Thursday, May 03, 2007

Blind Melon

Game 26 - Mets

Mets 6, Marlins 3
Record: 16-10

As Rob revealed below, the Mets' schedule failed to ingrain itself in my brain, and as such, I went golfing rather than watching baseball yesterday. Ah, the complicated life of the unemployed guy. My cohort's electronic updates weren't quite my detail-filled texts of a few weeks back, but in fairness to him, he has one of those "job" things. Poor sap.

As it turned out, Oliver Perez turned in one of his finer outings, fanning 10 Fish in five-plus. My side of the MLC aisle had reverted to its old mocking ways in recent days, but it's hard to heckle the Jekyll side of Ollie. He even notched a pair of hits and scored twice. When he is good, Oliver is very, very good.

The rest of the squad came through to stave off what would have been an ugly sweep to the Marlins. Alas, the Phillies ran themselves out of several runs and lost, 4-3, to the Braves, keeping the Mets a half-game out. The standings are secondary at this point, but that game was noteworthy for two reasons. First, the Braves look to have booked their accommodations for late-season contention, and it's been a combination of strong play, timely hits, and an utter handing over of games by their opponents. They aren't world-beaters, this Atlanta team, but so far their adversaries have punted, passed, and kicked wins their way in the early going to buffer a certainly solid club.

The second point is a corollary to a point I made earlier. When the Phillies were 3-10, I told anyone who would listen to quit counting them out. Way too early, way too much talent, etc. And I was right. But although they've gone 9-5 since I started preaching that gospel, they've done so in spite of seeming to have their collective craniums lodged inside their collective posterior. They are the anti-Braves: not so strong play, zero timely hits (as Friend of MLC Nick predicted), and no breaks -- though it's said the Lord helps those that help themselves.

I fought the notion that Charlie Manuel was at fault for the 3-10 start, but I'm starting to think that if these Phightins really want a stake in the divisional title race, they may have to make a change. Shake-ups don't always kick-start, but when the talent is there and the team seems to be half-asleep, kicking the congenial skipper to the curb just might get it through highly-paid athletes' heads that what they do and don't do for two-to three hours every day affects people's livelihoods. The added concentration and pure focus that might ensue may just be the missing factor in Philly.

Or, it could just be that this cursed franchise saw the truest of cosmic anomalies in 1980, and the Phillies will rot in mediocrity for ever more, with the only attainable hope being that of getting close enough to sniff another trophy only to have all hopes dashed to pieces in horribly painful fashion once again.

Either way, the Mets are looking pretty good by relative standards, eh?

1 comment:

rob said...

i can't believe you've already used OK Go - it's perfect for an okajima-themed post. bastard.