Monday, April 28, 2003

Phillies' Millwood no-hits Giants



By Rob Maaddi
The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA - Often overlooked and considered expendable in Atlanta, Kevin Millwood at last outdid his former Cy Young teammates. Millwood pitched his first career no-hitter, shutting down Barry Bonds and the NL's top team to lead the Philadelphia Phillies over the San Francisco Giants 1-0 Sunday.

Millwood, acquired from Atlanta last December, struck out 10 and walked three to record the ninth no-hitter in team history.

His gem came on the first anniversary of the last no-hitter in the majors, by Boston's Derek Lowe against Tampa Bay.

"Every pitcher's goal is to throw one. I was probably as nervous as I've ever been," said Millwood, traded for catcher Johnny Estrada in a cost-cutting move by the Braves.

"It was one of those special days, and I don't plan on doing it every time out, but it was a lot of fun."

Millwood used several variations of his fastball and just enough offspeed pitches to keep Bonds and the other Giants' hitters off-balance throughout the afternoon - and kept the crowd of 40,016 cheering at Veterans Stadium.

"My fastball was the flavor of the day," said Millwood, who threw it on 81 of his 108 pitches. "The fans were great, they were loud and on their feet. When I got two strikes, it was so loud I couldn't hear myself think. That made me more nervous."

In Atlanta, Millwood pitched behind Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz.

Maddux (four), Glavine (two) and Smoltz (one) have seven Cy Young awards among them, but none has pitched no-hitter. The trio has three one-hitters, two by Maddux and one by Smoltz.

"That was cool," said Maddux, who watched on a clubhouse television as Atlanta played Milwaukee at Turner Field. "I really enjoyed it. I was probably more nervous than he was."

Millwood said upstaging his former mentors didn't make his performance more special.

"I'd be just as excited if one of those guys threw it," he said.

Millwood retired Bonds three times, striking out the single-season home-run king in the seventh looking at a 91 mph fastball. Bonds hit a long drive to right that Bobby Abreu caught near the wall in the fourth.

Marquis Grissom came the closest to getting a hit, but center fielder Ricky Ledee raced back and made a leaping one-handed catch on his hard liner to right-center to start the seventh.

"I was just praying that Ricky would make a great play and he did," Millwood said.

Ledee homered for the game's only run and also caught the final out.

Jose Cruz Jr. nearly homered in the second, but his long fly hooked outside the right-field foul pole.

"He threw a great game," Cruz said. "He kept pumping them up there."

Grissom hit a routine fly ball to Ledee for the final out of the game.

Earlier in the ninth, Millwood retired pinch-hitters Neifi Perez and Marvin Benard on grounders before walking Ray Durham on a full count. Millwood retired 15 straight batters before the walk.

"Not only was that unbelievable, it came against the best team in the National League right now," Phillies manager Larry Bowa said. "To do it in 1-0 game makes it more special."

St. Louis' Bud Smith, now a Phillies' minor leaguer, pitched the last NL no-hitter against San Diego on Sept. 3, 2001.

When Grissom lofted the final fly ball, Millwood (4-1) put his right finger up the air and held it there as Ledee made the catch.

Phillies first baseman Jim Thome was the first teammate to reach Millwood, coming over from first base and embracing the pitcher on the mound. Thome and Millwood were Philadelphia's top acquisitions in a free-spending offseason.

Catcher Mike Lieberthal hugged Millwood and Bowa pumped his fist as he ran from the dugout. But Bowa couldn't get to Millwood as the Phillies surrounded him.

Millwood tipped his hat twice to the fans, who stood the last two innings to root him on. His wife, Rena, said she chewed her fingernails the last few innings.

"I wouldn't say it was his best stuff," Lieberthal said. "His slider wasn't working and he threw a few curves. It was all his fastball."

The last Phillies pitcher to throw a no-hitter was Tommy Greene against Montreal on May 23, 1991.

Philadelphia's Terry Mulholland pitched the only other nine-inning no-hitter in Veterans Stadium history against the Giants on Aug. 15, 1990.

"He was getting the calls and then he got more aggressive," Giants shortstop Rich Aurilia said.

Down in Atlanta, the Braves cheered their former teammate. Maddux was charting pitches in the clubhouse when he noticed what Millwood was doing through the early innings.

"I had a hard time watching our game," Maddux said.

Braves manager Bobby Cox caught the end of Millwood's outing.

"That was sensational," Cox said.

Ledee gave Millwood all the runs he needed with his first-inning homer off Jesse Foppert (0-2), who made his second major league start.

"He was awesome," Ledee said of Millwood.

Foppert allowed one run and three hits in six innings. The right-hander gave up five runs in the first inning of a 5-3 loss to Pittsburgh in his first start.




SUNDAY BASEBALL
Reds 7, Padres 5
Sunday Box, Runs
Phillies' Millwood no-hits Giants

SATURDAY BASEBALL
Reds 7, Padres 6
Photo gallery | Box, Runs
Kearns shows power, promise and poise
Reds E-Mail: Boone genius or time to go?
Reds Chatter
Solid start relieves Graves
Reds Notebook: Wily Mo gets a start

BENGALS DRAFT ( Complete draft coverage )
Fourth pick Weathersby recovering from gunshot
Bengals all offense on draft's Day 1
Guard Steinbach slips out of first round
Size, speed make WR Washington a threat
Palmer glad fuss is over

NFL DRAFT
Rating the draft: Winners & losers
Draft picks by team | By number
Defensive line dominates first round
Surprise: Browns take center
Ravens, Steelers trade up to fill needs
Three UC players drafted
Five Buckeyes selected
Jets take Colerain grad Askew
Jags get Leftwich; big questions to come
Newman goes to Cowboys
Jets trade up for UK's Robertson
Bad news, good news for Simms
Reds' Minor League Notebook
Toledo 4, Louisville 0
NL: Dodgers finally get big hit
AL: Angels get lift from Shields
Who's Hot & Who's Not

KENTUCKY DERBY
Fan's guide to the Kentucky Derby
Other Derby Week Events
Where else to go in Louisville
Derby Notebook: New owners for Domestic Dispute

FLYING PIG MARATHON
Flying Pig gets new start

XAVIER BASKETBALL
DAUGHERTY: Let's hope XU reason kids come
What's the motta with Matta?

UC FOOTBALL
UC defense bares teeth
Three UC players picked in NFL draft

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Lesser-known Buckeyes star in spring game
UK unveils two-headed QB

NBA PLAYOFFS
NBA: Jazz not ready to crown Kings

NHL PLAYOFFS
NHL: Ducks take 2-0 lead on Stars

LOCAL SPORTS
Cyclones go down 3-0 in series
Vogelgesang cracks PBA top 60
College Update: For NKU, winning starts with pitching
Enquirer Power Rankings
Sports on TV-Radio

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Mayo billed as next LeBron
Saturday's High School Results

Return to Reds front page...