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Houston Astros Wiretap

Clemens To Pitch Saturday

Roger Clemens plans to pitch Saturday whether the Houston Astros are still trying to clinch the NL wild card or already have their playoff spot secured.

The Rocket skipped his last scheduled start because of a sore left hamstring that has bothered him all month. The 43-year-old right-hander, who is 12-8 and leads the major leagues with a 1.89 ERA, wants to pitch again before the playoffs.

"I need to be in a game," Clemens said Thursday before the Astros opened their regular season-ending series against the Chicago Cubs. "I've rested too long. The side work that I'm doing is not intense enough. I need to get out in a game and at least get some active innings under my belt before we get underway."


Astros To Return To Houston

The Astros will be able to finish the regular season at Minute Maid Park as scheduled, general manager Tim Purpura said Saturday. Houston was largely spared by Hurricane Rita, and Purpura said the ballpark wasn't damaged at all in the storm.

"It really came through well," Purpura said before the Astros played the Chicago Cubs. "We never even lost power and all of our systems are working. So we really came through better than we could have expected."

The Astros are in Chicago for the weekend and then travel to St. Louis for games on Tuesday and Wednesday. They are scheduled to return home Wednesday night, then host the Cubs for a four-game series to end the regular season. But when it looked as if Houston might be in Rita's path, the Astros began looking for alternatives.

"There are no issues at all that we're aware of," Purpura said. "Our hope is to get the roof open by tomorrow to hopefully get some sun on the field -- if there's any sun to be had."

Via AP

Clemens To Retire?

Roger Clemens was on his way to being a Hall of Famer before his first pitch to Jorge Posada.

The two forged a friendship during Clemens' five years with the Yankees, and Posada wound up behind the plate for more of his victories than any other catcher.

Posada reached out to his friend with a phone message after learning of the death of his mother, Bess, on Wednesday.

"This has been a tough year for him with the death of his mom (following a long illness)," Posada said. "I really think he's going to do a lot of thinking this offseason about what he wants to do."

At 43, Clemens (12-7) is having another dominant season, leading the National League with a 1.77 ERA. Opponents are hitting .189 against him. With any kind of run support he could have had another 20-win season.

Clemens hasn't made a decision about his future, but there is a chance he could go to spring training with his son Koby, who was drafted by the Astros.

"I think he'll go as a fan," Posada said. "I'm not speaking for Roger, but I see this (season) as a good end to a great career."

Via The Journal News

Clemens Pitches Just Hours After Mother Passes

Roger Clemens made his scheduled start Wednesday night and allowed one run in 6 1-3 innings against the Florida Marlins, pitching in honor of his mother after she died early that morning.

``I'm not really at all surprised. The word that we used, he understands the meaning of the word duty,'' Houston general manager Tim Purpura said. ``His mother taught him about duty. He feels like he has a duty to pitch for the Astros tonight, and that's what he's doing.''

Bess Clemens died in Georgetown, Texas, because of complications from emphysema, the Astros said. She was 75.

The seven-time Cy Young Award winner often shared his affection for his mother, saying her health was an important factor as he weighed retirement the past two offseasons. His stepfather died when he was young, and his mother was an inspiration.

``His mother was a very special person in his life. I can see the two of them together, Roger was still a little boy around her,'' New York Yankees manager Joe Torre said in St. Petersburg, Fla. ``She's been fighting this thing for a long period of time. Hopefully she's at peace and Roger is also.''


Bagwell Comes Off DL

The team has activated first baseman Jeff Bagwell from the disabled list.

Bagwell, the best hitter in franchise history, has not played since May 3 because of a sore right shoulder. He had surgery on June 7.

He will be unable to play first base but gives the light-hitting Astros, who had a half-game lead over Florida in the National League wild-card race heading into Friday's clash with Milwaukee, a powerful right-handed pinch-hitter.


Astros Sep 2005 Archive

  • Ensberg Likely Out Until Friday

    The Astros might be without their All-Star third baseman Morgan Ensberg until Friday, the Houston Chronicle reported.

  • Backe Activated From DL

    Right-hander Brandon Backe was activated from the disabled list by the Astros, who also purchased the contracts of right-handed pitchers Brandon Duckworth and Scott Strickland from Triple-A Round Rock and designated infielder Todd Self for assignment.

  • Bagwell Makes Rehab Debut

    First baseman Jeff Bagwell, recovering from surgery on an arthritic right shoulder, struck out twice and flied out to left field Wednesday night in his first injury rehabilitation appearance with the Corpus Christi Hooks.