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Mets Game Thread: Pedro's Opening Day!

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Pedro ready to test out toe vs. Nats

Washington (1-1) at New York Mets (1-1)


Seven innings pitched in two exhibition games hardly seems to be sufficient preparation for a start in the big leagues.

But Pedro Martinez will make his 2006 debut in the finale of a three-game series with the Nationals at Shea Stadium on Thursday night with precisely that: seven -- count 'em -- innings of Spring Training pitching.


In some cases, a pitcher would be assigned a start in the Minor Leagues to get more work, or he'd throw simulated innings. Not Martinez, who has been on his own schedule since the beginning of Spring Training because of the troublesome large toe on his right foot.


He clearly doesn't want to pitch elsewhere as a tune-up.


"I have no business in a Minor League game," he said Wednesday night. "If I have to make adjustments, I would like to make them at the Major League level. I'm confident if I have to make adjustments during the game, I'll try to do it. If I don't, then there will be another outing."


Martinez is anxious to pitch and to rekindle his relationship with his public.


"It is really special to actually be appreciated so much," he said. "It's a great feeling, and it makes me feel like I really want it, more and more, for the fans. I'm not going to let them down. That's probably the reason, so they can really sense that I'm going to be out there."


Pitching matchup

WAS: RHP Ramon Ortiz (9-11, 5.36 ERA in 2005)

In two career starts against the Mets, he has a 1-1 record and a 1.93 ERA.


NYM: RHP Pedro Martinez (15-8, 2.82 ERA in 2005)

How his toe takes to the temperature of an April evening in Queens will say something about his performance.


Player to watch

Tom Seaver had his Tommy Hutton, Nolan Ryan has his Mark Belanger, Ron Darling had his Tony Gwynn and now, Pedro Martinez has his Jose Guillen. The Nationals' right fielder, known for his powerful arm, has strong-armed Martinez.


Guillen has faced the Mets' Thursday night starter 34 times in his career. He has three walks, 11 singles and two home runs. That's a .419 batting average, .613 on-base percentage and 1.126 slugging percentage.



On television



Up next

• Friday: Marlins (Jason Vargas, 5-5, 4.03 ERA in 2005) at Mets (Steve Trachsel, 1-4, 4.14 ERA in 2005), 7:10 p.m. ET

• Saturday: Marlins (Dontrelle Willis, 0-0, 0.00 ERA) at Mets (Tom Glavine, 1-0, 1.50 ERA), 1:10 p.m. ET

• Sunday: Marlins (Sergio Mitre, 1-0, 0.00 ERA) at Mets (Victor Zambrano, 7-12, 4.17 ERA in 2005), 1:10 p.m. ET







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Sorry to hear that Plax, that really sucks.


SNY has some god damn problems. I havn't been getting the game since the beginning now. It's completely blacked out again, I have to watch fucking gameday. Just how I wanted to spend the evening...

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