News and notes from around the Central:
- In case you missed the four links to this yesterday: y'all are idiots.
- Derrek Lee has only been a Pirate for three games, but he's already taken the temperature of the clubhouse and is concerned that his new teammates are pressing as they attempt to secure Pittsburgh's first winning season since 1992.
- The Reds' road to the playoffs got a little longer yesterday when injured third baseman Scott Rolen underwent arthroscopic surgery on his ailing left shoulder. The procedure removed bone spurs and fragments from Rolen's shoulder, and he's expected to miss four to six weeks.
- Say this about Cryin' Mike Quade: if this is going to be his only season as Chicago's skipper, dude has certainly gotten his money's worth. Quade was ejected for the fifth time this season (and the second time in five games) in the fifth inning of yesterday's game vs. Pittsburgh, but this one was hardly his fault: noted lunatic Bob Davidson ran Tyler Colvin after Colvin struck out against Charlie Morton, even though Colvin claims he said nothing to Davidson and was muttering in frustration at himself. Quade came out to see what happened, and as he was walking back to the dugout, Davidson, for some reason, gave him the hook, too.
- Later this month, Drayton McLane's sale of the Houston Astros will become official. John Royal of Houston Press looks back at McLane's reign and asks: was McLane really the best owner in Astros history?
Milwaukee did its talking on the field, bludgeoning St. Louis, 10-5, and opening a 3.5 game advantage over the Cards in the Central. Our recap is here.
- The car hasn't quite gone over the cliff for Pittsburgh, but the driver seems to be asleep at the wheel: the Pirates lost their third straight game to the woebegone Cubs, 1-0, last night. Chicago notched the game's only run on Starlin Castro's solo homer in the eighth inning, and Castro's blast made a winner out of Matt Garza, who worked seven strong innings, striking out seven while giving up four hits and two walks. Charlie Morton was just as good for the Bucs -- 7.0 IP, five hits, two walks, seven strikeouts -- but his bullpen couldn't preserve the tie: Chris Resop entered in the eighth inning and immediately surrendered Castro's homer, which was enough to drop the Bucs below .500 on the year.
Cincinnati shot itself in the foot in last night's 4-3 loss to Houston and now finds itself three games under .500 and 7.5 games off the pace in the Central. The Reds tallied single runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings to overcome an early 2-0 deficit, but the Astros plated two in the seventh thanks to a couple of misplays by Cincinnati: after Brian Bogusevic walked to open the Houston seventh, Jason Bourgeois reached on a bunt single when Joey Votto lollygagged the throw to first base, and Jose Altuve loaded the bases on another bunt when pitcher Nick Masset couldn't pick the ball up. J.D. Martinez followed with a laser down the left field line that scored Bogusevic and Bourgeois, and the Reds' fate was sealed.
Your updated standings for August 3:
On tap for tonight:
- The Cardinals head to Miami to open a four-game series against the Marlins at 6:10 p.m. CDT. Kyle Lohse (9-7, 3.33) and Clay Hensley (1-3, 3.09) match up in the opener.
- The Cubs and Pirates conclude their four-game set at 6:05 p.m. CDT tonight. Rodrigo Lopez (2-3, 4.40 tries to pitch the Cubs to the sweep, while James McDonald (7-5, 4.17) tries to salvage a game for the Bucs.
- The Brewers, Reds, and Astros have the day off.