Notes: Burgos sent to Triple-A
Mets want promising right-hander to get more work
PHOENIX -- The Mets have plans for Ambiorix Burgos, and for now, those plans include Burgos pitching in the Minor Leagues. In the Mets' thinking, their assignment of Burgos to Triple-A constitutes the step back required before a step forward can be taken.
The assignment was made on Saturday so the club could accommodate Jorge Sosa, the Saturday night starter, on the 25-man roster. Lina Urdaneta, summoned from Triple-A on Thursday when the Mets removed Chan Ho Park from the roster, was retained even though the club has higher regard for Burgos.
"Burgos needs to pitch," Willie Randolph said before the third game of the Mets' series against the Diamondbacks, and one day after Burgos had provided two innings of flawed relief. Burgos, who turned 23 last month, was demoted so he could pitch more regularly -- he had appeared in 12 games -- and work multiple innings when he does pitch.
"We have to get him stretched out," Randolph said, meaning he wants Burgos to be more able to pitch beyond one inning when he returns to the big leagues. The two innings he pitched Friday produced six outs but also three hits, one a two-run home run by Orlando Hudson. Those runs and those innings left Burgos' ERA at 4.11. He had allowed 12 hits and seven walks and hit two batters in his 15 1/3 innings.
Aware that the Royals had pushed Burgos to the big leagues in 2005, Randolph said Burgos' need for innings is not exclusively an issue of arm strength and stamina; it deals with holding runners and fielding his position and other facets of the game. "We want him to be a more polished pitcher when he comes back," Randolph said.
No specific plans are in place for his return, but he will be back. Randolph has indicated Burgos could evolve into one of the primary setup men for Billy Wagner. And who knows thereafter?
The adjustment continues: Joe Smith has put a stop to his unintentional civic philanthropy. The Mets rookie reliever is paying for a parking space near his apartment in Long Island City apartment. "I don't know, it's $270, $300," he says. A tad pricey, perhaps, but it beats paying parking tickets."
Smith had paid $290 in parking fines -- three of them -- in his first month in the big leagues.
This and that: Randolph, delighted by the production of Shawn Green, nonetheless said he plans to use Damion Easley in right field occasionally when the Mets oppose a challenging left-handed starting pitcher With Carlos Delgado not starting Friday night, Green, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes and David Wright are the only four Mets to start each game.
Three of Beltran's team-high seven home runs have produced a lead. ... The Mets aren't weekend warriors yet. Their 5-3 victory Friday night put their weekend record at 7-6. ... The Mets have won 12 of the 13 games in which they scored first. The average winning percentage for teams that have scored first is .640. ... Reyes (leadoff) and Delgado (fourth) are the only players to hit in the same position in the order through 28 games. Randolph has used 10 batting orders, none so different as the one he deployed Friday -- Reyes, Easley, Beltran, Wright, Lo Duca, Julio Franco, Green and Chavez. ... Winning Friday when they opposed Randy Johnson put the Mets record in games in which the opposing starter was left-handed at 6-2.
This date in Mets history -- May 6: In one of their first deals, the Mets traded Don Zimmer to the Reds for Cliff Cook on this date in 1962. ... On the same day, Gil Hodges drove in two runs in the 12th inning, and the Mets survived the bottom of the inning to beat the Phillies 7-5 at Connie Mack Stadium for their first-ever extra-inning victory. One day short of a year later, Hodges retired. ... Six years later, Tom Seaver and Bob Gibson pitched complete games in the Cardinals' 11-inning, 2-1 victory in St. Louis.
Dwight Gooden pitched a two-hitter and drove in two runs with a triple in the Mets' 6-0 victory against the Astros at Shea Stadium on this date in 1986. He was never consistently dominant thereafter. It was the 13th shutout and 25th complete game in his first 72 big-league starts. He pitched 11 more shutouts and 43 more complete games in his last 338 starts. ... And on this date in 1988, Kal Daniels hit a home run against Randy Myers in the top of the 10th inning, but Darryl Strawberry hit a two-run home run off John Franco to beat the Reds, 4-3, at Shea.
Coming up: Mets rookie Mike Pelfrey makes his fifth start this season and the ninth of his career, opposite Livan Hernandez, who has started 323 big-league games, six this year. The Mets' fourth game in Phoenix begins Sunday at 4:40 p.m. ET.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.