Hits and misses

September 22, 1995|By Buster Olney

On the field: The last time Mike Mussina pitched at Tiger Stadium, June 18, he lasted just one inning and allowed six runs. Yesterday, however, he was in complete control after Bobby Higginson's checked-swing single in the top of the first inning. After that, Mussina no-hit the Tigers through the seventh, and finished with a three-hit complete game. Mussina walked four and struck out eight.

In the dugout: Sparky Anderson has been limiting the innings of his young starters, and he did so again yesterday with starter C. J. Nitkowski, a No. 1 pick in the 1994 draft. Nitkowski, a left-hander, threw five shutout innings, allowing three hits, no walks and striking out one. But Anderson replaced him with right-handed reliever Mike Christopher in the sixth inning.

In the clubhouse: After Mussina's slow start, catcher Chris Hoiles went to the mound and asked him, jokingly, if his turtleneck was too tight and if he was getting enough blood to his head. "I took the turtleneck off after the first," Mussina said, laughing, "and I felt much better after that." Mussina shut out the Tigers over the last eight innings.

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