Lonnie Smith ringing up points World Series notes

October 25, 1991|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Evening Sun Staff

ATLANTA -- If this keeps up, Lonnie Smith is going to give a whole new meaning to the term "Mr. October."

And a slew of teams will be lining up for his services in the twilight of a World Series career.

Smith, who homered in his third straight game as the Atlanta Braves took a 3-2 lead over the Minnesota Twins with a 14-5 win last night, is one victory away from a unique ring collection. If the Braves can win one more game, Smith will get his fourth World Series championship ring -- all with different teams.

But Smith has no illusions of challenging Reggie Jackson for the "Mr. October" title.

"Reggie is one of those Hall Of Famers," said Smith. "I'm just one of those players who had some luck. I'll never see the Hall Of Fame unless I go for a visit."

* GLAVINE'S FRUSTRATION: Tom Glavine, the winning pitcher last night despite a wild streak that cost him three runs and an early removal in the sixth inning, blamed his troubles on trying too hard to relax.

"I think I was using reverse psychology on myself," Glavine said of his problems after the Braves gave him a 5-0 lead. "I told myself to relax, don't do this, don't do that.

"But each pitch was going outside more and more and I was compounding the problem. I got away from being aggressive. It was disheartening. We were in control and I let them get back in it. But then we established control again."

The win was Glavine's first in post-season play, but not terribly rewarding.

"It had been very frustrating," he said. "I had pitched two pretty good games and lost. Then I pitched so-so and won. Everything has a way of evening out, I guess."

Glavine said, if necessary, he thought he will be available for relief duty in Game 7. "Hopefully I won't have to pitch," he said. "But if I had to, I think I would be able to go at least an inning."

* CAN TWINS REPEAT?: Only one team in history has ever won the first two games, lost the next three and then gone on to win the World Series.

The current five-game scenario has happened seven times before, and only the 1987 Minnesota Twins were able to come back from three straight losses to beat the St. Louis Cardinals.

* EXTRA BASE DATA: Atlanta second baseman Mark Lemke had two triples during the regular season. He had that many last night and has three in the five games so far, equalling his career total.

The eight extra-base hits by the Braves was one short of the World Series record (Pittsburgh, 1925) and the 11 by both teams tied a record last equalled by the A's and Giants in 1989.

The 14 runs by the Braves is the most ever scored by a National League team in a World Series game and the most by any team since the Yankees beat the Pirates 16-3 in 1960.

* BIRTHDAY BOYS: There was no word from the research staff, but there may have been a record for World Series birthdays set last night.

Three players celebrated birthdays during Game 5 -- Gene Larkin (29) and Junior Ortiz (32) of the Twins and Rafael Belliard (30) of the Braves.

* CHILI IN OUTFIELD: With Shane Mack in an 0-for-15 slump, Chili Davis made his first start of the year in the outfield for the Twins last night. Manager Tom Kelly had said he wouldn't use his designated hitter in the field in anything short of a dire emergency, but changed his mind after the Twins scored only six runs in 21 innings in Games 3 and 4.

Davis' last outfield start came a year ago when he was with the California Angels. He made two non-starting appearances in the outfield for the Twins this year.

* THE DESIGNATED OUTS: While commissioner Fay Vincent uses Game 3 as an example why baseball is better off without the designated hitter, the performance of pitchers as hitters continues to demonstrate why the American League instituted the rule.

Since the Orioles' Tim Stoddard singled in Game 4 of the 1979 World Series, AL pitchers have gone 1-for-87 (.011). Included was an 0-for-78 stretch that lasted exactly 10 years -- until Mike Moore's double in Game 4 in 1989.

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