The Wrap: NL
NL Quote of the Night:
"I can't explain it; I have no idea - and even if I did, I wouldn't tell you,"
-- Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer, on his career success against the Marlins, who he has never lost to at Marlins Stadium and is 12-1 against lifetime.
Nationals 8, Mets 1
Well, it was about time the Nats found a way to win a game. And while this game wasn't spotless, it's about as close as a team can come -- and it might have been if young starter Jordan Zimmermann had been given the benefit of a couple of strike calls. Of course, if Jesus Flores keeps hitting at the pace he did in New York, Washington might not need the luck. Well, actually they probably still will when Daniel Cabrera is pitching.
Phillies 13, Marlins 2
Too bad the Nats have to face the Phillies next, huh? Phialadelphia steamrolled through a sweep of the Marlins, sending the once blazing fish to a sixth-straight loss in grand fashion on Sunday. Jamie Moyer stayed as close to perfect against Florida in his lifetime as possible, and there wasn't even any drama, thanks to Shane Victorino's four RBI.
Reds 8, Braves 2
Now, if Micah Owings keeps pitching like this, he'll start getting comparisons to Babe Ruth on the hurling and hitting front. The young Reds starter lasted 7 innings while giving up only six hits and one run -- and knocked out two hits of his own -- in Cincinnati's win.
Astros 3, Brewers 2
No winning streaks last forever (though the Red Sox might not want to hear it), though it took the Astros holding on to a slim lead for five innings to end the stretch the Brewers had put up. Russ Ortiz earned the win, even though he only lasted five innings. And he only got the win because Jose Valverde found a way to get around Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder.
Cubs 10, Cardinals 3
Well, it wouldn't have been a Chicago-St. Louis tussle unless the teams had fought through a split. The Cubs can thank Rich Harden's return to form for that, and Kosuke Fukudome's career-high 5 RBI on his 32nd birthday. What's more impressive than that? The fact that Fukuodome's birthday homer came against a left-hander.
Rockies 10, Dodgers 4
So much for Los Angeles' unstoppable young pitching. The Dodgers youth movement hit a speed bump with speedballing Clayton Kershaw on the mound, with both Ryan Spilborghs and Clint Barmes going deep off Kershaw. Jason Marquis got the win for the Rockies, improving to 3-1, all while the Cubs wonder what happened to that other pitcher they had the past couple of years.
Pirates 8, Padres 3
The young pitching for the Pirates, on the other hand, just keeps rolling along under the guidance of new pitching coach Joe Kerrigan. On Sunday it was Ross Ohlendorf's turn to shine again, with the former Yankee improving to 2-2 by allowing only three runs in seven innings -- and only one after the first. In fact, the Pirates are suddenly so confident, they were willing to critique Padres ace Jake Peavy's pitching.
Diamondbacks 5, Giants 4
The NL West isn't playing out the way some had predicted in the preseason, but it is entertaining. On Sunday -- just hours after learning that Brandon Webb will be out of the rotation for even longer than anticipated, Arizona staged a ninth inning rally with a Justin Upton two-run homer, then won in the 12th when Conor Jackson hit a bases-loaded single. Whether this is the kind of emotional win the Diamondbacks need to really get rolling is anyone's guess, but at the very least, it should help cushion the blow of the sudden, extended loss of Webb.
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