Orioles' ups and downs

June 28, 1998|By Joe Strauss

Wild-card fever -- DOWN -- The Yankees were ruled out of the AL East race when they fell eight games behind the Orioles last July 4. A week away from Independence Day, the O's trailed wild-card leaders Boston and Texas by 10 1/2 and 9 1/2 games, respectively, going into yesterday. Do the math. Calculators optional.

Pete Smith -- DOWN -- Career National Leaguer has pitched with leads in all three AL starts but averaged fewer than five innings. He has yet to claim a win and carries a 9.64 ERA.

Doppler radar --DOWN -- The Orioles thought they had stolen a 5 1/2 -inning win Tuesday, but a supposed four-hour rain delay became an 86-minute bathroom break. Ray Miller went through his bullpen A-Team and a wet night hung head groundskeeper Paul Zwaska out to dry.

Mike Mussina -- UP -- He never pitched from the stretch Monday against the New York Mets. The feat happens about once every seven years.

The Dominican Strongman -- DOWN -- With only one save this month, Armando Benitez has become Mr. Irrelevant. Reject Randy Myers began yesterday with 22 saves, five more than an '' entire Orioles bullpen that had blown 10 saves.

HTS ratings -- DOWN -- Home Team Sports thought it had purchased rights to original programming. The Orioles now look like summer reruns: take an early lead, lose it with tattered starting pitching, bullpen enters to increase deficit, late offense makes score respectable. Formula writing at its worst.

Pub Date: 6/28/98

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