Mets 4, Dodgers 0
Trachsel is 4-0 with a 1.55 ERA since Aug. 7, matching his longest winning streak of the season.
“Steve’s just throwing everything for strikes and he’s got a real nice groove going,” manager Art Howe said. “He’s pinpointing his fastball when he really needs to. The split, the curve ball and the changeup are all down in the zone.”
Trachsel (13-7) allowed five hits over 7 1-3 innings, struck out four and walked none. The right-hander, who last Monday became the first pitcher in Mets history to throw two one-hitters in the same season, is two wins away from matching his career high in 1998 with the Chicago Cubs.
“Five nights ago I had only two pitches working, my fastball and my split. But my curveball was really good tonight and I was really happy with the location on my fastball,” Trachsel said. “I’m sure those guys got reports on my last game, so having something a little bit different definitely helps.”
The Dodgers, who were shut out for the 10th time, were impressed with the Trachsel’s command.
“Trachsel threw a great game,” said Shawn Green, who was hitless in three at-bats against him. “He was hitting his spots with his fastball. That was the best I’ve seen him throw.”
David Weathers relieved Trachsel after one-out singles by Alex Cora and pinch-hitter Robin Ventura in the eighth. Weathers struck out pinch-hitter Mike Kinkade, loaded the bases with a walk to Dave Roberts, then caught Paul Lo Duca looking at 91-mph fastball on the outside corner to end the inning.
“I think he was looking for a slider inside,” Weathers said. “I knew he didn’t agree with the call, but it was a pretty good pitch. I knew in the back of my mind that he’s a guy who likes to go the other way, but sometimes you’ve just got to take a chance and go for it.”
Andy Ashby (3-10) lost for the sixth time in seven starts, allowing four runs and a season-high 11 hits over six innings. It took him 15 minutes to get out of a first inning in which he threw 24 pitches and gave up two runs. Cleanup hitter Mike Piazza drove in Roger Cedeno with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly, and Jason Phillips hit an RBI single.
“I don’t know if the early runs helped me relax, but they helped,” Trachsel said. “The first inning’s always been a problem for me, so I just try to stay aggressive, not leave too many pitches out over the middle early and just try to throw zeros after that.”
The Mets had loaded the bases without a ball leaving the infield. Cedeno singled to second, then moved up on a wild pitch. Reyes bunted for a hit, advancing Cedeno to third. Timo Perez then reached on a fielder’s choice when Ashby grabbed Perez’s comebacker but threw too late to trap Cedeno off third.
“Ashby made a mistake,” Howe said. “If he goes to second and gets a double play, we’re on the board with one run. But he decided he wasn’t willing to give us one run, so he ended up not getting anybody. That was a big play. But it happens—even to veterans.”
Ty Wigginton led off the fourth with a double, was bunted to third by Jeff Duncan and scored on Marco Scutaro’s dribbling single up the third-base line. Reyes made it 4-0, leading off the fifth with his third homer of the season.
The Mets threatened for more in the sixth, but left fielder Jolbert Cabrera made a diving catch on Cedeno’s sinking line drive with runners at the corners, after a two-out double by Scutaro and an infield single by Trachsel off Ashby’sglove.
Flags flew at half-staff and a pregame moment of silence was observed for Bobby Bonds, who died Saturday. Two of his former teammates bowed their heads on the top step of their respective dugouts—Mets bench coach Don Baylor (1977 Angels) and Dodgers manager Jim Tracy (1981 Cubs). … Mets 2B Joe McEwing became a father for the first time when Joseph Dominic McEwing was born at 4:45 a.m. (EDT) Saturday. McEwing left the team to join his wife and son in Philadelphia. … Dodgers 1B Fred McGriff, activated from the DL Friday, made his first start since July 3 and was 0-for-4. Green also returned to the lineup after missing two games with a stiff neck and was 1-for-4. … The Mets optioned LHP Jaime Cerda to Triple-A Norfolk and recalled OF Prentice Redmanfrom the Tides.