Rocked Sutcliffe looks to roll past Mariners tonight Too many fastballs cited in 3-HR debut

Orioles notebook

April 10, 1993|By Peter Schmuck and Jim Henneman | Peter Schmuck and Jim Henneman,Staff Writers

SEATTLE -- Right-hander Rick Sutcliffe will try to shake off his rocky Opening Day start tonight when he returns to the mound to face Seattle Mariners rookie John Cummings in the second game of the three-game series at the Kingdome.

Sutcliffe gave up three home runs in the Orioles' 7-4 season-opening loss to the Texas Rangers, but he already is treating that game like a distant memory.

"You take some notes and you look at the films the next day," he said. "Then you start on your next game. There always are some areas that you need to work on, but you don't dwell on it."

It didn't take him long to diagnose the problem. He depended largely on his fastball in his first start, which turned out to be a mistake against the free-swinging Rangers. Sutcliffe said he won't make the same mistake tonight.

"I need to use all my pitches," he said. "I just got carried away with my fastball and I didn't pitch. I probably threw 80 percent fastballs the other day. I'm not going to have success doing that. I'm not that kind of pitcher any more."

Reynolds honored

The Mariners honored their former All-Star second baseman Harold Reynolds in pre-game ceremonies last night, and Reynolds' mother, Lettie, threw out the first pitch.

Reynolds spent 12 years in the Mariners' organization and was the point man for much of the club's community involvement during the past six years.

The love fest was tempered by the strong words that Reynolds has had for the Mariners organization since signing with the Orioles.

He was quoted in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer yesterday, ripping former managers Jim Lefebvre and Bill Plummer.

"The last few years I played for two guys who were totally blind to what the game is all about and how it is supposed to be played," he said. "I was lulled to sleep the last few years, and my whole game changed after [Dick Williams] left.

"I wasn't aggressive, and the team wasn't aggressive. We were boring. It was a matter of attitude and style, and in my case, it was like taking my heart away."

Reynolds didn't seem to take the mini-controversy too seriously. He actually seemed to be enjoying it.

"I feel like Charles Barkley," he said.

But he booted one, too

Reynolds' error on Wally Backman's roller in the fifth inning was the Orioles' first of the season.

A year ago the Orioles didn't commit their first error until the seventh game. They finished with 93, their fourth straight sub-100 error season. No other team has gone more than two straight years without making at least 100 errors.

Valenzuela debuts

Fernando Valenzuela made his American League debut last night, pitching a scoreless seventh inning.

Valenzuela, who will make his first start Tuesday night in Texas before a regional ESPN television audience, retired all three hitters he faced.

Obando on deck

Right fielder Sherman Obando is going to make his first start tonight, but manager Johnny Oates isn't going to make any wild predictions about the Rule V draft selection.

"I'm not saying the guy is going to go out there and hit three home runs," Oates said, "but I like what I see and we're going to give him some playing time."

Obando made a solid impression in Florida, where he hit .303 and led the club with 11 RBI.

But he is making the jump from Double-A to the big leagues, which should keep expectations in check.

Frohwirth pleased

Right-hander Todd Frohwirth may be 0-1, but he isn't complaining about the way he opened the season. He pitched 2 2/3 innings of one-hit relief Wednesday night, only to get the loss when Doug Strange hit a game-winning homer off Gregg Olson.

"I'm not normally a fast starter," Frohwirth said, "but I threw well and I had good control. I was happy right up until we lost the game."


The Mariners entered the season with a major league-high seven rookies on the roster. . . . Mariners second baseman Rich Amaral, at 31, is the oldest rookie in the major leagues. . . . The Orioles had a streak of 20 straight scoreless innings against the Mariners stopped in the first inning.

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