Martinez's calf puts hurt on Mets' playoff plans

NL Notes

October 01, 2006|By Compiled from interviews and other newspapers' reports.

The New York Mets have been baseball's best team. They practically wrapped up the National League East before Memorial Day and they seemingly score 15 runs a game.

A month ago, they were penciled in to the World Series.

Well, get the erasers out.

Because Pedro Martinez has a new daddy: his calves.

Dominant pitching wins titles. And, when on his game, Martinez projects dominance. He's 6-2 in the postseason with a 3.40 ERA, and that includes hiccups against his old daddy, the New York Yankees.

Now Martinez is lost for the playoffs with a torn tendon in his left calf.

On paper, the blow is arguable. Martinez hasn't been himself since his 5-0 April. He had a 16.97 ERA in his last four starts. His fastball didn't get above 87 mph in his final start and his pinpoint control was gone.

He may not have started in the playoffs anyway. But his threat, his presence, would have been there. And the Mets' starting pitching depth already was lacking.

"It's unfortunate, but we have to move on and get ready," manager Willie Randolph said. "Geez, we'd love to have Pedro. But it is what it is. This is a team that has prided itself on going out and playing with the guys it has and we'll still do that."

Now, another playoff warrior, Orlando Hernandez, will start the club's first playoff game, followed by Tom Glavine, Steve Trachsel and an Orioles castoff, rookie John Maine.

Girardi won't resign

The Florida Marlins' Joe Girardi, the top candidate for NL Manager of the Year, reportedly is out because of his frosty relationship with owner Jeffrey Loria. But there will be no confusion on who drew the line in this sand.

"I will not resign because I came here to do a job," Girardi said.

It would be Loria's fourth managerial search since acquiring the Marlins in 2002.

Honoring Robinson

Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, who looks to be done as Washington Nationals manager, has said he would like a special sendoff to end his 50 years in baseball.

Here's a thought: The Nationals should announce today that they are retiring Robinson's No. 20 and will host a formal ceremony during next year's Orioles-Nationals interleague series at RFK Stadium. That way, both sets of fans could thank Robinson for his dedication.

Wood wants to return

Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood was 12-15 over the three-year, $32.5 million contract he signed in 2004. The Cubs will exercise the $3 million buyout instead of his $13.5 million option, making the injury-prone 29-year-old a free agent. But he's hoping to work a new deal to remain with the only team he has played for.

"We'll talk and decide what's best for the organization and best for me, and hopefully that's staying here," he said.

Quick hits

Here's a free-agent name to remember: Cincinnati Reds reliever David Weathers, 37. Take away two terrible outings and his ERA would be under 3.00. ... The Philadelphia Phillies' Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley became the first NL double-play combination and the second in baseball to each hit 25 homers in a season. The Boston Red Sox's Bobby Doerr and Vern Stephens did it in 1948 and 1950.

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