The Wrap: NL
NL Quote of the Night:
"That's a pretty good feeling when you're doing something like that. Anytime you can be mentioned in the same sentence with a guy like Mike Schmidt, it's always a great feeling and an honor."
-- Phillies slugger Ryan Howard on tying Mike Schmidt on the team's list of career grand slams in his hometown of St. Louis
Nationals 9, Astros 4
Wait, so let's get this straight. The Nationals fell behind, as they are wont to do. Makes sense. Then they stormed back from a four run deficit, scored five runs in a single inning and routed an opponent? Are we sure this is the same team? Did the "Natinals" uniforms come out again? And Joe Beimel is coming back, too? Boy, when it rains, it pours (literally and figuratively).
Brewers 7, Pirates 4
The answer to the question of "Which surging young pitcher will come out of the Brewers-Pirates game in better Cy Young contention?" was "neither." Both Yovani Gallardo and Paul Maholm struggled, but Milwaukee's bullpen provided more quality innings, and Richie Weeks provided more quality RBI with a three-run homer, setting up another Brewers win.
Mets 6, Braves 4
The Mets needed a lift. Carlos Beltran needed to start hitting. Put both things together, and New York suddenly landed an enormous divisional win. Not only did the Mets get a win on the road against a divisional foe, they helped John Maine get back on track with another win -- despite a career-high six walks -- and beat one of Atlanta's more sturdy starters, Javier Vazquez.
Marlins 3, Reds 2
Did anyone else see Hanley Ramirez's moon blast of a home run? The man may not hit 50 in a season any time soon, but the blasts Ramirez gets hold of are positively majestic. This one gave the Marlins an early lead, though a Cincinnati rally forced the game into extra innings, where Florida found a way to win again ... on a botched Reds double play.
Cubs 4, Giants 2
The Cubs hosted one of their occasional night games at Wrigley Field, though Ryan Theriot ensured Chicago wouldn't be particularly gracious hosts. Theriot knocked out his third homer in four games -- he had only seven in his career entering the month -- and the Cubs had enough offense to back a resurgent start from Ryan Dempster, who improved to 2-1 thanks to his seven inning performance in which he spread out five hits and only two runs.
Phillies 6, Cardinals 1
By the fifth inning, the story from the Phillies win at Busch Stadium was all about Ryan Howard tying Mike Schmidt's career grand slam mark. Two innings later, it was suddenly about Rick Ankiel, whose headfirst collision with the outfield wall sent him to the hospital. X-rays were negative, but the Cardinals are clearly still concerned. Howard, on the other hand, is just happy to be in same conversation as Schmidt, for good reason.
Rockies 9, Padres 6
There were grand slams in San Diego, too, where Chris Iannetta kept a torrid hitting streak alive with a four-run homer off Cla Meredith, the budding Colorado stars fifth homer of the year. That helped bail out Jorge De La Rosa, who allowed six runs (only three earned) across five innings in a shaky start.
Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 2
The Dodgers became the first NL team to win its first 11 home games since 1900 as L.A. used a big night from Manny Ramirez, whose homer and three RBI were enough to beat Arizona on their own. That all made for another disappointing loss for Doug Davis, and another winner Eric Stultz, who is suddenly off to a surprising 3-1 start. All this L.A. success with young pitching makes you wonder what Torre might have done last year with New York's young pitching, doesn't it?
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