McDonald wants chance to work out of trouble

Orioles notebook

May 29, 1993|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Right-hander Ben McDonald did not hide his displeasure with being removed in the midst of a three-hitter on Thursday night, but that doesn't bother manager Johnny Oates.

"It would bother me more if he said the opposite," Oates said. "I would be worried about a pitcher who wanted to come out of every game."

McDonald took a one-hitter into the seventh inning of the Orioles' 4-3, extra-inning victory over the New York Yankees, but was removed after giving up a run on two hits. He said afterward that he would like to get to the point where Oates will leave him in to work out of trouble.

His sentiments were the predictable response to the predicament that McDonald is in. He has pitched well in each of his last four starts, but it has been a month since he has recorded a victory.

Oates undoubtedly sympathizes, but he's confident that McDonald will get his share of wins if he continues to pitch the way he has over the past few weeks.

"I think he is showing a more concentrated effort to concentrate on the task at hand," Oates said. "He is starting to be able to make a lot of quality pitches when it is called for."

Olson still the one

Oates doesn't like to be asked about the closer situation anymore, but the question arose again in the aftermath of Gregg Olson's shaky performance Thursday night. Brad Pennington came on to pitch well and record his first major-league victory, but that will not change the pecking order in the Orioles bullpen.

"Olson is the closer. . . . Pennington's time is coming," Oates said. "If the lineup dictates Pennington be in there, he'll be in there. If the lineup dictates that Olson be in there, he'll be in there. If it can be either one, it'll probably be Olson."

Baines/Devereaux in review

The return of Harold Baines and Mike Devereaux helped the Orioles close out the series in New York with a victory, but it might be a few days before they get really comfortable at the plate.

"It'll take time," Oates said, "but both of them got hits last night [Thursday]. "That will help them, but I don't expect them to get their timing back all at once."

Early arrival

Quite a controversy has developed over how late Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan stayed at an Atlantic City casino the night before his team played the New York Knicks on Tuesday, but he had nothing on the Orioles, who got to their hotel rooms at about 6 a.m. yesterday morning.

The Orioles had wanted to play a day game at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, but got no scheduling help from the Yankees. They had to fly all night and sleep all day before last night's series opener at Anaheim Stadium.

Sutcliffe tonight

Right-hander Rick Sutcliffe takes the mound tonight to face the Angels for the second time in 1993. He delivered one of his best performances of the year against them at Camden Yards on April 16, giving up a run on seven hits over 7 1/3 innings to score a 4-1 victory.

"I'll do a lot of the same things I did last night (Thursday)," Sutcliffe said. "We have a video recorder here and I spent two hours yesterday going over films of that game."

The films might not help him figure out how to pitch rookie J. T. Snow, who had two hits in three at-bats and drove in the only run against Sutcliffe in that game.

"That's one thing I'll be looking at tonight," Sutcliffe said as he prepared to chart pitches for last night's game. "He was real hot when we played them. I'll be asking questions about how they're getting him out now."

Etchebarren gets Bluefield job

Former Orioles catcher Andy Etchebarren has been named manager of the Orioles' Bluefield affiliate in the Appalachian League and Jeff Williams has been named pitching coach. Williams is a former minor-league pitching instructor for the San

Francisco Giants and New York Mets.

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