The Astros play two split squad games today, against the Yankees and Phillies. Wandy starts against the Yanks and Ortiz against the Phils. The box scores are:
The Chronicle has an article which casts some doubt not only on whether Backe will be the No. 5 starter, but whether he will even make the team. Backe continues to have significant pain from his muscle strain, and he may be out for another 10 days. The Astros also must make a decision by April 1 to cut Backe if they want to prevent his full contract from becoming guaranteed, according to the article. Backe's uphill battle starts with the fact that he is missing a lot of time, and will be far behind the other competing starters, strength-wise, when he comes back. Cooper points out that Backe had only pitched a 2 inning duration when he went down, and that he won't have much time to get stretched out to starting level by the start of the season.
I probably won't have time to follow the games much today...but post comments if you are keeping up.