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Mets’ Hold on First Place Lasts About Four Hours

The Braves' loss to the White Sox yesterday afternoon gave the New York Mets their first second in first place since April 30. Later in the evening, Hisanori Takahashi gave the Braves first place right back. The wild card magic number is 90 now, though, and the PECOTA playoff odds report has them at almost 40 percent odds. Nothing to worry about. Now, about the other stuff ...

The Mets essentially have three major story lines going on off the field for them right now. One is familiar, one is hopeful, and one is ugly.

The familiar: Carlos Beltran played his first rehab game yesterday. He went 0–for–2 with a walk for the St. Lucie Mets. His right knee did not explode on impact.

The hopeful: The Mets continue to be a willing buyer come trade deadline time, specifically for Cliff Lee. It feels like it has been an awfully long time since the Mets were buyers, and they're willing to take Lee contract-sight-unseen; they'll make a trade without securing him beyond this season. Though they're not trading Ike Davis, Jenrry Mejia, or Jon Niese, so you're safe there. Even more wisely: They seem to be resistant to trading for Roy Oswalt, who would require less talent in exchange but a longer commitment, for a lesser, aging pitcher.

The ugly: The Johan Santana "situation" is still hanging around a bit. Santana has denied the allegations — while admitting that he did have sex with a woman next to a Fort Myers, Florida, golf course — and the Mets (and the police, for that matter) say "the case is closed." Perhaps predictably, some are keeping it alive using the infidelity angle, and while we might joke that we're shocked, SHOCKED that a professional athlete might be unfaithful to his wife, it is something different when that athlete is a specific athlete named Johan Santana, who is generally considered Not That Type of Guy. The Mets seem to be pushing to move past the story, which typically inspires people to do the opposite. If we're still talking about this in a month, something has gone terribly wrong.

Anyway, it's the Twins in town tonight, Mike Pelfrey versus Kevin Slowey.

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Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images