The Wrap: NL
NL Quote of the Night:
"I'm glad that game is over. I think both teams were out of pitchers, position players and just about everything else."
-- Atlanta Manager Bobby Cox on his team's harrowing 12th-inning escape against the Mets
Nationals 6, Giants 3
So, did the Nats win or lose on Wednesday? In the most real sense, they clearly won, or so the record will show. But in a marketing sense, with a chance for Ryan Zimmerman to leap up in precedence to the top of the MLB chart should he bring a record hitting streak back to D.C., the Nats also lost a bit when Zimm was held hitless for the first time in 30 games. Of course, the continued emergence of Shairon Martis is an equally compelling story, so Nats fans do still have something to hang their hat on.
Braves 8, Mets 7
For the second straight day, the Mets and Braves played extra innings. For the third straight day, the teams burned through pitchers. And for the second straight day, the Mets had a game tying or winning run on third base with two outs in extra innings. It's just that this time Braves closer Mike Gonzalez was on the mound, and he took care of business. Add to that Chipper Jones's 2 for 3 day and Garret Anderson's 3 for 5 afternoon, and you can easily be reminded why the Braves were an intriguing sleeper option in the preseason.
Dodgers 9, Phillies 2
Occasionally, vengeance is still served. You'll have to ask the Dodgers if it was hot or cold after their Wednesday rout of the Phillies. That Randy Wolf was the pitcher on the mound dominating Philly didn't cushion the blow any, either, as the Dodgers' bats woke up in time to prove that they can still drill without Manny Ramirez while playing in a prime East Coast time slot.
Pirates 5, Cardinals 2
And just think: It could have been a bigger win. Pittsburgh lost a home run when Andy LaRoche's blast was overturned on a replay, but behind young starter Ross Ohlendorf's two-hit outing across six innings, the Pirates still cruised to another win. But all the talk was about LaRoche's homer, which was the first to be ruled a homer and then overturned on further evidence. An interesting talking point, but is it more important than the performances of Ohlendorf, Jack Wilson (3 for 5 a day after returning from the disabled list) and Nyjer Morgan? We think not.
Brewers 8, Marlins 6
Jeez, what was it with the NL replay booths last night? Just as a replay reversal played a big role in Pittsburgh's win, the Brewers ushered in the first replay since the technology was set up at Miller Park last year when Marlins pinch hitter Russ Gload's homer was overturned. He wasn't thrilled, but hey, it could always have been worse: They could have played in the dark.
Cubs 6, Padres 4
Now this is the Chicago team people expected to see coming out of Spring Training. The Cubs beat San Diego again, using a couple lighting strikes and some pockets of rain to end the evening early after eight innings, buoyed by shots from Alfonso Soriano (his 53rd leadoff homer), Ryan Theriot and Geovany Soto. Those hits made a winner of Ted Lilly for the fifth time this year, a win he probably deserved after holding San Diego to three runs on eight hits over 6 1/3 innings. Sounds an awful lot like a typical Lilly start, doesn't it?
Astros 15, Rockies 11
What gave away that this game was played in Colorado? The 26 combined runs? Really? Or maybe it was typically anemic Houston's 24 hits? Or the four put up by Lance Berkman? OK, so Berkman puts up terrific numbers like that a lot, but 24 hits? That's the kind of stat that was even impressive back in the pre-humidor baseball days in Denver.
Reds 10, Diamondbacks 3
The start of the A.J. Hinch era in Arizona isn't going so swimmingly. Still stuck with only a single win under his belt, Hinch watched his hitters flail and miss a lot more than they connected Wednesday against Johnny Cueto, who wasn't even as effective as he has been in other recent starts. The second-year starter gave up three runs on four hits in seven innings, but his teammates provided more than enough offense to push the Reds to a major league best 13-5 on the road, 20-14 overall. If you saw that coming in spring training, pat yourself on the back. Even with Cueto and Edinson Volquez progressing faster than the most optimistic predictions of Reds fans, few would have ever predicted such a dramatic turnaround this fast.
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