NL East Recap 6-26

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by Chris Comando on 27-06-2010

Tagged Under : Adam Dunn, Adam Jones, Adrian Gonzalez, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Billy Wagner, Bobby Cox, Carl Pavano, Chipper Jones, Cole Hamels, Delmon Young, Detroit Tigers, Florida Marlins, Heath Bell, Ivan Rodriguez, Jason Kubel, Jerry Hairston, Joe Mauer, Joel Zumaya, Johan Santana, Johnny Damon, Jon Garland, Josh Johnson, Kenshin Kawakami, Livan Hernandez, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Stanton, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, peter moylan, Philadelphia Phillies, Roger Bernadina, Ryan Howard, San Diego Padres, Shaun Marcum, Takashi Saito, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals

Mets vs. Twins

Johan Santana faced his former team for the first time as the Mets hosted the Twins at Citi Field on Saturday afternoon.   Minnesota jumped on Santana early and the Mets couldn’t solve Carl Pavano as the Twins went on to win 6-0.

*Jun 26 - 00:05*The Twins scored four runs in the first inning off of Santana (5-5), and never looked back.  Joe Mauer started the scoring with a run-scoring single, and then with 2 outs, Jason Kubel hit an RBI double and Delmon Young doubled home two more runs to give the Twins an early 4-0 lead.  Meanwhile, Pavano (9-6) was dominant from the start.  Pavano went all nine innings, allowing just three singles and a walk to the Mets.  Kubel added a solo home run in the ninth inning to cap the scoring.



Braves vs. Tigers

The Braves got a timely home run from their longtime third baseman, and the team survived some shaky relief pitching to hold off the Tigers for a 4-3 victory in Atlanta.

braves-626Kenshin Kawakami came into the game winless, and though he pitched well over seven innings, left trailing 1-0.  However, the Braves finally gave Kawakami (1-9) some support in the bottom of the seventh when Chipper Jones belted a three-run home run off of Detroit reliever Joel Zumaya (2-1).  The Braves added another run in the eighth on an Eric Hinske RBI double and entered the ninth inning with a 4-1 lead. 

A day after earning his 400th career save, Billy Wagner was unavailable due to a sore left ankle, so Takashi Saito came in to try to seal the victory.   However, Saito allowed a solo homer to Miguel Cabrera and walked two more before being pulled.  Manager Bobby Cox then called on Eric O’Flaherty, but O’Flaherty proceeded to walk the next two batters, the last one forcing in a run and cutting the lead to 4-3.  Peter Moylan then came in to face Johnny Damon with the bases loaded.  With the count 3 and 2, Moylan’s offering to Damon appeared to be outside, but the Braves got the strike three call and the victory.  Moylan earned his first save on the season.

With the victory and the Mets’ loss, the Braves extended their lead in the NL East to 1.5 games.


Phillies vs. Blue Jays

Playing the second game of their “road” series in Philadelphia against the Blue Jays, the Phillies couldn’t take advantage of their home ballpark and fell to Toronto 5-1.

phils-626The Blue Jays touched up Phillies starter Cole Hamels (5-5) for five runs in four innings.  John Buck, Aaron Hill and Alex Gonzalez each homered off of Hamels to spark the Toronto offense.  Shaun Marcum (7-3) didn’t allow the Phillies to get back into the game, allowing just one run over six innings.  The Phillies only run came courtesy of a Ryan Howard solo home run.  In an unusual site, Howard acted as the Phillies’ DH as the game was played under American League rules in the NL ballpark.  Toronto relievers combined for three scoreless innings to close out their Philly home victory.

The teams will face off on Sunday in the rubber match of their three game set. 


Nationals vs. Orioles

A day after blowing a 6-0 lead to the Orioles, the Nationals jumped out to a 5-0 lead in Baltimore.   For the second straight day, however, the Nats blew a large lead and fell in the Battle of the Beltway by a score of 6-5.

nats-626Washington scored four runs in the 3rd inning, thanks to a two-run double by Adam Dunn and RBIs from Ivan Rodriguez and Roger Bernadina.  After adding another run in the fourth, the Orioles came back against Nats’ starter Livan Hernandez.  Adam Jones homered in the fourth to get the O’s on the board, and then the Orioles scored four in the fifth.  Matt Wieters  delivered the big hit, as his two-run single tied the game at 5.

The Orioles took a 6-5 lead in the seventh.  With Ty Wigginton batting, Nationals reliver Drew Storen threw a wild pitch that allowed Luke Scott to score the go-ahead run.  Jason Berken (1-1) earned the victory for the Orioles in relief, while Sean Burnett (0-4) took the loss for the Nats.  Alfredo Simon pitched a perfect ninth to earn his eighth save.


Marlins vs. Padres

Jon Garland and Josh Johnson faced off in a pitcher’s duel Saturday night in Miami.   Johnson pitched eight solid innings, but the Marlins couldn’t solve Garland or the Padres’ pen, and the Padres defeated the Marlins by a score of 2-1.

marlins-626The Marlins scored first in the second inning thanks to a Mike Stanton sacrifice fly.  The Padres answered back in the fourth when Adrian Gonzalez doubled home David Eckstein with the tying run.   In the fifth, Jerry Hairston Jr. tripled off of Stanton’s glove, and then scored on Garland’s fly ball to right field.   Garland’s ball took Stanton into foul ground, and Marlins players tried to yell at Stanton to let the ball land foul, but his catch turned into a sacrifice fly and scored the deciding run.

Johnson (8-3) took the loss despite striking out nine and allowing just five hits.  Garland (8-5) allowed just four hits over 6.2 innings and earned the victory.  Heath Bell pitched the ninth inning and struck out two in earning his 21st save.

6-8 NL East Recap

Filed Under (Daily Recap, NL East Chatter) by Chris Comando on 09-06-2010

Tagged Under : Adam Dunn, Adrian Gonzalez, Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Ben Francisco, Billy Wagner, Brad Lidge, Chris Volstad, Clayton Richard, Delwyn Young, Edwin Jackson, Florida Marlins, Gaby Sanchez, Hanley Ramirez, Ike davis, Jonny Venters, Jose Reyes, Josh Willingham, Kris Medlen, Kyle Kendrick, Matt Capps, Melky Cabrera, Mike Pelfrey, Mike Stanton, New York Mets, Omar Infante, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Ryan Howard, Ryan Zimmerman, San Diego Padres, Shane Victorino, Stephen Strasburg, Troy Glaus, Washington Nationals, Wes Helms

Nationals vs. Pirates


Stephen Strasburg made his highly anticipated major league debut last night in front of a standing room only crowd in Washington.  It seemed impossible that Strasburg would be able to live up to hype in his first start, but if anything, he exceeded expectations as the Nationals defeated the Pirates 5-2.


nats-68Strasburg struck out 14 and walked none over 7 dominating innings.  The Nats took a 1-0 lead thanks to a first inning home run by Ryan Zimmerman, and Strasburg was cruising until he surrendered a two run homer to Delwyn Young in the fourth inning.  After Young’s long ball, Strasburg took control.  He faced ten batters and retired all ten, striking out the last seven Pirates to face him.  The Nationals bats put Strasburg in position to win his debut in the sixth, scoring three runs courtesy of back-to-back home runs by Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham off Pirates starter Jeff Karstens.  The Nationals added another run in the eighth, and Matt Capps pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to earn his 19th save.


