PITTSBURGH -- Not long after Mets manager Jerry Manuel said he intended to assign less-challenging innings to J.J. Putz, the Mets won't be able to assign their primary setup reliever any innings for awhile. After experiencing sharp pain in his right elbow Wednesday and Thursday, Putz was examined in New York on Friday to determine the cause of the pain.
The result: Putz will be lost to the Mets for about six weeks after exams on Friday revealed a broken bone spur in the back of his right elbow.In addition, the Mets released a statement on Thursday which stated that an MRI revealed that Jose Reyes has a small tear in his right hamstring. This is just a diagnosis and not a prognosis, and the Mets will know more on Friday, which makes it one of the more important days in the Mets' schedule, no matter how they fare when Tim Redding starts against the last-place Nationals.
Putz, who had accompanied the team from Pittsburgh to Washington, returned to New York in the morning. The recurring pain had become a major concern for him and the team.
Putz threw 23 pitches while he surrendered two runs in the seventh inning against the Pirates on Thursday. The split-finger fastballs and two-seam fastball caused pain, just as they had during his early afternoon bullpen session Wednesday. The pain was in the same area it had been May 14, when an MRI detected a bone spur in the back of the elbow and he received a cortisone injection to reduce the inflammation.
That more intense pain has returned at that point is a discouraging development. The condition prevents Putz from finishing his pitches.
"I can't yank it down," he said. "I can't trust myself to finish, [because] I expect it to hurt. Now it does. It hurts [a lot] to yank it."
Before meeting with Putz after the game, Manuel said the pitcher's problem's could be physical "and emotional as well," and suggested Putz be examined to "see where he is physically and emotionally.
"Almost every day somebody gets examined here," said Manuel. "I might step in line. I might need to get examined, too."
NYM: RHP Tim Redding (0-2, 9.20 ERA)
Redding had his second successive rough outing Saturday against the Marlins, allowing seven earned runs on eight hits in four-plus innings. After a solid six innings in his first start, Redding now has allowed 13 earned runs in his two subsequent starts, encompassing 8 2/3 innings. He returns to Washington, his baseball home for the 2007 and 2008 season. He produced a 6-7 record and 5.61 ERA in 18 starts and 94 2/3 innings in Nationals Park last season. Josh Willingham has a .385 average and two home runs in 13 career at-bats against Redding.
WASH: RHP Shairon Martis (5-1, 5.62 ERA)
Troubles with his command finally cost Martis his first loss Saturday against the Phillies. Martis took a 3-1 lead into the third inning, but gave up two hits and a walk to load the bases. He then surrendered a grand slam to Ryan Howard. Martis finished the night with two walks and one strikeout in four innings, allowing seven runs. He threw just 42 strikes in 71 pitches. In his four most recent starts, Martis has walked 10 batters with just seven strikeouts, and in his last 16 innings, he's allowed 17 earned runs. He has made one start against the Mets, coming last September, and allowed six runs in three innings.
The nine runs allowed by Mike Pelfrey on Thursday were the most allowed by Met since Jason Vargas allowed nine against the Rockies July 3, 2007. ... Oliver Perez's cameo appearance against the Phillies on May 2 -- 2 1/3 innings -- was shorter than Pelfrey's 3 2/3. ... Ryan Church, eligible for reinstatement from the disabled list Sunday, played seven innings in an extended Spring Training game without incident Thursday.
This date in Mets history, June 5:
On this date in 1966, Ron Hunt hit the Mets' first inside-the-park home run at Shea Stadium, off Sandy Koufax. It produced the Mets' third run in a 16-3 loss at Shea Stadium. ... The Mets used their first selection in the annual amateur Draft to select an 18-year-old former speed skater from Lincoln High School in Brooklyn on this date in 1973. Within three years, Lee Mazzilli was playing center field at Shea, making basket catches, a la Willie Mays. He wore No. 12 as a rookie and No. 16 soon thereafter, trading uniform numbers with John Stearns. By the following summer, Mazzilli was a matinee idol, the centerfold center fielder, and one of the focal points of the marketing campaign "Bring your kids to see our kids" that the club launched following the trade of Tom Seaver.
On this date in 1977, the Mets swept a doubleheader from the division-champion-to-be Phillies, winning, 6-5 in 10 innings in the first game and 3-2 in the second game. The victories were the fifth and sixth in their first seven games under player-manager Joe Torre. The Mets would win 43 and lose 67 thereafter, finishing in last place for the first time since 1967. Torre, the first player-manager since Solly Hemus in 1959, retired as a player 13 days later, three days after Seaver was traded. But on this date, he inserted himself into the first game of the doubleheader as a pinch-hitter and received a long standing ovation from the Shea crowd.
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Saturday: Mets (John Maine, 5-3, 3.75) at Nationals (John Lannan, 2-5, 4.21), 7:05 p.m. ET
Sunday: Mets (Livan Hernandez, 4-1, 4.33)) at Nationals (Craig Stammen, 0-1, 5.71), 1:35 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.