The Full Count: Phillies move into wild card lead doing nothing


1. It’s a Tie: The Padres seemingly had the wild card wrapped up, but with a four game losing streak they let two other teams back in the race. The Phillies, who were off on Monday, are now tied with San Diego for the wild card lead. The Rockies, who are riding an eight game winning streak, are now a game back. The Padres’ loss came 9-4 at the hands of the Giants. Chris Young continued his baffling collapse with seven runs allowed in five innings. This raised his ERA over 3 for the first time since May. Barry Zito of the Giants, one of the all-time biggest wastes of money, finally won his 10th game of the year. The Padres, 85-71, have two more games against the Giants before they travel to Milwaukee for a four-game showdown to finish the season. The Rockies have the toughest road among the contenders with Los Angeles and Arizona to finish up the season. The Phillies have the Braves and Nationals, all at home. Atlanta, who is three games back, could become competitive in the race themselves if they sweep Philly.

2. Unwanted Losses: Both New York teams lost on Monday. For the Yankees, it put them 2 games back of the Red Sox for the division lead. For the Mets, a loss put them only two games ahead of the Phillies in the division. The Mets fell to the last-place Nationals by an embarrassing 13-4 score. Spot starter Mike Pelfrey got torched for seven runs in the blowout loss at home. The Yankees also lost at home, this one coming to the Blue Jays. The pesky Jays, who swept Boston last week, took 2 of 4 from New York in the series. Rookie Jesse Litsch had 7.2 innings of near-scoreless action to pick up the win over Andy Pettitte. Even though the Yanks face Tampa and Baltimore the last two series, it is unlikely they will win the division. They play all those games on the road, while the Red Sox will stay at Fenway Park for the rest of the season.

3. Too Little, Too Late?: The Brewers certainly had an impressive showing Monday: a 13-4 win over St. Louis to put them three games back of the Cubs, who didn’t play. Ryan Braun (33) and Prince Fielder (48) both homered and had three RBIs. They piled up nine runs, though only four earned, off St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright. The Cardinals, who have been officially eliminated from playoff contention, have gone 4-15 since September 7. At that point they were one game back in the division, now they trail by 10. The Brewers will have to virtually win out and hope the Cubs lose the majority of their remaining games if they want to get in the playoffs. However, that is looking highly unlikely right now.

Player of the Day: Carlos Silva, Twins: 7.2 innings, 6 hits, no runs in a 2-0 win over Detroit.

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