Zane Smith has doubled his pitching repertoire--and doubled his pleasure.
Last season, the left-hander's pitching elbow hurt so badly that he could only throw two pitches--fastball and slider. He was 1-12 when the Atlanta Braves traded him to the Montreal Expos.
The elbow no longer aches, and Smith is able to throw all four of his pitches. He has already doubled his 1989 output.
Smith held the Mets to three hits in eight innings Friday night at New York and the Expos won, 2-1. Both of Smith's victories have been against the Mets. In his first start Sunday, he also went eight innings, giving up five hits and an unearned run. Until Saturday, he had not won since May 6, when he beat the Expos, and had lost 10 in a row.
"You try not to subconsciously let that long losing streak bother you," Smith said. "I think I thought more about the streak when I was with the Braves. We were more accustomed to losing.
"It is a wonderful feeling not to hurt when you try to pitch. Last year I could use only two pitches. A reliever can probably get away with that. Now, though, I can throw everything, especially the curve. There's also the fastball, change and slider."
The run Smith gave up came on a bloop single with two outs in the sixth. Smith had retired 15 in a row when Keith Miller singled. Kevin McReynolds also singled and Strawberry's blooper to the opposite field was the last hit for the Mets.
Rookie Larry Walker homered for the Expos in the second inning and Andres Galarraga's sacrifice in the third gave the Expos their sixth victory in their last seven games.
Tim Burke pitched the ninth for his third save, and the Expos moved into sole possession of first place in the East.
Pittsburgh 9, Chicago 4--Injuries to other players put Bobby Bonilla back at third base, where he committed 35 errors last season. A two-hour rain delay gave Bonilla a chance to reflect on that statistic.
The first Cub grounder, by lead-off batter Jerome Walton, was hit right at Bonilla. He fielded it flawlessly. It was the last time the ball was hit in his direction.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the ball was thrown in his direction. Bonilla hit two home runs, giving him five for the season, before the game was stopped because of heavy rain in the seventh.
"I wasn't nervous," Bonilla said. "But it was nice to see Sid (Pirate first baseman Sid Bream who missed most of last season) over there. I'll play anywhere. I just want my 600 at-bats."
Philadelphia 3, St. Louis 0--Dennis Cook pitched a three-hitter at St. Louis to continue his mastery over the Cardinals. Cook, who has beaten the Cardinals for five of his 11 major league victories, has blanked them for 17 2/3 innings this season.
Von Hayes hit his second home run for the Phillies.
San Diego 9, San Francisco 2--The Padres' Jack Clark seldom hits well for the first month or two of a season.
But getting a chance to face Giant pitching has gotten Clark off to a fine start.
The former Giant hit a three-run home run to spark a five-run third inning at San Diego that beat Rick Reuschel (1-1).
The home run was Clark's second, both against the Giants.