Around the NL Central: May 17 Edition

News from around the Central:

 Yesterday's action:

  • Chicago was living fat and happy through five-and-a-half innings in Cincinnati: the offense scrapped together four runs, capitalizing on a Scott Rolen error and a Carlos Pena homer, and Carlos Zambrano held the Reds scoreless through five frames. But Big Z turned into the Big Zeppelin in the bottom of the sixth, Hindenburg-ing his way to a seven-run debacle as the Reds took a 7-4 win. Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce, and Rolen all drove in a run in the rally, and Johnny Gomes greeted reliever Marcos Mateo with a two-run shot to put this one out of reach.
  • St. Louis took advantage of some uncharacteristic wildness from lefty Cliff Lee, who issued a career-high six walks, in a 3-1 win over Philadelphia. Nick Punto, Ryan Theriot, and Jon Jay all had run-scoring singles, and Jake Westbrook threw seven strong innings -- four hits, one run, three walks -- as St. Louis kept pace with the Reds in the division.
  • Hey, remember when the Pirates were sitting at a game over .500?  That's quickly becoming a distant memory, as Pittsburgh lost its sixth straight game, 4-2, in Washington to the Nationals. With the game knotted at 2 in the bottom of the seventh, Nats second baseman Danny Espinosa clubbed a two-run homer on the first pitch he saw from Jose Ascanio. The Pirates, as they've been wont to do under new manager Clint Hurdle, ran themselves out of an inning in the top of the fourth: Brandon Wood was thrown out trying to take third on a Chris Snyder single, and, later in the inning, Snyder was cut down at the plate on a failed suicide squeeze.
  • Houston fell to the Braves, 3-2, in Atlanta. Brett Myers once again got cuffed around the park -- eight hits and three walks in six innings -- but he danced out of danger and only surrendered two runs. The Braves scored the winning run on an Eric Hinske single in the bottom of the seventh. Third baseman Matt Downs drove in both 'Stros' runs with a homer and a double.
Your updated standings for May 17:


W L GB Last 10 Streak
Reds 24 17 -- 8-2 W4
Cardinals 23 19 1.5 5-5 W1
Brewers 20 21 4.0 7-3 W4
Pirates 18 23 6.0 3-7 L6
Cubs 17 22 6.0 4-6 L2
Astros 15 26 9.0 3-7 L2

 

On tap for tonight:

  • The Reds and Cubs finish up their two-game series at 6:10 p.m. CDT tonight. Chicago starts righty Matt Garza (2-4, 4.17) and the Reds counter with ace Edinson Volquez (3-1, 5.74).
  • St. Louis and Philly have a 7:15 p.m. CDT start from Busch Stadium. The task doesn't get any easier for the Cards: tonight they face Roy Oswalt (3-1, 3.33), but the Phils will probably have their hands full, too: Jaime Garcia (5-0, 1.89) starts for the Redbirds.
  • The Pirates and Nationals play a matinee game at 12:05 p.m. CDT in D.C. Pittsburgh starts Charlie Morton (4-1, 3.13) and the Nats counter with Jordan Zimmermann (2-4, 4.13).
  • Houston takes on Atlanta at Turner Field at 12:05 p.m. CDT today. Wandy Rodriguez (2-3, 3.98) gets the ball for the Astros and the Braves start Derek Lowe (3-3, 3.73).
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