Hargrove refuses to dwell on Game 1 lows Yankees' Torre says team can't rely on power surges

AL notebook

October 02, 1997|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,SUN STAFF

NEW YORK -- Cleveland Indians manager Mike Hargrove said he is not concerned about a carry-over effect of his team blowing a five-run lead in Tuesday's 8-6 loss to the New York Yankees.

The bullpen failed miserably, as the Yankees touched up two Cleveland relievers for back-to-back-to-back home runs in the five-run sixth inning.

"The game of baseball, when you play 162 games, you learn how not to dwell on the highs and dwell on the lows -- you stay in the middle," Hargrove said. "I think we had the right people at the right time. The job just wasn't done."

Hargrove said he might make a few lineup changes, like switching Bip Roberts from second base to left field, and inserting Tony Fernandez at second base.

Even with the disappointing defeat on Tuesday, Hargrove feels that can be forgotten with a win tonight against Andy Pettitte. The Yankees left-hander had an 18-7 record this season.

"We're ready to go today, and if we can leave New York with a split, that will be good," Hargrove said. "Andy Pettitte is a tremendous pitcher. He has a great move to first base. He's going to be tough to beat -- but he is beatable."

Getting best of Pettitte

Pettitte's only outing against the Indians this season is a game he would like to forget. On June 21 at Cleveland, Pettitte lasted just 5 1/3 innings, giving up seven runs and nine hits in a 13-4 loss to the Indians.

"That was definitely my worst outing of the year," Pettitte said. "It was a situation where I went into the game and I struggled with my command. It's hard to pitch when you're falling behind everybody. I wasn't pitching smart that day. It was me being more stubborn to try to prove something."

Not drunk with power

While the back-to-back-to-back home runs by Tim Raines, Derek Jeter and Paul O'Neill on Tuesday were the first time that ever happened in postseason play, Yankees manager Joe Torre said his team can not rely on a slugging contest to win.

"We don't look at ourselves as a home run hitting ball club," Torre said. "What made it possible for us to win was the way Ramiro Mendoza [one hit, no runs in winning Game 1] pitched. Because they didn't score anymore, the three home runs enabled us to take the lead.

"We're capable of scoring runs," Torre added. "I wouldn't want to go out and play Cleveland, Baltimore or Seattle and say, 'Let's just see who can score more.' We can't win in those situations. We have to rely on our pitching."

Frank Torre update

When the Yankees were making their run to the World Series title a year ago, it was a difficult time for manager Torre as his brother, Frank, was in a New York hospital awaiting a heart transplant. When New York began its defense of that title on Tuesday, Frank was back in the hospital.

This time, it's not as serious. Frank, in the same room at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, entered the hospital last Friday after complaining of stomach pains. Tests revealed he is suffering from an intestinal disorder, and he could be released from the hospital as early as tomorrow.

"The heart's not a problem and he's going to be fine," younger brother Joe said.

Pub Date: 10/02/97

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