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Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Notebook: Batista, the squeeze and Bay

By Matt Ehalt

A tight groin couldn't keep Miguel Batista from pitching a gem.

Batista tossed seven scoreless innings and picked up his first win of the year in the Mets' 3-1 victory over the Brewers Monday night. He yielded just four hits and beat the Brewers for the first time 1999, when he was with the Montreal Expos.

Batista said he's had the groin issue for about five to six days and it hasn't improved or regressed. He can feel the pull, but there is no pain. He's going to keep an eye on it and the doctor told him they will evaluate how he's feeling Tuesday. Batista spoke to reporters with a wrap around his left leg and groin after the game.

During the game, Mets manager Terry Collins noticed Batista limping and was concerned about the 41-year-old. Batista quickly assured his manager that everything was OK.

"I told him it's been going on for a while so don't worry about it," Batista said.

While Collins said he pulled Batista because the starter's groin started to tighten up, the 41-year-old had already thrown 108 pitches. Milwaukee did not manage many well-hit balls against Batista, going 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position against him.

"He struggled early with his command, he was behind a lot, but he made key pitches when he had to and what he does is he has the ability to expand the strike zone," Collins said. "When he needs it, he makes a quality pitch."

THE SQUEEZE: The Mets executed a perfect suicide squeeze in the sixth.

With the Mets leading 1-0 with Daniel Murphy on third and one out, Ronny Cedeno faked a bunt on the first pitch. After seeing that, Collins called for the squeeze, believing he could take advantage of the situation. Cedeno laid down a beautiful bunt to the left of pitcher's mound and Murphy scored before opposing pitcher Yovani Gallardo could make a play.

"The execution was perfect," Collins said. "I had the right guy at the plate. I don't there is a better execution of fundamentals of the game than Ronny Cedeno. He's as good as it gets."

BAY CLEARED: Left fielder Jason Bay has been cleared to resume baseball activities and will begin those tomorrow. He has a fractured left rib and believes he'll head down to Florida to start working with Single-A St. Lucie after the Mets conclude this four-game homestand Thursday. He's been out of action for more than three weeks but said he feels better.

He expects his rehab to be a progression, including running and hitting, although he's not sure exactly what activities will take place and when. Collins said Bay will play in some minor league rehab games before he returns to Flushing.