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Mets Romp in Colorado

Mike SteffanosWednesday, August 30, 2006
By Mike Steffanos


Mets 10 - Rockies 5

Steve Trachsel teetered on the edge of disaster for most of the night, but always managed to pull himself out just in time. Meanwhile, the Mets offense took advantage of some shoddy Rockies defense and bad pitching, and it all added up to another win.

The Mets jumped out quickly to a 2-0 lead against Byung-Hyun Kim with a Beltran homer and an RBI single by David Wright. Trachsel got into trouble right away though, giving one run back and working his way out of a big jam. That would typify Trachsel's night, finding himself in various degrees of trouble in four of the six innings he pitched. After Reyes hit a 2-run homer in the second to put him up 4-1, Trachsel got burned for 2 more in the third and looked shaky. Then Steve got stingier, and the Mets chased Kim and reliever Tom Martin. Trachsel had an effective, if quite eventful 6 inning performance and another win.

Thoughts on the game
A painfully slow game by Trachsel and the Colorado staff had left your blogger quite tired, so excuse the short recap. A look at Trachsel's updated chart:

Steve Trachsel
DateOpp.IPRERHKBBHRERAWHIPTeam
Result
8/2@FLA5.23371124.761.41W
8/8SDP5.22253213.181.24W
8/13@WSH6.21154111.350.90W
8/18COL73376313.861.43W
8/23STL566613310.801.80W
8/29@COL63386204.501.67W
TOTAL36181838211284.501.396-0

I thought after that game against Colorado at Shea on the 18th Steve was in the driver's seat for a playoff start. After the bad start against the Cards and this up and down performance, I would have to believe the fourth playoff starter is still very much in the air. One thing that scared me tonight was that a relatively weak-hitting Rockies club got a lot of their hits off of good pitches low in the zone. It's one thing leaving the ball up and getting clocked like Steve did against the Cards, but when you make good pitches and they hit them anyway, that's cause for concern.

In fairness, at times tonight Trachsel looked good, but he couldn't sustain it. Kudos to Steve for steadying the course and getting another win, but it was not a really impressive performance.

On Beltran's first inning homer, the run he scored tied him with Derek Bell for the all-time Mets record of consecutive games with a run scored, 11. It also tied his personal high for homers with 39. Reyes, Beltran, Delgado, Wright and Green all had multi-hit games for the Mets tonight. Wright was 3-4 with 3 RBIs.

Colorado's outfield defense is some of the worst I ever seen. The infield is more solid. Kaz Matsui had a nice game against his old team tonight and looked fairly relax. I doubt they'll boo him out of town in Colorado.

One telling moment in the game. Gary Cohen was relating how David Wright noted that Carlos Delgado stayed on such an even keel during his struggles, and how David was emulating that approach while undergoing his own woes. Veteran leadership is one of those intangibles that some of you stat guys hate to hear about, but it makes a difference. Delgado is worth more to this club than just the naked numbers -- and they're looking pretty good now, too.

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

Box Score

Comments (11)

Mets firing on all cylinders now?? I asked this before..is this it...Methonks we have another gear or two left for the mountain stages, so to speak. Tachsel is an enigma, a conundrum even, (how often do u get to use that word). Its baseball weird thats the only explanation. Cause this is not normal. Matsui, another Bizzaro world display. Thru the mirror darkly....well, 17 is a nice number.

I think once Wright starts hitting again and Valentin gets back into a groove the defense gets better. Matsui is never going to be a huge star, but he's a lot better than he showed the last year and a half here.

(Whoops -- that's what I get for doing this late at night. Make that "the OFFENSE gets better".)

I hope, in my heart of hearts, that this game means David Wright has turned the corner on the terrible month-and-a-half stretch he's been having.

I watched about half of the game, and I left with an impression that I don't get so often. Outside of Matsui I had the feeling that the Rocks were mailing it in. I don't know exactly what details led to that feeling; just a general casual approach to the business at hand. Of course I get to contrast them with the Mets who have always seemed fully engaged this year.

The Rockies are 5 or 5 1/2 out of the wild card with nine teams ahead of them, so maybe relaxing a bit is understandable. But that's one way managers get fired.

The other way, of course, is to work for Jeffrey Loria.

(coda)

Wow. I wrote the above before checking out the game wrap at the Mets site. It sounds as if Clint Hurdle agrees with me; one doesn't hear a manager that blunt about his team's play very often. "Jobs are on the line" doesn't require much translation.

