The Wrap: NL
NL Quote of the Night:
"I've known this day was coming for a while. I was kind of emotional out there today. I did have some tears in my eyes. ... It's a really great day for me and I can't thank the organization enough."
-- San Francisco's Rich Aurilia, on what is almost surely his final home game as a Giant.
Nationals 2, Braves 1
You know your playoff options are officially dead when the Nats knock you off during your final home stand. Sure, the Braves were actually kicked out of the postseason chase hours earlier when Colorado wrapped up the Wild Card with a victory, but the Braves earned their way out Thursday night, too, thanks to heroics at the plate -- two doubles, one which drove in the first run and one which set up the winning run in the ninth -- and in the field -- a game-ending, acrobatic play at third in the bottom of the ninth -- from All-Star Ryan Zimmerman, whose most consistent season is finding winning tones at, well, a more consistent pace. Now, if the Nats can get pitching in 2010 like they did from starter Garrett Mock, who held the Braves to a single run, no small feat given the numbers Atlanta's offense has been putting up down the stretch.
Rockies 9, Brewers 2
And why was that Braves game suddenly so meaningless? Because of the exploits of Colorado, of course. The Rockies rolled to a playoff-clinching win over the Brewers on a glorious Thursday afternoon in Denver, punching a postseason ticket for the second time in three years, this time without heroics in the bottom of the ninth of a one-game playoff. Aaron Cook dominated proceedings for eight innings, holding Milwaukee's explosive offense to four-hits before getting ready for an alocholic clubhouse celebration, all of which was made even sweeter by the fact that the Rockies moved within two games of the idle Dodgers in the NL West. If you called that one back in June, well, we'd like to know which sports book you work for.
Cardinals 13, Reds 0
Can you help yourself win a Cy Young with your bat? If so, Chris Carpenter is in good shape. The St. Louis ace hit a grand slam to back his own 17th win, the latest statement in the dominant pitcher's comeback story, which may end with a Cy Young, if he can sneak by fellow Thursday winner Tim Lincecum. The win also moved St. Louis closer to the top in one of only two NL races worth monitoring from here out, the chase for the league's best record.
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