If there's any justice, Moyer will have super finish

July 29, 1994|By Chris Zang | Chris Zang,Sun Staff Writer

If, as our mothers told us, all things balance out in the end, Jamie Moyer should have a great last few weeks of this soon-to-be-strike-interrupted season.

Moyer (4-6, 4.84), the precise left-hander who begins the Orioles' three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays tonight at Camden Yards, has come up a few pounds short on the 1994 scales of justice.

His last start, Sunday against the Oakland Athletics, was only the most recent example. Leading 6-0, Moyer gave up a two-run homer to Mark McGwire in the seventh. So he didn't start the eighth and had to watch as the Orioles bullpen turned a 6-2 lead into a 7-6 loss.

It wasn't the first time the Orioles bullpen had turned a Moyer victory into a no-decision or loss. In fact, two weeks before that -- also on a Sunday, also against Oakland -- Moyer had seen a 4-2 lead after the seventh inning turn into a 5-4 loss on McGwire's home run against Lee Smith. Teamed with four other questionable non-wins, Moyer easily could be carrying a .500-plus record into tonight.

But Moyer, a journeyman who signed minor-league contracts with the Chicago Cubs and Detroit Tigers as recently as 1992, isn't one to complain.

"I'm not the manager and I'm not going to second-guess him by any means," he said last Sunday.

Nor did he question coming out of the first Oakland loss despite retiring 17 in a row and throwing a two-hitter before manager Johnny Oates lifted him to begin the eighth.

His words are always those of an optimist, with phrases such as "that's the way the ball bounces" and "the sun came up again" popping up in post-game discussions.

His upbeat attitude and his consistency have made a fan of Oates. "You'll get the same thing every time from Jamie," Oates said. "He's going to pitch around some guys. They'll hit some balls. If we score a couple of runs, we have a chance to win."

They have that chance tonight against left-hander Al Leiter (5-5, 4.56) and the Blue Jays, who, like the Orioles, are looking to bounce back from three straight losses.

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