Seo Another Victory Onto 2005's Lapel

You've got to figure that any game that Kaz Ishii isn't taking the mound for the Mets is a good game, regardless of the outcome.

As though to emphasise the mistake the Mets front office made shipping him down to Norfolk following his last start on May 4th, (a scoreless 1 hitter over 7 innings against the Phillies,) Jae Seo returned to the Mets mound and did it again, this time, shutting out the Cubs through 7 1/3 innings and leading the Mets to their second victory in a row, this time by a 2-0 margin.

Only the Seo Knows

Ironically, with Steve Trachsel throwing seven strong innings for AA Binghamton last night and predicted to need only two more rehab starts before joining the team, Seo's stint in the starting rotation may be a brief one, even if we never have to see another Hideous Ishii performance the rest of the season.

Meanwhile, Greg Maddux (8-9), winless since July 10, was bidding for his 314th win to tie Gaylord Perry for 16th place on the career list. He allowed four hits over seven innings, striking out five and walking two, an impressive performance that quieted loud Met bats but simply wasn't enough because quieter still were Cub bats aganst Seo: Chicago's first six hitters were 0-for-22, including 0-for-18 against Seo, who retired the side in order four times.

"I got beat, I got outpitched," the future Hall of Famer Maddux said. "Tip your hat to the other guy. They threw a shutout and it's tough to do here."

With a day's rest to heal his wounded ego after three sloppy performances in a row, Roberto Hernandez returned for use in the 8th, striking out Derek Lee with two men on to keep the lid on the victory. Bradon Looper was even able to chip in with his 23rd save in 27 opportunities, momentarily quieting the disquiet of seeing the bullpen blow two games in a row to the Milwaukee Brewers.

What was also impressive was that even though they cooled off significantly at the plate in comparison to their last 4 games, the Mets were able to earn a victory despite scoring only 2 runs. Both teams managed only four hits apiece.

Quietly, the Mets took a 1-0 lead in the first on David Wright's RBI double, and picked up another run in the third on a Carlos Beltran's RBI single. Jose Reyes set up Beltran's RBI when he tagged up from first on a fly to medium-center field and beat the throw from center fielder Jose Macias, then stole third, his 37th stolen bases of the season.

Reyes also stretched his hitting streak to a career-high 19 games, the longest current streak in the majors. During the streak, Reyes has gone 33-for-87 (.379) with 24 runs scored, four doubles, two triples and nine stolen bases.

"The most important thing is that I started to hit the ball the other way. Sometimes when they throw it to me away, I hit a weak ground ball to second base, and now I've started to hit that ball to left field. I see the ball a lot better now." Reyes said on what's changed during his recent hit streak.


In the NL East, the Braves beat the Cards to keep the Mets 7 1/2 games from first however, the Houston Astros lost to the SF Giants again which means the Mets are a mere three games from the wildcard slot.

The Washington Nationals fell to 6-16 since the All-Star break with another loss although they are still only a game behind the Astros, the Phillies won to move within 1 1/2 and the Marlins lost to stay two full games behind in the wildcard chase.

Tonight as the Mets endeavor to complete an unlikely sweep of the Cubs, Carlos will face Victor in a new episode of the dueling Zambranos. Carlos Zambrano has won four straight decisions and was dominant in his last outing. He pitched eight shutout innings against the Phillies on Aug. 2, allowing four hits and striking out four.

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