Monday, April 28, 2008

Step By Step

Games 20 through 24 - Mets

Mets 7, Nationals 2

Nationals 10, Mets 5

Braves 6, Mets 3

Mets 4, Braves 3

Mets 6, Braves 3

Record: 13-11

Yep, 13-11.

We'll save further holistic analysis for the upcoming 25-Game Check-Up, but it's a rather pedestrian pair of numbers for a ballclub slated for postseason contention. Fortunately, we're comforted by the Phillies and Braves taking it slowly in this initial chapter of the season, too. And with teams like the Marlins, White Sox, Rays, and Orioles still somehow in 1st place . . . well, it's obviously still early and things are pretty damn goofy in baseball right now.

The Nats, as requested, look exactly like balm I asked for in the first of the two games -- and for the first part of the second game as well. Somewhere between Oliver Perez's one-man interpretation of Into the Wild and Aaron Heilman conducting T-ball practice yet again, things went sour. Last year's skim kind of sour.

Heilman and Jorge Sosa have really come on like gang-busters lately. Give us your tired, your poor, your glove men, your slap hitters, your career sub-.600-OPSers, your power-deprived, your middle infielders, your utility players, the wretched refuse of the bottom of the lineup. Baltimore Specials and Grand Salamis will be issued out like BLT's at a lunch-counter. Order up!

But taking two of three from the Atlanta Braves will nearly always satisfy. Doing so against Tim Hudson and John Smoltz -- and limiting them to a combined seven innings -- is even more gratifying. The Bravos and the Phils have suffered some fairly deleterious injuries thus far, keeping their progress in check and legions of redneck/cheeseball fans waiting. We'll take the modicum of success we've had against those two teams so far every time.

Things aren't perfect; Jose Reyes is batting a whopping .237, Beltran is seriously scuffling, Brian Schneider was hospitalized, and the aforementioned pair of agitators-- uh, I mean "relievers"-- raise the levels of angst amid the Township all too frequently. But things seem a little better than 13-11.

Maybe it's because Carlos Delgado had the kind of day yesterday that makes a man forget all about Roberto Alomar. That may only last a day or two, but it's such a pleasant cleansing of the mind, isn't it?

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