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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Very Cold

Thank goodness for Steve Trachsel. By removing suspense early, he kept most of the bullpen fresh.

If there is any Met good to derive from Game Three of the 2006 National League Championship Series — and nothing tangible leaps to mind — it is that those of us who have bothered to attempt to fashion a modicum of respect for a pitcher who has been more frustrating than rewarding for six years…who have if not defended him then rationalized him…who have squeezed every drop of benefit from the ton of doubt he represents…well, we can stop now.

Steve Trachsel sucks. End of story. May he live a long and happy life somewhere else and not take up flying. Bon voy-ah-jee, uh-reev-a-doy-chee, get out of St. Louie screwy.

If it were all Trachsel’s fault, the prescription would be an easy one to swallow: Hey Willie, don’t start Trachsel ever again and we’re golden! Ah, but that is to ignore that if Trachsel had hypothetically thrown a Trachselian gem — five innings, four runs, one self-satisfied smirk — we still failed to stick even a teaspoon in Jeff Suppan. Except for token, apparitional appearances, we saw no Met offense, the entity that was supposed to bash us toward a pennant. Remember how we were going to ride one starter, five relievers and eight bats to the World Series and disprove a century of wisdom that pitching is 75 percent of baseball as some old Joe Morgan wives’ tale?

Sounds great. Let me know if it works against a good team.

After the 5-0 loss, the lamest October effort this franchise has put forth since Gregg Jefferies was a growth stock, the Metsian analysis on SNY pushed hard the angle that Darren Oliver saved our bacon, glossing over the inconvenient fact that the pig was out of the barn by the second inning (and that our lineup couldn’t be bothered to chase it more than a couple of steps). Oliver indeed threw six innings, allowing no earned runs of his own and only two of the three Trachsel bequeathed him. The real value of his outing was it got the Cardinals into the potentially bad habit of swinging bored. They understood intrinsically that if the Mets weren’t going to bother trying to score, why should they?

OK, so Bradford, Feliciano, Mota, Heilman and Wagner got to take the night off (as did David Wright…again). That will be of immense help if the Mets are in a tight one come the sixth inning tonight, worth no more than a footnote if Oliver Perez doesn’t give them five. There is every reason to project Oliver Perez won’t give them five. Oliver Perez hasn’t pitched in two weeks. Oliver Perez wasn’t supposed to be a part of this right now. Oliver Perez went 3-13 in 2006 with an ERA tilting to 7.

If Oliver Perez is a clever nom de plume for Tom Glavine, then I like our chances. If not, hoo-boy.

To muster faith rather than fear about it, the kid did have a pretty solid 2004 — but so did John Kerry. Perez’s prospects for Game Four haven’t been mentioned without a qualifier that he’s got great stuff, that we’ve seen some mighty promising moments out of him, that he stymied the Braves in September. All of that is baseball code for we expect Pujols, Spiezio and their thuggish cohort to cream him like wheat. Nobody in their right mind would start Oliver Perez in a must-win postseason situation unless they lost Pedro Martinez, Orlando Hernandez and Dave Williams to various combinations of injury and roster miscalculation. It is not unreasonable to believe Oliver Perez can give the Mets the five innings minimum that they need to survive. It is folly to count on it.

Our last best hope lies in Anthony Reyes, the Cardinal version of Oliver Perez. He’s not experienced, he’s not reliable and, bless the beasts and the children, he’s not lefthanded. If the Carloses, the Joses, The David and the rest can’t lay wood to this fine fellow, then it really is off to never never land.


11 comments to Very Cold

  • Anonymous

    Dittoes on your Trachsel thoughts. I'm thinking the same about Shawn Green. If we have an Endy Chavez clone in right field, maybe – MAYBE – he gets to one of Spiezio's shots. Probably not, but maybe.
    After all the thick, meaty SUCK of the past 17 1/2 innings, this fact remains:
    IF, somehow, the Mets can win Game 4 – please don't ask me how, because I'm grasping at enough straws here – but IF they can do that, we're going to be okay.
    This might qualify as not only blind faith, but dumb as well. But if they can win Game 4, Glavine goes in 5, and we come back to Queens. They can do this.
    If not, well, what a long, strange trip it's been.

