“Right now, he’s not getting away with a whole lot of bad pitches,” Tracy said of the Japanese right-hander. “He can’t afford to leave the ball in the middle of the plate with his velocity not where it was the last couple of seasons.”
Nomo will try to bounce back from his second loss of the season when Los Angeles tries to complete a three-game sweep of the hapless Montreal Expos at Dodger Stadium.
Nomo, a 16-game winner for Los Angeles in each of the previous two years, had won three straight starts before yielding four runs and five hits, including three homers, over six innings in Tuesday’s 9-5 loss to the New York Mets.
Primarily known as a strikeout pitcher during his 10-year career, Nomo has struck out just 13 while walking 11 in 28 innings this year—a sure sign that his velocity is down.
“It’s tough right now,” said catcher Paul Lo Duca. ”(Nomo’s) on guts right now. Location is his No. 1 (problem). He can get by without velocity because he has such a good splitter.”
Adrian Beltre hit a pair of solo homers, giving him nine for the season, and drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI single in the eighth inning Saturday as Los Angeles rallied for a 5-4 win over the Expos.
Beltre, who didn’t hit his ninth home run last season until July 31, has 22 RBIs in 23 games.
Reigning NL Cy Young winner Eric Gagne struck out the side in the ninth to extend his major league record for consecutive saves to 70.
Montreal, which scored four runs for the second straight game after managing two or fewer in 17 of its first 23 contests, has lost six in a row. The Expos own the worst record in the majors.