We've assembled a distinguished panel of Astro pitchers to examine a major cause of concern for them and their colleagues everywhere. The first question, gentlemen, is: How do you pitch Bob Horner, the 23-year-old right-handed-hitting third baseman of the Atlanta Braves?
"Outside," says Dave Smith, a right-handed reliever with 10 saves and a 1.92 ERA last year.
"Inside," says Joe Sambito, a left-handed reliever with 17 saves and a 2.20 ERA in 1980.
"Carefully," says Frank LaCorte, a righty with 11 saves and a 2.82 ERA.
"I'm not going to reveal that," says Don Sutton, the new man in the Houston rotation who spent 15 years in a Dodger uniform and led the league with an ERA of 2.21 last year. "I will say, however, that Plan A didn't work, and I'm abandoning it and going to Plan B."
"The key," says Vern Ruhle, 12-4 with a 2.38 ERA last year, "is to make sure that nobody is on base when he hits his home run."
The next question is: Would you rather face Horner or Mike Schmidt?
"I'd rather face Schmidt," says Ruhle.
"Horner," says Smith.
"Schmidt any day," says LaCorte.