  • Anonymous

    This was never some sort of juggernaut that was going to go 11-2 on its way to a ticker tape parade. Anyone who didn't foresee some adversity, especially losing two starters down the stretch, was delusional. But to quote Donna Rice's jeans, no excuses. It's October, most players and every team are dealing with injuries. It's part of the equation.
    Staring into the precipice, tonight we find out if this is a special team or just another first place team from a lousy division.

  • Anonymous

    One run would have been nice, though. Just for old times' sake.
    And I didn't see the point of Shawn Green from minute one. Still don't.

  • Anonymous

    I never want to see Steve Trachsel again. But I know I should be desperately hoping he has another 2006 start in him.
    I desperately, achingly want to see the Mets in their home park again in 2006.
    Man, how'd we get to this desperate pass so quickly? Oh yeah — it's October.

  • Anonymous

    The only consolation I took from last night's game was “at least this is Trachsel's last start as a Met.”
    Don't take that from me, Jason.
    If there is a game 7, Darren Oliver has to get the start.

  • Anonymous

    Ring. Ring.
    “Yeah, hello?”
    “Lastings, it's Cliff.”
    (surprised) “Cliff? Hey! How are you? How's the Achilles?”
    “It's a-chilling me. Listen, I've got to talk to you.”
    “Does this mean I am out of the dog house with the Mets veterans?”
    “Not yet, but there's something you can do to get there. That's why I called. You've got to catch the next flight to St. Louis.”
    “Sure, absolutely.”
    “And you'll need a pair of barbers' scissors.”
    (warily) “Um — I think I got a pair around here somewhere … ”
    “No, man, you'll have to get them when you land. Commercial flight, so nothing sharp allowed on the plane, remember?”
    (with a smile) “So, Trachsel's splitter, that was okay to carry on.”
    “Rookie, you gotta knock that off.”
    “Sorry, man.”
    “When you get here, buy the scissors and go straight to the [redacted] hotel.”
    “Slip into Spiezio's room while he's sleeping and snip that damned pink tuft off his chin.”
    (nonplussed) “Ooo-kay — then what?”
    “Bring it straight to the ball park. Green's gonna burn it and rub the ashes into his glove. These two-out, two-run triples are killing us, and with the rotation the way it is, it may be our only chance to turn the tide.”
    “If I pull this off, will guys start sitting next to me on the bench again?”
    “Kid, if it works, you can sit next to me in the covertible for the tickertape parade. Now get moving, your flight's in half an hour!”

  • Anonymous

    Because no matter how much everyone insisted that losing Pedro was no big deal, the reality is (and was) that our pitching situation has been a total shambles and we've been running on fumes for a while now. Seriously… can you really see us beating Detroit with this, uh, “rotation” anyway? You can only patch a staff together with bubblegum and duct tape for so long.
    And I've thought for a couple of months now that Trachsel has an injury he's not disclosing. I have no reason to change that opinion.

  • Anonymous

    thats some funny s**t

  • Anonymous

    Come and tap me on the shoulder when we score a run. I won't be able to hear you with my head in this oven.
    NostraDennis and abertsonmets both hit it on the head. Today is obviously must-win, but if we can take an 11-10 squeaker, the tide turns in our favor. Glavine and then Maine back home. Oliver is without a doubt the Game 7 starter.
    Other thoughts:
    1) McCarver and Buck are driving me past the point of insanity. I tried listening to the ESPN radio broadcast, but my TV was delayed about 10 seconds so I heard Suppan's homer clear the fence before I saw Trax throw the pitch. I watched the rest of the game without any audio and it was an improvement.
    2) Will somebody PLEASE give Lou Piniella a mangers job, just to get him off my TV.

  • Anonymous

    I'm with you on McCarver and Buck. They are past the point of annoying.
    They are so anti-NY and pro-cardinals that they make me sick.
    I would rather have Mike and the Mad Dog do the play by play.
    At least they don't mask their anti-Met bias.

  • Anonymous

    I'm cheering myself up/depressing myself by watching the SNY repeat of the divisional clincher.