The Pittsburgh Press from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 8, 1990 · Page 35
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The Pittsburgh Press from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Page 35

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Friday, June 8, 1990
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Friday. June 8. 1990 The Pittsburgh Press BASEBALL Buffalo from Page Dl second, but I think he can adjust to (.254) has been in the Pirates' organization only since April He was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds, with pitcher Mike Roesler, for Billy Hatcher. "He has played very well" Collins said. "Last year when we saw him in Nashville he did not play like you would think a Triple-A player would play. But when you're around him he is a good player. He's a good defensive player, has a strong arm and can handle the bat better than we thought he did." None of these players has the pop in their bat to make it as a major-league third baseman or the ability to beat out land or incumbent Pirates shortstop Jay Bell. One or two of them could make the team in a utility role. OUTFIELD - Wes Chamberlain, considered the best prospect in the system at the start of the season, is having a difficult time in Class AAA. His average is close to .220, he's not driving in runs and his play in the field has been poor. No one is dismissing him, but he is at least one year away. Steve Carter leads the Bisons with a .329 average, but is not a power hitter and lacks the skills to bat ' leadoff. In 1,100 minor-league at-bats, Carter has five home runs. He has walked only four times this season and stolen three bases in seven attempts. He is not a greatly skilled outfielder. Moises Alou looks like a player with a major-league future. In his first 54 at-bats after arriving from. Harrisburg he was hitting .354. "He has good instincts and is very aggressive at the plate," Collins said. "Defensively he has above-average arm strength. It looks like he can (lay any position in the outfield. He as the arm to play right, the speed to play center. I could see him going up to the Pirates in September." PITCHING - The staff is composed mostly of veteran pitchers who, for the most part, were never quite good enough to have a major-league career. Dora Taylor is the best starting - -pitcher and this is what pitching coach Jackie Brown said about him: "He could be your fifth starter or a long reliever. If Buffalo gets a major-league expansion franchise Taylor will come with the team. At Pilot Field he is 17-5 with a 1.38 earned run average and five shutouts. One exception on the staff is Roesler, whose fastball has been timed at 94 mph. He could have a future with the Pirates. The Bisons have a good team, as evidenced by their first-place standing in the American Association. But as a producer of major-league talent they rate only average. Top pick graduates in style Kurt Miller graduates from West High in Bakersfield, Calif., tonight, but he already has the graduation gift he wanted . . . $232,000 from the Pirates as their No. 1 draft choice. Miller, a 17-year-old right-handed pitcher who appropriately spells his first name with a K the box score symbol for strikeout agreed to his ' contract yesterday and will report Tuesday to Welland, Ontario, of the New York-Penn League. Miller's high school career ended two weeks ago when he pitched a seven-inning, 13-strikeout, two-hit shutout. Expecting to attend Arizona State on a baseball scholarship, he suddenly became the talk of Bakersfield when the Pirates made him the fifth player selected in the June draft. "Television, newspapers . it was a big thing," Miller said. "It was fun, too." ' Miller, who was 9-1 with a 1.41 earned run average and 109 strikeouts in 60 innings as a senior, said stepping into professional baseball "is a little scary." He has no timetable for his arrival in the major leagues. "All I want to do is move up as quickly as possible." Miller, clocked at 94 mph in high school, has spent his youth moving around the country with his father, Jack, a petroleum engineer, who often was transferred. Baseball is in Miller's background. His