The story of the night was clearly Strasburg.  With a 100 mph fastball, filthy curve ball, and command of the strike zone, it’s going to be fun to watch him pitch every five days.



Marlins vs. Phillies


Another stud prospect made his major league debut on Tuesday in Marlins outfielder Mike Stanton.  Stanton went 3 for 5 with 2 infield singles and 2 runs scored, but the Marlins couldn’t hold onto an early four run lead and fell to the Phillies 10-8 in Philadelphia.


Marlins Phillies BaseballPhillies starter Kyle Kendrick and Marlins starter Chris Volstad each gave up two home runs and allowed six runs before departing.  Gaby Sanchez and Hanley Ramirez homered for Florida, while Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino went deep for the Phils.  The Marlins took an 8-7 lead in the top of the eighth thanks to a Wes Helms RBI triple, but the Phillies scored three runs in the bottom of the inning, keyed by Ben Francisco’s two-run single.  Brad Lidge loaded the bases in the top of the ninth, but got Ronny Paulino to pop up to close out the game and earn the save.  Jose Contreras picked up the victory in relief, while Clay Hensley suffered the loss.



Mets vs. Padres


The Padres visited Citi Field to open up a three game series with the Mets, and it was an old fashioned pitchers duel in Flushing.   Thanks to instant replay and a walk-off home run from another NL East rookie sensation, the Mets defeated San Diego 2-1 in 11 innings to earn their ninth straight home victory.


mets-68Mike Pelfrey continued his dominant pitching for New York.  After Adrian Gonzalez doubled in a run in the top of the first, Pelfrey shut down the Padres, allowing just that one run over nine innings.  San Diego starter Clayton Richard held the Mets scoreless until two outs in the seventh.  Jose Reyes’ long drive to left was initially ruled in play and a double.  After the umpires huddled and went to video review, they correctly awarded Reyes a home run, which tied the game at 1.  The game remained tied until the bottom of the 11th, when rookie first baseman Ike Davis homered to right field off Padres reliever Edward Mujica to give the Mets a walk off victory.  Elmer Dessens earned the victory for the Mets in relief.



Braves vs. Diamondbacks


After falling to the Diamondbacks in Monday’s opener, the Braves evened the series with a 7-5 victory in Arizona.


Braves Diamondbacks BaseballBraves starter Kris Medlen allowed four runs in five innings, including three solo home runs.  Arizona starter Edwin Jackson also allowed four runs over six innings, as neither starter factored in the decision.  Troy Glaus’ RBI double broke a 5-5 tie in the eighth ining, and Billy Wagner pitched a scoreless ninth for his 10th save.  Jonny Venters picked up the victory for the Braves, while Esmerling Vasquez took the loss.  Omar Infante and Melky Cabrera each went 3 for 5 to lead a 14 hit attack for Atlanta.

NL East Daily Recap from 9-2-09

Filed Under (Daily Recap) by mrose on 03-09-2009

Tagged Under : Aaron Rowand, Adrian Gonzalez, Angel Pagan, Atlanta Braves, Brad Penny, Brian Stokes, Centerfield Gate, Chase Headley, Chipper Jones, Cole Hamels, Colorado Rockies, Dan Uggla, Daniel Murphy, Edward Mujica, Fishguts, Florida Marlins, Franklin Morales, Ian Stewart, J.A. Happ, Jason Giambi, Javier Vazquez, Jeff Francouer, Jimmy Rollins, John Lannan, Jorge Cantu, Juan Uribe, Kevin Correia, Leo Nunez, Mike Gonzalez, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies Phandom, Ryan Zimmerman, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, The Braves Baseball Blog, The Real Dirty Mets Blog, Tim Redding, Ubaldo Jimenez, Washington Nationals, Wes Helms, Will Venable, Yorvit Torrealba, Yunel Escobar

So Penny needs the NL

So Penny needs the NL

Brad Penny made his first start since coming back to the National League and it looks like he found his problem, the American League.  Penny(1-0) pitched great while going eight innings and getting five hits and only walking one while striking out two to hold the heavy hitting Phillies scoreless.  He got some offense behind him as well, but not until the fifth inning when Andres Torres had an RBI single.  This was followed by two home runs in the sixth inning, a two run shot by Juan Uribe followed immediately by a solo shot by former Philly Aaron Rowand to seal the 4-0 win.

J.A. Happ looked human on this night, taking an unusual loss in the game.  Happ(10-4) lasted six innings and allowed eight hits and four runs while striking out seven, but all four runs came in his final two innings of work.  Unfortunately the offense was silent behind him and he could not pitch a shutout as Cole Hamels did.  Rollins was the only Philly with more than one hit and only four Phillies in total got base hits in this game, Phillies Phandom has more on how they will try to rebound in the series finale tonight.

Helms gets the Marlins winning again

Helms gets the Marlins winning again

Last night the Marlins had a lead going into the ninth and typically with Leo Nunez on the mound, this is a done deal this year, but not in the current streak they were in.  Leo Nunez(4-4) blew the save as he gave up a solo shot to Yunel Escobar to tie the game at seven and Marlins fans must have been wondering what was happening.  Luckily in the bottom of the ninth, Wes Helms hit a game winning home run and sent all the fans home happy with an 8-7 win.    Dan Uggla is hot lately, as he had two more hits with two RBI on a home run and Jorge Cantu also had two hits and an RBI in the game as well.  The Marlins will look to start a winning streak after this and keep their very slim playoff shot alive, check out FishGuts for more.

Javier Vazquez had one of his worst games of the year on Wednesday night, going barely into the fifth and giving up five runs and seven hits, but getting a no decision.  The Braves actually fought back with the big blows being a bases clearing double in the seventh by Chipper Jones and the already mentioned Escobar shot to tie it in the top of the ninth.  Unfortunately the relief pitching was shaky and Mike Gonzalez(3-4) only got one out before giving up the home run to Helms and taking a tough loss.  The Braves Baseball Blog is the place to go for Braves news.

David dreams of an offseason

David dreams of an offseason

With a tie game in the eighth inning last night, the Colorado Rockies sent former Yankee Jason Giambi to the plate as a pinch hitter with the bases loaded.  He delivered, he had a two RBI single which proved to be the winning runs in the game, even after Yorvit Torrealba singled home Ian Stewart with an insurance run, while winning by a score of 5-2.  Ubaldo Jimenez(13-10) pitched a solid game going eight innings and allowing just two runs on five hits and a walk, while Franklin Morales got his 1st save of the year in for the injured Houston Street.

