Results tagged ‘ Brett Myers ’

Reaction to HR controversy

Astros manager Brad Mills was angry Tuesday night after the umpiring crew at Busch Stadium didn’t overturn a controversial home run call in the first inning. Albert Pujols’ two-run home run, which appeared to hit the top of the wall and come back into play, was upheld after the umpires consulting replay.

Here are some reactions from both clubhouses and the umpires locker room:

Mills: “The whole system, I think, has to be reviewed if everyone looks at it and says it’s not a home run. The reason being, somebody in New York is supposed to have seen it. That’s my understanding, and they should have seen the same thing everybody saw. I totally don’t understand it. The whole thing’s got to be reviewed, especially if they go back and look at it and screw it up. We’ve got to be able to protest it or something. Something’s amiss here. The whole thing’s got to be reviewed.”

CF Michael Bourn, who was closest to the play: “I didn’t think it went over. [Pujols] told me at first base it did, but I didn’t think it did. I thought it hit the top and came back. The way it bounced back to me, I thought if it went over it would have hit that concrete and kept going the other way. When it hit, it hit the thing and bounced right back to me, so that’s why I played it like that. The umpires ruled it was a home run, so what could you do about that? That was the end of it from there.”

RHP Brett Myers, who gave up the homer: “I heard it hit the wall. If it hit the concrete behind it, it wouldn’t have made the noise it made. He hit it good, there’s no doubt about it. I looked at it on a couple of [replay] angles and I don’t know how they missed it really, unless they looked at it from one angle and said ‘Oh yeah, it’s a homer, it hit the concrete behind it.’ It didn’t look like it on there.”

Umpire crew chief Jim Reynolds: “Once it crosses that pad, anything after that is a home run. So what we saw on the replay was the ball skip off the top of the pad, hit the concrete behind it and come back. Once it hit that concrete, once the replay that we looked at showed that it hit the concrete behind it, then it’s a home run.”

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa: “Normally you don’t get a rebound like that unless it hits something behind the fence, like the railing or it hits the cement or something. If it comes off the wall, you don’t get that kind of [rebound]. We had a good feeling that they made the right call. You don’t get that kind of bounce back unless it hits something really hard. You don’t even get it off a sign.”

Pujols: “It was tough for me to see, but the whole reason I thought it was a home run was because it bounced like 10 yards over his head. it had to hit something hard. I thought it hit the little concrete behind the pad. I don’t think hitting that pad it would have gone that far over his head.”

Astros react to loss to Jays

Here is some cut-and-dried reaction from the Astros’ 7-5 loss to the Jays on Saturday, a game in which SS Clint Barmes let a ground ball roll under his legs in the sixth to help Toronto rally from a 4-0 deficit against Brett Myers. Jays slugger Jose Bautista hit two homers, including one off Myers following the Barmes error.

Clint Barmes on the error:

“We’ve made mistakes a lot of times this year that have hurt us, and I made a really big one today and it’s pretty frustrating, that’s for sure. Especially with what our record reads and kind of how it’s gone this year.”

Manager Brad Mills on the error:

“If you had to choose who you would want the ball hit to, it would be Clint. He always makes that play. It seems like when a team is able to hit home runs like they did, they can put runs on the board in a hurry. Myers did a good job of battling all the way through, but any time you give Major League teams extra outs, they’re going to be able to take advantage of them.”

Brett Myers:

“He’s solid every day for us. It’s my fault. I should have picked him up there. I thought I made a pretty good pitch. I hadn’t thrown Bautista a breaking ball day, and it just so happens he’s sitting on it right there. That’s the way it is, I guess.”

Barmes returns to Astros lineup

Clint Barmes makes his Astros debut tonight when the Astros open a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers at 7:05 p.m. CT at Minute Maid Park. Barmes, acquired in a trade from the Colorado Rockies in November, broke his hand when he was hit by a pitch in a March 25 game Spring Training game against the Yankees — five weeks ago tonight.

In case you missed it, the Astros activated Barmes following Thursday’s loss to the Cardinals and designated infielder Joe Inglett for assignment.

Barmes, as expected, is starting at shortstop and hitting second, which means Angel Sanchez isn’t starting. Sanchez started the first 25 games of the season at shortstop and has batted .300 with with 15 RBIs, which is tied for second on the team. Sanchez’s 30 hits are third on the team behind Brett Wallace and Hunter Pence, both of whom have 31 hits.

