Mariners notes: No. 2,000 for Millwood

CLEVELAND — Veteran Kevin Millwood hit a pitching milestone in New York — his 2,000th career strike out — which led to a discussion Wednesday on what to do to commemorate the occasion.

“I saved the ball,” he said.

A baseball is nice, but didn’t seem enough for such a significant moment in a career. What else might Millwood do?

“Buy yourself that tractor,” reliever Shawn Kelley suggested.

Millwood beamed.

“I’m going to buy a tractor,” he said.

Asked if his career had ended on 1,999 strikeouts what he might have done, Millwood didn’t hesitate.

“I’d buy the tractor,” he said. “I need one.”

The conversation then moved to Kelley, who was asked what a middle reliever might consider a milestone.

“I don’t know, 200 strikeouts? Maybe appearances,” Kelley said. “A closer has saves, but guys who pitch the sixth, seventh, eighth innings? I don’t know what you’d consider a milestone.”

Kelley saved a baseball from his first career appearance and has only one more thing in mind now.

“I want to hit a home run and save that ball,” he said.

When was the last time he had an at-bat?

“College,” he said. “I’d have to be pitching in extra innings and be going two or three innings and have my spot in the lineup come up early to get an at-bat.”

What would be the chances of him hitting one out?

“Maybe if I faced a guy throwing 95 mph and he threw me an 88 mph slider — and hung it,” Kelley said, thinking out loud. “Then I’d be swinging late on his fastball and might get that slider.”

How likely is that?

“Not very,” Kelley admitted.

Now batting second

With Dustin Ackley now firmly lodged in the leadoff role for Seattle, the search continues for a viable No. 2 hitter in the Mariners lineup — and Wednesday they went with Michael Saunders.

Saunders became the sixth Mariner to bat second in 39 games this season.

Why Saunders?

“He’s been getting himself in good hitting counts, good hitting positions,” manager Eric Wedge said. “We’re trying to figure out what to do with the No. 2 position, and clearly starting the lineup with three left-handed hitters.

“What you want there is a hitter who can work the bat, spray the ball around, is situationally sound and knows the game.”

So far in 2012, Wedge has used Dustin Ackley, John Jaso, Alex Liddi, Brendan Ryan, Casper Wells and Saunders in the second spot of his lineups.

Short hops

Dustin Ackley’s first-inning single extended his career-best hitting streak to 12 consecutive games. … With four games left on this trip, the Mariners have already played more road games (24) than any team in the majors. … Justin Smoak’s streak of 64 games in a row without an error is the longest by any active American League first baseman.

Talk to us

More in Sports

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) fumbles the ball as he is sacked by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. (97) during the second quarter Monday. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Grading the Seahawks in their 24-3 victory over the Giants

Seattle’s defense shows up big as the Seahawks head into their bye on a three-game winning streak.

Monroe junior receiver Aaron Clifton checks for defenders while taking a long reception to the house against Mountlake Terrace on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, at Monroe High School in Monroe, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Prep football power rankings after Week 5

Here are our top 8 local teams after all the action from Thursday and Friday.

Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for Sept. 25-30

The Athlete of the Week nominees for Sept. 25-30. Voting closes at… Continue reading

Silvertips name leadership group, but no captain yet

Everett lists Ty Gibson, Kaden Hammell, Ben Hemmerling and Austin Roest as alternate captains, but will wait to assign the “C”.

Fall prep sports roundup.
Prep roundup for Monday, Oct. 2

Prep roundup for Monday, Oct. 2: (Not for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Monroe’s Mason Davis (1) celebrates with Trent Bublitz (11) after Bublitz’s touchdown reception against Edmonds-Woodway on Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, at Edmonds School District Stadium in Edmonds, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Reader poll: Make your picks for Week 6 prep football games

Do you think you can beat the experts in our weekly high… Continue reading

Who’s that frog? A local high school tennis player, that’s who

Arlington tennis player Robbie Balderas worked as AquaSox mascot Webbly this season, and the busy junior also runs a landscaping business.

Mountlake Terrace’s Zaveon Jones is pulled to the ground by a diving Nicholas Mouser of Monroe on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, at Monroe High School in Monroe, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Swarming Monroe defense keys win over Terrace in Wesco 3A South showdown

The Bearcats slow down the Hawks’ potent ground game, and quarterback Blake Springer tosses three TDs in a 35-10 victory.

Arlington players lift the Stilly Cup in the air after beating Stanwood on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023 in Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Arlington reclaims Stilly Cup after short hiatus, routs Stanwood 42-7

Leyton Martin registers 277 yards, 4 TDs as Eagles notch fifth straight game with at least six TDs.

Most Read