June 23, 1997 in Sports

Scheduling Ace Johnson Leaves Piniella Fit To Be Tied

Larry Larue Tacoma News Tribune
 

Think managing is easy?

Two weeks ago in Seattle, Don Baylor had to rearrange his lineup because the Rockies’ leading hitter - Larry Walker, then batting .411 - didn’t want to face Randy Johnson.

And Lou Piniella was scrambling Sunday to put together his post-All-Star Game rotation because Johnson doesn’t like the mound in Milwaukee’s County Stadium.

Johnson has an 11-1 record with a 2.19 earned run average and a back the team is actively trying to protect. So Piniella changed his rotation last week so Johnson wouldn’t pitch - or bat - in San Francisco during interleague play.

Seattle has to assume that Johnson will be an All-Star, possibly the starter. His last scheduled start before the break comes July 4 and the All-Star Game is four days later.

So, you’re the manager. You want to start your best pitcher as many times as possible in the second half, but you can’t start him the first game after the break. He hasn’t had time to recover from the All-Star Game.

“The job is to get Randy, Jeff Fassero and Jamie Moyer starting as many games as possible, then getting to the No. 4 and No. 5 starters,” Piniella said. “I worked it one way where we’d faced the Yankees in three-game series and Bob Wolcott and Derek Lowe would have pitched two games and Randy would have missed that series.”

Bottom line? Johnson may have to face the Brewers in Milwaukee. But Piniella is working on it.

Coming up

Seattle begins a nine-game homestand with a 7:05 p.m. game tonight against Oakland. It will be televised on Fox Sports Northwest.

Mariners 6, Rangers 4

Seattle AB R H BI BB SO Avg. Cora 2b 4 1 0 0 1 1 .340 Gates 2b 0 0 0 0 0 0 .280 Cruz Jr lf 5 0 0 0 0 1 .236 Ducey lf 0 0 0 0 0 0 .222 Griffey Jr cf 5 1 3 1 0 0 .304 EMartinez dh 5 1 2 1 0 0 .332 Buhner rf 4 1 1 1 0 1 .236 Sorrento 1b 4 1 0 0 0 1 .283 DaWilson c 4 1 2 1 0 0 .283 RDavis 3b 4 0 2 1 0 0 .312 Espinoza ss 4 0 2 1 0 0 .214 Totals 39 6 12 6 1 4 Texas AB R H BI BB SO Avg. McLemore 2b-lf 5 0 1 0 0 0 .209 IRodriguez c 5 1 2 0 0 0 .346 Greer lf-cf 4 0 2 0 1 0 .338 JuGonzalez rf 4 1 0 0 1 2 .237 WClark 1b 4 2 2 1 0 0 .354 Palmer 3b 4 0 0 0 0 2 .241 Simms dh 3 0 1 0 0 0 .273 a-Newson ph-dh 1 0 0 0 0 0 .248 Buford cf 3 0 1 1 0 0 .230 b-LStevens ph 1 0 1 1 0 0 .277 1-Frias pr-ss 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 Gil ss 3 0 0 0 0 1 .237 c-DCedeno ph2b 1 0 0 0 0 1 .259 Totals 38 4 10 3 2 6 Seattle 030 001 101 - 6 Texas 000 011 020 - 4 a-flied out for Simms in the 8th. b-singled for Buford in the 8th. c-struck out for Gil in the 8th.

1-ran for Stevens in the 8th.

E-Cora 2 (12), Espinoza (3), Palmer (6), Gil (11). LOB- Seattle 7, Texas 9. 2B-DaWilson (18), WClark 2 (15), Simms (6). 3B-IRodriguez (3). HR-Griffey Jr (29) off Vosberg; Buhner (20) off Burkett. RBIs-Griffey Jr (77), EMartinez (51), Buhner (58), DaWilson (33), RDavis (33), Espinoza (6), WClark (24), Buford (24), LStevens (33). GIDP-Cruz Jr.

Runners left in scoring position-Seattle 2 (Buhner 2); Texas 4 (JuGonzalez, Buford 2, Gil).

Runners moved up-Cora, EMartinez, Newson.

DP-Texas 2 (WClark, IRodriguez, Palmer and IRodriguez), (Gil and WClark).

Seattle IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA

Fassero W,7-3 7 7 3 2 2 3 108 3.80 Ayala S, 6 2 3 1 1 0 3 35 4.30

Texas IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA

Burkett L,5-6 8 11 5 4 1 3 110 4.82 Vosberg 2/3 1 1 1 0 1 10 5.85 XHernandez 1/3 0 0 0 0 0 1 3.08 Fassero pitched to 1 batter in the 8th. Inherited runners-scored-Ayala 1-1. T-2:48. A-40,814 (49,166).


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