Pittsburgh (73-84) at New York (64-92)

Partly Cloudy Currently: New York, NY
Temp: 80° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Wed Sep 24, 2003
  • TV: FSPI, MSG
Preview | Box Score | Recap

It’s been a forgettable season for the New York Mets. However, its been a breakthrough year for Mets right-hander Steve Trachsel.

Trachsel will try to earn his career-high 16th victory as the Mets play the Pittsburgh Pirates in the middle game of their series at Shea Stadium.

The veteran right-hander deserved to set his career milestone in his last start, but was on the short end of a 1-0 decision against Montreal on Thursday night.

“Steve pitched a great game,” Mike Piazza said. “He’s pitched great all season. What can you say? You hate to see him take a loss.”

Trachsel has allowed one earned run in two of his last three outings, yet has lost both of those games.

It’s not like the Mets’ offense is scoring runs for anybody else either, as they averaged 1.5 runs per game during an eight-game losing streak, which ended Tuesday with a 1-0 win in the series opener.

Al Leiter made it stand up by tossing an eight-hitter for the Mets, who had also lost 16 of their previous 17.

Pittsburgh has lost two straight for the first time since Sept. 4-5.

After scoring 42 runs in five games, the Pirates have scored just one in the past two.

STANDINGS: Pirates - 4th place, 12 GB, NL Central. Mets - 5th place, 33 GB, NL East.

PIRATES PROBABLE STARTER: Jeff D’Amico (9-15, 4.65 ERA). The veteran right-hander snapped a personal three-game losing streak with his effort in an 8-5 win over the Reds on Thursday night. He allowed four runs and five hits over 7 1-3 innings, striking out eight. D’Amico, who went 6-10 with a 4.94 ERA for the Mets in 2002, is 0-1 with a 1.38 ERA in two career starts against the Mets.

METS PROBABLE STARTER: Trachsel (15-10, 3.81 ERA). The right-hander is 3-7 with a 3.18 ERA in 13 career starts against the Pirates.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Pirates - Jason Kendall, .325 avg. and 82 runs; Reggie Sanders, 31 HRs, 87 RBIs and 15 SBs. Mets - Roger Cedeno, .268 avg. and 14 SBs; Cliff Floyd, 18 HRs; Ty Wigginton, 69 RBIs and 71 runs.

SEASON SERIES: Mets, 3-1.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Pirates - The Pirates rank third in the NL in triples with 41, with seven coming in the last eight games. … The Pirates have used 45 players this season. Last year, they used 38. … Pirates skipper Lloyd McClendon rearranged his pitching rotation so RHP Salomon Torres will start on Thursday and RHP Josh Fogg on Friday. Mets - 3B Wigginton has made 152 starts this season for the Mets, second-most for a Mets rookie. The record is 159 by CF Lee Mazzilli in 1976. … CF Jeff Duncan fouled a ball off his right foot in the fifth inning of Tuesday’s win and left the game in the seventh when his foot swelled. Postgame X-rays were negative. … RHP Trachsel has a 2.88 ERA since June 15,

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Pirates - 34-42 on the road; Mets - 33-45 at home.

INJURIES: Pirates - INF Pat Meares (hand), 60-day DL; INF Pokey Reese (thumb), 60-day DL; RHP Kris Benson (shoulder), 60-day DL; LHP Dave Williams (shoulder), 60-day DL. Mets - SS Jose Reyes (ankle), 60-day DL; 1B Mo Vaughn (knee), 60-day DL; OF Floyd (foot), 60-day DL; RHP Pedro Astacio (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Scott Strickland (elbow), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

J. D'Amico Cle vs. S. Trachsel Bal
9-16 Record 16-10
4.77 ERA 3.78
100 K 111
42 BB 65
1.40 WHIP 1.31