Harnisch talks his way into remaining a starter


September 12, 1990|By Peter Schmuck

Manager Frank Robinson called Pete Harnisch into his office before last night's game, leaving room to wonder if there would soon be a change in the Baltimore Orioles starting rotation.

Robinson had hinted at it the night before, but Harnisch apparently talked him out of it.

"You'll see him in his next turn," Robinson said.

Harnisch admitted that he is feeling the effects of a long season, but convinced his manager that there is nothing to worry about. He wants to keep going out there, tired arm or not, and Robinson is going to go along with it for the time being.

"I like to give the guy the benefit of the doubt," Robinson said. "He is the one who knows the most about himself. He has not pitched badly and he wants the ball, so I'm going to give it to him."

Robinson admitted that he was considering inserting Bob Milacki into Harnisch's next start. Milacki might get a start down the line anyway, but not Saturday, when Harnisch is scheduled to face the Toronto Blue Jays at SkyDome.

"We talked and it was decided that I'm going to make my next turn," Harnisch said. "I told him I was all right. It [his arm] is not as fresh as it was a couple of months ago, but I don't expect it to be. I'll take my next turn. If I feel fine, I'll go from there. It's just a little bit tired."

Harnisch gave up six runs on nine hits over six-plus innings in Monday night's 8-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers. The loss was his sixth in seven decisions and dropped him below .500 (10-11) for the first time since 1989. Fatigue apparently has been a factor.

"I've thrown a lot of pitches," Harnisch said. "Eventually, as I get a little better, I'll throw less pitches. I've improved since last year and I hope to improve next year. If you save 17-20 pitches a game, that doesn't sound like much, but over 30 starts, that's a lot of pitches."

*Pitchers Jeff Ballard and Joe Price are scheduled to take part in the World Series of Golf at Pebble Beach, Calif., Nov. 26-Dec. 2. The innovative golf tournament will feature 26 foursomes, each including two players from a different major-league team.

"If anyone is wondering what I'm doing from Oct. 4 until late November," Ballard said, "I'll be in the spring training of golf."

*Trophies are showing up everywhere but Baltimore. The Orioles' affiliate in Leon, Mexico, won a championship in the Mexican League last week, much to the excitement of Orioles general manager Roland Hemond. The organization will further expand its horizons when the club sends Wausau manager Mike Young and four players to start a team in Perth, Australia.

*The Orioles' Instructional League squad scored an 11-5 victory over University of Maryland Baltimore County yesterday. Pete Rose II went 3-for-5 with three runs scored. Keith Schmidt (second-round choice, 1989 draft) and Steve Godin (17th round, 1990) each hit a three-run homer.

*The Orioles came into the game having pushed only one runner as far as third in their previous 13 innings.... The Orioles team ERA was 3.88 when the club was at .500 (53-53) Aug. 4. The club entered last night's game with a 4.84 ERA since then.

*Tigers rookie Travis Fryman was not in the starting lineup last night, even though he had eight hits in the first four games of the club's current road trip.

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