Sunday, April 15th. First place in the NL East....is one of the more hyped sleeper teams this offseason, the Washington Nationals. The Nats are 7-2 on the season, including 4-2 on the road and a perfect 3-0 at home against the Reds, and have won five straight. In second...the New York Mets? The Mets have used early season series against their divisional rivals to climb to a 6-2 record, sweeping the Braves at Citi Field and looking to complete a sweep of the Phillies today at Citizens Bank Park. In third place, right where many people predicted them to be, are the 4-4 Braves, who started the season with an embarrassing sweep of the Mets, but are 4-1 in games against NL Central teams since. In fourth are the Phillies, who have now lost series to the Pirates and Mets, while taking two of three from the Marlins. And then finally, in the cellar, we have the dysfunctional Miami Marlins. The Marlins haven't won a series all year, but a win today against the Astros will give them that series. It's obviously still very early, but it's fun to see nothing going according to plans so far this April.
Game of the Night: Rockies 8, Diamondbacks 7. Colorado smoked Arizona starter Josh Collmenter early on, and it looked like they'd coast to a win. But then....the Diamondbacks started chipping away after a long rain delay. A three-run Miguel Montero homer off of Josh Roenicke made it 5-4 Colorado, and the D-Backs got single runs in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings off of three different Rockies pitchers to take a 7-5 lead. Colorado got one back in the eighth off of David Hernandez, coming on an RBI double by Eric Young Jr, and then in the ninth, veteran Todd Helton hit a walkoff jack against closer JJ Putz to seal the deal and give the Rockies a solid win.
Pitching Line of the Night: So this is what Edwin Jackson has the potential of doing: he threw a complete game against the Reds, allowing two hits and one run, whlie walking one and striking out nine. To top it all off, he only threw 92 pitches. Wow. Meanwhile down south, the Braves needed a good start from Mike Minor, and got one. He threw 7 1/3 innings, allowing one run (unearned, that will probably be changed since he didn't actually put the runner on base), two hits, one walk, and four strikeouts. And all of Atlanta exhales...one more good start. Hector Noesi of the Mariners shut out the A's over eight innings, allowing five hits and one walk, and striking out six.
Hitting Line of the Night: David Ortiz went 4/5 against the Rays, scoring a pair of runs and driving in five, along with a double and a homer. Yeah, I'll take that. Matt Kemp was also up to his old tricks, probably feeling pretty sore that he didn't win the NL MVP last year. Kemp had three hits, two of which were homers, and drove in four as the Dodgers beat the Padres for the fifth time already this season. Kemp has five homers in nine games. He is on a pretty insane tear dating back to last year.
Spotlight Series: Again, I screwed up and didn't write one up for this weekend.
Other Games: CJ Wilson finally got a win over the Yankees, as the Angels won 7-1. Lance Lynn dominated the Cubs, and the Cardinals got a 5-1 victory. Yu Darvish struggled early, but the Rangers battled through it to beat the Twins 6-2. Jon Niese and the Mets shut out the Phililes 5-0. The Red Sox scored ten runs after the fourth inning, and beat the Rays 13-5. The Orioles rallied back to beat the Blue Jays 6-4. The Astros got a four spot in the ninth against Heath Bell, and beat the Marlins 5-4. The Indians blew a 9-2 lead, but got two in the tenth and beat the Royals 11-9. Clint Barmes's error in the ninth allowed the Giants to walk-off to a 4-3 victory over the Pirates. Six early runs was enough for Ted Lilly and the Dodgers to beat the Padres 6-1. Jesus Montero drove in three behind Hector Noesi's shutout, as the Mariners beat the A's 4-0.
Today's Games: Brian Matsuz vs Kyle Drabek is a nice battle of talented youngsters who can't seem to put it together for a whole season. Neftali Feliz makes his second career start for the Rangers against young Liam Hendriks of the Twins. Drew Pomeranz makes his season debut for the Rockies against Trevor Cahill of the Diamondbacks.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.