Having won the first round of the basically meaningless Battle for New York, it was time to resume pursuit of the real prize — the National League East — and the foe that seems to have returned after a one-year sabbatical. So how'd it go against the Atlanta Braves?
Not so good. It was obvious pretty early that this would be one of those thorough ass-kickings, the kind of game that you keep watching because seeing your team play lousy, dispiriting baseball is a sliver better than not watching your team play baseball. What picture would you like to remember from this one? Jorge Sosa looking too amped up against the team that put him on waivers, overthrowing sliders so they flatten out and demonstrating no command of the strike zone? Carlos Delgado looking utterly lost at the plate? Beltran and Reyes slumping, the few line drives flying into gloves, opposing pitchers hitting balls over the center-field fence? Our one rally was short-circuited by Mark Carlson's ruling that Kelly Johnson had dropped a ball on the transfer instead of before a force out was recorded. Honestly, I thought it was the right call; even if it wasn't, well, when you're going horseshit they fuck you. I think Confucius said that. Or maybe it was Buddha. Regardless, it was somebody wise.
There are few things more aggravating than watching your baseball team play flat while the other guys are enjoying a laugher — while smothering in that kind of misery it's hard to believe you'll ever see a big inning again, let alone win a game. It's not true, of course — a team that looks dead and buried one night can blast the ball all over the park the next night. Or so I seem to remember. Let's hope so, at least.