Face it. Trachsel is just one of those pitchers who knows how to win. It may look ugly most of the time but when he needs to get the big out in a tough spot, he seems to get it. Plenty of pitchers out there, who pitch well enough to lose. Pitching line will look pretty but will still lose because in that one big spot, they failed

Mike, forgive my returning to questions about stats, but I'd like to reconcile stat guys with the non-stat guys. You emphasize the intangible of veteran leadership, a concept I have no problem with in principle. But if intangibles matter, then they must show up in the numbers at some point. So stats guys look at the numbers, hopefully in interesting and productive ways. For example, we can look at the average length of slumps in teams with veteran leaders vs. teams without them. Or we can look at a team before adding veteran leaders, measure the average length of slumps, then look again once veteran leadership has been added to the mix. OK, I'll admit this is pretty arcane, and I'm not going to do the work. But I want to return to the basic principle: if intangibles matter, then they must somehow become evident in the numbers and good stats work (as opposed to hack work, which is bad in prose and in numbers) should dig out the effect.

1. Your post was awesome. I focused on Traxx's WHIP and 1.67 is not much better than his worst outings. In fact he was always a big hit from losing control of the game.

2.Another interesting movement is Willie/Omar are expressing interest in moving El Duque to the pen. Maine has earned his spot. He has experience and came to our rescue when pedro went down and Pelfrey/Soler did not excel. Note Maine is 4-0 and the Mets are 7-0 in Maine's last 8 starts. El-duque is the perfect option and MIGHT have come into the 4th inning of tonites game against a better line up.

3. As I wrote earlier, the effect of Green on DW has been immediate. Green himself looks very comfortable. Delgado too has been better now his partner is on board.

4. With a month to go Delgado AND Beltran will eclipse several long standing Met records. I hope Reyes gets the steals mark.

Matt -- Sounds good to me.
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dd -- their defense was awful all game, but when they fell behind it did seem like their offensive approach suffered. They remind me of the 2004 Mets who stayed in it past the ASB, and then just collapsed.
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kd bart -- My worry is the Mets will probably not score a ton of runs for him against playoff pitching. I do give Trachsel credit for winning, but he's won a lot of games where he gave up a ton of runs. When your team scores 7 runs a game for you, there are a many mediocre pitchers in the league who can win with that type of support.
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David -- I've had this discussion before, and I still the problem is that you're looking for some stat to justify a guy's effect on someone else -- but how do you know you're looking at the right stat. How do you prove the value of leadership to a team? What number do you use to quantify leadership? 2 guys have identical stats, but one guy helps his teammates and the other doesn't. I know, from 3 decades of competing in team sports, that good teammates bring something to a team. I know it because I lived it. Put down your stats for a while and go ahead and compete at a level of competition where people are trying to win (ie, not some social sport where fun is the only objective) and really take a look around at the guys on your team.

Another thing for you to think about. I met Lisa 12 years ago. I've never had much luck with women long term, including the one I once married. Now I have a stable relationship with someone that has lasted for a long time. How do I quantify for you the way that has changed my life? I'm not being sarcastic or funny here. You can't stick a number on everything.
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mikalpalyn -- (ed, what's with the new identity?) I know you and me are on different sides on this one, but if I'm the coach, El Duque is starting the third playoff game for me as long as he is physically able. I do understand he might not be.

I was trying to think of a decent moniker, this was a favorite recognizing Monty Python's influence on me.

My issue with Traxx is that at 14-5 with an ERA of 4.98 there is a mirage. On paper he projects as a #1 starter, which we all know he is not. Part of the mirage is the hitting display he allows the opposition. Right now Matsui is counting his FA payday that Traxx has given him hope of. Traxx alllowed ??baserunners (12?) in 6 innings. I doubt the Dodgers, Phils, or Cincy will be so kind in the playoffs.

My conjecture with El Duque is that I like him in reserve if OPedro is not healthy. If Traxx, Pedro or say Ollie is having issues with the strikezone etc El Duque is a proven commodity at coming in and bridging that gap.

At the time El-Duque was imported we had ZERO pitching depth. Lima WAS our pitching depth. Since then we have mentored/groomed and imported better options...namely Ollie, Maine and Williams. Now that El Duque has evidently hit something of a wall (innings) I'd hold him in reserve and give him, as we do with Darren Oliver..2-3 innings here and there to keep him prepped. I can envision Maine, or Pedro being told to pitch 5 innings or 80 pitches in the playoffs and then D Oliver or El-duque coming on for a 3-4 inning save.

I love Python myself. I understand the thinking behind Duque in the bullpen. I disagree, but I can see the logic. I'm telling you, though, that unless he pitches really great I wouldn't start Perez in the post-season. I want to give him a chance to get straightened out and a full spring training before I ask much out of him. I think he's had a tough 2 years, and I'd want to go easy with him, for his own sake.

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