On Erstad, Brocail, Berkman and Sampson.

Cecil Cooper was planning for a while to play Darin Erstad in right field and rest Hunter Pence on Thursday, but he admitted he had second thoughts after Pence homered and doubled during the previous night’s game with the Dodgers. In the end, Cooper decided to stick with his original plan.

“It takes guts to take [Pence] out after last night,” Cooper said. “I hope [the fans] don’t boo me tonight.”

The decision was more about Erstad than Pence. Erstad had only 10 at-bats heading into this game and no starts.

“We need to get Erstad a start,” Cooper said. “That’s the reason we’re doing it. He needs to get four at-bats, or three at-bats in a game so he can feel comfortable. When a guy gets that, he usually starts to feel better. Then, when we use him in key situations, he’s ready.”

__________________

Considering Alex Rodriguez just had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip, I couldn’t help but wonder if Chris Sampson was headed for the same fate. Why can one player play through a tear in his labrum and the other can’t?

So, I asked Ed Wade about that, and he compared Sampson’s tear to peeling an orange. If you peel it slightly back but don’t break it off, it snaps back into place. As long as the labrum doesn’t tear further he should be OK, but there are no guarantees that it won’t.

“I guess it’s degrees of tolerance more than anything,” Wade said. “He’s had soreness and then there was the bang-bang play [at first base] where he fell back. He tweaked it again and that’s when they told us it was incumbent to get the MRI.”

Sampson will probably have the tear looked at again when the season is over, and at that time, he might opt to have it surgically repaired. That’s a long way away however, and for now, he’ll pitch through it.
 
“He might have episodes over the course of the season where he’s too sore to pitch,” Wade said. “Or back-to-back days at different times might be a problem. We don’t know at this point. It’s going to be up to him to let us know how he’s feeling.”

Right now, Sampson is still enjoying the effects of a pain-numbing cortisone shot he took earlier this week, so it’s safe to say he’s feeling just fine.

__________________

At some point Wednesday, Doug Brocail was scheduled to make a Minor League rehab appearance. But he said he was going to try to talk Cooper and pitching coach Dewey Robsinson out of it, and apparently, it worked. Brocail will throw a simulated game
Friday instead and if that goes well, there is no reason why he shouldn’t be activated on Sunday when he’s eligible to come off the DL.

“What if he had gone there to Round Rock and thrown six pitches, or five?” Cooper said. “He’s not a guy that’s going to sit down after six pitches and get up and go another inning. It didn’t make a lot of sense. He’s going to do it here, and we’ll see if we can get him activated soon after.”

__________________

Lance Berkman’s homer Thursday night was the 292nd of his career, which moved him ahead of Craig Biggio for second place on the club’s all-time home run list.

So now, Berkman is sandwiched in between Biggio [291] and Jeff Bagwell [449].

“I’m honored to be in the same company as the two franchise icons,” he said.

As proud as he is to have played with Bagwell and Biggio, Berkman is OK with the fact that he is NOT an original Killer B. He is actually quick to remind us that he was playing at Rice when the whole Killer B thing first started in 1996.

It’s for that reason that Berkman doesn’t quite understand the buzzing sound played over the loudspeaker from time to time when he bats, and come to think of it, neither does hitting coach Sean Berry, one of the founding fathers of the first wave of Killer B’s. [That group included Bagwell, Biggio, Berry and Derek Bell].

Overheard: Brad Ausmus, acknowledging that this is the Dodgers’ only trip to Minute Maid Park this year: “This is the last time I’ll never play here.”

During Spring Training, we polled several key figures from the last 10 years on their favorite Minute Maid Park memories. We’re rolling them out slowly over the course of the season. First up, Roy Oswalt. Check it out here [scroll down]: http://astrosmemories.mlblogs.com/

From the camera archives:
The Astros are a close bunch. Puma demonstrated this while preparing to do an interview with radio announcer Dave Raymond. Puma’s like that close talker from Seinfeld. Dave acted like he was uncomfortable but I think he secretly liked it.

0423_blog_berkman_close.jpg

Here they are at a more comfortable distance:

0423_blog_berkm_franklin.jpg

I have no idea what Ed Wade and Randy Wolf were talking about, but being the nosy photographer I am, I snapped this and drew my own conclusions. Wade’s a big fan of Wolf; it wouldn’t surprise me if he made another run at him next offseason.
 
0423_wolf_ed.jpg

12 Comments

Hey Alyson, quick question about Sampson’s cortisone shot; typically about how long does the effects of the shot last? I hope we don’t lose him this season, he is quickly proving to be one of the only reliable arms in the bullpen early on this season. I don’t know how far we could make it without his double plays!

THAT is what I miss most about Ausmus: his wit. Would it be wrong to have an “Ask Brad” segment after every Astro’s game? Who cares that he wears blue … as he basically pointed out himself, he’ll probably play for the Astros this year almost as much as he’ll play for the Dodgers. :-)

Ok Alyson I got a serious beef with the Astro’s Organization after attending the game last evening and maybe you can address it.

First was a stop at Larry’s Big Bamboo. I don’t know who owns it but it should be called Larry’s Big Bamboozled.
I order the $7.50 margarita and paid for it and drank. Next time I go up there and ordered the $3.75 margarita which looked smaller. I told the bartender to go ahead and change it to the $7.50 one. She poured the $3.75 glass into the $7.50 glass and low and behold they were the EXACT SAME SIZE with just a different shape plastic cup to them. She said that she would only charge me the $3.75 and don’t tell anyone. I stood there in both shock and amazement.
THIS IS A TOTAL SHAME WHAT THEY ARE DOING.

