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The View From the Crater

The Braves beat the Mets, 4-2. Wilmer Flores [1] short-circuited an inning by ill-advisedly trying to take second on a little bobble in center by Ronald Acuna [2] Jr. He was safe, giving the Mets runners on second and third with one out, until the umps huddled and ruled he was in fact out, leaving the Mets with a bad feeling about things. (This ticky-tack stuff isn’t what replay was made for, but that’s a complaint for a more meaningful time.)

The Mets staged a little uprising in the ninth: Todd Frazier [3] almost stroked a double down the line, but it landed a few inches foul and then he struck out. Jeff McNeil [4] almost bounced a ball off the warning track, but this isn’t Vegas and Ender Inciarte [5] was lurking in the vicinity, and it was an out. Kevin Plawecki [6] almost worked a two-ball count, but the ump decided the strike zone could use a little widening, and that was that [7].

If I’d told you the above when the Mets were 11-1, you might have groaned and stamped a foot, because that sounds like a bad loss, doesn’t it? Of course a lot has happened since then, with recent installments of A Lot Happening including the Mets giving up 25 runs, which was embarrassing, and then losing to fucking Tommy Milone [8], which I’d argue was worse.

The Braves are somehow really good, far earlier than we would have expected, let alone liked, and battling for first-place with the Phillies — the Phillies! The Mets, meanwhile, are viewing the proceedings from deep inside a crater of their own making. They’re a tire fire and a tired farce, which means losing by two in a humdrum game on a sweltering night barely moves the needle these days.

The Mets have been garbage for months, and now the calendar has caught up with them. Whatever’s hanging on your wall or adorning your lock screen may say August, but if you’re a baseball fan you know better than that. It’s Garbage Time, where all blue and orange actors are in supporting roles, no game means much of anything, and no statistics are to be trusted.

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Your blogger is off for an eight-day midwestern swing that will take him through six states and five ballparks, four of them new: I’m adding Minnesota, Milwaukee, the White Sox and Cincinnati to my roster of parks visited, with Emily’s first trip to Wrigley Field tossed in for obvious reasons. Field reports to come; in the meantime, be nice to Greg, who’s being admirably cheerful about being left in the wreckage.