Sutcliffe's mistakes aid Yankees' sweeps takes

September 10, 1992|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Staff Writer

Rick Sutcliffe had made few mistakes in the course of his recent five-game winning streak. Even his worst pitch, which turned into a grand slam by California Angels first baseman Lee Stevens, came during an 8-7 victory in Anaheim last week.

Sutcliffe's month-long run of good pitching, and good luck, ran out last night in a 5-2 loss for the Orioles to the New York Yankees at Camden Yards. Three home runs, including booming back-to-back shots by Don Mattingly and Danny Tartabull in the eighth, took care of that.

"My job is to put zeros on the board," Sutcliffe said after his first loss, as well as the Orioles' first loss, in his last eight starts. "I didn't do a good job."

Though he gave up a three-run homer to Randy Velarde in the fourth, which gave the Yankees a 3-0 lead, Sutcliffe had pitched decently through the first seven innings. He had given up only four other hits. He had retired eight straight batters before Mattingly.

He seemed to be rolling.

The Orioles had cut their deficit to 3-2.

"We only had a one-run lead, I was kind of looking to put one over that wall," Mattingly said.

"The pitch to Mattingly was a huge mistake," Sutcliffe said of a 1-1 fastball that he tried to throw outside and instead sent over the heart of the plate. "That was a blatant mistake."

Mattingly, whose power has diminished in the past few years because of back problems, turned on the pitch and one-hopped it off the warehouse. It was his 13th home run. Then came Tartabull, who had two home runs and nine RBI in New York's 16-4 victory Tuesday night.

A 1-1 sinker by Sutcliffe didn't, and Tartabull followed with an equally impressive shot into the Orioles bullpen. Exit Sutcliffe, who seemed to stagger off the mound after being replaced by Todd Frohwirth.

"He [Sutcliffe] expects so much of himself," Orioles manager Johnny Oates said. "That's nothing new. If he makes a good pitch and they hit it, he'll tip his hat to them. What's frustrating to Rick is that he knows he didn't make good pitches."

The loss was the first for the 36-year-old right-hander since giving up five runs and eight hits in a little more than four innings against the Yankees July 30 in New York. He is 15-12 overall, but 0-3 against the Yankees, who have scored 17 runs in 18 2/3 innings against him.

"They have given me a lot of trouble," said Sutcliffe, whose

career-high 32nd start wasn't a memorable one.

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