The Wrap: NL
NL Quote of the Night:
"I don't know if anything's different. I'm just trying to take that little step of improvement of being more focused, and I think that's what has helped me a ton."
-- San Francisco starter Matt Cain, who hasn't lost since June 26th and pitched nine shutout innings during the Giants' win on Wednesday.
Giants 1, Pirates 0
Talk about a seamless trade. Just hours before being dealt from the (once again ... so much for that early season bright blip) woeful Pirates to the Giants, Pittsburgh's All-Star second baseman, Freddy Sanchez, helped keep Pittsburgh in the game. Then he switched uniforms and headed to the other set of dugouts, the latest piece in the Pirates' most recent salary-stripping roster purge. He went into a dugout coming off the high of an extra innings win, too; the Giants walked out with a win on Randy Winn's 10th inning single after San Francisco stud Matt Cain allowed just three hits in nine scoreless innings. If you aren't scared of the Giants' rotation yet, now might be the time to start taking notice ...
Cubs 12, Astros 0
Evidently someone reminded Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano that he was a perennial All-Star before this year. The slugger knocked out another home run -- his 19th of the year -- to keep his blazing hot second half going in another Cubs win over NL Central rival Houston, which just seemed winded from the start in this one. Stunning rookie Randy Wells earned his seventh win of the season for the Cubs with another shutout, tossing eight innings of six hit ball to help Chicago roll in Houston, where Astros starter Mike Hampton fell to 6-8 after being rocked for nine runs (eight earned) in just four innings. Ouch.
Marlins 6, Braves 3
Evidently Florida really has Atlanta's number. Just when the Braves looked like they were hitting their stride, Florida rolls off two straight against the Brav-os, the most recent win almost entirely on the back of pitcher Josh Johnson. That's because Johnson picked a particularly good time to find his power swing, connecting on a three-run homer that proved to be the difference in a Florida victory that sent Atlanta rookie Kenshin Kawakami tumbling to a 5-8 record, all while Johnson won his 10th of the season in another impressive start. Anyone else want to explain why people aren't tripping over themselves trying to trade for this guy?
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