The Morning News from Wilmington, Delaware on July 6, 1986 · Page 35
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The Morning News from Wilmington, Delaware · Page 35

Wilmington, Delaware
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 6, 1986
Page 35
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Sunday News Journal, Wilmington, Del., July 6, 1986 D3 Welsh making most of second chance in majors By DAVID HUGHES Staff reporter PHILADELPHIA - Eight months ago, Chris Welsh was a, minor-league reject, having just been handed his walking papers by Oklahoma City, the Texas Rangers' Triple-A affiliate. At age 30, his career as a journey-' man left-hander, a guy who per-, formed a five-year tap dance1 between the majors and the bushes, , appeared to have reached its end. But the big-league career of Chris Welsh, which seemed so hopeless at the end of last season, has resurrected itself in stunning fashion. Saturday night the Wilmington-born southpaw pitched his first major-league complete game in four years with a five-hitter as his newest club, the Cincinnati Reds, stumped the Phillies 7-2 at Veter ans Stadium. Welsh made it an even more memorable evening by crushing his first major-league home run with two out in the eighth inning off Don Carman. Getting 17 outs via ground balls by using a dazzling sinker ball, Welsh raised his record to 3-2. The left-hander, now 31, had only 16 major-league wins coming into this season after unsuccessful stops with San Diego, Montreal and 'Texas. "After the Rangers released me last fall, I was pretty disappointed and all that," said Welsh, who grew up in Cincinnati after moving from Wilmington as a youngster. "I didn't know where things were headed at that point. I mean, Texas didn't have that great a pitching staff. I felt I could have helped them, but they dropped me." He notified every ballclub in the major leagues, even offered to come to spring training as a non-roster guy with no guarantees whatsoever. The answer from everyone was a firm no. "I couldn't believe someone wouldn't just take a look at me, but every team turned me down," Welsh said. Every team, that is, except Cincinnati. "Pete Rose was filming some" commercial in Cincinnati, and I stopped by to see him," said Welsh. "Give him all the credit in the world. He's the guy who gave me a chance." Granted that opportunity he coveted, Welsh had a fine spring training but was farmed out to Denver when the season opened. "He was our 10th pitcher but we only were going to carry nine," said Rose. "We asked him to go to Denver, and he accepted it." "I agreed to go to Denver, where I figured I could get some work," said Welsh. "Pete said if an opening came, they'd call me up." After posting a 5-2 record for tht Reds' Triple A farm club, Welsh finally got the call to Cincinnati on May 30. His once-dead career was about to begin a brand new chapter. Welsh's third start for the Reds on June 10, when he hurled shutout ball for seven innings in Dodger Stadium, gave him renewed confidence. "There's something about Dodger Stadium, the mystique of the Dodger club and that stadium, that is incredible," Welsh said. "Once I E itched well there, I knew I was ack. Tonight's game didn't mean as much to me as that one as far as my career is concerned, but of course, every win you have and each good game you pitch gives you that much more confidence." After Saturday's effort, Welsh's confidence has got to be sky-high. And the home run will certainly help his confidence at the plate. His aunt, Dorothy Welsh, who lives in Wilmington, witnessed Welsh's heroics Saturday at Veterans Stadium. "Chris knows how to pitch," said r n t t j u . n r . uuac. lie uircau t uui uicic cum-. try to blow the ball by people. He , uses his pitches effectively. He just ,', tries to get people out." Welsh has been trying to do that " for a long time, but not too many . people had faith in him. "I've had managers tell me I .', couldn't pitch in the big leagues,. I've had pitching coaches tell me at mid-season I was barely good." enough for a second-division ball- ; i . . i ' i nriu : j i . 'i. l l i iiuu, neisn saiu. mai lype ui , stuff doesn't help your confidence. Put Ppto oava ma fho onnfifanro T . needed." And now, Chris Welsh is giving Pete Rose and the Reds the pitching they need. Phillies, Hudson lose again Continued from Dl "Maybe he needs to be threatened to be shot at noon before he goes out there." Hudson has seen the blindfold and cigarette. He hears Osteen's assertion that he isn't "tough enough on the mound" and says it isn't so. "Nobody wants to win as much as I do," Hudson said quietly. "Anytime you get your butt kicked five times in a row, nobody likes it. I just have to keep giving it my best." But Hudson's worst resulted in home runs by Eddie Milner and Eric Davis in the third and the Reds led 5-0 when he left. y "I throw a pitch down, they hit it out," said Hudson. "I throw a pitch up, they hit it out. I may try throwing one down the middle and they'll probably hit it out of the stadium. Baseball's a funny game." But nobody in a Phillies' uniform was laughing Saturday night. For the second straight night, the Phils found hits to be at a premium. They went 6Vs innings before getting one off Tom Browning