A hurricane, some double-headers, a not-so neutral site, a no-hitter, a firing... what a week!
Here's the latest and
greatest from around the National League.
Philadelphia Phillies (84-67) - Winners of five straight, the
Phils have moved a half-game into first place in the NL East. They're surging in
September once again while the Mets are sliding. They took four against
the weekend, including a double-header on Sunday, and then rallied against the
Braves on Tuesday night. Jamie Moyer didn't get the win Tuesday night, but he's 3-0 in his last
four starts and the Phils are undefeated in those games. Ryan Howard, who had four hits
Tuesday, has six home runs and 17 RBI in his last nine
York Mets (83-67) - Losers of four of five games,
the Mets find themselves no longer leading the division, but in front in the
wild card race. Mike Pelfrey pitched 7.0 strong innings Tuesday night, giving up just
one run, but the Mets still lost to Washington 1-0. Their push for October hit a
bit more resistance when Fernando Tatis was lost for the season with a separated
Florida Marlins (78-72) - The Marlins had 12,232 fans at
their game Tuesday night against Houston. With a 5-1 win over Roy Oswalt, the Marlins are just
five games out of the wild card. It might seem like a long shot, but it sure
seems reasonable considering the losing ways of the teams ahead of them with 12
games to go. Dan Uggla, who had just eight RBI in August, has already driven in
11 runs in September.
Atlanta Braves (67-84) - The Braves are what seems like
an unheard-of 17 games under .500. Still Chipper Jones is still eyeing that
batting title. With three walks and a hit on Tuesday, he sits with an NL-best
.365 batting average.
Washington Nationals (58-93) - Cristian Guzman is batting .314
with 52 RBI and has been a solid performer in Washington all season
Chicago Cubs (91-58) - The Cubs have had a crazy week.
After losing eight of nine games and putting the fear of the goat in their fans
minds, the club eked out back-to-back one-run wins in St. Louis. They took two
days off thanks to Hurricane Ike, and then played two in Milwaukee against what was a hot Houston team. In Sunday's
game before more than 23,000 traveling Cubs fans at "Wrigley North",
pitched a no-hitter. Ted Lilly followed up Big Z on Monday taking a no-hitter of his own
into the seventh inning. The Cubs staff combined to just allow one hit and won
6-1. Finally, they hosted Milwaukee Tuesday night and beat C.C. Sabathia with Ryan Dempster on the mound. Just
like that, the magic number is four.
Milwaukee Brewers (83-68) - Falling apart in September, the
Brewers were swept in a four-game series in Philly. Frustrated with a late
season slide for the second consecutive year, the front office fired manager
Ned Yost, mind you,
with the team still tied for the wild card lead. They've won just three games
this month and interim manager Dale
Sveum is 0-1 after the Brewers' 5-4 loss in Chicago Tuesday
Houston Astros (80-70) - Hurricane Ike slammed Houston Friday night,
postponing both Friday and Saturday's games with the Cubs. With most of the city
still recovering and without power, MLB moved the games to not-so neutral
Astros managed just one hit in 18 innings against the Cubs, and then went on to
drop their third straight, this time in Florida against the Marlins before a
crowd much smaller than what they even saw in Milwaukee. The team is in a
hurricane funk, which is unfortunate given the streak they were on. Still, if
there is need to play the final Cubs game, it will be played in Houston on Monday,
Louis Cardinals (78-72) - After dropping two games they
felt they could have won against Chicago, the Cardinals appear to have packed it
in for the season. They traveled to Pittsburgh and got swept three games over the
weekend. Then the Cards followed it up in Cincinnati with their sixth straight loss. Even
a split over their last four games would have had them just three off the wild
card pace. Alas, it would appear injuries and luck might just not be on their
side. Still nothing is over until it's over, including the MVP and batting race
with Albert Pujols
competing for both.
Cincinnati Reds (69-81) - Dusty Baker is one of those
managers that like to end a rough season on a high note and build momentum for
the following year. So, this time of the year, he's more than happy being a
spoiler. Bronson Arroyo isn't laying down for anyone either. He's 5-0 in his last
six starts. During that span, Arroyo has given up just seven earned runs over
43.1 innings. His 15 wins are second on the club behind Edinson Volquez's
Pittsburgh Pirates (63-88) - With three wins over the
weekend, the Pirates guaranteed they will not have 100 losses this season.
Nate McLouth hit two
more home runs this week, doubling his total from last year with 26 on the
Angeles Dodgers (79-72) - The Dodgers continue to play
red-hot baseball and have a comfortable five-game lead in the West Division.
Joe Torre has his
eyes set on the postseason, while the New York Yankees organization will be
watching him on TV. James Loney leads the club with 86 RBI thanks to 10 in his last nine
games, while Andre Ethier continues to thrive. Ethier has 13 RBI in his last 10
games. Combined with Manny Ramirez, the Dodgers are showing some offensive
(74-76) - Having
fallen five games under .500, the D'Backs bounced back with two straight wins
over the Giants. And after three failed attempts, Brandon Webb finally got win number
20 with an 8.0-inning shutout performance against Cincinnati on Friday.
Colorado Rockies (68-83) - No magical run for the
Rockies this September. The club has had just
one season this decade where they failed to produce a single 100-RBI man. It was
2005, when Garrett
Atkins led the club with just 89 RBI. There's still a week and a
half to go, but Atkins again leads the club with 89 RBI.
Francisco Giants (69-83) - It's the Tim Lincecum show in San Francisco, at least
every fifth day. The young phenom made another Cy Young-esque start on Sunday,
tossing a complete game shutout against San Diego. He struck out 12 bringing his season
total to 237. He's 17-3 with a 2.43 ERA and better than a 3:1 strikeout to walk
Diego Padres (58-94) - Jake Peavy is 1-5 in his last eight
starts. Still he's got a 2.77 ERA to go with his 9-11 record. That's just the
way things have gone in San
Diego this season.
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