Game 99: Loss
Cubs 8 Mets 7
So close … it looked as though the cardiac kids might pull out another late-inning win, but they fell just short.
Steve Trachsel, who had put together a string of seven straight wins, looked more like himself in giving up three walks, ten hits, and eight runs in four and two-thirds innings. He refused to throw his fastball, and missed with his split and curveball. By “miss”, I don’t mean he missed the strike zone; rather, he hung his split consistently, and the batters feasted on the enticing, chest-high floaters. At one point in the game, after giving up a homer to Aramis Ramirez, Jacque Jones literally ran to the batter’s box and jumped in to face Trax, perhaps fearing that the pitcher would be taken out before he had a chance to swat at his batting-practice tosses. Instead, Trachsel stayed in, and proceeded to give up another homer to Jones. I swear Jones did it without his shoes on.
After allowing Trachsel his obligatory 100 pitches, manager extraordinaire Mr. Willie gave the ball to the Mets bullpen, who shut down the Cubs effortlessly the rest of the way. Unfortunately, a three-run outburst in the seventh was all the Mets could muster after a fourth-inning RBI double by Xavier Nady, so the Metropolitans had to settle for a one-run loss.
Carlos Delgado is still hot, going 2-3, but he can’t carry the Mets all by himself. If Mets starters are going to continue to give up lots of runs early, the batters will have to produce ten or more runs per game. Is it time to cork the bats?
Heath Bell threw two strong innings, and is continuing to impress in his limited mopup role. Who he’s impressing, no one’s quite sure. We know that Mr. Willie can’t stand him, for reasons unknown, perhaps because Omar Minaya hasn’t gotten around to telling him that Bell is talented. Perhaps he’s impressing the many scouts in the stands looking for apples to pick from the Mets’ tree in a deadline deal. Couldn’t you just see a package of Bell, Aaron Heilman, Steve Trachsel, and Lastings Milledge going to Oakland for Barry Zito?