Nod and a look tell Johnson that Davis, Anderson are ready Myers bails out Rhodes

Plunk escapes doghouse

ALCS notebook

October 12, 1997|By Roch Kubatko and Peter Schmuck | Roch Kubatko and Peter Schmuck,SUN STAFF

CLEVELAND -- Manager Davey Johnson spoke briefly with Eric Davis to gauge whether he could start in right field yesterday in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. But Johnson took a silent approach with center fielder Brady Anderson.

He got the answers he needed with both methods, writing their names in the lineup and hoping for the best.

Davis received his 11th chemotherapy treatment after Game 2, then flew into Cleveland. Admitting he was more fatigued than the other time he played after a treatment, Davis went 0-for-4 but robbed Omar Vizquel of an extra-base hit in the eighth with a leaping catch. He was replaced by Jeffrey Hammonds in the ninth.

Anderson, slowed by a severe muscle strain in his upper right leg that has him measuring each step, went 2-for-4 with an RBI double in the ninth that Marquis Grissom misplayed. Anderson collected the Orioles' first hit in the fourth inning and later stole a base and ran down a long fly ball by David Justice with a runner on base, but also lost a broken-bat liner by Justice in the seventh that fell in for a hit, leading to the Indians' first run.

Davis was getting taped before the game when Johnson approached him about playing. "I said, 'Are you doing OK?' and he just nodded. That was all I needed," Johnson said.

He needed even less from Anderson, who suffered his injury while running down a fly ball from Bip Roberts in Game 2. "With Brady, I just look at him. I don't discuss his injuries. That's not open for discussion," Johnson said.

He didn't consider starting Hammonds in center field. "I don't want a revolt in the clubhouse. I'd have to fight Brady, then probably Cal [Ripken]. I didn't want to do that," Johnson said.

Though this was the second time Davis had played after a chemotherapy session, he never had flown in between. Davis didn't leave the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center until after 4 a.m. Friday, and arrived here later that evening.

"All of this is new," he said before the game. "The last 24 hours have been a long, grueling process. But there's so much enthusiasm and emotion during the postseason that it kind of outweighs the tiredness."

Rhodes bailed out

Johnson said before the game that reliever Arthur Rhodes didn't appear to be completely recovered from a strained muscle near his left elbow. The left-hander then gave his manager a scoreless inning, and some tense moments.

After striking out two batters in the 10th, Rhodes needed Randy Myers to bail him out in the 11th after allowing a leadoff walk and a single, then throwing a wild pitch. Myers got through the inning without a run scoring, sparing Rhodes the loss.

Rhodes, who hadn't pitched since Game 3 of the Division Series, which he left while warming in the ninth when he felt a twinge in the elbow, threw twice in the bullpen during Game 2 of the ALCS at Camden Yards. He got up in the sixth inning with Scott Kamieniecki pitching, then again in the ninth, so Johnson could test how well the arm responded and if Rhodes was able to use his slider.

Justice back in swing

One day after having an MRI done on his left shoulder, Justice batted fifth and served as Cleveland's designated hitter, going 1-for-5. He barely missed a two-run homer in the second inning, slicing a ball foul down the left-field line.

Justice was playing with a rotator cuff bruised in Game 2.

Manager Mike Hargrove was relieved to find there was no tear.

"His arm still hurt, but he wanted to play," said Hargrove. "He's got much better range of motion today than he had."

Justice was glad he didn't miss the nearly five-hour epic. "Everyone was getting nervous and emotional," he said. "That's what makes it great. That's the playoffs."

Proud father

Sandy Alomar Sr. doesn't mind having his emotions tugged in different directions. He was in the stands along with his wife, Maria, yesterday to watch their sons play against each other in Game 3.

"You want both of them to do well," he said before the game, "but it's tough because one of them is going to win and one of them is going to lose."

Alomar feels the secret to the success of both his sons is the professional attitude that they learned early in their lives. Their father was a professional baseball player and their three uncles all played in the Puerto Rican Winter League.

"They have been prepared for that," Alomar said. "I played the game and one of the things we always talked about is, be professional. They know they have to be professional. Even when they were on the same team, they were taught to treat each other like just another teammate. Do your job and let him do his. If each person on a team does his part, you're going to have a successful team."

Plunk appears

Eric Plunk had been invisible since Game 1 of the Division Series, when he gave up four runs in 1 1/3 innings -- including two homers -- against New York. Hargrove insisted that he hadn't lost confidence in the right-hander, but avoided using him until the 12th inning yesterday.

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