Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 4, 2001 · Page 25
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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Page 25

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Tuesday, September 4, 2001
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c c - v t ' ; t t t t 'r v. v t r- t r 9 f t t ' f v . . t v t it ; t t . i . t . I v PITTSBURGH rOST-GAZFTTE Z! TUESDAY. SEPTEMBER 4, 2001 C-3 BASEBALL IN THE SPOTLIGHT Cubs at Marlins: 7:05 p.m today, Pro Player Stadium. Cubs RHP Jon Lieber (17-5) goes for his 18th victory. ... Marlins RHP Josh Beckett, the club's top pitching prospect, makes his major-league debut. The second overall pick in the 1999 amateur draft, Beckett was 14-1 with a 1.54 ERA this season for Class AA Portland and Class A Brevard County. NEWS & NOTES Ralph Treuel took over as the Red Sox's pitching coach yesterday, a move of curious timing. Former pitching coach John Cumberland was reassigned after Boston's 1-0 loss to the Yankees. The promotion of Boston's minor-league pitching coordinator followed the third consecutive strong performance by a Red Sox starter. "It was my decision to make," Boston Manager Joe Kerrigan said. "This being an off-day today, I thought it was the right time to bring Ralph in." The Yankees' victory yesterday might cost C Jorge Posada for a few games. Posada was ejected in the ninth for arguing balls and strikes with plate umpire Andy Fletcher. Posada ap-ppsred to bump Fletcher, then went to the dugout and threw his helmet and a bat onto the field. "He's a very bad umpire," Posada said. "He shouldn't even be here, but what can we do." Orioles LHP Alan Mills rejoined the team after taking two days off to contemplate retirement. Mills' hiatus was prompted by the grand slam he gave up to Oakland's Eric Chavez Thursday. He has a 10.38 ERA in 13 appearances since coming off the disabled list on July 12. Struggling Indians LHP John Rocker has not pitched since Aug. 28 and is 3-6 with a 5.04 ERA and 20 walks in 25 innings for the Indians. His last save came June 26. NUMBERS White Sox DH Jose Canseco stole his 200th career base to become the ninth player in major-league history to have at least that many steals and 400 home runs. Canseco has 459 career homers, ranking him third among active players and 22nd all-time. Hank Aaron, Andre Dawson, Reggie Jackson, BASEBALL Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Dave Winfield, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa are also in the 400-homer, 200-steal club. The Yankees lead the majors with 45 come-from-behind wins. Since the All-Star break, the A's lead the majors in runs scored, walks, on-base percentage and victories. Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins leads the NL in triples (11) and stolen bases (42). The last player in the NL to lead both categories was Lou Brock in 1960. HE SAID IT Charlie Manuel, Indians manager, on his altered diet after having surgery on his colon: "Right now, I have to eat a soft diet, like mashed potatoes without gravy yogurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal and juice, but no meat. No sunflower seeds, either. Ellis Burks' kid, Chris, asked me to watch his sunflower seeds, and I ate them. And I don't even like sunflower seeds." THE FINAL PITCH An ocean away from major-league ballparks, an intriguing home run chase is developing that has nothing to do with Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa. Tuffy Rhodes, a marginal outfielder who spent six seasons in the majors, now plays for the Kintetsu Buffaloes and has 49 home runs, six shy of the Japanese record of 55 set by the great Sadaharu Oh in 1964. Rhodes has 20 games to catch Oh. Rhodes broke into the majors with Houston in 1990. He joined the Chicago Cubs in 1993. The next year, he hit three of his eight home runs on opening day, tantalizing Cubs' fans with what may come. But it was not to be. The most homers he ever hit in the majors was that season eight in 95 games. His six-year total was 13. NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP Bonds homers in Giants' loss By The Associated Press Barry Bonds hit his 58th homer on a rare mistake by rookie Jason Jennings, who pitched seven innings of three-hit ball for his third consecutive victory as the Colorado Rockies beat the Giants 4-1, yesterday. Bonds hit a 1-0 pitch over the right-center field wall to open the fourth inning, but the drive was San Francisco's only success against Jennings. Juan Uribe homered and drove in three runs to back Jennings (3-0). CUBS 10, MARLINS 2: Michael Tucker drove in three runs, and Rondell White had two RBIs in his second game since coming off the disabled list as Chicago beat Florida. Tucker went 3 for 4 with a walk and a sacrifice. He also hit his 11th home run of the season, a solo shot in the third inning to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead. He added