You're on Base in the Twilight Zone
On June 29, 1987, Oakland's Dennis Eckersley picked off Kenny Williams of the White Sox. Eckersley didn't pick off another runner until May 22, 1991. The victim again was Williams, who was pinch-running for the Blue Jays.
No-No, It's Not the P.M.
Tommy Greene of the Phillies was a most unlikely candidate to throw a no-hitter, but he did just that last Thursday in Montreal. Greene was starting in place of the injured Danny Cox. Because it was only his second start of the year, Greene told teammates before the game that he didn't expect to throw many pitches—unless, he said jokingly, "I'm working on a no-hitter." He threw 130 pitches, 76 of them strikes, to pick up his seventh major league win. After the game, Greene got a congratulatory phone call in the clubhouse from someone purporting to be Brian Mulroney, the prime minister of Canada. "I'm still not sure if it was the prime minister," said Greene. "But I was very polite, just in case." The caller, it turned out, was a clubhouse attendant who was put up to the prank by Phillie pitcher Roger McDowell.
Singing with a Chorus of Angels
The Angels had a special weekend companion two weeks ago in Baltimore: singer Bruce Hornsby. California pitcher Mark Langston met Hornsby at a concert four years ago, and the two have kept in touch. Hornsby took batting practice before one game in Baltimore, and after the games on May 17 and 18 he played piano and sang with a group of Angels and fans in the lobby of the Baltimore Marriott hotel. "The first night, 20 people were there, but word got out and 60 were there the next night," says Langston. "It was great."
Adds manager Doug Rader, who was among the listeners, "We just call him Rog—for Rogers Hornsby."
Welcome to the Show
White Sox catcher Don Wakamatsu, 28, says he almost quit baseball "many times," but he persevered and finally made his major league debut on May 22. He caught knuckleballer Charlie Hough. "I walked in the clubhouse and they threw a knuckleball mitt at me and said, 'It's you,' " says Wakamatsu. "Before the game, I watched [ Cleveland knuckleballer] Tom Candiotti on TV. The first pitch I saw hit [ Indians catcher] Joel Skinner right in the mask. He never got his mitt on it. I said, 'I'm going home.' " Wakamatsu stayed, was charged with two passed balls, but did a nice job catching Hough's 5-3 win over the Angels. Wakamatsu also got his first big league hit, a single.
By the Numbers
?At week's end, there had already been 11 no-hitters in the 1990s. That's one more than were thrown in the 1920s or the '30s.
?By getting 10 runs on May 21, the vaunted Boston offense ended a streak of 59 games without scoring in double figures. That was the longest active fewer-than-10-runs streak in the majors.