Piniella shifts Johnson back to Game 4 Moyer has 'less pain,' but is still out for series

Orioles Notebook

October 04, 1997|By Don Markus and Kent Baker | Don Markus and Kent Baker,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Dan Fesperman contributed to this article.

*TC For the fourth time in as many days, Seattle manager Lou Piniella has changed plans for his team's starting pitchers for possible Games 4 and 5. After most recently announcing he would use rookie Ken Cloude tomorrow and ace Randy Johnson on Monday, Piniella reversed himself yesterday.

"Johnson will go in Game 4 if there is a Game 4 -- we anticipate there will be," said Piniella. "Originally we felt we could go with Cloude in Game 4, but when Johnson only pitched five innings and threw 100 pitches [in Game 1], we felt we could bring him back in Game 4. We originally felt Jamie Moyer could come back in Game 5. We've only got four starters."

And a two-games-to-none deficit to overcome. Another part of the pitching equation was the injury Moyer sustained during Thursday's 9-3 defeat in Game 2. Though Moyer's injury appears less severe than initially believed, it will keep the left-hander out for the remainder of this series.

Team doctor Larry Pedegana said yesterday that Moyer is suffering from inflammation to the flexor muscle in his left forearm. Moyer might be able to pitch should the Mariners make it into next week's American League Championship Series. "There was less pain, less inflammation than we anticipated," Pedegana said.

Said Moyer: "It feels better than I thought it would. I can feel something is or was going on. It was awful sore [Thursday night] to the point where I thought, 'This could be something more serious.' But today it felt pretty good without throwing. We're going to take it day to day."

Miller says Mussina ready

Orioles pitching coach Ray Miller said Mike Mussina is almost a definite starter for tomorrow's game if the series continues. Mussina opened the series with an impressive victory Wednesday.

"Obviously another day's rest would be great, but as far as Mike goes, we've pretty much protected our starters all year long," he said.

"We have an outstanding bullpen and I think our starters are more fresh than anybody's and I think they'll bounce back better."

Swelled heads?

Can the Orioles be guilty of overconfidence after their four-star performance in Seattle?

"I don't know," said first baseman Rafael Palmeiro. "Our team feels confident winning two there. It's a tough thing to do and we did it. I think we feel good about our situation."

Center fielder Brady Anderson said the team played "as good as anybody can" for two games, "but people make too big a deal out of two games."

"Montreal came here and beat us two straight and so did Detroit, but if you do it in the playoffs, everybody gets too excited about it."

Dome debate

The Kingdome is not exactly a paradise for opposing players and the Orioles are no exception.

"The place is like a dungeon," said B. J. Surhoff. "Nobody likes it there."

But the decibel level -- which can be deafening with the noise contained inside -- does not bother Anderson. "I like the noise. That's the way it's supposed to be," the center fielder said. "It's got a good feel to it."

Palmeiro eyes Johnson II

Palmeiro said he looks forward to facing Randy Johnson in Game 4 if it comes to that.

Manager Davey Johnson benched Palmeiro, Surhoff and Roberto Alomar in favor of right-handed hitters in a Game 1 gamble that paid off.

"I've been wanting to face Randy the whole season," said Palmeiro. "I told Davey that the last time, but didn't face him. But I didn't have a problem with it [the revised lineup] because we had success going that way in the regular season."

In the swing

Hitting coach Rick Down said Mike Bordick's proficiency at the plate in the playoffs (4-for-6, four RBIs) can be attributed to Bordick's "personality in that he never got down. He's a grinder.

"He's hitting them where they're not and it helps that Brady and Robbie are hitting behind him. He's seeing more fastballs and taking advantage of them."

As for Cal Ripken's success going to right field (5-for-9 so far), Down said Ripken is "staying back instead of jumping out. He's much more under control and waiting more. Plus, he's hitting the ball where it's pitched."

Repeat performance?

Two years ago, the Mariners climbed back from an 0-2 deficit to beat the New York Yankees in a five-game series.

Asked if he could draw on that experience this time, Piniella said, "I don't think so. I think every year is a little different. In 1995, we were going home. Now we're on the road.

"We've played well in this park, we've played well on the road all year. We're not in a good position, but we certainly have the opportunity to improve our position daily."

Scalping arrest made

A Baltimore man was arrested near Camden Yards for scalping $20 tickets for $100 apiece yesterday morning, a full 29 hours before today's game. But at least he was selling the genuine article, police said, and they warned that counterfeit tickets may also be circulating among scalpers.

Darrell Stanley, 38, was arrested at 11: 15 a.m. and charged with selling Orioles tickets for more than face value within a one-mile radius of the stadium, said police spokesman Rob Weinhold.

On Thursday, Weinhold said, someone allegedly sold two counterfeit tickets. Police are investigating.

Around the horn

Eric Davis made a brief appearance at the park after a long stretch that included Thursday's game, a coast-to-coast flight and his chemotherapy treatment yesterday at noon. Davey Johnson stayed home yesterday with a touch of the flu. He is expected back in the dugout today. What was supposed to be an optional workout for Seattle turned into nearly full attendance. Only a handful of players, including Johnson, Jay Buhner and some relievers, were not at the workout.

Up next

Pitching matchups for the rest of the Orioles-Mariners series:

*Game 4: Mussina (1-0, 2.57) vs. Johnson (0-1, 9.00)

*Game 5: Erickson (1-0, 4.05) vs. Cloude (4-2, 5.12)

*-if necessary

Pub Date: 10/04/97

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