David Wright's stunning defensive play in the seventh inning will be the enduring image of Tuesday's game at San Diego, a highlight-reel catch that will probably live on for a decade.
That's the good news. The bad news is that the bare-handed, over-the-shoulder grab to rob Brian Giles came as part of an 8-3 loss to the Padres, starting a six-game West Coast swing in disappointing fashion and further extending the Mets' road woes.
Part of the reason for the defeat was that, when Wright spun around, lost the looping pop fly and then recovered, the pitcher who benefited on the mound happened to be reliever Dae-Sung Koo, not Pedro Martinez.
Martinez – downplayed by critics as a "five-inning pitcher" when the Mets signed him last winter – went just five innings for the first time as a Met, turning in his shortest start of the year Tuesday.
The ace was roughed up for five runs and nine hits, including homers to Khalil Greene in the second inning and to Giles in the fifth.
Chan Ho Park picked up his first victory as a Padre, holding the Mets to two runs and six hits in 5-2/3 innings. Cliff Floyd went 2-for-4 with a run batted in for the Mets, who are 57-55 for the season but just 21-32 away from Shea Stadium.
On the shelf: With 2B Kaz Matsui ready for activation, the Mets placed 1B Doug Mientkiewicz on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised lower back.
Mientkiewicz injured himself breaking up a double play on Rickie Weeks last week at Shea Stadium, dropping into the baseline and basically tripping the Brewers second baseman.
With Mientkiewicz on the DL, the Mets will use the trio of Marlon Anderson, Jose Offerman and Chris Woodward at first base.
Minor League Report
TRIPLE-A NORFOLK: Angel Pagan homered and had three hits, Anderson Hernandez added three hits and Victor Diaz hit a three-run homer, boosting the Tides to a 9-4 win over Charlotte Tuesday. The support made a winner of Brian Bannister (3-1, 3.58), who allowed three runs and seven hits over five innings. … LHP Kazuhisa Ishii joined the team Tuesday and will pitch out of the starting rotation. … RHP Steve Trachsel is scheduled to make his final rehab starts for the Tides Saturday.
DOUBLE-A BINGHAMTON: Norwich plated five runs in the sixth off reliever Rafael Lopez (2-7, 5.68), sending the B-Mets to an 8-5 defeat Tuesday at Binghamton. The bad inning wasted a solid five-inning start by lefty Evan MacLane, who allowed three runs (two earned). Aarom Baldiris had three hits for Binghamton and Mike Jacobs drove in a pair of runs.
SINGLE-A ST. LUCIE: St. Lucie and Palm Beach were suspended in the eighth inning Tuesday, tied at 3-3, due to wet grounds. The game will be completed at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, followed by the scheduled 7 p.m. contest. Andy Wilson hit his 23rd homer for St. Lucie.
SINGLE-A HAGERSTOWN: Jose Sanchez (11-5, 3.56) allowed five runs (four earned) in eight innings Tuesday, taking a 5-4 loss at Lexington. Jim Burt hit his third homer for Hagerstown and had three RBI in a 2-for-3 showing.
SINGLE-A BROOKLYN: Mahoning Valley scored four times in the first against starter Jorge Reyes (3-3, 4.81) and seven more runs against reliever Eric Brown in the fourth, sealing an 11-3 loss for Brooklyn. Jonel Pacheco hit his third homer for Brooklyn and Jonathan Malo added a two-run shot, his second.
ROOKIE-LEAGUE KINGSPORT: Pulaski plated four runs in the fifth inning against starter Dan Arizmendi (2-2, 6.38) and Jared Eichelberger, sending the K-Mets to a 5-2 loss Tuesday. Greg Gonzalez went 2-for-3 with a double and run scored for Kingsport, raising his average to .340.
ROOKIE-LEAGUE GULF COAST: Robert McIntyre (3-1, 3.74), William Jostock and Josh Appell combined to shut out the GCL Marlins on six hits Tuesday, leading the GCL Mets to a 6-0 win. Junior Contreras had two RBI for the Mets.