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Too Much Rest Is Not Good for James

May 27, 1997|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

Angel reliever Mike James had an uncharacteristically rough outing Monday, replacing starter Chuck Finley in the eighth inning with two on in a 2-0 game and giving up a walk, a two-run single, two more walks and throwing a run-scoring wild pitch before being pulled for Shigetoshi Hasegawa.

James had given up only one earned run and six hits in his previous seven outings, lowering his earned run average from 3.68 to 2.63, and recorded saves in three consecutive appearances from May 13-18, but the set-up man's ERA jumped to 3.38 Monday.

The right-hander had allowed only two of 10 inherited runners to score this season, but Monday both of his inherited runners scored.

Manager Terry Collins has a good idea why: Because the Angels had won so many lopsided games in the past week, James had pitched only once in the previous seven days before Monday.

"He needs regular work to stay sharp but hasn't been getting it because of the way we've been playing," Collins said. "But some relievers, if you use them in a game that's a blowout, they're not as sharp because the edge isn't there, and Mike is one of those guys. I'm not really concerned about him."


Detroit center fielder Brian Hunter, acquired from the Houston Astros in a winter trade, often clashed with Collins while the Angel manager was in Houston from 1994-96, but Hunter said the two have resolved their differences.

"Me and Terry have pretty much put everything behind us," Hunter said. "After I got traded, he called me and we talked for about 20 minutes and cleared things up. I tell you what, Terry is a good manager. The pressure they put on him in Houston wasn't good. I'm glad for him [that he got out]."



Tiger Stadium, Detroit, 4 p.m.

Radio--KTZN (710)

* Update--Matt Perisho, the 21-year-old left-hander recalled from double-A Midland Friday, is glad he was able to spend four days with the Angels before his first big-league appearance. "I've seen what goes on, and I've gotten accustomed to being here," said Perisho, who replaced the injured Mark Langston in the rotation. "It's not such a culture shock any more. The first day I was here [Friday], I didn't know which way was up. At least now I know where I'm at. Justin Thompson, a 24-year-old left-hander, has played a major role in the Tigers' pitching resurgence, showing marked improvement over his 1-6 season in 1996. He has gone eight innings in each of his last four starts, including a complete-game five-hitter in a 4-2 loss to Baltimore Wednesday, Thompson's first loss since April 24.

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