This Sunday I headed down to Safeco Field (“The House That Griffey Built And Left”) to catch a Mariners game, and was treated to some great contrasts. Gil Meche wavered, striking out seven in only five innings, allowing four hits and three walks and taking 116 pitches to do it, of which 68 were strikes. Meanwhile, Mark Buehrle breezed, throwing just a hair over half as many pitches until he unraveled in the 6th inning. Meche was relieved by Rafael Soriano, who’s been so impressive of late I’ve given him my full endorsement. Soriano pitched two innings and struck out five of the next seven batters he faced, allowing only a solo home run–and it took him only 34 pitches, 17 per inning, or five less an inning than Meche. Buehrle was relieved by once-closer Billy Koch, who took 34 pitches to get out of one inning, again bringing up a thought. How many pitches does it take a guy to get an out?
It’s easy to blame airline food for getting sick on a flight, but since most flights don’t get more than a small glass of tomato juice and some peanuts (“WARNING: MAY CONTAIN PEANUTS”), it’s getting to be harder to blame it. For Rich Aurilia, he wishes it were just some bad turkey or clam chowder. After experiencing nausea and pain on the flight home from Cincinnati, Aurilia had surgery Monday to remove his appendix. Aurilia will be out between two and four weeks, depending on his comfort level. For Giants fans, this means–celebrate!–more Neifi Perez!
The Cubs wasted no time in activating Mark Prior, choosing to do so on Monday rather than waiting for the day of his start. There’s no real reason why one might be better than another unless getting Sergio Mitre back to West Tennessee was some priority. Prior was widely expected to be activated and make his first start Tuesday in his home town of San Diego. The only concern at this point with Prior is his stamina. One that bugs me about this situation, though: why do you call up a guy (Mitre), then send him back down two levels?
Ryan Dempster went in to have bone chips removed and came out with a rebuilt elbow. Mind you, it’s not like Dempster woke up to the medical equivalent of a surprise party, but it does have to be little disheartening for both he and the Reds. As unlucky as Ken Griffey Jr. has been, Dempster has been worse, sucking up more than $3 million and showing almost nothing. Meanwhile, the Reds are also dealing with the loss of Jimmy Haynes, perhaps for the season, and looking forward to next year’s rotation of Jose Acevedo, Aaron Harang, Brandon Claussen, one of Danny Graves or Ryan Wagner, and perhaps one more, like Ty Howington, or a free agent signed with Steinbrenner’s petty cash.
Paul Konerko and Carlos Lee have snapped out of slumps to lift the White Sox back into contention. Dan Haren has suddenly emerged as the Cardinals’ number-two starter. Ramon Nivar has turned into a new man for the Rangers. These and other news and notes out of Chicago, St. Louis, and Texas in today’s Prospectus Triple Play.