Expect the unexpected

  • KIRBY ARNOLD / Herald Writer
  • Monday, October 2, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

Ailing White Sox forced to retool vs. Mariners

By KIRBY ARNOLD

Herald Writer

CHICAGO — A day of highly anticipated auditions arrived Monday at Comiskey Park, where the winners were the guys with the liveliest fastballs, the sharpest-breaking curves and the ability to get them over the plate.

It takes all those skills and, oh yeah — you need to be able to throw 100 pitches without pain.

The hunt for a "Dead Red October," as some of the Seattle Mariners’ t-shirts proclaimed on the eve of their American League Division Series against the Chicago White Sox, already has become survival of the fittest on the pitcher’s mound.

The White Sox, looking more like an aftermath scene from a Discovery Channel wildlife program, selected left-hander Jim Parquet to start today after their top three starters limped their way out of the regular season with a variety of injuries.

Left-hander Mike Sirotka, the Chicago’s top winner with a 15-10 record and a 3.79 earned run average, tested his sore elbow Monday and was deemed healthy … healthy enough to start Game 2 on Wednesday.

Right-hander James Baldwin, who sat out two weeks with a sore shoulder and then was shelled in his last outing over the weekend, will pitch Friday’s Game 3 in Seattle.

And right-hander Cal Eldred, 10-2 in 20 starts, isn’t even on the Chicago playoff roster after his valiant effort to return from elbow surgery fell painfully short. Eldred tried to pitch over the weekend with a 5-inch screw in his elbow.

"In order to get to the postseason, you are going to have some casualties," White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said. "Unfortunately for us, they lie in the area of starting pitching. We have to be able to overcome those things and I think we have enough men that we can do that.

"We might be sending out Gideon’s Army, but I’ll take that army any time."

Are we talking joy in Marinerville?

"They can start whoever they want," M’s manager Lou Piniella said. "The last time we came in here (in August), they never named a starter the whole time we were here. It’s not going to bother us one way or another. Whoever they throw out there is fine with us."

Piniella had his own pitching decision to make Monday.

Jamie Moyer, who Piniella had said experienced tightness behind his left shoulder during his last start, threw from the bullpen mound and pronounced himself ready to start for the M’s on Wednesday.

Piniella, however, didn’t.

That duty will go to right-hander Paul Abbott, although Piniella wasn’t specific about his reasons behind the decision. He said only that Moyer and left-hander John Halama will be available out of the bullpen for the first two games, and that one of the two would start a possible Game 4 on Saturday in Seattle.

The either/or scenario Saturday means the Mariners will throw only one left-hander against a Chicago lineup dominated by right-handed hitters.

"Hammer them hard inside," said Mariners advance scout Stan Williams, who was the team’s pitching coach last year.

The Mariners believe Garcia, despite being new to the postseason, is the right man for the right situation. He wobbled in his last two starts, when the adrenaline rush of the division race got the best of him.

That experience, catcher Joe Oliver says, will make Garcia effective today.

"Our situation the past several days has kind of settled him, knowing that every game we played meant something," Oliver said. "He’ll be fine. He’s got experience in big games now. I can’t think of a better guy to have in Game 1."

As for Parque, the Chicago left-hander hasn’t faced the Mariners this year, although he has pitched against them a half-dozen times in the past.

"I’ve got some new pitches this year," he said. "They haven’t seen them."

Well, one scout has seen them and wasn’t impressed.

"If he has changed something, then he needs to change back," the scout said.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

Everett High School’s Shukurani Ndayiragije is a contender to win all three jumping events at the Class 3A state boys track and field meet. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Power rankings: Who has the best shot at prep state titles?

Ranking the local athletes and teams who have the best chance during this weekend’s state events.

X
Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for May 13-19

The Athlete of the Week nominees for May 13-19. Voting closes at… Continue reading

Mountlake Terrace players react to a run during a baseball game between Mountlake Terrace and Bishop Blanchet at Edmonds-Woodway High School in Edmonds, Washington on Saturday, May 18, 2024. Mountlake Terrace won, 12-7.(Annie Barker / The Herald)
Mountlake Terrace baseball’s season ends in state quarters

The Hawks beat Bishop Blanchet 12-7 in the morning, but fall 10-9 to West Seattle in the afternoon.

X
Prep roundup for Saturday, May 18

Prep roundup for Saturday, May 18: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Jackson players react to beating Kamiak to win the 4A district championship on Friday, May 17, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Jackson softball rallies past Kamiak for district title

Yanina Sherwood dominates in the circle, striking out 10 in the 4-3 come-from-behind victory.

Wolfpack carrying on, despite AFL turmoil

The rebooted league contracts, changes commissioner in the wake of unpaid obligations.

X
Prep roundup for Friday, May 17

Prep roundup for Friday, May 17: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Why being mad on the mound is good for Andrés Muñoz, M’s

The Mariners’ closer is dominating, and a lot of that is because of his attitude.

Everett players celebrate during a Class 3A District 1 softball championship game between Snohomish and Everett at Phil Johnson Fields in Everett, Washington on Thursday, May 16, 2024. Everett won, 10-0. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Everett softball upsets Snohomish for district championship

Freshman Mia Hoekendorf leads the way as the Seagulls defeat the top-seeded Panthers 10-0.

The members of the Snohomish High School boys golf team (from left to right): Cade Strickland, Tyson Olds, Palmer Mutcheson, Hudson Capelli, Drew Hanson and Jackson Dammann. (Photo courtesy of Mark Myers Photography)
Senior-led Snohomish takes aim at state boys golf

Five of the six Panthers who will play at state are seniors who attended elementary school together.

X
Prep roundup for Thursday, May 16

Prep roundup for Thursday, May 16: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Snohomish's Hannah Wells, right, celebrates during a Class 3A District 1 girls tennis tournament at Snohomish High School in Snohomish, Washington on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Shorewood girls tennis claims third straight district trophy

Rylie Gettmann leads the way for the Stormrays, winning her third district singles championship.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.