By Mike Steffanos
Braves 8 - Mets 5
The Mets provided Steve Trachsel offense that Tom Glavine could only dream about, but Trax picked a bad day to be just plain bad. Moved up a day in front of Victor Zambrano to give the Mets a better chance of winning a game in Atlanta, instead Trax put up a start that ranks with the worst Zambrano has to offer, complete with 5 walks, 8 hits and 6 earned runs in 3-2/3 innings.
The Dark Clouds
This was Trachsel at his tedious worst -- slow, nibbling, exasperating. He got squeezed a little, and was victimized by some fluke hits, but make no mistake, he stunk today. I'm not angry at him -- the truth is that he's never pitched well in Atlanta, and I didn't love changing the rotation to give him this game. Now you have Zambrano and (probably) fill-in John Maine back-to back.
Delgado's cooled off considerably, and, at 34, it might not be a bad idea to get him a day off soon.
The day before his return to Shea, Matsui was good in the field but terrible at the plate. He left 7 runners on base with his 0-5. He was robbed of a hit in one AB, but didn't come close after that. His timing sucks.
Despite the 2 homers in game 1 of the series, Wright is still scuffling at the plate.
Victor Diaz came up in a huge spot with the bases loaded and 2 outs. I know he hasn't played, but this was his chance to show something and he popped out. Baseball is a cruel and unfair sport sometimes, you have to take advantage of your limited chances when you're Victor, and he came up wanting.
Jorge Julio gave up his 4th home run in only 11-2/3 innings, a monster shot to Francoeur that hasn't landed yet.
The Silver Linings
Other than making one mistake and paying for it, Julio actually looked decent. He didn't blow up after the homer. If he can become a viable option out of the bullpen, maybe they can try Heilman as a starter again. Starting pitching is still the weakest link. Having said that, I still think Julio has a lot to prove. He came into a 2-run game and gave up 2 critical runs.
Beltran hit a big home run to bring the Mets back into the game. He'd better keep hitting, or Endy -- who also homered -- will put his high-priced butt back on the bench.
Jose Valentin had a hit to lift his season avg back over .100.
Reyes walked 3 times in 5 plate appearances. We may never see that again.
The Mets are back at home to face the Nationals tomorrow night at 7:10 PM. Victor Zambrano pitches against Ramon Ortiz. Let's go Mets!