New York Mets right-hander John Maine left Thursday night’s game against the Washington Nationals after throwing just five pitches.
Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz said Maine was removed for “precautionary reasons.”
Pitching coach Dan Warthen noticed that Maine’s “velocity was down” while he warming up in the bullpen, Horwitz said.
Maine, who has a history of problems with his right shoulder, will be examined by a doctor today.
After Maine walked leadoff batter Nyjer Morgan, manager Jerry Manuel and Warthen went out to the mound. After a brief conversation with the pitcher, Manuel removed him.
Maine came in with a 1-3 record and a 6.13 ERA.
He was replaced by Raul Valdes, who was already warming up in the bullpen as Maine pitched to Morgan. Valdes pitched five innings and got the win as the Mets beat the Nationals, 10-7.
OUCH I: THE OWNER
Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner was struck by a ball while standing in right field during batting practice before Thursday’s game against the Mets.
Lerner was in uniform and shagging balls, as he occasionally does, when he was hit.
According to The Washington Post, Lerner was struck on the bridge of his nose, bled and received stitches.
A team spokesman declined comment.
OUCH II: THE UMPIRE
Plate umpire John Hirschbeck left the Brewers-Pirates game with concussion-like symptoms after being struck by an errant warmup pitch Thursday.
Brewers catcher Gregg Zaun was slow to react to a pitch from Chris Narveson that sailed high, and it struck Hirschbeck in the mask before the Pirates batted in the first inning.
Hirschbeck huddled with Pirates trainers but stayed in the game. After the Pirates scored twice in the first, trainers checked Hirschbeck again between innings and he left the game.
First base umpire James Hoye took over behind the plate and Laz Diaz and Wally Bell called the bases by themselves.
New York catcher Jorge Posada has a broken bone in his right foot that will sideline him for three to four weeks, the Yankees said. … Manny Ramirez sat out of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting lineup Thursday for the second straight game because of sore little toe on his left foot. …Minnesota Twins Single-A outfielder Michael Harrington has been suspended 50 games for violating the minor league drug program. … The San Diego Padres placed slumping outfielder Kyle Blanks on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right elbow and recalled right-handed pitcher Adam Russell from Triple-A Portland. Blanks is batting .157 in 33 games with three home runs, 15 RBI and 14 runs scored.