After a Saturday night performance that Marc Perlman has so lovingly described as “shitting the bed,” Mets starter Steve Traschel is in the unlikely position of being a sympathetic figure Tuesday morning, solely on the basis of being called out by Jeff Brantley. From the New York Daily News’ Adam Rubin.

Trachsel said the thigh stiffened to the point he couldn’t pitch, but critics – including ESPN’s Jeff Brantley (above, left), a major-league pitcher for 14 seasons – labeled him soft. Trachsel leaving the game couldn’t have come at a worse time for the overtaxed bullpen, though Oliver’s relief performance bailed them out.

Brantley, a “Baseball Tonight” analyst, continued to tear into Trachsel yesterday, telling the Daily News: “I know what it’s like to get hit with a line drive. I know what it’s like to pitch with your shoulder torn up. I know what it’s like to be out there in a lot of different circumstances. And I played with guys who, when the first thing is not perfect with them, they don’t want to take the ball. That’s what I saw in that situation. I believe I’m totally correct. I don’t think I’m the only one who feels that way. Otherwise there wouldn’t be talk of Darren Oliver starting Game 7. I don’t think the team has confidence in Trachsel after that outing. I don’t believe that Willie Randolph does, whether he says (so) or not. That was a place in time where a ballclub really needed a guy to step up and perform and he did not do that.”

“I was pretty miffed with the fact he came out of the game,” Brantley said about the latest outing. “I don’t believe that ball hit back up the middle was a significant enough blow to him for him to take himself out of the game. With the way the bullpen had been stretched out the night before and the fact the New York Mets club has already lost two starters that can’t pitch, it looked very questionable to me as to whether he really wanted to be out there in that ballgame.”

“I don’t think that’s fair, considering I’ve been waiting 13 years for this opportunity, and I’ve never done that ever, ever, ever,” Trachsel said.