NEW YORK -- The Atlanta Braves scored 12 runs in the first game of the 92nd World Series, but that didn't keep manager Bobby Cox from making a big change in his lineup last night.
He removed Ryan Klesko from the designated hitter slot and replaced him with veteran Terry Pendleton, a move that Cox described as a "seat of the pants" decision.
Certainly, there was more to it than that, but it was a curious move from a statistical standpoint. Pendleton, who was 1-for-4 last night, batted just .189 in 37 regular-season at-bats against left-handers.
Cox said it was just a gut feeling that Pendleton would have more success against veteran left-hander Jimmy Key. Klesko will return to the lineup tonight in left field against right-hander David Cone.
That leaves open the question of where Andruw Jones might fit into the Game 3 lineup, but Cox allowed it to stay open. Marquis Grissom is the regular starter in center and 22-year-old Jermaine Dye figures to play in right, but that could change.
"Jones can also play right field," Cox said before the young outfielder went 0-for-3, "so if he's still hot, we'll investigate that."
Yankees manager Joe Torre also made some predictable changes, putting regular catcher Joe Girardi behind the plate and using Tim Raines -- who had two of New York's seven hits -- in left field instead of Darryl Strawberry.
"It was barking a little bit," Torre said of Strawberry's broken right big toe, which he played six innings on in Game 1. "I think it was a matter of him playing on something that was sore and messing with it. I think tomorrow he'll be all right."
Fans on the run
Four fans ran onto the field in the course of the game, causing someone to ask Braves starter Greg Maddux whether he thought it was funny that more fans made it to second base than Yankees.
"It was getting kind of scary," Maddux said. "I had a little Randy Myers flashback for a second. I was just hoping they would be able to control the situation."
Maddux was referring to an incident in Chicago in which a fan ran onto the field and accosted then-Cubs reliever Myers, now the Orioles closer. None of the Yankees trespassers did anything threatening and all were apprehended and arrested.
Cone originally intended to fly out yesterday and spend the night in Atlanta, but decided to rejoin the team after his flight was delayed by mechanical problems.
He could be forgiven for being a little bit jumpy on the day after a plane from Atlanta to New York skidded off the runway at LaGuardia Airport.
First things first
Torre all but ruled out any chance Cecil Fielder will start in place TTC of Tino Martinez when the series shifts to Atlanta and the designated hitter is not used.
"Tino is my first baseman," Torre said. "He's knocked in 117 runs, and there's no reason for me to change. If the circumstances change, then I change."
Seeing glass half-full
It was hard to detect much optimism in the Yankees' clubhouse after the Game 2 loss, but the players tried to say the right things.
"I think so," Strawberry said when asked if New York was capable of turning the Series around. "I'm not going to say we can't. We're as good as they are. We've just got to get some hits."
And maybe a change of venue.
"We might be better off getting out of here right now," right fielder Paul O'Neill said. "The [New York] fans are a little restless. Hey, if we get down there, things can happen fast. Maybe we can turn this thing around."
Raines finally got into a World Series game Sunday night, but when he popped a ball behind home plate, Braves catcher Javy Lopez accidentally fired his mask into Raines' midsection before he ambled off to make the catch.
"You wait for 16 or 17 years, for that," Raines said, smiling. "It's only one at-bat, though. Hopefully, I won't pop them all back to the catcher."
The Braves used left-hander Denny Neagle in the Game 1 blowout as a tuneup for his Game 4 start, but pitching coach Leo Mazzone said the Arundel High product may have pitched even if the score had been close.
The reasons were "mental, as well as physical," said Mazzone. "The mental part of pitching in the World Series, and the physical part of going out there and executing pitches against the Yankees."
Sackinsky ills continue
Orioles right-hander Brian Sackinsky has left his team in the Arizona Fall League because of recurring elbow troubles, and he is seeking more medical attention.
Sackinsky has had elbow and shoulder problems for more than a year, and earlier this summer, club officials expected him to have reconstructive elbow surgery. But Sackinsky chose to rehabilitate his sore elbow, rather than have the surgery, a course of action that apparently hasn't healed his ailment.
Around the horn
Last night's shutout was the 100th in World Series history. The win made Atlanta just the 12th team in 92 World Series to win the first two games on the road. Yankees reliever Graeme Lloyd became the first Australian-born player to appear in a World Series. He faced just two batters, and struck out Chipper Jones and Fred McGriff. Braves pitchers are adept at making their mistakes on the outer half of the plate, rather than the inner half. "An inside mistake," said Mazzone, "is an extra-base hit. An outside mistake is a single." Atlanta's John Smoltz has 28 victories this year, including the postseason. He is the first pitcher to do so since Sandy Koufax won 28 for the '65 Dodgers (26 regular season, two in the postseason).
Pub Date: 10/22/96