The New York Mets got another well pitched game from Tim Redding in this one.  Redding went 6.2 innings allowing only seven hits and two runs while throwing 114 pitches but left with a no decision.  Brian Stokes(1-4) continues to struggle as came in and was charged with three hits and three runs and THREE walks in just one third of an inning of work.  The Mets runs were supplied by a sac fly by Daniel Murphy scoring Angel Pagan and Jeff Francouer’s 12th homer of the year, a solo shot.  The Real Dirty Mets Blog covers all the Mets struggles.

The Pads sweep

The Pads sweep

The Padres continued to impress with their young, mainly unknown team yesterday as they beat down the Nationals in a 7-0 victory to get the series sweep.  The Padres had no runs until the fifth when they put up a five spot started by Adrian Gonzalez’ two RBI double and was added to by another two RBI double by Chase Headley and finally a Will Venable rbi single to capp that scoring.  Kevin Correia(10-10) went 7.2 innings and allowed only three hits and two walks and Edward Mujica worked the final 1.1 innings allowing only one additional hit as the Padres cruised in this one.

Even John Lannan can’t do it right now for the suddenly very cold Nats.  Lannan(8-10) went five innings allowing six hits and five runs and walking three in one of his worst starts of the year and second straight.  Nats hitting was atrocious as Ryan Zimmerman was the only player with two hits and only three total players had a hit in this one, and obviously nobody had an RBI or a run scored.  Centerfield Gate covers more on whats going on with the Nats.

NL East Daily Recap from 9-1-09

Filed Under (Daily Recap) by mrose on 02-09-2009

Tagged Under : Andres Torres, Angel Pagan, Anibal Sanchez, Atlanta Braves, Carlos Gonzalez, Centerfield Gate, Chipper Jones, Chris Coghlan, Clayton Richard, Cole Hamels, Colorado Rockies, Corey Sullivan, Dan Uggla, Drew Macias, Fernando Tatis, Fishguts, Florida Marlins, Garrett Anderson, Heath Bell, Jason Giambi, JD Martin, Jeff Francouer, Jonathan Sanchez, Jorge Cantu, Jorge De La Rosa, Josh Bard, Kevin Kouzmanoff, martin prado, matt diaz, Mike Pelfrey, New York Mets, Oscar Salazar, Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies Phandom, Rafael Soriano, Rich Aurilia, Ryan Garko, Ryan Howard, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Shane Victorino, The Braves Baseball Blog, The Real Dirty Mets Blog, Tim Hudson, Toss Helton, Washington Nationals, Will Venable

Hamels with a classic gem

Hamels with a classic gem

Cole Hamels pitched his second straight great game, the only difference was this time, he didn’t let the bullpen ruin it for him.  Hamels(8-8) went the distance in a 1-0 win versus the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night while only allowing three baserunners on two hits and one walk and using 118 pitches.  The Phillies have been waiting and hoping for Hamels to find his good stuff, and if he has now, it could not have come at a better time with the playoffs around the corner.  Ryan Howard was the only Philly player with two hits as he went 2-4 and contributed the only RBI on a double in the fourth inning, scoring Shane Victorino for the only run of the game.  Check out Phillies Phandom for more on Cole and this game.

The San Francisco Giants did what they did best, but also did exactly what they do worst.  Jonathan Sanchez(6-11) was a tough luck loser going six innings and allowing only three hits and three walks while striking out eight and only allowing Howard’s RBI double.  The Giants bats though only managed three baserunners with Ryan Garko and pinch hitter Rich Aurilia with a single in the ninth before pinch runner Andres Torres was thrown out trying to steal second.  The loss put the Giants down one game in the wildcard to the Rockies who won last night.

He's back!

He's back!

Tim Hudson came back last night to the Braves after missing over a year with Tommy John surgery and I don’t think any Braves fans are complaining with his performance.  Hudson(1-0) worked into the sixth, getting one out in the inning and allowed six hits and three walks while allowing two runs and striking out five and only using 82 pitches.  The Braves bats got on the board early as Chipper Jones scored Matt Diaz on a double play ground out in the first.  In the third, when the Braves were now down 2-1, Tim Hudson himself scored on a balk after he walked earlier in the inning and Brian McCann later doubled in Martin Prado to give the Braves the lead for good.  The final insurance run that was necessary was scored by Chipper Jones on a Garrett Anderson RBI infield single in the eighth.  The Braves bullpen was solid until the ninth when Rafael Soriano got his 21st save but not without allowing a solo homer to Dan Uggla to pull the Marlins within one and allowing the tying run on base but held on for the 4-3 win.  The Braves Baseball Blog will have more on the Braves win and Hudson’s return.

The Marlins are basically in free fall at this point and they have now lost two in a row to the Braves after a tough weekend against the Padres.  Last night Chris Coghlan continued his hot hitting, going 3-4 with a run scored and Jorge Cantu also contributed three hits and a couple RBI.  Anibal Sanchez(2-6) didn’t pitch terribly, but still took the loss in going five innings allowing five hits and three runs along with two walks and four k’s and a balk to score a run.  FishGuts discusses the Marlins latest struggles.

Rockies break their slide

Rockies break their slide

The Rockies came into this series at home against the Mets having lost their wild card lead and were tied with the Giants for that spot.  Luckily for them, the Mets are the Mets.   Jorge De La Rosa(13-9) survived a tough first inning in which he gave up two runs and threw 28 pitches and rebounded to go six innings allowing only four hits, two runs (1 earned) and three walks while striking out six.  The Rockies offense feasted on bad Met pitching as they scored their first on a bases loaded walk and then had a two run homer by Carlos Gonzalez in the second, a three run homer in the fourth by Todd Helton.  Another interesting note is that Jason Giambi, the former Yankee walked in the seventh as a pinch hitter with the bases loaded to get an RBI in his first at bat for the Rockies who now have a one game lead in the wildcard race.

The New York Mets really wish it was October 4th right now, its just terrible.  Mike Pelfrey(9-10) fell below .500 on the year as he only lasted four innings and allowed six hits, seven runs (only six earned), walked five and gave up two huge home runs and his ERA is now above 5 for the season.  Jeff Francouer did get the Mets on the board with a sac fly in the first inning and Fernando Tatis added an RBI single later in the inning.  The Mets got nothing else until the seventh against the Rockies relief pitching when Angel Pagan hit a triple scoring Corey Sullivan.  The Real Dirty Mets Blog will cover this Mets loss and all the Mets losses for you.

Bell with another save

Bell with another save

The San Diego Padres are actually a “hot” team right now, just at the wrong time of the year.  The Padres got single runs in the second, fifth, seventh and eighth on their way to a 4-1 victory against the Nationals.  Will Venable had an RBI single to start the game, Kouzmanoff added a sac fly, Oscar Salazar had a solo home run and finally Drew Macias had the final nail with a single in the eigth scoring a run.  Clayton Richard(4-1) went 6.2 innings and allowedonly a single run and four hits and walking two to get the victory for the Nats and Heath Bell worked a perfect ninth with two k’s for his 33rd save of the season.

