While he was setting down the San Francisco Giants on one hit Saturday night at Candlestick Park, Hideo Nomo was being compared to Cy Young. . . .
Well, let’s settle for Fernando Valenzuela. . . .
Specifically, the rookie Valenzuela of 1981. . . .
That season was split and shortened to 110 games because of a strike. . . .
Valenzuela finished 13-7. After 93 games of a strike-shortened 144-game season, Nomo is 9-2. . . .
Valenzuela’s earned run average was 2.48. Nomo’s is 1.89. . . .
Valenzuela struck out 180 in 192 innings. Nomo has struck out 161 in 128 innings. . . .
Valenzuela had 11 complete games in 25 starts. Nomo has four in 18 starts. . . .
Valenzuela had eight shutouts. Nomo has three. . . .
Nomo is on his way to becoming the first Dodger pitcher since Valenzuela to win the rookie-of-the-year award. . . .
However, it is doubtful that Nomo will become the first rookie since Valenzuela to win the Cy Young award. Not as long as Greg Maddux (12-1) is taking his regular turn for the Atlanta Braves. . . .
Fernandomania broke out when Valenzuela supposedly was only 20 and had little seasoning, although he pitched 10 games in relief for the Dodgers the season before. . . .
Nomo is 26 and has the poise of a 10-year major league veteran. . . .
Against the Giants, his work the 2 1/3 innings after he lost his no-hit bid was as impressive as that of the first 6 2/3 innings. . . .
He struck out Kirt Manwaring with runners on first and second, two out in the seventh and the Dodgers ahead, 2-0. . . .
Then Nomo singled home an insurance run in the ninth, bringing a rare smile to his face and improving his hot streak at bat to four for 12 after an 0-for-35 start. . . .
He rarely gets into jams, but gets out of them about as well as any pitcher since the vintage Doc Gooden. . . .
Surprisingly, ABC wasn’t showing highlights of the Minnesota-Kansas City game when Royce Clayton got his infield hit. . . .
Actually, it was San Francisco Manager Dusty Baker who broke up the no-hitter when he sent Mark Carreon from first base on a hit-and-run play. Otherwise, Jose Offerman would have thrown out Carreon, a slow runner who is hurting, at second. . . .
This wouldn’t have been the first Dodger no-hitter at Candlestick Park. Jerry Reuss pitched one on June 27, 1980. . . .
Nomovision: His next start Thursday at Dodger Stadium against St. Louis, which wasn’t on the original TV schedule, will be televised by Channel 5. . . .
Have you begun to get the feeling that Nomo understands Vin Scully’s questions better than Nomo’s translator does? . . .
It’s time for the Dodgers to start paying attention to Houston’s scores as well as their own and Colorado’s. The Astros, leading the NL wild-card race, are vulnerable without Jeff Bagwell. . . .
Gary DiSarcina was hitting .317, but his glove will be missed more than his bat. . . .
Defense has been an underrated factor in the Angels’ success this season, and shortstop is arguably the most important position. . . .
Boston Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield has the same record as Maddux and a lower earned-run average. . . .
Darryl Strawberry has become the only person to play for four teams with New York origins--the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers and Giants. . . .
In the National League most valuable player voting, will Colorado slugger Dante Bichette be penalized because his numbers have been built at the launching pad in Denver? . . .
The Miami Dolphins’ loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday night was embarrassing, but don’t read too much into it. . . .
Last year, the San Diego Chargers were 1-4 in exhibitions before winning their first six regular-season games. Indianapolis and Chicago were the only two teams to go unbeaten in the preseason. . . .
I was surprised to learn that the San Francisco 49ers won’t be playing the Denver Broncos this week. . . .
It will be interesting to see how Oakland Raider exhibition game TV ratings in Southern California compare to those the L.A. Raiders received. . . .
It’s a shame that Pat Valenzuela, who has been suspended for the remainder of the Del Mar meeting, is wasting his talent. No jockey gets his mounts out of the gate better than Valenzuela. . . .
Fifteen former PGA champions are expected to participate in a clinic Tuesday at 4 p.m. at the Riviera practice range. . . .
Riviera member Peter Falk told CBS’ Jim Nantz that his favorite hole is the 18th--and that he wants to be buried there.