Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

High Fives: Tewksbury 5-0 after 5-Hitter

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

High Fives: Tewksbury 5-0 after 5-Hitter

Article excerpt

He doesn't throw as hard as Mike Mussina or possess the varied pitching weapons of Greg Maddux. Nothing that Cardinals righthander Bob Tewksbury does generally dazzles anyone, except for his penchant for working expeditiously. And winning.

There is one five-game winner in the major leagues today, and it is neither of the first two. Tewksbury, dispatching the Colorado Rockies in a brisk 2 hours 6 minutes, jumped his record to 5-0 Tuesday night with a five-hit, 2-1 victory.

For those who gush, with appropriate reason, about the records compiled by Maddux, Tom Glavine and others in the last three seasons, consider this: Since the start of the 1992 season, Tewksbury is 23 games over .500 at 38-15. In that same period, the Cardinals are only 21 games over .500 as a team.

Tuesday night, Tewksbury struck out a single-game-high 10 hitters, one more than he had against the Rockies in a losing effort last year. With 23 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings, Tewksbury is on pace to strike out 100 hitters for the first time in his career.

But Colorado manager Don Baylor said, "When he pitches, you just put the radar gun up, unplug it and don't worry about it. Speed means nothing. He's an artful pitcher."

Cardinals first baseman Gregg Jefferies said, "He's the best. All of a sudden you look up, it's the sixth inning and it's 8:30, which means you're always on your toes. He's my favorite pitcher I've ever played with because he keeps you going all the time."

Staked to a lead when Ray Lankford led off the Cardinals' first with his fifth home run, Tewksbury gave up only five hits, walked no one and probably won't pitch better than that.

"He can't," Jefferies said. "Not till he pitches a no-hitter."

Cardinals manager Joe Torre said, "That's the best I've ever seen him."

There can be little questioning that Tewksbury belongs with the game's pitching elite because of his won-lost record. "Not only that," Cardinals pitching coach Joe Coleman said, "but because of his 1.56 walks per nine innings, which is something special in this day and age."

Torre said, "He doesn't have as much equipment as the people in that (top) category, but that's why it's more impressive what he's done. He has to be perfect to win."

Tewksbury is reluctant to unduly praise himself but he said, "I do consider myself one of the best pitchers in this league. I certainly don't have the stuff some of these guys do, but I certainly know how to pitch with what I have."

Before Tuesday's game, Baylor was comparing Lankford, the Cardinals center fielder, to Rockies outfielder Ellis Burks, who was leading the league in hitting at .462.

"If he ever puts it all together, he can be the MVP," Baylor said of Lankford.

The Cardinals added their other run off loser Armando Reynoso (1-2) in the second. With two out, Burks tried to make a sliding catch on Luis Alicea's drive, but the ball tipped off the heel of his glove for a double. …

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