grandfather, nicknamed "Lefty" Miller, played minor-league ball. The Pirates signed five other draft choices: first baseman Mark Johnson, 20th round, Dartmouth; pitcher Troy Hooper, 25th round. Shorter College; catcher Jeff Davis, 27th round, Columbus (Ga.) College; outfielder Tom Green, 30th round, Georgia Tech, and shortstop Javier Martinez, 41st round, Inter-American University. Bob Hertzel Cimciamati ibacli Press naws lerrices HOUSTON - After losing a season-high three consecutive games, Cincinnati Reds Manager Lou Piniella called for a Red alert Jose Rijo responded last night, giving up one hit in seven innings and retiring 21 of the 23 batters he faced en route to a 6-1 victory against the Houston Astros. NATIONAL LEAGUE Rijo (4-1) retired the first 13 batters before walking Franklin Stubbs in the fifth inning. Ken Caminiti then singled to center field for the only hit off Rijo. Norm Charlton relieved Rijo to start the seventh and gave up three hits and Houston's only run. Rijo declined to talk about his pitching gem following the game, but Piniella was happy to speak for his pitcher. "He pitched as well as I've seen him pitch this year. His arm stiffened up and that's why we took him out. We'll take seven good innings like that every time. "The club really swung the bats aggressively. We didn't have that in San Francisco." The loss extended the Astros' streak to seven in a row, the longest in the major leagues. 1960 revisited (A day-by-day review of Pirates' Incredible season of 30 years ago.) JUNE 8 - The Pirates ended their three-game losing streak, 5-3, against the Cubs in Chicago. The Pirates got home runs from Bob Skinner and Dick Stuart, had a 5-0 lead, but Wilmer "Vinegar Bend" Mizell (2-3) allowed three sev-enth-inning runs. With the bases loaded in the ninth, Elroy Face got Ernie Banks to pop out and Ed Bouchee to ground out to save the victory. The first-place Pirates (30-17) remained one game ahead of the San Francisco Giants. Luka Krneta Pirates from Page Dl staff's best, had to leave after five innings with a pain he described as "like a knife shooting through my thigh." The injury was diagnosed as a strained quadricep muscle. Trainers said Heaton will be able to make his next start, but they couldn't guarantee he will be anything more than a five-inning pitcher. With Ted Power and John Smiley on the disabled list, it is understandable why Leyland is pushing for another pitcher while Doughty is looking for a right-handed hitter. Bilardello was oblivious to all this. He had singled home a run off the Mets' Dwight Gooden, who five times had pitches clocked at 97 mph by the Pirates' radar gun. Bilardello had saved the go-ahead run with a bone-crushing block of home plate as Barry Bonds, the upfront and center-stage hero, threw out Mark Carreon. The TV cameras all rushed to Bonds, whose eighth-inning double drove in Bobby Bonilla with the winning run and made a goat of New York center fielder Keith Miller. Bonilla had reached second when Miller dropped his long, two-out drive in right-center. "I just missed the ball," said Miller. Given the reprieve, Bonds doubled to the same spot and the Pirates were in front to stay, giving relief pitcher Scott Ruskin, one day shy of his 27th birthday, his first major-league victory. But while the cameras were on Bonds for his throw and his hit, Bilardello was in the training room being tended to for being on the receiving end of Bonds' throw. As Carreon rounded third and challenged Bonds' arm in the seventh , Bilardello realized there was going to be banging at the plate. "I'm just thinking, 'Don't get hurt.' I was able to hang in there. It was a great throw. I thought it might skip but it took a perfect hop." Bilardello felt the impact and was knocked over, winding up almost in the lap of Ruskin, who was backing up the plate. UADTMAKI MCTAI C Mini mi. ribv 32nd & Liberty Are.. Pgh., PA WE PAY MORE Z For SCRAP ALUMINUM i Copper, Iran, Lad, SlainlM Do.ly8 4 30 S 8 4(1J)31.7655 )ijiHiiit'i'y'j!iiiiylt Cubs' Mark Grace beats throw to Phillies' John Phillies 3, Cubs 1 CHICAGO - The last thing on Len Dykstra's mind in the seventh inning was extending his 19-game hitting streak. "My only thought was to get the Big city's By Bob Hertzel The Pittsburgh Press NEW YORK - Traffic was at a standstill, the smog was enough to choke you and the streets were filled with people, all in a hurry. On the surface, the city hadn't changed. But that was a facade. New York is a baseball city and both baseball teams are in critical condition. George Steinbrenner's once-proud Yankees had become the laughingstock of baseball. They owned the game's worst record and Steinbren-ner had fired another manager, this one a true Yankees hero. "Four of them while I was there," Pirates catcher Don Slaught said. Slaught was a Yankee for two years. Steinbrenner had four managers in that span. The Dodgers have had two managers in the past 37 years. "The instability of the organization is what is killing them," said Slaught. The Mets are in mid-fall. Their proud pitching staff is a shambles; Darryl Strawberry and Kevin Next game Tonight, 7:35, Bob Walk (4-3) of the Pirates vs. Sid Fernandez (3-5) of the New York Mets. (Channel 2) But Bilardello had the ball, making Carreon out and allowing Bilardello to spike it with an "in-your-face" move. "I was just a little excited. It was a tough play on his part, a tough play on my part. I wasn't trying to show anyone up." The only person who was shown up by Bilardello was Gooden, considering that Bilardello's RBI hit was his first in four games with the Pirates. "I own Doc," Bilardello jokingly said, as only a .212 lifetime hitter can. "I was 1 for 3 against him lifetime. I'm a .300 hitter against him." To look at Bilardello's swing one wonders how he could get a hit off Dr. Kildare, much less Doc Gooden. "It's the only hack in the major leagues uglier than my right-handed swing," R.J. Reynolds said, teasing- iy- As if to emphasize how seldom he gets hits, Bilardello made a major baserunning blunder He forgot to stop, continuing toward second base and getting thrown out. But then blunders were common for the Pirates, Wally Backman making two embarrassing errors at third, Jay Bell having a "brain cramp" (his description) and making a wild and uncalled for throw, and pitcher Rick Reed giving the team its fourth error. But, it seems nothing will derail this Pirates team. Not four errors, not injuries. Even the much maligned Bob Kipper stepped forward, getting his first save. i NEW EDISON HOTEL ! IS Ml SI, NWI1IOT 01 IM BITE MMIMMOI ' IUT nmffUi imtmttmlmtm ; EXOTIC SHOWPLACE OF PA 2 STAGES i Young Exotk Star . . . KOBIE CHILD Coming Neit Week: MariHm Chamber's person! poymoe REGINARUSSO ... Only the BfST in Eiottct 4 Go-Go GieH. , . faraclli m v , ,f . "?V - 9 ' i r ill - JT v X I runner home from third in a tie game," Dykstra, the major leagues' leading hitter said. Dykstra did both with a run-scoring double that broke a 1-1 tie as Philadelphia handed Chicago its fifth consecutive loss. teams have big-city McReynolds are making sounds about moving on as soon as they can and their slogan "Baseball like it oughta be" has become a joke-. As the Pirates readied to play last night at Shea Stadium, they were aware things were different in the National League East. The Pirates led the East by five games and were 8 "4 games ahead of the Mets, who were expected to run away with the title. After last night's games, the Pirates still led by five and were 9 "4 ahead of the Mets. "This is the first time we've ever come in here and I've had seven writers sit in my room for more than 25 minutes," said Pirates Manager Jim Leyland. The media were hounding them about the Miracle of Three Rivers and asking what Andy Van Slyke ate for breakfast and if Bobby Bonilla learned to switch hit by watching Mickey Mantle on television. Many of the Pirates downplayed the idea that the power was being transferred, even Leyland saying "the Mets are the team to beat." His belief was based on the Mets' pitching even though the rotation other than Frank Viola was 9-15. HALFCOURT ? S m no1 Connie Hawkins NBAS'V Tournament Oamnan ' p., Nams Snjtufe I P"" Name &gnun! S--pei .