New and notes from around the Central:
- St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina had to sit out his second straight game with tightness in his left calf yesterday afternoon, and it's possible he might miss the opener of the series against the Brewers, too.
- Cincinnati right-hander Edinson Volquez has finally returned to the big league club after he was banished to AAA for the second half of the season. Volquez will probably pitch out of the 'pen for now, but he might take over Mike Leake in the rotation when Leake hits his innings cap.
- Pirates' right-hander Jeff Karstens had his turn in the rotation skipped on Friday because of arm fatigue, and Karstens says he's going to miss his next turn on the mound (scheduled for Wednesday), too. Brian Burres will probably fill in for Karstens, just as he did on Friday.
- Add another name to the list of people who aren't interested in the Cubs' vacant GM job: Nationals GM (and Chicago native) Mike Rizzo told reporters that he has no desire to leave Washington right now.
- Brett Wallace and Chris Johnson are back with the Astros after spending time at AAA Oklahoma City, but Houston skipper Brad Mills says he's not about to hand either one a job since Jimmy Paredes and Carlos Lee have locked down the jobs at third and first base, respectively.
- The Crew completed the sweep in Houston behind a stellar outing from Shaun Marcum and big flies from Ryan Braun and Jon Lucroy. Here's our recap of Milwaukee 4, Astros 0.
- Cincinnati did the Brewers a big favor by swiping a 3-2, 10-inning victory from St. Louis at Busch Stadium. The Reds jumped on Cards' starter Edwin Jackson for two runs in the first on Edgar Renteria's two-run homer, but St. Louis got one run right back on Jon Jay's one-out homer in the bottom of the inning. The Cards knotted the game at 2 in the fourth on Daniel Descalso's triple, and the score remained tied until the 10th, when Juan Francisco ripped an RBI single to plate Chris Valaika with the winning run. CoCo Cordero put the Cardinals down in order in the 10th to notch his 30th save on the year.
- Chicago salvaged a game in its series with Pittsburgh, taking a 6-3 victory in the finale at Wrigley Field. The Cubs scored single runs in the third and fourth innings to take a 2-1 lead, then tacked on two more in the fifth on Marlon Byrd's sac fly and Koyie Hill's RBI groundout. The Bucs crept within two on Neil Walker's two-run blast in the eighth, but the Pirates got no closer: Byrd restored the Cubs to a three-run margin with an RBI single in the eighth, and Sean Marshall fanned two in the ninth to record his fourth save of the season.
Your updated standings for September 5:
|W||L||GB||Last 10||Streak||Elimination #
The Wild Card race looks like this right now:
And here are the playoff participants, if the season ended today:
Braves (Wild Card)
On tap for today:
- The Crew and Cardinals begin their final series of the year at 3:15 p.m. CDT, when Randy Wolf (11-9, 3.58) takes on Jake Westbrook (11-7, 4.72).
- The Pirates and Astros open a series in Pittsburgh at 12:35 p.m. CDT. James McDonald (8-7, 4.11) faces Henry Sosa (2-2, 4.34) in the opener.
- The Reds visit Wrigley Field to kick off a three-game series with the Cubs at 1:20 p.m. CDT. Dontrelle Willis (0-4, 4.10) battles Matt Garza (7-10, 3.64) in game one.