Unlike the Red Sox the Mets really did have something to worry about if they couldn't stop their losing streak. The second place team in the NL East is guaranteed nothing by way of the Wild Card so it's really the best bet to keep a tight grip on that brass ring. After a week of slipping the Mets finally did just that. And of all the bold-faced names on the roster they have Jorge Sosa to thank for their change in fortunes. Sosa relieved Mike Pelfrey in the sixth inning with runners on first and third and nobody out. The Mets had a 5-3 lead but it didn't seem all that secure given the recent bullpen performances. Sosa, however, put the past behind him by striking out the red-hot D'Angelo Jimenez and getting Nook Logan to ground into a double play. The Mets scored three runs in the top of the seventh and the 8-4 win was secure as Sosa, Aaron Heilman and Billy Wagner closed the door on the pesky Nationals.
- Of all the Molinas in all the world, wouldn't it have to be Yadier who helped the Mets regain a game on their lead over the Phillies. In a tasty bit of symmetry, the Cardinals catcher drove home the winning run, on his very own bobblehead night no less, in a 2-1 game that had a lot of impact on the Mets. It's a weird way for the Phillies to lose. They got great pitching for most of 10 innings but their powerful bats couldn't do anything against Adam Wainwright or the St. Louis bullpen.
- Alfonso Soriano put the Cubs back into the lead in the Central division with a splendid all-around effort in the 3-2 win over the Reds. He kept the game tied at 2 in the top of the eighth with a peg to nab Norris Hopper at the plate. That came several innings after he led off the game with his 28th home run of the season. Throw some credit to Ted Lilly for seven strong innings and to Bobby Howry for two good innings of relief but it was Soriano that gets to wear the hero's cap.
- You can close the book on the Detroit Tigers after C.C. Sabathia struck out seven for his 18th win in yesterday's 4-2 Indian victory. The sweep knocked the Tigers five and a half games out of the Wild Card hunt and sliced the Tribe's magic number to three all of which means that Jim Leyland's October cigarettes will be smoked on the golf course or at the bingo parlour and not on national television.
- The Diamondbacks never thought they'd regret trading Scott Hairston to San Diego but for a moment last night they had to wonder if they made the right call. Hairston hit a two-out, three-run ninth inning home run to lift the Friars to a 5-3 win over the Pirates that keeps them just a game back of Arizona in the West. It will be down to a half-game if they can beat the Bucs again today and you have to wonder if Leo Rosales was worth all the trouble.
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)