Friday night finishing with two and it took them five innings to get a hit off Welsh Saturday. Welsh led 5-0 before the Phils dented the hit column. Steve Jeltz got it on a ground shot over second with one out in the fifth. The Phils had already had three baserunners on a walk and two errors by shortstop Dave Concepcion. , If Jeltz's hit closed the door on Welsh's no-hit bid, the left-hander kept the Phils on the canvas all night. Glenn Wilson and Jeltz singled in the seventh but the Phils didn't hit the scoreboard until the eighth. After Gary Redus led off with a double, Juan Samuel tripled and scored on Ron Roenicke's groundout. Welsh has allowed three or less runs in seven of his eight starts since being called up (down?) from Denver on May 30. Hudson lasted just 4' innings before Felske lifted him to a chorus of boos from the 23,620 assembled. "What we want to see from Charlie is to go out and keep the ball down consistently throughout the game," Felske said. "It's part mechanics, part lack of concen tration.". Hudson had an 0.96 ERA vs. the Reds in two previous games this season, totalling 9 'A innings. After Saturday's mauling, Hudson's ERA vs. the Reds is 3.95 and 4.83 vs. everybody (6.41 in his last six starts). The Reds scored a tainted run in the second on singles by Bo Diaz and Ron Oester. Oester's hit was a high chopper over short that concluded with a weak throw home by left fielder Gary Redus on the lead-footed Diaz. There was no doubt about the Reds' runs in the third. Milner led off with a tracer shot that landed in the right field seats and, after Dave Parker walked, Davis homered to straightaway center. It was Davis' 11th homer, a career high, and his second in as many nights here. "This is a good park to hit in," Davis said. "He Hudson got a fastball out a little farther than he probably wanted to." Milner opened the fifth with a single and, after Parker got him home with a gap double to left-center, Felske decided he'd seen enough of Hudson. Tom Gorman, purchased from Portland Friday night to replace Mike Maddux, made his Phillies' debut in the sixth and pitched two innings. After a 1-2-3 inning in the sixth, Gorman allowed a run in the seventh on Milner's double and a single by Pete Rose, who'll be feted before today's game. Gorman left the bases loaded when he caught Concepcion looking at a third strike. It wasn't a good night for Concepcion, who had hat tricks in errors and strikeouts. But it was even worse for Hudson and the Phils. Cincinnati's final run came off Don Carman in the eighth. It was Welsh's first career homer, the final ignominy. "I've been waiting four years for that," Welsh said. "That's as good as I can hit a ball." EXTRA INNINGS - Von Hayes' seven-game hitting streak ended . . . Fred Toliver (0-2, 2.78) makes his first start this afternoon at 1:35 p.m. since breaking his ulna bone on May 29. He'll face lefty Joe Price, who has replaced Mario Soto (DL with a sore shoulder) in the Reds' rotation. Hayes a player on a mission By RUSTY PRAY Special to the News-Journal papers PHILADELPHIA - Quietly, Von Hayes has gone about the business of making a name for himself. He went into Saturday night's game against the Cincinnati Reds at Veterans Stadium hitting .304, leading the National League in doubles with 25 and firmly entrenched among the league leaders in batting average, runs (48), hits (85), walks (42) and on-base percentage (.400). The multitude of backslappers who always manage to materialize whenever a player nudges his way into a top 10 list or two, already has begun to hop aboard the Von Hayes bandwagon, jumping to the battle cry of "We knew it all along." Of course, no one, including Hayes, knew for certain he would develop into the kind of multidimensional player the Phillies hoped he would become when they traded five players to Cleveland for him in the winter of 1982. And there is no ironclad guarantee that this will be , the year Hayes puts it all together. In 1983, his first season with the Phillies, Hayes was anything but an instant success. He started the year on the disabled list, didn't start playing regularly until early June, drove in 16 runs in his first 240 at-bats and was benched in mid-August when the started their pennant-winning drive. He hit .292, drove in 67 runs and stole 48 bases in 1984. But the Phillies weren't up to winning any division championships that year. Last year, he hit .356 through his first 32 games, then faded into the sunset, ending the season at .263. "I have a game plan," the 27-year-old said. "I just go out there and be Von Hayes, not anybody else. In the beginning of the year, when I was struggling Hayes hit .183 in April, I didn't know who I was or Ijow I wanted to play. "This year I want to establish my own identity and style of play, stick with it and hope it helps the team. I don't have any problems there. If I'm playing well, I'm going, to help the team." Hayes' season began with a deep, personal loss. In mid-March, his father, Don, died of cancer. "At the start," said Hayes, "it was difficult. When my dad died, I went through a time at the beginning of the year when it was very difficult for me to associate with anybody else. I was brooding and couldn't get back on track. "It's almost comforting