How many times does Pat Burrell need to kill the Mets before they just accept that there is some cosmic barrier that forbids them from retiring him in a big spot. Pat the Bat hit his 40th and 41st career home runs against the Mets yesterday to help the Phillies win a wild game 11-10, sweep a four-game series and close within just two games of the front-running not-so-Amazins. His second bomb came off Billy Wagner, a double delight for Phillie fans, in the eighth. Wagner got the early call because the rest of the pen has lost Willie Randolph's favor but he was spent after 20 pitches and got ransacked in the ninth. Chase Utley got the winning hit for the fifth straight win of an unforgettable week in Philadelphia. Utley's hit capped a game that saw the Mets crawl out of 5-0 and 8-5 holes to take a 10-8 lead thanks to Philly's own shoddy relief work but they were unable to capitalize and stop the bleeding. Perhaps some of the Met fans who made the trip down the turnpike were able to glean some coping tips from Phillie fans who remember 1964. Then again, it seems like they discussed other matters.
- The Seattle Mariners have been living a charmed life all season but if they were practicing some kind of voodoo or using some kind of mystical accompaniment to help them along it may be time to change the batteries. They lost their sixth straight, 6-5 to the Indians, on the always frustrating bases loaded walk and are now a game behind the Yankees for the Wild Card. Adding to the frustration, the walk was issued by Rick White, who relieved Eric O'Flaherty in the ninth. You might note that neither of those pitchers are J.J. Putz, better known as Seattle's best reliever. There are better lead-ins to ten game road trips but the Mariners will have to hope that sometime over the next nine their rabbits feet and horseshoes start clicking once more. Or maybe they should just cross their fingers and hope John McLaren remembers he has decent players on his team.
- The Diamondbacks ran out to an 8-0 lead in their attempt to avoid a four-game sweep by the Padres. They then gave up three runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth before turning to Jose Valverde for the save, something he called into doubt by allowing a Milton Bradley homer. But Valverde recovered and struck out the last two Padres to escape with an 8-7 win and a restored place alone atop the AL West. Chris Young struggled again for the Padres and he's probably happy to wave goodbye to a month that saw him go 0-3 and inflate his ERA by half a run.
- Chris Capuano lost his 12th straight decision, a new Brewer record, and the Cubs increased their lead to two and a half games thanks to his continued generosity. Matt Murton and Alfonso Soriano had the big strikes in the 5-4 win; two-out homers that broke a 3-3 tie in the sixth inning. Capuano didn't start the game but Manny Parra had to leave with injury after three innings allowing Capuano a chance to continue his miserable string.
(AP Photo/George Widman)