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News » Houston Astros Notes, Quotes 2009-05-16

Houston Astros Notes, Quotes 2009-05-16

Houston Astros Notes, Quotes 2009-05-16
--In the winter and through spring, manager Cecil Cooper vowed to be careful with Kaz Matsui to keep the veteran second baseman fresh and away from the injuries that have plagued him throughout his career.

Although Matsui missed four games with a sore back from April 16-19, he has played in 28 of the Astros' 35 games. Rest isn't an issue now, though, considering the team was off Monday, had a rainout Friday and is scheduled to be off again Monday.

"Kaz is just pulling out on his left side, he's coming out," Cooper said. "That's all. He's pulling off. That's why he's swinging and missing. Kaz usually doesn't swing and miss.

"He usually hits the ball somewhere. He swings and misses if it's something bad or out of the zone down. But he doesn't miss. He's swinging and missing some stuff that he should be hitting. That's because he's pulling off."

--When the season started, GM Ed Wade and manager Cecil Cooper viewed the bullpen as the strength of the club. Yet closer Jose Valverde, who has two saves, has been on the disabled list since April 27 and likely won't return until June.

RHP Doug Brocail is on his second DL stint and probably won't return until mid-June if he returns at all from his torn left hamstring. RHP Geoff Geary has struggled all season and is now on the DL with biceps tendinitis.

The Astros had counted on Geary and Brocail to pitch the seventh and, on occasion the eighth, when Valverde or LaTroy Hawkins were unavailable.

"Seven, eight, nine," Cooper said of the relievers he has on the DL. "It's like having three, four, five in your lineup go down all at the same time. But hey, you can't cry in your milk. You have to keep on going."

--The Astros produced the second-highest hit total in team history with 24 Wednesday. It was also the first time the club has ever had at least two hits from each member of the starting lineup. The last NL team to have at least two hits from each starter was Atlanta in a May 1, 1985, game against Cincinnati.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1 -- RHP Roy Oswalt, who was 10-2 after the All-Star break last year, earned his first victory of the season May 10.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Obviously I have to be worried. We're in May. We're almost on May 15 and we're still struggling. This guy (Lance Berkman) is one of the best hitters in the game. And, yeah, I am a little worried about him." -- Manager Cecil Cooper, after dropping 1B Lance Berkman to fifth in the lineup.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: May 16, 2009

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