NEW YORK -- Armando Benitez didn't pitch in a save situation Wednesday night, but not because he was stripped of his duties as the Giants' closer.

Manager Bruce Bochy said Benitez's right knee flared up in the 12th inning Tuesday night, when he balked in the tying run and gave up a game-ending home run to Carlos Delgado. Bochy said Benitez would have fluid drained from his knee and would not be available today. The disabled list wasn't mentioned, though it's a possibility.

With angry Giants fans practically grabbing pitchforks back home, Benitez's injury might be seen as addition by subtraction. But Bochy reiterated that a healthy Benitez would continue in the closer role.

"I don't think you give up on a guy with two blown saves," Bochy said of Benitez, who is 9-for-11 in save opportunities but also has entered two tie games and taken losses.

Bochy acknowledged that Benitez's body language and postgame comments have added to fan frustration. "You understand the frustrations because of the past ... but you have to do the best you can with the players you have," Bochy said. "Armando is throwing the ball better. Sure, he's had some outings he has not thrown the ball great.

"Maybe it's hard to erase some of that, but that's what we're hoping to do here. We've got to close games out. We've got to go with our options."

While Benitez is out, Bochy plans to use matchups to close games. He wanted to stay away from Brad Hennessey, who threw 52 pitches over the three previous days.

But Hennessey said he felt good and Bochy summoned him to protect a 3-0 lead in the ninth inning. Hennessey retired Delgado, David Wright and Paul Lo Duca in order.

"He did what we wanted him to do," Bochy said. "He threw strikes and got outs."

Short hops

Benitez isn't the first closer to blow a save while balking multiple times in one inning. On Aug. 8, 1988, Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Jim Gott balked three times while blowing a 3-2 lead in the eighth inning at Three Rivers Stadium. Coincidentally, the Mets were the opposing team. The Pirates' skinny leadoff hitter that day was none other than Barry Bonds, who hit a home run off Dwight Gooden -- the 60th of his career. ... Dave Roberts (left elbow surgery) began taking batting practice and playing catch from 70 feet. He hopes to return when the Giants begin their next homestand June 8.

-- Andrew Baggarly,

MediaNews staff