WASHINGTON (AP) -Now that Pedro Martinez knows what it takes to come back from major shoulder surgery, don't count on him doing it again. He would love to play another three or four years - as long as he avoids serious injury.
``If anything goes wrong: Hasta la vista, baby,'' the Mets right-hander said before New York's 12-4 loss to the Washington Nationals on Monday night.
Martinez was sidelined for most of the season after having surgery last October, but is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA and 17 strikeouts over 16 innings since he came off the disabled list Sept. 3. He feels as wiped out as anyone who's played since the spring.
``I'm as tired as I would be if I was here all year,'' he said. ``I'm probably as tired as the guys who've been here all season. My rehab was double the work. My rehab was very long, very intense.''
The Mets have been trying to protect him, and manager Willie Randolph said Martinez will continue to pitch on five days' rest through the end of the regular season. The three-time Cy Young Award winner will throw a bullpen session Tuesday and start Friday against the Florida Marlins.
As for the postseason?
``Let's get to the postseason first,'' Randolph said. ``We'll monitor his progress. Sometimes, you have to make adjustments on the fly. I haven't gotten that far ahead.''
Martinez, who helped the Boston Red Sox win the 2004 World Series, is hoping he'll have a role.
``I've been through it too many times,'' he said. ``September, October is something that gets the adrenaline going. The playoffs - that will get you going.''
First baseman Carlos Delgado, meanwhile, doesn't know when he'll return from the strained right hip flexor that has sidelined him since Sept. 4.
``I think swinging is going to be the biggest test,'' he said. ``You have to start somewhere.''
Randolph said Delgado might be able to play toward the end of the Mets' seven-game trip that closes Sunday at Florida.
The manager also said right-hander Orlando Hernandez's sore right foot was feeling better. Later Monday, general manager Omar Minaya said El Duque has a bunion and listed him as day to day.
``It bothers him a little bit. Not so much when he runs, but when he pitches, because he comes off that foot,'' Minaya said. ``He's had some discomfort in the foot the whole year. He's pitched through it.''
Hernandez, 9-5 with a 3.75 ERA, declined comment. He was scratched from his scheduled turn Monday, and Brian Lawrence got the start against Washington.
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