Mariners Insider Blog

In a 4-2 loss, the bullpen throws zeroes

Seattle Mariners starter Kevin Millwood was more accurate with is assessment of a 4-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox today than he was with his pitches.

“I threw way too many pitches and not nearly enough quality pitches,” Millwood said. “A lot of those pitches were close, but weren’t strikes. We knew coming in there wasn’t much margin for error.”

Down two runs despite Miguel Olivo's long second-inning home run, Millwood threw 95 pitches in four innings and was gone - on a day when the Seattle bullpen was short.

Brandon League, Tom Wilhelmsen and Hisashi Iwakuma were unavailable, so with four innings to eat, the Mariners stretched things a bit. Rookie Stephen Pryor, who had not thrown back-to-back games all season, did so  and worked a scoreless inning, striking out two.

Then Lucas Luetge, whose first 19 appearances had been lefty-on-lefty short assignments, was asked for two innings.

“It’s a little different after five or six games in a row facing one guy,” Luetge said. “When you’re coming in to face one guy, you don’t hold anything back, you go all out. I had to calm down and save some energy."

Two outs into his second inning, Luetge walked a batter, gave up a single and walked in a small circle behind the mound.

 “I was tired, and I had to talk to myself a little, tell myself to trust my pitch and throw it in the strike zone,” Luetge said.

 He did, and with his 37th pitch got his sixth out.

“(Pitching coach) Carl Willis came up to me and said, ‘That’s like your first start,’” Luetge said. “I enjoyed it.”

Shawn Kelley finished the eighth inning, and the Mariners tried to rally in the ninth. Jesus Montero led off with a single but Justin Smoak grounded into a double play. Dustin Ackley singled, but after an extended at-bat, Olivo struck out.