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BASEBALL PLAYOFFS / AMERICAN LEAGUE | CLEVELAND INDIANS
VS. BOSTON RED SOX REPORT : NOTES

Possession of Plate Leads to Another Spirited Discussion

October 01, 1998|TIM KAWAKAMI

In a fitting ending to this tense and testy game, Cleveland closer Mike Jackson and Red Sox third baseman John Valentin gestured at each other angrily after Jackson buzzed Valentin with a high and tight fastball in the top of the ninth inning.

Both benches and bullpens emptied, but nothing close to a brawl developed.

Jackson, though, did not hide his annoyance with Valentin after the game.

"I was trying to throw the ball inside, but I wasn't trying to hit him," Jackson said. "Valentin is known as a batter who dives in on the plate, and when you have a pitcher who throws inside and a batter who dives into the plate, that's a bad combination.

"When guys dive over the plate, what do they expect us to do, throw it outside so they can hit it? I don't pitch that way. I've pitched the same way for 12 years and I'm not going to change for anyone."

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Dwight Gooden's four-batter outing and Dave Burba's 5 1/3-inning performance probably will cause a juggling of pitching roles for the Indians--Gooden will be used in long relief if needed and Burba might be the Game 5 starter, if necessary.

"Right now, I look at them changing roles here for a little bit," Manager Mike Hargrove said. "Certainly, Doc can come back and give us help if our starter gets in trouble and we need a long man."

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Home-plate umpire Joe Brinkman, who also drew some ire from the Indians when he was behind the plate for the 1995 World Series-clinching victory by Tom Glavine and the Braves over Cleveland, said that his ejections of Hargrove and Gooden in the first inning were by the book.

"The ejection on Hargrove was questioning balls and strikes," Brinkman said. "The ejection on Gooden was that he screamed an epithet right in my ear and I ejected him. That's all there is to it."

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Cleveland will not have to worry about Brinkman for the rest of the series--Brinkman's crew will move over to the other AL division series starting with Game 3. . . . Gooden's outing was the shortest postseason start since Steve Avery, pitching for the Braves, also lasted only one-third of an inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1992 National League championship series.

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