What Barmes brings to the club offensively remains to be seen, but his presence should be a huge boost for the defense. Barmes is a career .254 hitter with with 61 homers and 285 RBIs and is two years removed from hitting 23 homers and driving in 76 runs with the Rockies.

The Astros, who are trying to snap a two-game losing streak, will send ace Brett Myers (1-0, 3.31 ERA) to the mound for his sixth start of the year. Myers is 9-0 with a 2.10 ERA in 16 career starts at Minute Maid Park with the Astros. The game is a rematch of Saturday’s game in Milwaukee, with Shaun Marcum starting for the Brewers.

Here is the Astros lineup:

CF Michael Bourn

SS Clint Barmes

RF Hunter Pence

LF Carlos Lee

1B Brett Wallace

2B Bill Hall

3B Chris Johnson

C Humberto Quintero

RHP Brett Myers

Astros’ lineup Saturday vs. Brewers

The Astros will try to snap a two-game losing streak when they face the Brewers at 6:10 p.m. today at Miller Park, where things have warmed up considerably from Friday’s chilly conditions and the roof is open.

The Astros will send Brett Myers (1-0, 2.39 ERA) to the mound against Brewers right-hander Shaun Marcum (2-1, 1.90). The Astros are 2-2 in games started by Myers, with both losses coming on blown saves by the bullpen. He’s won seven of his last eight decisions and has pitched at least six innings in 36 of his 37 starts in an Astros uniform.

The only Astros players to have ever faced Marcum are Bill Hall (5-for-7, three homers, five RBIs) and Joe Inglett (0-for-2, walk, strikeout).

Here are the lineups:

ASTROS

CF Michael Bourn — His three hits on Friday gave him a seven-game hitting streak, during which he’s hitting .444 (12-for-27)

SS Angel Sanchez — Has started the club’s first 20 games at shortstop, hitting safely in 13 of those.

RF Hunter Pence — Had two outfield assists on Friday and leads the Major Leagues with 44 outfield assists since 2008.

LF Carlos Lee — Hitting .188 (3-for-16) on current road trip.

1B Brett Wallace — Has three multi-hit games in his last six games.

2B Bill Hall — Hitting .203 (13-or-64) during road trip.

3B Chris Johnson — Hitting .261 (6-for-23) with thre RBIs in last six games.

C Humberto Quintero — Tied his career high in hits fir ht sixth time Friday by going 3-for-3 to snap an 0-for-10 skid.

RHP Brett Myers — Is 5-3 with a 3.13 ERA in 12 career games against the Brewers, including eight starts. He was 1-2 with a 5.04 ERA against Milwaukee last year.

BREWERS

2B Craig Counsell

CF Carlos Gomez

LF Ryan Braun

1B Prince Fielder

3B Casey McGehee

RF Mark Kotsay

SS Yuniesky Betancourt

C Jonathan Lucroy

RHP Shaun Marcum

Astros lineup Sunday vs. Padres

Here is the Astros lineup for Sunday’s homestand finale against the Padres. The Astros can win three of four from the Padres with a win today.

CF Jason Bourgeois

SS Angel Sanchez

RF Hunter Pence

1B Carlos Lee

LF Jason Michaels

3B Chris Johnson

2B Bill Hall

C Humberto Quintero

RHP Brett Myers

Astros have grand night at Minute Maid

Astros manager Brad Mills was forced to watch Tuesday’s 11-2 win over the Cubs from a suite at Minute Maid Park after being suspended earlier in the day, but the view had to be sweet no matter where he was sitting.

The Astros pounded out 16 hits for the second time in three games and reached double-digit hits for the fifth consecutive game – their longest such streak in nearly two years. Michael Bourn, Angel Sanchez and Hunter Pence went a combined 9-for-15 with seven runs scored and seven RBIs.

Bourn went 2-for-4 with a double, two stolen bases and a career-high four runs scored, Sanchez tied his career high with four hits and drove in a pair of runs and Pence went 3-for-5 with a double and four RBIs. The Astros were 9-for-20 with runners in scoring position.

Brett Myers, who had a rare chance to pitch with a big lead, went seven innings and allowed one run and eight hits to improve to 6-0 with a 1.74 ERA in his last seven starts against the Cubs. He’s also 10-1 with a 2.26 ERA in 20 games (18 starts) in his career at Minute Maid Park.

“That’s how you win ballgames,” Myers said. “You’ve got to have pitching and defense and you’ve got to score some runs. We played well at everything – defense, pitching was good and we swung the bats really well, too. Last night’s game had a lot to do with how well we played. We showed ourselves we could fight back with any team no matter who was in there. They came out from the get-go swinging tonight.”

