Arms ready if 16th had been played

June 21, 1998|By Roch Kubatko

As Friday's 15-inning marathon was getting dangerously close to becoming a suspended game, Orioles pitching coach Mike Flanagan began looking around for Jeff Reboulet -- utility infielder and emergency pitcher. But Reboulet wasn't an option for a depleted bullpen since he had started the game at shortstop and been removed for a pinch hitter.

"I realized he had been used," Flanagan said, grinning.

It's easy to joke when you're on the winning end of a game like that, one that lasted a club-record 5: 49 and would have been suspended if Rafael Palmeiro hadn't homered off Toronto's Bill Risley with two outs for a 7-4 victory.

Had the remainder of the game been played last night, manager Ray Miller had a few pitching options. He could have let left-hander Norm Charlton continue -- he had gotten the last two outs in the 15th -- or summoned left-hander Doug Johns, who started Thursday and threw 71 pitches in 4 2/3 innings.

Miller also could have used Doug Drabek, who is expected to start Tuesday, or let Mike Mussina work an inning or two since he was supposed to throw on the side anyway.

Drabek has some experience in these matters. While pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1989, he got the win after throwing the last two innings of the longest game ever at Three Rivers Stadium, an 18-inning affair.

Pub Date: 6/21/98

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