Around the NL Central: June 11 Edition

The Diamond Dancers don't seem very coordinated but I don't mind.

 

News:

Want to know more about the Reds' draft picks?  Well, the Cincinnati Enquirer takes a brief look at some of their more interesting Rule IV picks.

There apparently had been rumors that the Reds might be shipping outfielder Chris Heisey to the Padres--perhaps for Ryan Ludwick.  Cincinnati GM Walt Jocketty claimed yesterday that there have been no discussions involving trading Heisey, who has a .349 wOBA this year.  Jocketty also dismissed any Jose Reyes rumors.

The Pirates put reliever Evan Meek back on the DL.  In his place, Tim Wood is coming back up from AAA Indianapolis.

Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan get's a cigar every time he earns a save for Pittsburgh.  They don't come courtesy of the team, but rather from Hanrahan's neighbor.  The cigars have already cost his neighbor--"Jay"--$150 this season. 

Hunter Pence had to leave the Astros' game due to lower back tightness, but he did manage to extend his hitting streak to 21 games.  I haven't seen any word on if Pence will miss any time.

The Astros signed their second round draft pick, pitcher Adrian Houser.  They also signed a whole bunch of other, later round picks.

Yesterdays Games:

The Brewers beat the Cardinals 8-0, moving them one game closer to first place.  Chris Narveson was pretty good, to say the least.  You can find our recap here, in which the Narv-Dog is discussed further.

The Cubs lost to the Phillies, 5-7.  The only reason this game ended as close as it was was due to the Cubs scoring all five of their runs during an 8th inning rally.  Kosuke Fukodome and Starlin Castro each picked up a couple hits while Aramis Ramirez and Luis Montanez each had two RBI.  Carlos Zambrano, in his first start after his comments about Chicago being a "AAA team", didn't exactly shine, going 6.1 innings and allowing seven earned runs.  On the other hand, Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay threw seven shutout innings and struck out nine baby bears.

The Pirates lost to the Mets, 1-8.  I guess New York just can't get enough of the NL Central.  The Mets crushed Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton, who had arguably his worst start of the season by far.  Morton made it through just four innings and allowed seven runs, six of which were earned.  He only struck out one hitter.  Mets pitcher Dillon Gee continued his string of great starts, making it eight innings while allowing just the one run.  Jose Tabata and James Harrison had multiple hit games for the Pirates while Andrew McCutchen drove in their lone run.

The Astros lost to the Braves, 4-11.  Another poor pitching performance by a Central pitcher:  Aneury Rodriguez gave up six runs in just four innings.  Rodriguez struck out four and allowed two home runs.  The bullpen struggled, too.  In particular, Enerio Del Rosario had a rough go of it, allowing three runs in his lone inning.  Michael Bourn had an outstanding game, going 4-5 with a double, a triple, and two runs scored.  Matt Downs hit a two run home run for Houston

The Reds lost to the Giants, 3-2.  The game was knotted 2-2 in the ninth, but the Giants loaded the bases against three different Reds relievers before pinch hitter Nate Schierholtz hit a walk off single.  Travis Wood, had a pretty good start, going eight innings while allowing just two runs, though he gave up ten hits and three walks.  Brandon Phillips had a good game hitting, going 3-5 with a run scored, though he did have an error in the field.  Ryan Hanigan also had a couple hits and drove in a run.  Scott Rolen somehow managed to pull out a triple.  I haven't seen the video, but I can only imagine the calamity that occurred in the field for that to happen.

So the Brewers were the only NL Central team to come out with a win yesterday.  That's pretty awesome.

Updated Standings:

 


W L GB Last 10 Streak
Cardinals 38 27 -- 6-4 L1
Brewers 36 28 1.5 7-3 W1
Reds 33 32 5.0 5-5 L1
Pirates 30 32 6.5 6-4 L2
Cubs 25 37 11.5 2-8 L1
Astros 24 40 13.5 4-6 L2

 

Today's Matchups:

Matt Garza (2-5, 4.07) and the Cubs have a tough matchup as they face the Phillies and Cliff Lee (5-5, 3.62).

The Reds don't have it much easier as they send out Mike Leake (5-2, 4.63) to take on the Giants and Tim Lincecum (5-4, 2.85)

It's a battle of rookies in Houston as 20 year old Jordan Lyles (0-1, 4.91) gets the start against Mike Minor (0-2, 5.06) and the Braves.

James McDonald (3-4, 4.97) and the Pirates continue their series against the Mets, who will send out R.A. Dickey (3-6, 4.04).

The Cardinals and Brewers play again.  Zack Greinke (5-1, 4.83) and Chris Carpenter (1-5, 4.25) contend in a battle of team aces.

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