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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night:

"It's a dark day for baseball and certainly for this organization. This organization will never condone anything that isn't clean."

-- Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti on Manny Ramirez's 50-game suspension for performance enhancing drugs

Braves 4, Marlins 2
Believe it or not, some baseball actually did get played on Thursday between dueling press announcements on Manny Ramirez's suspension and Alex Rodriguez's impending arrival in the Yankees lineup. And down in Florida, the baseball was even pretty good, with Jair Jurrjens pitching the Braves past the suddenly reeling Marlins and starter Anibal Sanchez, who had to leave with a strained shoulder. If not for Hanley Ramirez's two homers, the Marlins wouldn't even have scored, and that's not a good way to get an offense back up and rolling.

Cardinals 5, Pirates 2
Now, this is the Pittsburgh team we all expected to see: Decent/solid starting pitching (but not exceptional) and an utter, utter lack of bats. That's how Thursday's game played out, with Ross Ohlendorf surrendering five runs in six innings of work, taking his third loss after winning his prior three outings. Ohlendorf blamed fastball command in the fifth inning for his downfall (the Cards scored four of their five in the fifth), but he also could have blamed Skip Schumaker, who was a perfect 3 for 3 and scored two runs.

Giants 8, Rockies 3
Maybe it's karma. After failing to get any run support in 2008, Matt Cain is finally getting some decent backing this year, and he's starting to win games as a result. On Thursday he took the "W" for six innings of one-hit baseball, paving the way to an easy San Francisco win, which was also powered by catcher Bengie Molina's two homers. As for the daily Emmanuel Burriss watch, he was 2 for 5, pushing his average up to .241.

Padres 4, Diamondbacks 3
Saying that the Padres deserved to win this game is an understatement. They outhit Arizona, 13-4, but still needed an extra inning to get past the Diamondbacks, thanks in part to clutch defense from Arizona throughout. Of course, the overall result was almost predictable for how the Diamondbacks' season has gone: The pitcher who didn't get a win was Dan Haren. And make sure to keep tuned, because there were postgame reports that Bob Melvin may have won the managerial sack race (first to be fired). Still waiting for team confirmation, but the reports sure sound legit.

Reds 6, Brewers 5
If there were any questions that Micah Owings is the best hitting pitcher in baseball, consider them answered as of Thursday night. Not only did Owings pitch well enough to earn a win, he hit a triple that turned out to the game-winning hit in the fifth inning of Cincinnati's latest victory. Yes, a triple. How many triples do you think are hit by pitchers in an entire season (yes, we're asking you Elias)? Ten, maybe 15? If we're lucky? It says here Owings hits five by himself this year in the NL. He's that good a hitter, and it's time Dusty Baker starts seriously considering having him serve as the team's top pinch hitting option.

Mets 7, Phillies 5
Anyone else feeling like they piled the dirt on top of the Mets a little too quickly? Suddenly New York has rattled off back-to-back sweeps of NL East foes Atlanta and Philly, and combined with a bullpen demotion of Oliver Perez, the Mets are back in winning stride. The latest victory was the first ever in May for Mike Pelfrey, who improved to a perfect 4-0 on the season with the win. Between Pelfrey and Santana alone, the Mets pitching still has legs. Add in Francisco Rodriguez's ninth save, and the Mets are back in the NL East race. Then again, who isn't. Oh yeah, that team over at Navy Yard. Nevermind.

Cubs 8, Astros 5
Clearly, what Chicago needed was a longer stretch with against Houston. And no one appreciated that more than Alfonso Soriano, who knocked out two homers -- his eighth and ninth of the season -- to back Ted Lilly's six innings, in which he gave up four hits and two runs. That was good enough for his fourth win of the season, which is more than you can say for Houston's Russ Ortiz, who suffered his first loss the season at the hands of Soriano and co.

Nationals 11, Dodgers 9
It probably is a coincidence that the Dodgers lost their record home winning streak on the day that Manny Ramirez was suspended for performance enhancing drugs, but that's a heck of a coincidence, and it only adds to doubts that will start to emerge about what kind of a team the Dodgers will be without Ramirez's bat setting everyone up in the middle of the lineup. Still, on a day where the entire media universe concentrated on Ramirez, the Nationals deserved some credit for rallying late for a win and adding another veteran, left-handed arm to their struggling bullpen.

By Cameron Smith  |  May 8, 2009; 7:46 AM ET
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  
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Next: The Wrap: AL


Uh, Micah Owings has pinch hit for the Reds several times this year already and has a couple of RBI's in that role as well.

Posted by: Iowahoosier | May 8, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

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