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Original Issue


On July 24, the Cleveland-Texas game matched Phil Niekro, who has
307 major league victories, with rookie Mike Loynd, who tied the NCAA
win record (20-3) this year at Florida State, but had only 29 1/3
professional innings. Loynd, who lasted until the seventh round in
this year's draft and wasn't even on several teams' lists because of
his lack of velocity, went six-plus innings and beat Niekro to end
the Rangers' seven-game losing streak. Loynd is sometimes compared
with Mark Fidrych because of his facial grimaces, his grunts and his
marches around the mound. He has proved he can talk; after the draft
he said, ''I couldn't believe that the Rangers took Kevin Brown so
high,'' referring to Texas's No. 1 pick from Georgia Tech. ''That kid
is not a pitcher. I'm thinking of quitting baseball. That's
ridiculous.'' . . . The jury is out on drafting college versus high
school players, but it is evident that pitchers from the big college
programs can be moved along faster than other players. So don't be
surprised if University of Texas lefthander Greg Swindell is in
Cleveland soon after he signs. . . . The Rangers' three other rookie
pitchers are struggling. From June 22 through Sunday, Edwin Correa,
Bobby Witt and Jose Guzman had a combined 3-12 record with three
no-decisions and a 6.75 ERA (92 innings, 103 hits, 69 walks, 69
earned runs). ''With youth,'' said pitching coach Tom House, ''comes
unpredictability.'' Witt threw 91 pitches in 2 2/3 innings July 21,
giving him 93 walks in 93 innings for the season. . . . Five pitchers
the Yankees have given up on since last Sept. 1 -- Phil Niekro, Joe
Cowley, Neil Allen, Jim Deshaies, Rich Bordi -- had a combined 28-19
record through last weekend. . . . It may be too late, but the Tigers
have begun to move as their pitching has finally come together. They
allowed only seven earned runs in one nine-game stretch of 84
innings, and their only two losses in that time were by 1-0 scores.
Furthermore, Dan Petry is expected back by Aug. 19.