If you brought a newcomer to last night's game and then today's, he or she got a lesson in how two baseball games with more or less similar scores can be pretty different.
Last night's, despite being won by the bad guys, was a gem: intrigue, drama, history, and a touch of wackiness.
Today's, despite being won by the good guys, was at best a cubic zirconia: crummy fielding, good but not great pitching, and it was on Fox.
Yeah, Jon Leiber was quite good — he got blooped and bled in the first inning and then was betrayed by Pat Burrell and by himself in the sixth. Yeah, Glavine was pretty good himself, aside from that messy first inning. But neither one of them were dominant-good, leading to the sneaking suspicion that there was a certain amount of Day Game After a Night Game at work. (Game time: a tidy 2:11, as if it were a Cyclones game. BTW, the Cyclones have won 12 in a row and just booted the Staten Island Yankees out of first. If you've never been down to Keyspan, go.)
The best news had to be David Wright looking better: He had some of the best swings against Leiber, though his crucial blow was a ball Burrell misplayed hideously. (As always, it's an unfair game.) And he made two sparkling plays to his right, including saving Wagner from yet another bad ending against his old team and preventing the inevitable Gotham back-pages immolation. (Billy, you guys have the night off — go buy David a steak.)
But wait! I was wrapping this up without acknowledging the resumption of the Mike DiFelice Era!
At first glance, DiFelice might seem like he belongs to the Gerald Williams/Jose Lima category of Returns Nobody Asked For. And though it isn't his fault, we'll always remember that he was the guy who wound up taking what should have been Mike Piazza's final at-bat as a New York Met. (Not Willie's finest hour, though it might have been my illustrious co-blogger's.)
But go easy on DiFelice. He got brought back this year to play Crash to Mike Pelfrey's Nuke: At 37, with 512 big-league games and seven teams on his resume, he found himself in the Eastern League tutoring a bonus baby. Sure, that's better than working at Sears (do even ex-backup catchers still work at Sears?), but it's pretty far from the bright lights at a pretty advanced age.
Besides, you think Crash wouldn't have blown Annie off for another couple of days of hitting white balls in batting practice and hotels with room service? Welcome back, Little Mike. It would be taking it too far to say I've missed you, but welcome back.