Alan Embree became only the 38th Major League pitcher to pitch in 800 games when he pitched earlier this week.
05/23/2008 12:16 PM ET
Embree reaches longevity milestone
Veteran can still bring the heat at age 38
A's teammate Huston Street kidded Embree about his age before commenting on the degree of difficulty involved.
"It's extremely impressive, when you think about it," Street told the San Francisco Chronicle. "You've got to be good for a long time to get to that number. Just look at him: He's 38 and he's throwing 95 mph. He takes care of himself, and he's overcome two or three surgeries. He's smart, and, more than anything, it's his attitude: Here's my fastball; hit it. He's not afraid, he's going to go for it. That's why he's stuck around."
Embree retired the Rays in order in his milestone appearance on Monday night.
"I wasn't going to let that one get away. I didn't know what I had, but I had a little extra for that one," Embree said. "It's cool, personally, but I'm just glad it's over, because you never know what might happen. I've just been blessed with longevity. I consider myself fortunate."
Next up on the list is Walter Johnson, who pitched in 802 games, including 666 as a starter.
Jones will always remember old Stadium: Yankee Stadium holds a special place in the heart of Baltimore's Adam Jones. Not only is it his favorite park in which to play, but it's also where he picked up his first Major League hit last season and where he set career highs with four hits and four RBIs on Tuesday. He credits his recent hot streak to his increased patience at the plate.
"I'm seeing 1-0 sliders, 1-0 changeups, instead of 1-0 fastballs. I just got to stay patient and take it," Jones told the Baltimore Sun. "Especially in RBI situations, I try to relax even more because [the pitcher] is in trouble, not me. I try to stay back and make them come to me, instead of me going out and trying to attack something."
Baltimore manager Dave Trembley says that, when Jones shows patience, he's much better off.
"He's a young guy, and when pitchers get ahead of him, they have a tendency to expand the strike zone," said Trembley. "With all due respect, I'm not so sure they get him out all the time or if he gets himself out. I think he's kind of stayed away lately from getting himself out and chasing pitches that aren't strikes."
DeWitt honored with parade in Missouri hometown: It's the "Summer of Blake" in Sikestown, Mo. Native son Blake DeWitt's impressive early-season performance for the Dodgers has folks in the small, southeast Missouri farming community buzzing.
Originally considered a fill-in, DeWitt has been a revelation for the Dodgers, batting .325 with four home runs and 23 RBIs. In addition to declaring it the "Summer of Blake," Sikestown Mayor Mike Marshall wants to honor DeWitt with a parade in the offseason.
"It means a whole lot to know you have that many people care about you," DeWitt told the Los Angeles Times. "It's a good feeling."
Pujols prays for Young after line drive: After hitting a line drive that broke San Diego pitcher Chris Young's nose on Wednesday night, Albert Pujols was visibly shaken. He joined Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez in a brief prayer while team medical personnel attended to Young.
"When I hit it, I thought it was going over his head," Pujols told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "but it hit him right in the face. There was blood all over the place and I began to pray about it and make sure it was all right."
A clothes call for birthday boy Miller: Andrew Miller celebrated his birthday one day late by throwing seven shutout innings against the Diamondbacks, leading the Marlins to a three-game sweep of the NL West leaders. Miller's teammates celebrated by taking all of the clothes out of his locker and moving them into one of the bathroom stalls.
"All in good fun, I hope," Miller told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "I hope it's not because they don't like me."
Hoffpauir honing outfield skills: The Cubs' Micah Hoffpauir doesn't figure to get many at-bats as a first baseman behind Derrek Lee, so he's continuing to hone his corner-outfield skills in order to become more versatile for the Cubs.
"It's not too bad," Hoffpauir told the Chicago Tribune of the switch. "I've been doing [it] the last three or four years. I've played about 16 games a year, so I've had my opportunities in the outfield. Hopefully I won't do anything too stupid."
Thames has teammates on his side: Marcus Thames' Tigers teammates were happy to see him have a big day at the plate.
"Marcus is one of those guys you want to see do good, because he's such a good guy and such a good teammate," teammate Zach Miner told the Detroit Free Press. "He's always positive, always happy. You pull for him. When he hits a home run, I feel like I've just hit a home run."
Greinke feels at home in a dome: Zack Greinke, who is scheduled to start on Friday night against Toronto at the Rogers Centre, says he prefers to pitch in domed stadiums.
"I like all domes," Greinke told MLB.com. "The weather is always good, and I think that's why [I like them], because you can always have batting practice, and it's not real hot or real cold -- it's just nice. You don't have to worry about the wind blowing straight out one game or all the different things that can happen with it. You just know what it's going to be like, and that's how it is."
Pence welcomes new niece with grand slam: Hunter Pence hit his second grand slam of his career on Tuesday night, topping off a day in which his sister-in-law, Allison, delivered a new niece into the family. Hayley Pence was born in California.
"At 4:30 [p.m.], I was calling and calling, and still no baby," Pence told the Houston Chronicle. "But then I had a message saying, 'Hit one for the new HP in the family.' It's one of those things that hopefully, when she gets a little older and we can talk to her, it's something that she can feel is special."
Villanueva ready to contribute from bullpen: Carlos Villanueva says he understood why manager Ned Yost moved him to the bullpen earlier this week.
"The results aren't what we want," Villanueva told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "There's no shame in trying whatever it takes to help the team out. They talked to me and I understand. They still feel that I can help the team out. If they didn't feel that way, I'd probably be in [Triple-A] Nashville right now."
Davis to make return from thyroid cancer: The return of left-hander Doug Davis from thyroid cancer is only days away for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Davis is scheduled to return to the starting rotation Friday in Atlanta, six weeks after he underwent surgery.
"I definitely feel like I'm ready to come back and help out," Davis told The Arizona Republic.
Colon wins first start with Red Sox: Bartolo Colon won his first start with the Red Sox against Kansas City on Wednesday night. In five innings of work, Colon allowed two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out four.
"He's going to help us," catcher Jason Varitek told the Boston Herald. "He threw some good strikes, he elevated the ball sometimes, he did good. I saw some 94 [mph's] up there. You've got to remember, it's still his first outing. It was a good starting point for building his strength."
Chamberlain makes move to starting rotation: The transition of Joba Chamberlain from reliever to starter has officially begun. The Yankees announced that Chamberlain will join the starting rotation as soon as he is stretched out enough to do so.
He threw two innings in his last outing as the first step to building the arm strength needed to pitch full games.
"I'm excited to see what happens," Chamberlain told Newsday after the game.
Millwood getting closer to getting a start: Kevin Millwood could be activated from the disabled list in time to start on May 30. Millwood, who is out with a groin injury, went through a series of fielding tests earlier this week, including covering first base. Millwood said everything went well and manager Ron Washington said he didn't notice any problems.
"He's doing everything now that he's required to do," Washington told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "He moved pretty well. It's just a part of the process."
Duncan primed to hit prior to Pujols: Chris Duncan will never lobby to hit in a specific spot in the lineup, but he never minds batting directly in front of Albert Pujols.
"You get pitched differently hitting in front of Albert. You have a better idea of how they're going to come at you," Duncan told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "Pitchers can't afford to walk you with him out there on deck. When you hit somewhere else, it changes. I don't know anybody who wouldn't want to hit [before Pujols]."
-- Red Line Editorial