Results tagged ‘ Geoff Blum ’

This week could make or break Astros

We’re not even in August yet and the NL Central is a complete mess, so perhaps it’s a little early to put such a big emphasis on a road trip like the one the Astros have coming up. They open a four-game series Monday at Wrigley Field against the Cubs before playing three games against the Cardinals in St. Louis.

Simply put, these are seven huge games. The Astros are chasing both the Cubs and Cardinals in the standings, and there’s no better way to make up ground in the standings than to play the teams you’re trying to catch.

The Astros have played extremely well on the road this year, going 22-23. And in four of these games on this road trip, they will have Wandy Rodriguez and Roy Oswalt starting two games each. If they can win at least three of those starts and scratch out another win somewhere else, they’ll have a winning road trip.

“Going into this road trip we’re going to see what we’re made of,” Astros third baseman Geoff Blum said. “We’re going toi have to wait and see. That’s part of the fun of it is looking ahead and being able to go play those games.”

What’s for certain is the Astros can’t afford to lay an egg this week. I expect the Cardinals and/or Cubs to get on a roll, and the Astros can only hope it doesn’t begin at their expense.

Astros health update

Third baseman Geoff Blum, on the disabled list since June 13 with a left hamstring strain, ran in the outfield and did some other agility drills prior to Sunday’s game at the Metrodome. Blum still has about another week before he can be activated and he could go on a Minor League rehab assignment later this week.

Blum did a few sprints, a couple of side-to-side drills, ran a few bases and pretended he was going from first to third and felt fine.

“I’m going to take tomorrow off and come back on Tuesday and so some more running, hopefully take some ground balls,” he said. “Hopefully by Thursday I’ll be able to go out and rehab somewhere.”

Meanwhile, right-hander Felipe Paulino, who threw in the bullpen Saturday, will throw a simulated game on Tuesday and could possibly go on a rehab assignment before returning to the rotation.

Catcher Humberto Quintero was originally scheduled to start Sunday, but he came down with a sore back and was replaced in the lineup by Ivan Rodriguez. Manager Cecil Cooper said if Quintero can’t play, his third catcher is infielder Edwin Maysonet, who has been catching in the bullpen. 

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Speaking of players in the minors, right-hander Geoff Geary isn’t doing so well since arriving at Triple-A Round Rock. He got the win Saturday night against New Orleans, but gave up four runs, four hits and walked two batters in two innings. His ERA is 14.40. 

The pitching star of the night for the Express was Bud Norris, who struck out 10 batters and threw eight scoreless innings, lowering his ERA to 2.11.  

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