October 5, 1997 in Sports

Johnson Welcomes Chance For Redemption

From Wire Reports

After going 0-3 in four starts against Baltimore this season, Randy Johnson can’t wait for the chance to tie Seattle’s division series against the Orioles at 2-all.

“Anytime you pitch a must-win game, there’s a lot of pressure on you,” Johnson said Saturday after Seattle’s 4-2 victory over Baltimore forced Game 4. “It’s a chance for me to redeem myself.”

Johnson lost the opener at home, a 9-3 victory for the Orioles in the Kingdome. He’ll be pitching today on three days’ rest against Mike Mussina, the Game 1 winner.

Baltimore once again is expected to stack its lineup with right-handers against Johnson, just 3-8 against the Orioles in his career.

“I was curious the other day how many times one team had beaten him,” Mussina said. “It’s an interesting situation, but it’s just a ballgame. We’ve had some success against him, and I think the guys are OK about it.”

Jay Buhner, while aware that no team has won a best-of-5 series after losing the first two games at home, remembered back to 1995, when Seattle lost the first two at Yankee Stadium and swept three from New York in the Kingdome.

“Anything can happen, when you think about what we did in ‘95,” he said. “Quite a few of us have been in this situation before. It’s not really new to us.”

Moyer comeback doubtful

Jamie Moyer threw lighty for 5 minutes Saturday and remained hopeful that he could still contribute if the Seattle Mariners managed to extend their A.L. division series against Baltimore.

Moyer started Game 2 Thursday and was doing a fine job until the fifth inning, when he was forced to leave the game with a strained muscle in his left forearm.

The left-hander played catch on the side Saturday at Camden Yards in an effort to get a reading on how his tender arm felt. “I feel better today just because I know I can throw the ball,” he said. “It would have been crazy for me to throw hard. That would only be asking for problems. I just wanted to take it easy the first day. Then we’ll see what happens.”

Moyer’s injury was diagnosed as a strained flexor muscle.

“It’s more the forearm than the elbow, which is good because a muscle will heal quicker than an elbow problem,” he said.

He made no guarantees that he could pitch again this season, even if the Mariners rallied from the 2-0 deficit they faced before Saturday’s third game in the best-of-5 series.

“I’m just preparing to take the next step tomorrow,” he said.

Asked if Moyer could possibly pitch again this season, M’s manager Lou Piniella said, “We don’t think so. We’re not looking at that prospect.”

No stalling

When Baltimore reliever Terry Mathews was summoned to replace Arthur Rhodes after Rhodes had already thrown his warmup pitches in the ninth inning and then said he was hurt, Piniella didn’t like the tactics he thought Orioles manager Davey Johnson was using.

“I thought it was a ploy to keep my pitcher sitting for an extra 10 to 15 minutes,” said Piniella, who started yelling across the field at the Orioles coaches.

However, Piniella was shortly in a much better mood considering Mathews had given up back-to-back home runs to Jay Buhner and Paul Sorrento.

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