Kazmir Gets His Work In

As Grant Roberts was preparing to make another solid outing in his bid for the fifth slot in the rotation, the Spring Training complex was alive as the Mets braintrust converged to watch phenom Scott Kazmir throwin' bullets in his longest outing of the spring.

Kazmir went four innings for the first time this spring, allowing 2 unearned runs while striking out four. In the first inning, he walked the first batter on four pitches. He didn't look wild, it appeared Kazmir and the plate ump had a difference of opinion as to what constituted a strike. He was ripping the corner, and blue just didn't call it. Whatever. No biggie, Kaz adjusted and struck out the next two guys on 8 pitches and got the third out on a roller to short.

In the second inning, the leadoff guy lunged at an 0-2 breaking ball and dunks it into shallow left for a single. Kazmir picks him off, but the firstbaseman holds the ball too long, and the runner is safe at second and then gets gunned down trying to steal third. Kazmir again punches out the next two hitters, again on eight pitches.

After retiring the first two batters in the top of the third, the third hitter walked on a 3-2 pitch, and the fourth hitter grounded to second. The second baseman booted the grounder, putting runners on first and second, and Kazmir nicked the shirt of the next batter to load the bases.

Then his first pitch to 6th guy in the inning pops off the catchers glove and rolls to the fence, run scores, and the runners move up to second and third. Kazmir throws a strike, and then the next pitch again hits off the catchers glove and rolls to the backstop. Another passed ball, another run. He walks the batter putting runners on first and third before inducing a grounder to short to end the inning.

In the fourth, the leadoff hitter grounded to second, but the firstbaseman got caught in no mans land and Kazmir didn't get to the bag in time to cover. The second flied to left, and after a 102 hopper up the middle for a single, the final batter Kazmir faced hit a 1-2 pitch into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning and Scott's work for the day.

All in all he threw about 60 pitches and was consistently around 93mph on the gun. He could easily have been out of it without a mark on him other than the lead off walk and the bloop hit. There wasn't a single ball hit hard off of him the entire outing.

Camp Notes

Steve Trachsel pitched the other minor league game for what is loosely called the St. Lucie group, and got his work in, throwing 6 innings, though he was consistently in jams with runners on.

Aarom Baldiris hit a long two-run homer to left center. Ian Bladergroen pulled a ball that broke his bat off the fence in right. Brett Harper continued his impressive spring with another couple of hits and a fine play in the field to cut a run down at home on an attempted double steal. Robert Paulk displayed an impressive 12-6 curveball that baffled Expos hitters.

PHOTOS: Maclane, J. Diaz, Ough, Mattioni(2), M. Peterson, Cole, Bevis, Strayhorn, Salvo, Garay, Wallace, Purvey, Wilson, Kazmir(4), Trachsel(2), Kazmir(3), Ja. Hill(2), A. Wilson, V. Wilson, R. Peterson, Bladergroen, Trachsel, Kazmir(2), V. Wilson(2), Whealy(2), Harper, Gomes(6), E. Rodriguez(2), Paulk(4), Baldiris(2), Davidson(3), Goldis, Baldiris(2)

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