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Mets Score Early and Then Hold On

Mike SteffanosThursday, August 24, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

Mets 10 - Cardinals 8

The Mets staked Steve Trachsel to a 10-2 lead, but needed 4 innings out of 5 relievers to secure the win. The last time Trachsel and Mulder met resulted in a heartbreaking 1-0 loss for the Mets; this game played to a much different script.

The Mets jumped right on a rusty Mark Mulder, who was making his first start returning from the DL. Reyes led off with a single, and 1 out later Beltran worked a walk. Delgado's booming double scored Reyes and advanced Beltran to second. The Cards elected to intentionally walk the slumping David Wright to load the bases, but Chris Woodward foiled the strategy with a bases-clearing double to put the Mets up 4-0.

Trachsel was efficient for 2 innings, but faltered in the third. Ronnie Belliard beat him with a first pitch double, then, after retiring Molina, Trachsel walked Mulder on 4 pitches. One out later he walked Chris Duncan on 5 pitches to bring up Pujols with the bases loaded. Pujols' single halved the lead to 4-2.

After allowing Mulder to escape a jam in the second, the Mets hurt him in the third when Reyes blasted a 2-out, 3-run homer. After Trachsel pitched a quick scoreless fourth, the Mets knocked Mulder out of the game with 3 more in the bottom of the frame. David Wright had a 2 RBI double, and Milledge drove him home with a single.

Now staked to a 10-2 lead, you would hope that Trachsel would take you deep into the game and hold the Redbirds at bay. It was not to be. The weak-hitting Jose Vizcaino beat him with a 2-run homer in the fifth, then Trachsel allowed back-to-back homers to Rolen and Preston Wilson and a walk to Encarnacion with no outs in the sixth. Roberto Hernandez came into the game and got a DP and a ground out to escape the sixth, but the lead had been cut to 10-6.

Hernandez walked pinch hitter Jim Edmonds leading off the seventh, then retired Vizcaino on a fly to Beltran. Pedro Feliciano came in to face lefty Chris Duncan and struck him out, then Chad Bradford came in to face Pujols and got him on a grounder to second for the final out.

Bradford stayed in for the eighth, but got beat with back-to-back doubles by Rolen and Wilson to make it 10-7. Belliard singled home Wilson 1 out later to cut it to 10-8. The Mets couldn't quite turn a DP on Bennet's grounder, and needed to bring in Heilman to strike out pinch hitter Scott Spiezio to end the eighth.

Wagner came in to nail down save number 32 on the year. He allowed only Pujols' 2-out single before retiring Rolen on a comebacker to end the game.

Thoughts on the game
I'll give Trachsel credit for winning again, but after some good outings he reverted back tonight to the fairly ineffective hurler he was a month ago. Let's update the chart:

Steve Trachsel

We won't belabor the point here, but Maine left the door open for Steve to really establish himself as that fourth playoff starter tonight, and it just didn't happen. While not quite as bad as Trachsel had been pitching a month ago, tonight was a clear step back for the veteran righty. Still, it's his first really bad game this month after some good ones. We'll see what he does next time out.

Nice game for Woodward with the 2 hits and 3 RBIs, but it kind of worries me that he seems to be bouncing the throw to first on almost every single double play he turns.

Wright still looks pretty lost despite the double. Even that came on a bad pitch he would have spit on when he was right. Delgado's long slump is now a bad memory, but it took quite a while. You suspect it might take a while for Wright, too.

Jeez, I thought Jose Reyes was just a skinny little guy with no power.

I was disappointed that on the 0-2 pitch to Pujols in the ninth, Wagner didn't throw a slider down out of the strike zone. The fastball he did throw, while not a cripple, was much too good, and Pujols singled. Still, it's another save -- 18 of his last 19 chances for Billy the Kid.

The win was the Mets' tenth in a row at home, upping their record to 77-48, 29 games above break even for the season. After some mid-season sputtering, this team has been playing very well since the disappointing series in Philadelphia.

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

Box Score

Comments (9)

With Milledge hitting the ball so well, it's disappointing to see that he's probably not going to get nearly as much playing time with Green coming in. On that topic, Endy Chavez is amazing, and he deserves to start come playoff time. Come to think of it, the Green acquisiton actually creates a logjam should Floyd come back in time for the playoffs.

