With past success vs. Pettitte, Guillen gets call for Seattle

Shortstop is activated after tuberculosis bout

D'backs shuffle lineup

LCS notebook

October 18, 2001|By Peter Schmuck and Roch Kubatko | By Peter Schmuck and Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

The Seattle Mariners activated shortstop Carlos Guillen before Game 1 of the American League Championship Series yesterday and immediately inserted him into the starting lineup against New York Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte.

Guillen had been sidelined since he was diagnosed with tuberculosis, but manager Lou Piniella wasted no time getting him back onto the field. Guillen batted in the second spot and went hitless in three at-bats, but played flawlessly at shortstop.

"Carlos has had really good success against Pettitte, 7-for-15 coming into the series," Piniella said. "He did fine. He got three at-bats and played well in the field. About the only thing we might do when we face Pettitte again is move him back further in the lineup."

Veteran Mark McLemore replaced Guillen at shortstop during the Division Series and did a solid job defensively. He even delivered the key, two-run single in the Mariners' decisive victory over the Cleveland Indians, but appeared only as a pinch hitter in yesterday's game.

"We got him [Guillen] out there," Piniella said. "He got his feet wet. McLemore will be at shortstop [tonight]."

Mussina again

Former Orioles ace Mike Mussina is scheduled to make his second postseason start as a member of the Yankees today. He'll face Mariners ace Freddy Garcia tonight at Safeco Field.

Mussina played a big role in the Yankees' unprecedented Division Series comeback on Saturday, holding the Oakland Athletics scoreless for seven innings to record his team's first victory of the postseason.

He repeated during yesterday's pre-game news conference that the opportunity to get back into the playoffs was the major reason that he signed with the Yankees last winter.

"I think a big factor in making the decision was whether or not I thought the team had a chance to still be playing in October," he said.

D'backs make moves

Tony Womack was absent from Arizona's lineup last night for Game 2 of the National League Championship Series in Phoenix after injuring his leg during Tuesday's 2-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

Womack, the Diamondbacks' leadoff hitter, wore an ice pack around his right calf and limped to his locker after Game 1.

He wasn't sure how the injury occurred, though it probably was a result of leaping for Julio Franco's line drive in the fourth inning.

Left without his leadoff hitter, Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly moved Craig Counsell to shortstop and batted him first. Veteran Jay Bell replaced Counsell at second base.

No decision on Maddux

Braves manager Bobby Cox said he hasn't decided whether to use Game 1 starter Greg Maddux on three days' rest, which would put the four-time Cy Young Award-winner on the mound for Saturday's Game 4 in Atlanta.

Maddux threw 94 pitches in Tuesday's opener - fewer if you use Cox's math.

"We don't count intentional walks and pitchouts on those pitch counts, so he was under 90, really," Cox said. "In his last start I think he was under 90. He's had six days' rest going in, so he'll be ready."

Counsell `unsung hero'

The World Series ring is stashed in a closet at his home, along with the usual articles of clothing and assorted boxes being kept out of view. Counsell refuses to wear it to the ballpark, proving that he's not flashy in the clubhouse, either.

"I'm not going to show it in people's faces or anything like that," said Counsell, a member of the 1997 Florida Marlins.

"I don't bring it around or anything. I mean, we're all trying to get there again. It's a tough, tough thing to do. I realize this time around how tough it is. I thought it was easy the first time. I got spoiled."

That's the only way someone like Counsell, the Diamondbacks' 31-year-old second baseman, could be spoiled. He's forever trying to prove he belongs on a major-league roster, let alone in a starting lineup. But Counsell, with his skinny frame and boyish looks, builds a strong case in October.

"He's been our unsung hero," said pitcher Randy Johnson. "He plays the game hard, he plays the game right."

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