Stottlemyre to start Game 4 Gaston opts to keep Leiter in bullpen Series notebook

October 19, 1993|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- Toronto manager Cito Gaston has decided to stick with the starting pitchers that brought the Blue Jays to the big dance.

Todd Stottlemyre, who is without a win in three starts and eight postseason appearances, will pitch Game 4 tomorrow night. Not so much because the right-hander has earned it, but because Gaston wasn't thrilled with his options.

Going into the World Series, Gaston toyed with the idea of using only three starters, with Juan Guzman pitching Games 1, 4 and 7. That possibility was dashed early, when it took Guzman 121 pitches to get through five innings of Game 1.

"There was no way I was going to use him on three days' rest," said Gaston, who was left to pick between Stottlemyre and Al Leiter.

Even though Philadelphia can stack its lineup with left-handed hitters, Gaston picked the right-hander over the left-hander -- with a little help no doubt from the Phillies statistics sheet.

"Their club is much better against left-handers," said Gaston, explaining his decision. "Their average is nine points higher [.280-.271].

"I just feel this is the way for us to go -- the way we've gone all year."

Stottlemyre has been generally erratic this season. He capped a three-game winning streak in September with a three-hit shutout against the Boston Red Sox Sept. 21 -- but hasn't won in three starts since, including a losing effort in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series.

Leiter, plagued by injuries most of his career, finished strong, beating the New York Yankees and Orioles in two late starts. But he's the closest thing the Blue Jays have to a quality left-hander in the bullpen and was the winning pitcher in Game 1.

And the fact that Leiter could be available in relief the rest of the way no doubt influenced Gaston's decision.

The Phillies' 31-18 home record against left-handed starters was another factor.

The long way around

The way Danny Cox figures it, the Phillies are the reason he made it to the World Series -- even if it is on the other side.

After missing all but six minor-league games in two years because of arm problems, Cox signed with the Phillies as a free agent. He was a combined 6-8 with a 4.79 ERA in 1991-92, but wasn't content at that time to work out of the bullpen, as he does now for the Blue Jays.

"The biggest thing in my mind concerning my time in Philadelphia is that [manager] Jim Fregosi, [general manager] Lee Thomas and [owner] Bill Giles gave me a chance to pitch in the big leagues again," said Cox.

"I'll always be grateful."

After leaving the Phillies, Cox signed with Triple-A Buffalo, pitched briefly last year with the Pittsburgh Pirates and then became a free agent again.

Looking for experience to fill a void in their bullpen, with Duane Ward moving into Tom Henke's closer role, the Blue Jays signed Cox last winter.

"It's kind of funny," he said, "when a lot of teams don't want you, then you wind up going to the World Series."

Chewing the fat

Count Blue Jays outfielder Joe Carter among those who believe listed weights on team rosters are inaccurate.

According to the official lists of the Blue Jays and Phillies, Carter is the heaviest player in uniform, at 225.

"No way I'm the heaviest guy on the field," said Carter. "I guarantee you that guy on first base [the Phillies John Kruk] weighs more."

For the record, Kruk, who is 5 feet 10, is listed at 214 pounds. That's 4 pounds less than his counterpart, John Olerud, who has 218 pounds spread over his 6-5 frame.

Umps want camera ejected

The umpires working the World Series are uniform in their disapproval of the "Eye in the Sky" camera being used by CBS to show location of pitches in relation to home plate.

They feel the camera angle can be deceiving and is demeaning '' to their profession.

Of more importance, perhaps, is the opinion of Fregosi, who has experience in both leagues, that the umpires now have a uniform strike zone. "It used to be true [that the zones were different] when the American League umpires used the outside chest protectors," he said. "But now they all use the inside protector and work inside the catcher."

There is still a strong sentiment for having umpires work under one umbrella and call games in both leagues. That could happen before a move to inter-league play.

Alomar praise ranges far

Fregosi and Kruk didn't need a scouting report to tell them about the range of Blue Jays second baseman Roberto Alomar.

"There was always a debate when they were both in the National League over who had the better range, Alomar or Chico Lind," said Fregosi. "All I know is, Alomar has great range."

Kruk's information is first hand. He and Alomar were teammates with the San Diego Padres.

"When we played together, all I had to do was play the line, Robby got everything else. He's still doing it. He didn't win all those Gold Gloves for nothing."

Ugly contest

The Toronto Sun's fill-in-the-blank contest that produced the winning, "The Phillies are so ugly . . . that the turf spits back," also brought several honorable mentions:

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