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BASEBALL EXTRA | ANGEL REPORT : NOTES

Hitters Happy: No Clemens

September 05, 1997|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

The Angels have been wiped out by injuries, but they've also caught their share of breaks. One of the biggest: They'll go the entire season without facing Toronto ace Roger Clemens, who has a 25-7 record and 2.37 earned-run average against the Angels.

After this four-game series against Detroit, the Angels play in Toronto on Monday and Tuesday, but with Clemens scheduled to start Sunday against Texas, the Angels will miss the right-hander for the fourth time this season.

The Angels will also miss 1996 Cy Young Award winner Pat Hentgen, who is scheduled to start for the Blue Jays Saturday.

"We miss Hentgen too?" shortstop Gary DiSarcina said. "That's a double bonus. That's the first time we've ever gone a year without facing Clemens."

*

Mark Gubicza's fastball topped out at 81 mph during recent rehabilitation starts and simulated games, and as Manager Terry Collins said Thursday, "That's not good enough."

Gubicza, out since early April because of a shoulder injury, will continue throwing to build arm strength this month, but the Angels aren't counting on the right-hander returning this season.

*

Most of the proposed realignment plans being discussed include the Angels going to the National League, and that suits Collins just fine. "The makeup of our team is more National League," he said. "We have some power and speed, and we don't have any real power pitchers. With the National League strike zone a little more lenient, that could benefit some of our guys." . . . Jim Edmonds' wife, LeAnn, gave birth to the couple's second child Tuesday night, a daughter named Hayley.

TONIGHT'S GAME

ANGELS' DENNIS SPRINGER (8-7, 5.20 ERA)

vs.

TIGERS' JUSTIN THOMPSON (12-10, 2.86 ERA)

Tiger Stadium, Detroit, 4 PDT

Radio--KTZN (710), KWKW (1330)

* Update--Thompson has been one of the league's most dominant pitchers, but his record is not all that impressive because the Tigers have scored only 11 runs in his 10 losses. Springer was Mr. Consistent during a six-start stretch from July 28-Aug. 21, giving up only nine earned runs in 49 1/3 innings, but the knuckleballer has struggled in his last two starts. Shortstop Gary DiSarcina is in the midst of a one-for-22 slump, and designated hitter Rickey Henderson has one hit in his last 14 at-bats.

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