Who Are These Carlos-Less Fraudsters?

Boy, do the Mets ever miss Carlos Beltran.

He's missed two games due to an injured knee and in both of those games, the Mets managed only a single hit against starting pitching. Two nights ago it was in Houston, against Roy Oswalt and you think to yourself, ok fair enough, this sort of thing happens.

Last night however it was at Shea, against the hated Braves who'd tossed a rookie, Chuck James out there for added embarassment. This was the same Chuck James we blistered for 7 runs in one inning not so long ago. Of course, it's also the same Chuck James who has been 4-1 with a 2.43 ERA in the seven starts he's made since the Mets mauled him.

What we might have here is the beginnings of a team wide hitting slump spreading like a cruise ship Norovirus from Reyes down to...well, whatever sub happens to be batting 8th that night. It didn't help to see Michael Tucker in the lineup. We all know Michael Tucker didn't eat his carrots growing up. He's hitting .172 at night. It didn't help that Shawn Green with his .160 batting average over the last week, was in the lineup.

This is what a 2 for 13 for September face looks like.

Without "The Carlos" however (and he shall be named "The Carlos" simply in this MVP push like college university marketing campaigns coming up with new ways to promote their Heisman candidates,) the previously infallable Mets batting order suddenly seemed weak at the knees.

And if you think YOU were confused by this sudden draught, think about poor Steve Trachsel.

Trachsel seemed so confused by the lack of run support he could barely keep his feet.

He seemed to have made a happy pact with the devil: he's allowed to surrender four or five runs in half an outing and in turn, the Mets will score 10 or 12 runs in support for him allowing him to run up a ridiculously facile 12-1 record since 8th June. Well, no mas.

Those heady days of deception are over. Last night he let in four runs in less than five official innings, walking four in the fifth inning alone and there was no backup. Last night the Mets made an error backing him up for the first time all season. Hey guys, he must have been muttering to himself between the 4th and 5th innings when he was already down 2-0 and past his curfew, whose got my back? No one. He hasn't beaten the Braves all season.

Perhaps it's a bitter cruel streak on the part of the Mets who, noting the Braves are still a mere five games behind the San Diego for the NL Wildcard, would like to give them a little rope of hope to hang themselves with to make the delight in the Braves missing out in their first postseason in like, a quarter century, all the sweeter.

Either that or the baseball gods are setting Mets fans up for the worst nightmare scenario of all. As in, the Mets win the NL East by 20 games and then get knocked out by the Braves in the playoffs, a time when Atlanta traditionally disappears.

No matter, this isn't a trend any more than it was a trend that the starting pitching was gone like the vapour of a boiling ferment during distillation when we were losing by football scores to the Iggles Phillies a few weeks ago. Remember that one? Pedro and El Duque getting scorched? Mets losing three straight to the Phillies?

Mr Met is no Mr Misery. That is my mantra going into Dave Williams' start against the Braves tonight. Even if Cliff Floyd's dodgy Achilles is acting up again. Help is on the way. Carlos' MRI showed nothing worrisome AND Pedro is Back.


Prepping for the post season, the Mets will recall OF Lastings Milledge, LHP Dave Williams and RHP Brian Bannister from Triple-A Norfolk and Phillip Humber from Double AA today.


sanchez said...

It's about time Trachsel came back to Earth. He seems to think he's bowling a cricket match rather than pitching a baseball game. If he's starting a postseason game for the Mets, that's a postseason game we're sure to lose.

Jaap said...

If you think that's funny, just watch Dave Williams' smoke tonight!