The Wrap: NL
NL Quote of the Night:
"I don't know how long I'm going to be here, so go ahead and get one mark on the board."
-- Cubs infielder Bobby Scales, who made his major league debut after 11 years in the minor leagues and who works as a substitute teacher to earn extra money in the offseason.
Nationals 10, Astros 10
Just when you thought you were going to escape, the Nats go and pull you back in. Unable to close out the game in the ninth, the Nats instead gave up a game-tying sac fly and found themselves batting in the bottom of the 11th. That's when the game was suspended because of a lengthy rain delay (of at least 1:16), to be resumed on July 9 in Houston. Wait, whuh? Yup, that's the story, which feels a lot more disheartening given Washington's earlier lead. But, before you dismay, there's always the encouragement of the latest offering from Boz.
Giants 6, Cubs 2
Boy is Tim Lincecum good. He held a tough Cubs lineup to just two runs, which was more than enough to earn his third win of the season considering the fact that the Giants scored three runs before Lincecum even threw a pitch. Then again, further inspection of the Chicago lineup reveals some pretty interesting names, like the aforementioned Scales in the day's lead-off quote. Oh, and there was good news on the local front: D.C. product Emmanuel Burriss had a 2-for-3 game, pushing his average up to .228. Take that Mendoza line!
Brewers 8, Pirates 5
Of all Pittsburgh's young pitchers, the man who seems most exposed is Ian Snell. Once a contender to be the team's domineering ace, Snell fell to 1-4 on the season while his colleagues seem to improve with nearly every outing. Of course, that's never been the case against Milwaukee, which won its 17th straight game against Pittsburgh, the longest active streak by one team against another in the major leagues. The biggest contributor to keeping that alive on Tuesday? J.J Hardy, who drove in four runs on three hits.
Mets 4, Braves 3
The Mets desperately, desperately needed a big sweep. On Tuesday, they got one, using 6 1/3 innings from Livan Hernandez, across which the fifth starter gave up only one run. Add in balanced hitting from David Wright, Ramon Castro and Carlos Beltran, and the Mets looked a lot more like the team people have expected to see the past two seasons than the one that's often his the field. Now, if only Carlos Delgado hadn't dropped that infield pop up in the ninth, there wouldn't have even been any drama to worry about.
Reds 7, Marlins 0
Cincinnati may not make a playoff run this year, but they've clearly found something with their young pitchers. Two days after Johnny Cueto improved to 2-1 with a 1.65 ERA, Edinson Volquez moved up to 4-2 by shutting out the powerful Marlins. Suddenly, Volquez hasn't given up a run in 16 1/3 innings, and the Reds pitching staff had a miniscule ERA of 1.68 across their recent 3-2 road trip. Not impressed yet? Well, stay tuned. Unlike last year, when Volquez and Cueto faded down the stretch after strong starts, the second-year studs seem to be flexing much improved control, which could be a great thing for Cincinnati and a horrible thing for everyone else in the NL Central.
Phillies 10, Cardinals 7
Long balls, long balls and, for a change, home runs. That's what was served up last night in St. Louis, and impressively so, considering the fact that Rick Ankiel, one of the Cardinals most apt to go deep in a game, was out of the lineup. Instead, Philadelphia's Shane Victorino was the real destroyer, finishing 4 for 5 with a homer and three RBI in a game that got Philly power pitcher Brett Myers back to even at 2-2.
Padres 2, Rockies 1
Sometimes the guy who provides a game-winner just isn't who you'd think it would be. That was certainly the case Tuesday, with Brian Giles suddenly breaking out of his season-long slump -- he's hitting a paltry .153 -- with a walk-off double that scored pinch hitter Edgar Gonzalez. That -- and another key Heath Bell appearance -- were the good news for San Diego. So what's the bad news? For the second straight night, the team set a record for lowest attendance at Petco Park, which only opened five years ago. The toll on Tuesday was 13,646 and, given the low projections and hopes for the team, there's not a ton of hope that things will get better before they get worse.
Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 1
They just keep winning at home. The Dodgers pushed their record franchise and NL streak out to 12 victories to start the season, a mark that ties the Major League record set by the 1911 Detroit Tigers of Ty Cobb fame (he hit .420 that year, for those who are curious. Yes, .420). The win also gave L.A. the best record in the big leagues -- 20-8 -- and marked the latest resurrection of Jeff Weaver, who gave up only one run and five hits after being reunited with Joe Torre, who managed him in New York. Max Scherzer was a hard luck loser again, giving up three runs but only four hits in his six innings of work. How rough has Scherzer's luck been in his second year on the job? Well, he has a truly credible ERA of 3.38 despite one really rough outing, and he's still looking for his first win. Sometimes you just don't get the breaks.
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