Notes: Lo Duca wants his day in court

Notes: Lo Duca wants day in court

NEW YORK -- Paul Lo Duca, a two-game suspension awaiting him, says he expects to be available for the weekend series in Philadelphia. But it could be to his advantage to accept the penalty imposed for his tirade Saturday night and serve it Friday, when the Mets play a day-night doubleheader.

He wouldn't start both games anyway, so, in effect, he could serve two and miss only one.

Lo Duca still wants his day in court.

"I don't know when the hearing is," Lo Duca said. "The only thing I've heard is that they've got six or seven cases before mine. Obviously, I won't be able to go to the hearing because I'll be on the road. I have a representative, and when the hearing is settled, it happens that night. If I decide to serve the two days, I can choose the two days.

"I really feel I should only get one game, but whatever happens, happens."

A step forward: Pedro Martinez was to have thrown in the bullpen in Port St. Lucie on Tuesday. But because he felt particularly well, he threw live batting practice -- 45 pitches -- for the first time. Before that news was announced, manager Willie Randolph said, "I just know that he's doing real well, and that's all I need to hear right now. As soon as he gets back, then I'll be happy to welcome him back."

Enough is enough: Bright orange T-shirts were waiting for the players in the clubhouse Tuesday. A circus clown head, printed in blue underneath a Mets logo, is printed on the front of each, and underneath it, the word "enough." The back offers an explanation: "There isn't a top big enough for this circus."

No one in the clubhouse owned up to the T-shirts or what they infer, but players didn't hesitate to try them on for size before batting practice.

Meet the meats: The club has reprised its 1983 promotion and produced another cookbook -- GourMets. Randolph wasn't here for that one.

"I'm a pretty good cook," he said. "My forte is my lasagna, my vegetable lasagna. I don't cook a whole lot, but I love to cook. My wife does, too. It'll raise a lot of money for charity, hopefully, and I had a lot of fun with it.

"And I don't give away my secrets."

Famine and then ... The Mets had no hits between the home runs hit by Carlos Gomez in the third and Shawn Green in the 11th inning and three hits overall. The last time a team won a game of at least 11 innings in which it had three or fewer hits was June 21, 1992. The Giants had three hits -- two in the 11th inning -- and beat the Padres, 1-0, in 11 innings at Candlestick Park.

Step on it: Randolph is pleased and impressed by Gomez's performance thus far, but often points out the rookie outfielder "has a lot to learn." A lesson was delivered Monday night after Gomez's home run. He had "watched" not only the home run, but also the foul home run three pitches earlier. And he strutted around the bases on the home run and was strutting on the foul. The manager advised against such behavior "especially on a foul ball," he said.

Stop, thief: Wright's streak of consecutive successful stolen-base attempts ended at 19 -- 16 this season -- Monday night. He was caught stealing in the seventh inning, though fans will consider it a pickoff. The out was the result of a 1-3-6 rundown. The longest streak in Mets' hiistory is 33, by Kevin McReynolds (1987-89). He was successful in all 21 attempts in 1988.

Southside strikeouts: Billy Wagner struck out four batters in two clean innings Monday night, increasing to 977, his career strikeout total, the third-most by a left-handed pitcher in relief. He passed John Franco (975) and now trails Dan Plesac (990) and Jesse Orosco (1,169). Only Plesac didn't pitch for the Mets.

Of the three Mets, former and current, Franco had the most strikeouts (592), Orosco, in significantly fewer innings with the Mets, had 501. And through Monday night, Wagner has 137 in 1 1/2 seasons.

What does it mean? Victories by relief pitchers generally say more about a team's offensive prowess in late innings than they do about the pitcher. That said, Aaron Heilman led the big leagues in relief victories, six, through Monday night. His record is 6-3. The record of the Mets' bullpen is 12-5.

This date in Mets history -- June 27: The deception began in the final days of June 1976. The Mets were winning; their 13-3 victory against the Cubs in Wrigley Field on this date was the fourth in a sequence of nine that put their record at 43-38 at the season's midpoint. The mid-season flurry and a 20-12 record in September convinced board chairman M. Donald Grant the team was stocked for success. Few changes were made in the ensuring offseason, the first with a reentry draft, and the darkest period in club history began the following summer.

En route to a 10-0 start and an 11-1 record, Terry Leach allowed two runs in eight innings and beat the Phillies at the Vet on this date in 1987. His record was 6-0 and his ERA was 2.14 after the 5-4 victory. ... Dwight Gooden was suspended for violating baseball's substance abuse policy on this date in 1994. He had thrown his final pitch for the Mets three days earlier. ... A year later, Bill Pulsipher gained his first big-league victory, in this third start, pitching 7 1/3 scoreless innings in the Mets' 2-0 victory against the Marlins in Miami.

Coming up: Tom Glavine is to take his first run at the 297th victory of his career Wednesday night in the third contest of a four-game series against the Cardinals. Winless Anthony Reyes is the opposing pitcher in the 7:10 p.m. ET game.

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