Seo starts instead on scheduled day

Updated: July 17, 2004, 2:46 AM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Jae Seo started for the Mets instead of Scott Erickson on Friday because New York's bullpen was forced to work hard the night before.

Seo gave up two runs in seven innings and took the loss as the Phillies won 5-1.

The Mets originally planned to bring Erickson up from the minors to pitch Friday night against Philadelphia, but they would've needed to make a roster move to clear space for him.

After four relievers pitched in a 3-2, 11-inning victory Thursday night over the Phillies, the Mets didn't want to demote a reliever and leave themselves short in the bullpen all weekend. So they changed their plan for Erickson, who is now expected to start Monday night against Florida.

"We were so thin after last night's game," manager Art Howe said Friday. "We just felt it was too much of a risk. It's just too many days to go with only six guys down there."

Seo was originally slated to pitch Friday anyway -- before the Mets said they were leaning toward calling up Erickson.

If Erickson starts Monday against the Marlins, he will be pitching on eight days' rest since his last outing for Triple-A Norfolk.

It would be Erickson's first major league appearance since Aug. 31, 2002, with Baltimore. The right-hander was scheduled to make his first career NL start for the Mets on April 8 at Atlanta, but strained his right hamstring while warming up in the bullpen.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press