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10/26/05 9:05 PM ET

Notes: Garner not mad at players

Skipper clarifies that he was upset with loss in Game 3

HOUSTON -- Phil Garner wanted to clarify a few things about the comments he made after the Houston Astros' 7-5 loss in 14 innings to the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday.

Garner's use of the words "embarrassing" and "ticked off" were construed by some observers as a shot toward the players. Garner said on Wednesday that was not the case.

Garner was asked in the interview room following Game 3 to explain how he felt after the Astros stranded 15 baserunners and pushed across only one run after Jason Lane's fourth-inning homer.

Garner said, "That's some pretty poor hitting, absolute rotten hitting. ... I don't know how you win a ballgame when you can't hit the ball. ... We managed to stay in the ballgame, but we might have played 40 innings and it didn't look we were going to get a runner across the bag."

Asked if he had any emotions left after such a draining night, Garner responded: "I'm really ticked off."

He also said, "It's embarrassing to play like this in front of our hometown. It was just not a good game for us tonight."

The next day, Garner explained that was he was mad at the loss, not the players.

"I'm ticked that we didn't win the ballgame," Garner said. "I'm not ticked at the players. They're busting their butts and battling for 14 innings, they battled to get here [to the World Series]. I don't like being beaten in my own backyard and having people taking my food from me. I don't like that.

"I'm ticked in general for losing the game. I'm not mad at [the players]."

Clemens questionable: Roger Clemens, who threw on flat ground prior to Game 3 on Tuesday, is still "penciled in" as the Game 5 starter, should the Astros win Game 4.

This does not mean Clemens, who reinjured his left hamstring in Game 1 in Chicago, will make this start. His chances appeaear to be no better than 50-50, and that may be generous.

Asked if he was confident Rocket would be ready to pitch, Garner said, "No. But he's penciled in."

Wandy Rodriguez would likely make a spot start should Clemens be unavailable. Rodriguez threw three pitches in the Astros' 14-inning loss in Game 3, so he would be fresher than Ezequiel Astacio, who threw 27 and allowed two runs to take the loss.

"We would go with Wandy right now," Garner said. "But if we have to use Wandy today [in Game 4], we'd use Astacio tomorrow [in Game 5] -- if Rocket can't go."

Caught on camera: In today's day and age, every move made on a baseball field is captured by one of dozens of cameras placed in every nook and cranny around the field.

In the heat of a game, players and managers sometimes forget that these cameras are following their every move.

Garner was in the middle of a not-so-pleasant exchange with White Sox outfielder Carl Everett after Roy Oswalt hit Joe Crede with a pitch, and it didn't take a genius lip reader to know what Garner was saying.

"I should apologize for using poor language," Garner said. "That part, I'm a little upset at myself about. I'm not upset about being passionate about the game, but I do apologize for the way I expressed it."

Blum still popular: Geoff Blum still has plenty of friends in the Astros' clubhouse, and he had a million different emotions running through him when he hit the tiebreaking homer in the 14th inning that led the White Sox to a win over the Astros on Tuesday.

Never did Blum think he would play against the Astros in a World Series, especially considering he began this season with the San Diego Padres. The White Sox obtained Blum at the trading deadline.

"There are a lot of things going through your head when you find out you're playing one of your ex-teams in a city that treated you so well," Blum said. "The fans took me in for two years and spoiled me rotten, and so did the guys in the clubhouse. I learned a lot about the game and how to handle myself, how to go about playing every day and things like that.

"This is one of the first places I really got an opportunity to play every day. Other places, I came off the bench. But these guys, on down the line, still give support. I still have support for them. We still keep in touch. There's an strong tie here with a good group of friends."

Adam Everett is one of those friends. He said watching the home run was "tough," but in a way, "bittersweet."

"I wish he hadn't hit the home run to beat us, but that's the way it goes," Everett said. "I think he enjoyed his time over here. He had a great time with us and we enjoyed having him. He's a great teammate, a great guy."

Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.