Indians' Hershiser to get Game 4 start 8-2 record in postseason overrides Game 1 failure

AL notebook

October 05, 1997|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,SUN STAFF

CLEVELAND -- Despite a shaky start in Game 1 when he was pulled after giving up three runs in just more than four innings, Cleveland's Orel Hershiser will get the start for tonight's Game 4 at Jacobs Field.

Indians manager Mike Hargrove had been holding back in naming his starter but yesterday, to no one's surprise, he picked Hershiser.

"We have a lot of confidence in Orel. He's been big for us since he's been here," Hargrove said. "He got in trouble in Game 1 but Orel goes after hitters."

Even with the bad outing last Tuesday, Hershiser still has an 8-2 career postseason record.

"I know the boxscore reads a bad way, but I made just a few bad pitches," Hershiser said. "[Hargrove] made the right move to get me out of there."

Hershiser will pitch against Dwight Gooden, who takes the place of David Cone in the New York Yankees' rotation. Cone's injured right shoulder will keep him out for at least the remainder of the series. Gooden will be making his seventh career postseason start.

It will be a rematch of Game 1 of the 1988 NL Championship Series. Hershiser won the NL Cy Young Award that season for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Gooden was an 18-game winner for the New York Mets. New York won the game; neither pitcher got a decision.

"I've had plenty of time to prepare," Gooden said. "I'm pretty sure I'll be extra strong and pumped up in this atmosphere."

Preparing just in case

Yankees pitchers Hideki Irabu, Kenny Rogers and Willie Banks, one of whom may be needed later in the postseason, all worked out at the team's minor-league complex in Tampa, Fla.

Because of Cone's injured right shoulder, the Yankees are preparing for an AL Championship Series without him.

"That's why they're here," pitching coordinator Billy Connors said. "You don't know. It's a case where you have somebody ready instead of sitting at home not doing anything."

Irbau (5-4, 7.09 ERA) and Rogers (6-7, 5.65 ERA) took turns throwing for 15 minutes off a bullpen mound. Banks (3-0, 1.93 ERA) pitched in five games. He spent most of the season at Triple-A.

All three are scheduled to pitch in a minicamp game tomorrow.

Jeter turns on power

The Yankees have been getting power from an unlikely source. Second-year shortstop Derek Jeter, who had 10 home runs this season, hit a home run in both of the first two games of the series. Jeter is 4 for 9 in the series.

"He's on a pretty good streak right now," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "In batting practice he was hitting a lot out of the ballpark."

Fielder gets start at DH

As expected, Torre altered his lineup slightly. He moved Tim Raines from designated hitter to left field and inserted Cecil Fielder as the DH. For Fielder, it was his first appearance of the series.

"Initially, when I made my lineup I was concerned about defense in the outfield and [Chad] Curtis has played well all year and is probably our best defensive outfielder," Torre said. Curtis did not start last night.

"I felt a couple of days ago that Cecil was going to start here and he has some good numbers against [Indians Game 3 starter Charles] Nagy. He gives us a threat because of what he represents."

Hargrove also made some changes with the Cleveland lineup, moving shortstop Omar Vizquel from second to ninth in the batting order and replacing Jim Thome at first base with Kevin Seitzer.

"[Omar's] numbers against [Yankees starter David] Wells aren't too good," Hargrove said.

Mascot protest at stadium

Approximately a dozen fans held a rally outside the stadium to protest the use of the grinning Indian as the team mascot.

The fans, representing various races, carried banners and chanted "People, not mascots" during the rally, even as thousands of fans wearing T-shirts bearing the face of the mascot filed past. No incidents were reported.

Looking ahead

Pitching matchup for a possible final game of the Indians-Yankees series:

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

vs. Pettitte (18-7, 2.88)

*-if necessary

Pub Date: 10/05/97

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