The Wrap: NL
NL Quote of the Night:
"We've got no bench. We've got to get somebody in here."
-- Cubs Manager Lou Pinella, on his team's injury woes after losing Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Marmol on Friday.
Mets 4, Nationals 3
Grant this to the woeful Nats: They do keep finding interesting -- if brutally painful -- ways to lose. This time, a chance to upstage Johan Santana was foiled by Elijah Dukes, whose misadventures in the outfield handed Carlos Beltran a triple and served as a perfect metaphor for the team's night and season. Now, about that Pedro Martinez rumor ...
Braves 4, Reds 3
Edinson Volquez had decent stuff, he just didn't have any control. The result was another loss for the Reds, who retreated from recent momentum with a loss to Atlanta and Javier Vazquez and company. Speaking of which, we think this is about as close to having two pitchers with the same last name -- Volquez and Vazquez -- to pitch against each other.
Phillies 7, Marlins 3
Maybe all the Phillies needed was a legitimate challenge from a divisional contender. That's what they were supposed to get on Friday night against the rivals, and indeed, they were three outs from another embarrasing loss. Then they erupted for seven runs in the top of the ninth, keyed by a Shane Victorino grand slam. If that doesn't get Philly on the right track, who knows what will.
Brewers 5, Astros 2
Two days, two complete game gems for the Brewers. A day after Dave Bush nearly twirled a no-hitter, Yovani Gallardo tossed a complete game, two-run outing against the Astros in a win that kept Milwaukee's momentum alive in an NL Central that suddenly appears wide open.
Cardinals 4, Cubs 3
Chicago keeps losing close, one-run games, which is not the kind of thing that goes over well with manager Lou Pinella, as you may have noticed above. Sweet Lou's ever fiery temperament couldn't have been eased by the loss of third baseman Aramis Ramirez in the fifth inning and pitcher Carlos Marmol -- the shining light of the bullpen -- two innings later. If you're in some kind of an office pool about the first manager to get an in-season suspension for brash comments, now might be the time to place a few extra bucks on Lou's name.
Dodgers 6, Rockies 5
The Astros haven't made too much noise about how much they miss catcher Brad Ausmus in large part because of all the things Pudge Rodriguez can well. That being said, it was hard not to be nostaligic about Ausmus last night, after he delivered a game-winning single in the ninth in only his third game filling in for regular starter Russell Martin. Orlando Hudson also extended his hitting streak to 10 games in the win.
Giants 5, Diamondbacks 1
In a performance straight from the Dan Haren memorial "well, that took longer than expected" department, reigning NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum finally earned his first win of the season, extending a dominant stretch of starting pitching to six games. How good has Giants pitching been? Well, by the time Lincecum left after eight innings Friday, San Francisco had let in only three earned runs in 42 2/3 innings. Clearly, that's going to win some ball games.
Padres 4, Pirates 3
There's no way that anyone in the country would have picked Pirates-Padres as the game to watch over the final weekend of April before the season started. Yet that's somehow the case, thanks to Pittsburgh's hot streak at home and San Diego's outright tenaciousness. On Friday, tenaciousness won out, with a big assist from home field advantage and longtime San Diego stalwart Brian Giles.
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