An MRI had just revealed a strained left oblique, but still Mets closer Frank Francisco maintained his screwball sense of humor.

He cracked jokes about "planning to make some chicken noodle soup" with the mascot chicken purchased by teammate Tim Byrdak on Friday. He spent several minutes discussing raising poultry at his home in the Dominican Republic. Asked if his strained left oblique felt better yesterday, he quipped "Yeah, I can walk straight."

But he cannot pitch at the major-league level, at least for two weeks. The team made the decision to disable him after Francisco failed a battery of tests before tonight's Subway Series finale at Citi Field. Francisco first developed soreness in his left side after collecting a save on Friday night. The pain lingered, and the team could not keep him on the roster with a short-handed bullpen.