The Wrap: NL
NL Quote of the Night:
"He's been automatic, every time out. He should have been an All-Star. I can't believe he didn't make it."
-- Braves third baseman Chipper Jones on closer Rafael Soriano, who saved another Atlanta win on Thursday.
Cubs 6, Nationals 2
So much for the new Jim Riggleman era, huh? While the Nats pulled off a nifty double play when the game was practically already in the "L" column, the kind of thing that just didn't seem to happen too often the past couple years under Acta, Riggleman's troops still did what Acta's did best: Lose to a contending team. As if you needed to ask, it was the bullpen that imploded again, wasting a solid start by John Lannan that was only outdone by a very good start by Chicago's Rich Harden.
Braves 5, Mets 3
If New York wanted to get the second half of the season off to a good start, why did they throw Oliver Perez out there in the first game back? All Perez mediocrity aside, the Mets still were in this game -- it was tied 3-3 in the sixth -- before Pedro Feliciano let in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh. And while he wasn't an All-Star this year, third baseman Chipper Jones (who easily could have been an All-Star himself) openly made a strong argument for Atlanta closer Rafael Soriano in the immediate aftermath of the win, as you can see in the quote of the day above.
Astros 3, Dodgers 0
This game was supposed to be all about Manny Ramirez's return to Chavez Ravine. Instead, it was all about Houston starter Wandy Rodriguez and the Houston bullpen, which managed to do what practically no one else has been able to this seaason: Shut out the Dodgers. Astros pitchers held L.A. to eight scattered hits in a rare shutout loss for the Dodgers, whose fans greeted Ramirez with enormous hype and pomp, though he could only respond with a relatively meager (for him) 1 for 4 night at the plate.
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