The Wrap: NL
NL Quote of the Night:
"He is opening up his front shoulders. They're getting a good look at him, because they're not swinging and missing at all. That's usually a pretty good indication you're showing the ball to the hitter a little prematurely and you're giving the hitter a longer look."
-- Cubs Manager Lou Piniella, on what he sees as problems with ace Carlos Zambrano's mechanics.
Cardinals 2, Nationals 1
Oh, Garrett Mock. The Nats youngster pitched about as good a game as a starter could ever hope for against the Albert Pujols-led Cardinals. He shut off St. Louis's offense. He limited damage. He did just about everything he needed to do to get a win short of hitting a home run himself. In fact, if he'd done that with anyone on, he would have solved his own problem. Instead, Mock will be haunted by a full-count fastball to Pujols, who took advantage of the pitcher's missed placement to knock out another game-winning home run. Will this loss haunt Mock or the Nats? Maybe it will, but then again, it might be a good thing if it did. That would be a pretty sure sign of greater goals, to say the least.
Giants 9, Rockies 5
Maybe we called "game over" on this NL Wild Card race a weekend too fast, huh? After entering Friday's three-game opener with a three-game deficit, San Francisco seemed sure to finish the weekend trailing Colorado in the NL's Wild Card standings. That isn't the case, and the credit fo that belongs to a suddenly awakened Giants offense, the kind which packs enough punch to rack up nine runs against Jason Hammel and a reinforced Rockies bullpen that has been beyond clutch in recent weeks. Suddenly that bullpen appears pretty shaky, and Colorado's lead -- and postseason aspirations -- appear even more suspect. Then again, given the way this race has evolved, those factors will all probably change again tomorrow ...
Dodgers 3, Reds 2
Twenty strikeouts. Twenty freaking strikeouts. Sure, the Dodgers had 12 innings across which to accumulate those K's, but they got them, and eventually, L.A. got the win. Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers' dominant, overpowering young lefty, struck out 11 in seven innings. Each reliever out of the bullpen racked up at least two strikeouts themselves. It was almost as if Cincinnati had no chance, despite another strong outing from starter Bronson Arroyo, whose 7 1/3 innings were so close, yet not enough to keep the Dodgers from pulling a commanding five games in front of the Rockies in the NL West.
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