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The Mets Rally, Then Hang On

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 25: Daniel Murphy #28 of the New York Mets doubles to drive in two runs in the seventh inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 25, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

In the week before the trade deadline, all the assorted trade buzz can sometimes distract from the fact that the players and teams involved are still, you know, playing baseball games. And that's fine with us, because we've always liked the MLB trade deadline: It's fun to play armchair GM, pick apart rumors, and think about your team landing a big prize, or a highly-touted prospect, or even a role player who fills a need. Plus, both teams focused on the stretch run and those building for the future can come out winners all the same. But considering that the reports involving Carlos Beltran are all over the place these days — the Mets can get a top prospect! Unless they can't! — it's nice to have actual baseball to watch in the meantime. And so, last night, the Mets beat the Reds 4-2, scoring four times in the top of the seventh to take the lead, and escaping with a win after Jason Isringhausen loaded the bases in the ninth (with some help from a David Wright error) and then struck out Brandon Phillips to end the ballgame. Daniel Murphy, in particular, had an eventful night, doubling in two runs to put the Mets on top in the seventh, cutting off a ball that maybe could have nailed a runner at the plate in the bottom half of that inning, and making a nice/weird/kind-of-dangerous play at first to record the first out in the ninth. (You can watch that play here.) Jonathon Niese pitches tonight for the Mets, who, for the sixth time since the All-Star break, are back at the .500 mark exactly.

Photo: Joe Robbins/2011 Getty Images