Here are some postgame notes:

  • The Astros have recorded double-digit hits in each of their last five consecutive games and are hitting .339 in that span. The last time the club had a streak of five games with 10 or more hits was May 1-5, 2009.
  • The 11 runs scored by the Astros on Tuesday are the most since Aug. 3, 2010, at St. Louis, when the team scored 18 in an 18-4 win.
  • Astros starting pitchers have posted a 2-1 record and a 3.32 ERA since April 7. In the first five games of the season, Astros starters combined for an 0-4 record and a 9.62 ERA.
  • The Astros have five triples this season and entered Tuesday’s game tied for first in the Majors with Texas and Toronto with four.
  • Astros starting pitchers are hitting .381 (8-for-21) this season, including Brett Myers’ 1-for-3 performance on Tuesday. Myers is hitting .429 (3-for-7) in 2011.
  • Astros pitchers did not allow a run from the fifth inning Monday night until the seventh Tuesday, a span of 11 innings, marking the longest scoreless innings streak by the club this season.
  • RHP Brett Myers allowed one run in seven innings, lowering his season ERA to 1.77. Myers owns a 6-0 record with a 1.74 ERA in his last seven starts vs. the Cubs, and in his 14 career starts against the Cubs, he is 11-2 with a 2.16 ERA.
  • Myers is 10-1 with a 2.26 ERA in 20 games, 18 starts, in his career at Minute Maid Park.
  • SS Angel Sanchez tied his career high with four hits Tuesday for the second time (also Aug. 3, 2010 at St. Louis). Sanchez has five hits in his last seven at-bats with four RBIs in that span (.714). In his last last games, he is hitting .526 with five RBIs.
  • C Humberto Quintero tied his career high with three hits for the fifth time.
  • CF Michael Bourn scored a career-high four runs in the win. His previous high was three runs, accomplished four times. He also stole bases on consecutive pitches.
  • RF Hunter Pence’s four RBIs were his most since Aug. 17, 2010, vs. the Mets, when he also drove in four.
  • CF Michael Bourn and 2B Bill Hall each extended their hitting streaks to a team-leading seven games on Tuesday. During their streaks, both players are hitting .333: Bourn is 10-for-30 and Hall is 8-for-24.

Analyzing the Astros rotation

Besides a strong effort from Brett Myers in the April 1 season opener at Philadelphia, the first time through the rotation was a rough one for the rest of the Astros starters: Wandy Rodriguez, Bud Norris, J.A. Happ and Nelson Figueroa.

Myers has started two of the Astros’ six games and is 0-0 with a 2.03 ERA, allowing nine hits and three earned runs in 13 1/3 innings. He’s given the Astros their only two quality starts and appears to be picking up where he left off last year, when he was one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball and went at least six innings in all but one start.

The Astros’ 8.22 ERA by their starters ranks last in baseball entering Friday, well behind Detroit’s 7.75 ERA. The good news is it can only get better, and I’d be surprised if a couple of those guys didn’t come back with good outings this week. And that brings us to today’s poll question. Which starter, other than Myers, do you think is most likely to have a better season?

 

With the Astros set to play 10 consecutive games at home starting tonight against the Marlins at Minute Maid Park, it will be an important second time through the rotation for Rodriguez, Norris, Happ and Figueroa. The quartet went a combined 0-4 with a 12.98 ERA in their first four starts combined, with only Figueroa pitching beyond the fourth inning. And that was because the bullpen so taxed that manager Brad Mills had to get as much out of him as he could.

The good news is Rodriguez, Norris and Happ — who will face the Marlins this weekend — have pitched better at Minute Maid Park:

  • Rodriguez is 3-2 with a 2.35 ERA in six career starts vs. Marlins and is 38-26 in his career at Minute Maid.
  • Norris is 5-5 with a 4.43 ERA in 14 home starts last year.
  • Happ is 4-1 with a 3.22 ERA in eight career starts at Minute Maid.

The message here is don’t panic. It’s one time through the rotation against a pair of teams favored to win their divisions. Not that the Astros don’t want to one day be able to beat good teams — they did sweep the Phillies last year — but there is plenty of baseball left. The Marlins, Cubs and Padres are coming to town, and if the Astros manage a, say, 6-4 homestand, they’re 7-9 and in much better shape than they were last year at that time.

