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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night:

--------------- (silence)

-- Phillies TV announcers during the first inning of Philadelphia's loss to San Diego. The silent treatment was a tribute to late Phillies radio broadcaster Harry Kalas, who passed away after passing out in the Nationals Park media box earlier this week.

Marlins 3, Nationals 2
Ouch. John Lannan was great. The set-up men in the bullpen were great. Even the bottom of the batting order -- including Lannan himself -- was great. Now, if only Joel Hanrahan remembered what it felt like to save a game, the 'Natinals' might have something going. And no, that isn't a typo.

Cubs 8, Cardinals 7
Sometimes, even a heated rivalry needs a couple blood-boiling, back-and-forth match ups to get the passion flowing the way its supposed to. Well, if the Cubs and Cardinals needed that kind of renewal, they got it on Friday, with a see-saw homer-fest finally ending with an Alfonso Soriano bomb as the game winner. If Saturday's matchup between the two wasn't must see TV already, it should be now.

Padres 8, Phillies 7
This game was supposed to be all about Harry Kalas, complete with makeshift monuments to the play-by-play deity all around Citizens Bank Park and every fan receiving two packs of Marlboro Reds as a tribute (wonder how the American Cancer Society feels about that). Instead, the game was about Jerry Hairston, who kept the Padres' stunning surge moving with a 4-RBI game. The game also saw none other than Heath Bell take a commanding lead in the early season saves category with six. Who needs Trevor Hoffman, right?

Pirates 3, Braves 0
Well, now we know why more people didn't pick the Braves to win the NL East: They are going to be games where they really, really struggle to hit. They couldn't get anything done against Pittsburgh starter Paul Maholm on Friday night, with the Pirates starter keying a three-man six-hitter as Pittsburgh got back on the winning track. In fact, Maholm's gem was so good it ruined the one Jair Jurrjens was spinning, with the budding Atlanta star suffering his first loss despite giving up only one run in 6 2/3 innings.

Mets 5, Brewers 4
If there was any question whether Gary Sheffield's heart was in being a New York Met, those should be dispelled after his celebratory trot around the bases following his 500th career home run, a shot that came -- oddly for him -- in a punch hit appearance. In a measure of equal importance, the homer tied the game, setting the stage for Luis Castillo's walk off hit in the bottom of the ninth.

Reds 2, Astros 1
There are blown saves that hurt, and then there are blown saves that feel positively soul crushing. This one falls under the latter category for Astros reliever Jose Valverde, who gave up a two-run homer to Ramon Hernandez while protecting a one-run lead. Sure, Valverde said all the right things after the loss, but does he really believe them? Whether he does or not, at least the team can take solace in the fact that Roy Oswalt finally looked like, well, Roy Oswalt, pitching six scoreless innings before leaving in line for a win. If only the game had ended after seven innings, right?

Dodgers 4, Rockies 3
Somehow, the Dodgers are scraping out wins, and some of the late-inning victories really are starting to feel as if they have Joe Torre's fingerprints all over them. They got a bit assist in this one from the Colorado bullpen, which gave up all four of L.A.'s runs at the hands of Matt Belisle (who yielded three without scoring an out) and Alan Embree, who took the loss.

Giants 2, Diamondbacks 0
Finally, Jonathan Sanchez gets a well-deserved win. The young pitcher tossed into the seventh inning, leading a shut out of reeling division rival Arizona, which stuck ace Dan Haren with yet another, brutally unfair loss. How unfair have the losses been? Haren is 0-3 despite an unbelievable 1.89 ERA. It makes one wonder if he could be a Cy Young candidate with 12 wins and a 1.5 ERA if the Diamondbacks don't get turned around offensively, doesn't it?

By Cameron Smith  |  April 18, 2009; 7:50 AM ET
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  
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Next: The Wrap: AL

Comments

Who the hell thought it'd be a good idea to pass out 2 packs of cigarettes to every fan who came to the game? That's awful.

Posted by: adampschroeder | April 18, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

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