07/03/10 8:52 PM ET
Blum's elbow not showing any improvement
By Tim Powers / Special to MLB.com
Blum arrived at the ballpark on Saturday in pain and without the ability to even extend his arm, let alone participate in any baseball-related activities.
"Even brushing my teeth hurts right now," Blum said. "It hasn't gotten any better at all."
Astros manager Brad Mills said prior to Saturday's game that the team had yet to receive the results of an MRI taken on Blum's elbow that may help determine a course of action. Blum is listed as day-to-day for now.
"As of right now, we're waiting for the doctor to bring the MRI in, and he hasn't shown up yet," Mills said. "[Blum] showed up this afternoon to get treatment, and it was still swollen, and he still can't straighten it out. So we're kind of in a state of flux here a little bit, to see what the MRI has to say and go from there."
With shortstop Tommy Manzella also on the shelf, the recently acquired Angel Sanchez got the start again on Saturday after collecting a single and making two defensive plays in his debut with the team on Friday.
Mills encouraged by Paulino's simulated game
SAN DIEGO -- Injured starting pitcher Felipe Paulino's bullpen session on Saturday encouraged Astros manager Brad Mills and will lead to a pair of simulated games next week prior to Paulino making a return to the club.
Paulino, out since June 21 with right shoulder tendinitis, threw 30 pitches in the bullpen, and although he is eligible to come off the DL next week, the team will take the extra time over the All-Star break to ensure Paulino is completely ready to return.
Mills said the schedule for Paulino's simulated games isn't completely set, and neither is his spot in the rotation following the All-Star break.
"We've looked at the calendar set up for after the All-Star break, but we don't have that rotation set yet, and we probably won't until we get home [Tuesday]," Mills said. "He's definitely going to factor into it."
The simulated games are likely to take place on Wednesday, and possibly again on Sunday, July 11, depending on whether the club decides to squeeze the second simulated game in prior to the day game just before the break.
"I think we're thinking about a simulated game on Wednesday, and then another simulated game on Sunday before we leave for the [All-Star] break," Mills said. "Those questions we'll be able to answer when we get home."
Should those two simulated games go well, Mills said Paulino will return after the break. Paulino is 1-8 with a 4.40 ERA in 14 starts this season.
Pence ejected for first time in career
SAN DIEGO -- Hunter Pence was ejected by home-plate umpire Ed Rapuano for arguing a called third strike in the seventh inning on Saturday at PETCO Park.
With the game scoreless, Pence led off the frame, and when Rapuano made the strike call on a 3-2 pitch, Pence spun around to face Rapuano and was thrown out almost immediately.
"I definitely overreacted," Pence said. "I let my emotions get the best of me, you know, just in the heat of the moment. I know I'm in the wrong for sure, and I know better than to react like that."
Pence thought the two previous pitches were below the strike zone, but acknowledged the difficulty of making the calls from Rapuano's perspective.
"My argument at the time was that [the pitches] were low, and that's what I said to him," Pence said. "I know better. Ed is a great umpire, and there were a lot of calls that can go either way, and they were just good pitches. I know how the game works, and I know that's not the way to handle yourself, and I'm just going to learn from it."
Astros manager Brad Mills also pleaded against Rapuano's call while getting in between Pence and Rapuano to prevent further incident, but he was not tossed from the game.
"[Rapuano] just felt that Hunter was very aggressive coming towards him," Mills said. "I just thought he was awful quick. That's neither here nor there, really."
The ejection was the first of Pence's career.
Roy Oswalt continued a trend of domination against the Padres in their home ballpark in Friday's 3-0 loss. Oswalt retired the first 11 batters he faced on Friday after also retiring the final 18 batters in his complete-game win at PETCO Park on June 29 last season. Overall, Oswalt is 10-2 against San Diego, his best against any team, and at PETCO Park, he is 3-1 with a 2.06 ERA. ... Mills said outfielder Jason Bourgeois did fly to Round Rock to join the Triple-A team after the club optioned him there on Friday. Bourgeois's departure was put off slightly by the team while Blum's elbow was examined further, in case a DL stint was necessary for Blum. Bourgeois would've been recalled immediately had that been the case, but with Blum still listed as day-to-day, the team allowed Bourgeois to join the Triple-A squad.
Tim Powers is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.