One thing is sure, though. The letdown of Martinez coming just five outs shy, then losing his shutout – and, eventually, the game – was cruel and unusual punishment for a team that desperately could have appreciated the pick-me-up.
The Mets' road trip to San Diego and Los Angeles was a losing proposition, not because the team lost two more games than they won, but mostly because of Wednesday's vicious outfield collision between Mike Cameron and Carlos Beltran.
While Cameron rests in a San Diego area hospital, unable to travel and already having undergone surgery to repair three facial fractures, Beltran comes back to New York also sporting a fracture on the left side of his face.
He may not need the procedures Cameron does, but his effectiveness to the club is in serious doubt, especially with an apparent right shoulder injury carrying over from the crash.
The Mets are already considering options to replace Beltran in the event of a disabled list stint, with reports noting that Double-A outfielder Lastings Milledge is a possibility – albeit a remote one (Triple-A outfielders Eric Valent and Angel Pagan are more likely).
All that considered, the last thing the Mets needed was to be teased in the fashion they were Sunday, with Martinez retiring the first 22 Dodgers batters without a hit before Antonio Perez tripled to deep center – a ball that Beltran, not 39-year-old fill-in Gerald Williams, probably grabs.
It all adds up to a very important three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates this week at Shea Stadium, not so much because of the playoff race – though the Mets are just four games out in the Wild Card – but to see how the club can bounce back from doubly trying circumstances.
Minor League Report
TRIPLE-A NORFOLK: Kazuhisa Ishii allowed one run over six innings Sunday in his first start at Triple-A, striking out nine, but Indianapolis battered Tim Lavigne for five runs in the seventh inning en route to a 6-5 victory over Norfolk. Angel Pagan and Brian Daubach had two hits for the Tides.
DOUBLE-A BINGHAMTON: Evan MacLane was tagged for eight runs and 11 hits in 4-1/3 innings Sunday at New Hampshire as the B-Mets fell, 9-2. Lastings Milledge had a pair of singles to raise his average to .326 and Mike Jacobs drove in a pair of runs, his 89th and 90th of the year.
CLASS-A ST. LUCIE: St. Lucie and Brevard County called it a day after six innings Sunday due to rain, ending with the Mets leading 5-0. Tim Worthington (5-3, 1.93) fired five innings of three-hit ball, striking out five, for the win, while Jamar Hill (14) hit a three-run homer and Wilson Batista (12) added a solo shot.
CLASS-A HAGERSTOWN: The Suns were off Sunday and open a four-game series with the Hickory Crawdads Monday, the first game of 10 at Hagerstown's Municipal Stadium.
CLASS-A BROOKLYN: Starter Kevin Tomasiewicz (2-2, 5.65) allowed seven runs (five earned) and 10 hits in 1-2/3 innings Sunday, sending the Cyclones to a 8-2 defeat at Williamsport. The left-handed Tomasiewicz has done most of his work in relief for Brooklyn this year, and has fared 0-2 with a 6.28 ERA in four starts.
ROOKIE-LEAGUE KINGSPORT: Sean Henry's run-scoring single in the seventh inning and Riky Oliveros' ninth-inning RBI double highlighted a late Kingsport surge, lifting the K-Mets to a 7-5 win at Princeton Sunday. Dan Arizmendi (3-2, 5.59) tossed five innings of one-run ball for the win.