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BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : ANGELS

Abbott Regains His Confidence

September 10, 1996|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

There have been many theories as to why Jim Abbott's season--up until Sunday's victory over Minnesota--has been such a disaster: He lost velocity on his fastball, he wasn't changing speeds well, he was aiming pitches instead of cutting them loose.

But interim Manager Joe Maddon believes Abbott's struggles boiled down to one major problem--a lack of confidence.

"He stopped believing in himself for a while, and to try to reconstruct yourself at the major league level is very difficult," Maddon said. "He needed to back off from that, and that's what he did in the minor leagues."

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Darrell May's Angel debut Monday night was anything but memorable--the reliever gave up an RBI single to Jim Thome in the decisive eighth inning. But May's appearance did put the Angels in baseball's record books.

May was the 28th pitcher the Angels have used this season, breaking the major league record of 27, accomplished by the 1915 Philadelphia Athletics, 1955 Kansas City Athletics, 1967 New York Mets and 1995 Florida Marlins.

Second baseman Robert Eenhoorn and May were also the 50th and 51st players the Angels have used this season, further extending a team record the Angels set last week.

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Catcher Chris Turner's first start of the season was cut short in the third inning when he sprained his right ankle legging out an infield single. . . . Reliever Jeff Schmidt, who has persistent pain in his right biceps, returned to Anaheim Monday to be examined by a physician. . . . Indian right-hander Albie Lopez is expected to start Thursday's series finale against the Angels.

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