The Nationals bats have absolutely gone silent, which is a far cry from a few weeks ago.  The Nats only got four hits as a team last night, luckily one of them a home run.  Josh Bard hit his fourth homer of the year in the seventh inning chasing Clayton Richard and making the only blemish for Pads pitching.  J.D. Martin(3-4) pitched a good game going six innings with five hits, three runs but only two earned and three walks while striking out five and allowing a home run in the game.  Centerfield Gate covers more of the Nats struggles lately.

NL East Daily Recap from 8-31-09

Filed Under (Daily Recap) by mrose on 01-09-2009

Tagged Under : Adam LaRoche, Atlanta Braves, Centerfield Gate, Chase Headley, Chipper Jones, Dan Uggla, David Eckstein, David Ross, Fishguts, Florida Marlins, Heath Bell, Jorge Cantu, Josh Johnson, Kenshin Kawakami, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Livan Hernandez, Omar Infante, Pete Orr, San Diego Padres, The Braves Baseball Blog, Tim Stauffer, Washington Nationals, Yunel Escobar

Gload frustrated, just like the rest of the Marlins

Gload frustrated, just like the rest of the Marlins

For a while, it looked like Josh Johnson may get a no-hitter or at least win a pitchers dual as he brought a no hit bid into the sixth with a 1-0 lead.  Then in the seventh inning the Braves got through, started by a two run triple by Omar Infante scoring Chipper Jones and Yunel Escobar.  The Braves added three more runs by the end of the eighth on RBI singles by David Ross, Adam LaRoche and Yunel Escobar as they took this game 5-2.  Kenshin Kawakami(7-10) got through six innings allowing six hits and one run while striking out five for one of his better efforts this year.  The Braves did have to use four relief pitchers, but they combined for scoreless relief in the game. The Braves Baseball Blog will have more on the chances the Bravos have.

Josh Johnson obviously fell apart after the sixth inning and unfortunately for the Marlins, they appear to be floundering.  The Marlins managed only two runs on Monday night, both produced by Dan Uggla.  The first was a sacrifice fly in the second and he then capped their scoring in the ninth with an RBI single, scoring Cantu for the second time, but that was all.  Johnson(13-4) was charged with three runs over 6.2 innings while allowing five hits and three runs while striking out eight.  The Marlins playoff hopes are slowly dwindling away at this point, but can they make an unbelieveable run?  FishGuts will cover more on the Marlins and their chances.

Battle of the bad?

Battle of the bad?

The San Diego Padres returned home yesterday to face another team that is looking to play spoiler in the National League, the Nationals.  The Pads took an early 2-0 lead on doubles in the first by David Eckstein and Kevin Kouzmanoff and never looked back.  Tim Stauffer(3-6) went 6.2 innings and allowed seven hits and only one run while striking out five to get his third win of the year, and three relievers got credited with holds before Heath Bell came on for his 32nd save of the year in the ninth after Chase Headley hit a solo shot to give an insurance run.

The Nationals bats were silent in this one, for another game.  Livan Hernandez(7-9) was given a tough loss as he pitched all eight innings for the Nats giving up three runs and one home run while striking out five.  The only run the Nationals managed was in the third as Pete Orr singled home Livan Hernandez.  If thats not an unexpected combo, I don’t know what is.  Check out Centerfield Gate for more on the Nats.

N.L. East Daily Recap From 8-30-09

Filed Under (Daily Recap) by mrnorthjersey on 31-08-2009

Tagged Under : Adam Wainwright, Albert Pujols, Angel Pagan, Atlanta Braves, Brad Lidge, Braves Baseball Blog, Brian Stokes, Busch Stadium, Carlos Ruiz, Carlos Zambrano, Centerfield Gate blog, Chipper Jones, Chris Coghlan, Citizens Bank Park, Cleon Jones. Chicago Cubs, Fish Guts blog, Florida Marlins, Frankie Rodriguez, Fredi Gonzalez, Garrett Mock, Jair Jurrjens, Joe Blanton, Lou Gehrig, Nelson Figueroa, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies Phandom, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Sean West, St. Louis Cardinals, The Real Dirty Mets Blog, Tom Seaver, Washington Nationals

Forty years ago – in August of 1969 – the New York “Miracle” Mets were on their way to one of the greatest runs in modern Major League Baseball history (and a world championship), and all because of the great play of pitchers like Tom Seaver and hitters like Cleon Jones. The Chicago Cubs helped: engineering one of the all-time memorable collapses of the twentieth century. That’s a fading memory now, but at least some of that era was on display at Wrigley Field on Sunday, as Mets pitcher Nelson Figueroa hurled like the Seaver of old against the Mets’ traditional N.L. rivals – the North Siders of Chicago – striking out ten Cubbies and leading New York’s entry in the senior circuit to a decisive 4-1 victory.

Figueroa pitched seven complete innings and struck out ten, one of his best outings of the year, and one of the best outings by a Mets starting pitcher in the last month. Relievers Brian Stokes and Frankie Rodriguez pitched the game’s last two innings nearly effortlessly, adding a nearly flawless coda to the victory. To add to the win, the team hit well: every Mets starter had a hit, led by Angel Pagan, who had three, victimizing Chicago ace Carlos Zambrano, who suffered through his second shaky outing. The victory salvaged an otherwise depressing Mets visit to Chicago, where the New Yorkers had been defeated in two of three previous outings. The Mets are in the air to face the Rockies, before returning home to once again face the Cubs. You can read all about it, and you oughta, at The Real Dirty Mets Blog, where there’s a wrap up of the game – and all the news about the New York Mets.

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There’s nothing boring about pitcher’s duels – as the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals proved today, in a knock-down-drag-out of curve ball finessers at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. This was supposed to be no contest: with a kid with no experience, Garrett Mock, going up against a wizened ace, Adam Wainwright. But Mock and Wainwright dueled for six nail biting innings, matching nearly pitch-for-pitch in a equalizer that left both teams with nearly the same number of hits and runs. But when the game was ended, Mock ended up on the short end of the scoreboard, a 2-1 loser.

The difference in the game was a high fastball to Albert Pujols on a 3-2 count that the closest player to Lou Gehrig in the modern era put up the middle for a single in the sixth inning that broke a one-to-one tie – the difference, as it turned out, in the game. It was clear from the way that the pitch was thrown that Mock hoped that Pujols would either lay off the pitch (and walk) or swing and miss (and take his place on the bench). But you don’t throw a 3-2 fastball to Albert Pujols on a hope: another lesson for Washington’s young pitching staff. The St. Louis and Washington hitters
attempted to change the outcome in the last innings (both Mock and Wainwright left after six) but in vain – and the game ended as Mock and Wainwright had left it. And so Washington was swept in three games in St. Louis, but with this slight caveat: in this last game at least, the Nats showed that one of their young pitchers can go toe-to-toe with the best and play the game the way it ought to be played. To read about the game and get all the latest news on the Nationals, be sure to check in on Centerfield Gate blog.

