Saturday, February 10, 2007

Back underway: NL games

Given the AL scoreboard both was unreadable _and_ made other things unreadable, I'll pass on an NL scoreboard image and just put it here:

  • NL East
    1. Boston Beaneaters 76 67 -
    2. Pittsburgh Pirates 76 68 .5
    3. Brooklyn Dodgers 76 71 2
    4. Atlanta Braves 76 71 2
    5. New York Giants 68 77 9
    6. Philadelphia Phillies 67 79 10.5
    7. Montreal Expos 66 80 11.5
    8. New York Mets 63 83 14.5
They're rumbling to the finish. 15 games to go, and 4 teams very much in the hunt. To recap:

Pirates-Braves: Atlanta took two of three from Pittsburgh, improving their own chances as well as those of all around them, despite making an astonishing 12 errors in the three-game series, 7 in the 13-inning game 2 alone. Sam Leever went the distance for the Pirates in that game, getting the win. Atlanta pitchers pitched well, and if the offense had scored anything in regulation in game 2, they would have swept. The Braves followed up the Pirates series by shutting out the suddenly hapless Cardinals. Pittsburgh travels to the Polo Grounds next, Atlanta remains at home to host Montreal.

Beaneaters-Expos: Boston leapfrogged Pittsburgh into a slim 1st place lead, taking two of three from Montreal. Jack Stivetts was a standout, going 9-10 at the bat and winning his start on the mound. Hugh Duffy was 6-13 with 6 RBI, Jimmy Collins 8-13. All the offense was necessary, as in typical Beaneaters fashion, the pitching was knocked around. Even Kid Nichols got bombed in his start, with only the lack of possible relief pitchers keeping him in the game. The Beaneaters hope to lengthen their lead against the Mets in their next series.

Bklyn Dodgers-NY Giants: The classic rivalry convened for the final time this season, Brooklyn with their eyes on the division lead they held for much of the season, New York hoping to play spoiler. The Dodgers came closest to their goal, taking 3 of 4 from the Giants, including both ends of a doubleheader. Pete Reiser was hot and cold for the Bums, 4-5 in the first game but with only one hit the rest of the way. Dolph Camilli was more steady, burnishing his case for NL MVP, easily leading the league in batting and tying for the league lead in RBI. Christy Mathewson won his 21st to prevent a sweep. Brooklyn followed up this series with a win in a make-up game at Shea. Next up for the Dodgers is hosting Philadelphia.

Mets-Phillies: After a bad start for Philadelphia, they came back to take the last two at Shea. New York erupted for 12 runs, HoJo hitting two homers and El Sid striking out 9 in 7 innings to hand Schilling the loss in a 12-3 game. The Metropolitans would have been well-advised to spread those runs out, however, as they only scored 2 runs the rest of the way, including a 15-inning scoreless stretch against Philadelphia and Brooklyn. The immortal Bob Rivera pitched a 2-hit shutout, striking out 9 Mets and improving his record to, um, 8-12.

  • NL West
    1. Chicago Cubs 89 56 -
    2. Milwaukee Braves 86 59 3
    3. Los Angeles Dodgers 78 68 11.5
    4. Cincinnati Reds 77 70 13
    5. San Francisco Giants 76 71 14
    6. St. Louis Cardinals 73 73 16.5
    7. San Diego Padres 61 86 29
    8. Houston Astros 59 88 31
Milwaukee's reeled Chicago in a little bit, and are legitimately still in it. There's still a battle for 3rd place, but it's probably little consolation for San Francisco, who would be 2 games out of first place in the other division. Of course, the NL East doesn't get to beat up on the Padres and Astros.

Cubs-Milwaukee Braves: Chicago still has the best record in the Cloverland Leagues, but they no longer have the largest lead. Milwaukee made the best of their chances by sweeping both games of a rain-shortened series. Johnny Logan was 4-4 in the first game, but Hank Aaron's 41st home run was the big blow as the Braves cruised 8-1. Aaron struck again in game 2, driving in Andy Pafko in the 8th, the deciding run in a 2-1 squeaker. The Cubs couldn't get their bats going, scoring only 2 runs en route to their 7th loss in 10 games. The Braves have won 5 straight and have closed the gap with Chicago from 8 games to 3.

Los Angeles Dodgers-Cardinals: St. Louis' woes continued, as they dropped two of three to the Dodgers and a make-up game to Atlanta. Davey Lopes bedeviled the Cards, going 4-8 in the first two games before sitting out the finale. Mort Cooper pitched a shutout to give St. Louis their only win in the last 10 games. San Francisco comes to LA next, while the Reds visit Sportsman's Park.

Reds-Padres: San Diego scored 4 runs in every game, Cincinnati averaged over 9 runs a game but settled for 2 wins. Pete Rose was 7-14 with 6 runs, Joe Morgan had a monster game in the opener. But Fernando Valenzuela, Bryce Florie, and Trevor Hoffman kept the Big Red Machine in check and John Flaherty drove in 4 to salvage a win for the boys in brown.

San Francisco Giants-Astros: Barry Bonds' heroics, including his league-leading 46th and 47th home runs, couldn't win this series over Houston, the NL's doormats. Jose Lima pitched a beautiful complete game, and a good start by Randy Johnson, spoiled by Billy Wagner's blown save, was redeemed by a walk-off Moises Alou home run in the 15th inning of the third game. In between, critical errors by Brad Ausmus and Richard Hidalgo doomed Scott Elarton's bid to defeat Billy Swift. The Astros head home to welcome the Cubs, who own Houston this year.