The Wrap: NL
NL Quote of the Night:
"I feel like I'm throwing the ball much better. I really feel like since I went over my head (with his windup delivery four starts ago) that's helping me out a lot... I'm pitching with a lot of confidence. That been a big key for me."
-- Pittsburgh starter Ross Ohlendorf, who won his 11th game for the woeful Pirates while improving to 4-1 with a 2.72 ERA since the All-Star break.
Rockies 4, Nationals 3
Stephen Strasburg may still be the big name on everyone's tongue, but Colorado silenced a little of that excitement on Tuesday night, eke-ing out a one-run win at Nationals Park despite a ninth inning rally. The Rockies had only taken the lead in the top of the frame, thanks to Clint Barmes' 19th home run of the season, the latest of the second baseman's big hits that have contributed to Colorado's surge into the Wild Card lead. Could the Nats be watching a similar performance from a Nyjer Morgan like character in a couple of years? That certainly seems to be the vibe around here lately, doesn't it? And how amazing is it to say that!
Giants 8, Reds 5
San Francisco shouldn't have the bats to win the NL Wild Card. They don't have the consistent hitting to win the NL West, and they shouldn't have the kind of power to make up for a lack of flurries of hits. Yet here they are, a game out of the NL Wild Card, finding ways to win even when their ace, Tim Lincecum, doesn't have his best stuff. That was the case Tuesday, when Lincecum spotted the Reds a four-run lead in the first inning, then watched his teammates battle all the way back until Ryan Garko delivered a game-winning hit in the 10th. The win allowed San Francisco to keep pace with Colorado, with Ryan Garko's 4 RBI marking a distinct breach from the team's usual crop of offensive output: Pablo Sandoval driving in any run he can see on the base paths in front of him.
Marlins 6, Astros 2
On the day that Houston officially started waving its white flag, the Marlins took a step toward fighting their way into the playoffs. Florida racked up 10 hits again in beating Houston and starter Bud Norris, who suffered his first loss in the major leagues. Norris gave up five runs in 5 1/3 innings, all while watching Ricky Nolasco toss a complete game shutout in the other dugout, holding the Astros bats to three hits and two runs just hours after the team shipped out one of its most significant hitters: Catcher Pudge Rodriguez (who was traded to Texas).
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