The Wrap: NL
NL Quote of the Night:
"Luckily we scored a lot. That's for sure. I felt really good for three innings. About as good as I have all year. But then I just couldn't get the ball down after that."
-- Brewers starter Braden Looper on his team's offensive support, which helped lift him to a 13th victory in a 9-5 victory over the Cubs on Wednesday night.
Phillies 6, Nationals 1
The good news: The Nats avoided being shut out in Philadelphia on back-to-back nights. The bad news: They barely avoided that ignominy, scoring a rather inconsequential goal in the ninth inning of another embarrassing loss to the World Champions, who got yet another impressive outing from an oft-overlooked starter -- Joe Blanton -- who tossed six innings of shutout ball to thwart the Nats. That made a hard luck loser ... again ... out of Livan Hernandez, who allowed just two runs in his own six innings of work and was actually more efficient with his pitch count despite allowing two more hits than Blanton. Hey, at least he knew what he was getting into when he re-signed with the Nats, right?
Marlins 5, Cardinals 2
Are the Marlins sneakily trying to work their way back into the NL Wild Card race? Florida entered the day 4 1/2 games behind Colorado in the one true remaining playoff race in the NL, but a win over St. Louis helped them keep pace with Colorado, all while St. Louis fell back closer to earth again. And with starting pitcher Josh Johnson back in a groove -- he held the Cardinals to a single run in six innings despite struggling with his control -- the Marlins might just have enoug to mount a lucky late charge in the playoff race. Who knows, stranger things have happened. Remember Colorado? Do you think Colorado remembers Colorado? They better, or else Florida might have something in store for them.
Dodgers 3, Pirates 1
Two homers, three runs, one more win for L.A. Yes, it was just a day game against Pittsburgh, but every victory gets the Dodgers closer to the NL West title, at the expense of the Rockies, who may soon be looking solely at the NL Wild Card as a playoff option. Matt Kemp provided the big blast again, using a two run shot in the sixth inning that proved to be the winning runs in the Dodgers latest escape, which came just hours after Andre Eithier provided his latest batch of walk off drama. Kemp's homer, combined with the insurance of a solo shot by Ronnie Belliard, were enough to put another notch in the loss column of young Pittsburgh pitcher Kevin Hart's career record.
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