Results tagged ‘ Cardinals ’

Controversial call forces Wade to call league

Astros general manager Ed Wade spoke with a Major League Baseball official by telephone during Tuesday’s night game at Busch Stadium to voice his displeasure about a controversial home run by Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols not being overturned by instant replay.

Not long after the umpires didn’t reverse the call despite replay evidence showing Pujols’ ball hit the top of the padded wall and bounced back into play, Wade called Joe Garagiola Jr., baseball’s senior vice president of standards and on-field operations, from his home in Houston.

“I already knew it’s not an issue you can protest,” he said. “It’s not a rules interpretation; it’s an umpire’s judgment, so from that standpoint as far as having any recourse, there really isn’t any. I indicated to Joe we thought the call was wrong and would appreciate the Commissioner’s office looking at it because obviously it had a significant impact on the game last night and replay is there to remedy close calls, and we thought that one clearly showed it wasn’t a home run. We couldn’t understand why the decision was made.”

Jim Reynolds, the umpiring crew chief, told a reporter that a replay from a side angle showed the ball hitting the top of the padded wall and skipping over it and then striking a cement wall before caroming back onto the field. The two-run homer by Pujols was the difference in the Astros’ 3-1 loss to the Cardinals.

“We didn’t see it that way,” Wade said. “It’s subject to interpretation. We’ve got this policy in place to review close calls like that. In a perfect world it solves these issues immediately. That one, we just respectfully disagree with the solution.”

Astros manager Brad Mills was upset after the game and said changes need to be made to baseball’s use of instant replay, which began in 2008.

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-Cardinals lineups for Thursday

The Astros finish up their quick trip to St. Louis on Thursday afternoon against the Cardinals, assuming the weather holds up. Left-hander J.A. Happ (3-4, 5.49 ERA) will start for St. Louis and face right-hander Kyle McClellan (5-1, 3.62 ERA).

Both Matt Holliday, who injured his quadriceps muscle, and Lance Berkman, who sprained his right wrist, are out of the lineup Thursday after suffering injuries in Wednesday night’s game.

Here are the lineups:

ASTROS

CF Michael Bourn

SS Clint Barmes

RF Hunter Pence

LF Carlos Lee

1B Brett Wallace

3B Chris Johnson

2B Bill Hall

C Humberto Quintero

LHP J.A. Happ

CARDINALS

SS Ryan Theriot

RF Jon Jay

1B Alberto Pujols

LF Allen Craig

CF Colby Rasmus

C Gerald Laird

2B Tyler Greene

3B Daniel Descalso

RHP Kyle McClellan

Astros-Cardinals preview

Reeling from a gut-wrenching loss to the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday afternoon, the Astros open a two-game series at 7:15 p.m. today against the St. Louis Cardinals, who enjoyed a walk-off win over Roy Oswalt and the Phillies on Tuesday.

Since losing the middle game of their series at the Reds earlier this month when Brandon Lyon blew a save in the ninth, the club is 3-10 and has lost three in a row entering the Cardinals series. The good news for the Astros is Bud Norris is on the mound, and he’s owned Busch Stadium. He’s 5-1 with a 1.97 ERA against the Cardinals, including 4-0 with a 1.73 ERA in four career starts at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals counter with right-hander Kyle Lohse, who’s 7-7 in 15 career games, including 14 starts, against the Astros. His 2.96 ERA against the Astros is his second-lowest earned run average against any foe.

Here are the lineups:

ASTROS

CF Michael Bourn — Has reached base in 36 of 40 games with an at-bat.

2B Angel Sanchez — His eight infield hits are tied for fifth in the NL.

RF Hunter Pence — Tied for seventh in the Majors with 31 RBIs

LF Carlos Lee — Went 0-for-4 on Wednesday to snap 10-game hitting streak.

1B Brett Wallace — Ranks fifth in the majors in hitting since April with a .353 average.

3B Chris Johnson — Hitting .263 (9-for-39) in May.

SS Clint Barmes — Hitting .239 (11-for-46) in May.

C Humberto Quintero — Is in an 0-for-10 slump.

RHP Bud Norris — Ranks fifth in the Majors since 2009 with 9.44 strikeouts per nine innings.

CARDINALS

SS Ryan Theriot

CF Jon Jay

1B Albert Pujols

LF Matt Holliday

RF Lance Berkman

2B Allen Craig

C Yadier Molina

3B Daniel Descalso

RHP Kyle Lohse

Astros’ lineup Thursday vs. Cardinals

Not much new report with manager Brad Mills’ starting lineup for Thursday’s series finale against the Cardinals. The lineup is pretty much the same, with Angel Sanchez starting his 25th consecutive game of the season at shortstop. That streak figures to end tomorow when Clint Barmes is expected to return from the disabled list.

Carlos Lee, who’s in an 0-for-15 slump, is in the lineup in the No. 4 hole as usual.

Here’s the Astros lineup:

CF Michael Bourn

SS Angel Sanchez

RF Hunter Pence

LF Carlos Lee

1B Brett Wallace

2B Bill hall

3B Chris Johnson

C Humberto Quintero

Wednesday’s post-game notes

It was a tough loss for the Astros on Wednesday. They were down 6-0 and scored three times in the eighth and twice in the ninth to get within 6-5 before Hunter Pence struck out swinging to end the game with the tying run at second base.

“The guys really gave me a golden opportunity, a great opportunity to get a big hit and I wasn’t able finish it off for them and pick it up,” Pence said. “He got me, and I’ve got to find a way to become better for it.”

You can read my entire game story by clicking here:

Here are the post-game notes:

  • Wednesday was the 900th game at Minute Maid Park. The Astros are 503-397 all-time in the venue.
  • The Astros turned five double plays on Wednesday, the most for the club in one game since it turned six on May 17, 2003 vs. the Phillies at Minute Maid Park.
  • LHP J.A. Happ extended his scoreless inning streak against the Cardinals to 12 2/3 innings before allowing a solo homer to Matt Holliday in the fourth inning Wednesday.
  • RF Hunter Pence now has 12 RBIs in 12 home games this year. He entered Wednesday tied for sixth in the league in RBIs at home.
  • 1B Brett Wallace extended his hitting streak to seven games by going 3-for-4 on Wednesday and has now hit safely in 15 of last 16 games with an at-bat. He’s hitting .443 (27-for-61) in that span.
  • SS Angel Sanchez extended his hitting streak to five games by going 2-for-5 Wednesday, which ties his season high. He’s hitting .409 (9-for-22) in those five games.
  • C J.R. Towles has now reahed base safely in all nine of his starts this season, hitting safely in eight of those nine games. Astros catchers are hitting .329 (27-for-82) this season.
  • SS Clint Barmes played in his third rehab game Wednesday, going 1-for-4 with a run scored and a walk for Double-A Corpus Christi in an 8-2 win at Midland. He’ll play for the Hooks again on Thursday and is expected to be activated on Friday to make his Astros debut.

Astros-Cards lineup for Wednesday

Here are Wednesday’s Astros-Cardinals lineup:

ASTROS

CF Michael Bourn

SS Angel Sanchez

RF Hunter PEnce

LF Carlos Lee

1B Brett Wallace

3B Chris Johnson

C J.R. Towles

2B Joe Inglett

P J.A. Happ

CARDINALS

2B Nick Punto

3B David Freese

1B Albert Pujols

LF Matt Holliday

RF Lance Berkman

C Yadier Molina

SS Tyler Greene

CF Jon Jay

P Kyle Lohse

Astros try to sweep Cards

The Astros, winners of eight of their last 10 games, will send Nelson Figueroa (3-2, 2.77 ERA) to the mound to face Jeff Suppan (1-6, 5.72) this afternoon at Minute Maid Park in an attempt to sweep the Cardinals. Jeff Keppinger has been activated and is in the lineup. Newcomers Matt Downs (No. 16), Brian Esposito (No. 41), Brian Bogusevic (No. 19), Henry Villar (No. 56) and Wesley Wright (No. 53) have joined the team as September callups.

Here is the Astros’ lineup:

CF Michael Bourn

2B Jeff Keppinger

RF Hunter Pence

LF Carlos Lee

SS Geoff Blum

3B Chris Johnson

1B Brett Wallace

C Jason Castro

RHP Nelson Figueroa

Happ, Astros battling struggling Cards

The only poor start J.A. Happ has had in an Astros’ uniform came Aug. 4 at St. Louis when he allowed seven runs, six hits and three walks in one inning. Otherwise, Happ has been pretty good since coming to Houston. He’s 3-2 with a 4.26 ERA in six starts with the Astros, holding opponents to a .207 batting average. He’s 3-0 with a 1.16 ERA in four starts this year at Minute Maid Park, one of which came with the Phillies before he was traded to Houston in July. Right-hander Jake Westbrook (1-2, 4.06 ERA) starts for the Cardinals, who are five games out in the NL Central race and in danger of being left in the Reds’ dust.

Here is the Astros’ lineup:

CF Michael Bourn

2B Angel Sanchez

RF Hunter Pence

LF Carlos Lee

3B Chris Johnson

1B Brett Wallace

SS Tommy Manzella

C Jason Castro

LHP J.A. Happ

Astros go for 8 in a row, sweep of Cardinals

Coming off an incredible night when they pounded out 22 hits (17 singles) in an 18-4 rout of the Cardinals, the Astros will try to run their winning streak to eight games when they send left-hander J.A. Happ (2-0, 1.27 ERA) to the mound in Wednesday night’s series finale. It won’t be easy, though, with Chris Carpenter (11-3, 2.93 ERA) starting for St. Louis.

The Astros are 30-25 since June 1, which is the fourth-best record in the NL in that span, and they’re suddenly knocking on the door of third place. No, they’re not going to catch the Cardinals, but they’ve put 10 games behind them and the last-place Pirates.

Astros pitchers have posted a 1.67 ERA in their last nine games, which is the lowest ERA in the Majors in that span. Meanwhile, the Astros are hitting .284 and averaging 5.9 runs per game since the All-Star break and have the second-highest NL batting average in the second half. Prior to the All-Star break, they were hitting .238 and averaging 3.5 runs per game, which was 15th in the 16-team NL.

Tonight we get a second look at Happ in an Astros’ uniform. He threw six scoreless innings in his Astros debut on Friday. This will be his first apperance at Busch Stadium, and he’s 0-1 with a 5.11 ERA in two career games against St. Louis. He’s 5-2 with a 3.36 ERA in his career against NL Central teams.

Here are the lineups:

ASTROS

Michael Bourn, cf
Angel Sanchez, ss
Hunter Pence, rf
Carlos Lee, lf
Jeff Keppinger, 2b
Brett Wallace, 1b
Chris Johnson, 3b
Jason Castro, c
J. A. Happ, lhp 
 
CARDINALS
 
Felipe Lopez, 3b
Colby Rasmus, cf
Albert Pujols, 1b
Matt Holliday, lf
Allen Craig, rf
Yadier Molina, c
Brendan Ryan, ss 
Chris Carpenter, rhp
Aaron Miles, 2b 

 

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