Great pitching duels aren’t always the product of the marquee arms.
The Mets’ Steve Trachsel is considered solid; St. Louis left-hander Mark Mulder could be a No. 1 on some staffs, but is second on his own.
Tonight, they combined for a classic pitcher’s duel, with Trachsel the one wanting one pitch back in a 1-0 loss last to the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
They were stingy and scintillating, didn’t yield to the hitters, leaving them shaking their heads in frustration after most innings.
It is what the Mets have come to expect from Pedro Martinez and Tom Glavine, and needed from Trachsel because of the uncertainty on the back end of their rotation with Jose Lima going tomorrow against the Cardinals and Jeremi Gonzalez Friday against the Yankees at Shea.
Nobody with the Mets would say it, but with Trachsel losing they could see three straight before Martinez goes Saturday. Trachsel threw as good a game as he could last night, giving up a run on four hits in seven innings.
“When you get a well pitched game like that you have to take advantage of it,’’ Mets manager Willie Randolph said.
St. Louis scored its only run on Scott Rolen’s two-out RBI double in the sixth, but the Mets had a chance when they had the bases loaded in the ninth with one out, but closer Jason Isringhausen replaced Mulder and struck out David Wright and got Cliff Floyd on a weak grounder to first to end the game.
“I want to be up there in that situation,’’ Wright said. “I just didn’t get the job done.’‘