The Wrap: NL
NL Quote of the Night:
"I'm sure the guys were trying to score eight or 10. That's just the way baseball is. You've got to take the runs when you can get them and just go out there and try to put zeros on the board. The defense made some big plays behind me, we put up a couple runs and that's all we needed."
-- Brewers starter Braden Looper, on finding a way to win with just two runs of support from the Milwaukee offense.
Nationals 4, Mets 0
Eventually, the Nats had to win under Jim Riggleman. Perhaps it's only fitting that John Lannan earned that win. The closest thing Washington has to a true ace, Lannan pitched a complete game, cruising through a shutout of the Mets on only 106 pitches. Even more impressively, Lannan walked no Mets batters, showing that he truly does have the potential to lead a young Nats rotation to the promised land. Leading the Nats to more than a handful of wins in the rest of the schedule? That may be a harder task.
Phillies 4, Cubs 1
The Phillies have morphed into the baseball version of "Parker Lewis Can't Lose" overnight. Even when they find themselves in situations where they have no business winning, Philadelphia still pulls out a "W". On Tuesday night, Rich Harden allowed one run in seven innings. Marmol, Guzman, Marshall (who could be moving into the rotation sooner rather than later) and Heilman were all perfect in relief. None of the Phillies could get anything going until the 13th inning. And yet, somehow, Philadelphia still won. Jayson Werth delivered the three-run, knock-out blow for the Phillies off Jeff Samardzja, who labored in his final inning after delivering the final two outs of the 12th inning. Joe Blanton was brilliant for Philadelphia, allowing a single run in seven innings himself, before handing the ball off to an impeccable bullpen outing, including three scoreless innings from Chan Ho Park.
Braves 8, Giants 1
Evidently what the Braves needed to jump start their offense was the elimination of Jeff Francouer? Whatever was holding the Braves back in the first half, Atlanta's offense has emerged from the All-Star break utterly unfettered, a power surge that continued with a rout on Tuesday against one of the major leagues' best pitching teams. It didn't hurt the Braves that Derek Lowe allowed only a single run in six innings, an outing which was a stark and stunning contrast to Giants starter Ryan Sadowski, who had the worst start of his young career, allowing all eight of Atlanta's runs in just 3 2/3 innings.
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