Braves Killah

It's taken nearly a year and a half but finally, the Carlos Beltran everyone hoped for, the Carlos Beltran of the 2004 NLDS, has arrived on the Mets.

After a massive performance against the Mets most virulent rivals, leading the Mets to a season-ending three game sweep for the Braves, inclusive of back to back games with a brace of homeruns, his third grandslam of the month, four homeruns in all and twelve RBIs in three games.

The 2006 Beltran is much improved.

Incidentally, Beltran is only the eighth player in Major League history to hit three slams in a month. The last was Devon White in May 2001, when he played with the Brewers. Piazza hit three with the Dodgers in April 1998.

Not to be left out, Carlos Delgado, a day after getting plunked by Tim Hudson, had four hits, including a two-run homer, and Reyes had three hits and scored three runs for the Mets, who had a season-high 19 hits.

Once again the Mets used their time-tested formula for victory which is score early. They scored in the first inning in all three games of this series -- seven runs in all and a big-league high 95 first inning runs for the season on their way to yet another impressive victory over the once-feared Braves, this time by a 10-6 margin which increased their lead over the Braves to 15 games.

The Mets swept a four-game set in Atlanta from July 4-7, 1985. Their last sweep of any series there was a two-game set May 1-2, 1989.

A laughter it was. They led, 7-0, after batting in the second -- all seven came against losing pitcher Chuck James (4-2), who retired only three of 12 batters.

One concern in this laughter however is that even in the wake of El Duque's magnificent pitching display the day before, Tom Glavine has yet to appease the jackals of doom howling at his 2006 door. Even with such a daunting lead Glavine continued to struggle yesterday allowing 10 hits and 6 runs over a mere four innings of work. Following this abysmal performance, in his last two starts (14 runs in 10 2/3 innings, two losses and five no decisions in last seven starts, one might begin to wonder if much like his Hall of Fame counterpart Greg Maddux, Mr Glavine isn't beginning to lose a little steam.

Perhaps after being knocked out of the NL East race, the Braves might like to reward us with a parting gift in the form of John Smoltz? Sweet dreams indeed.

So with the weekend over the Mets have a day off and have played their last game of July 2006 having swept their most serious rivals under the carpet for the season. Next up are the Florida Marlins.

Tuesday, Mike "Bats In The" Pelfrey will take on Scott Olsen who hasn't given up a run in his last two outings, a span of 12 2/3 innings. This is Pelfrey's day to shine or spend the remainder of the season honing his sunflower seed spitting skills in the bullpen.

Steve Trachsel then takes the mound on eight days rest provided in advance with a convenient excuse for a dismal outing: "I've had too many days off in between starts, blablabla."

And then the mighty showdown on Thursday, Pedro against the D Train, provided of course that the two maestros are not teammates by then - yes, we can all dream. I would give up Milledge AND Pelfrey AND Heilman for such a dream.

So good night sweet Braves, don't let the door hit your arse on the way out.

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