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Mets Lulled To Sleep by Traber and Nats

Mike SteffanosFriday, August 11, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

Nationals 2 - Mets 1

Last week I mentioned that I was looking to cut down on writing long game recaps. The Mets and Nats made it easy for me tonight by playing a game where practically nothing happened. Former Mets farmhand Billy Traber had the Mets absolutely hypnotized with an assortment of junk pitches that they just couldn't do anything with. Traber kept the Mets off-balance all night by throwing strikes, especially first-pitch strikes. Tom Glavine, on the other hand, needed a staggering 123 pitches to make it through 6 innings because he threw very few first pitch strikes. Indeed, it seemed Glavine went to ball 3 on almost every batter that he faced tonight. It wasn't a horrible effort, but it wasn't a continuation of the progress he showed in inning 2-7 versus the Phillies last time out.

After Lo Duca crushed his first home run since May against Traber in the first, the Mets had few base runners against the soft-tossing lefty. Traber threw an incredible 59 strikes out of 82 total pitches, and managed to keep Mets batters behind in the count and off-balance all night. The Mets managed to stage a couple of minor rallies in the last 2 innings against the Nats' bullpen, but couldn't come up with that last big hit to get Glavine off the hook. A frustrating game to watch for Mets fans tonight, and a tough loss for Tom Glavine.

Thoughts on the game
If you are curious to know why it took Glavine over 120 pitches to get through 6 innings, look at the first 4. He needed 94 pitches to make it through 18 total batters, an average of over 5.2 pitches per batter. He needed 20 pitches to pitch a 1-2-3 third. He needed 6 pitches to retire opposing pitcher Billy Traber in the second and another 8 to retire him in the fourth. He threw first pitch strikes to 13 of the 25 batters he faced. He actually started 7 of the first 10 batters with strikes, and was only 6 of 15 the rest of the way. He battled back from 2-0 a number of times. Again, it wasn't terrible, but I can't believe Glavine would have been happy with this performance.

Both Darren Oliver and Roberto Hernandez were terrific in relief of Glavine tonight, both contributing 1-2-3 innings with 2 strikeouts each.

This game is being discussed in the MetsMerized Mets Talk Forum.

Box Score

Comments (4)

I am not unhappy. I have noted this team has stepped up in big series Atl, Phi and then SD. And still play down to various other teams.

I am elated for Traber who i (petitioned) for in spr as a young star on the rebound. we need lefty pitching organization wide. I am also happy for Alex Escobar. both former Mets were derailed by injuries not lack of maturity. Both easily could have decent careers.

In contrast glavine is showing his age and I am more and more convinced that ala Floyd a WS appearance will be Glavine's oppurtunity to retire. That in turn will annonce a need for a new Lefty starter (or two) in the Met rotation. This off season I think maine and Pedro will be the only returning starters. I think Pelfrey, Ollie, an import (Garcia/Vazquez), and humber will get long looks. I think Ollie could be a star and to some extent alot of what we see (now) just keeps expectations lower. Also I am in the minority but as traxx fades I think VZ could resurface.

G. mota and possibly geoff jenkins could also figure into our playoff picture.

Ed -- doubt that Glavine would retire before 300 wins unless he was absolutely convinced he couldn't get there. As much as he's struggling now, he could probably limp to 300 either here or in Atlanta next year.

I bet you they don't re-sign Victor, and I know they won't offer him arbitration. Maybe he needs to get out of here, anyway. He never had a fair shot with the fans.

Jenkins -- although I hate his hitting approach -- would make more sense than getting another LH OF here.

HI, lunch break, seems quiet today on line. Out here we have a 5 comunity swim meet at one of our pools, its every thing but quiet. I seem to remember Glavine saying he is thinking about retiring after this season in one of the papers? I don't think I would miss him. He just didn't fit in somehow for me. I see talk about Green, if HE ok's a trade to the Mets? He used to be good. He might fit in for the playoffs.

I doubt he'd retire unless he was convinced he couldn't win 300. If he's not at Shea next season, most likely it will be because he decided to return to the Braves. I don't know if that would break my heart, either. I respect the way Glavine has conducted himself in New York, but if he wants to return home that's his right. The one thing that bothers me about Green is he's another LH bat. We need a RH OF, in my opinion, especially if Milledge can't get it together.

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