Posted: Thursday April 20, 2006 11:46AM; Updated: Thursday April 20, 2006 1:26PM
Tom Glavine lost a pitchers' duel to Tim Hudson on Wednesday.
But Wednesday's game, a sparkling pitchers' duel that didn't even last two hours, seemed to mean a little more. First there was Tim Hudson's performance. Hudson had been a prime example of the Braves' new fallibility in starting pitching: He entered the game with an ERA just over 9.00. But he dominated the Mets, pitching a complete game and allowing only one run, in the ninth. By the end of the afternoon he had lowered his ERA nearly three points. With Mazzone nowhere in sight. One sign the Braves are getting back to normal.
Then there's Andruw Jones. He hit two home runs against Zambrano on Tuesday. On Wednesday he blasted a three-two Glavine pitch to break a scoreless tie in the top of the seventh. The disbelief in the Shea stands wasn't just that Jones had hit another one. It was that the Mets were still pitching to Jones instead of around him. Jones carried the Braves' offense last year and he looks ready to do it again.
Granted, the Mets had their excuses. They were shorthanded both Tuesday and Wednesday. Beltran and Cliff Floyd missed both games, and Lo Duca sat on Wednesday.
The Mets (10-4) still own the best record in the National League. But Atlanta, at 8-8, reaffirmed that if you start shoveling dirt on the Braves, they'll revive like you just splashed water in their faces. Try to stick a fork in them, it'll end up in your thigh.
Anyone who had watched Monday night's game thinking the changing of the guard was finally in order left Shea on Wednesday thinking this:
The Braves are going to stick it to everyone again.
This week I like
Kelly Slater's win in the Rip Curl Pro at Bell's Beach in Australia. With that win Slater equaled Tom Curren's career record for ASP tour wins with 33.
Mr. Met. Best fan photo op in sports.
The potential Cleveland-Detroit series in the NBA's second round
The brutal quicksand scene in Kekexili: Mountain Patrol, in which a lone traveler is swallowed up and killed. They didn't run like that on Gilligan's Island.
Antony and the Johnson's CD I Am a Bird. Again.
This week I don't like
The Iverson trade talk in Philly.
Barbers who answer their cell phones in the middle of haircuts. Hey, pal, be sure to include the cost of the dollars I sliced off your tip in your cell-phone payment plan.
The portions at Virgil's BBQ in midtown Manhattan. The place is an icon, but I'm just going to come out and say it: not enough for the money.