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The long difficult slide that the Florida Marlins have had against the otherwise hapless San Diego Padres is finally over – and not a moment too soon. The Marlins broke their losing streak on Saturday with an impressive outing from one of their big, young pitchers. Sean West, one of the big arms of their future, showed that he can step into the big leagues, with an impressive six inning seven hit showing against the Padres in Miami, giving the Marlins a victory and putting them back in the win column. The Marlins bats showed up, after being nearly silent the last two games, putting six
well-earned runs on the board with well-timed fourth inning hit from rookie Chris Coghlan – his 46th of August (a Marlins’ record). But the story today was West. “It’s huge just to know I can contribute like I am right now,” said West, who’s only 23 said. “I’m just trying to get six-plus innings in every time I go out.” This was West’s fifteenth start.

The Marlins had only six hits in the game, but they made them count in the 6-4 victory. Marlins manager, Fredi Gonzalez, thinking of the schedule ahead and the games remaining before the end of the season, was relieved: “I don’t
know if it’s desperation, but we’ve got to win ballgames,” he said. “When we pitch well, we’re a good club. When that doesn’t happen, we don’t look very good. But that’s not only us, that’s the other 29 Major League teams. When
you don’t pitch, it doesn’t look so good.” On Monday, the Marlins face the real test: three games versus division rival Atlanta at home. They then face-off against the Washington Nationals in Washington before heading back home to face the Mets. Then it’s back home to once again face the Nats. That’s twelve games in a row against the N.L. East. It won’t be long now and the Marlins will know whether they’ll be playing in the post season or practicing their putting in Broward County. For all the news about the Marlins, and Sunday’s game, be sure to go to our friends over at Fish Guts blog.

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The Atlanta Braves went into Philadelphia with high hopes, and they battled and battled and battled – but when it was all over, the Phillies increased their lead in the N.L. East, and the Braves faded. Nor did the Braves creep any closer to the top of the wild card standings. The Braves are now 8.5 games back in the N.L. East with just over one month left in the season. Time is short and getting shorter. For the Phillies, the news couldn’t be better: they took the last game of their match-up against the Braves at sold-out Citizens Bank Park on Sunday night 3-2. But it was oh-so-close. Up until the seventh inning, Jair Jurrjens was in command of the game, throwing his fastball by a tough Phillies line-up. But a throwing error by third baseman Chipper Jones proved costly, leading to two Phillies runs – and the game. The error put runners at second and third and one batter later, Phillies’ hitter Carlos Ruiz put a ball into the left field corner, scoring two: “One thing about playing against the Phillies is that you can’t make mistakes,” Jones said. “If you make mistakes against them, they’re going to take advantage of it, which is what good teams do. We ended up making a couple of mistakes tonight and it ended up burning us.”

If Atlanta rued the error, Philadelphia credited themselves with clutch hitting – and staying in the game. Joe Blanton, often overlooked as one of the Phillies most dependable arms, pitched seven innings of three hit ball and the Phillies bullpen shit down the Braves lumber when it counted. Brad Lidge looked particularly effective – coming up with his 27th save. Atlanta now heads to Florida where they must win, while Philadelphia has a day off on Monday, before welcoming the San Francisco Giants. Oddly, the Phillies can help the Braves a lot by winning against Frisco, but the Braves can only help themselves in Miami. All of this will be the subject of great interest to our N.L. East Chatter blogs. You can read about the Phillies road trip at Phillies Phandom and be sure to keep up with the Braves at Braves Baseball Blog.

NL East Daily Recap From 8-29-09

Filed Under (Daily Recap) by markperrydc on 30-08-2009

Tagged Under : Atlanta Braves, Bobby Parnell, Centerfieldgate, Chicago Cubs, Chipper Jones, Cliff Lee, Craig Stammen, Derek Lowe, Florida Marlins, Garret Anderson, Gregerson, Heath Bell, Jake Fox, matt diaz, Matt Holiday, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Ricky Nolasco, Russell, San Diego Padres, The Real Dirty Mets Blog, Wade LeBlanc, Yunel Escobar


Mets starter Bobby Parnell started strong, but a tough Cubs line-up was too much for the young right hander, who gave up a grand slam home run to Jake Fox in the fifth inning as an otherwise light-hitting Cubs line-up took down the New Yorkers 11-4 at Wrigley on Saturday. To make matters worse, the loss was televised to a national audience as a part of the Major League Game of the Week. It’s been a tough month for the New Yorkers, hit by injuries, demoralized by the surge of the division-leading Phillies — and now by rumors that the owners of the ballclub may have to sell. And was a tough game for Parnell, just 24, and one of the Mets new young hurlers and bright hopes for the future.


The Cubs, who are themselves struggling, may have suddenly found new life in the NL Central, though the St. Louis Cardinals had as decisive win over the Nats as the Cubs had over the Mets. After the game, Parnell admitted that his confidence “is up and down.” Even so, there is great hope for Parnell, who Mets fans hope can fill a badly needed hole in the rotation for next year. If there was good news in the game, it is that newly acquired Jeff Francoeur continues to swing a fiery bat — going 2 for 4 against the Cubbies. The Mets take on the Cubs again tomorrow before heading to Colorado for a three game series against the Rockies. They will return to New York on September 4. For more news on the Mets, be sure to check out The Real Dirty Mets Blog — which covers everything you’d ever want to know about The New York Mets.


* * *


What Jake Fox did to the New York Mets, Matt Holiday did to the Washington Nationals – but this time, Holliday had the courtesy not to make his home run a grand slam. Holliday hit a three run third inning home run against Washington starter Craig Stammen to power the Cardinals to a 9-4 Cardinals win at Busch Stadium on Saturday night. After taking two of three from the stammering Cubs, the Nationals have lost their first two to the Cardinals, helping to dampen the team’s hopes that they might overtake the Royals and Padres for worst team honors in major league baseball. In addition to Stammen’s problems, the Nats’ bats went silent: for although the Nationals threatened to catch the Cardinals in any one of three frames, the team left runners stranded when they needed them most: Elijah Dukes struck out with the bases loaded in the seventh – just one instance of a lack of clutch hitting in an otherwise powerful line-up.


Other clubs problems were on display in St. Louis: the Nats last place defense was emphasized (Cristian Guzman booted an easy ground at short, which opened the floodgates for Holliday’s heroism), the bullpen looked unusually shaky (Jorge Sosa gave up two runs in only one inning of work), and the team now officially misses an out-for-the-season Nyjer Morgan: the team left 15 on base and stole no bases. The Nats will face the Cards one more time (a blessing, when you think about it) before heading to San Diego to take on the Padres. To read all about the Nats and their problems in St. Louis, be sure to log onto Centerfield Gate. It will give all the news about the team and the glorious future of the Washington Nationals.


