Ever the contrarian, Newsday’s Wallace Matthews — who ten days ago, seemed to regard the trade of Xavier Nady as the worst Mets blunder since drafting Steve Chilcot —- is losing little sleep over what could be the end of Tom Glavine’s season.

Yesterday, Minaya reminded everyone that at the start of the season, the rotation consisted of Martinez, Glavine (above), Victor Zambrano, Brian Bannister and “another guy” whose name momentarily eluded him.

Right now, only that other guy is still pitching. His name is Steve Trachsel. Still, the Mets roll on. Tomorrow night, they begin a three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals, a possible NLCS preview, and their rotation will consist of John Maine, Dave Williams, a Reds castoff who has been with the team less than a week, and the other guy, Trachsel.

Glavine’s 12-6 record is by far his best as a Met, but the possibility looms that, at 40, he had already done his best work. He had a miserable July and wasn’t having a very good August, either. If his season is over now, the Mets can thank him for bringing them this far. They probably can make it the rest of the way on their own.

“We’ve got a lot of pitchers we can bring up if we have to,” Minaya said. ” Pelfrey and Soler are close to coming back, and Bannister could pitch in the major leagues today if we needed him. From the beginning of the year, I felt our strength was in our numbers.”

Especially this number: At the close of business yesterday, the Mets still held a 14-game lead over the second-place Phillies. They have a magic number and they’re having a magical season.

One cold finger, even if it belongs to Tom Glavine, is not likely to mess that up.

In the Adding Insult To Injury Department, Was Watching’s Steve Lombardi paused between games of the Yankees’ 4 consecutive beatdowns of the Red Sox to make the following observations about the Reebok-mitt wielding Josh Beckett.

While Schilling will always be Blanco Primera, pounding the stuffing out of Josh “You Can Take The Boy Out Of The Trailer Park, But Not The Trailer Park Out Of The Boy” Beckett is as sweet as rock candy too.
There’s just something about Beckett. I’ve always felt that, if Roseanne Barr – the original one, before all the plastic surgery – had a sex change, she/he would look just like Josh Beckett, and act just like Josh Beckett, today. And, that’s one annoying fem-dude. I guess that’s it about Beckett – the fem-dude-nessthat he gives off with all the strutting, whining and the can’t-grow-any-facial-hair thing.

Of course, there are some guys — like the one who hit a pair of homers and drove in 5 runs Sunday night — who can grow facial hair like nobody’s business. I hate to speculate as to why the Giambino has been granted a ‘stache allowance from his paymasters, but perhaps there’s a contractual waiver in the event of a testosterone imbalance.

Seriously, that was quite the shvitzing display after Giambi took Craig Hansen deep in the 10th. The outbreaks of clutchness are obviously inspiring to Yankee fans and laboratory rats everywhere, but it would kinda suck if the 2005 AL Comeback Player Of The Year dropped dead in the dugout