PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) -Pedro Martinez had a final warmup Tuesday before making his first Grapefruit League start for the New York Mets.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner tossed 59 pitches in a simulated game at Tradition Field, possibly paving the way for a start Sunday.
``There were times that I got into a routine, I just wanted to work on the pitches,'' Martinez said. ``I don't think I would have done differently in a game.''
He hit 87 mph on the radar gun.
``The main key right here is to feel healthy,'' Martinez said. ``That's how I felt today, I felt like I'm really, really healthy.''
Martinez's first scheduled Grapefruit League game was rained out March 6 when the Mets were to play the Washington Nationals. He threw a simulated game, and the team then chose not to send him to Fort Myers on Tuesday.
Martinez made just five starts last season after shoulder surgery the previous offseason. He went 3-1, but having the offseason after a tough rehab helped, Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson said.
``I'm ecstatic,'' Peterson said. ``Most importantly, Pedro's ecstatic.''
In the outing, Martinez threw 43 strikes. He gave up four hits and struck out one. The Mets had Martinez face three extra batters in the third inning to build his pitch count. He got all three batters out.
Outfielder Carlos Beltran said Martinez had several pitches working.
``It's difficult for you to hit against him because you cannot look for one pitch,'' Beltran said. ``He has so much confidence in every single pitch he has that he can throw any pitch any time.''
Beltran, recovering from knee surgery in the offseason, took some hacks against Martinez. Beltran had two hits in seven at-bats against both Martinez and relief pitcher Scott Schoeneweis. Beltran served as a designated hitter against the Boston Red Sox on Monday, but he said he's uncertain when he could appear in the outfield.
``I'm not going to play in the outfield until I'm ready to play in the outfield,'' he said.
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