And to think, he was just one poor Nelson Figueroa start away from getting a call. Not from the Mets, mind you, more likely a prank from these guys. East Windup Chronicle on the veteran pitcher almost as well known for his late career struggles as for his alleged herpes (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory).

Jose Lima became the first mercenary casualty of the young 2008 season as the 36-year-old hurler was released by the Kia Tigers Wednesday afternoon.

Lima™s arrival in Korea was met with great fanfare, but he struggled mightily in his last two starts. The final straw apparently came Tuesday evening against the LG Twins, a game in which he surrendered eight runs on eight hits in just 3 2/3 innings. Kia is currently in last place having won just four of 15 games.

He leaves Korea not having won a single game, as the headline on the Korean Web portal Naver gleefully reads: œNot one win gathered¦Lima is Kicked Out!

Limatime final line in Korea: 0-1, 21 2/3 inn, 28 hits, 15 ER, 7K, 6BB, 6.23 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 2.91 K/9, OBA .322.

In Jose’s defense, it’s hard to imagine he could fare any worse in the big leagues than the pitching on offer tonight from Boston’s Julian Tavarez and Mike Timlin.

With all due respect to John Maine and Roy Oswalt each earning their first win of 2009, the NL’s scary-good starting effort of Wednesday night had to be Brandon Webb (8 IP, 5 K’s, 3 hits, 1 earned run, 2 walks) earning his 4th victory in Arizona’s 4-1 dispatch of San Francisco. Conversely, losing pitcher Barry Zito is now sporting a 4.50 ERA and an 0-4 mark to start his second season as a Giant.

I find no joy in Surfin’ Barry’s struggles. Even knowing such futility is burning the ass of Astoria Studios’ no. 1 Giants fan brings me zero pleasure, because it probably means Chris Russo will begin discussing U.S. Open tennis before Wimbledon has even started.