Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 4/16/12

Through the first ten games of the year (which by my calculations, is about 6% of the entire season), the kings of baseball reside in Los Angeles. Not in Orange County, like many expected coming into the year, but at Chavez Ravine, where the Dodgers are 9-1. Featuring stars like Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers are running roughshod on the league early on. Well...they kind of are. The Dodgers have been blessed with a ridiculously easy schedule in the early going, with four games in San Diego to start the year, followed by six games at home with the Pirates and the Padres (again!). The Dodgers are feasting on a weak schedule, and while Kemp has video game numbers right now (.487/.523/1.026), their success will likely start to dim as the month continues. This week, the Dodgers have a six game road trip to Milwaukee and Houston, before returning home to host Atlanta and Washington. Three out of those four teams are legitimate contenders. LA will still probably be above .500 at the end of that 12 game stint, but if they've got more than 15 wins, they should consider themselves lucky.

Game of the Night: Reds 8, Nationals 5 (11 innings). The Reds threw four runs on the board in the first inning on a Ryan Ludwick grand slam, and added another in the fourth to go up 5-0. You'd think that would be enough, but the Nationals slowly chipped away, getting three in the fourth, one in the fifth, and one in the seventh to tie the game up and send it to extra innings. Washington's heroes during the rally? Ian Desmond and Adam LaRoche, both of whom drove in a pair after disappointing 2011 seasons. But at the end of the day, Cincinnati's offense was just too much. Joey Votto broke the tie in the eleventh with a two run double, and Scott Rolen plated Votto with a single. Those three runs came off of the Nationals' top set-up man Tyler Ciippard, to boot. The Reds needed a win in Washington in the worst way, and they got it on Sunday.

Pitching Line of the Night: The Braves got their second straight great start, as Brandon Beachy allowed just one unearned run over seven innings for Atlanta, walking two and striking out six. It was a necessary start for a team who had struggled with starting pitching before this weekend. The next best start of the day came on the arm of Trevor Cahill of the Diamondbacks, who allowed one run in Colorado over 7 1/3 innings in some less than pleasant conditions, walking two and striking out six.

Hitting Line of the Night: The Cardinals gave first baseman Lance Berkman a day off, and Matt Carpenter delivered in his stead, going 4/5 with a homer and driving in five runs. Not bad kid...not bad. Hanley Ramirez of the Marlins also went 4/5, driving in three and adding a walk, and one of those runs he drove in was the game-winner in the ninth for the Fish. One more: Casey Kotchman of the Indians snapped out of his funk with a three hit game, along with three runs scored, two RBI, a walk, a stolen base, and a homer. Pretty complete day overall for Casey.

Spotlight Series: This will return tomorrow (or Wednesday) when I decide what the series to look at this week will be.

Other Games: The Blue Jays pounded the Orioles 9-2 in Kyle Drabek's second straight good start. The Red Sox toppled the Rays 6-4, and look to complete a four game sweep today, on Patriot's Day on Boston. The Marlins and Braves both won games over NL Central opponents, with the Braves win completing a four game sweep over the Brewers. The Tigers avoided an embarrassing sweep in Chicago with a 5-2 win over the White Sox. The Phillies used seven late runs to beat the Mets 8-2. The Indians kept their foot on Kansas City's throat, and beat the Royals 13-7. Neftali Feliz was only adequate for the Rangers, but they still beat the Twins 4-3. The Mariners beat the A's 5-3, the seventh time these two have played in 11 games. The Yankees exploded all over the Angels 11-5 to claim a series victory. The Pirates salvaged their series in San Francisco with a 4-1 win over the Giants. 

Today's Games: Slightly abbreviated slate today. Your lone afternoon game starts before noon eastern, and features James Shields of the Rays against Daniel Bard of the Red Sox. Stephen Strasburg will be facing the Astros in DC, and you can bet he's already salivating. Justin Verlander looks for his first win of the season against Danny Duffy and the Royals. Brandon McCarthy and Jered Weaver is a damn good matchup in the OC, while Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum duel further up the coast.

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

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