Orioles' ups and downs

April 09, 2000|By Joe Strauss

Charles Johnson - UP - In three games last week, the Gold Glove catcher provided the Orioles three home runs and eight RBIs. He needed 30 games to reach those numbers in '99. Is this the year Johnson finally breaks through 20 home runs and 80 RBIs? Motivation isn't a problem.

Warehouse numbers - EVEN - Numbers on the masonry were compelling -- even unique -- during Cal Ripken's chase of Lou Gehrig in 1995. It seems contrived with him in pursuit of 3,000 hits.

Bullpen magic - UP - Supposedly a matchup left-hander, Buddy Groom went three scoreless innings for Thursday's save. Mike Trombley stepped in for injured Mike Timlin. Chuck McElroy was dealing. For the love of Randall K. Myers, what's going on here?

Slow-hand - UP - Grover Mike Hargrove's patience with struggling Sidney Ponson on Wednesday translated to two wins that a hair trigger would have lost.

Charlie Manuel - DOWN - Indians president John Hart got Hargrove canned for that?

Injury intrigue - DOWN - Because of a torn abdominal muscle, Timlin can't pitch on consecutive days -- always bad news for a closer. So why the front-office hand-wringing and medical second-guessing before putting him on the disabled list?

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