No problems, no decision for Pedro

NEW YORK – It turns out, through the eyes of Pedro Martinez, facing the Yankees hasn't changed all that much just because the right-hander has shed his Red Sox uniform.

"More fans, less middle fingers, less hate words," Martinez said.

The Mets were a dud in Round One of the Subway Series, dropping Sunday's rubber game 5-3 behind two costly infield errors, but Martinez was stud, going seven innings and striking out six.

David Wright
EXTRA EFFORT: David Wright ranges into the seats to snare Jason Giambi's first-inning pop. Wright's eighth-inning error would help open the door for a 5-3 Mets loss.
It didn't necessarily start out that way for Martinez, who missed repeatedly with his location and lagged through a 31-pitch first inning before finally escaping on a highlight reel play: third baseman David Wright ventured into the seats to snare a Jason Giambi foul pop, leaving the bases loaded.

"The kid was almost living dead in the stands," Martinez marveled.

The close call looked as though it could have been a harbinger of Yankee damage to come, especially with Martinez making his first start in eight days after he was pushed back from Friday, but instead it proved to be the beginning of a long silent stretch from Bombers bats.

Finally feeling that all systems were go on his aching right hip, Martinez retired a string of 13 Yankees in a row before Tony Womack singled to start the sixth inning.

"I wasn't sure how I would feel until I got in the game," Martinez said. "I finally made pitches and got effort into it, and realized everything was fine."

A little more than fine, if you asked Yankee fans, most of whom abandoned the tired 'Who's your daddy?' chant well before Cliff Floyd's solo home run landed in the third inning, staking Martinez to a three-run advantage.

"I said from the beginning, [the chant] was all a lot of bull-crap," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "Pedro said that in jest. It was a joke to him, but everyone made a big deal about that."

Everyone's favorite jokester departed after the seventh and turned a 3-1 lead over to Dae-Sung Koo, but Saturday's hero watched helplessly as Sunday created two new goats.

Wright bobbled a one-out grounder and Jose Reyes botched the feed throw on Ruben Sierra's potential double play bouncer a batter later, setting up what would be a three-run Yankees inning and the turning point of the contest.

No win, no loss for Martinez, who was handed his fourth no-decision of the season and second in as many starts. Surprisingly, it was also no problem for Martinez, who dropped his ERA to 3.14 in the effort.

"I don't get frustrated. If we're going to make errors, we're going to have to make them early [in the season]," Martinez said. "Those two kids are still learning. We just have to be patient and wait."

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