a two-run single in a four-run seventh that put the game out of reach at 9-2. REDS 3, ASTROS 2: Calvin Pickering's pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth ended Octavio Dotel's nearly two-month streak of scoreless innings and rallied Cincinnati past Houston. Dotel (6-5) pitched out of a bases-loaded threat in the seventh, but the Reds ended his streak at 31 innings without allowing an earned run an inning later. BRAVES 5, EXPOS 0: Tom Glavine pitched his 21st career shutout and 50th complete game to lead Atlanta past Montreal. Glavine (13-7) allowed seven hits in his first complete game since Sept. 25. He struck out five and walked two. Glavine has allowed one earned run or none in seven of his past 12 starts. Javy Lopez hit a three-run homer for the Braves, who moved two games ahead of Philadelphia in the NL East. AMERICAN LEAGUE ROUNDUP Indians rookie wins his 15th By The Associated Press Rookie C.C. Sabathia won his fifth consecutive decision, and Ellis Burks hit a three-run homer as the Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago White Sox, 6-3, last night. Sabathia (15-4) became the first Indians rookie to win at least 1 5 games since Herb Score won 16 in 1955. Sabathia, who hasn't lost since Aug. 2 against Oakland, allowed three runs and three hits in eight innings. He struck out eight. Bob Wickman pitched the ninth for his 28th save in 31 chances. Burks went 3 for 4 with his 24th homer in the sixth off Gary Glover (4-2). YANKEES 7, BLUE JAYS 5: Alfonso Soriano hit a tiebreaking, two-run single in the ninth as New York rallied to defeat Toronto for its fifth win in a row. New York, which opened a season-high 9'?-game lead in the AL East over second-place Boston, rallied from a 5-2 deficit on Derek Jeter's RBI single in the seventh and Enrique Wilson's two-run double in the eighth off Paul Quantrill. Billy Koch (2-5) loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth when he walked Jeter and David Justice, then hit Shane Spencer with a pitch. Soriano followed with a single up the middle. Mark Wohlers (1-0) allowed one hit in two innings, but Mike Stanton struggled again when he relieved to start the ninth, walking Raul Mondesi with one out and allowing a single to Vernon Wells. Ramiro Mendoza came in and gave up a drive to pinch-hitter Brad Fullmer that Spencer caught with a leap against the right-field wall. Mendoza then struck out Darrin Fletcher for his sixth save in six chances. r ...11 - j w ft." ' r y v 1 Lenny IgnelA'Associaied Press Bud Smith pitches a no-hitter in just his 1 1th career start in the majors. Rookie throws no -hitter Cardinals' Smith second pitcher to no-hit Padres this season By Bernie Wilson The Associated Press SAN DIEGO Bud Smith became the 16th rookie in modern history to throw a no-hitter and the second unlikely pitcher to do it to San Diego this season in St. Louis' 4-0 win last night. Smith, making his 1 1th career start, showed the poise of a veteran in becoming the first rookie to throw a no-hitter since the Cardinals' Jose Jimenez did it in a 1-0 win against Arizona on June 25, 1999. He ended it by fielding Phil Nevin's hard comebacker, pumping his fist and running halfway to first base before flipping to Albert Pujols for the final out. "I was shaking out there knowing that I was going for a no-hitter," Smith said. "I was going on adrenaline." This was the first time Smith, a native Southern Cali-fornian, pitched beyond the seventh inning. He walked four including all-time walks leader Rickey Henderson twice and struck out seven. Smith, a 21-year-old left-hander, joined A.J. Burnett in no-hitting San Diego this season, making the Padres the first team since the 1996 Colorado Rockies to be no-hit twice in one season. Burnett walked a record nine batters in his no-hitter May 12. Smith, who was joking in the dugout with slugger Mark McGwire in the top of the ninth, started the bottom half by getting Henderson to ground out. "We weren't even talking about pitching," Smith said of his short conversation with McGwire. When told it seemed to get his mind off the no-hitter, Smith said: "It worked." After Smith walked D'Angelo Jimenez, shortstop Edgar Renteria made a nice backhand pickup on Ryan Klesko's grounder for the second out. Smith completed the job on a 2-1 pitch to Nevin. Smith, who threw two seven-inning no-hitters in the minors last season, did it in the majors one night after the New York Yankees' Mike Mussina fell one strike shy of pitching a perf ect game against Boston. It was St. Louis' ninth no-hitter. The Padres still don't have a no-hitter since they started play in 1969. Not even eight-time NL batting champion Tony Gwynn could hit Smith. Gwynn, reduced to pinch hitting in his 20th and final season because of bad knees, grounded out to shortstop for the second out in the eighth. Smith was asked when he got nervous. "When they sent up Mr. Gwynn. He's the only guy I didn't go over the scouting report