Mussina vs. Scanlan: nothing for granted

June 21, 1994|By Chris Zang | Chris Zang,Sun Staff Writer

Mike Mussina vs. Bob Scanlan: It looks like a mismatch, right?

After all, Mussina has nine more wins than the 0-3 Milwaukee right-hander that he will meet in the second game of a three-game series tonight at Camden Yards.

But as the Orioles ace found out last year, beating the Brewers is no sure thing. In fact, last year he was 0-2 against the Brewers.

And it wasn't the post-fight Mussina who suffered through the second half of last season. The Brewers beat the vintage Mussina.

He was 5-1 going into the Milwaukee meeting of May 21 last year when he lost to the Brewers, 9-3. Then he took a 9-2 record into the second meeting but again came up short, losing, 7-2, last June 16.

The first loss was especially humbling for Mussina. Not only did it come at Oriole Park, it was highlighted by a six-run third inning that featured a Kevin Reimer grand slam.

"I gave up a touchdown pretty fast," Mussina said after lasting only three innings that night. "Everybody thought I'd go into the seventh every time out -- and I thought it, too."

Orioles manager Johnny Oates sorely needs a solid performance out of Mussina tonight. And he is confident he will get it.

Asked where he will turn for long relief with Mark Williamson and Mark Eichhorn extended the past two games, Oates responded: "We're not going to need anyone."

L Chances are, Brewers manager Phil Garner isn't as confident.

Scanlan, who pitched for the Chicago Cubs for three years, has faced the Orioles in one inning. Helping mop up in a 13-5 loss May 24, Scanlan allowed three hits and two runs.

But as Mussina knows, you never know. "The game's very humbling," he said after giving up the Brewers' grand slam last season. "Just when you think you know what you're doing, that you've got a good grip, it lets you know that you don't."

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