Now that the Mets season is officially on life support, they are 3.5 games back with 23 games left to play. Being 3.5 games out is not the problem with 23 games left to play, but having to leapfrog four teams in the process is the hard part. An article said yesterday that the Mets biggest problem is not so much the lack of talent in their minor league system, but their lack of trust in their young players. The Mets are notorious for not trusting young guys in the stretch or really at any point of the season and that was before Willie. Now is the time to start busting down those reservations and using the rare guy in the Mets system that could possibly contribute.
Miguel Cairo came up to bat with two outs and men on second and third. He strikes out and Beltran starts the next inning by getting on base and Cliff Floyd knocks in him with a homer. Does it all mean that Beltran and Floyd would have still produced the same way if they were behing Reyes? No, but as Gary Cohen points out, they are basically only getting production from four players. Therefore, the Mets best hope for scoring runs is bunching your best hitters together to try and put yourself in a position to get some runs. Cairo's ninth inning hit notwithstanding, the guy has been killing the Mets and killing any sort of rallies the Mets try to start. The Mets only other option for productivity is a guy at AAA or Kaz Matsui figuring out that he is not this bad.
Regardless, the Mets lost the game in a few spots and none bigger than Victor Diaz's miscue that killed the no hitter and eventually the shut out so it is hard to simply blame Cairo's lack of clutch hitting or the bullpen not being able to hold the lead because the Mets had plenty of chances to help themselves and did not do it. They did not look like a playoff team and simply look like a lost team right now. They have been a streaky team all season and I'm guessing they will hit a bit of hot streak soon inevitably to be followed by a cold streak, but the Mets need to start trusting young guys a bit more and not only as a last resort when an injury leaves them no other choice. Jacobs has been slumping, but he needs to get a few more shots and Anderson Hernandez needs to be given a shot. It's clear what Willie has been doing is not working, but instead of trying something new, he keeps making the same dead end decisions and trusting some young guys simply cannot hurt. If Bobby Cox and the Braves can trust young guys, I think Willie and the Mets can. After all, a few young guys are the reason the Mets are where they are right now.
The Mets properly held on to Steve Trachsel in late August. If they must trade him, the off-season is the time, when the potential return is not just players who have passed through waivers and, when his $2.5 million 2006 base salary will look particularly enticing in a down free-agent market.
"If they want to trade him, they should get something pretty good in return in the off-season," an AL executive said. "Assuming first base, bullpen and second base are their needs, they should be able to address one. Maybe they add something to Trachsel and they can play for [Arizona first basemen] Connor Jackson or Chad Tracy or [Philadelphia's] Ryan Howard."
But the Mets should also consider if trading Trachsel is the best alternative. He has proven he can thrive in New York. Has Victor Zambrano?
I'll take Jackson or Ryan Howard, but for Steve Trachsel? That is too much to get in return the guy, but hey, I leave that to the experts.
More Trachsel stuff:
Just to set the record straight, the Red Sox never offered Kevin Youkilis to the New York Mets for Steve Trachsel.
The Mets were reportedly looking for bullpen help and/or a major league player, which pretty much eliminated any chance at a deal.
It looks like there really was nothing going on at all.
"It's important to have that," Willie Randolph said. "It can't hurt. He's been there before. Bottom line is hopefully he can produce and help us win some games. When you factor in a lot of the things that go into this type of situation, it helps to have a little experience. But you still have to get the job done. We want to see how he can help us. Like anything else, you don't know unless you give the guy a shot."
I'd rather have skill and production, but I'm not managing.
"Not only is he slow," Randolph said. "But, frankly, he's one of my worst base runners. That's a double-whammy. It just makes me crazy. In a situation like that, I've got to get a guy to second base or third, I'm like, 'Oh my God, how are we going to do this?"
"That's because he can't throw," Randolph said. "[Castro] would have been dead with anybody else. That's Pierre - he can't throw. He looked like Bernie Williams out there."
Randolph passed over Roberto Hernandez, Aaron Heilman and Heath Bell, all harder throwers with livelier stuff. There was actually good reason for Randolph to seek other options, since none of the Mets' front-line relievers had much success with Cabrera.
The Marlins' slugger was batting .583 (7-for-12) against Hernandez. He was hitting .333 (5-for-15) against Heilman. And he was 3-for-5 against Bell. Randolph insisted he wasn't aware of any of those numbers, however, choosing Takatsu because, "I thought he'd throw that curveball."
I was not against this move. He went with guys on the roster who he thought could do it and Takatsu has a funky delivery that could have easily thrown someone off, but it just did not happen.
Danny Graves is expected to rejoin the Mets tomorrow in Atlanta. He has allowed 12 earned runs and 15 hits in six innings at Triple-A Norfolk.
This is a perfect example of why the Mets are where they are.
"We live in this hip-hop culture now, where players -- even white players -- are caught up in the whole 'respect' and 'dissing' and stuff like that," Randolph said last week. "To be able to speak that language is important. I'm not saying Grady Little or Jimmy Williams can't do it, but I think it helps if you understand the culture."
Just write up the damn lineup card like a rational human being and run the team right.
- Norfolk beat Richmond 2-1. Chris Basak and Anderson Hernandez drove in the Mets lone runs and Eric Valent, Chase Lambin, and Joe Heiptas were the only Tides to actually get a hit. The Tides walked seven times to their three hits and that was their key to winning the game. Neal Musser got the start and pitched a great game giving up five hits, one walk, and struck out six for the no decision. Danny Graves actually pitched a scoreless inning in AAA, Manny Aybar picked up his third win in one inning of relief and gave up two hits, one earned run, a walk, and struck out two, and Royce Ring picked up his second save of the year in one scoreless inning of relief.
- New Britain beat Binghamton 7-4. David Bacani went 3 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI, Wayne Lydon went 1 for 4 with a triple and two RBIs, and Bobby Malek went 2 for 4 with a run scored, a double, and an outfield assist. Rafael Lopez started the game and went four innings, giving up nine hits, four earned runs, two walks, and struck out three and picked up his tenth loss of the season and is now 2-10.
- Vero Beach beat St. Lucie 6-3. Aaron Hathaway was in the third slot in the batting order and went 2 for 5 with a run scored and Blake Whealy went 2 for 3 with a double, two RBIs, and a walk. Gaby Hernandez started the game and went three shutout innings and gave up three his while striking out two. Greg Ramirez took the loss and went 2.1 innings giving up four hits, three earned runs, three walks, one homer, and struck out three. Felix Heredia went .2 innings of shutout ball and walked one and gave up one hit.
- Lexington beat Hagerstown 9-2. Carlos Gomez went 1 for 3 with his 31st walk on the year, Ambiorix Concepcion went 1 for 4 with a double and a walk, Grant Psomas went 1 for 4 with a run scored and a double, and Jesus Flores went 1 for 4. Orlando Rengel got the start and also took the loss in his 5.1 innings of work and he gave up eight hits, three earned runs, two walks, and struck out five.
- Brooklyn beat Hudson Valley 2-1. Gregory Gonzalez went 0 for 3 with run scored and two walks, Caleb Stewart went 1 for 5 with a run scored and an RBI, and Jonel Pacheco went 1 for 4 with an RBI.