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Article:Baseball Notebook: Switch Pitcher PItches to Switch Hitter

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A unique problem developed in the New York-Penn League recently when pitcher Pat Venditte entered a game in which the Staten Island Yankees were leading 7-2 in the ninth inning. What was unique about the situation was that Venditte is a ambidextrous pitcher who uses a special six finger glove. He can switch his glove from one hand to the other depending on which side the batter is batting from.

In this game, Venditte retired the first two hitters of the inning, and then the next batter singled. That brought up switch hitter Ralph Henriquez, who had been swinging lefthanded in the on deck circle. Naturally, Venditte switched his glove so he could pitch lefthanded to Henriquez. Seeing this development Henriquez switched to the other side of the plate causing Venditte to switch his glove to the other hand again.

On a side note, mlb.com, getting in the mood of all this switching, switched the name of Henriquez to Manriquez further down in the article, so I am not sure what his real name is. Anyway, the batter switched sides of the plate again and the pitcher switched his glove to the other hand. This went off for some time before the umpires and coaches got together and decided to make the batter swing righthanded and the pitcher pitch righthanded.

If Venditte makes it to the Majors someday there is no rule to cover this situation but the Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation rulebook states that a pitcher and hitter in the case of an ambidextrous pitcher the batter and pitcher can make one switch each per time at bat. Even that doesn't address who has to make the first or final decision so this will be uncharted territory and the minor and major league rulemakers will have to make a fair decision if a fair decision can be reached.

Randy Johnson Rocked By Twins 7-2

Randy Johnson's (4-5) hopes of winning his 300th game became a little dimmer after pitching a complete game loss to the Minnesota Twins and lost the game 7-2. This was the 74th game of the season for the Arizona Diamondbacks, so that means Johnson will get one more start before the 81st game of the season, which is the halfway mark for the season. Since winning his last game on May 18th, Johnson has had two no decisions and four straight losses.

Assuming he stays healthy the rest of the season, Johnson will have about 18 more starts this season and with 288 wins, he needs to win 12 of those starts to reach the 300 win plateau. The DH rule is the only reason he pitched a complete game since he was playing in an AL park. Even then, it is a mystery why he was allowed to stay in the game after giving up 7 runs and 11 hits.

In his last three losses to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals, and Minnesota Twins, Johnson has given up 20 runs and 17 hits in his last 18 innings. Scott Baker (3-2) won his first game since his second start of the season on April 9th.

A's Defeat Marlins 7-6 in 11 Innings

Kurt Suzuki established personal highs of 4 hits and 5 RBI's in this game, but the thing he will remember the longest is his walkoff double in the bottom of the 11th inning which gave the Oakland Athletics a 7-6 victory over a good Florida Marlins team that battled back from a 4-0 deficit to send the game into extra innings.

Dan Uggla homered twice to give him 23 for the season as he took over the major league lead from Chase Utley who has 22. The A's remained 3 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Angels, who also won yesterday. The AL West was 3-1 against NL East teams yesterday with the Angels defeating the Phillies 7-1 and the Mariners blasting the Braves by a 10-2 score. The Nationals beat the Rangers 4-3 so were the only NL East team to post a win over a AL West team yesterday.

Volquez Not Intimidated By Yankee Stadium; Becomes 3rd NL Pitcher to Win 10 Games

Cincinnati Reds' Edinson Volquez (10-2) defeated Mike Mussina (10-5) and the New York Yankees 4-2. Volquez has only lost one start this season and that was to the Atlanta Braves; his other loss came in relief against the San Diego Padres. Volquez, who didn't seem to be intimidated by playing in historic Yankee Stadium, has not allowed more than 3 runs in a game this season in 15 starts, and that was in only one game. In his 16 total appearances, he has had 11 games in which he allowed one run or no runs.

Mussina, who has lost only twice since April 17th, was the victim of a listless Yankee offense which could only manage to hit 8 singles. Jolbert Cabrera was 4-for-4 to lead the Reds offense, and this is Cabrera's first season in the Majors since 2004. Joey Votto hit his 12th homer of the season and drove in his 37th run of the season, which makes him 3rd on Reds in RBI's with only Adam Dunn and Brandon Phillips ahead of him with 43 and 41, respectively. Votto is tied for second in slugging on the team at .500 with Jay Bruce and behind team leader Adam Dunn at .502.

Today, Daryl Thompson will start his first Major League game in historic Yankee Stadium. He took the place of Homer Bailey in the starting rotation for the Reds. Thompson has a combined record of 6-2 this season at Chattanooga and Louisville. Those two cities are big cities, but will not prepare Thompson for what he will face when he walks out of the clubhouse onto the grass at Yankee Stadium. There should be a lot more fans in the stands than he is used to seeing. His mound opponent, Dan Giese (1-1), will also be making his first Major League start.

Nationals Edge Rangers 4-3 in 13 Innings

Elijah Dukes was the hero of the game for the Washington Nationals in their 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers. Dukes hit a game tying homer in the 8th inning, then hit a walkoff single in the 13th inning to win the game for the Nationals. Dukes was 5-for-6 in the game with two stolen bases. The first six hitters in the Rangers' batting order were a combined 4-for-35 in the contest with Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, and David Murphy having 0-for-6 games.

