06/02/12 12:25 AM ET
Despite injury, Norris expected to make next start
By Brian McTaggart / MLB.com
"He said he was feeling good and that's a good thing," Mills said. "We need to go through everything and have him throw and do some conditioning and stretching and moving and see where he is. I feel very confident with him making that start."
When asked how he was feeling, Norris said simply, "I'm alive," before deferring to Mills.
Mills said Norris has suffered from a similar condition in the past, but not this year. Norris wasn't sharp at all in the series finale against the Rockies and gave up a career high nine runs in 1 2/3 innings, which was his second-shortest start of his career.
"He wasn't able to get his lower body into it," Mills said.
Lee exits early with leg injury, out Saturday
HOUSTON -- Astros first baseman Carlos Lee won't be available to play Saturday against the Reds and could be sidelined even longer after leaving Friday's loss to the Reds in the eighth inning with a strained left hamstring. He's listed as day-to-day.
Lee came up short of first base with a limp while hitting into a double play to end the eighth and walked gingerly off the field with the help of a trainer and manager Brad Mills.
"I'm going to see the doctors and everything's going to go by how I feel [Saturday] and Sunday," Lee said. "After that, I think we might have an idea."
The Astros on Friday were without backup outfielder Travis Buck, who is dealing with a right heel injury and was in a walking boot prior to the game. Mills was asked whether a roster move was likely if both Buck and Lee are unavailable for Saturday's game.
"There's always a possibility," he said. "We'll make sure we'll check some things out with Carlos. The doctor's in there looking at them both, and we're trying to maneuver our way through some of those things right now and see how they go."
Richard inducted into Astros Walk of Fame
HOUSTON -- Former Astros pitcher J.R. Richard, who went 107-71 with a 3.15 ERA in 10 seasons in a Houston uniform, was inducted into the Astros Walk of Fame on Friday afternoon by having his engraved star unveiled along Texas Avenue outside Minute Maid Park.
"It means a great deal to me that they would even acknowledge the fact I played here, and it made me feel really good," said Richard, whose career was cut short at age 30 by a stroke midway through the 1980 season.
Richard, an intimidating 6-foot-8 right-hander, was one of the most feared pitchers in baseball and holds two of the Astros' three 300-strikeout seasons, coming in back-to-back years in 1978-79. He finished in the Top 5 in the Cy Young voting in both of those seasons.
He threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game against the Reds, wearing a 1970s-era rainbow jersey with his name and the No. 50 on his back.
"If I had to pick one pitcher to win a big game, J.R. Richard would be up there with Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax, and I would probably pick J.R. because I know him so well," said Tal Smith, the former Astros general manager and president of baseball operations who was at the ceremony. "He was the most dominating, intimidating pitcher of his era."
Richard, 62, said he would like to work for the Astros one day.
"I would have to be beneficial," he said. "I wouldn't want to be over here just to be seen."
Astros continue to monitor injured Buck
HOUSTON -- The Astros were a player short on Friday with outfielder Travis Buck nursing an injury to his right heel. Buck was wearing a walking boot and didn't participate in batting practice, and manager Brad Mills didn't know when he was going to return.
"We're kind of monitoring him a little bit," Mills said. "After he played in the doubleheader [Monday in Denver], he doesn't really know how he hurt it, but it was really bothering him and was extremely sore. We really need to try to stay away from him."
Buck was in the on-deck circle as a possible pinch-hitter in the sixth inning Thursday, but he didn't get into the game. He leads the Major Leagues with a .538 batting average as a pinch-hitter this season, which is his first in the National League.
"We're going to monitor him the next couple of days and see where we are," Mills said.
Snyder thrilled to play with throwback jerseys
HOUSTON -- No one was happier to don the 1970s-era rainbow uniform the Astros wore against the Reds as part of the ongoing "Flashback Fridays" promotion to celebrate the team's 50th anniversary than catcher Chris Snyder, who grew up in Houston and attended countless games at the Astrodome.
"I'm definitely pumped to get to be able to wear one," he said. "The whole year, with all the throwbacks and everything like that and me being from Houston and growing up and see all these unis, especially the later ones, it's one of the cooler years to be part of the organization."
Snyder was unsure whether he was going to get to keep the rainbow No. 18 jersey he wore during Friday's game, but he said he was going to make sure to get one somewhere along the line. "I don't know what's going to happen, but I guarantee you, at some point, I'm going to find a way to get a rainbow jersey with Snyder, 18, on it," he said. "I will have a few of them one way or another. I loved those uniforms."