Announcement: I will no longer defend Steve Trachsel. I will no longer correct the spelling when bloggers spell his name "TRASHEL". Since he is the longest standing member of the Mets, I cut him lots of slack. Now, I am done.
On Saturday night, Steve Trachsel got punked. He got punked worse than anyone I have ever seen get punked. The opposing pitcher, Jeff Suppan, was batting. He winked at Steve Trachsel - twice. Once on the first pitch, once on the next pitch.
At that point, Trachsel should have thrown at Suppan. Trachsel didn't have to hit Suppan - putting him in the dirt would have been just fine. Nobody should be allowed to embarass a pitcher that way without paying the price. In baseball, grudges have lasted years. In this case, immediate retribution was available - Suppan was still standing in the batters box after the second wink, and Trachsel was still on the mound, preparing to throw a baseball in the general direction of Jeff Suppan (I won't call what Trachsel perpetrated on Saturday "pitching"). Instead of throwing at Suppan, Trachsel grooved a pitch, which Suppan turned on, hitting a homer, and burying Trachsel. This is very likely the end of Trachsel's career as a Met. Sad to see it end with Trachsel getting so completely and thoroughly punked. Bob Gibson is probably somewhere muttering to himself and shaking his head. Perhaps Steve Trachsel should read this excerpt from Wikipedia:
Gibson was known for pitching inside to batters. Dusty Baker received the following advice from Hank Aaron about facing Gibson:
"'Don't dig in against Bob Gibson, he'll knock you down. Don't stare at him. He doesn't like it. If you happen to hit a home run, don't run too slow, don't run too fast. If you happen to want to celebrate, get in the tunnel first. And if he hits you, don't charge the mound, because he's a Gold Glove boxer.' I'm like, 'Damn, what about my 17-game hitting streak?' That was the night it ended."
One more word on Jeff Suppan (who is now in the top 10 of my personal hate list).
Jeff Suppan is not Babe Ruth. Jeff Suppan is not Cy Young. He's a career .500 pitcher with an ERA in the mid 4s. If this series goes 7 games, then Suppan will be the likely starter. Our Mets will then return the favor by punking Jeff Suppan. Justice will be done. After Suppan gets knocked out in the first inning of game 7 of the NLCS, we'll see how much he feels like winking.