I'm happy as a clam...although I have no idea how happy a clam is, or why they would be happy in the first place. But, I'm that happy... A Jew on the Mets, Thank you Big Guy!...Hundreds of TV sets just came out of mothball storage in Brooklyn. Maybe he'll grow a long beard. Rabbis everywhere are scrambling to be the first
to invite him to schul...."have I got a girl for you...you're married..okay never mind....taste this soup"

Wilpons need not worry one bit, Green will help them with figuring out the Math as to how to creatively finance his contract. "You shouldn't worry....it'll be alright....Fred, have a stickel of kugel,.. and break some bread... money...ehhh..its not the most important thing....Happiness, ehhh, now thats the most important...whats a few million between friends"

When I was growing up in Brooklyn, they had a minor leauge team called House Of David. They were all Jewish and I think they all had beards. They played in Dexter Park in Cypress Hills,Queens N.Y. Mr. Green would have been right at home with them.But he would have grow a beard.. Nice recap Mike, I was a little worried we were going to give this one away. I hope the R/Ps can stay strong. I don't think we will see any 1-0 compleat games now, unless its the other guys.I like your Rotation pick,still a question about #4. I would not be surprized if someone comes out of the woodwork to fill it.

I have read about the House of David team. They used to barnstorm back in olden times; and they would frequently bring in easily recognized ringers wearing fake beards to wow the fans. I think one time the ringer was Babe Ruth. Apparently it was a fun institution, one of those things people romanticize about Brooklyn Back When.

Would you look at the mouth of that gift horse? The Cardinals donated a game to the Mets and the Mets very nearly gave it back. The MLB pregame summary, and the St Louis fans website I read, both stated before the game that Mulder wasn't ready to make that start last night. Mark had at least one more rehab outing alloted to him, and yet Tony La Russa bumped Antony Reyes to stick Mulder in there and get knocked around. La Russa has some shiny accomplishments on his resume, and I know he actually graduated from law school and everything, but boy! has he made some lamebrained moves over the years since taking over the Cardinals.

Hi Mike- I see what your're saying about Wagner, but I thought BJ Ryan was better and younger.
In the play offs I have a feeling it will come down to him after a hard fought game-and I am not comfortable with that notion.

Matt -- I know it's a cliche, but I'd rather have too many than too few going into the playoffs, especially with Cliff unable to stay healthy this year.
n8genius -- Priceless...
REV AL -- Oliver Perez would be the dark horse, with Bannister the extreme long shot.
dd -- Perhaps that's why he has that sparkling post-season record.
Shari -- I tend to agree with you on Ryan, but the ship has sailed, right? When Wagner struggles, your "Billy Wanker" nickname always pops into my head. Still, when a guy saves 18 of his last 19, he probably deserves a pat on the back.

Is it just me or does Wright look unhappy out there, even when he gets a hit or scores a run?
And with the holidays approaching, how many games is Green gonna be able to play in September?

Wagner; I think last yr the Mets were a playoff team but for Looper.
Fact is wagner now leads the NL in saves, on a team leading the NL by 10 games. The interesting titbit on this is the price paid for BJ Ryan was as high because of a bid by Omar, which JP Richardi had to beat. in the end we are used to the days of benitez (98-00) which were dark.

On Milledge: i think the kid is coming on VERY VERY well. Vernon wells was not an overnight hit. Now that Green is here, Milledge and Chavez will platoon as the third OFer with both seeing time in RF as well. The odd man out should be ledee.

Traxx: You are too kind. The Metropolitans blog reflects my foremost perception. Traxx has 13 wins, with an ERA of 5.00/and run support of a GAUDY 6.8 runs/gm.

Maine gave up 7 runs on 2 swings of the reining MVPs bat. hardly a disgrace. He also lost his scoreless sreak to Soriano, again hardly a knock.

Sydd -- He's never had a slump this bad while with the Mets, and I'm sure it's getting to him. He'll never admit it, though.
Ed -- I think the offense was a little lacking, too. That's what killed them on that road trip at the beginning of September.

I like Maine more than Trachsel, but I'm trying to be fair and honest here.

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