Not such a good day in St. Lucie.

Sunday’s game in Port St. Lucie was played in cold and windy conditions where even the most harmless of fly balls turned into home runs. That didn’t make manager Cecil Cooper feel any better, though, considering the Mets scored 13 runs and his Astros scored only once.

“They did a pretty good job on the other side,” he said with a laugh. “I just know I’m getting a little tired of seeing it. We need some good games thrown in there somewhere. It was a tough day.”

Fernando Nieve made his debut, and although he didn’t give up any runs, he worked himself into two bases-loaded jams over the course of two innings of work. Nieve admitted he was “a bit wild” with his breaking pitches, but he also said he made an adjustment and overall felt pretty good about the outing.

“I weas excited to pitch and then today, I felt good,” he said. “I didn’t have any pain in my body. But sometimes you try to show too much in the first game, the first outing. This was my first outing and everything is going well.”

Still, cooper would like to see more from Nieve, one of a handful of pitchers auditioning for the fifth starter spot.

“We still have some command issues,” Cooper said. “He escaped [trouble] but he has to have a little better command. Next time out, I hope it will be better for him.”


I enjoy reading your coverage of the Astros. The NL Central never seems to fail when it comes to keeping things interesting. Looking forward to seeing this season’s games between the ‘Stros and the Cubs. Enjoy the rest of Spring and all of ’09!

Prose and Ivy

I really don’t think Nieve has a shot at the spot. I like Felipe Paulino’s chances better than his, even Arias’ chances are probably a little better. If anyone else remembers the 6-15 loss to the Phillies in May of last year as well as I do (I was there, unfortunately) Nieve couldn’t make an out to save his life.

Here’s hoping Nieve (or Ortiz or Paulino) can really step up in a big way and oust Backe. I’m afraid Backe’s tendency to be solid early in the season will fool the front office into thinking he’s deserving. Then come the All-Star break, the meltdown will begin anew.

Get the front office on the horn, Alyson, I want my pre-game notes! 🙂

What the heck was with Backe today (march 3rd.)?????????
GOOD LORD!!! He lost it in the third inning! What did you see? That was tough to listen to….I can only imagine what
it was like to watch it. Thanks, Becky

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