Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Here Come the Bastards

Game 43 – Mets

Mets 4, Yankees 3
Record: 26-17

Yep, here they come. No, the bastards we (Les Claypool and I) are referring to aren’t the New York Yankees, coming back time and time again. The Yanks made it interesting yet again on Sunday, with some help by Duaner Sanchez and Billy Wagner. Fortunately for the mental health of Mets fans everywhere, the rallies fell short. Meanwhile . . . well, I could blather on and on about back-to-back bombs by Carlos Delgado and David Wright, but I won’t. Things of beauty, though they were.

The bastards also aren’t the members of the club from the City of Your Motherly Love, kicking off a three-gamer at Shea tonight. The Phightins are still very much in the thick of things, and frankly, the pitching match-ups in this series look rather unsightly, but they’re not who should have you, the Met supporter, most taking notice.

No, the bastards I speak of are the once and future “friggin’ Braves.” They have quietly tiptoed right back into the fray without much fanfare. Their rotation, though it resembles the Mets’ to a degree (a pair of aces, a keeper, and several discards), has been increasingly solid as the Mets’ has begun to wobble. Their formerly maligned bullpen has righted itself uncomfortably well. At the same time, their lineup, which had been underachieving even to its uninspiring potential, is now catching fire. Slumps are being dug out, streaks are being ignited, and the Braves are rolling. Their 13-4 run began on a Sunday during Lima Time’s New York premiere; Lima starting their hot streak that day was the most impressive start he made.

Clearly, this day was coming. Any of you out there who actually counted the Braves out before now are the same people who breathed a heavy sigh of relief when Jamie Lee stuck the hanger in Michael Myers’ eye. Just silly of you. If you listen closely now, you can hear John Carpenter’s eerie music starting up again. Dammit, I knew they weren’t dead.

That’s not to say the Mets should be looking over their shoulders or fixating upon any target other than the one at hand, the Philllies. Anything less than a stellar effort versus the Scranton Seniors and the already tenuous division lead could shrink to nothing. As I mentioned before, the prognosis as dictated by pitching probables is quite the eyesore, so we’re going to need to the Metbats – fresh off rescuing the team over the weekend – to stay strong in support of some pitchers with sizeable question marks attached. Hit early, hit often, and I won’t have to hit the bottle (any harder).

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