-!? include Apt No I A I S"eet AWess itnrtjde M No I Age 5y State Zi I &ty Stale li Check SSm t. XL OetfShtSize I n Phone I ne ' Sqnature ot Parent or GuarOan I Sgnature Ot Parent Or Guard! . , ' 4. PnntMame Stature I P-n Name Signature Sfeet Address m:K.de Act No I Age Street Address imam Act Not Age Ci Slaw Zi Ov State Zv Chert Shrrt S L XI ' dec Shirt & I XL Phor I Phone 2. Sjnature o Parent or GuarrMn aiteir a Red alexfc Associated Press Kruk on pickoff attempt Dykstra is hitting .414, but with men in scoring position, he's batting a sensational .488 (20 for 41). "That's got to be one of the greatest stats in the majors this year," Phillies Manager Nick Lev-ya said. "They are capable of going through a stretch of 12 games and getting eight shutouts." But the Mets have a lot of ground to make up. "If I were eight games out and the first-place team came to my ballpark I'd be thinking I got to sweep to get into this thing," said Van Slyke. A couple of summers back, the Mets won 17 of 18 games from the Pirates. But that was a championship team. "They beat the heck out of us," said Barry Bonds. "Know why? Because they had No. 19 over there and the guy who's now over at Philly." No. 19 is Wally Backman, now with the Pirates, and the guy with the Philadelphia Phillies is Lenny Dykstra, who is hitting .414. "We'd play them close, but whenever they needed to do something one of those guys was on base with Strawberry hitting," said Bonds. Now the Mets can't find anyone to produce at the top of the order and in the middle Strawberry is going so badly that he's being booed often. 10-17 YEAR OLDS FUSEE! ENTER THE PITTSBURGH riDO THREE-ON-THREE TOURNAMENT FREE T-SHIRTS NO SIGN-UP FEES TROPHIES & AWARDS FOR WINNING TEAMS Enter The Nehi Tournament today. Open to Players 10-17 years old. (3 age groups: 10-11, 12-13,14, 15-16-17) Entries Close June 30th. First Come! First Served. Maximum 4 players per team. Single elimination play will be held July 14th. APPLICATIONS ALSO AVAILABLE FROM: William J. Neal, Jr., Executive Director Champions Association, Inc. 537 Fartson Square, Pittsburgh, PA 15206 For other information call: (412) 362-1532 PARENTAL OH GUARDIAN SIGNATURE REQUIRED. (MAI TEAM ENTRY Dykstra said keeping the hitting streak alive never entered his mind. "It was important for me to get that runner home any way I could, and I got a forkball that I jumped on." Dykstra scored Darren Daulton with the go-ahead run when he. doubled down the right-field line. Daulton had singled off Mike Bie-lecki (3-4), went to second on a wild pitch and was sacrificed to' third. Ken Howell (7-3) won his fifta consecutive decision. Expos 3, Cardinals 2 MONTREAL - Tim Wallach' won his personal confrontation with Jose DeLeon by blooping a double down the left-field line, to score the go-ahead run in the sixth inning for Montreal. DeLeon had a one-hitter and a 2-1 lead after five innings when Dave Martinez and Tim Raines began the sixth with singles, putting runners at first and third. After Raines stole second, Andres Galarraga grounded to short as Martinez scored and Raines moved to third. DeLeon (5-4) threw three consecutive fastballs to Wallach, working the count to 1-2, then threw an outside forkball that Wallach reached out and one-handed down the line, scoring Raines. problems The Pirates are trying not to get giddy. Leyland talks about parity. "Look at last year. Everyone was predicting the Mets or the Cardinals or the Expos would win it, my mother and I picked us . . . and the Cubs won. "Real professional clubs don't discuss pennant races in June. There's a lot of ball left" ; Leyland was asked about his quitting smoking. He said he wasn't going to let cigarettes run his life. Then he added one final note that ' gave insight into the security the Pirates had with their five-game lead. "If we stay in this thing' until September I'll be smoking two at a time." NOTES - Before last night's game, the Pirates led the major leagues in batting average at .279, an outstanding feat considering they don't employ a designated hitter. They also lead in the majors in runs scored, breaking out of a tie last night with the Minnesota Twins . . . Pirates are 15 gamesd above .500 (.642) for the first time this year. O BASKETBALL L r4 Kenny Durrett NBA Star Tournament Qiamnan TO: ABOVE ADDRESS) Signature o parem o Guerdon 9.

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