Mets 6, Braves 3

The All-Star break brought with it several eulogies for Mike Piazza’s career as a Met, if not his tenure as one of the NL’s top catchers. Piazza (above), suffering through a miserable season, had his biggest hit of 2005, smacking a 3 run HR to right field off Atlanta reliever Blaine Boyer in the bottom of the 8th, providing New York with their margin of victory. The Mets moved to within 4 1/2 games of the National League Wild Card, also gaining ground on the Nationals and Marlins, losers to the Brewers and Phillies respectively.

Did Skip Carey really refer to PH Jose Offerman as “the always dangerous….”? And did Offerman — a ridiculous 6 for 9 pinch hitting since joining the Mets, really come through with a clutch 2-out single scoring David Wright with the tying run in the top of the 7th?

Well, yes and yes. If I made stuff like that up, all you’d have to do is check.

David Wright — now 7 for 10 for his career off Atlanta starter Horacio Ramirez — hit two solo HR’s, and made up for a critical throwing error in the 7th with a nifty unassisted double play on Kelly Johnson’s botched bunt in the following inning.

Sid Fernandez just rang. He thinks Curt Schilling could lose some weight.

Oakland’s Rich Harden (above) flirted with perfection for much of Thursday’s shutout of the Rangers, a far less risky proposition than say, flirting with Ryan O’Neal. 81 pitches, 2 hours, 11 minutes, leaving you with plenty of time to try some identity theft (Too Short or Ron “The Ripper” Greco?) at the Bay Area eatery of your choice.