Numbers don't indicate pitchers' duel Yankees pounded Nagy, Indians hit Wells hard

AL notebook

October 04, 1997|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,SUN STAFF

CLEVELAND -- All the coverage of David Cone missing his start for the New York Yankees in tomorrow's Game 4 has almost overshadowed tonight's pivotal Game 3 at Jacobs Field with the Division Series tied at 1-1.

And with a pitching matchup featuring the Cleveland Indians' Charles Nagy and the Yankees' David Wells, fans in outfield seats might want to wear hard hats.

Nagy had an ERA of 18.00 in three starts against New York, giving up 24 hits in nine innings. He finished 0-2 against the Yankees.

Wells, who was 16-10 this season for New York, allowed 24 hits and 11 runs in 14 1/3 innings against the Indians. He had a loss and two no-decisions in three games.

Cleveland manager Mike Hargrove said he has no misgivings about handing the ball to Nagy.

"Charles Nagy has been good for us for a couple of years," Hargrove said. "If you've seen the last two games of the playoffs, it's a different deal. I'm looking forward to Nagy pitching for us. But I don't know how confident you can be with as wacky as these games have been so far."

No relief

Even though the Indians earned a split with Thursday's 7-5 win, Hargrove was not particularly pleased with his bullpen.

Rookie Jaret Wright settled down after a rocky first inning and left the game with a 7-3 lead after six innings, but he had to fidget on the bench as the Yankees threatened in the later innings.

"I'm not jumping up and down with joy right now," Hargrove said of the bullpen. "In Game 1 and 2, our bullpen struggled a little bit. Knowing them and their track record, I feel pretty good. I think we have a couple of weaknesses, but we have people who can adjust and cover those weaknesses."

No home advantage

The Indians need two victories in three games on their home field to win the series. But don't expect it to be easy.

Cleveland has a 5-15 record against the Yankees at Jacobs Field since the stadium opened in 1994.

Fielder debuts

Look for Yankees manager Joe Torre to make a lineup change tonight. Slugger Cecil Fielder, who has sat out the first two

games, is expected to see his first action as designated hitter.

Tim Raines, the designated hitter the first two games, will likely switch to left field in place of Chad Curtis. It was Curtis who misplayed a fly ball by Tony Fernandez that led to a two-run, go-ahead double in the five-run fourth inning Thursday.

A DL ring

Fernandez, a four-time All-Star, received a World Series ring with the Yankees last season -- although he never played.

The 35-year-old infielder broke a bone in his right elbow during spring training last year, and spent the entire season on the disabled list. Fernandez was the starting shortstop on the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays team that won the World Series.

In their sights

It seems Yankee Stadium fans were on their usual best behavior on Thursday.

Before the game, several Cleveland players said that a red laser beam -- like those used for sighting rifles and guns -- were shined on them during warm-ups. No arrests were made.

Toward the end of the game, Hargrove told stadium security to address several fans seated behind the dugout who targeted the Indians with verbal abuse all game.

"It turned a little vicious and a little foul toward the end," Hargrove said.

Up next

PD

Pitching matchups for the rest of the Indians-Yankees series:

Game 3: Nagy (15-11, 4.28)

vs. Wells (16-10, 4.21)

Game 4: Hershiser (14-6, 4.47)

vs. Gooden (9-5, 4.91)

*Game 5: Wright (8-3, 4.38)

vs. Pettitte (18-7, 2.88)

*-if necessary

Pub Date: 10/04/97

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