for because I didn't think I would face him," he said. "I just threw it down the middle to see what he would do with it." The Padres twice came close to getting a hit. Jimenez hit a line drive to Renteria to end the third, and Bubba Trammel! hit a fly ball to the warning track in left-center for the second out in the seventh. "This is special. I feel great right now," Smith said. Smith was hammered last week in a start against the Padres, allowing seven runs five earned and five hits in 3' innings. But he was unhittable in the rematch. Smith threw the third no-hitter this season, joining Boston's Hideo Nomo, who did it on April 4 against Baltimore, and Burnett. Bobby Jones (8-17) became the first 17-game loser in the majors this season, allowing four runs three earned and seven hits in 6 i innings. He is three losses short of becoming the majors' first 20-game loser since Brian Kingman of Oakland in 1980. Pujols hit a two-run homer in the first inning. Placido Polaiico went 3 for 4 with an RBI double and scored once for San Diego. Phillies thrown for a loss Sloppy mistakes in 9th allow Mets to come hack for a 10-7 victory By The Associated Press PHILADELPHIA Now the Phillies can't even make a routine throw back to the mound after a pitch and it cost them a game. First Philadelphia couldn't hold a two-run lead in the ninth inning. Then came two bizarre errors that sent the New York Mets on to 10-7 victory yesterday. "I thought I saw everything in baseball, but that play put the icing on the cake," Phillies Manager Larry Bowa said. "It was by far our worst game of the year. Errors, pickoffs and bad communication. We played very young today. You can't expect to win when you play that badly." After Jose Mesa blew a save for the first time since May 28 also against the Mets pitcher Jose Santiago let catcher Todd Pratt's throw back to the mound bounce off his glove. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins picked up the ball and threw to third in an attempt to stop Todd Zeile from advancing, but it went wide of Scott Rolen as Zeile scored for an 8-7 lead. "I don't know what happened. I just took off when the ball got away," Zeile said. "Maybe he lost it in the shadows. When it got away, it was off to the races. It was going to be a close play at third. I think I blocked Rolen's! view of the throw and was able to score." Santiago appeared to look frustrated that he didn't get a called third strike on the pitch to Robin Ventura, putting his head down. "That's not why the play happened," Santiago said in his only postgame remarks. Pratt also couldn't believe what happened. "I was shocked," he said. First baseman Kevin Jordan, filling in for Travis Lee, earlier made two costly errors. Philadelphia, which began last weekend as the top defensive team in the NL, has seven errors in its past two games. "We didn't play winning baseball," Jordan said. "There are no excuses. I have to make those plays. That's the bottom line. I don't get embarrassed when there's effort. It's more discouraging than anything." The Phillies, who had been 62-0 when leading after eight innings, have lost 13 of their past 18 games and dropped two games back of Atlanta in the NL East. New York has won eight of 11. "Maybe it's best that everything bad happened in one game," Rolen said. "We had a letdown today. Not often do we fall off to that degree. We just have to come back tomorrow and get it back." Mesa (1-3), who had converted 21 consecutive save chances, blew a save for just the third time in 38 opportunities and lost for the second time in two days. "It didn't look good, down two runs against Mesa," Mets Manager Bobby Valentine said. "This club stayed alert and battled back." Edgardo Alfonzo singled to start the ninth, Mike Piazza doubled, Tsuyoshi Shinjo hit an RBI groundout, and Zeile tied it with a run-scoring single. Jay Payton followed with a single and the Phillies replaced Mesa with Santiago, making a double switch by bringing in Pratt to catch. After the errors, Desi Relaford added a sacrifice fly and pinch-hitter Lenny Harris had an RBI single. C.J. Nitkowski (1-0), acquired Sunday from Detroit, pitched a scoreless eighth and Armando Benitez finished for his 35th save in 37 chances. Philadelphia's Randy Wolf, making his first start since Aug. 1, allowed four runs three earned and eight hits in 5-.. innings. He had been on the disabled list because of a sprained left ankle. Mets starter Bruce Chen, traded by the Phillies on July 27, gave up six runs and eight hits in 6'A innings. Piazza, who grew up in nearby Norristown, hit his team-leading 31st homer for the Mets and went 3 for 4. "I think he likes mama's home cooking; he likes hitting here," Valentine said. New York shortstop Rey Ordonez made a run-scoring error and was ejected in the eighth by plate umpire Tony Randazzo for arguing a called third strike. Piazza homered in the first but the Phillies took a 3-1 lead in the third on Johnny