Last year, in Oquendo's first appearance (he has played every position for St. Louis except catcher), the Phillies blasted him for three runs in one inning. Early Sunday morning Oquendo said, "It was too bad we didn't win, but at least I got my ERA down." Jose is now 0-1, and his ERA has dropped from 27.00 to 9.00.
SAYONARA, ST. LOUIS?
Cardinal manager Whitey Herzog has all but decided that spacious Busch Stadium is the wrong ballpark for former Atlanta Brave and Yakult Swallow slugger Bob Horner. All but eight of Horner's first 33 hits were singles. Brunansky, a rightfielder who came over from Minnesota for Tommy Herr, had 21 RBIs in his first 21 starts. That was one more than Horner had in 35 games.
Think manager Buck Rodgers of the Montreal Expos wishes the National League had adopted the designated hitter rule for this season? First, pitcher Dennis Martinez injured a finger while batting against Houston's Danny Darwin and was beaten in his next two starts. Then pitcher Pascal Perez broke a finger trying to bunt a Nolan Ryan fastball; he'll be out two months....
Here is what one NL scout says about Astros centerfielder Gerald Young: "He's the new Vince Coleman. He can steal 100 bases." ... Dodgers lefthander Fernando Valenzuela says, "Sometimes I don't feel the way I used to." He certainly isn't pitching the way he used to: He had fewer strikeouts (27) than walks (28) through last weekend. Before this season, Valenzuela had struck out 1,464 and walked 664. "He used to pitch off his fastball. Now he pitches off his screwball," says one opposing manager.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]