Game in review

March 25, 1998|By Roch Kubatko

Highlights and lowlights from the Orioles' 5-1 loss to the New York Mets yesterday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Ups and downs

UP: Ray Miller. Anticipated a suicide squeeze, called for a pitchout and watched Mets run into an out.

DOWN: Brady Anderson. Appeared to run down a long drive into left-center field, but failed to make the catch. It went for an RBI triple. The next inning, he committed an error by not making a clean pickup of a Carlos Baerga single, allowing the Mets' second run.

DOWN: Terry Mathews. It wasn't all his fault, but three hits and a wild pitch in one inning won't quiet the wolves at his door.

UP: Jeffrey Hammonds. Drives in a run with a second-inning double -- his fourth RBI in two games -- then ends the sixth with a sliding catch in right field.

UP: Nerio Rodriguez. Forced into a start because of Scott Kamieniecki's cranky back, he gave Miller more to think about as the manager shapes his staff.

DOWN: Joe Carter. Still too many soft at-bats.

The bats

Have they already been sent ahead to Baltimore? They largely were missing yesterday, as the Orioles managed only five hits. Chris Hoiles had a pinch-hit single and is batting .324 (11-for-34). Ozzie Guillen again benefited from getting ahead in the count, singling in the ninth on a 2-0 pitch from Turk Wendell. Hammonds, B. J. Surhoff and Rafael Palmeiro had the other hits.

The arms

Rodriguez allowed one run and five hits in five innings, retiring nine straight at one point. If only the news had been that good for Mathews, whose uneven spring tilted further down. He gave up three runs (two earned) and three hits in the sixth. The Orioles committed two errors behind him, but he was creating enough problems on his own. Norm Charlton turned in another perfect inning -- his third straight -- and has thrown 34 pitches over his last three innings. Jesse Orosco picked off another base runner, this time former Oriole Joe Orsulak, during his one shutout inning. Armando Benitez wasn't popping the ball and gave up the Mets' final run. He allowed a double and a walk.

The rest

The Mets tried a suicide squeeze with Craig Paquette batting in the fifth, but Rodriguez pitched out and catcher Charlie Greene tagged pinch runner Shawn Gilbert. P. J. Forbes made a diving catch in right field in the eighth inning after replacing Hammonds. He's normally an infielder. Guillen and Hoiles saw some innings at first base. The Mets' Rich Becker lost his grip on the bat while striking out, and it flew into the third row of seats behind the Orioles' dugout. Guillen offered a fungo bat as trade bait, but a male fan wasn't interested in giving up his souvenir. Becker wasn't interested in getting it back, anyway, having returned to the Mets dugout.

Quote of the day

"I think that's the thing that's going to be the most fun, getting to know yourself again, being out there every day, reminding yourself what you can do. You forget when you sit, sit, sit. It's like being uncuffed. I'm on parole now. I want to play. I want to get in the ring and fight. I'm a fighter and you can't knock somebody out from three rows back." -- Tony Tarasco, who was claimed off waivers by Cincinnati.

Pub Date: 3/25/98

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