MIAMI -- Jeff Francoeur emerged in the New York Mets locker room with a thick wad of bandage wrapped around his left hand, an aching thumb underneath ready to be iced. And he was one of the few New York starters healthy enough to play.
Sean West pitched six impressive innings Tuesday night, lifting the Florida Marlins to a 2-1 victory over an injury-battered Mets team shaken by the loss of ace Johan Santana for the season."At this point, you might as well get all the injuries out of the way this season and have everybody have their surgery this offseason and next year we go through the season with nobody hurt and just roll and go to the playoffs," Francoeur said.West (5-5) gave up six hits and three walks to outpitch Santana's replacement Nelson Figueroa (1-3) for the Marlins, who began Tuesday 5½ games behind the Colorado Rockies for the NL wild card after a 2-4 road trip.Even the Marlins offered a little sympathy to the Mets."I'll take my problems," Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez said when asked to compare his team's injuries to the Mets.Ross Gload hit an RBI single in the fifth, and Leo Nunez recorded his 13th save in 17 chances for Florida.The only bright spot on a day of bad news for the Mets was Francoeur, who had two doubles after tearing a ligament in his left thumb over the weekend.Santana will undergo season-ending surgery for bone chips in his left elbow, and reliever J.J. Putz was also shut down for the season with a slight tear in his right forearm.Santana, a two-time Cy Young winner, is only the latest blow to a Mets team that's been shattered by injuries. New York has 12 players on the disabled list in a season that now seems lost.If that wasn't enough, the announcements came on the same day New York traded reliever Billy Wagner to the Boston Red Sox for two players to be named.For Figueroa, he only hopes the injuries will at least give him and others a chance to shine the rest of the season."I don't know who's left," Figueroa said. "I'm just going to take every opportunity I get. It's unfortunate the way it's come to me. You never want to see somebody go down. I keep saying that, the last two years, it's been a countless number of guys go down."The Mets tried to salvage the day with a win, but the game only brought a reminder of how little pop they have left.Francoeur lined a double to right field in the fourth that Jeremy Hermida misjudged. Hermida started running in and then quickly backpedaled, failing to even get a glove on a ball that should have been caught.Fernando Tatis followed with a single that scored Francoeur to give New York a 1-0 lead. But the Mets gave the run back with mistakes of their own.After Hanley Ramirez was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the inning, a fielding error by first baseman Daniel Murphy allowed John Baker to reach safely and Ramirez went to third on Murphy's throwing error. Ramirez would score on a fielder's choice by Dan Uggla to tie the game.Before the Marlins took the lead with Gload's RBI single, the Mets loaded the bases in the fifth but couldn't capitalize. West got Francoeur to pop out on a nifty grab in the stands by first baseman Gload and struck out Tatis."I just went to a-whole-nother dimension after Gload made that play," West said. "I knew as soon as he made that play I was going to get out of the inning."
Marlins first baseman Nick Johnson (right hamstring) was placed on the 15-day DL after the game, retroactive to Aug. 16. The team will make a roster move to replace him before Wednesday's game. Johnson, acquired from the Washington Nationals in a trade-deadline deal, had his jogging session cut short earlier Tuesday because of pain in his leg. ... Mets left fielder Gary Sheffield left the game in the seventh with a left lower back spasm, he said. Sheffield walked and called time out while at first base between pitches before he was replaced. He said he should be fine and could play Wednesday. ... Marlins catcher Baker was replaced in the sixth with a stiff back, the team said. He is day to day.