By Mike Steffanos
Dodgers 9 - Mets 1
I had a nice day today. Lisa and I went to my niece's christening and spent a nice relaxing afternoon with my family. It bothered me some when I heard the Mets final score, but it's not hard to shake something like that off when your team enjoys a million game lead in the division. When I got home, I did what I always do, I started watching the game on DVR so I could write intelligently about it. That was the not-so-nice part of my day.
For a couple of innings, Steve Trachsel resembled a pitcher who was stepping up for that post-season start he wants so badly. Then in the third, he once again looked like a washed-up pitcher who couldn't get an out. Of the first 7 batters Trachsel faced that inning, the only one he retired was the opposing pitcher. By the time he retired Jeff Kent on a deep fly to right for the second out, 4 runs had scored and Willie had seen enough. Royce Ring came in to get the final out of the third, and Steve Trachsel remains the enigma he has been for most of the season.
Brian Bannister came into the game in the fourth, bringing a big can of gasoline with him. By the time he exited the game after the sixth, it was 9-0 and virtually over. Jose Reyes' solo home run in the bottom of the sixth saved the Mets the ignominy of their third shutout in a week. Darren Oliver and Chad Bradford kept the Dodgers off the board for the final 3 innings. All in all, a game to forget.
Thoughts on the game
Steve Trachsel on this afternoon's performance, as quoted by Chris Girandola of Mets.com:
My control suddenly got away from me, and then I started kind of scrambling. I wasn't throwing my offspeed stuff for strikes, and I had to go back to using my fastball, which they obviously knew was coming.
I'm not even sure I know what to make of Trachsel any more. I honestly don't have a clue, and wonder if John Maine continues to struggle with his off-speed stuff, if you don't at least give some consideration to lefties Dave Williams and Oliver Perez for a post-season berth. These last 3 weeks of the season still hold some intrigue.
Anyway, here's a look at Steve Trachsel's chart since August 1:
|Total (8 Games)||43||26||25||47||23||21||8||5.23||1.58||6-2|
|Total (4 Games)||18||17||16||23||9||14||3||8.00||2.06||2-2|
I've isolated the last 4 games in blue to emphasize just how badly things have been going for Trachsel. About the only real positive is that he hasn't been giving up any home runs the last 3 games. Everything else is bad enough to speak for itself. I won't beat you over the head with it.
As for the offense's recent struggles against lefties, it's worrisome, but if Wright continues to rake it's less of a concern to me than it was three week ago. It's not like the "A" lineup was out there today, and there's nothing to be done about it anyway at this late date. It seems unlikelier by the day that Lastings Milledge will force his way into the Mets thinking for the playoff roster. It's something that will need to be addressed over the winter -- this club can use a solid right-handed bat to balance things out.
I do think they have enough to compete against lefties in the playoffs. They did decently against lefties for most of the season, and although I liked Xavier Nady, I don't delude myself that he was that important to this lineup. David Wright said in a post-game interview that the recent struggles against lefties are just a statistical fluke, and I tend to agree. Lefties have pitched some good games at the Mets in the past month.