About an hour before last night's Subway Series finale, the Mets announced closer Frank Francisco was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained left oblique.

Francisco told reporters after Saturday night's 4-3 loss that he began to feel discomfort following Friday night's season opener.

"Have to wait for the results," Francisco said when the clubhouse opened yesterday. He had gone for a MRI earlier in the day.

"I can walk straight," Francisco said when asked if he could detect improvements with the injury between Saturday and Sunday.


The Mets received a bit of good news as Terry Collins reported Ike Davis was available to pinch hit Sunday night, after suffering a bout of food poisoning Saturday.

Tejada, Ramirez back in town

Separate from the decision to send Francisco to the DL were the call-ups of Ramon Ramirez and Ruben Tejada from Triple-A Buffalo. Both the reliever and shortstop were with the Bisons for rehab stints.

Ramirez was put on the DL on May 31 with a right hamstring strain while Tejada had been on the DL since May 7 with a strained right quad.

Jordany Valdespin was optioned down. But Collins believes the shortstop won't be in the minors for long.

"He's got to go play," Collins said. "His days in the minor leagues, in my opinion, are drawing shorter and shorter. We want to make sure when he comes up [he doesn't go down again]."

Minimal Dickey

The Yankees' approach to R.A. Dickey was minimalistic.

"Business as usual," manager Joe Girardi said of Dickey, who started the series finale for the Mets.

Dickey entered the game with an 11-1 record and 2.00 ERA. He had an earned run scoreless streak of 42 2/3 innings and had thrown consecutive one-hitters in his previous two starts.

The Yankees had faced Dickey nine times prior to last night. He had a 3-1 record with a 2.30 ERA against them.

Girardi thought there could be a benefit in facing Dickey one night after taking cuts against Chris Young's assortment mid-80s pitches.

"I sure hope so. You hope that the similar velocity will help you," Girardi said. "I guess we'll find out in four or five hours."

That's no chicken, Kramer

Little Jerry Seinfeld has found a new home.

The chicken, purchased by reliever Tim Byrdak after reading Francisco's less-than-flattering opinion of the Yankees earlier in the week, was taken to a farm in Watkins Glen, N.Y. prior to last night's game.

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