Cards 5, Mets 2 (top of the 6th)

A two run HR to right field by Carlos Beltran aside, this could be a long afternoon. Jose Lima has allowed a pair of runs in the each of the Cardinals’ first two innings, and his ERA has risen to a hellish 9.24. Given that almost every Lima start guarantees a) taxing work for the Mets’ pen and b) a loss, it hard to believe there are no other options, if not from the farm, then perhaps the independent leagues or god forbid, open tryouts.

Though Mark Mulder (above) was masterful in last night’s 1-0 shutout of Mets
, a performance nearly matched by Steve Trachsel, considerable credit has to go to St. Louis’ Jason Isringhausen, who retired David Wright and Cliff Floyd in succession with the tying and lead runs aboard in the 9th inning.

The gloating and groaning, from other respected corners of the universe :

Look, I™ve been as big an Isringhausen backer as can be this year, but when he came in with one out and the bases loaded¦ well, I was less than confident. And then he threw several fastballs through the bat of David Wright, Mets God; welcome back to Ace Relieverland. – Dan, Get Up Baby

Losing a game as the Mets did last night is infinitely more frustrating than a 10-0 blowout. I suppose it’s the opportunity lost that infuriates me the most; that the Mets were on the cusp of winning, only to be undone by their biggest flaw to this point in the season. Namely, their inability to produce in high leverage situations. The data from a hundred years of baseball tells us that these things tend to regress (or progress) towards the mean over the course of 162 games; that good players (and teams) hit well in the clutch and that bad players (and teams) hit poorly in the clutch. This isn’t much solace to me right now. – Eric Simon, Amazin’ Avenue

Some interesting figures to drown in your beer:

1. It was Trachsel’s second straight shutout loss. He was the losing pitcher in the rain-shortened, 4 1/2-inning game in Philadelphia last Thursday. Trachsel has lost 1-0 games seven times in his career, four times with Mets. He is 9-9 for his career against the Cardinals, but hasn™t beaten them since Sept. 22, 1999, when he was with the Cubs.

2. The Mets last 1-0 defeat was Sept. 19, 2004, at Pittsburgh, one of three 1-0 losses that season.

3. St Louis ranks 3rd in America on the most courteous driver list. – Jaap, Archie Bunker’s Army

Willie took a gamble and played for the tie on the road, which is against the book, by bunting Reyes over to third with no outs. It may have not been what everyone does, but I do get the move. With Mulder just rolling over the Mets and in his last inning, Randolph was trying to make it a battle of the bullpens and the Mets would have had the clear advantage. It did not quite work out the way he planned with a sac fly, but the Mets had two shots with the bases loaded to take the lead. With David Wright up at the plate, I felt like there was a chance. After he struck out, I felt like there was no chance.

“I’m not going to platoon Cliff,” Randolph barked. “If he struck out four times [Tuesday] that would be different.”

I wrote the other day that Floyd should sit against all lefties, and he should. In a game like last night where one run was so huge, you cannot afford to have a black hole in the lineup. Floyd should also be dropped in the order in favor of Nady and he should at least be dropped if he is starting against a lefty. Nady has left a lot to be desired with runners in scoring position, but I would rather roll the dice with him. He at least does not look lost.The Metropolitans.

Mike Shannon was unable to contain himself last night, such was his enthusiam for the Cardinals’ terrific selection of tickets that are available on the day of game, what with visiting teams returning their share and so on. A few meaningless Mets at-bats were devoted to describing this scheme, one which leaves me unable to avoid the following conclusion : the 40,000 + Cards fans who purchase their tickets in advance are all dopes and suckers. Why bother, if Mike Shannon is certain the best seats in the park are available for day-of-sale?

The rehabbing Brian Bannister made a grand total of 5 pitches for Norfolk earlier today before being pulled. That open tryouts idea is looking better by the minute. The Tides are trailing Toledo, 8-2, though Anderson Hernandez (hitting .419) has two hits for the second day in a row.