As Casey Stengel once noted, it is a truth universally acknowledged, that a ball club in possession of a good rotation, must be in want of a catcher.

However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his facing his former ball club, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of his surrounding teammates, that the Mets are considered as the rightful property of him.

Mr. d’Arnaud was so odd a mixture of quick bat, laid-back temperament, and frequent injury, that the experience of six years had been insufficient to make his employers understand his character. Their mind was less difficult to develop. The Mets were a club of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper. When they were discontented, they fancied themselves nervous. The business of their life was to play in the National League East; its solace was visiting and home games.

On a related note, I am broadly comfortable with Bayesian logic, which relates the likelihood of something happening in the future to what one already knows about its having happened already. Therefore, while the Braves came into this game at 10-13, while the division-leading Mets were 16-7, Bayes provides a helpful reminder:

The Braves are the world’s champion, and IWOTM.

In the event, this was actually more or less an ideal baseball game, notwithstanding the fifty-something-degree weather in New York on the second of May. The Mets had Chris Bassitt, who I swear I actually hadn’t even heard of before the Mets brought him in and everyone wrote “wow this guy is really good” blog posts.

And apparently he really is! All he did was go seven strong, strike out eight men while giving up just one walk, and the three runs he yielded actually increased his ERA from 2.25 all the way to 2.61. But we had Varsity on the bump, and he struck out six without walking a soul, and he gave up just two runs in six innings, and notwithstanding a bit of insurance, the pen made that margin hold up. That’s more or less how they drew it up in the offseason: Varsity, Matzek, McHugh, Minter, Jansen, shake hands and hit the showers. (Hancock didn’t appear, but I love him too.)

Of course, the Braves had to actually put runs on the board in order for that to happen, and for that, they have the catcher to thank, as I previously alluded. In his career, Travis d’Arnaud has played nine games against the Mets, and he’s hitting a measly .469/.528/.875 with 3 HR, 4 2B, and 14 RBI in 36 plate appearances. So last night he went 3-4 with two doubles and three ribbies, including a gorgeous backhand slice down the line on a pitch in the other batter’s box.

By the way, it turns out that Austin Riley doesn’t mind facing the Mets either — he’s got a cool .303/.375/.664 line against ’em, in a hundred more PA than Travis has got, and he joined the fun with a solo tater. (By contrast, Chipper only hit .309/.406/.543 against the Metropolitans.)

Speaking of which, I often bemoan the lack of great nicknames in baseball, and it turns out that the only thing Austin Riley loves as much as baseball is hunting.

So I’m gonna start calling him Elmer. Who’s with me?

(One last thing. Did y’all know that Man or Astro-Man is still making records? What a time to be alive!)