Next beef comes inside the stadium. My friend went and bought the $10 ticket,soda,dog,chips deal.
Well the tickets just say Upper Level General Admission.
We go up to the upper level and get our food and we are sitting way down by the Right Field foul pole with no one in front of us for 6 rows and no one behind us for 6 rows. An employee comes up to us and ask to see our tickets like we are in premium seats or something. She says we are in the wrong section AND MUST MOVE. She points to where we are supposed to be sitting which were better seats than where we were. She then runs about 10 more people.
THIS IS A DISGRACE. I get checking tickets in the lower sections but Upper level when it is empty.PLEASE.
ALL AND ALL A SOUR TRIP TO MINUTE MAID.

Ok Alyson I got a serious beef with the Astro’s Organization after attending the game last evening and maybe you can address it.

First was a stop at Larry’s Big Bamboo. I don’t know who owns it but it should be called Larry’s Big Bamboozled.
I order the $7.50 margarita and paid for it and drank. Next time I go up there and ordered the $3.75 margarita which looked smaller. I told the bartender to go ahead and change it to the $7.50 one. She poured the $3.75 glass into the $7.50 glass and low and behold they were the EXACT SAME SIZE with just a different shape plastic cup to them. She said that she would only charge me the $3.75 and don’t tell anyone. I stood there in both shock and amazement.
THIS IS A TOTAL SHAME WHAT THEY ARE DOING.

Next beef comes inside the stadium. My friend went and bought the $10 ticket,soda,dog,chips deal.
Well the tickets just say Upper Level General Admission.
We go up to the upper level and get our food and we are sitting way down by the Right Field foul pole with no one in front of us for 6 rows and no one behind us for 6 rows. An employee comes up to us and ask to see our tickets like we are in premium seats or something. She says we are in the wrong section AND MUST MOVE. She points to where we are supposed to be sitting which were better seats than where we were. She then runs about 10 more people.
THIS IS A DISGRACE. I get checking tickets in the lower sections but Upper level when it is empty.PLEASE.
ALL AND ALL A SOUR TRIP TO MINUTE MAID.

Ok Alyson I got a serious beef with the Astro’s Organization after attending the game last evening and maybe you can address it.

First was a stop at Larry’s Big Bamboo. I don’t know who owns it but it should be called Larry’s Big Bamboozled.
I order the $7.50 margarita and paid for it and drank. Next time I go up there and ordered the $3.75 margarita which looked smaller. I told the bartender to go ahead and change it to the $7.50 one. She poured the $3.75 glass into the $7.50 glass and low and behold they were the EXACT SAME SIZE with just a different shape plastic cup to them. She said that she would only charge me the $3.75 and don’t tell anyone. I stood there in both shock and amazement.
THIS IS A TOTAL SHAME WHAT THEY ARE DOING.

Next beef comes inside the stadium. My friend went and bought the $10 ticket,soda,dog,chips deal.
Well the tickets just say Upper Level General Admission.
We go up to the upper level and get our food and we are sitting way down by the Right Field foul pole with no one in front of us for 6 rows and no one behind us for 6 rows. An employee comes up to us and ask to see our tickets like we are in premium seats or something. She says we are in the wrong section AND MUST MOVE. She points to where we are supposed to be sitting which were better seats than where we were. She then runs about 10 more people.
THIS IS A DISGRACE. I get checking tickets in the lower sections but Upper level when it is empty.PLEASE.
ALL AND ALL A SOUR TRIP TO MINUTE MAID.

I know Brad’s homerun may not win in this little Astros Greatest moments brackets, but in my humble opinion it is the most clutch moment by any Astros, ever. The only one that would come close is Hatcher’s in 86, and maybe Kent’s walkoff in the playoffs the year before that.

Think about it, if he didn’t hit it, the game was over. I know Burke’s was nice later in that game, but if Burke didn’t hit it, the game would just go on. Ausmus’s was a do or die situation, and lets face it, he isn’t blessed with offensive prowess, so that makes it extra special. Lets not forget that this is a game that the Astros were getting blown out until we got one clutch homer after another, so I think Brad’s dinger gets forgotten among Puma’s Slam and Burke’s game winner. But no other home run in Astros playoff history was ever in a do or die situation where the outcome was we won the game and the series.

Phil Goner, I would recommend sending your post to customerservice@astros.com. I can assure you they read every email and will respond to you in a timely fashion. If you don’t hear from them within a week, let me know.

thejubbies — cortisone shots normally last several months; i would expect Sampson to be ok through july or so.

Sorry for the overkill. When I submitted it the first time it never posted like it usually does.
Almost as frustrating as last night.

Nice pull on Jake Ryan.
I thought Danny Vara should have went with the Flux Capacitor instead of actual Time Travel.
Tell him he dropped the ball on that one.

Alyson, who makes the decision to open or close the roof? I heard that they’ve already made the decision to close the roof tonight and unless there’s a better than 50% chance of thunderstorms, I can’t understand that decision. Jim Deshaises said they decided to close the roof last night because it was too windy. Are you kidding me? Too windy? It was very nice last evening. What’s the point in having a retactable roof if we can’t enjoy outdoor baseball in the few weeks that we can have it? They’ve already wasted a lot of opportunities to have the roof open. I love MMP, but it always feels more like baseball to me to be sitting outside.

Okay, it’s pouring here in Clear Lake and I assume it might be doing the same downtown. So, I guess that answers my question about why the roof is closed tonight. Still, there have been many nights that the roof has been closed when it wasn’t necessary.

bklewis77, I’m right there with you! Before the season began there was a place on the main page to submit your own personal favorite moment in your own words, and that’s the one I went with. There’s nothing else to say about it; you actually worded it perfectly! Thanks for the good news Alyson, I was kind of worried it was only good for a couple of weeks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 254 other followers

%d bloggers like this: