When you go to the beach, kids, don't assume there'll be an Ethernet cable waiting for you.
Anyway, this half of Faith and Fear is up and running on Long Beach Island, meaning baseball has taken its rightful space alongside sand, sun, water, trips to the grocery store for beer/grilling stuff/etc. and the continuing results of an experiment in how much sugar a four-year-old can hold without exploding.
In my case, of course, “its rightful place” means playing softball with kids one-handed because the other hand has a radio cupped to the ear (like some cut-rate version of Radio Raheem); interrogating all comers from the house about the score, inning, how Pelfrey looks, etc.; and generally fretting and agitating.
Happily, Pelfrey looked superb from each and every report  — his story is a small part of the 2007 Mets, but he still could be a large part of 2008 and beyond, and it was nice to know that a difficult season included at least one afternoon in which all comers could see exactly what he can do. And hey, the much-abused bullpen did its job. I howled in anguish when Guillermo Mota entered the game, rejoiced at the double play that allowed him to escape, further rejoiced when he didn't return, heartily applauded Feliciano's pefect inning of work, prayed for at least another run so Wagner's vacation could continue for another day, got that run, and then sat on the beach goggle-eyed as Feliciano absolutely erased the middle of the Braves' order in the ninth. Relievers go through cold streaks; sometimes relievers go through them all together. But they can get hot, too. Right?
Oh, and it's nice doing a cartwheel in the sand when Carlos Beltran hits a home run. (OK, I can't actually do a cartwheel. But I did stick my feet in the air and flop over joyfully.)
And now, today. Rumor has it the safest place in the National League is being a team the Mets are trying to sweep. And I've heard this Smoltz fellow is a pretty fair pitcher. But that's all right — I also heard (sometimes within my own head) that we were dead men walking, and now we seem to be up and running.