Carter, Blue Jays look fine


April 11, 1994|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Sun Staff Writer

Didn't somebody say that Joe Carter has a broken thumb? He has four home runs and 12 RBIs in the Blue Jays' first six games. And what does this Carlos Delgado guy have against restaurants? . . . Dave Stewart's strong performances Tuesday and yesterday do not bode well for the Orioles, who are depending -- in part -- on the vulnerability of the Blue Jays' pitching staff to help them get into the playoffs. Todd Stottlemyre also looked pretty good in his first two appearances as the Jays' substitute closer. . . . Tough crowd in Boston, where Red Sox fans booed Mike Greenwell on Opening Day. Greenwell came back the next day with a game-tying, three-run home run, which turned public sentiment in his favor -- for the moment. . . . No surprise: The AL East is a combined 17-11, easily the best divisional record in the league.

AL Central

All hail the Cleveland Indians, who opened their version of Camden Yards in style and got off to a 3-0 start. . . . The Kansas City Royals needed to get off well after horrible starts the past two years, but opened the season with three straight losses and had to juggle their rotation when David Cone got the flu. . . . Can the Minnesota Twins' pitching staff really be this bad? Twins pitchers gave up a total of 39 runs in a weekend series against the not-so-tough Oakland Athletics and are averaging 9.2 runs allowed through their first six games. Minnesota's starters finished the week with a combined 9.93 ERA.

AL West

Geronimo who? The Oakland A's are not expected to be a strong contender in the AL Mess -- although they were picked to win the division by one shrewd former Sun Orioles writer -- but they looked like an offensive juggernaut over the weekend. Journeyman outfielder Geronimo Berroa, who had a total of four major-league hits last year and came to the A's camp this year as a nonroster player, had five hits in yesterday's 15-run onslaught and finished the week with a .692 average (9-for-13), two home runs and seven RBIs. The biggest bomber in the A's lineup, however, was catcher Terry Steinbach, who has 12 RBIs in the club's first five games. . . . If you picked the Seattle Mariners to win the West this year, there's still time to tell everyone that you really picked the Rangers or the A's. No one is going to remember six months from now when the still-winless Mariners are fighting to poke their heads above .500.

NL East

Atlanta Braves pitcher Kent Mercker made the biggest headlines when he pitched the first no-hitter of the year on Friday night in Los Angeles, but Braves pitching coach Leo Mazzone confirmed over the weekend that he'll still be skipped in the rotation to keep the club's top four starters on track. Somewhere, Johnny Vander Meer is breathing a sigh of relief. . . . David Segui's debut with the New York Mets produced one of the most unusual statistical lines of Opening Day. He went hitless in two official at-bats, but scored two runs and drove in two others. In his first NL series, he had four runs, four walks, three RBIs and one hit. . . . Key injury: David Justice left yesterday's game against the Dodgers after fouling a ball off his right ankle. But it will take a lot more than that to keep the Braves (7-0) from running away with the division this year. . . . Toughest division update: Braves, et al are 19-11.

NL Central

First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton threw out the first ball at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Monday. It was one of only a handful of pitches that weren't hit hard in the Cubs' 12-8 loss to the Mets. . . . Rick Sutcliffe made his debut for the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday, throwing 1 2/3 hitless innings of relief. He also pitched well in his second relief appearance and will be in the rotation soon. . . . Anthony Young can't win in Chicago either. He made his first appearance for the Cubs on Saturday and gave up one earned run in six innings, but was not involved in the decision. . . . Marge Schott cost herself about $200,000 when she encouraged fans to stay away from the Reds' ESPN Sunday night opener. Fans stayed away by the thousands, then packed Riverfront Stadium for the "reopener" Monday.

NL West

When Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Darryl Strawberry checked himself into a substance abuse treatment program, the situation was reminiscent of the tumultuous tenure of troubled Dodgers reliever Steve Howe, whose frequent disappearances and cocaine relapses kept the organization on edge in the early 1980s. . . . The Padres remembered pitcher Eric Show in a unique way Monday, showing a video of him playing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" on jazz guitar. Show died in March from a drug overdose, so it took some guts on the part of the Padres' organization to pay tribute to him. . . . Worst division update: The NL West is a combined 8-15.

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