Game 3 in review

October 05, 1997|By Peter Schmuck

Keys to the game

1 Fassero found a way: Mariners starter Jeff Fassero threw 30 pitches during the first inning and was in trouble again in the third, but he worked out of both jams and did the one thing he had to do if the the club was to stay alive another day -- keep the struggling Seattle bullpen out of the game during the middle innings.

2 Bad matchup for Key: Seven of the nine batters in the Mariners' starting lineup already had proved that they could hit Orioles starter Jimmy Key. Only two Seattle starters had a lifetime batting average under .320 against him. Those who ignore history apparently are doomed to repeat it. Key gave up eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.

3 Palmeiro's rough day: First baseman Rafael Palmeiro was at the eye of the hurricane, but it just wasn't his day. He came up with runners at first and second base in the first inning and was zTC fortunate that his routine grounder to second base wasn't turned for a double play. He came up with runners at second and third in the third and hit a nubber back to the mound that hung up lead runner Brady Anderson in a rundown.

This magic moment

The first-ball ceremony featured former Orioles first baseman Boog Powell, who is recovering from surgery Aug. 25 to remove a cancerous mass from his colon. Appropriately, the ceremonial catcher was current Orioles outfielder Eric Davis, who had nearly identical surgery earlier this season.

More for the money

Fans shelled out up to $225 yesterday for a ticket with a face value of $30, and the Orioles and Mariners made sure that they got their money's worth -- at an hourly rate. The first inning lasted 34 minutes, even though neither team scored, and the game progressed at a four-hour pace through the early innings. The plot quickened, however, and the game ended in a brisk 3 hours, 26 minutes.

Found it just in time

The Orioles appeared as if they were going to get out of the gate early, loading the bases against Fassero in the first inning. B. J. Surhoff, whose production with the bases loaded is almost legendary, followed with a shot back up the middle that caromed off Fassero's foot and came to rest on the end of the mound. Fassero searched for the ball for what must have seemed like an eternity to everyone in the Mariners' dugout, but he found it just in time to throw out Surhoff on a close play at first base to conclude the inning.

The two that got away

Relief pitcher Terry Mathews gave up back-to-back home runs to Jay Buhner and Paul Sorrento in the top of the ninth inning that opened up a more comfortable four-run lead for Fassero. Left-hander Arthur Rhodes had dominated the Seattle lineup for 2 1/3 perfect innings, but he had to be removed before the start of the ninth because of tightness in his left forearm.

Plays of the game

Shortstop Mike Bordick made a spectacular diving play behind second base during the third inning to rob designated hitter Edgar Martinez of a run-scoring single. Bordick was almost on the outfield grass when he gathered the ball in, but he popped up to throw out Martinez by a step. If that wasn't impressive enough, Bordick made almost the exact same play to rob Buhner of a hit in the fourth.

Right fielder Jeffrey Hammonds played a fourth-inning line drive by Alex Rodriguez off the right-field fence and threw a perfect strike -- on the fly -- to Bordick to send Rodriguez back to the dugout. That play, coupled with Bordick's diving stop on Buhner later in the inning, defused a potential big inning.

Timely T-shirt

The Timely T-shirt Award goes to a group of five guys on the field level wearing shirts with the following message: "My wife thinks I'm at Promisekeepers."

Quote of the day

Mariners manager Lou Piniella on the attitude of the club going into Game 3: "They haven't packed it in. We've got meal money for three days, and we want to spend it here in the Baltimore area."

Pub Date: 10/05/97

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