Johnson has been involved in the two longest games in terms of time in LCS history. His New York Mets needed 4: 42 to defeat the Houston Astros in a game in the 1986 NLCS, which lasted 16 innings. The record stood until Saturday's 4: 51 marathon, which was won by Cleveland in 12 innings.
"I only like to look back to a couple days ago. I might get the wrong flashback," he said. "I try to remain positive."
Johnson said he didn't have trouble sleeping after Saturday's loss. "I turn the page pretty easy," he said. "There's nothing you can do about it. All you can do is try to make sure it was the right call, and they seemed pretty certain about it. That's it.
"I have never felt that one play cost you a ballgame. They've come awfully close to costing you a ballgame, though."
No rest for S. Alomar
Though he caught all 12 innings in Game 3 and has played every inning of the postseason, Sandy Alomar was back in Cleveland's lineup. Hargrove said he considered giving Alomar the night off -- for five seconds.
"This is the postseason, and Sandy's fine," Hargrove said. "I talked to the trainers today, and Sandy's had almost a full day to recover. I would probably have to arm-wrestle Sandy to keep him out of the lineup now, and I don't have the strength."
He didn't have any regrets. Alomar had his first three hits of the series, including the game-winner in the ninth.
Battle of bullpens
Much was made of the Orioles' superiority in the bullpen during their Division Series victory over the Mariners. The Orioles were supposed to have an advantage, albeit not one as significant, in their ALCS against the Indians.
It hasn't happened.
Except for Myers shutting down the Indians in Game 1 in relief of Erickson, the Orioles' relievers have been mediocre while Cleveland's bullpen has been sensational. The numbers prove the difference between the bullpens, and in the series.
The Orioles' bullpen has given up five runs and six hits (13 walks) in 14 1/3 innings and has taken all three losses. The Indians have surrendered three runs and 10 hits (eight walks) over the same stretch.
"I've been more surprised by the way we've swung at the Indians' pitchers," said Johnson. "I saw some hanging curveballs that we normally waffle. When I see hanging pitches in the strike zone, that's not necessarily a real good bullpen. I saw a few of those at critical times. They have a good bullpen, but they're not all great out there."
Hargrove saw it as just good pitching.
"The guys we have out there are very good at what they do," he said. "I don't think anybody should be surprised at all."
Around the horn
Johnson said Mike Mussina, who threw 120 pitches Saturday, still would come back on three days' rest to pitch Game 6 Wednesday afternoon at Camden Yards. Jim Thome broke an 0-for-12 slump with a fifth-inning single. The Indians were so short on relievers in Game 3 after Hargrove used six of them that Charles Nagy, who will start Game 6, was told to go to the bullpen in the 11th inning. Cleveland's Bip Roberts had to leave last night's game in the sixth inning because of a strained left knee.
Potential pitching matchups for the Orioles-Indians series:
Game 6, at Baltimore, 4: 15 p.m. Wed.
O's: Mike Mussina (*0-0, 1.29)
Cle.: Charles Nagy (*0-0, 6.35)
Game 7#, at Baltimore, 8: 15 p.m. Thurs.
O's: Scott Erickson (*1-0, 0.00)
Cle.: Orel Hershiser (*0-0, 0.00)
* ALCS stats; # -- if necessary
Pub Date: 10/13/97