Plagued by a sore right shoulder, Trachsel is expected to take the ball again when the slumping Mets conclude their series with the visiting San Diego Padres.
Already without All-Star catcher Mike Piazza (knee), the starting infield duo of Kaz Matsui (back) and Jose Reyes (leg) and newly acquired right-hander Victor Zambrano (elbow), the Mets can ill-afford to lose another frontline player.
Trachsel, who led the Mets in victories last year with a career-best 16-10 mark, saw his record drop to 10-10 after Friday’s 7-3 loss at San Francisco. The veteran right-hander yielded six runs—four earned—and 10 hits over just four innings.
Trachsel, who leads the Mets in wins, strikeouts (95) and is second with 159 1-3 innings, was clearly not at his best. He had complained of shoulder soreness in his previous start, a 2-0 loss to Arizona on Aug. 15, but refused to have his turn in the rotation skipped.
“He got off to a slow start and the next thing you know it’s 6-0,” Mets manager Art Howe said.
Trachsel has pitched very well at home this year, going 8-4 with a 2.40 ERA in 16 starts.
The Mets were shut down Wednesday for the second straight game, suffering a 4-0 loss to San Diego as Brian Lawrence pitched a four-hitter. David Wells pitched 8 2-3 strong innings in a 3-1 victory over New York on Tuesday.
The Mets have lost four in a row to drop seven games below .500.
San Diego, which will be trying to go 4-0 to open its 10-game road trip, is two games behind the Chicago Cubs for the top spot in the NL wild-card race. The Padres are 10 games above .500 on the road this season, compared to a 33-33 mark at Petco Park.
STANDINGS (through Aug. 24): Padres - 3rd place, 6 GB, NL West. Mets - 4th place, 12 GB, NL East.
PADRES PROBABLE STARTER: Adam Eaton (8-11, 4.94 ERA). Eaton had his two-start winning streak snapped with Saturday’s 8-2 loss to Florida. The right-hander surrendered five runs and 11 hits, while striking out five and walking two, over six innings. Eaton has yielded at least five runs in four of his last five starts. He is 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA in two career starts against New York. On the road this year, Eaton is 6-4 with a 4.42 ERA in 12 starts.
METS PROBABLE STARTER: Trachsel (10-10, 3.78 ERA). Trachsel is 6-7 with a 5.40 ERA in 15 career starts against the Padres.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Padres - Mark Loretta, .344 avg. and 91 runs; Brian Giles, 18 HRs and 7 SBs; Phil Nevin, 79 RBIs. Mets - Piazza, .276 avg.; Mike Cameron, 27 HRs, 66 runs and 20 SBs; Richard Hidalgo, 70 RBIs.
SEASON SERIES: Padres, 5-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Padres - The Padres have won six of their last seven on the road. … San Diego has allowed one run or fewer in three of the last six games. … OF Jay Payton is 1-for-12 (.083) in his career against RHP Trachsel. Mets - Newly signed OF Brian Buchanan reported to the Mets on Wednesday. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, OF Prentice Redman was designated for assignment. … New York has been outscored 19-6 during its four-game skid. … OF Hidalgo is 2-for-8 (.250) with an RBI in his career against RHP Eaton.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Padres - 35-25 on the road; Mets - 31-28 at home.
INJURIES: Padres - C Miguel Ojeda (wrist), 15-day DL; LHP Sterling Hitchcock (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Antonio Osuna (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Jay Witasick (oblique), 15-day DL. Mets - C Piazza (knee), 15-day DL; INF Matsui (back), 15-day DL; INF Joe McEwing (leg), 15-day DL; INF Reyes (leg), 15-day DL; RHP Zambrano (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Orber Moreno (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Jose Parra (hip), 60-day DL; RHP Grant Roberts (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Scott Strickland (elbow), 60-day DL; 1B Mo Vaughn (knee), 60-day DL.