Inside Pitch: Martinez throws bullpen

Roughly an hour after saying he didn't know when he would throw off the mound, Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez threw a 45-pitch bullpen session Sunday. Before pitching, Martinez said he was feeling better and slowly regaining strength from his bout with food poisoning, but he couldn't project a throw date.

Pitching coach Rick Peterson said Martinez would ideally need two bullpen sessions and a simulated game before he's ready.

The timetable would be a bullpen session, a day of rest, another bullpen session, another rest day, the simulated game, and five days after that the real thing.

That would project Martinez's start to be a July 25 against the Cubs at Shea Stadium.

REPLAY: Cliff Floyd hit two homers, including a grand slam in the Mets' record 11-run sixth inning, and New York pounded the Cubs 13-7 Sunday night at Wrigley Field.

Carlos Beltran also hit a slam in the sixth. It was the first time the Mets ever hit two grand slams in a game, let alone an inning, and the 11 runs set a franchise record for one inning.

Despite the victory, the Mets' worrisome pitching staff was further exposed when Orlando Hernandez gave up five runs on seven hits in 1 2/3 innings.

NOTES, QUOTES

  • SS Jose Reyes, who hasn't played since taking seven stitches in his left pinkie on July 7, said he would be ready Tuesday when the Mets open a series in Cincinnati.

  • RHP Pedro Martinez, who contracted food poisoning during the All-Star break, threw 45 pitches in a bullpen session Sunday. He could throw again Tuesday, and after a simulated game, he might pitch the following week at Shea Stadium.

  • RHP Orlando Hernandez gave up five runs in 1 2/3 innings Sunday night. Hernandez is 3-4 in nine starts since joining the Mets.

  • RHP Brian Bannister threw 79 pitches in a simulated game Saturday, and he might need another one or two such outings before he can pitch in a real game. Bannister went on the disabled list in late April with a torn hamstring, and pitching coach Rick Peterson said the team could not realistically expect anything from him this year.

  • RHP Henry Owens, who allowed four runs in his lone inning Saturday, was optioned to Double-A Binghamton after the game. Owens had a 9.00 ERA in three games with the Mets.

  • RHP Heath Bell was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk after Saturday's game. Bell had been optioned to Norfolk on July 4 despite a 3.68 ERA in 22 innings (14 games) with the Mets.

    BY THE NUMBERS: 18 -- Victories registered by the Mets' bullpen through July 14.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'll carry us on my back." -- 2B Jose Valentin's joking response to starting the second half of the season.


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