to know that now, my dad gets to see me play every game, not just the ones he used to get on cable. "We used to have conversations, especially when things were rough or if they were going really good. There are times when I can still feel his presence." It took a long time for the wound to heal. Hayes has found a way to adjust, to get on with his life. "He would have been more upset if I didn't adjust," Hayes said. "So I just said to myself, 'Listen, it's time to kick yourself in the tail' ... I was feeling guilty because I knew that everybody back home was thinking the reason I was struggling was because of that. "All I needed to do was just get it going. So I changed a few things in my stance and it worked. I've kind of just stuck to my guns and gone as hard as I could." Rusty Pray is a sports reporter for Gannett's Camden, N.J., Courier-Post. III tfi C dk Ar" ' UJiltosliEili cy-zLdZs?? AP With new manager Roger Craig looking on, Steve Carlton prepares for first start with Giants. Giant step for Carlton Lefty to start today against St. Louis Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO - The first test on whether the San Francisco Giants pulled off a coup or made a mistake when they signed 300-game winner Steve Carlton to help their chances of winning the National League West will come today. Carlton, signed Friday after being released by the Phillies following several poor performances that inflated his earned run average to a staggering 6.18, will pitch today against the St. Louis Cardinals. While his value to the Giants won't be determined in one start, the four-time Cy Young Award winner would like to prove he can still pitch effectively in the major leagues. "I've been throwing every day," Carlton said Friday when he spoke to the media for the first time in eight years. "My arm is sound." The 41-year Carlton, whose career record is 318-223, was not ready to call it quits when the Phillies released him June 26. "I would've walked away from the game if I were having mechanical problems or had a sore arm," he said. The Giants, in first place in the tight NL West, believe a solid contribution by the 6-foot-5 lefthander could help assure them of the title. But part of the reason they signed him was the influence he could have on a young team. "He's been in pennant fights, he's been on world championship teams, and he knows what it is all about," club President Al Rosen said. "Maybe a Steve Carlton on our ballclub, which has so many young players on it, might be a stabilizing influence because he has done everything there is to do in baseball." Carlton, now in his 22nd major league season, has been a 20-game winner six times. His 3,982 strikeouts are second only to Nolan Ryan's all-time record 4,160. The man known as "Lefty" has authored 55 shutouts and six 20-game seasons. The only left-handers with more career victories are Hall of Famers Warren Spahn and Eddie Plank, and only Spahn has surpassed Carlton's 4,691 'A innings. The primary concern with Carlton is the last 15J3 innings, during which he has given up 31 hits and 23 earned runs for a bloated 13.53 ERA. Regardless, St. Louis Manager Whitey Herzog thinks the Giants did the right thing in signing Carlton, whose record is 4-8. "It's worth a look," Herzog said. "They're in the race." Ironically, the last time Carlton pitched was June 21 against the Cardinals. He gave up six runs, six hits and six walks in as many innings, prompting the Phillies to release him after 14 years. That Carlton will be under the microscope is of little concern to him. He dismisses suggestions that the pressure will affect his pitching. "I try to take the emotion out of the game," he said. "It only adds to losing, not to winning. I am a science-type pitcher." Foes: Jackson overmatched Associated Press BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The fitchers who introduced Heisman rophy winner Bo Jackson to professional baseball say he has plenty of talent, but he's not ready to be a star in the Class AA Southern League. The former Auburn running back managed one hit and struck out seven times in 15 at-bats for the Memphis Chicks in a four-day stand against the Columbus Astros that began his career with the Kansas City Royals' organization. His batting average was .067. "Right now he sure is overmatched in this league," said Columbus right-hander Mitch Cook, who was the first pitcher Jackson faced in his debut at Memphis Monday. "Rookie ball wouldn't be too bad for him. He needs to get his feet wet. The ability is there, but he's not ready for Double-A ball. He'll get lost in the shuffle and put up some bad stats," Cook said during a holiday weekend stand against the Birmingham Barons. Cook surrendered the only hit to Jackson a single to center on his first professional at bat in the series. But after that, Jackson went quietly, reaching base three times on two walks and an error. "Watching him in batting practice, he's got tremendous power and bat speed. But obviously, he hadn't played in a while and his timing was off," Columbus manager Gary Tuck said. Tuck said the Astros didn't devise any special strategy against Jackson. "We didn't have to," Tuck said. "We threw normal to him. 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