Trachsel Pitches Mets by Expos 3-1

Steve Trachsel turned in yet another brilliant pitching performance on Monday evening at Shea Stadium, as he out duelled Montreal ace Javier Vazquez and hurled the Mets to a 3-1 win. It was yet another stopper win by Trachsel following the weekend sweep at the hands of the New York Yankees. Ty Wigginton doubled in two runs, and Cliff Floyd delivered a run-scoring single to account for the Mets scoring.

Trachsel (7-5) fell behind 1-0 as Montreal scored first in the 2nd inning. Brad Wilkerson walked but was gunned down by Vance Wilson trying to steal. Will Cordero then doubled and moved the third on a wild pitch by Trachsel. Ron Calloway brought Cordero home with a sacrifice fly and the Mets were in an early hole.

But Montreal starter Vazquez (6-6) was erratic, issuing some early walks. The Mets broke through against him in the third when Roberto Alomar led off with a single and moved to third on double by Floyd. Both runners scored on a double by Wigginton and New York grabbed a 2-1 lead.

The Mets scored what would be the game's final run in the 5th inning, when Jeromy Burnitz doubled with one out and came around on a single by Floyd. The Mets led 3-1 and Trachsel took over.

Trachsel went seven innings and allowed the Expos just the one run on five hits. He also walked two and fanned three batters. After going winless the entire season at Shea, he has now posted back-to-back wins at home.

Vazquez claimed he did not feel well at the outset, blaming it on the humidity, and wound up hurling six innings. He yielded all three Mets runs, on seven hits. He also walked three and struck out five New Yorkers.

David Weathers (17th hold) and Armando Benitez (19th save) finished the festivities for the Mets, who improved to 34-46 for the season, which is now just one game shy of the statistical halfway point. It has been two unlikely candidates (Trachsel and Jae Weong Seo), who have emerged as the heroes of the starting staff for the first half of the season. Hopefully they will keep it up during the second half as well, since the established aces, Al Leiter and Tom Glavine both have struggled so mightily thus far.

The Mets and Montreal will continue their series on Tuesday. Recently called up Aaron Heilman (0-1), who was out pitched by Florida's Dontrelle Willis in his major league debut, will go up against another fresh face in Montreal's Sun-Woo Kim (0-1), and just maybe the Mets will be able to reward Aaron with his first big league win.

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