Mets 1, Nationals 0

With the exception of Florida’s decision to hang onto A.J. Burnett, the winner of 7 straight after tonight’s 3-0 defeat of the Dodgers, the killer move that might determine the Mets’ Wild Card fate would have to be the long overdue insertion of Jae Seo into New York’s starting lineup. Seo collected his 5th win of ’05 this evening in shutting down the Nationals over 8 innings, allowing no runs while scattering 4 hits, and working his way out of a first & third / one out jam in the top of the 8th.

Since making his return from Norfolk, Seo (above) has allowed one earned run in 3 starts, his ERA dropping to 1.09.

Jose Reyes tied career highs with 4 singles and 3 stolen bases. He was also caught leaning the wrong way by DC’s John Patterson in the 2nd inning.

C Ramon Castro, filling in while Mike Piazza’s fractured wrist heals, scored the Mets’ only run after doubling to right center in the 7th, subsequently coming home on Victor Diaz’ single. Castro also gunned down Preston Wilson trying to steal in the 6th, a throw we can safely assume Piazza couldn’t have matched.

As of this writing, the Mets have narrowed the gap between themselves and the Wild Card spot to a mere 2 games, though said margin could increase by another half game depending on the result of tonight’s Milwaukee/Houston contest, currently tied at 1 through 7 innings. The Phillies have dropped into a a tie with the Marlins following the former’s 11-2 drubbing at the hands of the Pirates, while the Cubs have closed to within 4 1/2 following Mark Prior’s 10 K outing against Colorado earlier tonight.