Game 130: Win
Mets 10 Rockies 5
Steve Trachsel pitched six solid innings for maybe the third time this year, truly earning (for a change) his NL-leading 14th win.
The Mets’ lineup, meanwhile, were limited to only ten runs; a fact directly attributed to the soggy baseballs coming out of the Colorado humidor.
Once again Carlos Beltran supplied the firepower, blasting a double and a home run, but he had plenty of help from the rest of the crew. Carlos Delgado, David Wright, Jose Reyes, and Shawn Green all had multi-hit games, with Reyes smashing his 16th homer and nearly missing his 17th (he settled for a double). Wright and Delgado both hit triples in the game, with Delgado also getting a double.
Although David Wright went 3-4, he’s still slumping. Watching him in each at-bat, you can see that he is swinging at a lot of bad pitches, and the proficient two-strike hitting of the first half has come back to bite him in the butt. I mentioned David Wright swinging at first pitches back in late June; at the time, it didn’t seem so bad, because he had hit at least one home run with that strategy. However, when Wright has shown consistency, his approach has been to take a few pitches before clubbing away. You can say what you want about being aggressive, but it all depends on the hitter. Certainly Jose Reyes is a better hitter when he tones down his aggressiveness, and David Wright has proven to be a much more productive batter when he takes a few pitches. That’s not to say he should never swing at a first pitch, as he has been successful on occasion with that strategy. However, his approach was very similar to Mike Piazza’s: take a few pitches, especially early in the game, and get good looks so you are better prepared later in the at-bat and later in the game to handle anything the pitcher throws to you. Every once in a while, you take a hack at a first offering to keep the pitcher honest. However, David has been swinging at a lot of first pitches in the last month and a half — much more often than occasionally. As a result, he’s falling behind in counts and going directly to his protective inside-out swing. That’s a great approach, until pitchers start jamming you inside — which is another thing happening lately. D-Wright needs to get back to that taking pitches early routine, get ahead on counts, and give himself a chance to pull an inside pitch every once in a while.
Shawn Green is quickly fitting in very nicely, thank you. This is going to be one vicious lineup when Uncle Cliffy returns, and might even be strong enough to face an AL team for a seven-game series.
Here’s a scary scenario: Steve Trachsel wins 20 games and the Cy Young Award. Trax is currently tied for the NL lead in wins with Brad Penny, Brandon Webb, and Carlos Zambrano. Assuming he remains healthy, Trax should get at least six more starts. There’s every reason to believe that Zambrano and Webb won’t reach 20 wins, as the Cubs have a hard time winning and the D-backs are fading. If Trachsel can win all six of his last starts, Brad Penny might be his only competition for the Cy Young. Of course, there’s a great chance there won’t be any 20-game winner in the NL, but there’s also a good chance that Trax is the league leader in wins. What if, say, Trachsel finishes the season with 18 wins to lead the NL, the next-best is Penny with 17, and Webb and Zambrano only finish with 16? Who gets the Cy Young?
Better yet, what if there is no 20-game winner — or even a 19-game winner — and Billy Wagner saves 40 games? Is he considered?
While everyone else is talking about the heated competition for NL MVP, the Cy Young race — or lack of one — might be even more interesting.