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.