Wearing sunglasses and looking like a right fielder who was trying to look like a pitcher, DEREK BELL at least provided some comic relief on a day that had quickly become a major disaster for his NEW YORK METS. With the SAN DIEGO PADRES leading 11-1 on Tuesday, BELL pitched the eigth inning to help save an already burdened bullpen. By the time he was done on the mound, he had given up five runs on three hits and four walks, as the PADRES won 16-1. After JOE VITIELLO flied out to end the inning, BELL pumped his fist. The one-time PADRES outfielder then received a standing ovation and tipped his hat to the crowd as he walked into the dugout."I was just lobbing it up there, like throwing it to a little kid," BELL said. "I was floating it up there. I took one for the team. I care most about the bullpen guys' arms. We're in a race and we need these guys."BELL's first pitch was clocked at only 47 miles per hour and he didn't even look in to C TODD PRATT for signs.
Not wanting to injure his arm, as JOSE CANSECO once did making a pitching appearance, BELL then threw fastballs and changeups, staying away from curves and sliders. BELL had pitched in the 1981 LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES and through high school. "I had to turn it up on DAVE MAGADAN, because he's from TAMPA. That's the one person I didn't want to get a hit off me, but he got a hit off me. I always watched DAVE MAGADAN growing up and he's a pretty good friend of mine as he's from the same hometown, and he's going to talk about how he got a hit off me now," he said. "You've got to give him a lot of credit for offering his talents to go out there," said TODD PRATT, who had dropped a popup by GEORGE WILLIAMS for an error, allowing the PADRE's final run. BELL " didn't have his good stuff today," joked PADRES manager BRUCE BOCHY. " He looks like he needs a little work."
Special to CANADIAN BASEBALL NEWS