O's arms tattooed by Mariners, 14-0

Mussina, relief pitchers get knocked around

ex-Oriole Moyer wins

September 17, 2000|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

The first batter to step in against Mike Mussina last night slashed a double into left-center field. The third one lined a home run into the Orioles bullpen.

And that wasnt the worst part of his night, just an omen in a game that typified his miserable season. In a start that might have been his last for a while.

Mussina made another health-related exit, his fifth in his past seven outings. Unable to continue because of a strained right groin muscle, he left with tow outs in the fifth inning, accompanied by trainer Richie Bancells. in the Orioles 14-0 loss to the Seattle Mariners before 44,619 at Camden Yards.

I was limited in what I could do, he said. I can't strive down the hill the way I want to. I'm just concerned that its really going to go out on me and it just got to the point where it was so aggravated [on] every pitch that it wasnt worth pushing it any farther.

In the fifth, Alex Rodriguez, whose homer gave the Mariners an early lead, lined a single into center field to put runners on first and third. Pitching coach Sammy Ellis walked to the mound and soon was followed by Bancells. Mussina headed to t

It was Mussinas shortest outing since leaving an Aug. 16 game against the Chicago White Sox after four innings because of flu-like symptoms. Mussina left his next three starts after seven innings, once because of a broken callus on his thumb and twice because of tightness in his groin. He also pitched through discomfort in Minnesota on Sept. 5, lasting six innings despite a strained calf muscle.

Mussina hasn't thrown from the bullpen before his past two starts as a concession to the groin injury. He felt it on the last pitch he threw during a Sept. 10 loss in Anaheim, and it bothered him throughout last nights game, causing Mussina to begin altering his delivery. Fearful that Mussina might hurt his arm, manager Mike Hargrove went to his bullpen.ake his next start.

That would be Friday in Boston, with Mussina getting an extra day of rest because of an open date in the schedule. Mussina left open the possibility of skipping that turn and making his final start.

I think theres a consideration for missing the next one, at least in my mind, he said. If we can clear it up and give me a chance to pitch one more game, that would be ideal. Ill just see how it feels tomorrow. I dont think its hurt any worse than it was.ymore.

If I get too far down the hill, trying to generate power or whatever, thats when I really feel it. I have to monitor how I throw the ball, and its tough to pitch when youre trying to monitor yourself and feeling your way through the action and still trying to make the pitch. Its unfortunate. Ive been dealing with it the last three or four starts, he said.

Hopefully well clear it up and Ill have another chance to go back out there. But this is the first time Ive been physically prevented from throwing the ball the way I want to throw it.

Mussina has lost eight of his past 11 decisions despite entering the game with the American Leagues fourth-lowest ERA at 3.85. Hes been strong against the Mariners, with an 11-3 career record before last night, but fell behind after three hitters.

Rickey Henderson led off with a double into left-center field, the fifth time he reached base in six plate appearances in the series. Rodriguez went deep with one out, connecting on an 0-1 fastball for his 37th homer.

Mussina retired the next five batters before David Bell doubled leading off the third. Bell, who drilled a three-run homer off Mike Trombley in the ninth to complete the wreckage, scored on a one-out single by Mike Cameron after right fielder Luis Matos made a diving catch to rob Henderson.

Brea walked the next two hitters to force in a run. Jay Buhner reached on an infield hit, with Cal Ripken making a diving stop in foul territory, as the lead grew to 5-0.

Carlos Guillen padded it with a two-run double into right field, and Wilson continued the madness with his blast. Hargrove removed Brea, who had gone two innings the previous night in his second appearance with the club. The other came in an emergency start in Kansas City before he was optioned to Triple-A Rochester, where he remained until rosters expanded this month.

He had good stuff, good velocity, but just didnt throw strikes, Hargrove said. He backed off his stuff a little bit to get the ball in the strike zone and they hit it. You just cant do that.

The Orioles never seem to score enough to aid Mussina, who continues to receive the leagues worst run support, and they dont have a chance when Jamie Moyer pitches a pattern that went undisturbed. Moyer (13-9) won his 11th straight decision against his former team and is 11-1 lifetime.

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