The Wrap: NL
NL Quote of the Night:
"Micah didn't have his best stuff, and you knew he wasn't going very long because he pitched six innings the other day."
-- Cincinnati Manager Dusty Baker on starter Micah Owings' rough 5 2/3 innings against the Phillies.
Nationals 5, Pirates 4
Finally, a win. Sure, rookie Craig Stammen didn't earn the win he deserved (6 1/3 innings with four earned runs), but for once, the team's bullpen came through. After an eighth inning rally, the Nats had a win, and Manny Acta finally had some punch behind his words. That's a good thing, since Acta said he A) wasn't going to change and B) the team was good enough to win.
Phillies 12, Reds 5
What's the tonic for a rocky rotation? That's easy, lots of runs. Lots and lots of runs. In Philadelphia's case, the magic number was 12. And who was leading the charge? The Phillies pitcher, Chase Utley, of course. Utley had a whopping four RBI, nearly countering the five runs Cincinnati scored in its home loss. The most notable aspect of the win? Utley out-hit the best-hitting pitcher in the business, Micah Owings, in the process, and that's saying something.
Rockies 9, Braves 0
Eventually the Braves hot streak was going to end, so it might as well have been in a big loss. Aaron Cook was a fitting winner, shutting down Atlanta's offense with a four-hit win backed by Todd Helton's dramatic grand slam. That made a rough go of it for newly promoted Atlanta starter Kris Medlen, whose big league ERA -- 15.00 -- is a heck of a lot higher than the 1.15 he had posted in AAA.
Brewers 4, Astros 3
Does anyone else get the feeling that the Brewers may just have good karma on their side this year? Milwaukee won another one-run game on Thursday, edging Houston behind a three-run seventh inning at the juice box (Minute Maid Park). That made a winner of Milwaukee's Seth McClung, and also made the ejection of Houston Manager Cecil Cooper and star Lance Berkman for arguing a play at the plate when the Astros led 3-1 a heck of a lot more glaring.
Cardinals 3, Cubs 1
Just when you thought the NL Central was falling into its predisposed order, the Cardinals dominate the Cubs in a mid-week series and throw everything back into disarray. This time, the St. Louis credit belonged to pitcher Adam Wainwright, who finished one out shy of a complete game while striking out seven in the Cardinals' latest win. That made three straight dominant starts (Joel Pineiro and Chris Carpenter preceded Wainwright) for the Cardinals, who may get to the promised land with arms if they get there at all. Would have been hard to see that coming in the preseason.
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