Yup, live chat at 11 this morning. It's been so long since we had one that I don't remember who won our last Live Chat MVP honors. Which means that, in the back of my mind - or perhaps even the front - I won't be thinking, "I should try to spread the wealth."

Previous winners, today is your time to shine!

Lightning round:

--A.J. Burnett pitched better last night. It's worth reiterating that, a year ago at this time, nearly identical questions loomed about Burnett's playoff readiness before he ended the regular season with a run of solid starts. He is who he is.

The big concern will come down the road when Burnett loses his quality stuff, because he doesn't appear to be the type of guy who will be able to out-think and outsmart hitters. But we're not there yet.

Andy Pettitte, meanwhile, recorded an encouraging bullpen session.

--Jerry Manuel may induce cringing with some of his moves and words, but he's intelligent enough to realize he's toast. He wants to finish out the season. I don't think there's any harm in that, although this week against the Braves has been pretty ugly. Are the Mets now letting down their intensity, or are the Braves just outclassing the Mets? Prior to this trip, the Mets had at least been competitive.

Tonight, with Johan Santana on the mound, could be a good measure of that question. Will Santana report with his usual effort, and if he does, will his teammates honor that?

--David Wright told David Lennon that he's hanging in there and doesn't want to leave the Mets. 

--Aroldis Chapman is throwing the ball with record-setting velocity, and as Tyler Kepner reports in this story, the Reds intend to try to make Chapman a starter in 2011. Maybe Chapman will enjoy a transition back to starting as relatively smooth as Phil Hughes'.

But given what an explosive bullpen weapon Chapman appears to be - with the Reds virtually assured of making the playoffs - I can't help but think of Joba Chamberlain and Texas' Neftali Feliz, who wound up in the bullpen after making such strong first impressions there. Time will tell. For now, the arrival of Chapman makes the Reds a more exciting postseason story.

--Remember last year when the Nationals were being celebrated for acquiring Nyjer Morgan from the silly Pirates? Not so much anymore. Morgan put up a 2.0 WAR in just 49 games with Washington last year. This season, in 116 games? -1.5. Meanwhile, Morgan's Pittsburgh successor Andrew McCutchen has a respectable 2.3 WAR in 125 games.

And Morgan has now made more headlines for his feistiness than for his production, as he ignited a major brawl between the Nationals and the Marlins last night. Morgan already was appealing a seven-game suspension for a separate incident. With this on top of that, Morgan will wind up serving one of the bigger, on-field/disciplinary suspensions in recent memory.

--All right, see you at 11.

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