* San Francisco Giants P Bud Black...


* San Francisco Giants P Bud Black has dominated the New York Mets this year, and he is 3-0 with an 0.95 ERA against them to prove it. "He takes the place of the guy who did it to us last year," said Mets manager Bud Harrelson, referring to Pittsburgh Pirates P Zane Smith and his 3-1, 0.97 performance against New York in 1990.

* New York Yankees 3B Kevin Maas entered today's game in a 3-for-38 slump. He was also 5-for his last-52 and 18-for-123, but tried to take it in stride. "I'm not worried and I'm not worried that anybody else is worried," he said, loosely paraphrasing Mad magazine philosopher Alfred E. Neuman.

* The California Angels added Mike Fetters to their starting rotation over the weekend, but he won't have a very tough act to follow. The three other pitchers who have performed as fifth starter for the Angels this year -- Joe Grahe, Scott Lewis and Fernando Valenzuela -- were a combined 1-8.

* The St. Louis Cardinals are 8-7 since the All-Star break, and all but last night's loss were to the Atlanta Braves. The Cardinals swept 3-game series from the Houston Astros and the Cincinnati Reds, but went 1-6 in 2 series against the surprising Braves.

* When the Astros fell 20 games under .500 last week, it was the first time since 1975 they had been so far below sea level.

* Just how bad is the Milwaukee Brewers bullpen? Brewers relievers have a combined 9.73 ERA since the All-Star break. They have blown 17 of 35 save opportunities and rank last in the Rolaids relief standings. And the club has lost 15 games in the opponent's last at-bat. Real bad.

* Los Angeles Dodgers OF Darryl Strawberry is beginning to find himself at the plate. He entered the weekend with a 12-game hitting streak and a .366 average over that span.

* Oakland Athletics 1B Mark McGwire continues to struggle at the plate, particularly against teams in his division. He's batting .177 with 1 home run and 7 RBI in 39 games against the AL West. McGwire used to have better weekends than that.

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