veteran Kevin Millwood left the game Wednesday after 22/3 innings and only 39 pitches, the immediate concern was whether he’d re-strained a groin muscle that sidelined him earlier in June.
Afterward, when the Seattle Mariners still weren’t certain their 37-year-old right-hander was going to be able to make his next start, the question was: If not Millwood, who?
The most obvious answer would be reliever Hisashi Iwakuma, who pitched 32/3 innings in relief of Millwood and allowed only one hit – albeit the game-winning solo home run.
On the current staff, Iwakuma is the only reliever who has worked in long relief consistently. If asked, he probably could give the team five innings four days from now.
Another possibility might lie in Tacoma.
If Millwood’s injury requires at least one missed start, the team might consider placing him on the disabled list and calling up, say, Blake Beavan.
“We’ll know more when Kevin comes in (today) and gets checked,” manager Eric Wedge said. “I’m not going to get into speculation now.”
HOME ISN’T WHERE THE HITTING IS
Wonder why the Mariners are 13-21 at Safeco Field this year? It isn’t their pitching.
A look at their offensive statistics at home makes one wonder how they’ve managed to win 13 games at home. Take a gander:
Ichiro Suzuki: .241, 1 HR, 13 RBI.
Jesus Montero: .237, 3 HR, 12 RBI.
John Jaso: .234, 2 HR, 7 RBI.
Dustin Ackley: .221, 0 HR, 6 RBI.
Brendan Ryan: .210, 1 HR, 9 RBI.
Michael Saunders: .188, 1 HR, 3 RBI.
Miguel Olivo: .185, 1 HR, 3 RBI.
Kyle Seager: .173, 2 HR, 13 RBI.
Justin Smoak: .161, 3 HR, 12 RBI.
On the road this season, the Mariners rank fourth in the American League with a .259 batting average, a .310 on-base percentage. In Safeco Field, the Mariners rank last in the league at .202 with a .301 on-base percentage.
The Mariners might be keeping Oakland’s Yoenis Cespedes in the big leagues. In 44 games this season, he’s hit nine home runs in 161 at-bats. In 33 at-bats vs. Seattle, however, he’s hit five home runs. … When the Mariners lost despite allowing only two hits Wednesday, it was just the eighth time in franchise history they’d lost while allowing two hits or fewer. … Seattle is 8-12 in one-run games this season. … After struggling in recent games, reliever Brandon League worked 12/3 innings without allowing a baserunner Wednesday. … The Mariners are 13-14 against American League West teams.
Seattle plays host to Boston in a 7:10 p.m. game today that Root Sports will televise. Probable starting pitchers: Franklin Morales (1-1, 3.12 ERA) vs. Felix Hernandez (5-5, 3.36).