Plenty of positives in Astros loss

One of the first things Astros manager Brad Mills spoke about following Friday’s gut-wrenching, 5-4 loss to the Phillies on Opening Day was how well his team played. Sure, the Astros coughed up three runs in the ninth and lost a game they should have won, but for 8 1/2 innings they played pretty much flawless baseball.

Mills is a stickler for doing things the right way on the field, being prepared and making the plays you’re supposed to make. For the most part the Astros did that, and that’s a good sign going forward.

For all those who were disturbed by what the Astros in Spring Training or the high ERA that Brett Myers had in Grapefruit League play, Friday should go a long way into reminding you how meaningless Spring Training results are. The Astros played as well for 8 1/2 innings Friday as they had at any point during the spring, and that tends to happen when your starters stay on the field for most of the game.

“It was a great game,” right fielder Hunter Pence said. “We came out and got in the fight and competed. They found some holes at the end and we weren’t able to get the final outs, but we’ve got three games here. We’ve got two more to go and we’re going to keep going up there battling and going hard. I’m pretty happy with what we did today.”

Here’s what stood out to me today:

  • Brett Myers was downright terrific. I enjoy watching him pitch and compete. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he’s not the same pitcher he was while he was in Philadelphia, when he was throwing in the mid-90s. He’s a true pitcher now, and has good command. He kept the ball down and never let the Phillies get in a rhythm at the plate.
  • If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you’ll know I’m not a huge fan of the game of Angel Sanchez. I’ve said repeatedly that he’s slow and he’s not a good defensive player, but I have to admit the guy is growing on me. Those shortcomings are still true, but he makes the routine plays for the most part and he can hit. He’s not going to hit for much power, but he went 2-for-4 with two singles in the No. 2 hole on Friday. He’s a good guy to have on the team. It just took me a while to realize it.
  • Humberto Quintero had a very nice spring at the plate, and he went 1-for-4 in his regular-season debut Friday. The most impressive thing about his game was throwing out Shane Victorino while he was trying to steal second base, and Quintero did it while he was still in his crouch. As the Phillies found out last year, his arm is a huge weapon. The Astros may be alright with him starting three days a week.
  • Brett Wallace had a quiet game, going 1-for-4, but he went the other way for a single against a left-handed pitcher, which is an extremely encouraging sign. He looks like he’s picked up where he left off in Kissimmee. I don’t know if he’ll ever hit for much power — he just hasn’t shown that much at all — but the kid can swing the bat.
  • The Astros didn’t strike out any batters on Friday. Unusual to say the least.

Game 32: 8 pitchers take turns

The biggest news Saturday at Astros camp came in the morning, when it was revealed starting shortstop Clint Barmes would miss four to six weeks with a broken bone in his left hand, suffered when he was hit by a pitch Friday.

That’s a big blow to an Astros team that already has seen starting catcher Jason Castro likely lost for the entire season. The NL Central has been hit hard by injuries this spring, with Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals out for the year, Zach Greinke of the Brewers starting the season on the disabled list and Reds pitchers Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto injured to begin the season.

Here’s the recap of the Astros’ 10-0 loss to the Nationals:

What went right: Eight different pitchers got work in Saturday, with reliever Henry Villar starting and giving up two hits and two earned runs in two innings. Wilton Lopez, Fernando Abad and Gustavo Chacin each threw a scoreless inning.

Abad, who’s struggled mightily this spring, had better command of his fastball, keeping it down better in the zone than he has in previous outings. Enerio Del Rosario stretched his scoreless innings streak to 12 1/3, but it wasn’t without some drama.

He loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth and would have escaped the inning had he not dropped a throw at first base, allowing an unearned to score. The next batter ripped a line drive back at him, and Del Rosario knocked it down and scurried to throw him out to end the inning.

Jason Bourgeois and Brett Wallace had the only hits for the Astros, both singles. Wallace also walked and is hitting .365.

What went wrong: Playing without Michael bourn, Clint Barmes and Bill Hall, the Astros were held to two singles, going 2-for-28 as a team. Angel Sanchez was 0-for-4, and Hunter Pence and Oswaldo Navarro were 0-for-3. Wallace and Del Rosario made fielding errors.

On the mound, Brandon Lyon allowed two hits and one earned run in one inning, Mark Melancon gave up two earned in one inning and Aneury Rodriguez squandered three earned runs and two hits in one inning.

