Sarfate a little fuzzy following relief stint
Battling inner-ear infection, righty looks strong on Tuesday
ARLINGTON -- Dennis Sarfate battled through one of the most surreal experiences of his pitching career Tuesday night, when he persevered through the effects of an inner-ear infection to make an effective relief outing. Sarfate was taking three different kinds of medication but somehow managed to keep his head.
"I was just hoping I could get through it and eat some innings up," said Sarfate. "I didn't really care if I gave up some runs or not. [Catcher Gregg Zaun] did a good job of calling a good game because I really had no idea of what was going on. I thought about it last night, and I don't even remember parts of the game."
That's a shame, because Sarfate provided one of the most memorable performances of his Baltimore tenure. The right-hander didn't have any of his trademark velocity on Tuesday night and couldn't really keep track of the game situations, but he still worked 3 1/3 scoreless against the Rangers.
"The stuff that they gave me and the shot I got for the ear infection all kind of combined together," Sarfate said. "I was sitting there in the bullpen in the first inning and I don't even know how I was feeling ... next thing you know, I was on Cloud Nine, just kind of out there. But I knew I had to do something."
Sarfate said he was so disoriented that his teammates could tell something was wrong. And even though the training staff and the manager knew what was ailing him, they still were a bit put off by his behavior.
"They saw me out there on the mound after the first batter I faced and they were like, 'Are you all right?' " he said. "I said, 'I just want to know what was in that shot.' So they gave me a granola bar and a banana on the bench to get some sugar in me and see if it would help. But it was just a real weird feeling."
Sarfate, who keyed 7 2/3 scoreless innings from the bullpen in front of closer George Sherrill, was also involved in a full-contact popup play with first baseman Aubrey Huff. Sarfate came down with the ball, but not before colliding with his teammate and giving manager Dave Trembley a scare.
"Give Sarfate a lot of credit. He's been battling an inner-ear infection," said Trembley. "He was a little light-headed out there and probably a little light-headed more so after he ran into Huff over there. The guys were having fun on the bench with it, saying strap it on and put the pads on and let's go get them.
"I thought it was 1934 and the GasHouse Gang again, with bodies flying everywhere. It was something."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.