Barring the teams meeting in the playoffs, the Astros will not return to the Vet again in 2003. The Astros are 81-98 all-time at the 32-year-old stadium, which is closing at season’s end.
The Astros find themselves staring at three straight losses because they couldn’t solve Randy Wolf on Saturday. Wolf tossed a five-hitter for his fifth career shutout as the Phillies won 2-0.
“I’ve seen him pitch games like this,” Phillies manager Larry Bowa said. “He doesn’t surprise me any more. He’s one of the best left-handers in the league, believe me.”
“It didn’t really hurt at first,” Miller said. “It took a little while for it to sink in. I knew I was going to feel pain after a while. I thought I could have stayed in—at least check it out—but (manager Jimy Williams) pulled me.”
Much to the delight of Williams, the Astros’ bullpen was sharp, pitching 8 2-3 shutout innings.
“They kept the game where, even though Wolf was as tough as he was, we still had a chance,” Williams said. “We still had the tying run at the plate in the ninth.”
STANDINGS: Astros - 3rd place, 2 GB, NL Central. Phillies - 3rd place, 2 1/2 GB, NL East.
ASTROS PROBABLE STARTER: Kirk Saarloos (0-0, 18.00 ERA). Saarloos will be making his second start of the season when he faces the Phillies for the first time in his career. He lasted a career-low two innings Tuesday against Pittsburgh, allowing five runs and four hits.
PHILLIES PROBABLE STARTER: Vicente Padilla (3-4, 3.97 ERA). Padilla is trying to snap a three-game losing streak. The right-hander allowed seven runs over 4 1-3 innings in a 10-1 loss to Arizona on Monday. Padilla last won on April 19, pitching a four-hit shutout against Atlanta.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Astros - Jeff Kent, .313 avg.; Jeff Bagwell, 11 HRs; Kent and Bagwell, 24 RBIs; Craig Biggio, 25 runs; Richard Hidalgo, 4 SBs. Phillies - Lieberthal, .357 avg.; Thome, 7 HRs and 27 RBIs; Jimmy Rollins, 28 runs and 4 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Phillies, 2-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Astros - OF Biggio is 4-for-5 with two doubles in his career against RHP Padilla. … RHP Brandon Puffer extended his scoreless string to 8 1-3 innings after hurling 3 2-3 on Saturday. … Houston had won a season-high seven straight before dropping the first two games of the series. Phillies - LHP Cole Hamels, the Phillies’ top draft pick last season, was promoted to Class A Lakewood on Saturday. He struck out 13 of 17 in an extended spring training game on Thursday. … RHP Padilla is 0-2 with a 5.23 ERA in six career games against Houston. … 3B Tyler Houston is 1-for-2 with a homer in his career against RHP Saarloos.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Astros - 6-11 on the road; Phillies - 12-6 at home.