If Orioles manager Davey Johnson removed left-handed reliever Arthur Rhodes from Game 3 as a ploy, as Seattle Mariners manager Lou Piniella had suggested, he's taking it a bit far.
Rhodes wasn't available yesterday after waking up with some pain in the upper portion of his left forearm, worse than the stiffness that led Johnson to bring in Terry Mathews in the top of the ninth inning of Saturday's 4-2 loss to the Mariners.
Piniella said afterward that Johnson might have had Rhodes fake the injury to keep Seattle pitcher Jeff Fassero, working on an eight-inning shutout at the time, in the dugout an extra 10 or 15 minutes, which the Orioles manager denied.
"If I had known he was hurt, I wouldn't have had him up there pitching," Johnson said of Rhodes, who retired all seven Mariners he faced, four on strikeouts.
Rhodes, who said he felt the stiffness as he warmed up before the ninth, had his forearm examined again yesterday and received treatment.
With the Orioles clinching yesterday, Rhodes, who was 10-3 with a 3.02 ERA during the season, won't be needed until at least Wednesday night, in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series.
Pub Date: 10/06/97