04/02/08 1:16 AM ET
Pedro on teammates' minds after game
Righty's injury more pressing than Mets' extra-innings loss
By Charlie Nobles / Special to MLB.com
Nobody said what a difference a day makes, but the Mets found themselves trying to regroup after absorbing the news that Pedro Martinez, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, may miss some time with what was initially diagnosed as a strained left hamstring.
Martinez left after 3 1/3 frames, as the Mets went on to lose, 5-4, in 10 innings before 15,117 at Dolphin Stadium. Right-handed reliever Matt Wise gave up the walk-off home run to a youngster named Robert Andino. It was his first career Major League home run.
Wise had struck out the previous two batters on changeups. He tried to make it three on Andino, but he left the ball high in the strike zone.
"When I throw it down, it's good," Wise said. "The ball moves more. But I got it up."
Losing the game was sobering enough for a team that expects to contend for a World Series title. The specter of losing Martinez for a while made the postgame clubhouse one mostly of introspection.
What exactly does a Martinez injury leave the Mets?
Pitching coach Rick Peterson called it "emotionally crushing." Catcher Brian Schneider said it was a "tough break," because Martinez was just beginning to settle down in the game.
"We've got to be resilient," closer Billy Wagner said. "We can't sit around. Resilience has got to be in our vocabulary as a baseball team. We're getting tested early, and we have to rise to that occasion."
Wagner quickly thought of the bright side.
"Hopefully, it's just a strain, and he'll be back in 15 days or whatever," Wagner said. "Until then, we have to rely on some of the other horses to pick it up."
Then Wagner tried to lighten the moment. He said if Martinez had eaten more donuts, instead of becoming so sculpted in his zeal to return fully from his 2006 rotator-cuff surgery, he might not have injured himself.
"That's because you can't pull fat," Wagner said.
The Mets did show some resiliency in the game after falling behind, 4-0, as Martinez was struggling to spot his pitches. He gave up two home runs and hit a batter, both atypical for him.
The Mets drew within one in the fourth inning and tied the game at 4 in the fifth.
In the fourth, Carlos Delgado, Ryan Church, Angel Pagan and Schneider hit consecutive singles, with Pagan and Schneider driving in a run apiece. Jose Reyes accounted for the third run with a sacrifice fly.
The Mets then tied the game in the next inning on Pagan's sacrifice fly. That scored third baseman David Wright, who had singled to extend his carryover hitting streak to 19 games, after he moved around to third on walks to Carlos Beltran and Church.
From there, it became a pitchers' duel of sorts. The Mets were to get only four more baserunners the rest of the way, none reaching second base.
In the ninth, Wright sent a fastball to the center-field wall 404 feet away, but it was caught.
"I hit it good," Wright said ruefully, "but not good enough."
Wright said it was unfortunate that Martinez was injured, but there was hardly time to moan too much about it. The regular season is in full swing now.
"We can't let anything get us down," Wright said. "We have a job to do here, and we have some capable guys."
Reliever Aaron Heilman, who pitched two scoreless innings, yielding a hit and a walk, took it as a good sign that Martinez was able to walk from the field into the team's clubhouse.
"This hasn't changed the fact that we still need to hit, still need to pitch if we want to win games," Heilman said. "And it's not like we haven't been able to win without guys. We did it in 2006 for sure. Looking at it from one side, this leaves an opportunity for somebody to step up."
Once the results of Martinez's MRI in New York are known, Peterson said the Mets "have plenty of time" to make adjustments. Possibilities to replace Martinez include Nelson Figueroa, Jorge Sosa (who threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings on Tuesday night), Tony Armas or Brian Stokes, who was just optioned to Triple-A New Orleans.
Orlando Hernandez would be the obvious choice if he was ready. But the veteran right-hander is dealing with a left foot bunion problem and experimenting with his windup. He said on Sunday that he'll likely need two to three Minor League starts to feel better about his readiness.
Manager Willie Randolph said he liked the way his club "battled back" on Tuesday night, and he said he expects the Mets to play with the same without Martinez as they have with him.
"We don't react to that," Randolph said of the injury. "We keep our heads up. Pedro has had his share of injuries since he's been here."
Charlie Nobles is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.