Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Games 157 & 158 - Mets
Cutting Our Losses

Mets 2, Braves 1
Braves 5, Mets 2
Record: 70-88

Like I said, it's always nice to beat the Braves. And like I also said, the Mets can't provide any smile that doesn't quickly become a smirk. There were but a couple of hours to enjoy the 2-1 win, what with the Braves leading 5-2 by the 6th inning of Game 2. Steve Trachsel was the star of Game 1, falling just short in his quest to dive back under a 4.00 ERA. He may have one more crack at it Sunday. The nightcap was simply more of the same for Tommy Glavine, who is employed by the Mets but owned by the Braves. Check out Glavine's month-by-month ERA:

April - 1.64
May - 2.59
June - 2.14
July - 4.31
August - 5.79
September - 6.69

Good thing the season ends now, eh? He did finish with a 3.66 ERA overall, but in case you can't recall (understandably so), he was gunning for the title a couple of months ago. As was Al Leiter, who was undone by a 4.46 August and a 5.33 September. Our well-documented concerns about these aged arms wearing down late in the season seem pretty obvious in retrospect, no? As for Trachsel, good luck figuring him out. His monthly progression:


I've had girlfriends that were less bipolar (not many, though).

Despite Game 2's perpetuation of the Met mantra what-goes-up-must-come-down-pronto, plenty of positive can be taken from the fact that a twinbill on the Mets' schedule didn't result in an embarrassing sweep. I did blanch when my eyes caught a snippet on the ticker saying that Wright had been hit in the ankle with a line drive. Of course it was Jaret Wright, but I mistakenly assumed it was David until further research steered me right. Phew. That'd be all we need. The right Wright continues to shine, one of the few bright spots I've talked about and longed for during the blight of '04.

A few of you have written in inquiring about the status of the two big wagers on the line for me. While the Mets are almost a lock to cost me 24 cold ones, at least they've dragged it out this far. Rob's magic number is 1 for a push and 2 to win, as the Sox have been hovering around that 25-game lead on the Mets for a few weeks now. I think he wanted Harpoon or something else Bostonian. He can post his choice once the unavoidable happens.

My other bet, the one involving DC's current hometown team (heh heh heh), the Orioles, is similarly coming down to the wire. After coasting to a huge lead, then utterly blowing it and looking doomed, the O's have rallied back into a comfortable 74-81 position, needing just one win to propel me to the break-even point in beverage bets. Think the Orioles can't lose all of their remaining games, though? You'd better believe they can. One comforting thought is that they still have a bone to pick with Rob Russell for his negative press in the face of their roughing up the Sox' wild card opponents (who, without Baltimore's contributions, would still be making the Red Sox fight it out until Game 162). So look for them to smack the Sox around just for kicks. I'll drink to that.

Speaking of things I'll drink to, as Rob mentioned (with a link to the Washington Times, defying my Top 10 list of things I swore I never see on this site), the Montreal Expos are becoming the Washington ______s next year. (If the Rangers extort this team for the rights to the Senators moniker after ditching DC 33 years ago, they ought to be contracted.) If you believe the press, which I don't, and if you believe MLB, which I gave up for Lent in 1994 and it stuck, and if you believe the DC City Council will do the right thing, which is to Total Recall yourself into not remembering that Marion Barry just received election onto the Council (that last bit is worthy of an entire blog of its own; not a blog post, an entire website), then you can safely be assured that Washington, DC will have a baseball team next year. If you're like me, you're cautiously optimistic at best, and at worst just waiting for the bomb to drop.

There will be plenty of time to celebrate this new ballclub when the time comes, but that time is not right now. There will be time to ponder whether the heralding of the new team in DC is appropriate material for this space, considering the intended topic. There will even be time to investigate the heart and mind of Whitney Lester and try to determine whether his allegiances will be tested -- or even scarier, if his beloved Mets have burned him so many times of late that he'd just walk away given this unique opportunity. There will be time for these discussions and more, but until Bud, his owners, Peter Angelos, the Council, and the new owners all publicly confirm that the neo-Senators have arrived, I'm not saying a thing here.

But man, I wish I could.

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