CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Notes: Lo Duca forced to sit Tuesday

Notes: Lo Duca forced to sit

MILWAUKEE -- One of the most important days in the career of Tom Glavine was one of the most difficult for the man who wanted to be his catcher. Paul Lo Duca wasn't Tuesday night, Ramon Castro was.

A sore hamstring interfered with Lo Duca's plan to be behind the plate as Glavine took aim at his 300th victory. The catcher tested it before the game, but he didn't pass the test.

"It feels OK to catch," Lo Duca said. "Probably 75 percent (the Mets termed his status as day-to-day, of course). Hopefully it'll feel better tomorrow and the next day, and we'll go from there."

But the disappointment hurt more than his leg.

"This is probably one of the toughest days in my career because I want be out there more than anything in the world," Lo Duca said. "But I don't want to hurt the team."

Lo Duca said he "campaigned pretty hard to play." But, according to Lo Duca, manager Willie Randolph told him, "If it's a one-run ballgame and I'm on second base, it's tough for me to score from second base.

"I'm going to root for [Glavine] as hard as anybody. I want him to win tonight even though I'm out of the lineup. I want him to win. I want to celebrate with him. To be a part of something like that would be great. And you know I'm gonna be part of it, whether I'm on the bench or on the field."

Disabled: As they thought they would, the Mets assigned Carlos Beltran to the disabled list Tuesday, retroactive to July 25. They made no corresponding move other than to add Luis Castillo to the 25-man roster.

Both sides now: The absence of Beltran denies the Mets what they would like to see -- a batting order with switch-hitters filling the first three spots: Jose Reyes, Castillo and Beltran. They've had it already with Reyes and Beltran separated by Ruben Gotay or Jose Valentin, but those alignments were stopgaps.

The Mets thought they had that possibility at times last season and in 2005 with Reyes, Kaz Matsui and Beltran. But it rarely worked out that way because of injuries to each and Matsui not retaining his place in the order.

The Mets have started Reyes, Gotay and Beltran nine times this season, and they've used Reyes, Valentin and Beltran seven times.

Mets milestone: For the first time in Mets franchise history on Tuesday night, a pitcher was to start a game with a chance to become a 300-game winner. Glavine was pushing to do what merely 22 others have done in the history of the game. Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan and Warren Spahn, the only other pitchers to win 300 games and, at some point in their careers, pitch for the Mets, gained their 300th victories as respective members of the White Sox, Rangers and Braves.

Ryan gained the 300th victory of career in 1990, 17 years ago Tuesday, and in a game played in Milwaukee. Precious few other similarities exist between the two -- Glavine, an offspeed left-handed pitcher who is ending his career with the Mets, and Ryan, a right-handed power pitcher who began his career with the Mets.

Devil's advocate: Beware the acquisition of a second baseman. Not that Luis Castillo is cursed in some way now that he has been traded to the Mets, but the recent history of second basemen traded to the Mets isn't wonderful.

Carlos Baerga became the Mets' second baseman on July 29, 1996, in a trade with the Indians that then-general manager Joe McIlvaine suggested could prove similar to the Mets' acquisition of Keith Hernandez 13 years earlier, in that the change of teams might rekindle the career of a special player.

Baerga had his moments with the Mets, particularly the following season, when he delivered a number of critical hits that fueled important victories in what proved to be a renaissance season. But he never again was the extra-base hit machine he had been with the Indians.

Moreover, the trade cost the Mets their third baseman, Jeff Kent, who, of course, returned to second base in 1997 and began a sequence of productive seasons that may put him in the Hall of Fame.

Roberto Alomar, already seen by many as the best second baseman ever, was traded to the Mets by the Indians in December 2001. During his 222-game tour with the Mets, Alomar, 33, seldom performed at the levels he had established in his years with the Padres, Blue Jays, Orioles and Indians, prompting the club to consider him indifferent to winning.

Incidentally, two of the players involved in the Alomar trade, Mike Bacsik to the Mets and Billy Traber to the Indians, started for the Nationals against the Mets over the weekend.

Twins general manager Terry Ryan admitted he wasn't going to re-sign Castillo, who becomes eligible for free agency after the season.

"In essence, it comes down to, 'Do we have anybody in the system we can bring in to replace him?'" Ryan said. "And we feel like we do."

A person familiar with the Twins' evaluations of Castillo said he has lost a step and that he won't necessarily assume some of the right-side load to help Carlos Delgado, but that Castillo was a certain upgrade over Gotay and Valentin.

The best: Reyes is the best baserunner, the fastest baserunner, the best defensive shortstop with the best infield arm, and the most exciting player in the National League. So says Baseball America, which polled Major League managers. Billy Wagner's fastball was voted best in the league, and Paul Lo Duca, now seemingly displaced as the No. 2 hitter, was named the best hit-and-run hitter.

This date in Mets history -- Aug. 1: Cleon Jones hit a three-run home run against Earl Wilson in the third inning, providing the runs critical to the Mets' 4-2 victory against the Padres at Shea Stadium on this date in 1970. Tom Seaver pitched a complete game and struck out 13. He started four games against the Padres that year, pitched 35 innings and struck out 49. ... A three-run double in the ninth inning by the late Bill Robinson and a complete-game shutdown by Steve Carlton were the primary components in the Phillies' 4-1 victory against the Mets in the second game of a twi-night doubleheader at Shea on Aug. 1, 1972. The game lasted one hour, 45 minutes. The Mets had won the first game, 3-2, on a final-pitch, bases-loaded single by Jones. That hit came in the 18th inning, after four hours, 28 minutes, and just before a 53-minute Banner Day Parade. Participants in the parade had been asked to assemble beyond the center-field wall after the seventh inning.

Howard Johnson hit a grand slam and Terry Leach ran his record to 9-0 in the Mets' 12-4 victory against Dwight Gooden's childhood buddy Floyd Youmans and the Expos in Montreal on this date in 1987. Nine of the Mets' runs were unearned -- the Expos committed four errors -- but what made the game extraordinary was that Stade Olympique was nearly filled. Attendance: 41,411.

Recognized: The Pacific Coast League named New Orleans Zephyrs relief pitcher Willie Collazo PCL Pitcher of the Week for games played between July 23 and July 29. He won three games and saved a fourth during that period. Collazo, a PCL All-Star, pitched nine scoreless innings and never allowed more than two hits in a game. He is the third weekly PCL award winner from the Zephyrs this season. Chip Ambres and Philip Humber had won earlier.

Coming up: The second game of the Mets' second and last series against the Brewers takes place on Wednesday. Oliver Perez starts for the Mets, and Dave Bush goes for the Brewers in the 8:05 p.m. ET game.

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

{}
{}