<
>

Halladay's split decision

Alex Cora had faced Roy Halladay in the American League East, but the Mets’ infielder wasn’t prepared for one pitch the ace was throwing during Saturday’s 10-0 win against the Amazins.

Cora suggested he had not seen Halladay throw a split-finger fastball with the Toronto Blue Jays like he did in this encounter.

“I faced him a lot, and that’s a new one,” Cora said. “I was joking around: He gets a new toy -- that’s not fair. That’s what good pitchers do. They try to get better. It doesn’t really surprise me that he tried to get a new weapon, especially coming to a new league.”

The last time Halladay faced the Mets -- on June 24, 2006 at Rogers Centre in Toronto -- he benefited from a six-run second inning by the Blue Jays against Orlando Hernandez. This time, it was a six-run fourth inning against Mike Pelfrey, whose scoreless-inning streak was snapped at 27.

“People say he pounds the strike zone, but it’s not like he pounds it right in the middle of the plate,” right fielder Jeff Francoeur said. “He throws cutters. He throws sinkers. He’s got the curveball. He’s got a lot of good pitches. We knew how good he was going to be. We had a couple of opportunities early to try to get a couple and we weren’t able to do it. After the six runs he settled in and did what he does.”

Said David Wright: “You put him with that offense, I’m sure he’s going to win a lot of games. He wants to finish what he starts, and finds ways to do it. He’s as good as advertised.”

HOT CORNERED: Wright wasn’t too pleased with the strike zone of plate umpire Ron Kulpa during a sixth-inning at-bat that ended in a strikeout. The normally mild-mannered third baseman noticeably jawed with Kulpa late in the at-bat.

“You’ve got two men in a disagreement, and obviously things are going to get heated every now and then,” Wright said. “I don’t think either one of us crossed the line. It happens. It’s part of the game. You’ve got two guys that think they’re right, it’s obviously going to make for a little bit of a confrontation. I have all the respect in the world not just for him, but for all the umpires. You have that kind of back and forth and you don’t cross the line, that’s OK.”

After Wright struck out to end the at-bat, Kulpa looked in Wright’s direction, but the third baseman was staring elsewhere.

“I didn’t even see him,” Wright said.

BLANC SLATE: Henry Blanco’s catcher’s ERA took a beating. Mets pitchers allowed nine earned runs Saturday. In the other 57 innings Blanco had caught since joining the club, pitchers allowed 11 earned runs.

FRENCHY FINE: Francoeur, who asked in the lineup despite bruising his left elbow getting hit by a pitch Friday, said he got through Saturday’s game fine.

“I caught a break that it was so hot. It loosened up quick after BP and felt good,” said Francoeur, who went 0-for-3. “I had some good at-bats. I hit that one hard with first and second, just right at (second baseman Chase) Utley.”

STREAKING: Jason Bay extended his hitting streak to eight games, during which he’s hitting .357 (10-for-28). Bay (1-for-3) also was drilled in the left knee with a pitch in the sixth inning but remained in the game.