LET THERE BE DRUMS
Last Saturday, Mariners lefthander Randy Johnson pitched a no-hitter in beating the Tigers 2-0 at the King-dome. His last pitch was a 97-mph fastball that sailed over Mike Heath's head, but Heath swung anyway and whiffed. Afterward, Johnson, who is 6'10", said, "That would even have been a ball if I was batting."
Johnson, whose no-hitter improved his record to 4-3, is no stranger to extraordinary occurrences. On May 1, he became the first lefty to strike out Boston's Wade Boggs three times in a game. And in an exhibition game this spring, he hit the screen on the fly with a pitch, but the ball bounced back to catcher Scott Bradley so fast that Bradley was able to throw out the runner trying to advance to third base.
But none of that could compare with Saturday's performance, which was Johnson's first shutout in 43 career starts. He threw 136 pitches—50 of which traveled 94 mph or faster—while walking six batters and striking out eight. To calm himself in the late innings, Johnson tapped his toe and drummed his fingers on his leg. He had recently bought a set of drums, which he played for 90 minutes before the game. "I may have to start doing that more often," he said. "I may have to rent a set to take with me on the road."
HIS DAYS ARE NUMBERED
On May 5, San Diego first baseman Jack Clark, who had been struggling at the plate, changed his number from 25 to 00 to improve his luck. He went 4 for 7 in a double-header that day, but he also hurt his back and, as of Sunday, had yet to return to the lineup. On May 22, he pinched a nerve in his back while pulling up his socks. Then, three days later, he was hit in the cheekbone by a ball thrown by teammate Pat Clements in batting practice. "The next time I go on the field," says Clark, "I'm wearing full football gear."
THE SOFT TOUCH
Fordham missed a chance to go to the College World Series last week when it lost to South Alabama in the Midwest Regional. But wait until next year. That's when the Rams will unveil righthander Mike Bertolucci, now a senior at Del Campo High in Fair Oaks, Calif. What's so special about Bertolucci? Well, for one thing, he pitches underhand, like a softball pitcher. For another, he has mastered a mystifying collection of pitches, including a sinker, a riser, a curveball and a change-up, in addition to a 77-to-82-mph fastball. In three years at Del Campo High, Bertolucci struck out 130 batters in 131? innings. Fordham coach Dan Gallagher plans to use him as a reliever. "Pitching underhand doesn't hurt your arm," says Gallagher, "so I think he can throw an inning or two every day. If he can do that, he can be as good as any pitcher in the country."
BY THE NUMBERS
?Blue Jay Dave Stieb, the only pitcher to have thrown at least one shutout every year in the 1980s, beat the A's 1-0 on May 28. With a shutout or more in 12 consecutive years, Stieb still has a way to go before he breaks Walter Johnson's record of 21 straight seasons.
?Over a recent eight-day period, three National League players hit three homers in a game—Kevin Mitchell on May 25, Jeff Treadway on May 26 and Glenn Davis on June 1. In the last two years, Von Hayes is the only player in the league to accomplish that feat.