* * *


The teams of the N.L. East have not been doing so well lately: the Mets have been struggling against the Cubs in Chicago, the Nationals have looked terrible in St. Louis. Certainly, the Florida Marlins – seeing the Phillies just ahead of them in the standings, and knowing the playoffs are looming, can do something to salvage a successful season. But not so. On Saturday night at home in Miami (and in front of a crowd anticipating a run-for-the pennant win), with success on the horizon, the Marlins failed to gain ground in the NL East, dropping its third straight game to the Friars. But this time the culprit was not pitching, it was hitting. The final score, 7-4, told the story: pitcher Ricky Nolasco (5.1 innings, 3 earned runs) was respectable and held the Marlins in the game. Then too, the four runs scored by the Marlins hitters should have been enough, but it just wasn’t. The Marlins could only muster six hits against a Padres staff that was mediocre at best: Wade LeBlanc, with a less than stellar 9.58 ERA on the season held Florida’s best lumbermen to total of four hits in six innings – the best outing of his entire career, while San Diego’s relievers (Russell, Gregerson and Bell) were lights-out.


The Marlins have now dropped three straight to the Padres, one of the worst teams in baseball. In the clubhouse after the game, the frustration with the evening – and with the series – was palpable.’ Every team we play is dangerous,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “I don’t look at the records, I don’t. We’ve got to win ballgames. If you get caught up looking at records and thinking you can look beyond teams, you will get disappointed. You’re going to get humbled real quickly.” Ricky Nolasco refused to be pessimistic: “Those are things that are going to happen. Now, tomorrow is a must-win. We’ve got to get it rolling to be able to give ourselves a chance. We can’t sit here and just hang our heads and be frustrated about it. We’ve got to do something about it, get the game tomorrow. The season is not over yet.” Don’t forget to check up on the Marlins, and their tussle today and tomorrow against the Padres at FishGuts.


* * *


It seems that the only time an N.L. East team plays well enough to win, these days, is when it plays another N.L. East team. At least in this case, the much anticipated Atlanta Braves-Philadelphia Phillies rivalry didn’t disappoint. In what was billed as a major duel of top notch pitchers and tough sluggers, the two major competitors in the N.L. East came out swinging on Saturday, with Atlanta ending up on top in another rain-sodden contest in Philadelphia by a score of 9-1. By the time this one was done, Atlanta had taught the otherwise soon to be immortal Cliff Lee (5-0 since he joined the Phillies from the Cleveland something-or-others) that he was now in the National League: and that Matt Diaz (3-5, one home run), Garret Anderson (3-4, one home run), Yunel Escobar (2-4, one home run) and Chipper Jones (1-5, one home run) were not going to allow him (or those who relieved him) to go 6-0. Or allow the people of Philadelphia to believe that their path to the division crown would be without any bumps.


Lee was not about to issue excuses for his outing – which was hardly a disaster. Even so: “I went and watched basically every hit I gave up and they were all right down the middle,” Lee said. “It’s hard to get good results when you’re throwing pitches belt high and down the middle of the plate. That’s basically what happened. I feel good about throwing strikes, working ahead and not walking people, but I put myself in positions to put them away and I missed up and down the middle. If you consistently do that, that’s what’s going to happen.” The Braves’ win was not without its blemishes, a talisman perhaps of the troubles it must surmount if it is to catch the Phillies: Derek Lowe pitched well, but he gave up eight hits. And Atlanta must still somehow crawl over a seven game Phillie lead in the east, a not impossible task, but one that is becoming more and more difficult with each passing game. To read more about the Phillies, be sure to check out Phillies Phandom Blog – and for more on the challenges facing the Braves, be sure to click on to Braves Baseball Blog.


NL East Daily Recap from 8-28-09

Filed Under (Daily Recap) by mrose on 29-08-2009

Tagged Under : Adam Dunn, Albert Pujols, Alfonso Soriano, Atlanta Braves, Bobby Parnell, Brian Stokes, Busch Stadium, Centerfieldgate, Chicago Cubs, Chris Coghlan, Chris Volstad, Cody Ross, Elijah Dukes, Fishguts, Florida Marlins, Freddi Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Jamie Moyer, Jason Bergman, John Lannan, John Smoltz, Josh Johnson, Josh Willingham, Key West, Khalil Greene, New Orleans, New York Mets, Pat Misch, Pedro Martinez, Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies Phandom, Ricky Nolasco, Ryan Dempster, Ryan Howard, Ryan Zimmerman, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, Ted Lilly, The Braves Baseball Blog, The Real Dirty Mets Blog, Tommy Hanson, Washington Nationals, Wes Helms, Wrigley Field

Moyer with a rare appearance

Moyer with a rare appearance

The big bat of Ryan Howard provided the firepower for Philadelphia in their soggy 4-2 win over the Atlanta Braves in Philadelphia on Friday, extending the Phillies lead in the N.L. East to eight games. The Braves were hoping to sneak up on the Phillies, sending ace rookie Tommy Hanson to the mound, but Hanson could not keep the Phillies bats off the board, giving up a home run to Howard in the second before being relieved (he was pulled from the game because of a rain delay) by a bevy of Braves relievers who kept the game close, but could not keep it close enough: Howard homered again in the fourth. The Phillies, meanwhile, started Pedro Martinez – but like Hanson he was also pulled from the game as a result of the deluge. This is becoming a habit with Martinez, whose last start was also shortened by showers. In both cases, Martinez was relieved by Jamie Moyer, relegated to a bullpen role as a result of Martinez’s signing and promotion.

The soggy field did not dampen the spirits of Phillie fans, however, who stayed throughout the contest – knowing that the Braves-Phillies tilt would help put the final touches on a successful Phillies season. The frosting on the Phillies cake was a 9th inning appearance by a sometimes-shaky Brad Lidge, who set down the Braves for his 26th save. Full coverage of the Braves can be found at The Braves Baseball Blog. And check out Phillies Phandom for more on the Phillies.

Blanks crosses hes big!

Blanks crosses hes big!

The Florida Marlins pitching staff, which has been up and down all year was down on Friday night, as Chris Volstad suffered through one of his worst starts in the majors – and the Marlins went on to drop a key game against the San Diego Padres 9-5. Volstad, who had pitched brilliantly in some of his starts earlier in the year, lasted only 1.2 innings against the Pads, despite help from some lively Marlins’ bats: Chris Coghlan was 3-5, Wes Helms was 2-5, Hanley Ramirez was 2-4 and Cody Ross was 2-4. But as any conch collector in Key West can tell you, without pitching you just can’t win. So it was with the Marlins tonight – as the team fell into a tie with the Braves for second place in the N.L East, a full eight games back of the surging Phillies. It now seems unlikely that either of them, both of whom were retooled and ready for the summer campaign in the spring, can catch Philadelphia.

