HOUSTON -- One day later, Josh Fields was still smiling.
Fields, acquired by the Astros in last year's Rule 5 Draft, made his Major League debut in Tuesday's loss to the Rangers, striking out Craig Gentry swinging to end the eighth inning after throwing three consecutive balls to start the at-bat.
"It was pretty awesome being out there," Fields said. "It was a dream come true stepping on that Major League baseball mound, and I just thank the Lord for the opportunity and being blessed with the talents and abilities he's blessed me with. Being part of this team is pretty awesome."
Fields was able to keep the ball he used to strike out Gentry and plans to present it to his father, David Fields, who was watching from his home in Athens, Ga.
"He's been with me the whole time through this whole thing, and I know words couldn't describe what he was feeling watching the game," Fields said.
Fields, a former first-round pick of the Mariners, had only pitched in 10 games above the Double-A level -- he threw 13 2/3 innings last year at Triple-A Pawtucket in the Boston organization -- prior to getting snagged by Houston.
"It worked out perfect and we were able to get him into a game where he wasn't coming in to clean up someone else's situation," manager Bo Porter said. "The bases were empty and there were two outs, and it was good for him, good for the ballclub and a good first outing. He was able to strike out the first guy he pitched to in the big leagues, which is really good."
White could be headed for Tommy John surgery
HOUSTON -- Astros pitcher Alex White is bracing himself for the idea he could be headed for Tommy John surgery and a long recovery to get back on the mound.
The right-hander, who was placed on the 60-day disabled list earlier this week with an elbow sprain, is seeking a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews, who's reviewing White's MRI results. The team expects a decision about White's future soon.
"We have a pretty good idea what's going to happen, and we're just waiting for Andrews to take a look and make a decision for us," White said. "I've gotten used to the idea, and it's going to be a long process getting back to the field. It will be day to day, and even if it's just a sprain, it's still going to take me a while to get back."
White has already reached out to teammates Philip Humber and Erik Bedard, both of whom have been through Tommy John surgery before. It's typically a one-year recovery process, but many pitchers come back even stronger following the procedure.
"We talked about the process and coming back and being patient," White said. "When and if that decision is made, it will be a long process, but hopefully it's early enough in the year we'll be back by next season."
White, acquired from the Rockies in January in exchange for Wilton Lopez, said he's been dealing with an elbow issue for a long time.
"This spring, I felt good early. And later in the spring, it started coming on a little bit. And the last couple of outings were pretty bad," he said. "I felt like could get through them during the season, but it's one of those things that never got better."
Darvish's outing brought back memories for Martinez
HOUSTON -- The only no-hitter Dennis Martinez ever witnessed was the one he threw against the Dodgers in 1991, the 13th perfect game in baseball history. Martinez, the Astros' bullpen coach, watched closely Tuesday night as Yu Darvish retired the first 26 batters he faced before coming up one out short of a perfect game.
"I had goose bumps last night watching Darvish throwing almost a perfect game, and I was in a way rooting for him, but I was also saying, 'OK, let's get this guy,'" Martinez said. "When you see those kinds of games like that, the way he was doing it, you have to admire that, and I think he did a great job."
Astros shortstop Marwin Gonzalez spoiled Darvish's perfect game with a two-out single that went through the pitcher's legs and into center field as Martinez watched anxiously.
"The emotions started coming back, and I remembered my time I was there with two outs and trying to get the last out to complete the game," he said. "It didn't work out [for Darvish]. It's a once-in-a-lifetime game, so maybe he'll get another chance."
Martinez was charting the game in the bullpen and didn't even realize Darvish was working on a perfect game until about the sixth inning.
"I said, 'Wait a minute, he's throwing a perfect game,'" he said. "He was making some great pitches and he deserved to get one, but at the end, I was happy for Marwin."