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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night:

"That's the first time I've done that in my career. It was a process of elimination. It was almost like Little League - 'Who wants to pitch?'"

-- Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker, on trying to find someone to pitch the final stages of the Reds' brutal blowout loss at Great America Ball Park.

Mets 1, Phillies 0
Maybe Omar Minaya knew what he was doing when he questioned the "lack of edge" in superstars David Wright and Jose Reyes last Friday via FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. Not only have the Mets rattled off four straight wins since -- including a sweep of Atlanta -- they've done so with increased contributions from Wright (whose average is suddenly back up near .300) and continued dominance from Johan Santana, who would easily be the pitching story of the spring if it wasn't for some guy named Greinke over in Kansas City.

Braves 8, Marlins 6
Clearly, the NL East still doesn't know which teams are good and which are doomed to play the role of spoiler. Atlanta ace Derek Lowe only made that uncertainty more pronounced on Wednesday, giving up six runs in only five innings of work, yet still winning another game to improve to 4-1. If anyone wants to go ahead and make their NL East predictions again now, feel free to. We've got no idea what's really going on.

Cubs 6, Astros 3
This time, Lou Pinella's lineup was a little more straightforward, and so were the pitches from Houston starter Mike Hampton. Put those factors together, add in a sterling, eight-inning Rich Harden start and suddenly you've got the stuff of an easy Chicago win. Of course, not that Harden could slow down Lance Berkman. That man has just been a beast this year.

Cardinals 4, Pirates 2
Evidently Albert Pujols has decided to scrap this whole modesty thing and just hit the 100 homers he's always dreamed of. He knocked a pitch out of the park for the fourth time in five games, lifting St. Louis past the Pirates and dropping Zach Duke back down to the .500 plateau. Cardinals starter Mitchell Boggs needed the help, too, since he threw more balls than strikes in his 4 1/3 innings before handing his mess over to the bullpen, which shut down Pittsburgh from there.

Rockies 11, Giants 1
Evidently, someone reminded Todd Helton that he's the Todd Helton who once hit 49 homers with a .339 batting average. He looked a lot more like that guy on Wednesday, knocking out a homer among his three hits to back a strong start from Ubaldo Jimenez, who won his second game but first in a month. There wasn't positive to say about San Francisco, but there was this: Emmanuel Burriss got another hit, moving up to .232 on the season.

Brewers 15, Reds 3
How does a game that starts in Cincinnati end up below a game that starts in Colorado in the nightly recap? Easy: It sits in a rain delay forever. In fact, this rain delay pushed back the start, but it couldn't blow away Milwaukee's hot bats, with the Brewers connecting for a stunning 20 hits off Bronson Arroyo and his unheralded (and it seems, rightfully so) band of relievers. The best anecdote from the evening? Milwaukee All-Star Ryan Braun started with a grand slam off Arroyo, and finished with a two-run double off Cincinnati backup shortstop Paul Janisch, who pitched for the first time. Fun times.

Diamondbacks 3, Padres 1

Arizona left L.A. bruised, unable to stop their rivals from breaking an all-time NL mark for consecutive wins at home. There's no better way to get back in the swing of things than with a win over another divisional rival, and Jon Garland's outing set the stage for just such a performance. The former White Sox mid-rotation sometimes ace gave up only three hits over seven innings, eventually setting the stage for Chad Qualls's seventh save of the season. That made for yet another frustrating start for Jake Peavy, who fell to 2-4 on the season despite allowing only two runs in seven innings ... on only four hits.

Where's the Nats, you ask? Well, you saw what happened last night, and we didn't feel like rubbing any salt in the open wound. After all, there's more than enough pain to delve into right here, here and here if you so desire.

By Cameron Smith  |  May 7, 2009; 7:49 AM ET
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  
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