Houston — Barry Bonds remained the buzz of the ballpark a day after being plunked by Astros reliever Russ Springer - and the San Francisco slugger wasn't even in the starting lineup.
Springer? He was out of the state.
Major League Baseball on Wednesday already had begun reviewing Bonds' at-bat leading off the fifth inning Tuesday night against Springer, in which the pitcher's first offering sailed behind Bonds' back to draw a warning from plate umpire Joe West.
The next four pitches all came inside, including one that hit Bonds' bat handle on the third delivery for strike one. On the fifth pitch, Springer hit Bonds in the right shoulder as he turned to protect himself.
After being ejected, Springer left to a standing ovation - something that deeply disturbed Giants manager Felipe Alou.
Bonds, meanwhile, barely reacted to being hit, calmly taking first base without a word or a glance toward the right-hander. Springer took off immediately after the game to be with his wife when she underwent surgery Wednesday morning in Louisiana.
"It's under investigation. That's all I'll say," Bob Watson, baseball's vice president for on-field operations, said in a phone interview. Bonds didn't address it with the media after the game or again beforehand Wednesday, when he entertained himself by playing cards with trainer Greg Oliver - perhaps a brief distraction from the pressure surrounding his pursuit of Babe Ruth.
Alou expressed disappointment in the Astros' fans who jumped to their feet in a standing ovation for Springer when he hit Bonds. He understands that pitchers plunking batters is part of the game, but thought many in the crowd of 35,286 disrespected the game.
"It bothered me a lot, because a lot of children were watching," Alou said. "Even the kid who says 'Play ball!' I don't believe that's playing ball what we saw last night. I'm not talking about the guy getting hit. I'm talking about the people giving a standing ovation for that action."