August 12, 1996 |
It was 11 yesterday morning, 2 1/2 hours before game time. Yet in the Phillies' moribund clubhouse, the air of defeat was already as thick as the aroma of coffee. "It's always like this in here now," said one veteran. "People don't stick around long enough to get close to each other. It's like a morgue. " And when the game began, it was Phils starter Mike Williams who didn't stick around long. And the Phillies who were quickly dead. The Astros scored six times off Williams in 1 1/3 innings, building a 10-0 advantage and cruising to a 10-5 victory on an otherwise beautiful Sunday at Veterans Stadium.
August 29, 1998 |
Randy Johnson is getting comfortable in his new surroundings. That's making things uncomfortable for Houston's opponents. Johnson struck out 16 for his third shutout - all in the Astrodome - since joining Houston as the Astros snapped Pittsburgh's nine-game winning streak last night with a 2-0 victory. "Of all the games I've pitched for the Astros, I was the most comfortable in this one," Johnson said. "It's easier to keep your focus later in the game when you have a 2-0 ballgame.
August 19, 2008 |
Meet the candidates The Chicago Cubs' Ryan Dempster is making Lou Piniella look like a genius - something he has not been called too often in his 21-season managerial career. Piniella converted Dempster, a former closer, to a starter this year, and the righthander has become a Cy Young Award candidate with a 14-5 record and 2.92 ERA. "We knew coming into spring training he would make the rotation," Piniella told the Chicago Sun-Times. "We slipped him right into the three-hole, and he's done a great job. We watch his pitch counts and try to rest him, but his stuff is as good now as it was early in the year.
September 2, 1995 |
It didn't take Jeff Bagwell long to celebrate his escape from the Houston Astros' disabled list. In his first game since recovering from a broken bone in his left hand, Bagwell drove in the tying run in Houston's three-run seventh inning as the Astros rallied to beat the visiting Florida Marlins, 7-3, last night. "Sitting on the bench and not being able to help was really frustrating," Bagwell said. "It was nice to just get in the lineup. My main focus is to help us get through September.
January 5, 2007 |
Infielder Mark Loretta agreed to a $2.5 million, one-year contract with the Houston Astros yesterday, a deal that allows him to make an additional $1 million in performance bonuses. The 35-year-old, who is likely to play at several infield positions, has a .299 career average and was an all-star in 2004 and 2006. He hit .285 with 33 doubles, five home runs, and 59 RBIs last season with Boston. Loretta has mainly played at second base during his 12-year career, but 41-year-old Craig Biggio likely will start the season at second.
August 26, 2004 |
Craig Biggio doffed his cap and waved to the crowd from first base. He was nearly in tears, realizing the standing ovation may be one of his last as a Houston Astro. "The way the crowd reacted was kind of overwhelming," Biggio said in the clubhouse yesterday after becoming the first Astro to reach 2,600 hits. "I have been playing here for 17 years, and the fans have always been great to me. To be able to do it in this city, the only city I've played in, was wonderful. " At 38, Biggio is having the kind of season few could have expected from a player in the twilight of his career.
August 8, 1994 |
Like all managers with contending teams, Houston's Terry Collins is treating this as the last week of the season. "With Cincinnati winning today and only three games left, it's one we had to have," Collins said after the Astros defeated the visiting San Francisco Giants last night, 7-4. It was their sixth straight victory and put them within one game of Cincinnati for the NL Central lead. "We've got to go out and play the next three games as best we can," Collins said. "Cincinnati has four games left and we've got to stay with them.
August 1, 2001 |
When Mark McGwire gets a hit these days, it goes a long way. McGwire's last eight hits have been home runs, and he connected for No. 572 last night as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the visiting Atlanta Braves, 6-2. "He'll mix in a couple of singles here sometime," manager Tony La Russa said. McGwire is one homer behind Harmon Killebrew for fifth place on the career list after connecting on an 0-1 fastball from Kevin Millwood in the fourth. McGwire has 18 homers on the season.
April 7, 2001 |
Richie Sexson felt as if he had just won a championship after his tiebreaking home run made the Milwaukee Brewers winners in their Miller Park debut. "It's something I'll carry with me forever. It's going to be one of the high points of my career," said Sexson, whose solo shot in the eighth inning gave Milwaukee a 5-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds last night. Sexson's home run off Dennys Reyes (0-2) traveled 435 feet and sent Bernie Brewer twisting down his swank toboggan-like yellow slide that replaced his outmoded one that was torn down with the rest of County Stadium.
April 9, 2002 |
With a single, triple and home run in his first three at-bats, Craig Biggio knew what needed to be done. After being walked intentionally in his next plate appearance, Biggio lined a two-run double down the leftfield line, completing the cycle and helping the Houston Astros to an 8-4 victory yesterday in the Colorado Rockies' home opener. " I was just trying to hit the ball hard," Biggio said of his last at-bat. "That's what I'm trying to do every time up. " Biggio, who entered the game hitting a team-low .174 (4-for-23)