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News » Houston Astros Notes, Quotes 2009-04-21


Houston Astros Notes, Quotes 2009-04-21


Houston Astros Notes, Quotes 2009-04-21
--Despite throwing quality starts in all four games -- including three performances of at least six scoreless innings -- the Astros lost three of four in the series against the Cincinnati Reds.

LHP Mike Hampton gave up three runs on eight hits and one walk with five strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings for his second consecutive quality start. But he had to settle for a no-decision.

"It was just one of those games," Hampton said. "It's one that we feel -- I know I feel -- we let slip away."

--After retiring the Astros in order in the bottom of the first, Bronson Arroyo faced Carlos Lee for the first time since he plunked the slugger last Aug. 9 and caused season-ending fractures to Lee's left little finger.

In their first encounter, Lee ripped an opposite-field shot. Reds right fielder Darnell McDonald made the catch right at the top of the wall, robbing Lee of a home run. Lee homered later in the game against Arroyo.

--LHP Wandy Rodriguez, whom the Astros have longed to see show some fire, surprised teammates and manager Cecil Cooper with a rare outburst Saturday when he struck out Laynce Nix of the Reds to strand two runners in the seventh to finish with seven scoreless innings in a 7-0 victory. "I have never seen him do that before," Cecil Cooper said of Rodriguez's outburst. "That's probably as much emotion as he's ever shown. And I think it's good. I think it's good for him, but I'm going to tell you the guy (Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez) who has been squatting and catching for him has been a Godsend. I think they really connect. Wandy's been as good as any pitcher in the game right now. He's really thrown the ball well."

--Astros owner Drayton McLane hopes his decision to pick up manager Cecil Cooper's extension for 2010 on Saturday made it clear to his players who is in charge. "We need to focus on winning, and I think everyone needs to know who the manager is today and who the manager is going forward," McLane said. "And we wanted to focus on getting better and winning. ... Ed (Wade), Tal (Smith) and myself, we believe in this team. As they put it together in the offseason and we went to spring training, we felt very confident in our ability to compete, win our division and move forward in the playoffs. We've had a few ups and downs, but that's life. And we wanted to focus on baseball games."

--Manager Cecil Cooper believes the Astros are better than their slow start indicates. "We need to hit and pitch more consistently and I think we will over time," Cooper said. "When you have an older team, it takes a little while sometimes to get going, and particularly because of the cold weather. ... We have a good team and as we go through the next month or so and into June, you're going to see, these guys are going to pick it up. I have that kind of confidence. And you look at each guy in our lineup, all these guys have been successful for long periods of time, and they're all going to pick it up. I know it. I have that kind of faith in them."

BY THE NUMBERS: 10 -- LHP Wandy Rodriguez tied his career high with an Astros' season-high 10 strikeouts Saturday against the Cincinnati Reds.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We need to focus on winning and I think everyone needs to know who the manager is today and who the manager is going forward. And we wanted to focus on getting better and winning. ... Ed (Wade), Tal (Smith) and myself, we believe in this team. As they put it together in the offseason and we went to spring training, we felt very confident in our ability to compete, win our division and move forward in the playoffs. We've had a few ups and downs, but that's life. And we wanted to focus on baseball games." -- Astros owner Drayton McLane, after picking up Cecil Cooper's extension.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 21, 2009

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