Moving in the fences at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland has proved to be a popular decision--for opposing hitters. The Indians have been outhomered, 27-9, in their first 25 games at home, but then Cleveland pitchers can give them up on the road as well, having yielded a major league high 45 through 42 games.
Terry Mulholland was 0-3 with a 7.28 earned-run average with the Philadelphia Phillies in April but is 4-0 with a 1.53 ERA in May. His thinking: “I think the guy who was here in April took a vacation. He went to Spartanburg (the Phillies’ team in the Class-A Carolina League), I believe, but I don’t know. He can’t be reached.”
Jack Morris of the Toronto Blue Jays and Andy MacPhail, general manager of the Minnesota Twins, engaged in a heated public argument at the SkyDome the other night. Morris accused his former boss of failing to send him his 1991 World Series ring, which MacPhail denied but which didn’t placate Morris, who said: “Andy MacPhail has one and he didn’t pitch a single game last year.”
Dwight Gooden entered the 1991 season with the most run support of any regular National League starter, the New York Mets having been shut out only five times in his 216 starts. However, the Mets have been shut out five times in 30 starts since then and are batting--so to speak--.170 behind him this year.
Alejandro Pena continues to be at the focal point of the Atlanta Braves’ bullpen collapse. He has given up 23 hits in 14 2/3 innings and as many home runs, six, as in his 89 innings last year. He has refused three requests by the team to have physical examinations, insisting nothing is wrong. Apparently, however, disgruntled fans think there is. They ran keys down the sides of his Mercedes-Benz in the Atlanta stadium parking lot the other night.
The recent recall of the recycled Lance McCullers and Mike Jeffcoat, along with 24-year-old Gerald Alexander, means the Texas Rangers have employed 19 pitchers this season, six shy of the American League record, set by the 1969 Seattle Pilots. “It’s no secret what we’re trying to do,” Manager Bobby Valentine said. “We’re looking for guys who can pitch in the big leagues.”
Roger Craig has taken some media criticism--and some from Dave Righetti--for failing to establish a clear-cut closer and defined roles in the bullpen, but his San Francisco Giants are 21-2 in games they led after the seventh inning, and Jeff Brantley, Rod Beck, Mike Jackson and Righetti have combined for 11 saves.
Said Craig: “Righetti at one time was as good as (Dennis) Eckersley, and he did a pretty good job for us last year, but right now there are other guys pitching better.
“The bottom line is that if they do the job, they’ll get better situations. The bottom line is that I’m trying to win games, create a winning atmosphere. I like to please people, but some managers get carried away with saves.”