The Wrap: NL
NL Quote of the Night:
"If I have to keep a Double-A guy out there because I don't want to go to my big league bullpen, then that's really scary."
-- Nationals Manager Manny Acta on trying to get an extra inning out of rookie starter Ross Detwiler, rather than turn to his team's dysfunctional bullpen.
Pirates 12, Nationals 7
Rookie starter Ross Detwiler supplied the promise, but the Nats did more than enough to ruin any optimism with a whopping four errors and eternal ineptitude from the team's bullpen, which is not just the worst you can find in the majors this year, it's the worst you can find in the majors in a long, long time. Amazingly, by game's end Pittsburgh starter Ross Ohlendorf was the game's winner, despite leaving after five innings with a two-run deficit. Ohlendorf wasn't himself -- he issued significantly more walks than his second-best in the NL average -- but his offense picked him up, a moment made significantly easier by the entrance of Garrett Mock, who preceded to walk the first batter he saw on four pitches ... and then it went downhill from there. At least there's Stephen Strasburg on the horizon ... right? Right?
Rockies 5, Braves 1
Jason Marquis owns the Braves, even when Derek Lowe is the other pitcher on the mound. That was the case again on Monday, though you would hardly know it by the attendance, Turner Field's 15,000 and change proving to be the lowest paid attendance since at the field since the Braves opened it more than a decade ago. But Monday was all about Marquis, who moved beyond two rough starts where he allowed 16 runs in losses to hold Atlanta to a single run across eight innings.
Brewers 8, Cardinals 4
When the Brewers rolled into town, the Cardinals could hardly have thought they were heading into a sweep at home. Well, that's exactly what they got, completed when former Cardinals starter Braden Looper held his former team to two-hits through six innings (then allowed four runs in the seventh) en route to his fourth win of the season. Milwaukee's offense is suddenly humming, thanks to another monster night from Ryan Braun (3 for 4), Prince Fielder (1 for 1), and J.J. Hardy (2 for 4). All of which goes to prove, when your stars produce, your offense produces. And when your offenses produces, you win.
Dodgers 3, Mets 2
It's one thing to lose a tough game against a talented opponent in extra innings, on the road. It's another thing entirely to lose that game because of self-inflicted wounds, with errors from both center field Carlos Beltran and fill-in first baseman Jeremy Reed costing New York in the 11th inning against L.A. As if that wasn't enough, the Mets would have actually taken the lead in the top of the 11th, except Ryan Church missed third base when turning the corner and was called out on an appeal. Of the three errors -- and five in total during the game by the Mets -- Reed's was probably the most excusable -- a wild throw to home on a rare force out by a guy who doesn't traditionally play in the infield -- but it's clearly still a bitter pill to swallow for a New York team that entered the game on a blistering tear. Add to the loss the departure of first baseman Carlos Delgado until at least the All-Star break -- he'll undergo hip surgery as soon as today -- and reserve infielder Alex Cora, who has a torn thumb ligament, and New York had every reason to bemoan a truly awful day at the office.
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