Floyd, Trachsel team up to boost Mets

Floyd, Trachsel team up to boost Mets

SAN FRANCISCO -- He had stopped calling friends and stopped answering his cell phone. He hadn't slept soundly in days. And his smile either was out of commission or kidnapped. Cliff Floyd had been miserable and, with a bat in his hand, even worse. "Not his usual, goofin' around, jovial self," Tom Glavine said. "You could tell he hadn't been real happy."

His broad shoulders and his batting average were slumping as he approached the plate in the eighth inning Tuesday night. "I wasn't sharing the load," he would say an hour later, his smile and confidence restored. "You know Carlos [Delgado] was to take us to the next level. And he will if I do what I'm supposed to. If I don't, then we're like last year, and last year we came up short."

On this night, though, Floyd had come up long. "Long and strong," Paul Lo Duca said.

Floyd had crushed a two-run home run into McCovey Cove, Barry Bonds' favorite body of water, in the eighth to provide the last thrust of offense for the Mets in what became a 4-1, mental-health victory over the Giants. He hit it higher than he usually does and, in his estimation, farther than he ever had. It traveled to the first half of the Mets' 2005 season and back.

"I loved it last year when I was crushing," Floyd said. "That was as much fun as I've ever had in the game. I wanted more of it."

But before he swung in the eighth, his average stood at .186, and he hated the game. "This game," he said. "This game can get you."

But as the Mets dressed and prepared to "sleep fast" -- they had a 12:35 p.m. PT start Wednesday -- Floyd was a changed man. How bad could life be? Three weeks into the season, he has as many home runs as Bonds.

"Yeah, tell the world," he said. "Me and Barry, tied. Just don't go looking for the career. What's he got now, 710, right? And I've got -- what? -- two-10?"

Actually, 204. But who's counting?

"All I know," Floyd said, "is that I'm contributing ... finally. I felt so bad when I wasn't."

His second home run of the season was the Mets' second of the game. Xavier Nady had hit one, his sixth, in the seventh to give the Mets a 2-1 lead against losing pitcher Jamey Wright (2-1). Those power swings and a Jose Reyes run in the first inning were enough to overcome the 710th home run of Bonds' career, hit off winning pitcher Steve Trachsel. Bonds kept his second home run of the season dry, hitting a 1-1 pitch over the left-field wall in the second inning.

But Bonds did no other damage in his other four appearances. The other Giants did precious little. Trachsel (2-1), Duaner Sanchez and Billy Wagner (fifth save) allowed only five hits and three walks as the Mets won for merely the fifth time in 22 games in this park. If Trachsel's pitch to Bonds was a tad lower, the Mets would have allowed nothing, and that would have been something.

As it was, Trachsel surrendered three hits in the first two innings, Bonds' home run, a single by Lance Niekro in the first and a single by Jose Vizcaino in the second. He faced 15 batters, the minimum, in his subsequent five innings.

Randy Winn walked in the sixth, but he was caught stealing and became the third Giants baserunner thrown out. Niekro was out at second when he tried to stretch his hit into a double and Moises Alou was out at third in the second when he tried to advance on a fly ball to center.

Trachsel allowed the three hits and two walks in his third six-inning start. He now has allowed one run, five hits and four walks in his last two starts (14 innings) in the Giants park. He likes it here.

Floyd hates it. "My least favorite park," he said. "I can't really tell you why. I just never feel comfortable here."

Yet he and Luis Gonzalez are the only out-of-towners who have reached McCovey Cove twice, according to the Giants media relations department. And their announcers and other observers said no one -- Giant, Bonds or visitor -- has hit a ball so far beyond the right-field wall. "Beyond the kayaks," someone called it.

It went a long way and a long way toward making Floyd happy.

Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.