Brett Myers labored through his second horrible start in a row, as the Phillies fell to the Braves 10-4 at Citizens Bank Park. Myers allowed 10 hits, including nine after just three innings.
Meanwhile at Shea Stadium, the Mets squandered opportunities galore in a 9-6, 10-inning loss to the Cubs, dropping them into a tie with the Brewers in the National League Wild Card race. The Mets let a four-run lead built on Carlos Delgado's grand slam slip away and went five straight innings where they stranded a runner at third, scoring just once during that span on a bases-loaded walk. The Cubs would eventually catch up to the Mets' bullpen (Luis Ayala) for three runs in the 10th. Elsewhere, the Brewers beat the putrid Pirates 4-2. The Phils maintain a 1 1/2 game lead over the Mets in the National League East with a day off tomorrow and the Mets wrapping it up with the Cubs, weather permitting.
Beerleaguer: Nobody said a pennant race was easy. Myers resembled the lost soul who was demoted to the minors before the All-Star break. It was painful to watch. One can only wonder whether the short-rest complete game took a toll. He had no command of his fastball again, and frankly, even Myers wanted Myers out of this one. His latest struggles are a major setback for a club gaining confidence in his ability to anchor a playoff rotation.
The game at Shea was as poorly pitched as they come, and the blown scoring chances, particularly in the ninth, came back to bite the Mets. They also hit into a share of back luck with runners in scoring position (double play liner to Derrek Lee, for example). I needn't mention the Mets' bullpen.