Padres 7, Mets 4

First of all, I’d like to apologize for anyone offended by my earlier remarks about the dugout being no place for a pitching coach with a mullet. But as Jason from Faith & Fear In Flushing so eloquently put it,

Forget Scott Kazmir. This has nothing to do with Scott Kazmir. This is about 2006, and the dead spot in our starting rotation, and what’s to be done about it before it costs us too many games. As for Rick Peterson’s infamous prediction that he could fix Victor in about 10 minutes? I think there must have been an exponent missing.

Newsday’s David Lennon was equally cynical about Zambrano’s future prospects.

When asked what troubled him yesterday, Zambrano replied, “Pretty much the same thing.”

But that only prompts the question: Why isn’t he getting any better? Nobody seems to know. Not Zambrano, not manager Willie Randolph and not pitching coach Rick Peterson.

If they did, Zambrano probably wouldn’t be 1-2 with a 9.64 ERA on a rotation that is statistically among the best in the majors. Still, Randolph says he has no plans to demote him, even if the evidence suggests that would be a smart move.

Zambrano is either incapable of learning from his mistakes or powerless to do anything about them. He continues to put himself in poor counts, then watches helplessly as another pitch soars over the outfield fence.

On the bright side, Jorge Julio allowed no runs for the entire week and might turn out to be fully qualified…to continue mopping up whenever asked.

The worst part of FSN’s coverage of today’s D-Backs/Dodgers game was that DirectTV cut the signal off right after Danys Baez retired Chad Tracy for the final out. So I didn’t get to see the LA staff placing J.D. Drew (above, left) in bubblewrap.