Orioles' ups and downs

June 14, 1998|By Joe Strauss

The leather -- UP -- If defense is the true measure of effort, then the Orioles have turned it on. They have one error in their past 19 games.

Pitchers with bats -- UP -- Doug Johns smacks two hits. Arthur Rhodes and emergency hacker Sidney Ponson get one apiece. Scott Erickson works a leadoff walk and scores an important run. Batting practice, who needs it?

The Vet -- DOWN -- The Orioles hadn't played a game that counted at Veterans Stadium since 1983. Thanks to a cliff diver's mound and a cement artificial surface, another argument against interleague play. In what other dugouts are open fires needed to drive away flying insects?

The ancient left-hander -- UP -- A mechanical adjustment suggested by pitching coach Mike Flanagan has restored Jesse Orosco as a force.

Eric Davis -- UP -- A year since colon cancer surgery, he plays with the same purpose. Given a stage, he has used it for greater good.

Front office -- UP -- Acquiring Pete Smith from San Diego for 25-year-old prospect Eric Estes won't solve the Orioles' profound pitching woes, but he may help restore order to a shapeless bullpen.

Pub Date: 6/14/98

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