Inside Pitch: Pedro on his way to St. Lucie

Pedro Martinez left for the Mets' spring training facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla., to rehab his strained right calf. Martinez is eligible to come off the disabled list Wednesday, but it is clear that will not happen.

Martinez probably will not be reinstated until after rosters are expanded on Sept. 1, and when he does return, manager Willie Randolph acknowledged a closing window for him to get ready for the postseason.

"By the time he gets back, we should get him three or four starts," Randolph said. "But Pedro is very unique. He knows his body, knows what he has to do to be healthy and ready to pitch."

Martinez has been wearing a supportive boot, and the most he's done over the past week is toss softly in the bullpen.

With their huge lead in the National League East, the Mets have the luxury of setting up their playoff rotation anytime they wish, and Randolph alluded to Martinez being the first starter, but that's not etched in stone.

"He'll need to show some positive signs," Randolph said. "He's a unique player, though, and he responds rather quickly."

REPLAY: John Maine continued to impress, giving up two runs in 6 1/3 innings in Monday afternoon's 8-3 victory over the Phillies.

Maine was supposed to pitch Sunday, but the game was rained out. That he adjusted and responded after a rocky start last week against St. Louis is a positive development.

"That doesn't bother me," Maine said of the weather. "You've still got to go out there and pitch and warm up the same. You just make the adjustment."

Maine is 4-0 in his last eight starts. NOTES, QUOTES

  • RHP Pedro Martinez went to the Mets' spring training facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla., to begin rehabbing his strained right calf. Martinez is eligible to come off the disabled list Wednesday, but he probably won't be back until next week. Manager Willie Randolph said he hopes Martinez could get three or four starts to get ready for the playoffs. As of now, Randolph believes Martinez could be the first starter in the playoffs if he's all right physically.

  • The Mets homered in nine consecutive games prior to Monday's 8-3 victory over the Phillies. Manager Willie Randolph believes the homerless win is an encouraging sign. "It's nice to know that you can manufacture runs and also hit the home run out of the ballpark," Randolph said. "It's always nice to see a different twist every once in a while, and when we attack teams that way, we're real tough."

  • RHP John Maine continues to show he has a future in the Mets' rotation, giving up two runs in 6 1/3 innings Monday to beat the Phillies. Maine is 4-0 in his last eight starts. Barring injury, when the Mets go to a four-man rotation in the playoffs, Maine won't be in it, but it looks as if there could be a place for him next year.

  • The Mets drew only 8,766 fans for Monday's makeup game against Philadelphia, although the announced paid crowd was 45,868.

  • LHP Oliver Perez, who made his Mets debut Saturday, will get another start Thursday at Colorado. Perez took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, but lost his command and gave up five runs and came away with a no-decision. However, he struck out seven in five innings, showing the kind of live arm the Mets were looking for when they acquired him from Pittsburgh at the trade deadline.

  • LHP Tom Glavine, who is recovering from an angiogram, will start Friday at Houston. Glavine hasn't pitched since Aug. 16. He complained of coldness in his left middle finger, but a series of tests ruled out a major blood clot.

    BY THE NUMBERS: 10 -- Games the Mets will play against the Phillies in August.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "He's a good player and a good person. You'll find that out." --1B Carlos Delgado, speaking to reporters about RF Shawn Green, who was acquired this week from Arizona. Delgado and Green are close friends stemming from their days as teammates in Toronto.

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