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No Mania in a Two-Hitter for Schilling

Dodgers: Phillie starter easily wins duel with Nomo, 6-0. Anemic L.A. falls 2 1/2 behind Padres in the NL West.

August 22, 1996|CHRIS BAKER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Hideo Nomo's unorthodox delivery baffled hitters last season, but not this one.

Nomo lost for the third time in his last six decisions, 6-0, Wednesday night to the Philadelphia Phillies before 39,502 at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers, who have lost three consecutive home games for the first time this season, fell 2 1/2 games behind the San Diego Padres in the NL West.

The Dodgers, who scored one run in Tuesday night's loss to the Phillies, managed only two hits against Phillie starter Curt Schilling, who had 12 strikeouts. They couldn't even get a runner to second against Schilling, who has 34 strikeouts in his last three games.

"This time of year everything is magnified," Dodger Manager Bill Russell said after watching his club equal its season low for hits in a game. "We've had two good pitching performances against us. Yes, you can read a lot into it, but you've also got to understand that the other pitchers are pitching well too."

Schilling (6-6) faced four batters in the first inning and only three in every other inning as he registered his third complete game of the season and his second in the last three games.

After Wayne Kirby's one-out first-inning single, Schilling retired Mike Piazza and Eric Karros to end the inning.

Raul Mondesi led off the sixth with an infield single, but Delino DeShields hit into a double play.

Nomo (12-10) gave up five runs (three earned) and seven hits, with six strikeouts and one walk in 6 2/3 innings.

"I think the hitters have made the adjustment after seeing him last year," Russell said. "They're being a little more patient with him, but he's still second in the league in strikeouts.

"I think overall it's just that the hitters have seen him and know what to expect now. I think they have more confidence in themselves than they did facing him for the first time last year.

"Sometimes it's control, if he's not getting his split-finger over they'll sit on his fastball. When you're a two-pitch pitcher and your fastball is mainly split, if you're a hitter and you don't get one of them you'll wait on the other."

Nomo gave up a two-run homer to rookie third baseman Scott Rolen with one out in the second inning. Rolen, who was called up from the minors on Aug. 1, belted a 1-2 pitch into the left-field bleachers for his first major league homer. Rolen also homered off Darren Dreifort in the eighth.

"I think he pitched well tonight," Russell said of Nomo. "He made one bad pitch."

Nomo still needs one victory to match his 1995 win total, when he had a 13-6 record.

"I'm not really concerned about the number of losses," Nomo said. "Just because I have 10 losses it's not like my major league career is over."

The Phillies scored three runs in the seventh on a walk, a single, a double, a sacrifice and an error by Greg Gagne to chase Nomo.

Phillie Manager Jim Fregosi said he hasn't noticed anything different in Nomo this season.

"He's been a fine pitcher for the Dodgers this year, he's pitched a lot of innings," Fregosi said.

Dodger pitching coach Dave Wallace said Nomo, who has 189 strikeouts in 26 starts, has thrown well this season.

"He may be using the curveball now and then a little more than he used to, but basically he's still pretty much the same guy," Wallace said. "The second year I think everybody has seen him enough and the timing's a little bit better and there's the everybody-wants-to-defeat-Nomomania syndrome.

"Any time a hitter sees a pitcher for the first time, the pitcher has the advantage until the hitter reads him a little bit better. The second year around the league, guys are becoming familiar with him."

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