Saturday, September 18, 2010

Casey Coleman's Auspicious Homecoming

Special to the Daily News

— Pitching in front of 28,000 fans wasn’t a problem for Chicago Cubs pitcher Casey Coleman on Saturday at Sun Life Stadium. It was just that group of 50 to 75 friends and family that presented an issue.

Nevertheless, Coleman — the 23-year-old right-hander who attended Cape Coral-Mariner and Florida Gulf Coast University — settled down after a rocky first inning. It took a visit from pitching coach Larry Rothschild, but Coleman found his trademark control and got the victory in the Cubs’ 5-3 win over the Florida Marlins.

“I was getting a little too quick so the meeting out there settled me down,” said Coleman, who improved to 2-2 and lowered his ERA to 4.15. “He just told me to trust myself and whatever happens, happens. It’s going to happen no matter what. So I really thought about it and just started challenging guys, even if it’s right down the middle, don’t walk the guys and then give up a hit to give up a lot of runs. Challenge them. That was big for me.”