Running on empty
Eighteen innings of baseball might be fun for die-hard fans or folks who make their money off concessions, but they're just murder for managers trying to keep their pitchers from getting worn out.
Take Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker. He had to use two starters - Aaron Harang and Edinson Volquez (the losing pitcher) - in relief in Sunday's 18-inning loss to San Diego, and that's sure to mess up his rotation for the entire week.
What's worse is that the Reds blew leads of 6-5, 7-6 and 9-7 in the game. The three blown saves were one more than Cincinnati had in its previous 49 games.
"We won that game three times, but they fought back," Baker said.
The high price of idleness
It's more money than the total payrolls of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Oakland Athletics, and Tampa Bay Rays, and more than twice that of the National League East-leading Florida Marlins.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are paying $49.5 million in salaries to five players who aren't playing. Andruw Jones, Rafael Furcal, Nomar Garciaparra and Jason Schmidt are on the disabled list, and Esteban Loaiza has been designated for assignment.
Jones is the latest Dodger to be sidelined. He told the Dodgers he has decided to undergo arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee. Jones, who is batting .165 with a team-high 45 strikeouts, is expected to be out until the all-star break.
It should have been a great day for Omar Vizquel, 41, who started both ends of the San Francisco Giants' doubleheader against the Florida Marlins on Saturday to set the major-league record for most games at the position with 2,584.
But it wasn't. The Giants lost both games. Vizquel went without a hit on the day and committed his first error of the season.
"It's sad because it doesn't really let you have as much fun as you want," Vizquel said in the San Jose Mercury News. "It was a pretty big moment for me. Very emotional. But I'm not going to enjoy this very much . . . maybe next week."
Lightning kills former pitcher
Geremi Gonzalez, who pitched for five major-league teams and won 11 games for the Chicago Cubs in 1997, was killed by a lightning strike in his native Venezuela at the age of 33.
An emergency-management official said Gonzalez was struck Sunday at a beach.
Gonzalez played for the Cubs, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, and Milwaukee Brewers from 1997 through 2006, then pitched in Japan in 2007. He compiled a 30-35 record in 131 major-league appearances.