Pirates Defeat Blue Jays 1-0 in 12 Innings

Jason Michaels drove in the winning run when the shortstop John McDonald bobbled a grounder with the bases loaded in the 12th inning for a walkoff 1-0 win. Michaels didn't credit for an RBI, but the win was the important thing. Starters Roy Halladay and Zach Duke both pitched 7 innings and allowed no runs and 6 hits each.

Indians Top Dodgers 6-4 in 10 Innings

On a day when there were four extra inning games, this was the shortest with the Cleveland Indians defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-4. Jhonny Peralta doubled in two runs in the tenth inning for the win. Cliff Lee gave up only one run in 7 1/3 innings and had a chance to win the game but Rafael Betancourt and Joe Borowski pitched a total of one inning between them and allowed 3 runs, 4 hits and 2 walks to deprive Lee of his 11th win. Lee's only loss this season was when the Reds and Edinson Volquez defeated him on May 18th.

Cubs Nip White Sox 4-3

Aramis Ramirez hit a walkoff homer in the bottom of the ninth to give the Chicago Cubs a 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox in the first skirmish of the Battle of Chicago. John Danks pitched 6 innings and allowed only one run to score. The White Sox bullpen couldn't hold on to a 3-1 lead. The big guns for the Cubs, Derrek Lee and Ramirez, hit three homers between them, with Lee hitting his 15th and Ramirez hitting his 11th and 12th of the 2008 season.

Kyle Lohse Pitches Cardinals To 5-4 Victory Over the Red Sox

Kyle Lohse (9-2) won his sixth straight start and hasn't lost since May 8th when he lost to the Colorado Rockies. Lohse, who was a man without a team a month after Spring Training started, was signed on March 14th less than two weeks before Opening Day. Lohse has won his last two starts against two power laden teams in the Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Red Sox. Tim Wakefield (4-5) took the loss but had a quality start. Manny Ramirez, Mike Lowell and Kevin Youkilis left 15 runners on base in the contest.

Ervin Santana Wins 9th Game As Angels Defeat Phillies 7-1

Ervin Santana 9-3 continued his bid to become AL Comeback Player of the Year after having a 7-14 record in 2007 by holding the Phillies to one run and two hits in 7 innings while striking out 9 enroute to a 7-1 defeat of the Phillies. Adam Eaton (2-5) took the loss for the Phillies. Vladimir Guerrero hit his 11th homer in the game and finished the game with 40 RBI's. Guerrero hit only .219 in May but is hitting .434 in June and is slugging .717 in June.

Oswalt, Astros Defeat Rays 4-3

Roy Oswalt (6-7) won for the first time since May 12th as the Houston Astros ended an 8 game losing streak. Matt Garza (5-4) took the loss for the Rays. Garza struck out 8 batters in the game. Tonight, Edwin Jackson (4-6) will take the mound for the Rays. Jackson has allowed at least four runs in 7 of his 14 starts this season. Jackson has lost twice to the Red Sox and White Sox and once to Yankees and Marlins, so he is losing to some very good teams. In his 3 starts in June, he has allowed 14 runs and 21 hits in 17 innings with a 7.41 ERA for the month.

Royals Blow 4 Run Lead Lose to Giants 9-4

Luke Hochevar couldn't hold a 4-0 lead and let the San Francisco Giants tie the game at 4-4 before leaving the game. The 9-4 loss ended a five game Kansas City Royals' winning streak. Matt Cain (4-5) pitched 8 innings and allowed 3 earned runs and 5 hits while fanning 8 batters.

Mets Rock Rockies 7-2 With 15 Hit Attack

John Maine (7-5) held the Colorado Rockies to two runs in 6 2/3 innings and the New York Mets' hitters pounded out 15 hits in the game, including an 11th homer for Carlos Delgado this season. Delgado has only four more RBI's than leadoff hitter Jose Reyes, with Delgado having 35 and Reyes having 31. All the Mets' starters, including the pitcher Maine had at least one hit in the game. Aaron Cook (10-4) lost his first game since May 20th for the Rockies.

Mariners Thump Braves 10-2

The Atlanta Braves not only got beat 10-2 last night. They got beat by the worst team in the Major Leagues the Mariners a team with a new manager and a new general manager. The Braves could only manage one double against the Mariners pitching while the Mariners doubled up on doubles with three players hitting two doubles each and they had a total of eight doubles in the game. Erik Bedard had to leave the game after three innings with back spasms but even without Bedard on the mound the Braves offense couldn't get started and have lost 10 of their last 14 games.

Orioles Take 8-5 Win Over Brewers

Jeff Suppan (4-5) was bombed early and often as he gave up 6 runs and 7 hits in 1 2/3 innings. His throwing error allowed the Baltimore Orioles to score three unearned runs. Rahames Liz didn't fare much better for the Orioles, giving up 5 runs and 4 hits and 4 walks in 2 innings. Aubrey Huff was 4-for-5 in the game including his 13th and 14th homers of the season. Prince Fielder hit his 14th homer for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Padres Deny Blessing to Tigers: Take 6-2 Win Despite Bullpen

Greg Maddux pitched another excellent game, allowing only 1 run in 7 innings, but then Heath Bell came in from the bullpen to allow the Detroit Tigers to tie the game at 2-2, giving Maddux his third no decision this month in a game where he left allowing only one run while he was on the mound. He has only won once since April 13th when he won on May 10th against the Rockies. He has nothing to show for his 1.73 ERA this month.

The Padres came back to win the game when they scored four times in the bottom of the eighth inning. Rookie Chase Headley hit his second homer since being called up from Portland and is slugging .813.

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