At week's end the Tigers had had 33 multirun innings this season, including two innings in which they had scored eight runs, two in which they had scored seven, three in which they had scored six, and seven in which they had scored four. Hence just nine of their biggest innings of the year had produced a total of 56 runs. By comparison, the Orioles and the Brewers had scored 58 runs all season.
"But what people don't realize is how good our pitching has been," says Detroit outfielder Rob Deer, who had six home runs and 16 RBIs through Sunday. Indeed, the Tigers were 3-0 in the three games in which they had scored only three runs—their lowest output of the season.
Minnesota was certainly glad to see the Tigers leave town. In the three-game series the Twins were bombarded by a combined score of 45-10.
BACK FROM THE BRINK
One of only three pitchers in the majors with four wins through Sunday's games was Minnesota lefthander Jim Deshaies (4-0, 1.98 ERA, no starts against Detroit), whose career was in serious jeopardy at this time last year. The A's released him in March 1992, and he didn't have a job until he arranged a tryout with the Padres' Triple A team, the Las Vegas Stars, on April 28 of last year. The Stars were down to eight pitchers that night, so San Diego farm director Ed Lynch told Deshaies, "Instead of throwing on the side, how about pitching in the game tonight?" Deshaies said, "But I don't have a contract." To which Lynch replied, "I'll give you $6,000 a month." The two men shook hands on the deal. Deshaies then called his wife, who had front-row tickets for a Tommy Tune concert, and told her, "Give them away. I'm pitching tonight."
Deshaies borrowed uniform parts from several of his new teammates. "We found the biggest guy on the team [pitcher Terry Bross] and gave his pants to Deshaies, then told him to watch the game from the stands," Lynch says. Deshaies pitched four innings that night, was called up by San Diego on July 9 and, despite a 4-7 record, was one of the Padres' best pitchers in the second half of the season.
The austerity-minded Padres did not offer him a 1993 contract, so the Twins signed him, for $700,000, in December. He has anchored a starting staff that at week's end had an ERA of 6.90 in the games that the 32-year-old Deshaies hadn't started. "It was a wild ride last year," says Deshaies. "It was fun—but it was scary."
IRISH EYES ARE SMILING
An even more compelling comeback story is that of Angel righthander John Farrell, who is throwing 90 mph again after missing the last two seasons because of two operations on his right elbow. Farrell, 30, was a 14-game winner for the Indians in 1988, but he was plagued by elbow injuries two years later and had surgery in October 1990. In late August of the following year Farrell tested his elbow in the bullpen. On one of his pitches, he says, "I heard a sound like a piece of paper tearing." He had reinjured his elbow.
In September 1991 Dr. Frank Jobe performed what has become known as the Tommy John operation, taking a tendon from Farrell's left arm and transplanting it to his elbow. From January to October of last year Farrell worked with rehab specialists in Mesa, Ariz. He had a terrific spring training this year and made the Angels' 25-man roster. The results were not promising in his first two starts, both losses, but his arm felt fine. Then on April 21 he beat his old team, the Indians, 7-6, allowing two runs in five innings to earn the win. Later he said he was thinking about having the game ball bronzed, and he vowed to write or call everyone who had helped him in his comeback.