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Lima Bad, Bell Good, Does it Matter?

Mike SteffanosThursday, March 30, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

Mets 6 - Cardinals 1

The irony of the situation is this: the guy that pitched the worst today, and had been pitching poorly all spring will probably go north with the team, while the man that pitched the best, and has had a very good spring, will most likely be heading to Norfolk.

Don't get me wrong here, I think Jose Lima is a heck of a guy. Besides being funny and having a really hot wife who doesn't embarrass him, Lima seems to be the type of standup guy that Mets fans would love -- if he could still pitch. Problem is, after a horrendous 2005 season, Lima has shown nothing this spring to give me any confidence that he can bounce back. Heath Bell, on the other hand, is at least young enough to still be "promising" and has out-pitched Lima all spring. I'm not going to blow a gasket if this plays out the way it looks, but I will be somewhat disappointed in another weird player choice by Omar and Willie.

Darren Oliver pitched the first two innings and wasn't great, allowing 3 hits but keeping the Cardinals off the board. Lima allowed the Cardinals their only run on 4 hits in his 2 inning stint. Chad Bradford allowed a hit and a walk in his 2 innings, Bell followed and allowed only a walk over his 2 innings, striking out 1. Aaron Heilman pitched a perfect ninth.

Paul Lo Duca, Xavier Nady and Anderson Hernandez all had 3-hit games for the Mets. Lo Duca had 3 RBIs while Nady also drew a pair of walks. After getting off to a good start this spring, Nady had been mired in a 1-28 slump. Willie Randolph was pleased to see Nady bust out:

It was good to see him relax a little bit and get going. Obviously, spring training is not the best barometer for how you base these guys but, you know, he was 0-for-20 or whatever and he had a couple knocks so that's why you don't put a lot of emphasis on games like this because you can turn it around in one day.

The Mets and Cardinals will play again in Port St. Lucie tomorrow, with Pedro Martinez toeing the slab for the Mets.

Box Score

AP: You have to appreciate the irony...
David Ginsburg reports that those 2 whacky kids, Kris and Anna Benson, are getting divorced. Anna was the one that filed for it, claiming their marriage was "irretrievably broken."

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