Hey, a 4 1/2 game lead! The Mets jumped out in front 1-0 in the top of the third, but the Braves tied it up in the bottom of the inning, Drew singling in Giles (who had doubled, and was 3-4 on the day). In the fifth, it was Giles’ turn to single in Furcal (who had doubled) to give the Braves the lead. Andruw (who was 2-3 with a walk hitting fifth) drove Marcus home for insurance.

Mike Hampton was on. He allowed four hits and walked only one in seven innings, struck out six, and threw nearly two strikes for every ball (66 in 102 pitches). His ERA is now 4.71 after being in the fives and sixes most of the season. Maybe he’s just a second-half pitcher, huh?

Chris Reitsma (a couple outings from being the Rejuvenated Chris Reitsma) allowed a single but got a double play and needed only four pitches to get through the eighth. Smoltz allowed two two-out singles but got a flyout to end it.

The Marlins weren’t playing the Phillies and got smoked, 9-0 by the Expos. The division stands:

ATL 56 46 —
PHL 52 51 4.5
FLA 52 51 4.5
NYM 49 53 7
MTL 40 63 16.5

Oddly, the Expos are playing the second-best ball in the division right now… Aaron Heilman is listed as the Mets’ starter tomorrow night, but Kris Benson will probably be the actual starter, I guess.