Estrada's RBI double, Ordonez's error on Rollins' routine grounder and Rolen's run-scoring double. New York tied the score in the fourth after left fielder Pat Burrell lost Zeile's fly ball in the sun. He missed the ball when he put his glove up in self defense as it fell for an RBI single. Joe McEwing hit a sacrifice fly and Ordonez had a run-scoring infield single. Estrada homered in the fourth, but Zeile retied it with an RBI single in the fifth, and Jordan's throwing error in the seventh allowed New York to go ahead 5-4. Philadelphia rallied for three runs in the seventh when Rollins tripled in a run his league-leading 11th triple Rolen hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly and Burrell hit a run-scoring single off reliever off Jerrod Riggan. COMMENTARY Ducpjette does major damage to Red Sox By Michael Holley The Boston Giobe BOSTON If it had been a normal night, Red Sox players would have sat in their clubhouse and celebrated David Cone. Cone tried to beat the Yankees by himself Sunday night, at one point begging Manager Joe Kerrigan to leave him in the game. But the Dan Duquette Red Sox are not a normal organization, so even the good things leave you with a knot in your stomach. On the same night that Cone went pitch for pitch against Mike Mussina (who was one strike away from a perfect game) before losing on an unearned run in the ninth inning, the Red Sox demoted pitching coach John Cumberland after the game. They replaced him with Ralph Treuel yesterday. News traveled quickly after the 1-0 loss Sunday. On one side of the room. Cone spoke of being competitive and wanting to be part of such a great game. On another side, Nomar Garcia-parra was saying to his teammates, "That's why no one wants to I expletive play here." It was bizarre. And truly a Red Sox moment under the draconian Duke. Disgusted players and coaches whispered to each other or openly cursed as they ate from the postgame spread. It was the event that crowned the worst weekend of the season. First, the Red Sox have their season destroyed by the Yankees, who now lead the American League East by nine games. Then, they have their spirit sucked out of them by their general manager. It's a good thing Duquette is not a comic; the guy's timing is horrible. How many teams in baseball operate this way? You fire your pitching coach after a succession of 12-10 games in which the starters are blasted. You don't fire your pitching coach immediately after he watches Cone throw 8 '. innings, give up six hits, and throw 1 16 pitches. You don't fire your pitching coach after he presides over a staff that has a run of eight quality starts in its past nine outings. Duquette was not in the clubhouse after the game, so he has no firsthand knowledge that his team is falling apart. I say "firsthand knowledge" because there is a feeling in the clubhouse that Duquette has a spy or spies who report their every move to management. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. "I loved working with the players," Cumberland said Sunday night. "I didn't en joy working for that guy upstairs." He motioned upward with his thumb, indicating Duquette. According to Cumberland. Duquette told him that he drank too much. After the game, Kerrigan was put in the strange position of answering one round of questions about Cone and one round of questions about Cumberland. Duquette is a native New Eng-lander who grew up wanting to be the GM of the Red Sox. You would think he wants this organization to win. He just doesn't act like it. It was bad enough that he built a team with too many players in their contract years which inevitably brings too much self-interest to a team game but he compounded the problem by taunting the fragile team he built. He has eliminated scouts and farm directors. He has fired three managers. He has fired pitching coaches rather than acquire better Kitchers. And now, unwittingly, he as kicked his team in the shins. Maybe you're thinking, "Come on. Who cares about a stinking pitching coach?" Well, if you're thinking that, you should apply for a spot on Duquette's staff. He apparently thinks that way. too. Problem is, players don't, they are well paid to ignore such things, but I saw those faces Sunday night. I heard the comments. They aren't ignoring anything. it was fitting that Cone stood before reporters by himself, answer- i ing questions about the game. He went up to Kerrigan after the eighth and said, "I've still got plenty left." He said he wanted to stay in because the stakes were high," and he wanted to be the one to either win it or lose it. He sounded like a determined citizen who was trying to slay an army by himself. "We have nothing to be ashamed of," he said. "This was not the Boston Massacre." Well, on the field it wasn't. But a postgame firing started it. Unfortunately for other Red Sox employees, the Boston Massacre has just begun.

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