Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Henke Perfect in Unfamiliar Setup Role

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Henke Perfect in Unfamiliar Setup Role

Article excerpt

Tom Henke, who hasn't missed a save in 17 opportunities for the Cardinals this season, did something Tuesday night he hadn't done all year. He entered a game with a lead, protected it - and didn't finish the game.

Henke became a setup man for National League manager Felipe Alou and executed his new role perfectly in the eighth inning of a 3-2 National League victory in the 66th All-Star Game.

Entering with Tino Martinez at first base and one out, Henke caught Boston's Mo Vaughn looking at a third strike and retired Paul O'Neill on a fly ball to center field. Henke then was replaced in the ninth by the Chicago Cubs' Randy Myers, who gained the save.

Henke said he hadn't been a setup man since 1991 in Toronto, when he hurt his arm and pitched ahead of Duane Ward.

"But it's all right," he said. "I contributed. It doesn't matter who gets the save.

"Randy is leading the league in saves and he deserved to finish the game off. We were talking about it down in the bullpen and he said, `You're perfect.' I said, `I don't care.' "

Henke, having faced Vaughn before, said he changed his pitching pattern to the Red Sox slugger, who leads the major leagues in runs batted in at 60.

"Those guys know what to expect," Henke said. "If you get into any kind of pattern, they're going to batter you.

"I've always got Mo with my forkball and I know he was looking for it. I sneaked a fastball by him."

Vaughn said that indeed, he was looking for a forkball on the 1-2 pitch. "He tricked me up," Vaughn said.

"It was a battle - a lot of fun. He remembered me."

Henke's performance was especially satisfying in light of his unhappy season in 1994 while playing in Arlington for the Texas Rangers. Henke, bothered by a bad back and used differently from previous seasons, finished with just 15 saves and contemplated retirement before the Cardinals signed him to a one-year, $1.5 million contract.

Henke seems to be opening the door a bit wider the more he thinks about playing next year. …

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