Stopper: Bob Welch, with a pulled groin muscle, became the ninth player put on the disabled list by the Oakland Athletics this year, but the A's roll on. They have lost two in a row four times but not three in a row since Aug. 18-19-20. Dave Stewart is a key factor. He is 6-0 in starts that follow losses.
Big Daddy: The San Franciso Giants' Rick Reuschel is 11-2 and 8-0 since April 28. The last time he won 20 was 1977 with the Chicago Cubs. If he does it again it will be the longest span between 20-win seasons in baseball history.
Finishers: The impact of relief pitching is such that most starters now believe they have done their job if they get their team into the sixth or seventh innings with a chance to win. Consider that Reuschel, Danny Jackson, Dwight Gooden, Eric Show, Zane Smith and Floyd Youmans had combined for 80 starts through Thursday and did not have one complete game.
Sky High: Concession prices at the Toronto SkyDome include $6.50 for a jumbo dog and $3.50 for a draft beer. Said outfielder Pat Sheridan, recently traded from Detroit to San Francisco: "Well, you can ask your kids, 'Do you want to go to Europe or the SkyDome?' "
Heat: It is generally conceded that Cincinnati relief pitcher Ron Dibble throws consistently harder than anyone in either league. Dibble is registering half his outs on strikeouts. He has pitched 43 innings, which equates to 129 outs, and he has 65 strikeouts.
Heat II: Nolan Ryan's 115 strikeouts are his most through 13 starts since 1977, when he was 30 and pitching for the Angels. Now 42, the only evidence of age is his obvious effectiveness with more rest. The Texas Rangers' right-hander is 3-2 with a 4.81 ERA and has struck out 10 or more batters only once when working on four days' rest. He is 5-1 with a 2.18 ERA and has struck out 10 or more batters six times when working with more than four days' rest.
Wally World: Angel first baseman Wally Joyner began the weekend series in Detroit having hit .403 since May 19, but the lack of run production by a No. 3 hitter has debilitated the offense. Joyner had driven in only nine runs during the 72 at-bats of his hot streak and 19 for the season. He had hit only one home run in 305 at-bats dating to Sept. 1.
Dichotomy: The Boston Red Sox are 7-10 in games decided by one run: 7-0 in Fenway Park and 0-10 on the road.
Mismatch: The Montreal Expos' Kevin Gross has a 3-14 record against the St. Cardinals, having permitted 70 earned runs in 115 innings.
Doormats: The San Diego Padres' Bruce Hurst was 3-0 with a 1.75 ERA against the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies through Thursday but 2-5 with a 4.41 ERA against more formidable competition.