Ups and down
ke Mussina UP
Two weeks ago, everyone was talking about Mussina's elbow. Now they're raving about his past two starts. Thursday's 1-0, three-hit, eight-inning lockdown of the White Sox was vintage Mussina. He has allowed one runner past second base in his past 15 innings.
Jimmy Key UP
This guy has more career victories than Greg Maddux and pitches like an American League version of Tom Glavine. A study in professionalism.
Shawn Boskie DOWN
The supposed No. 4 starter given the 15-day absence of Rocky Coppinger, Boskie found himself in a no-win situation appearing on 10 days' rest Wednesday. He didn't win. In four innings, the White Sox roughed him up for nine runs. His grip on a starting job is in jeopardy.
Game times UP
Just when it looked like every game was destined to become a three-hour tour, the Orioles play five straight under 180 minutes. Now, if somebody can straighten out the parking.
Black hose UP
On Tuesday, every Oriole hiked his pants legs calf-high in tribute to Jackie Robinson. Classy.
The bullpen UP
The loss of Alan Mills hurts, but there are more where he came from. Entering the Boston series, the bullpen had allowed two runs in 17 innings since April 7. Arthur Rhodes' three innings against Minnesota on Tuesday were dominant.
"I root for them to win immediately. It's true we all grow into the people we are based on experiences, good and bad. But that was something that was very hard and something I would not wish on anybody."
Cal Ripken, the only survivor of the '88 Orioles' 0-21 start, on the '97 Cubs' 0-13 start.
Stat of the week
The Orioles were 16-53 when scoring four runs or fewer last year. Entering the weekend, they were 5-2 when scoring four runs or fewer. Caution: The Orioles were 5-2 in such games through Game 13 last season.
Moment of the week
Refused a contract after playing 107 games at five positions last year for the Twins, backup second second baseman Jeff Reboulet contributed an RBI single and a eighth-inning home run in the Orioles' 3-1 win over his former team on Tuesday. Reboulet had not homered since Sept. 9, 1995. Asked if he took special satisfaction inflicting pain on a team that released him over a $375,000 contract, Reboulet confessed to "mixed feelings."
By the numbers
1: Number of pinch hitters employed by Davey Johnson through 12 games. (The Orioles had 72 pinch at-bats in '96.)
6: Number of Orioles jerseys retired. Eddie Murray (33), Jim Palmer (22), Brooks Robinson (5), Frank Robinson (20) and Earl Weaver (4) will be joined by Jackie Robinson's No. 42 when Orioles catcher Lenny Webster takes it off for the last time. The catcher can wear it for the rest of his career.
6: Number of consecutive hits Rafael Palmeiro enjoyed against the Texas Rangers last weekend.
8: Until Thursday, consecutive number of games in which Brady Anderson walked.
10: Number of pitches missed by Scott Erickson while charting Jimmy Key's shutout of the Rangers last Sunday.
12: Number of Orioles who have worn No. 42. Find a hobby if you could name Webster, Hank Bauer, Cal Ermer, Ken Rowe, Rich Bordi, Pete Harnisch, Sherman Obando, Carol Powis, Allan Ramirez, Nelson Simmons, Tom Underwood and Frank "Noodles" Zupo.
2:24, 2:41, 2:48, 2:44, 2:37: Game times of the Orioles' first five games this week, the first time in recent memory the club has played five consecutive in under three hours.
44: Through Thursday, strikeouts by the Orioles' bullpen in 39 innings.
50: Through Thursday, strikeouts by the Orioles' starting rotation in 77 innings.
82: Number of pitches Shawn Boskie needed to escape four innings against the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.
95: Number of pitches Scott Erickson needed to clear eight innings against the Minnesota Twins on Monday.
356: Until Tuesday's decision over the Twins, the number of days Scott Kamieniecki endured between wins.
Randall K. Myers is 7-for-7 in save situations, making him 13-for-13 the past two Aprils. Appearing in short sleeves in Thursday night's freeze-out, he got right-handed terror Frank Thomas to fly out for the game's final out as right-hander Armando Benitez stood ready in the bullpen. Myers has yet to appear in a non-save situation. (He took the ball 24 times in '96 without a save on the line.) Maybe this will leave him gas for the second half.
Shawn Boskie was dreadful Wednesday. We waited 11 days for that?
Exiled to right field during Wednesday night's Siberian Express, Pete Incaviglia circled under a Frank Thomas fly ball, only to lose it. "What can I say? I butchered it," said Incaviglia.
* Rocky Coppeinger should make his first start. The plot thickens over who goes, Shawn Boskie or Scott Kamieniecki.
* The White Sox get another look at Mike Mussina on April 22. White Sox manager Terry Bevington minimized Mussina's shutout last week. "Mussina usually pitches real well against us once a year, then we go out and get him." Hmmm.
* Tuesday marks the first on-field meeting between Roberto Alomar and umpire John Hirschbeck since last September's incident.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Tomorrow, at Boston: Finale of series.
Tuesday, Wednesday vs. Chicago: Chicago continues to wait for Albert Belle and Frank Thomas to spontaneously combust. Listen to Second City talk shows and you'd swear they're spontaneous busts. Thomas hadn't homered entering the weekend and Belle was hitting .196 with two homers. Always a calming force, owner Jerry Reinsdorf tried to soothe the faithful by insisting that Thomas and Belle would hit. When? The callers could fill in the blank.
Thursday-Sunday vs. Boston: Orioles fans will see a different Red Sox team from last year. Nomar Garciaparra is only the fourth rookie to start at shortstop for Boston. He entered the weekend hitting .314 with 10 RBIs and four stolen bases. Ex-shortstop John Valentin finally has accepted his move to second base. Troy O'Leary and Rudy Pemberton (.143) are platooning in right field, though O'Leary has been hitting cleanup when in the lineup. Mo Vaughn didn't homer until April 16. Boston entered the weekend having won four of five.
! Pub Date: 4/20/97