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Tim Kurkjian
July 01, 1991
Quit While You're Ahead, Raffie
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July 01, 1991

Between The Lines

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Quit While You're Ahead, Raffie

Braves shortstop Rafael Belliard was credited with a stolen base and a caught stealing on the same play in a game against the Phillies on June 19. Belliard was on first and Greg Olson was on third when the batter, Tom Glavine, missed a bunt attempt. Olson got hung up between third and home and a rundown ensued. Olson and Belliard wound up on third base together, so Belliard headed back toward second with the Phillies in pursuit. Then Olson broke for home and got into another rundown. Finally, Olson and Belliard both ended up on third again, and Belliard was tagged out—that's the caught stealing. But for going from first to second on the play, Belliard was also credited with a steal. "If I went back to second, do I get another steal of second, too?" asked Belliard.

If at First You Don't Succeed....

After Reds rookie infielder Chris Jones got nine hits in his first 14 major league at bats, good for a .643 average, he called home to Liverpool, N.Y., to tell the family. "My dad played football in the service, but he's pretty raw when it comes to baseball," said Jones. "I said, 'Hey, Dad, I'm hitting .600.' He said, 'What's the matter, aren't you concentrating?' "

The Quintessential Journeyman
When Skeeter Barnes, a 34-year-old utilityman, was called up by the Tigers from Triple A Toledo on June 14, he joined his 14th team since turning pro in 1978. He enjoyed playing for the Reds the most, because "I got to live at home, in the same room I grew up in." In Barnes's first at bat with Detroit, on June 14, he homered. His next hit, two days later, was a home run. Those two homers and five RBIs in his first week with the Tigers surpassed his best previous major league season's high in both categories. "I'll do whatever any team asks," he said. Barnes, however, was sidelined after pulling a hamstring last Friday.

They Also Serve Who Don't Hit a Lick
Who says you have to get a lot of hits to be productive? Expo outfielder Dave Martinez went 0 for 10 in two games against the Astros last week but helped win both games 3-2 in extra innings. On June 17 he tied the score with a sacrifice fly in the ninth and then tied it again in the 11th with an RBI groundout. On June 18 he had two assists in the 12th inning when he gunned down Mark Portugal at third and Craig Biggio at home. He called the ovations he received from the Montreal crowd his "most emotional moment since I got married."

They Also Serve, Part II
On June 19 Twins outfielder Shane Mack came to the plate in Baltimore in the ninth inning with the bases loaded and the score tied 4-4. He swung at only one pitch, which he missed, but before his at bat ended in a walk, the bases were empty and Minnesota had scored three runs. The runners came home on three wild pitches and a throwing error by Oriole reliever Gregg Olson.

By the Numbers

?Braves pitcher Tom Glavine had a higher batting average (.313) than ERA (2.18) through Sunday. That's a rarity today, but between 1910 and '25 the Washington Senators' Walter Johnson had 13 seasons—including 10 in a row—in which he had a batting average higher than his earned run average. He also finished his career with a higher batting average (.236) than ERA (2.17).

?The Royals' Kirk Gibson hit his first grand slam last week, with his 203rd career homer. Thus the active coleaders for most home runs without a slam became the Orioles' Glenn Davis and the A's Rickey Henderson, with 170 each.