What they said: “You start feeling sorry for yourself and all you have to do is look at what’s happening at other people’s camps. That’s why you try to build as much depth as you can, and that’s why every general manager in the game starts to hold their breath the last 10 days of Spring Training and hope things like this don’t occur.” — Astros general manager Ed Wade on the injury to Clint Barmes.

What’s next: In the final spring game of the season at Kissimmee’s Osceola County Stadium, the Astros will send Wandy Rodriguez to the mound in his final start before the regular season. Ryan Rowland-Smith, Aneury Rodriguez and Ross Wolf are also going to get in some work.

Injury update: SS Clint Barmes was diagnosed with a broken bone in his left hand and will be out four to six weeks. … C J.R. Towles woke up Saturday with back tightness and was scratched from the lineup. He’ll be reevaluated Sunday.

Here are today’s photos:

The Astros packed their truck for Houston on Saturday morning.

Bill Hall and special advisor Enos Cabell chat before Saturday's workout

Alberto Arias talks with trainers and Dr. David Lintner after throwing off the mound. He hasn't pitched a spring game this year because of shoulder tendinitis.

Jeff Keppinger, who is slowly recovering from Jan. 14 foot surgery, plays catch in the outfield Saturday morning.

Game 27: Myers hits wall against Tigers

It was an ugly Monday in Kissimmee, where the Astros gave up 18 hits and were routed by the Detroit Tigers, 9-1, at Osceola County Stadium. Of course, the big news of the day came in the morning. Astros manager Brad Mills announced Nelson Figueroa would get the final spot in the rotation after Jordan Lyles was reassigned to Minor League camp.

Here’s the breakdown of Monday’s game.

What went right: The best sight of the day was left-hander Wesley Wright, featuring his new sidearm delivery, coming on with the bases loaded in the sixth and getting three consecutive outs, allowing one runner to score on a sacrifice fly. He was the only Astros pitcher to take the mound and be charged with any runs allowed.

All four of the Astros’ hits were by their starting outfielders. Michael Bourn went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base. Both of his hits, including a bunt hit in the fifth inning, came against Tigers left-hander Phil Coke. Hunter Pence, who drove in the Astros’ only run in the first inning, and Carlos Lee each had one hit.

What went wrong: Brett Myers, making his second-to-last spring start before taking the ball on Opening Day for the Astros, gave up 12 hits, three walks and five earned runs in five innings, pushing his spring ERA to 9.00 in five starts. Myers said it simply wasn’t his day.

It’s not unusual for Myers to give up hits, considering his aggressive nature. The Tigers came out aggressive at the plate and had Myers worn out by the sixth inning, which he and manager Brad Mills consider a good thing.

“I hit a wall in that last inning and got a little tired,” he said. “That’s good because I needed to go through that to be able to get where I needed to be.”

Myers said his goal next time out is to throw more than 100 pitches. Mills said he would have to sit down with pitching coach Brad Arnsberg and map out a plan for Myers’ final start.

Wilton Lopez, who hadn’t allowed a hit or a walk in his first six outings of the spring, allowed one hit and one run in one inning, but struck out two batters. Jeff Fulchino gave up two hits and a run in one inning, and Mark Melancon allowed three hits and two runs in one inning. Both have ERAs of 3.86 this spring.

At the plate, Tommy Manzella was 0-for-3 with a walk, Chris Johnson played nine innings and was 0-for-2 with two strikeouts, and catcher Humberto Quintero was 0-for-3, lowering his spring average to .393.

What they said: “I felt like I could have had results today, but some balls found the hole. There were some weak ground balls that go through. It’s the game of baseball and that’s what happens. I’d rather give them up now than during the season.” - Astros pitcher Brett Myers on his outing Monday.

What’s next: Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, who hasn’t pitched since leaving his March 10 start with mild shoulder tendinitis, returns to the mound Tuesday when the Astros face the Washington Nationals at 12:05 p.m. CT in Viera, Fla. Rodriguez, who will start the second game of the year, has pitched in only three games this spring, allowing three earned runs in seven innings in his previous two starts following a rocky debut.

Injury update: Infielder Angel Sanchez (back) took batting practice and is expected to be in the lineup Wednesday at the Pirates.

How about some photos?

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Above: Enos Cabell, a special assistant, gives some advice to third baseman Chris Johnson.

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Above: Matt Downs and Jason Michaels await their turn in the batting cage.

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Above: Michael Bourn practices his jump from third as coach Dave Clark watches.

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Above: Hunter Pence does an interview with some media from Corpus Christi.

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Above: Former Astros closer Jose Valverde stretches at Osceola County Stadium.

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