Atchison to have tests on his right elbow
ST. LOUIS -- For Mets reliever Scott Atchison, the most disturbing part of Monday's seventh-inning rally was not that he gave up hard-hit balls to all three batters that he faced.
It was the fact that he could not feel his fingers.
Atchison took the mound at Busch Stadium with numbness in the fingers of his right hand, which he classified as a side effect of his torn elbow ligament. The Mets plan to send Atchison for tests on his elbow, though the reliever is not sure what that will accomplish. He has been pitching with a torn ligament since at least 2009.
"It's documented, obviously, with my elbow," Atchison said. "Some of it's, 'What can I handle?' I feel like I've been managing it pretty good all year, and today for whatever reason the tingling came back."
Atchison, 37, missed more than two months last season after experiencing similar numbness, but opted against Tommy John surgery. He returned to the mound in September for the Red Sox, delivering five scoreless outings.
It was enough for the Mets to ink him to a Minor League deal over the winter, inviting him to Spring Training under expectations that he would make the team. But Atchison's run of success was brief; he posted a 1.23 ERA through April 16, and a 6.75 ERA since that time.
Still, Atchison said that until Monday he did not have a problem managing his pain. His hope is that a period of rest will allow him to return to the mound before long.
"Probably not the smartest move," Atchison said of pitching in Monday's game. "But I kind of know what's going on in my elbow, so in my mind, it's 'How much can I handle right there?' I wasn't in agonizing pain, but I wasn't able to make the pitches that I wanted to make."