NEW YORK (AP) -- Pedro Martinez has one thing on his mind: pitching healthy in the playoffs.
The New York Mets' ace, sidelined since Aug. 15 with a strained right calf, threw about 65 pitches in a bullpen session Tuesday before his team's scheduled game against the Atlanta Braves was rained out."It went fine," Martinez said. "It hasn't bothered me, but I can't really tell you if it's 100 percent until I get in a game."If he feels OK on Wednesday, Martinez plans to throw a simulated game Saturday, and the Mets hope to get him back in the rotation around the middle of this month. New York manager Willie Randolph has said Martinez will get no more than three starts the rest of the regular season.The Mets have a 15-game cushion in the NL East and a magic number of 11 for clinching their first division title since 1988. But their rotation looks pretty shaky heading into October -- especially if Martinez isn't in peak form.The 34-year-old right-hander is 9-5 with a 3.84 ERA in 20 starts during his second season with New York. He has 125 strikeouts and 35 walks in 122 innings."I'm optimistic," the three-time Cy Young Award winner said. "I'm not going to rush. ... Hopefully, by the time [Randolph] really needs me, he won't have to speculate. He'll just see the results."Tuesday's game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Wednesday beginning at 1:10 p.m. John Smoltz will start the first game for the Braves against left-hander Dave Williams. Kyle Davies goes in the nightcap against New York's Oliver Perez.It will be the third doubleheader in five days for the Braves, who played two games on Saturday and Sunday in Philadelphia. They do have a day off on Thursday."Just roll with the punches this time of the year," manager Bobby Cox said, adding that the rainout will actually help his pitching staff. "Wick [Bob Wickman] needed a breather. [Macay] McBride needed a breather. It works both ways."Mets outfielders Carlos Beltran and Cliff Floyd were not in the posted lineup again because of injuries. Beltran hasn't played since Saturday night, when he bruised his left knee in Houston while crashing into the fence to make a ninth-inning catch.Floyd has a sore left Achilles' tendon, which kept him out of Monday night's 5-0 loss. He was on the disabled list from Aug. 9 to Sept. 1 with Achilles' tendinitis and said there's a good chance he will opt for surgery in the offseason."I think I should have it. That would allow me to give everything I have to the game," he said, adding that he basically has a bone spur. "I don't want to go out like this."The left fielder can become a free agent after the season.With rosters expanded to 40, the Mets recalled several players from the minors -- including outfielder Lastings Milledge from Triple-A Norfolk and pitcher Philip Humber from Double-A Binghamton.The No. 3 overall pick in the 2004 amateur draft, Humber worked his way back from Tommy John surgery this season and is in the big leagues for the first time.At the very least, Humber will throw a few bullpen sessions under the guidance of pitching coach Rick Peterson, but Randolph said he had no specific plans at this point to use the 23-year-old right-hander in a game."Get a feel of the atmosphere and a little reward for all his hard work," Randolph said. "He's hopefully going to be a big part of our future, so it's nice to just give him a taste."Humber became the first of three heralded pitchers from Rice, all drafted within the first eight picks in 2004, to reach the majors. He teamed with Jeff Niemann and Wade Townsend to lead the Owls to the 2003 national championship."I called both those guys yesterday. They were happy for me and I told them to both hurry up and get here," Humber said.
Mets third baseman David Wright and shortstop Jose Reyes were chosen to represent Major League Baseball during a five-game series in Japan
from Nov. 3-8. Atlanta center fielder Andruw Jones was also selected. ... Randolph said the Mets still hope to have backup catcher Ramon Castro, out since July 27 with a sore left rib cage, back by the end of the season. He is eligible to come off the 60-day DL on Sept. 25. ... The Mets also recalled right-hander Brian Bannister and Williams from Norfolk, and purchased the contracts of catcher Kelly Stinnett and outfielder Ricky Ledee from the Tides. Right-hander Steve Schmoll (right hamstring) was placed on the 60-day DL.