Braves 4, Mets 3

Hey, look on the bright side. At least the Mets got out of Atlanta with less than 50 runners left on base in the Braves’ sweep, a trio of losses that should effectively end New York’s faint hopes of a playoff run. Since the high water mark in San Francisco 12 days ago, the club’s offense has largely disappeared, and Willie Randolph has shown little poise in his handling of the bullpen.

There’s only so much Randolph can do with what he’s been given —- it wasn’t the manager who signed Braden Looper (above), after all — but why leave the alleged closer on the mound to start the 10th after he was so narrowly avoided losing the game in the 9th? And why wait until Looper has loaded the bases with none out in the 10th before calling on Shingo Takatsu — or anyone else available, save for Danny Graves?

Still, I’ll give Looper credit for accomplishing the near impossible. He’s managed to make Tom Glavine seem like a sympathetic figure.

Skip Caray only told the same joke about Francoeur’s Franks “relishing” something young Jeff had done three or four times. There was also a confusing joke about adding Mark Lemke to a crazy e-mailing list, but frankly (ha, ha) there’s nothing funny about Operation Ore.

Fox Sports captured a guy wearing a Circle Jerks t-shirt in the posh seats, which was halfway impressive. I’d like to see him try that during Freak Week, though.

Writes David Roth,

I can’t believe that the best team in the AL started the season with poor, sad-faced, 51 year-old Shingo Takatsu as their closer. I don’t blame him, though. I can’t even be that mad at Looper. I can’t even be that mad.

Why the fuck not?