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Names And Numbers

August 15, 1993

--Wasting Time: The Dodgers are not only producing another embarrassingly long season, they are doing it at a painstakingly slow pace. The average time of their nine-inning games through Wednesday was a National League-high 2 hours 51 minutes. Only one team in baseball was playing more slowly--the Oakland A's, who are annually baseball's slowest under Tony LaRussa, averaging 3 hours.

The crusade to speed up games has produced only modest results. The NL average of 2:44 is down one minute. The American League average of 2:51 is down two minutes.

--One-Two Punch: With their 18 and 17 victories, respectively, for the San Francisco Giants, John Burkett and Bill Swift could become the first teammates to win 20 games apiece since John Tudor and Joaquin Andujar each won 21 for the 1985 St. Louis Cardinals. The pre-1992 trade in which former general manager Al Rosen sent Kevin Mitchell to Seattle has turned out to be a bell-ringer for the Giants, who obtained Swift, set-up man Mike Jackson and spot starter-long reliever Dave Burba, who has 10 victories.

Mitchell says there is no comparing this San Francisco staff to 1989, when the Giants won the National League pennant but lost the World Series to the Oakland A's in four games. "We wouldn't have been blown out by the A's if we'd had the kind of pitching the Giants have now," he said.

--Depth: Amid the industry-wide pitching shortage, the Philadelphia Phillies have four starters with 10 or more victories for the first time since 1978. They are Tommy Greene (12-3), Terry Mulholland (11-9), Ben Rivera (10-5) and Curt Schilling (10-6), all obtained by General Manager Lee Thomas since 1989.

--Warming Up: Archi Cianfrocco, the former Montreal Expo, drove in 23 runs in a 30-game span through Thursday after driving in only one in his first 24 games as Gary Sheffield's third base replacement with the San Diego Padres.

--Hammered: The Detroit Tigers rocked the Baltimore Orioles by scores of 15-5, 15-1 and 17-11 this week, after which Oriole Manager John Oates shook his head and said: "Sometimes you don't see that many hits in batting practice."

Fernando Valenzuela, who gave up seven hits and seven runs in two-thirds of an inning as the starter in the 17-run assault, has given up 23 hits and 16 runs in 9 1/3 innings of three August starts after being selected American League pitcher of the month for July.

The Orioles also suffered a setback when they were forced to put Jeffrey Hammonds, the impressive young outfielder who was their No. 1 draft choice out of Stanford last year, on the disabled list because of a herniated disk in his neck. Hammonds had batted .323 and driven in 19 runs in 29 games since his recall, but Dr. Robert Watkins, who examined Hammonds in Inglewood the other day, gave the Orioles no timetable or assurance as to when Hammonds would be able to play.

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