Already facing injury concerns with one of their starting pitchers, the New York Mets will keep a close eye on Steve Trachsel on Thursday when he takes the mound for the series finale with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Trachsel (7-4, 4.70 ERA) has won his last five starts, but left last Saturday’s outing against the New York Yankees early after stumbling on the mound reaching for a hit. He strained his groin, but said it’s nothing serious.
“(The groin has been) tight for the past couple of weeks, but it hasn’t bothered me to the point where I can’t pitch,” said Trachsel, who is 4-8 with a 3.09 ERA in 15 starts against the Pirates. “I’ve been pitching well, so I guess it wasn’t that bad.”
The 36-year-old right-hander pitched six innings in that game, giving up two runs and four walks. He has only lasted longer than six innings twice in 16 starts this season.
The news was mixed for the Mets pitching staff on Wednesday. While Orlando Hernandez threw seven scoreless innings against the Pirates in the 5-0 win, there was no decision about Pedro Martinez’s next start.
Martinez was scratched from his scheduled start in Monday’s series opener, due to a sore hip stemming from a fall in the clubhouse in May. His next start would be Saturday against the Florida Marlins, but his status is uncertain.
“It always depends on how Pedro feels,” Mets manager Willie Randolph said. “We talked a couple days ago about maybe throwing (on Wednesday), but like I say all the time, things change. Guys change their minds, and guys feel different things different days.”
Martinez is 2-3 with a 4.76 ERA over six starts since originally suffering the injury.
New York (50-34) has bounced back to win the last two contests following a 5-11 stretch. Hernandez The Mets hitters won Wednesday’s game despite not recording any runs or hits after the first inning.
“We won 5-0 and that’s good,” Randolph said. “But we have to do more. We’ve got to work a little harder at adding on.”
The Pirates (29-57) stranded nine base runners in their 17th loss in the last 20 games.
Pittsburgh will attempt to avoid losing the series when it hands the ball to Tom Gorzelanny (0-0, 3.60), making just his second start this season and the third of his career. The 23-year-old left-hander pitched last Saturday against the Detroit Tigers, giving up two runs while striking out six in five innings. He did not receive a decision in the 9-2 win.
“I was decent,” said Gorzelanny, who has never faced the Mets. “I think I pushed myself in the beginning trying to throw a little to hard, but I just tried to get threw it and keep us in the game. And I felt like I did that somewhat.”