Notes: Weather should help Martinez

Notes: Weather should help Martinez

WASHINGTON -- Some Mets players privately said Tuesday that they anticipate some form of retaliation from the Nationals on Wednesday night when Pedro Martinez faces the batting order he hit three times last week. But the club's officials de-emphasized the situation to the point that it hardly qualified as a situation at all.

"There's nothing to address," manager Willie Randolph said. "We're off to a nice little start. Just play the game the way we've been playing it."

And about Martinez, Randolph said: "I hope he turns it around. He didn't have a lot of spring [innings]."

He also acknowledged that the April chill may have been a factor in Martinez hitting Jose Guillen twice and Nick Johnson once Thursday night at Shea Stadium.

"We all know Pedro likes to pitch inside," the manager said. "Normally, he has great control."

General manager Omar Minaya said he and other Mets officials spoke Monday with Bob Watson, the vice president of rules and on-field operations for MLB, and Joe Garagiola Jr., the senior vice president of baseball operations. The situation was discussed.

"If it continues," Watson said by telephone Monday, "they'll see how expensive it can be. We can't have guys doing what they're talking about doing."

Watson made the umpiring crew working this series -- with Jerry Crawford the crew chief -- aware of developments Thursday.

"The games are going to be played," Minaya said. "I don't expect anything."

But the players weren't so sure. They believe this episode would have ended Thursday night if Nationals reliever Felix Rodriguez hadn't been ejected after hitting Paul Lo Duca. The Mets had hit six batters in two nights to that point, so Lo Duca wasn't surprised by what plate umpire Ted Barrett considered a deliberate pitch. Lo Duca took his base without incident.

"That would have been it," one Mets player said. "They got one in. But when Rodriguez got run [he subsequently was fined and suspended for three games], they felt they didn't get their revenge. So it lived on. Now we have this thing still going on."

Some Mets players conceded they were surprised Martinez hadn't been ejected, but noted Guillen made little attempt to avoid being hit a second time. Guillen, hit five times in 40 career plate appearances against Martinez, tied for the National League lead in being hit last season, 19 times. And he led the league entering play Tuesday with four.

A person familiar with the conversations between the MLB office and the Mets acknowledged Martinez was discussed specifically.

Friendly summit: If any animosity exists between the managers, it wasn't evident Monday. Randolph, Nationals manager Frank Robinson and Minaya stood, chatting, behind the batting cage for 15 minutes during batting practice.

Opening Day stuff: Vice President Dick Cheney threw out the first pitch. No surprise, he's right-handed. His pitch bounced, and his introduction prompted jeers. He was on the field for less than a minute. The Secret Service and sharp shooters at top the stadium were evident. ... Two dozen members of the National Guard held an American flag that covered most of the outfield -- even more than Garry Maddox used to cover -- during the pregame ceremonies. They folded it with far greater ease than the RFK grounds crew handled the tarpaulin on April 30 last year when 34 minutes of hard rain passed before the infield was covered.

Cheney met with some players, but not all.

"I happened to be somewhere else," said Carlos Delgado who doesn't embrace the United States' policies towards Iraq.

Xavier Nady, a professed Democrat, had a bat signed by the vice president. What will he do with that?

"Probably use it tomorrow," he said, joking.

Numbers: Brian Bannister had his first two big-league hits, as many hits as he allowed until Alfonso Soriano's home run with two out in the seventh. Bannister had a well-struck double before Reyes' triple in the seventh. With Victor Zambrano yet to appear, every Mets starting pitcher now has a hit.

The RBI he had Tuesday was the 10th for David Wright, who has driven in at least one run in each of the team's first six games, a first for a Mets player. Pat Burrell did so in the Phillies first seven games last season. Wright and Reyes -- two RBIs and two hits Tuesday -- lead the team in total bases with 19 and 18, respectively. Reyes has two triples already.

Trachsel's first: Bannister's first victory prompted Steve Trachsel to recall his own -- April 8, 1994 in Montreal. As a member of the Cubs, he shut out the Expos on three hits for 7 1/3 innings. He had a double in two at-bats and might have had a third at-bat, but he was hit by his opposing pitcher, one Pedro Martinez.

"Yeah, Pedro drilled me my first time up with an 0-2 pitch," Trachsel said. "But I got that double."

Martinez hit two batters that day.

Wither Matsui: Kaz Matsui has played in two extended Spring Training games. The Mets aren't saying when he will return.

On this date -- April 12: The Mets began their fourth season as they would begin each of their first eight seasons: with a loss. They lost to Don Drysdale and the Dodgers on this date in 1965. Drysdale allowed four hits in a nine-strikeout, complete game in the 6-1 victory at Shea. ... Four years later on this date, the Mets lost, 1-0, to the Cardinals at Shea. It was the first of 13 1-0 games the '69 Mets would play. They won nine of them en route to their first division championship. ... With Tom Seaver driving in three runs on two hits against Steve Carlton, the Mets defeated the Cardinals, 6-4, in St. Louis on April 12, 1970. ... Seven years later, Seaver drove in two runs and pitched a five-hit, five-strikeout, no-walk shutout to beat the Cardinals, 4-0, at Shea. The shutout was one of three Seaver pitched before being traded June 15, 1977.

Bruce Berenyi and Doug Sisk combined for a three-hitter in the Mets' 1-0 victory against the Reds at Shea on this date in 1985. The Mets' run came from Gary Carter's second game-winning home run in three games. ... Ron Darling shut out the Expos on five hits at Shea on this date in 1988. Darling pitched a career-high four shutouts and seven complete games in '88. ... A single in the 10th inning by Rey Ordonez against Kerry Ligtenberg drove in Todd Zeile in the Mets' 1-0 victory against the Braves on April 12, 2001. Glendon Rusch, John Franco and Armando Benitez limited the Braves to six hits.

Coming up: Who knows? A baseball game? Or a baseball game plus? The time is 7:05 p.m. ET. The town is Washington. The teams are the Mets and the wounded Nationals. The tone has yet to be determined. The pitchers are Martinez, who has hit 122 batters in 2,519 big league innings, or one every 21 innings, and Tony Armas Jr., who has hit 30 batters in 671 1/3 innings, or one every every 22 innings.

Marty Noble is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.