Mets Notebook: Bannister continues bid

Mets Notebook for March 26 – Brian Bannister survives a hiccup in Kissimmee … Billy Wagner shows off his middle finger … Pedro Martinez ready for his spring debut …

  • Last game – Astros 3, Mets 1: With most of their regulars left behind in Port St. Lucie, the Mets traveled to Kissimmee Saturday, dropping a 3-1 decision to the Houston Astros.

    Continuing his bid to break camp with the Major League squad, Brian Bannister walked five in five innings.

    Bannister was charged with three runs (one earned), allowing five hits and striking out four, and later admitted it was an off-day, saying he was "basically pitching out there with no weapons."

    He has compiled an 0.95 ERA this spring, with two runs allowed in 19 innings.

    Tike Redman, fighting to make the club as a fifth outfielder, was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Chad Bradford, Jorge Julio and Duaner Sanchez each fired a scoreless inning.

  • Not in that way: Billy Wagner showed people his middle finger on Saturday. And no one seemed to mind.

    Wagner played catch with Aaron Heilman for about 15 minutes, ending a week of tendon sheath stiffness that kept Wagner on the sidelines. Though Wagner has downplayed the injury, light-heartedly saying that it wasn't career-threatening, he isn't ready to guarantee that he'll be available on Opening Day.

    Even so, Wagner said the finger felt fine during his catch with Heilman in Port St. Lucie and called it "a good test."

  • Coming up: Pedro Martinez makes his first start of the spring on Sunday, scheduled for three innings of work and facing off against former teammate Kris Benson and the Baltimore Orioles. First pitch from Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie is slated for 12:10 p.m. ET, with most of the Mets' regulars expected to be in the lineup.

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