Wells, a night owl, has day job

Preferring later starts, Yankees lefty gets call today vs. Angels in Game 4

Yankees-Angels notebook

October 05, 2002|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Never shy about revealing his fondness for the night life, New York Yankees left-handed pitcher David Wells must learn to appreciate pitching in the daytime. He's got no other choice.

Yankees manager Joe Torre has given him the Game 4 assignment today, with the understanding that Wells will be trying to prevent New York from being eliminated.

Wells will be working under pressure. And under a sunny sky.

He doesn't mind the pressure. He just prefers cooler weather and a later starting time.

"I don't know what the forecast is," he said, "but I'll just think of it as a night game. Just with some bright lights."

Wells was 1-3 with a 7.15 ERA during the day, compared with 18-4 with a 2.80 ERA at night. For his career, he's 51-42 in the day and 134-79 at night.

"I have to bear down and accept the challenge," he said. "Over the last few years managers have pretty much pitched me in night games and tried to avoid the day games because of my record over my career. I've just got to drink a lot of fluids if it's hot, stay hydrated and not look back. Just go out there and fight to the end."

Weber's splint removed

Angels pitcher Ben Weber had the splint removed from his sprained right index finger and precautionary X-rays didn't reveal a fracture, but he was told not to grip a baseball until yesterday and remains unavailable out of the bullpen unless there's an emergency.

Because he's a sinkerball pitcher, the Angels believe the injury would restrict his effectiveness.

Weber was hurt when he tried to field a bouncer from Raul Mondesi in the eighth inning of Game 2. Mondesi reached to put two runners on base, but relievers Brendan Donnelly and Troy Percival ended the threat.

"It hit me square and bent it back," Weber said. "It's just a reaction. Then everybody's coming up and saying, `Dude, why'd you go after it? That was a double-play ball.' Yeah, that made me feel better."

Injury update

A hamstring injury continues to limit Rondell White to pinch-hitting duty, and Torre has conceded that White won't play in the outfield. At best, he'll become available as the designated hitter.

"Right now I'm still comfortable only pinch-hitting him," Torre said, "and probably will have to run for him, too." ...

Second baseman Alfonso Soriano remains sore after Percival drilled him in the left shoulder blade with a 97-mph fastball in Game 2. He took batting practice during Thursday's workout and assured Torre he could play last night.

"It's fortunate it's on the left side, not the right side, where it would affect his throwing," Torre said. "He didn't seem to be bothered by it. You know he feels it. Percy throws the ball pretty good. But I think he's full tilt right now."

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