Steinbrenner Doesn’t Like Pitchers’ Aroma
Owner George Steinbrenner of the New York Yankees has not been known to keep quiet when things aren’t going well for his team.
And two games into the season, things are not going well.
“I’d have to say our pitching stinks,” Steinbrenner told the New York Times Wednesday after the Boston Red Sox had routed his Yankees, 14-5, at Fenway Park. “They know they stink.”
The Red Sox beat New York, 9-2, in Monday’s opener. Yankee pitchers have given up 24 hits and 14 walks in addition to 23 runs in the two games.
“I’m not going to sit back and let this stuff continue,” Steinbrenner said. “It’s only two games; I’m not going to panic. But I’m not going to be as patient as I was last year.”
Does this mean some changes can be expected if things don’t improve soon?
“This is a tremendously tough division,” Steinbrenner said. “I’m not going to let them get too far behind before I make moves. I’m not saying what moves, just moves.”
The Red Sox spoiled the Yankee debut of Ed Whitson, who signed as a free agent after helping the San Diego Padres win the National League pennant last season. Whitson didn’t last past the second inning.
Boston chased Whitson with a seven-run second inning, during which the Red Sox scored six unearned runs. Rich Gedman, who went 4 for 4, singled, took second when Marty Barrett reached base on Butch Wynegar’s throwing error and scored when Whitson threw Jackie Guttierez’s bunt past third base to give Boston a 3-1 lead.
Wade Boggs followed with a two-run single to make it 5-1. Jim Rice reached first on a fielder’s choice and raced to third on Mike Easler’s double, and Tony Armas ripped a two-run, opposite-field double down the right-field line. Buckner homered into the right-field grandstand to extend Boston’s lead to 9-1, and Whitson was replaced by Joe Cowley.
Detroit 8, Cleveland 1--Second baseman Lou Whitaker drove in four runs with a pair of homers, and Kirk Gibson added a three-run homer to back the combined four-hit pitching of Dan Petry and Aurelio Lopez as the Tigers defeated the Indians for the second straight game.
Whitaker’s first homer was a three-run shot with one out in the third inning. Larry Herndon and Chet Lemon started the inning with singles and came around when Whitaker hit one just over the left-field screen off Cleveland starter Vern Ruhle.
“On the first one, he hit a good pitch,” Ruhle, a former Tiger, said. “I didn’t think it would get out. On the second one, the count was 3 and 2, and I tried to fool him with an off-speed pitch to get him out in front of it.
“The pitch was up and he hit it, but in most parks it would have been caught.”
Baltimore 7, Texas 1--Outfielder Fred Lynn singled twice and drove in two runs during a six-run fourth inning as the Orioles downed the Rangers at Baltimore.
“It was quite enjoyable out there,” Lynn said. “I’ve gotten multiple hits in an inning before, but it’s nice to get it here in just my second game. It’s been quite a while since I’ve gotten two hits in an inning.”
Lynn’s hitting supported a combined six-hitter by Mike Boddicker and reliever Sammy Stewart.
The Orioles took the lead with an unearned run in the second and reached Texas starter Mike Mason for six runs, three unearned, in the fourth.
The Orioles loaded the bases in the fourth on Lynn’s single, Mike Young’s double and Fritz Connelly’s fielder’s-choice grounder. Rick Dempsey followed with a two-run single.
Lenn Sakata walked to load the bases again, and Connelly scored when Dan Ford grounded into a double play. Mason left after walking Cal Ripken and hitting Eddie Murray with a pitch.
Dickie Noles came in to pitch and got Gary Roenicke to ground to third, but Buddy Bell committed his second error of the game to load the bases for the third time in the inning. Lynn then drove in two more runs with a sharp single to right.
Toronto 1, Kansas City 0--Tony Fernandez drove in Willie Upshaw from second base with a two-out infield single in the 10th inning to give the Blue Jays the victory over the Royals at Kansas City.
Bill Caudill, the free-agent reliever Toronto signed for $9 million over five years, pitched out of jams in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings and got the victory. Gary Lavelle, the relief pitcher the Blue Jays acquired from San Francisco, worked the 10th for a save.
Upshaw singled leading off the 10th against reliever and loser Joe Beckwith. After a sacrifice bunt and a groundout, Fernandez hit a hard grounder to deep short that Onix Concepcion fielded but threw just late to first base.
Seattle 5, Oakland 4--Jim Presley hit a three-run homer and Mark Langston went 7 innings as the Mariners edged the A’s at Seattle.