Come to think of it, Zito, Pedro, Glavine, El Duque, Maine, Oliver Perez...that's a few too many arms anyway...
Of course second best being what it is, there's always room for improvement and Barry Zero, for one night anyway, demonstrated what might have been.
He threw seven shutout innings allowing six hits and striking out a season-high seven batters. He was heartily booed at every plate appearance.
Adding insult to injury, he wasn't even impressed by the quality of trash-talking from Shea. "Not creative at all. Just blatant expletives," he said of angry Mets fans voicing their hatred over missing out.
Of course, all the quality Shakespearian trash-talking was spent on Barry Bonds.
Tom Glavine, the Mets' number one starter, also threw seven innings although they were not scoreless, they were in fact like many Glavine starts, beautifully imperfect. Close but no cigar. A strange habit the Mets have of not scoring enough runs for their ace against the aces of other teams.
"As a player, you want somebody who's passionate about you. You don't want to go into a situation feeling like you're having to prove to them how good you are." - Barry Zito
Glavine has averaged three runs per no-decision this year, and two runs per loss. He's allowed an average of 1.8 runs in his five wins.
Last night, whilst the undercard was the Zito-Glavine duel, the significant buzz was created by the return of two Steroid Stars: Barry "Alleged" Bonds, the soon-to-be homerun king of the world, who returned to the regular lineup on Wednesday and was held homerless. And Guillermo Mota, fresh from steroid suspension, returning to pitch the final two scoreless innings for the Mets.
"Doctors ought to quit worrying about what ballplayers are taking. What players take doesn't matter. It's nobody else's business. The doctors should spend their time looking for cures for cancer. It takes more than muscles to hit homers. If all those guys were using stuff, how come they're not all hitting homers?" - Barry Bonds, May 21, 2002
Bonds, of course, got the usual treatment he gets all over America: Jeers, boos, catcalls, sarcasm and at times, downright hatred. That's not just because of the steroid allegations. That's because he's rarily been embraceable. He is proud, arrogant and successful and those traits, combined and magnified by the thought that he may one day surpass Hank Aaron and has already surpassed The Babe, all with the cloud of steroid cheat hanging over him, makes him one of the most loathed players in baseball.
Mota's reception was significantly less hostile, firstly because he's a Met (hypocritical, perhaps but realistic - you aren't going to boo your own player so long as he performs,) and secondly because unlike the cryptic admissions by players like Bonds and Giambi, Mota fessed up when confronted, plain and simple.
"I used extremely poor judgment and deserve to be held accountable. To my teammates and the entire Mets organization, I am sorry. I truly regret what I did and hope that you can forgive me." - Guillermo Mota
You make a mistake, you pay for it and you should be a free man. Guillermo Mota, with something to prove, will be a massive addition to an already-strong bullpen. We know Abiorix Burgos is already gone but what will happen to Joe Smith's innings considering how often Willie used Mota last season? Perhaps, dream of dreams, the terminally dissatisfied Aaron Heilman can finally be used for trade bait.
The only question is, what is it the Mets really need these days?
Certainly not Barry Zero.
Ok, the Braves beat the Brewers (who doesn't?) and moved back to within four games of the NL East. The Phillies, well, just keep on losing.