Hurricane Irene is totally messing with this weekend’s games

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Yesterday the Marlins and the Reds played a double header in order to get out ahead of Hurricane Irene’s impact.  As of a few minutes ago we have our first official rejiggering of the schedule for this weekend: the Phillies have moved Sunday’s game to Saturday, making it part of a day-night doubleheader with the Marlins.

Of course, there’s a decent chance that rain will already be falling on Philly by Saturday, but I suppose that the Phils are counting on the combined awesomeness of Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay to keep the atmospheric forces at bay.

There are many other series that are bound to be impacted by Irene, including the Yankees-Orioles in Baltimore, Braves-Mets in New York and the Athletics-Red Sox in Boston. No word on those, but there’s a non-trivial chance that we’ll have as many as 19 games on Saturday as a result. And if some of those get rained out the last few weeks of the season are likely to be a scheduling nightmare.

In the HBT video today I cursed James Bond for screwing up Martinis. I doubly curse him now for vanquishing villains who had perfectly good weather control systems at their disposal. Sure, they’re mostly used for evil, but I bet we could have persuaded them to have this storm pushed off the east coast in the name of baseball, right?

Jonny Venters is back in the majors

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The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.

Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.