"It made sense," Easley said. "But that doesn't make it easy."
He took a ball from Ohman, then flied out to left-center, testing the revised air currents created by Citi Field. The ball had carry; it often does when his swing sends a pitch to left-center. But Citi Field didn't help, and Easley returned to the dugout.
Easley held his thumb and forefinger a half-inch apart Saturday as he discussed the at-bat -- he had missed Ohman's pitch by that much on the bat.
"Got out in front a little," Easley said.
Otherwise, Easley might have hit his first 2008 home run. But how much could be expected? He hadn't seen a live pitch in three days and had merely six at-bats in 12 days. His timing was "messed up" he said.
"And since the job of the pitcher is to mess up my timing, it wasn't a good thing," Easley continued. "Those two negatives don't make a positive. Not in this game."
Easley's first pinch-hit at-bat of the season had born no fruit. He just had been thrust into the most challenging job in sports. Many will argue hitting a baseball is, generally, the most difficult task. Pinch-hitting is worse.
"You're going up there cold and usually you're facing a guy [a reliever] with two nasty pitches," Easley said. "And the first time you get to size him up might be when you're in the box, facing him."
Easley had had a modicum of success in the role. "I'm not great at it" is how he characterized his pinch-hitting prowess.
"That's why I can't comprehend what some of these guys do," he continued. "Lenny Harris [the all-time leader in pinch-hits , 212]. How can you get that many hits in that situation?
"And I marvel at what Marlon [Anderson] can do. The kind of contact he makes regularly."
Anderson, as accomplished as he is as a pinch-hitter -- he had a .295 career average in that role before this season -- had been ineffective in the role this season until Thursday, when he hit the ninth pinch-hit home run of his career, against the Nationals. It was his second hit in 17 pinch-hit at-bats.
"And Marlon can do that job," Easley said. "But even he has to live with the consequences. It's not easy."