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Lorraine Gets Painful First Lesson

July 23, 1994|ELLIOTT TEAFORD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

ANAHEIM — Burn the videotape. It was that kind of night.

In his first major league start, facing his first batter, Angel left hander Andrew Lorraine served up a home run ball to New York Yankee center fielder Bernie Williams.

Strike one. Ball one. Ball two. Then, whammo over the right field wall.

Welcome to the big leagues, kid.

Things didn't get any better for Lorraine or the Angels.

Mike Stanley hit a two-run homer in the third inning and another two-run blast in the fifth. Lorraine didn't make it past the fifth, leaving after giving up seven runs and eight hits with four strikeouts and four walks.

The Yankees went on to batter the Angels, 12-3, at Anaheim Stadium.

This was not a game to remember for Lorraine. You wouldn't blame him for wanting to forget the whole thing.

"I didn't think I was going to go out and throw a shutout," he said.

Of course, it didn't help that the Yankees have been hammering American League West opposition since the All-Star break. Friday's victory was their eighth in nine games. In two games against the Angels, the Yankees scored 23 runs.

And when Williams homered, marking the 15th consecutive game Angel pitching had allowed a home run, the game's tone was set.

Lorraine never had an easy inning, struggling to keep the Yankees quiet with 106 pitches in 4 2/3 innings. Only in the third, when he struck out Don Mattingly with the bases loaded, did he hold the Yankees scoreless in an inning.

The Angels, in desperate need of pitching help, started Lorraine, a rookie who was their fourth-round pick in last year's draft. They hoped he'd aid their beleaguered staff and he still might. They liked his 9-3 record and 3.24 earned-run average at triple-A Vancouver, so they promoted him July 16.

They still liked him after Friday, but Manager Marcel Lachemann said he hoped Lorraine learned a lesson.

"I thought his stuff was all right," Lachemann said. "He just needs to trust it. I think he learned a lesson today. He found out he can pitch here. But it's not important what I think. He has to believe it."

Lorraine, a standout at Stanford and Newhall Hart High, came away disappointed with Friday's results. He is confident he belongs in the major leagues, however.

"From the outset, I'd make a good pitch, then a bad pitch," Lorraine said. "That's not my game. I'm consistent."

The 2-and-1 pitch Stanley slammed 409 feet over the center-field fence in the third was a case in point. "It wasn't a good, aggressive pitch," Lorraine said flatly.

Said Lachemann: "I thought he nibbled an awful lot. (The homers) are a pretty good eye-opener (for Lorraine)."

Jitters, someone later offered, might have played a role in his rocky first start, but Lorraine wasn't willing to hang his first major league loss on a simple case of nerves.

"It's an excuse," he said.

Poor pitches, he said, led to the rout. The time to learn and adjust to the big leagues is now, and Lorraine seems to understand that.

"The last few days watching the games, some of the aura (of the majors) is gone," he said. "I feel comfortable. The longer you're around and just watching, to say nothing of pitching, you realize it's not a different game."

For one painful night, it was.

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