As McTaggart said, Backe really hurt his chances of making the Opening Day roster.
So let's see: Backe gave up a leadoff double, then retired six of the next seven batters - which is nice. Then the 3rd inning came along and this happened...
Reid Brignac hit a home run, Jason Bartlett singled, Carl Crawford walked, Ben Zobrist walked. Backe also committed an error and was pulled for Gervacio, who then walked in three runs, and then Polin Trinidad walked a guy - so that's seven straight walks. Throw in three two-run hits by Trinidad, and what you have is a 12-2 loss. Jeff Fulchino did strike out Pat Burrell to end the inning, though. Bud Norris threw two hitless, scoreless innings, and feels no shame.
The Astros collected eight hits today: 2 from Abercrombie, and 1 from Bourn (who also stole two bases), Maysonet, Michaels, Newhan, Johnson and Gall. RBIs from Abercrombie and Maysonet.
So what you have in the race for SP5 is the following so far:
Brandon Backe: 4IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 4K
Russ Ortiz: 5IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 6K
Fernando Nieve: 2IP, 3H, 0R, 0ER, 2BB, 1K
Felipe Paulino: 2IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 0K
Obviously there's a lot of spring baseball to be played, but right now Ortiz has to have the edge. Backe sees the pooch, and is starting to think that the pooch looks attractive.