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Trach Is Definitely Back


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Welcome to Dirtbags Baseball blog! I was introduced to Long Beach State baseball in 2002 when my nephew, Neil Jamison, joined the team (and university) as a freshman. I started the blog in March of 2004, and generally discuss the team, current players and those that have moved on to professional baseball - as Neil has done in the San Diego Padres organization. Living in San Diego County, and with Neil moving to the next level, I won't be attending as many Dirtbags games. But, mostly from a distance, I'll remain a Dirtbags fan. I welcome tips on stories and information concerning the Dirtbags (current, past and future). I can be contacted at


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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Trach Is Definitely Back

Former Dirtbag Steve Trachsel made his first Major League appearance this season for the NY Mets last night, after spending the entire season on a DL following surgery to repair a herniated disc. Result: He shuts down the San Francisco Giants for 8.0 innings in route to a 1-0 win, allowing just 2 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 6. Here's the story from
Trachsel dominates in first 2005 start
Eight scoreless innings help extend Mets' winning streak
By Marty Noble /

SAN FRANCISCO -- He held his right hand at chest height, palm down, and moved it slowly from side to side to demonstrate the moderate manner he maintains on days he pitches. He is Even Stephen Trachsel on those days. Extremes are prohibited. He may be pleased, but he won't permit delighted. He may be irritated or disappointed, but never anguished.

"It works for me," Trachsel said following the Mets' handsome 1-0 victory against the Giants on Friday, as he stood in front of his locker and, at the same instant, in the middle of the road.

"I don't want to make this a big thing, then go back to New York, give up an eight-spot, and I'm a turd again. So I keep it down."

Trachsel's temperance was challenged Friday night when he finally finished the transformation from patient to pitcher, from "his back" to "he's back." But even in the afterglow of an uplifting and rewarding performance in his first Major League endeavor since last season, Trachsel was content to beat the Giants and not his chest.

"Maybe tomorrow night when we go to dinner in Napa," he said. Maybe that's when he'll pop his cork and celebrate the brilliant return he executed. And he may open a bottle then as well.

Trachsel, the Mets' sommelier, had given a performance worthy of a toast and maybe even another turn in the Mets' unspecified rotation. He surrendered two hits and two walks and struck out six in eight innings as the Mets gained their fifth straight victory. He threw as if he had made 20 starts against big-league hitters, not six against hitters without resumes, with midseason precision even though he hasn't had a season.

Some five months after back surgery, he provided no-hit drama for most of six innings and pitched into and out of trouble in the eighth inning, protecting the lead David Wright's rocket home run had produced six innings earlier.

"I did all right, I think," Trachsel said, keeping his key as low as he had kept his pitches in beating the Giants for the ninth time in 13 career decisions. "I pitched my normal game."

Normal in the sense of how he attacked the opponent. The results were better than normal.

"But I almost expected him to do what he did because I know how he prepares," manager Willie Randolph said.

Not that the Mets needed more encouraging developments on this stunningly successful trip to the West, but Trachsel provided another reason for them to believe the season doesn't have to end at Game 162.

Randolph didn't allow his postgame remarks to reach that far into the future. He wouldn't even hint at how his rotation would turn in New York and Miami next week. But he clearly was happy to have more information with which to make his determination.

"You have to love what he showed," the manager said.

Trachsel showed almost everything a manager could ask to see in the Mets' fourth 1-0 victory this season. He kept his pitches down and his pitch count relatively low, 108. And when the Giants resisted, he put them away, leaving only three outs for Braden Looper to achieve.

Trachsel, who has pitched three one-hitters in the big leagues, held the Giants hitless until two out in the sixth inning. Randy Winn singled through the middle at that point. The second of the Giants' three hits -- the third came off Looper -- didn't come until the eighth when Edgardo Alfonzo reached base on a leadoff ground-ball single that didn't reach the outfield but led to trouble. A sacrifice bunt and an infield out advanced pinch-runner Todd Linden to third base before Michael Tucker worked an eight-pitch walk and gave Winn a chance to do more damage.

On another night, perhaps, Randolph might have summoned Roberto Hernandez. On this night, the manager felt strongly that "this was Trachs' game to win." Hernandez still was in the bullpen when Winn flied out to short center. [more].

posted on 8/27/2005 by Jeff Agnew

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