Right-hander John Maine threw his normal between-starts bullpen session and afterward pronounced himself fit to make Wednesday’s start against the Los Angeles Dodgers on turn.
“Good to go,” Maine said.
Asked if he experienced any of the spasms or pain in his non-throwing arm, which had forced him out of his last start in the fourth inning, Maine succinctly said: “Nope.”
Infielder Alex Cora, holding a Rock Band guitar as Pearl Jam’s “Alive” played on a speaker, then sang these lyrics to the tune: “John Maine is ready to go. He says he has no pain. He’s making his next start.”
“The ballad of John Maine,” PR guru Jay Horwitz added.
JET SETTER: First-round pick Kyle Wilson, a Piscataway native and Boise State product, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Sunday’s Mets-Braves game. He reports to Jets minicamp Thursday.
Wilson said he never played baseball growing up. He was due to take batting practice on the field with the Mets, but that was scrapped because of the wet weather.
“I was always doing another sport. I know I could play though,” Wilson said. “Back in Boise we sponsored a charity softball game, which I was in for the last few years, so I had a lot of fun with that.”
So Wilson would have put on an impressive batting practice display?
“Not hit an actual home run. I could come close, though,” Wilson said. “Give me a little bit of practice, I know I’d be knocking them out of there.”
SOMETHING FOUL: Yes, Ike Davis’ teammates have noticed the rookie runs out every ball he hits, even foul balls 30 rows into the stands. The primary reason? Credit departed VP Tony Bernazard. After Fernando Martinez failed to run out a ball that wound up being fair last season after a big-league call-up, Bernazard sent out an edict mandating every player in the minors run out every ball -- no matter where it is. It’s now ingrained with Davis.
PAW-SOCKER: Mike Jacobs went 3-for-4 with a deep homer in his first game with Triple-A Buffalo. His longball came off former Braves and Indians reliever Chad Paronto.
ZEROING IN: Mike Pelfrey takes a career-high 19-inning scoreless streak into Sunday’s start, which also is the longest streak in the majors this season. Over the past 10 games, Mets starters have a 1.39 ERA. That’s the best 10-game stretch by the Amazins since Dwight Gooden, Frank Viola, David Cone, Ron Darling and Wally Whitehurst had a 1.27 ERA in July 1991, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
CANDY CARRIER: Manager Jerry Manuel continued to suggest that rookie Jenrry Mejia belongs in the Mets’ bullpen, rather than in the minors getting stretched out for starting duty.
“I just think there’s tremendous value for a young player to come to the big leagues and maybe the role might not seem as prominent, but I think the experience that’s being gained here is invaluable for him -- even if he has to go back at some point,” Manuel said. “Or, even if he stays all year and pitches as a starter in winter ball or whatever, I see this as a very, very, very valuable lesson for him in going forward.”
By the way, Mejia was assigned responsibility for a candy-filled purple Hannah Montana backpack for Sunday's game. It's on a rotation between Mejia, Hisanori Takahashi and rookie bullpen catcher Rafael Arroyo as an initiation.
CATCHING ON: Opponents have attempted only eight steals in 18 games against the Mets this season, but Manuel said that’s only partially attributable to the catching tandem of Rod Barajas and Henry Blanco. The manager noted there has been a particular emphasis this season by pitchers on holding runners on as well as slide-stepping and altering the predictability of their deliveries to the plate.
CLOSE CALL: Francisco Rodriguez indicated he’s available to save a game for the fourth straight day Sunday if the Mets need him. Manuel said he definitely would refrain from asking for a multi-inning save or from inserting the closer in a tie game, though.