New dad Berkman out of lineup; Drayton stays optimistic

Lance Berkman, who had started 63 of the team’s first 67 games, was out of the starting lineup Tuesday against the Royals after his wife, Cara, gave birth to their couple’s fourth daugther on Monday. An off day might come to a good time for Berkman, too, considering he hit .167 (5-for-30) on the team’s nine-game road trip.

With Berkman out of the lineup, Hunter Pence was batting third with the 18th time this year.

Back to Berkman. He now has four girls, putting him on par with Geoff Blum (four girls) but one shy of Doug Brocail (five girls). Interestingly, Jeff Bagwell and Brad Ausmus had nothing but girls, too. Craig Biggio (two boys) was certainly an exception.

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Astros owner Drayton McLane (two boys, if you’re wondering) made his way around the clubhouse as he typically does before games, stopping to shake hands with the players. He also took a few moments to discuss the state of the team with reporters.

McLane is enthused the Astros have won six of seven series entering this week’s series against Kansas City.

“If you go back to 2004, we’re making the move awfully early,” McLane said. “If you remember in 2004 we were way, way down at the All-Star break and we made the playoffs and went within one game of going to the World Series, and in 2005 we were down at the break. The team is grudaally improving and has won a lot of series and wer’e going to do that against the Kansas City Royals.” 

Royals owner David Glass, who was the CEO of Wal-Mart for 27 years and is a close friend of McLane, sat with McLane in his seats behind home plate.

“We have Whataburgers bet on who wins the series,” McLane said.

McLane is optimisitc because ace Roy Oswalt (3-4) hasn’t gotten on the track, and the pitching staff has been slowed by injuries but appears to be getting healthier.

“If you asked me back in spring training, would Roy Oswalt have [three] wins at this stage and I’d say, ‘No, he’d have 8 to 10 wins at this stage,’” McLane said. “So we need Roy and his pitching and he needs run support and I think he will pitch much, much better going forward.

“Mike Hampton has had some injuries and I think he can pitch better going forward and Wandy will be more consistent. If we can get the pitching in there, the hitting will definitely be there, too. We need to get a number of the others that have been injured in there, too.

“That’s the bright light. Some of our star players haven’ t played exceptionally well and they will. It always worries you until they start clicking, but in the last two weeks you see them playing with more confidence.”

 

 

7 Comments

You can put this loss on Cooper. PUDGE SHOULD HAVE
BUNTED! Jason Michaels has just punched his ticket to
Round Rock. Ed Wade had better get with the program, and FAST……or this is a goodbye year.

No, I have to disagree with you on bunting in the ninth. First and second and no outs with Pudge up. Guys like Pudge aren’t really called upon to bunt. Like Cooper said, he’s really his last RBI guy to be up in awhile, so you have to take a shot.
What about this? Hit Maysonet (is he still on the team?) for Erstad instead of Berkman and have him bunt Tejada to second. Then take you shot with Pudge and Berkman hitting for Matsui (who could be replaced by Maysonet if they would have tied the game).
Oh well

Hey Tag, not sure why so many people wanted Pudge to bunt…I am wondering why Bourn didn’t try to steal second, especially since Kepp was up to bunt. If he had stolen second, then the bunt moves him to third, and he likely scores the tying run on Pence’s ground-out.

Brian, I feel like I’m losing it here. Why are they punishing Mayo? He has done everything asked of him and more. Instead, let’s bring in Kata and his sloppy .182 average. I really don’t understand it. I like things to make sense, and this is blowing my mind! Could someone go in there and ask what is going on?? Go tell Coop, Wade, Drayton, anyone…..that I want extra Mayo, and I want it now.

Thanks.

http://stonebutch99.mlblogs.com

I see the whole point that pudge is the last RBI guy, but truth be told, we needed one run. Bunting was the right play and if Pudge in his long career can’t put down a sacrifice, than the Astros are in more trouble than we think.

Just in case you didn’t know Craig Biggio has three children, two boys and one girl.

i agree, pudge shouldn’t have bunted. he’s apparently a lousy bunter. however, maysonet, or any of the starting pitchers available on the bench could have pinch-hit for him and bunted. needing one run, bunting is the correct play.

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