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Trachsel Does His Job, Now It's Bannister's Turn

Mike SteffanosWednesday, April 26, 2006
By Mike Steffanos


Steve Trachsel was at his best last night, as he often is against the San Francisco Giants. Since his ugly game against the Brewers on April 15, Trachsel has put back to back quality starts together on this west coast swing. Although he only wound up pitching 6 innings again, he clearly could have gone deeper into the game if not for being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the top of the seventh. Trachsel is answering those of us, including me, that were worried about his effectiveness in 2006.

Now it's time for rookie Brian Bannister to step up and be the composed control pitcher he was in spring training rather than the erratic nibbler that has surfaced in his first few major league starts. It doesn't shock me that Bannister's astounding maturity showed a few cracks when the reality of pitching in the show set in, and I fully expect him to settle down and provide the Mets with some quality starts. If he could do that today, and help the Mets win the rubber game in San Francisco, the Mets can enjoy a rare occurrence for them -- a winning west coast road swing. This would give them a little momentum boost going into the weekend series in Atlanta.

Speaking of Atlanta, I took some heat after the disappointing series in Shea last week when I said that I wasn't really that impressed with the Braves:

But when I try to work up a deep despair over the thought of the Mets ever turning the tables on Atlanta, I just keep coming back to this one simple fact -- this Braves team isn't that good. Nothing they did the past couple of days overwhelmed me. Therefore, although I'm sorry to rain on this self-pity parade, I'm just not signing on.

Looking at them, I honestly don't feel they have what it takes to succeed over the long haul. It's one thing for this Braves team to get up for the Mets and take a pair of well-pitched games, it's another to win games all year when you can't play the us against the world card.

The Mets certainly had nothing to brag about with those two awful games against the Braves. The Mets have shown a few cracks so far that need to be addressed, but what I said about the Braves is true nonetheless. They were smirking after winning that series, and talking about carrying that momentum with them as they exited the Big Apple. Did it happen? They dropped their next game to the Nationals, then won a game, and followed that up with two losses to the Brewers. This is not a good team as it stands. They may still find a way to keep their mojo over the Mets going, but it's going to take more than that to win another eastern division title. Of course, it would be nice if at some point the Mets could actually beat them.

New York Times: Zambrano's Struggles
Ben Shpigel has a great piece on Victor Zambrano's ineffectiveness so far this year. He quotes Rick Peterson on what Zambrano needs to do to turn it around.

His ability to concentrate and focus needs to be higher. He needs to understand that every hitter is a separate game and that we ask him to pitch 18 separate games, or hopefully 21, every night. People forget that for six or seven weeks last year, Victor was the best pitcher on a staff that had everyone pitching well. He had that kind of focus then, and he has to have that kind of focus now to be successful.

Bergen Record: Next Stop Shea?
Steve Popper quotes Mets GM Omar Minaya on Mike Pelfrey's promotion to Double-A Binghamton:

He moved himself up. He's had pretty good performances all along. We said basically he would move himself up based upon the way he's pitched, velocity wise, command wise, strikeout to walk ratio wise, which is about what we expected. We expected it to be about a month. We just said let's move him up right now.

Popper also offers this quote from Carlos Beltran on his frustration while waiting for his hamstring to heal:

To me, being honest with you guys, it's frustrating. It's frustrating right now. The MRI shows that it's nothing major. They want me to give them an estimate of how many days I'm going to be ready. I can not give an estimate. This is the first time it happened to me. I just take it day by day and look forward to one of these days to wake up with no pain, no soreness and be able to play.

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