Good track record
Millwood has dominated the Mets in his brief career
Posted: Monday October 18, 1999 10:35 PM
Kevin Millwood will try to close out the NLCS for the Braves on four days rest. Allsport
ATLANTA (AP) -- During the playoffs a year ago, Kevin Millwood was the forgotten man. No more.
The Atlanta Braves' right-hander was 18-7 with a 2.68 ERA during the season. And he has been a key in the postseason on a rotation featuring NL Cy Young award winners Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz.
Millwood beat the New York Mets 4-3 in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series. On Tuesday night, he can win the series clincher at Turner Field. He will be facing Al Leiter, a 1-0 loser in Game 3 to Tom Glavine.
"My confidence is about as high as it's been," Millwood said. "I think the last game I pitched here against New York probably gave me more confidence than the game I pitched against Houston, for the simple fact that I didn't have my best stuff."
In Game 2 against New York, Millwood went 7 1-3 innings, giving up five hits, three runs, two of them earned. He walked one and struck out four.
In Game 2 of the division playoff against Houston, the 24-year-old pitcher threw a one-hitter as Atlanta took that best-of-5 series in four games.
Millwood was 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA in 15 innings against the Mets during the season. He's not about to start experimenting at this stage.
"I don't know if they'll do anything different or not. I'm not going to do anything different until they make me," he said. "And I think I've pretty much pitched the same way all year long against these guys."
Millwood pitched pretty well last season, too, winning 17 games in his first full season as the No. 5 starter. But when the postseason came he was shunted to the bullpen behind Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz and Denny Neagle.
He never pitched as the Braves won three straight from Chicago in the division series and lost the NLCS in six games to San Diego.
"Those guys had the experience. I think everybody expected them to start," he said. "We went with the guys that had been pitching out of the pen all year."
New York has come back after dropping the first three games of the best-of-7 series to win the last two, including Sunday's 4-3 win in 15 innings. They are attempting to become the first team to win a postseason series after losing the first three games.
The Mets, however, will be facing a hot pitcher and playing in a stadium where they have lost seven in a row and are 1-13 the last two years.
Millwood won his last six decisions during the season. In addition to his one-hitter against the Astros, he also saved Game 4 with a hitless ninth as the Braves advanced to the NLCS.
Now he can send the Braves to the World Series.
"We definitely don't want it to go to a seventh game," he said. "But on the other hand, if we do, we still like our chances."
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