I'm real glad for El Duque that he got a win in his first start as a Met, but it was another game where the bullpen had to be called on because the starter was only able to go five innings this afternoon. He allowed three runs on five hits, but it took 101 pitches to get through those five, as the Mets beat the Marlins, 7-3. In El Duque's 10 starts this season, he's pitched six or more innings only three times. He's also pitched less than five innings three times.
Fortunately, the Mets may have found another strong arm to help them out in the 'pen, and he's been with the organization all along. Heath Bell pitched 2 and two-thirds scoreless innings, and combined with Feliciano and Bradford to close out Hernandez's start.
Speaking of starts, it looks like Matsui has lost the starting second-base job. It might not be time for a Keppinger or Anderson Hernandez call-up, but Woodward, and incredibly, Valentin will be getting more work as Matsui's average has dropped down to .213. Everyone's real happy with the way he's improved his defense, but his bat just ain't cutting it.