Saturday, August 11, 2007

Billy Bragg

Game 114 & 115 - Mets

Braves 7, Mets 6
Marlins 4, Mets 3
Record: 64-51

Yeah, like he said.

And like I responded to Rob last night, Billy Wagner had no business blowing a save to that lineup, not when he's been that fearsome all year. But because he's been so stellar, it's really hard to say much beyond "Well, nobody's perfect" after such a loss.

The problem, of course, is that while Wags recorded the save against the Braves in his last outing, as you probably recall it was shaky and lucky and, when coupled with last night's work, just enough reason for Doubting Thomas to poke his head into the conversation. Hi, Tom. Now please go away.

Gary Cohen is veteran enough that he knows not to tempt fate in most cases, but really, last night he was asking for it. He spoke at length about Wagner's recent dominance, going on about the closer's scoreless inning streak. He touched on Wednesday's scare, but ended up calling it "a thing of beauty" because of the way it concluded. Taken on its own, perhaps it was a thing of beauty, and I acknowledged it as such in my celestial-themed post. Of course, examining anything in a vacuum other than spare change amid carpet lint is usually worthless.

As an aside, what I perceived as "hell" Tuesday night was a pathetically pale comparison to the real thing . . . which I got to experience Thursday night. Okay, in terms of bad times, globally speaking, none of this is really all that horrible. But a night of nodding off intermittently on a small chair near baggage claim in the Newark airport between the hours of 1 and 5 in the AM -- well, when that was the best part of the episode, seeing as I wasn't standing in line at Continental Customer Service (three times for a total of five hours) . . . it felt like one of Lucifer's summer houses, I'll just say that.

So now we're up to a consecutive pair of wild, ineffective outings for B-Wag. Three of a kind and he'll have brought on himself the storm of overdramatic despair that follows. And if the Mets drop two of three or, dare I say it, get swept by the lowly Marlins at home, they'll deserve and should expect the three-alarm-fire that ignites across the Township, throughout the papers, and on the talk radio short bus.

At least tonight Gary Cohen won't spend much time bragging about how successful the Mets' closer has been.

The Braves and to a lesser extent the Phillies seemed to have locked their trailers onto the Mets' hitch from Day 1 this season. When the Mets revved it up and shot out of the gates, those clubs were just a few paces off the clip; when the Mets toured the Badlands, so, too, did they; and now that the Mets have once again begun to ascend the mountain, the rearview shows the dreaded A & P logos cruising steadily behind. Almost drafting off the Metwagon, if you will. What we fear most right now is the pitstop, detour, or turn-off that veers downhill, right as Atlanta or Philly has unlocked their trailer from our hitch -- and watching them fly on by. That's the trouble; nothing's in a vacuum, there will always be NL East standings -- and yet you can't worry about the others, you just need to take care of your own business. Don't look back now . . . things may be closer than they appear.

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