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SPORTS
October 7, 2004 | Ben Bolch, Times Staff Writer
The rockets that foiled the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 of their National League division series weren't 95-mph fastballs launched by Roger Clemens but 400-foot blasts pelted by Houston Astros determined to add a cheery chapter to a postseason history filled with dismay. Brad Ausmus, Lance Berkman, Carlos Beltran and Jason Lane homered to give liftoff a new meaning for Houston during a 9-3 victory at Turner Field.
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SPORTS
October 15, 2004 | Ben Bolch, Times Staff Writer
Carlos Beltran, who will be a free agent after the season, said money would not necessarily rule his decision on where to play in 2005. "Money means a lot because now I'm in this situation, I want to be set for my career," the Houston center fielder said before the Astros lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-4, in Game 2 of the National League championship series Thursday night at Busch Stadium. "But it doesn't mean much to make a lot of money and be in a place where I'm not happy.
SPORTS
October 15, 2004 | Ben Bolch, Times Staff Writer
The Houston Astros acquired Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte before the season in a bid to equip themselves with the best starting rotation in the National League. Then they traded for Carlos Beltran before the All-Star break to boost their batting order. Maybe this off-season they can acquire some decent middle relievers to get them to closer Brad Lidge with a lead.
SPORTS
October 14, 2004 | Ben Bolch, Times Staff Writer
For the Houston Astros, seeking victory on a national stage against their fiercest rival, there were simply too many hanging Chads. Relievers Chad Qualls and Chad Harville left too many pitches in locations where the St. Louis Cardinals could spray them all over Busch Stadium on Wednesday night during a 10-7 victory in Game 1 of the National League championship series.
SPORTS
October 10, 2004 | Ben Bolch, Times Staff Writer
The Houston Astros, on the verge of amending a playoff history that begs to be rewritten, would like to make one thing perfectly clear: They will celebrate nothing short of a series victory over the Atlanta Braves. It would have been easy to get caught up in a towel-waving, foot-stomping moment Saturday afternoon in Minute Maid Park after closer Brad Lidge punctuated an 8-5 victory in Game 3 of the National League division series with a perfect ninth inning.
SPORTS
October 10, 2004 | Ben Bolch, Times Staff Writer
The strained muscle on his left side that knocked John Thomson out of Game 3 of the National League division series after only four pitches is also expected to keep the Atlanta Brave pitcher out of the remainder of the postseason. Thomson could require six to eight weeks to recover from the injury, which he aggravated Saturday in the first inning of the Houston Astros' 8-5 victory in Minute Maid Park.
SPORTS
October 16, 2004 | Ben Bolch, Times Staff Writer
St. Louis Cardinal reliever Steve Kline's status for the rest of the National League championship series was in doubt Friday after he traveled to Indianapolis to see a hand specialist. Kline aggravated a torn tendon in the index finger of his throwing hand Thursday during the sixth inning of Game 2, when he gave up consecutive singles to Jose Vizcaino and Brad Ausmus before leaving the game. "It was swelling yesterday," St. Louis Manager Tony La Russa said Friday.
SPORTS
October 20, 2004 | Ben Bolch, Times Staff Writer
The St. Louis Cardinals returned to Busch Stadium on Tuesday afternoon like someone preparing for a blind date, unsure of who they were going to face or even at what time.
SPORTS
October 20, 2004 | Ben Bolch, Times Staff Writer
Saying it wasn't in his team's best interest to use Roger Clemens on three days' rest for the second time in three postseason starts, Houston Astro Manager Phil Garner said Tuesday that he would start journeyman Pete Munro today in Game 6 of the National League championship series. Garner's decision surprised many among the St.
SPORTS
October 9, 2004 | Ben Bolch, Times Staff Writer
The Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros hope Texas will be the swing state in their National League division series after both teams' bats resembled toothpicks for much of Games 1 and 2 at Atlanta's Turner Field. Atlanta stranded 22 baserunners and was two for 19 with runners in scoring position before Rafael Furcal's 11th-inning homer in Game 2 drove in Charles Thomas from second base to even the best-of-five series at one game apiece.
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