Mets Tempting Fate With 14-1 Bashing of D'Backs

"I feel a different energy right now. If you are a manager you're attuned to your team, and I feel good about [the road trip]." - Willie Randolph, as they began their seven-game road trip out West.

"We're playing great and we're playing hard," said game hero Ramon Castro after last night's victory. "We never give up. We're a team, so we're playing together, and right now we're a winner."

Right now, yes. They are winners.

Last night, second game into a road trip that seemed destined to dismantle their season, the Mets finally pushed past five victories over .500 for the first time all season with a lopsided 14-1 steamrolling of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Believe it or not, this is the first time since May 18, 2002!, that their record was at least five games above .500 - that's over three years of the combination of mediocrity and misery felled with one victory. They'd tried to do it two other times this season, June 8th and July 25th and both times they ended up with a loss. So this, symbolically anyway, was a beeeeeg victory.

Victor Zambrano, with Steve Trachsel breathing down his neck, threw eight innings of six-hit, one-run baseball and win his 7th game of the season against 10 losses.

In the meantime, the Mets pounded out 17 hits (most all season in a 9 inning game) and 14 runs in support. The roll call of success was long:

Rookie Mike Jacobs, the Mets future catcher who might possibly have solved the Mets season-long vacuum at first base, had his second homerun in three games, two hits in three at-bats and raised his average to .375, production unheard of from first base all season.

David Wright who, despite the occasionally annoying propensity for errors, continues to fulfill even the highest expectations, went three for three, scored four runs, stole his 14th base of the season and drove in a pair with a pair of doubles. He continues to burn through August with a .370 batting average, a .460 OBP and 24 RBIs in 20 games.

Jose Reyes hit his 12th triple of the season tying Florida's Juan Pierre for the NL lead and had two hits in four at-bats and, after a brief stretch of getting only one hit in 16 at-bats has now had 10 hits in his last 22 at-bats over the last five games (a .454 clip).

And Piazza fill-in Ramon Castro had a spectacular night, driving in five runs with a triple and a double. It was his third game this season that he drove in three or more runs all by himself.


Atlanta, Florida, Nats and Houston all lost games lats night but the Phillies thumped the Giants meaning the Mets are now tied with the Nats for the bottom of the NL East, just 5 1/2 behind the Braves. They are two games behind the Phillies for the NL Wildcard, tied with the Nats, a game behind Florida and a game and a half behind the Astros.

Of these teams, it is important to note that only the Mets have yet to have a prolonged hot streak this season. If they were to do so now, they could easily take the NL Wildcard and possible, the NL East.


Trachsel is scheduled to start Friday night in San Francisco, bumping Benson to Sunday, which was supposed to be Zambrano's next start.

Danny Graves, who had a 5.89 earned run average in 17 games, was designated for assignment meaning if he clears waivers he could be back down in the minors unless there is another MLB team desperate enough to give him a chance. Good riddance. Better still, this roster move allows the Mets to keep ahold of Mike Jacobs. Hmmmm. Must have been a tough roster move. A reliever who doesn't reliever or a young, versatile catcher/1B on a hitting tear.


Jae Seo (5-1 1.09) gets another turn tonight, this time facing veteran Russ Ortiz. Ortiz is making his third start since being activated from the disabled list. He was on the DL for two months with a stress fracture in his right rib cage. He has allowed 18 earned runs in his last 14 innings pitched over three starts (including the one prior to going on the DL).

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