While the Marlins have not raised the white flag on the season – they still have Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco throwing hard and well (and are well-stocked with a formidable wall of power hitters) – they have decided that Chris Volstad needs more work. In the wake of their loss to the lowly Friars, the team sent Volstad (9-11) packing to the minors. The decision shows just how far the fastballer has fallen. “People are going to struggle, but when you see frustration and lack of confidence, that’s when we have to make a decision as coaches and an organization on what’s best for the kid, and we’ve done that,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “We’re going to option Volstad down to New Orleans to give him a little breather and come back.” You can read all about the game, and the decision on Volstad, on FishGuts. 

Soriano with the big fly

Soriano with the big fly

Mets lefty Pat Misch baffled the Cubs for seven solid innings on Friday, but it wasn’t enough, as the New York bullpen melted down – and ended up giving the game away to the Chicago North Siders 5-2. The loss was particularly frustrating because the Mets had seemed to master Cubs’ starter Ted Lilly, touching the always tough veteran for two hard earned runs – one in the second and one in the eighth. The Cubs, skidding after losing two of three to the lowly Nats, were ripe for the picking, but the Mets bullpen could not take advantage: the usually dependable Brian Stokes gave up a three run shot to Alfonso Soriano (who victimized his team with two outfield gaffes) that effectively sealed the contest.

Misch, who grew up in Illinois watching the Cubs, said that he was nervous playing in Chicago. “I couldn’t eat a thing,” he said after the game, “and I usually eat a lot before I pitch.” The Mets, who have only won nine of their last 21, are desperate to finish the season on an up-beat note, but things have not been going well for them lately – Friday was only the most recent example of their recent troubles. When the starting pitching is going well (as it was on Friday in Wrigley) their bullpen lets them down, and when their bullpen is going well, it seems their starting pitching lets them down. Worse yet, on Friday the team got word that shortstop Jose Reyes, who has not played in three months, may well have to undergo surgery on his right hamstring tendon. The Mets will attempt to bounce back from Friday loss on Saturday, when Bobby Parnell faces off against Ryan Dempster at Wrigley. The Real Dirty Mets Blog covers everything you’d ever want to know about this game . . . and the Mets.

Pujols with the walk-off winner!

Pujols with the walk-off winner!

Who would pitch to Albert Pujols in a 2-2 tie before a screaming throng at Busch Stadium in St. Louis? Why the Washington Nationals, that’s who. Washington Nationals reliever Jason Bergman served up a fastball in Pujols wheelhouse in the ninth inning of a beautifully pitched duel between Nats’ pitcher John Lannan and newly acquired Redbirds’ ace John Smoltz – and the Cardinals beat the Nats 3-2 in St. Louis. Lannan pitched eight innings of four hit ball before giving up a home run to Khalil Greene that tied the game and was subsequently relieved by Jason Bergman, who came on to pitch the ninth. Washington’s long-suffering fans didn’t have to wait long to determine the results: Pujols put a fastball into the upper deck in left field at Busch to pull out the victory.

St. Louis fans gave a warm welcome to Smoltz, who was sharp in his second start for the Redbirds. The former Atlanta star pitched four innings of four hit ball, but left with little damage – two doubles by Elijah Dukes. Washington’s big boppers: Adam Dunn, Ryan Zimmerman and Josh Willingham flailed away in vain against Smoltz all night in vain. For all things good and bad about the Nats, be sure to check out CenterfieldGate which also has a lot more on this game.

NL East Series Preview 8-28-09 through 8-30-09

Filed Under (Series Preview) by mrose on 28-08-2009

Tagged Under : Adam Wainwright, Atlanta Braves, Bobby Parnell, Carlos Zambrano, Centerfieldgate, Chicago Cubs, Chris Volstad, Cliff Lee, Craig Stammen, Derek Lowe, Fishguts, Florida Marlins, Garrett Mock, J.A. Happ, Jair Jurrjens, JJ Putz, Joe Blanton, Johan Santana, John Lannan, John Smoltz, Kevin Correia, matt holliday, Matt Latos, Mitchell Boggs, Nelson Figueroa, New York Mets, Oliver Perez, Pat Misch, Pedro Martinez, Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies Phandom, Ricky Nolasco, Ryan Dempster, San Diego Padres, Sean West, St Louis Caridinals, Ted Lilly, The Braves Baseball Blog, The Real Dirty Mets Blog, Tommy Hanson, Washington Natioanls

Phillies Logo VS Phillies Logo
The Philadelphia Phillies(73-52, 1st in NL East) had a bit of a surprise and a possible worry when in Pittsburgh this week.  They had opportunities to win all three games, and three times late comebacks caused at the least, extra innings if not a loss.  Monday and Tuesday the leads were blown by the bullpen, luckily Ryan Howard saved them on Wednesday, but on Thursday they allowed the starter J.A. Happ to try to finish and he couldn’t do it either.  They hope to get the wheels rollin again at home against division rival Atlanta.   Phillies Phandom will have all the information on this series you need.

The Atlanta Braves(67-60, tied for 2nd in NL East 7GB) also had a tough week, one that they thought should be an easy one.  They managed to take the finale of a three game set against the pesky Padres with a blowout victory Thursday afternoon.  The Braves started the week alone in second, but now find themselves back in a tie for second with the Marlins.  Neither team looks to have the horses to get a playoff birth right now, but a good weekend could change that. Check out The Braves Baseball Blog for more.

Probable pitching matchups are below:

Friday @ 7:05PM EST – Hanson,ATL(9-2,3.12 ERA) vs. Martinez,PHI(2-0,5.14 ERA)
Saturday @ 7:05PM EST – Lowe,ATL(12-8,4.48 ERA) vs. Lee,PHI(12-9,2.63 ERA)
Sunday @ 8:05PM EST – Jurrjens,ATL(10-8,2.91 ERA) vs. Blanton,PHI(8-6,3.88 ERA)
Marlins Logo VS Braves Logo
The Florida Marlins(67-60, tied for 2nd in NL East 7GB) welcomed in the AAA Mets this week to South Florida and they couldn’t even up the attendance with Mets fans!  The Fish did manage to take the first two games of the series before the pitching failed them in the finale on Thursday.  The series win moved them back into a second place tie, and they look to gain ground in an unlikely playoff race now.  FishGuts will have more on the Marlins and this defining series.

The San Diego Padres(54-75, 6th in NL West 22.5GB) are into the role of playing spoiler now.  They went into Atlanta as mentioned previously and took two of three from the playoff hopeful Padres, dashing many of their hopes.  They can put a real damper in the hearts of the Marlins fans this weekend in South Florida.

Probable pitching matchups are below:

Friday @ 7:10PM EST – Correia,SD(8-10,4.46 ERA) vs. Volstad,FLA(9-10,4.73 ERA)
Saturday @ 6:10PM EST – TBA,SD(—,-.– ERA) vs. Nolasco,FLA(9-8,5.31 ERA)
Sunday @ 1:10PM EST – Latos,SD(4-3,4.06 ERA) vs. West,FLA(5-5,4.44 ERA)
Mets Logo VS Cubs Logo
The New York Mets(58-70, 4th in NL East 16.5GB) got more injury news this week, as Johan Santana, JJ Putz and Oliver Perez are all now done for the season.  Oddly enough, David Wright looks to be coming back in a few days, but they just want to get through the season with no more injuries, or at least none that will linger to next year.  This weekend they go to Chicago where the Cubs don’t have the injury excuse for their play, they just aren’t playing to the level they should be.  It should be interesting, do the underachivers win, or the injury depleted team?  The Real Dirty Mets Blog has more.

