Abbott, Moyer put best, worst to test

August 09, 1994|By Brad Snyder | Brad Snyder,Sun Staff Writer

It doesn't matter that the Orioles trail the New York Yankees by nine games. It doesn't matter that the Yankees have won six of the eight games between the teams this season. What matters is that Jim Abbott is pitching against the Orioles and Jamie Moyer against the Yankees tonight.

For the Orioles, that's not a winning combination.

Abbott's 7-1 lifetime record vs. the Orioles is his best mark against any major-league team.

Moyer is 0-4 against the Yankees.

It's not that the Orioles can't get any hits off him. Entering this season, the team was hitting .366 against Abbott. The left-hander likes to pitch inside to right-handed hitters and therefore has particular trouble with Mike Devereaux (.483, 14-for-29, one home run) and Chris Hoiles (.684, 13-for-19, two home runs, six RBIs).

Abbott hasn't let one or two hitters affect his ability to beat the whole team, however. On May 20, the Orioles put a man on base every inning, but Abbott wriggled out of jams with several inning-ending double plays. He won the game, 5-1.

Moyer was the loser that day.

The Orioles left-hander has particular trouble with Don Mattingly (5-for-10, one home run) and Bernie Williams (7-for-14).

Moyer almost got revenge against Abbott June 15 at Camden Yards. Baltimore's hard-luck pitcher left the game with a 3-2 lead, runners at the corners and one out in the seventh inning. Baltimore eventually won the game, 8-4, but neither Moyer nor Abbott was involved in the decision.

Since Abbott-Moyer II ended in a draw, it's time for Abbott-Moyer III.

The luck still seems to be with Abbott, who is 9-7 despite his 4.36 ERA. Mattingly's ninth-inning homer July 24 against California gave Abbott only his second win in 11 starts.

Moyer (4-7, 4.72 ERA) has pitched much better than Abbott of late but has five fewer victories to show for his efforts.

Part of the problem is the Orioles bullpen. Moyer left his Aug. 3 start at Minnesota with a 3-2 lead, but closer Lee Smith blew the save. It was the sixth time Moyer has left a game with a lead but did not get the win.

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