The Mets limp on

NEW YORK -- All that you needed to know about the Mets' current state of affairs happened in the first 15 seconds of Art Howe's pre-game press conference, when a reporter jokingly asked the manager if there would be any good news today. <P> Howe's response, an awkward chuckle, set the tone for yet another day around a club more likely to lead the league in MRIs than RBIs this season.

Amazingly, the Mets didn't add anyone new to the disabled list on Tuesday, although that wasn't confirmed up until game time.

The team dispatched Double-A outfielder Wayne Lydon from Binghamton to Shea Stadium to suit up and work out with the club during batting practice just in case Cliff Floyd – who was hit on the right elbow by San Diego's Jake Peavy Monday night – wouldn't be able to play after taking a few practice swings.

Floyd pronounced himself fit to play and Lydon, who was issued a No. 63 home white jersey, was sent back up north to Binghamton just before Kris Benson threw the first pitch of the night. Howe wound up giving the start in left field to Gerald Williams.

But that couldn't stop the Mets' injury troubles. Reliever Mike DeJean left Shea Monday with a large protective boot on his sprained right ankle and appeared much the same way today, listed as day-to-day but obviously unable to pitch.

In the top of the second inning, Richard Hidalgo appeared to twist his left knee crashing into a wall while chasing a Rich Aurilia foul pop-up, but stayed in the game after a lengthy consultation with Howe and Mets team trainers.

As luck would have it, Aurilia skied the next pitch right to Hidalgo, who limped into the clubhouse after the inning but stayed in the game.

"Every time we've said it couldn't get any worse, it just does," Howe said.

Mets Notes

  • Following his unimpressive start Monday night, the Mets optioned righthander Aaron Heilman to Triple-A Norfolk and selected the contract of Heath Bell. In order to make room on the club's 40-man roster, New York moved righthander Orber Moreno (strained right shoulder) to the 60-day disabled list.

  • Vance Wilson got his third start of the season in the Mets' No. 2 hole ... Jeff Keppinger was given his second start of the season at second base ... Reliever Bartolome Fortunato turned 30 on Tuesday.

  • Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories