Feliciano arrives late to home opener

Feliciano arrives late to home opener

NEW YORK -- There was a reason, far removed from baseball strategy, why Pedro Feliciano did not see action in Tuesday's home opener, even with the rest of the Mets bullpen crumbling around him. Feliciano had traveled home to Puerto Rico on Monday to deal with what he called "family issues," and a canceled flight prevented him from making it back to Queens on time to pitch in the middle innings.

Feliciano arrived at Shea Stadium during the seventh, right when manager Willie Randolph made a seemingly questionable move to keep lefty Scott Schoeneweis on the mound. Feliciano, also a lefty specialist, had not yet had enough time to warm up.

Originally scheduled to arrive back in New York at around 9:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Feliciano boarded the first plane he could after learning that his flight was canceled. The new flight rerouted him from San Juan, Puerto Rico, through Orlando International Airport, where he finally boarded a plane bound for Queens.

"I got here as soon as I could," Feliciano said. "I was in the bullpen ready, just waiting like a normal day."

By the time Feliciano had warmed, however, his colleague had already battled his way through a jam. Randolph confirmed that he kept Schoeneweis -- who allowed two straight baserunners -- in the game because the Phillies still had lefties Chase Utley and Ryan Howard due to bat. On a normal day, Feliciano would have given his manager another option.

Yet Schoeneweis stayed in, plunking Utley and then watching as Carlos Delgado threw Howard's potential double-play ball into Utley's back. That play tied the game, so he left the mound to boos and with a 5.40 ERA in tow -- despite the rally hinging largely on luck. Jorge Sosa later allowed Utley to score as well.

"I'm not upset by it," Schoeneweis said of the crowd's reaction. "I'm used to it. It's just commonplace.

"I know what my effort level is. I know what I did before I came here, I know what I do away from here and I know what I do most of the time when I'm here. It would be really hard to find someone to put out as much effort, or try, or work as hard as I do. That's all I can keep doing."

Feliciano said that he had taken care of the issues -- which he preferred to keep private -- and that his family was doing fine.

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