May 20, 1989 |
Jim Abbott and Kirk McCaskill are the glitter twins of the Angel pitching rotation, the current headline-grabbers. Bert Blyleven and Mike Witt are the old reliables, the proven veterans who are proving it once again in this improbable spring. So where does that leave Chuck Finley, the fifth member of the resurgent five-man crew? Would you believe bucking for the American League lead in wins? With Friday night's 3-1 complete-game victory over the Milwaukee Brewers before 39,978 fans at Anaheim Stadium, Finley improved his 1989 record to 6-2. That tied him with Baltimore's Jeff Ballard and Oakland's Bob Welch in American League wins, one behind seven-game winner Dave Stewart of Oakland.
April 16, 1989 |
And on Saturday, Mark Langston rested, which meant the Angels had a chance. Take Seattle's overpowering left-handed pitcher off the mound and the Mariners are, well, the Mariners, in last place in the American League West for a reason. Take the seventh inning of the Angels' 9-2 victory before 29,819 fans Saturday night at the Kingdome. Pick up the action with Angel rookie Kent Anderson on second base, Brian Downing on first and Mark McLemore set to lay down a sacrifice bunt. With Langston only a spectator, McLemore's bunt was fielded by Seattle reliever Jerry Reed, who threw to third base in time to beat Anderson, but not in time for Seattle third baseman Edgar Martinez, who missed the throw.
May 14, 1989 |
Mike Witt's quest for the elusive shutout ran afoul again Saturday afternoon, which, it could be argued, also happened to the hit that produced the New York Yankees' only run in a 6-1 loss to the Angels. By many accounts, Mike Pagliarulo's fifth-inning home run down the left-field line actually left the field in foul territory. Angel left fielder Chili Davis thought so. Angel Manager Doug Rader thought so. Witt thought so. Television replays corroborated these thoughts, showing Pagliarulo's long fly ball sailing just outside the left-field foul pole.
June 12, 1989 |
Remember those charmed days of April and May when every Angel ground ball seemed to find a hole, when the Angels won games they had no business winning, when the sun shone brightly and the wind was always at the Angels' backs? Well, things are starting to even up. The rain that fell on the Angels Sunday afternoon at Royals Stadium provided a fitting backdrop for what was happening to them on the field. By the time the 5-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals was complete, former Angel catcher Bob Boone would unload a three-run home run, Devon White would fail to catch a playable fly, pitchers named Terry Leach and Jeff Montgomery would shut out the Angels for five innings and the Royals would sweep the Angels in Kansas City for the first time in seven years.
June 17, 1989 |
The slumps had grown together and they had grown ugly. Before Friday night, the Angels had not won a game or hit a home run since June 6, a span of nine days or seven games. Chili Davis, a man largely responsible for ending both droughts, believes that their coexistence was more than coincidence. "It's important for us to hit home runs," said Davis, whose three-run shot in the second inning helped the Angels score a 9-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers. "We're not the Cardinals.
April 30, 1989 |
Jim Abbott discovered the strikeout Saturday night, but it took 10 innings and a couple of fortunate bounces for the Angels to beat the Toronto Blue Jays for their fourth consecutive victory. Toronto third baseman Tom Lawless' weak one-bounce throw to first allowed Dante Bichette to reach base leading off the tenth. After Jack Howell sacrificed, Glenn Hoffman's high bouncer left Lawless with nowhere to turn--except to third where Bichette was already standing. Claudell Washington was intentionally walked to load the bases and then Johnny Ray lined a drive to left where George Bell made a sprawling catch.
December 4, 1991 |
Former Angel manager Doug Rader is expected to be named batting coach of the Oakland Athletics soon, replacing Rick Burleson, who recently resigned to take a similar job with the Boston Red Sox. Fired by the Angels Aug. 26, Rader has one year left on a two-year contract. An A's source said the Angels and A's are working toward an agreement on how Rader will be paid in '92, the only barrier to an announcement of his hiring by Oakland.
October 9, 1991 |
The night before his major league debut, Blue Jay right-hander Juan Guzman called his old neighbor, Ramon Martinez, for advice. Guzman went on to a 10-3 record and will start Game 2 of the American League championship series today. "He was always better than me, since we've been kids," said Guzman, who grew up with the Dodger pitcher in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic.
October 17, 1996 |
Davey Johnson refuses to be pinned down on whether he will return to manage the Baltimore Orioles in 1997. Johnson's three-year, $2.25-million contract with the team runs through the 1998 season. But Johnson declined to tell the Washington Post that he would definitely return next season. "I'm not going to comment at this point," he said from his home in Winter Park, Fla. "I'm under contract."