K Mart. Padre shortstop Andujar Cedeno struck out five times, and two teammates, outfielder Melvin Nieves and first baseman Roberto Petagine, whiffed four times each in a 5-4 loss to the Astros last Thursday. The Elias Sports Bureau went back 15 years and couldn't find three players on the same team who had struck out four or more times apiece in the same game. It was the first time this season that even two players in the same game, let alone on the same team, had struck out four or more times each. In their combined 13 strikeouts Cedeno, Nieves and Petagine made contact only seven times in 57 pitches. The next night Cedeno struck out three times in three at bats (he was hit by a pitch in his other plate appearance), giving him 10 strikeouts in three games, which tied a major league record. In the five-game series the Astros and Padres combined for 110 strikeouts in 56 innings.
Baby Boomers. When 20-year-old pitcher Ramon Morel was called up to the Pirates last Thursday, he became the 10th player to make his major league debut with Pittsburgh this year. "Most of these guys had probably never seen a major league game," says Pirate third base coach Rich Donnelly. "Every time someone on our team gets a hit, they throw the ball into the dugout. When we do hitter versus pitcher matchups heading into a series, none of our guys have ever faced any of their guys." Morel was promoted from Class A Lynchburg to Double A Carolina on July 5, but before he could pitch for his new team, he was called to Pittsburgh to fill a spot in the bullpen until the All-Star break. "He said he was on the phone to his mother telling her, 'Mom, I just got called up to Double A,' then he got another call, and it was us," says Donnelly. "He said, 'Excuse me, Mom. I got called up again.' He thought he was hallucinating."