And that was enough to make his return to active duty Tuesday night against the Giants an unqualified success. The Mets were pleased by his performance over six innings and delighted that he made it through his return without incident, scar or scare.
Martinez's first appearance since April 1 was without issue as far as he was involved. While his colleagues were having their way with what remains of Barry Zito, Martinez pitched six innings and departed very much in position to gain his first victory of the season and the 210th of his career.
He had minimal trouble through four innings, but after the Mets scored eight times in the fifth, keeping him seated for an extended period on a chilly Bay Area evening, Martinez was less effective. He ended his evening having allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks (one intentional). He struck out three and threw 100 pitches. Five of the hits were produced by his final 11 batters.
His velocity was consistent --- at 90 miles per hour to slightly less. He threw uncharacteristically few changeups, the most conspicuous one being the one that achieved his first strikeout against Randy Winn in the third inning.
If Martinez experienced any problems with his left hamstring -- the muscle he strained in his first 2008 appearance, in the Mets' second game of the season -- they were not apparent. He didn't handle a batted ball, but he singled twice in three at-bats and scored a run during the Mets' most productive inning since 2006.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.