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Trachsel joins Stallard, Zachary on flip side of HRs
Posted: Wednesday September 09, 1998 02:41 AM
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Tom Zachary, Tracy Stallard and now, Steve Trachsel.
While Mark McGwire homered his way into history, Trachsel pitched his way into it.
McGwire had been 1-for-6 this year against the Chicago Cubs' 27-year-old right-hander, 3-for-11 with no homers in his career.
That doesn't matter any more.
Trachsel is the pitcher who gave up No. 62.
"I'm more disappointed that we lost the game," said Trachsel, who led the NL in 1997 with 32 homers allowed.
Like Zachary, who gave up Babe Ruth's 60th homer, and Stallard, who gave up Maris' 61st, Trachsel will be more known for a failure than an achievement. He didn't seem too worried about it.
"Maybe when my career is over, I'll think about it," he said. "Right now it's just another home run. I've given up a billion of them."
With flashbulbs popping in anticipation, Trachsel fell behind 3-0 in the count against McGwire in the first inning. McGwire, who hasn't homered on a 3-0 pitch all season, then chased an outside pitch and grounded out weakly to shortstop.
Then in the fourth, McGwire's at-bat lasted just one pitch, a 341-foot liner to left that sailed over the fence.
Not too many people will remember that Trachsel is having the best season of his career, starting the night with a 14-7 record and a 4.20 ERA.
Eventually, catcher Scott Servais, first baseman Mark Grace and then third baseman Gary Gaetti joined him on the mound for some small talk. He pawed the rubber as McGwire went into the stands to embrace Roger Maris' family.
The night got worse. When McGwire came up again in the sixth with a runner on second, Cubs manager Jim Riggleman ordered an intentional walk. Ray Lankford followed with a three-run homer. Ron Gant followed with a solo shot, the 22nd home run off Trachsel this season.
By the time it was over, Trachsel had allowed six runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Two starts ago, Trachsel also focused on a homer. But that was because he hit his first of the season against Colorado, the second of his career.
"That was the longest ball I've ever hit," he said then. "I'm disappointed that our TV guys thought it odd that I hit a home run."This, however, was a home run he doesn't want to remember.
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