The Chicago Cubs (63-62, 2nd in NL Central 9GB) are just a lost team since the all-star break and one could make the argument, all season.  They are now 9 full games out of first and just lost a series to the Washington Nationals, so things are just not going well for them.  This should be an interesting series to watch..for all the wrong reasons.

Probable pitching matchups are below:

Friday @ 2:20PM EST – Misch,NYM(0-1,4.09 ERA) vs. Lilly,CHI(9-8,3.40 ERA)
Saturday @ 4:10PM EST – Parnell,NYM(3-6,5.08 ERA) vs. Dempster,CHI(7-7,4.07 ERA)
Sunday @ 2:20PM EST – Figueroa,NYM(1-3,5.40 ERA) vs. Zambrano,CHI(7-5,3.80 ERA)
Nats Logo VS Cardinals Logo
The Washington Nationals(46-82, 5th in NL East 28.5GB) are enjoying playing spoiler, or this week, maybe more appropriately, embarasser.  The Cubs don’t have that many injuries as stated above, but they are still floundering and lost two of three to the Nationals this week.  The Nats can put a dent into the Cardinals this weekend, but they likely will not effect their playoff standing much with the nine game lead.   Check out CenterfieldGate for more.

The St. Louis Cardinals(74-55, 1st in NL Central) are running away with the division right now.  The combination of having Matt Holliday in their now vaunted lineupe and good pitching, including the newcomer John Smoltz has put them out to a nine game lead over the Cubs.  They should be able to cruise into the playoffs now, but look for them to still try to stay sharp.

Probable pitching matchups are below:

Friday @ 8:15PM EST – Lannan,WAS(8-9,4.03 ERA) vs. Smoltz,STL(3-5,7.40 ERA)
Saturday @ 7:15PM EST – Stammen,WAS(4-6,5.08 ERA) vs. Boggs,STL(1-2,4.58 ERA)
Sunday @ 2:15PM EST – Mock,WAS(3-5,5.23 ERA) vs. Wainwright,STL(15-7,2.50 ERA)

NL East Daily Recap from 8-27-09

Filed Under (Daily Recap) by mrose on 28-08-2009

Tagged Under : Adam Dunn, Adam LaRoche, Anderson Hernandez, Andrew McCutchen, Anibal Sanchez, Aramis Ramirez, Atlanta Braves, Centerfieldgatae, Charlie Morton, Chicago Cubs, Chris Coghlan, Clayton Richard, Dan Uggla, Daniel Murphy, Danny Bautista, Derek Lee, Everth Cabrera, Fishguts, Florida Marlins, Garrett Jones, J.A. Happ, Javier Vazquez, JD Martin, Matt Capps, matt diaz, Mike MacDougal, New York Mets, Paul Bako, Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies Phandom, Pittsburgh Pirates, Randy Wells, Ryan Howard, Ryan Zimmerman, San Diego Padres, The Braves Baseball Blog, The Real Dirty Mets Blog, Tim Redding, Washington Nationals

The Pirates were looking to do something that probably not many picked earlier this week, and that was to win a series versus the Phillies.  After Garrett Jones came through with another late inning home run for this Pirates team, they were on their way to a game win of 3-2 and a series victory.  Garrett Jones hit a two run home run in the eighth inning with two out and one on, that put the Pirates in the lead for good, as Matt Capps held the Phils in the ninth for his 24th save.  Danny Bautista(1-0) got the relief victory for the Pirates as he worked two perfect innings with two strikeouts behind a well pitched game by Charlie Morton who went five innings and allowed only two runs.  The Pirates only other run was on a home run by Andrew McCutchen in the first.

J.A. Happ pitched very well in this game and really only made two mistakes.  Unfortunately both of those mistakes were home runs and led to the loss for Happ(10-3) as he went eight innings and allowed seven total hits, but two home runs.  His only run support was a Ryan Howard RBI groundout in the first and a Paul Bako solo shot in teh second before the Phils bats went silent.  Phillies Phandom has more on this game and all Phillies games.



In a rare event for the New York Mets yesterday in South Florida, they won by a score of 10-3.  Even more odd is that every position player had at least two hits including Daniel Murphy with two hits and three RBI and Anderson Hernandez with three hits and two runs scored and the Mets knocked seventeen in total.  Tim Redding, newly into the rotation pitched his second straight good start going 6.2 innings and only allowing five hits and three runs, but all three on homers to get the victory.  The Real Dirty Mets Blog covers all things Mets for you.

Anibal Sanchez had a pretty bad start for the Marlins, but some of that contributed by errors.  Sanchez(2-5) in 3.2 innings allowed eight hits, three walks and four runs, although only two earned and used 82 pitches.  His followers didn’t do much better, allowing six more runs on nine more hits in the game.  Chris Coghlan his two home runs off tim Redding and Dan Uggla added a solo shot of his own, but the Marlins could not gain more ground in the NL East, check FishGuts for more.
With the arm and bat!

With the arm and bat!

Javier Vazquez helped the Braves get out of a small funk against the San Diego Padres last night, with the bat and his arm.  Vazquez(11-9) worked seven innings of no run ball and only allowed five hits while walking none and striking out six, and he even added an RBI single to begin the scoring in the second inning.  The Braves ended the game winning 9-1 and were helped by another Adam LaRoche homer, along with two RBI from Matt Diaz on three hits.  The Braves Baseball Blog has more on this latest win.
The Padres didn’t have much on either side of the ball though.  Clayton Richard(3-1) took his first loss as he only lasted 2.1 innings allowing nine hits and six runs while walking two and only striking out two.   Unfortunately only Cabrera had more than a single hit for the Padres who just couldn’t do anything against Vazquez on this night.
Another shot, what else is new?

Another shot, what else is new?

The Washington Nationals really hurt the Cubs this week, by now taking the series from them in Chicago by winning yesterday 5-4.  Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn added solo shots for the Nats, who barely held on to the lead for starter J.D. Martin.  Martin(3-3) went five innings allowing four hits and three runs, but two home runs in earning the victory.  After relief pitching allowed the Cubs to get within one, Mike MacDougal recorded his 14th save of the year with 1.2 innings of work only allowing a walk.    CenterfieldGate has more on this.
The Cubs had sent Randy Wells to the mound for this one, but he could not give them a series win.  Wells(9-7) lasted 6.1 innings allowing all five runs while walking four batters in taking the loss.  They almost got even for him as Aramis Ramirez hit a two run shot and Derek Lee added a solo homer, but that was all.