UP ON THE FARM
Through April 21, Expo righthander Pascual Perez had allowed two runs in odd-numbered innings and 10 in even-numbered ones. So Montreal's whimsical media relations director Richard Griffin wrote in the team's press notes, "In the quartet of games he has started this season the man some have called Mister Odd ...has racked up an impressive Odd Inning ERA (OIERA) of 0.69. His Even Inning ERA (EIERA) is 6.00. Unlike last season when he wagered a cow (EIEIO) with brother Melido [the White Sox pitcher] there are no odds involved with this true but unlikely story." The wager, of course, was over who would win the most games in '88, but neither collected, because they each won 12 games.
COACH KNOWS BEST
When the Pirates optioned rookie outfielder Steve Carter to Buffalo April 26, pitching coach Ray Miller told Carter, "Go down and work hard, and you'll be back soon." How prophetic. Carter arrived at Pilot Field in Buffalo at around 5:30 p.m. to find the Bisons' game already over. And when he returned to the stadium the following morning for an 11:05 game, Buffalo manager Terry Collins told him the Pirates wanted him back in Pittsburgh because centerfielder Andy Van Slyke had reinjured a rib-cage muscle. As he walked into the Pirates' clubhouse that afternoon. Miller greeted him with a smile and said, "Nice job."
What do Dick Allen, Reggie Jackson, Mike Schmidt and Nelson Liriano have in common? Each broke up a Nolan Ryan no-hitter with one out in the ninth inning. Five days after spoiling Ryan's near gem on April 23 in Toronto with a triple to right, Liriano ruined California righthander Kirk McCaskill's bid for a no-hitter, in Anaheim, by hitting a double on the first pitch of the ninth inning.
On April 26, Boston catcher Rich Gedman called for a pitchout because he thought White Sox outfielder Daryl Boston was going to break for second. Oil Can Boyd misread the sign and threw a pitch down the middle as Gedman stepped out of the catcher's box. But then the batter, Ron Kittle, grounded to third and started a 5-4-3 double play. Later that night, in Seattle, Toronto catcher Ernie Whitt called for a pitchout, hoping to nail Mariner base-thief Harold Reynolds as he took off with the pitch. But Blue Jay righthander Dave Stieb failed to throw the ball far enough outside, and Darnell Coles hit a line drive to right-field. Rightfielder Rob Ducey pulled down the ball and threw it to first for—what else?—a 9-3 double play.
?Trade of the year: Montreal outfielder Tracy Jones to San Francisco for outfielder Mike Aldrete. At week's end they were a combined 3 for 43.
?Since he became a Dodger last season, shortstop Alfredo Griffin has gone 7 for 11 and picked up 21 RBIs hitting with the bases loaded. In his other 387 at bats, through Sunday, he has only 11 RBIs.
?No wonder Tiger ace Jack Morris was 0-5 at week's end: He didn't have a lead in any of his first five starts.
?The Tigers were playing .364 ball on Sunday. In his 19 years as a manager, Sparky Anderson has finished under .500 only once: His '71 Reds were 79-83, for a .488 average.