1. The Marathon: The Braves-Reds game went 15 innings and featured crazy back-and-forth scoring. However, the end result was the same for the Reds, who completed a sweep with a wild 5-4 win. The game started out as a pitcher’s duel, with John Smoltz and Aaron Harang churning out great starts. With the Braves up 1-0 entering the eighth, Adam Dunn hit a two-run homer off Rafael Soriano. The Braves quickly tied it back up with a Jeff Francoeur sac fly, and the game went into extras. The teams traded runs in the 10th, but other than that there was no score until the 15th. Brandon Phillips hit a two-RBI single in the top of the inning, and Francoeur then hit an RBI single. But with two men on and one out, the Braves could not convert another run, giving Cincy the win. The sweep for the Reds ties them with Houston for last place in the division. The lucky Braves still are just two games back of New York.
2. The Unlikely Wins Leader: If you were told before the season that Carlos Zambrano would lead the NL in wins, it might not have surprised you. But considering his struggles for the first two months of this season, it is almost shocking that he became the first NL pitcher to win 12 games on Tuesday. Zambrano has now run off nine straight starts with three or fewer runs allowed, and is 7-2 over that stretch. He pitched five shutout innings as the Cubs crushed the Giants 12-1. Zambrano’s 3.69 ERA ranks only 17th in the league, quite odd for a wins leader. However, judging by his success over the past one and a half months, it seems as though his ERA will keep plummeting and Zambrano could be a Cy Young contender.
3. What a Relief: The Padres nearly wasted an excellent start by Greg Maddux, but in the end they won anyway. The 5-4 victory over the Mets gave San Diego a series win, but they are still a game behind Los Angeles. Maddux pitched five scoreless innings and added six strikeouts, but the bullpen proceeded to allow four runs, nearly blowing the game. Then Geoff Blum hit a key RBI single that broke a 4-4 tie in the eighth and won it for the Padres. Adrian Gonzalez hit a solo homer, breaking a month-long homerless streak for him. David Wright and Carlos Delgado both homered to supply all four runs for the Mets.
Player of the Day: Lenny DiNardo, A’s: 7 innings, three hits, no runs in a 6-0 win over Texas. DiNardo helped the A’s snap their awful nine-game losing streak.