Game in review

March 02, 1998|By Joe Strauss

Highlights and lowlights from the Orioles' 1-0 win over the New York Mets:

Ups and downs

Up: Scott Erickson -- He cleared three shutout innings on 37 pitches. Conditioning is never a problem.

Up: Ozzie Guillen -- Nonroster guy showed impressive range behind second base; still addicted to swinging at the first pitch.

Down: Rick Krivda -- No runs, but problems aplenty. The left-hander's debut consisted of a hit batter, two misdirected pickoffs, a rocket flyout and a throwing error. And that was his first inning.

Up: Mike Flanagan's influence -- Two games have produced only four walks. Working ahead already has become a mind-set.

The bats

Challenging the league's mandate that at least five "regulars" start all road games, the Orioles' diluted lineup didn't produce a base runner against Mets starter Bobby Jones in three innings. Right fielder Tony Tarasco singled in the fifth inning. The trade candidate and left fielder Joe Carter are the only Orioles with hits in both games. Jeffrey Hammonds was robbed by shortstop Luis Lopez on a sharply hit bases-loaded grounder to end the fifth. Guillen put the first pitch in play in each of his four at-bats. He saw fewer pitches per at-bat than any American League player last season. Erickson took the first hack by an Orioles pitcher this spring. He grounded weakly to second.

The arms

Erickson gave the second straight positive return by a starter by rolling through three innings. On display for others, Krivda escaped a rough fourth inning in which he struggled to hit his catcher, his fielders and anybody else except Mets left fielder Bernard Gilkey. Nonroster pitcher Doug Johns stranded three runners in scoring position and demonstrated a sidearm pitch to left-handed hitters.

The rest

Regulars Roberto Alomar, Cal Ripken, Brady Anderson, B. J. Surhoff, Chris Hoiles, Eric Davis and Mike Bordick remained in Fort Lauderdale. Charlie Greene started in place of Lenny Webster. Rafael Palmeiro looked at the lineup card and discovered "Palmerio" was hitting third. "Maybe they're telling me something," said the pending free agent. With runners at first and second, backup first baseman Willis Otanez kept the Mets scoreless in the seventh with an over the shoulder grab of Ralph Melliard's chop.

Quote of the day

"I know it's only a matter of time until something happens. It's not a question of if, it's when."

-- Tarasco on his expectations of being traded before the season.

Pub Date: 3/02/98

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