May 29, 1999
White Sox 7, Tigers I
It's one of pitching's golden rules: If you want to win, don't give up a lot of walks. Before last Saturday's start in Detroit, Chicago righthander James Baldwin, who went 13-6 in 1998, got the message. In his last six starts he'd issued bases on balls to 22 batters, including II in the past 5? innings. The result: no wins and a 7.76 ERA since April 18 and a 2-4 record and 6.36 ERA overall.
After working with pitching coach Nardi Contreras to correct an overstride in his delivery, Baldwin went back to basics on Saturday, throwing strikes—he went to a three-ball count on only one of the 31 hitters he faced—and walking no one. Result: the first nine-inning complete game of Baldwin's five-year career. "This is what happens when you throw strikes," Baldwin said afterward. He's learning.