News from around the Central:
- Lance Berkman's impressive performance in his Houston homecoming earned him the National League's Player of the Week Award for the week ending May 1. Berkman hit .458 in the week, and clubbed two homers and three doubles while driving in eight runs.
- The Reds activated outfielder Fred Lewis from the DL and optioned outfielder Jeremy Hermida to AAA Louisville, though Dusty Baker didn't sound all that thrilled with the move: Baker essentially said that Lewis had used up all his rehab time in the minors and Cincinnati had no other place to stash him.
- Break up the Bucs: the Pirates are just one game under .500 after 31 games, and, perhaps most impressively, they're finding ways to win away from PNC Park. But before anyone gets too excited: Pittsburgh was 14-17 after 31 games last year and wound up with 105 losses.
- Chicago's Starlin Castro is on the cover of the most recent edition of Sports Illustrated. I'm sure that will end well.
- Houston is probably looking for a new closer this morning after Brandon Lyon melted down in spectacular fashion yesterday. More on that below.
Last night's action:
- Stop me if you've heard this one before: the ninth inning adventures for the Cardinals continued yesterday, as Mike Stanton smashed a two-run moonshot off Eduardo Sanchez in the top of the ninth to snap a 6-6 tie. The Cards had rallied from a four-run deficit earlier in the game, and they managed to plate a run in the bottom of nine, but it wasn't enough: Fish defeat St. Louis, 8-7.
- Things were going swimmingly for Houston yesterday in Cincinnati -- until Brandon Lyon came in and made sick all over the ninth inning. Lyon was protecting a 2-0 lead, but things quickly got away from him: he walked the leadoff man, threw a wild pitch, gave up three consecutive singles which tied the game, and then surrendered a game-winning double to Jay Bruce. Reds win, 3-2.
- Pittsburgh rebounded from a tough loss the day before with a 7-4 win over the Padres in San Diego. Kevin Correia was sharp in his return to San Diego, pitching six innings and giving up two runs on five hits. The game was decided in the third inning, when the Bucs plated six runs thanks in part to a couple of errors by the Fathers: gaffs by Chase Headley and Nick Hundley set the stage for Ryan Doumit's backbreaking grand slam.
- Chicago got another strong pitching performance from its previously-creaky starting rotation as Carlos Zambrano threw eight innings of five-hit ball, allowing a single run to the Dodgers. The Cubs offense came via the long ball: Geovany Soto, Carlos Pena, and Marlon Byrd all homered as Chicago breezed to an easy 5-1 victory in Los Angeles.
On tap for today:
- St. Louis wraps up its four-game series with Florida with a 12:45 p.m. CDT matinee affair. St. Louis' Jake Westbrook (2-2, 6-53) matches up with Florida's magnificent right-hander Josh Johnson (3-0, 0.88).
- The Reds and Astros make up their rain-out from earlier this week in an 11:35 a.m. CDT contest. Homer Bailey (0-0, ---) makes his season debut for the Reds, while Brett Myers (1-1, 3.72) gets the start for the 'Stros.
- Pittsburgh has the day off.
- So do the Cubs.