The Rest of the Week

Ok, not Asleep at the Wheel thinking about the Astros but yes indeed, the Sunday through Thursday stretch was missed and with it, some Best News of The Week, ranked thusly:

1. The Return of Pedro The Toe: Oh how long we waited for this. Well, not just us, certainly his teammates as well and quite probably, the baseball world generally. It was less than a brilliant beginning, to be sure. Months of rust, the creaking Pedro Mothership, a rubbish rolling single for Josh Hamilton, Gonzalez' double over Alou's head misplayed in left field, Junior coming to the plate and things looking like they could go horribly pear-shaped quicker than the months of waiting expectation.

Are happy days here again for Mr and Mrs Franchise?

But Junior flew out to Beltran and Beltran quite nearly completed a great double play by throwing Hamilton out at the plate and after yet another base hit, the cleanest of the game, by Brandon Phillips, the damage was limited to the two runs.

Of course, he joined the 3000 K Club and finished after 5 innings, 76 pitches, 5 hits, 2 earned runs and 4 Ks including his 1st win of 2007. Given the fragility of the moment it was amazing that by the 3rd or 4th inning it was almost as though Pedro had never left.

The Mets put up 16 hits and 10 runs in support to make sure Pedro's return was a successful one.

2. Glavine Tops Smoltz Mets Sweep: Anytime the Mets sweep the Braves at Turner Dump, it's news. Sweeping the Braves anywhere is news. Doing it in September, in Atlanta and on the heels of having just been swept by the miserable Phillies four straight games was simply fantastically unexpected. Just when you thought hope was a whore and you could cash in your ducats for another season of disappointment, faith reappeared and the Mets season redeemed. Not to mention, Glavine finally beating fellow future HOFer John Smoltz for the first time in 4 outings.

3. Phillies Collapse Against Braves: Actually, this is what we came to expect from the Team To Beat, that four game mirage not withstanding; a crap bullpen losing games over and over. This wasn't even the first time. Oh no. When Glavine was topping Smoltzy for the first time, the Phillies were busy even then, blowing a five-run lead in a 7-6 loss to the Marlins.

No, for bragging rights for the most gutting performance all season, the Phillies blew an 8-2 lead and lost the series finale to the Braves, 9-8. Happy Daze.

Consider This:

During a six-game winning streak that included the Mets series, Phillies pitchers posted a 3.27 ERA. The starters made it through the sixth inning four times, and the relievers didn't yield a run in four of six games.

In losing four of their next five games and erasing any delusions of grandeur, Phillies pitchers posted a 7.56 ERA. The starters made it through the sixth just twice, and the relievers allowed 15 runs in 18 1/3 innings.

The Team To Beat, indeed. Bye, bye losers.

Well, maybe not so fast. The Mets will host the Braves and Phillies again next week so perhaps in this up and down season the Mets suffer through, there will be more twists and turns remaining...let's hope not.

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