Note to Chris: Stop disrespecting rookie pitchers. Not only is it needlessly cocky, but they seem to get the better of the Mets in the end. Today, Eric Stults pitched a pretty strong game, allowing only one run on two hits. Meanwhile, Steve Trachsel just flat-out sucked, giving up four runs in only 2 2/3 innings. Brian Bannister tacked on another five runs in three innings of mop-up work, and that was that. I can’t really blame Bannister, he came into the game cold (has he pitched since the start he made?) but there’s no excuse for Trachsel pitching so poorly. The Mets can score some runs, but asking them to score nine runs with Carlos Beltran out of the lineup…that just wasn’t happening.
Only Jose Reyes kept this from being a complete disaster, hitting his nineteenth home run in the sixth. Who’d have thought before the season that Reyes had a real shot at twenty homers, or that he’d have more homers than triples this year? He’s been an extra-base hit machine, and add that with the rise in his on-base percentage, and it’s making me look REALLY bad to continue to link to an article where I try to justify trading Jose Reyes as a good idea. Without Jose Reyes, they might not be in first place. And I wanted to trade him. Perhaps the silliest argument I’ve tried to make here on MiracleMets.net.
Today’s batting order just made no sense. I’ve stated before that lineups ultimately have little to do, over the course of a season, with how well a team plays, but why is Paul Lo Duca batting third? Why does Willie Randolph continue to protect David Wright? Wright is second on the team in OBP and third in slugging. After Beltran was scratched, he should have been moved up to the 3 hole, Valentin should have been put in the 5 hole, Chavez in the 6 hole, and from there left alone. I just can’t fathom why Paul Lo Duca, who has four home runs, would be placed in such an important spot in the lineup. Does anybody really think that teams are afraid to pitch to Paul Lo Duca?
And after this one turned into a blowout, it was like the All Star game. Reyes came out, Wright came out, Delgado came out, Lo Duca came out, and Beltran was never in the game. Julio Franco played his first game at third base since 1982. Shawn Green and Jose Valentin were the only starters left on the field by the time Willie was done, and Green wasn’t even playing his regular position (he was over at first base). I guess it was a good idea, why get a player injured in a blowout, but it must have made the fans that remained a little sad that the team gave up. Oh well, they’ve had an opportunity to see other great games; not every game is a classic.
Also, a nice touch for the players to be wearing NYPD and FDNY hats the day before 9/11. They will be on the road tomorrow, so they won’t get to do a proper tribute in New York for the five year anniversary, but it was a nice touch to pay tribute to those who risked their lives on that horrible day five years ago. Nice job, Mets.
Tomorrow the Mets are facing a rookie pitcher, and he gets no disrespect from me, not just because the Mets have been clobbered in two consecutive games by rookie pitchers, but because this one threw a no-hitter in his last start. Anibal Sanchez will make his first start since his no-hitter last week, and unfortunately for the Mets, they get to face him. They’ll send the Surprising Dave Williams to the mound. Dave Williams has yet to have that implosion that I think every Mets fan is waiting for, after the Jose Lima and Jeremi Gonzalez debacles. Game time is 7:05 PM.