Around the NL Central: August 7 Edition

HOUSTON - AUGUST 06: Right fielder Nyjer Morgan #2 of the Milwaukee Brewers makes a leaping catch on a line drive by J.D. Martinez #14 of the Houston Astros in the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park on August 6, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)


The Pirates recalled reliever Brad Lincoln from Indianapolis and optioned down lefty Tony Watson.

The Reds will put Chris Heisey on the DL and call up Save Sappelt from AAA.

The Cardinals' David Freese says he's feeling better after being hit in the head by a pitch, but he won't play today and likely will sit out until the series against Milwaukee.

Yesterday's Games:

The Brewers beat the Astros 7-5.  You can find my recap here.

The Pirates lost their ninth in a row as they were blown out by the Padres 13-2.  The two runs came on a Neil Walker single that scored Matt Diaz and a Garrett Jones pinch hit home run.  Only Walker reached base twice as he had a 2-4 game.  The Pirates failed to draw a single walk.  Paul Maholm made it 6.2 innings but still had a disaster start, allowing seven runs.  Chris Resop relieved him in the seventh inning and didn't record an out while giving up three hits and a grand slam to Kyle Blanks.

The Cubs have a streak of their own, except theirs is a seven game winning streak.  They beat the Reds yesterday 11-4.  The Cubs scored 2, 3, 5, and 1 runs respectively in each of the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings.  Starlin Castro went 2-5 with two runs and four RBI,  Aramis Ramirez went 2-2 with two runs, an RBI and a walk, Carlos Pena went 2-3 with three RBI and a walk, Reed Johnson went 2-5 with three runs and Alfonso Soriano was 2-3 with two walks, two runs, and an RBI.  Castro, Pena, Soriano and Johnson all had double while pitcher Carlos Zambrano tee'd off and hit a solo home run.  Zambrano also gave up three runs in six innings and struck out six.  The Cubs offense blew up against Johnny Cueto who, up to that point, had a 1.72 ERA.  Cueto only stuck around for 3.2 innings though, giving up five earned runs in the process.  The only Reds' offensive performance of note is Yonder Alonso, who went 2-2 with a walk, a solo home run, and two RBI.

The Cardinals beat the Marlins 2-1 to keep pace with the Brewers.  The Cardinals totaled fourteen hits as Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman all picked up a couple hits and Danny Descalso went 3-4, but the team only managed to score two runs, both in the first on an Albert Pujols home run.  Of course, that meant the team's pitching was pretty good today, with Chris Carpenter making it 6.2 innings and giving up one run on five hits and twol walks while striking out seven.  Four relievers than shut out the Marlins the rest of the game.

Updated Standings:

W L GB Last 10 Streak
64 50 -- 9-1 W3
Cardinals 61 53 3.0 6-4 W3
Pirates 54 58 9.0
1-9 L9
Reds 54
59 9.5 4-6 L3
Cubs 49 65 15.0 7-3 W7
Astros 37 76 26.5 4-6 L2


Today's Match Ups:

Jaime Garcia (10-5, 3.22) and the Cardinals go up against Javier Vasquez (7-9, 4.88) and the Marlins.

Kevin Corriea (12-9, 4.71) takes the Mound for the Pirates as they face the Padres and Mat Latos (5-11, 3.94).

Randy Wells (3-4, 5.89) and Bronson Arroyo (7-9, 5.45) do battle as the Cubs and Reds collide once more.

Zack Greinke (9-4, 4.41) gets the call for the Brewers as the take on the Astros and Bud Norris (5-7, 3.47).

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