Orioles' ups and downs


Wild-card fever -- DOWN -- The Yankees were ruled out of the AL East race when they fell eight games behind the Orioles last July 4. A week away from Independence Day, the O's trailed wild-card leaders Boston and Texas by 10 1/2 and 9 1/2 games, respectively, going into yesterday. Do the math. Calculators optional.

Pete Smith -- DOWN -- Career National Leaguer has pitched with leads in all three AL starts but averaged fewer than five innings. He has yet to claim a win and carries a 9.64 ERA.

Doppler radar --DOWN -- The Orioles thought they had stolen a 5 1/2 -inning win Tuesday, but a supposed four-hour rain delay became an 86-minute bathroom break. Ray Miller went through his bullpen A-Team and a wet night hung head groundskeeper Paul Zwaska out to dry.

Mike Mussina -- UP -- He never pitched from the stretch Monday against the New York Mets. The feat happens about once every seven years.

The Dominican Strongman -- DOWN -- With only one save this month, Armando Benitez has become Mr. Irrelevant. Reject Randy Myers began yesterday with 22 saves, five more than an " entire Orioles bullpen that had blown 10 saves.

HTS ratings -- DOWN -- Home Team Sports thought it had purchased rights to original programming. The Orioles now look like summer reruns: take an early lead, lose it with tattered starting pitching, bullpen enters to increase deficit, late offense makes score respectable. Formula writing at its worst.

Pub Date: 6/28/98

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