Buster Olney's O's week in review

September 01, 1996|By BUSTER OLNEY

(Through Friday's game)

UPS AND DOWNS

Wildcard race * UP * What excitement, what thrills, what uncertainty! What ulcers, which is the way it's supposed to be.

Brady Anderson * UP * Who would've guessed he'd hit 40 homers? Who would've guessed 30 homers?

Todd Zeile * UP * Maybe he's not Denny Neagle, but it comes down to this: Is he better than Brent Bowers, the man he replaces in the lineup? Absolutely.

Randy Myers * DOWN * That loss Thursday night ... Ouch.

Denny Neagle * DOWN * Would've been nice for the Orioles to get him. And Greg Maddux, and Sandy Koufax, and Walter Johnson.

Eddie Murray * UP * At 498 and holding.

Jesse Orosco * UP * He deserves a major raise after this season. He's been unbelievable since the April 19 26-7 fiasco in Texas.

QUOTE

"Can either one of them pitch?"

Two Orioles, after the O's acquired Todd Zeile and Pete Incaviglia from Philadelphia.

STAT OF THE WEEK

The Rochester-Baltimore shuttle has been doing running overtime: The Orioles have used 19 pitchers in the month of August.

The Week Ahead

Monday-Wednesday, at California. Their manager has resigned, they're out of the race, and suddenly the Angels have relaxed and transformed into the kind of team everybody thought they'd be before the season started. This is a tough challenge for the Orioles, who will have Mike Mussina in the first game, Rocky Coppinger in Game 2, and Scott Erickson _ the Angels' killer _ in the third game.

Friday-Monday, Sept. 9, vs. Detroit. Incredibly, this will be the beginning of the Orioles' last extended stay at Camden Yards; after this seven-day homestand, they'll have only four games remaining in Oriole Park. The Tigers are still the worst team in baseball, but they are better than they were in June, when the Orioles thumped Detroit despite playing poorly. The Orioles cannot fall into the trap of taking the Tigers too lightly.

The Good

Bobby Bonilla has been contributing more than his share of big hits lately. In one recent stretch, Bonilla went 8-for-15 with runners in scoring position.

The Bad

Jimmy Haynes went to Rochester to get his mechanics straightened out and to refine his changeup and his curveball. He got pounded by Seattle Thursday night, and it's back to the drawing board.

The Ugly

It wasn't hard to see that Oakland slugger Mark McGwire wanted nothing to do with the hard stuff of Orioles right-hander Armando Benitez, repeatedly pull his front foot out as Benitez delivered the ball.

A Move That Paid Off...

The Orioles signed Mark Parent to be their backup catcher Tuesday, and that same night he was behind the plate as David Wells pitched one of his best games of the year in beating Oakland, 3-1.

And One That Didn't

Closer Randy Myers had a tough week and it could've been worse. He was brought in to maintain a 10-10 tie Monday, gave up the lead run _ and won anyway, when the Orioles came back. He saved a game Tuesday, but blew what would've been a big win Thursday against the Mariners.

Pub Date: 9/09/96

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