Game Thread: Mets (44-51) vs Astros (50-46)
Fernando Nieve was to start the Mets’ game against the Astros on Saturday, but he strained his right quadriceps running the bases Sunday in Atlanta and has been placed on the disabled list. The Mets have not yet announced who will take his spot, and manager Jerry Manuel said the decision may wait until Saturday afternoon. But the smart money is on Jon Niese, who has won his last five decisions for Triple-A Buffalo, and who holds a 0.72 ERA in his seven most recent starts. Niese has not faced the Astros in any of his five career starts.
Ortiz, who criticized manager Cecil Cooper for taking him out of the game after only three innings in his final start before the All-Star break on July 9, was allowed to navigate his way through six innings on a hot Sunday in Los Angeles, allowing five hits and two runs against the Dodgers. Ortiz is 9-7 with a 5.20 ERA in 18 career games against the Mets, including 17 starts.