Around the NL Central: September 6 Edition

News and notes from around the Central:

Yesterday's action:

  • Behind homers from Ryan Braun and Tony Plush and eight dynamite innings from Randy Wolf, Milwaukee reduced its magic number to 11 by beating St. Louis, 4-1. Our recap is here.
  • Chicago got three runs in the fifth inning to break a 1-1 tie and survived some white knuckle moments to clip Cincinnati, 4-3. Aramis Ramirez drove in two in the fifth with a single, and came around to score when Dontrelle Willis uncorked a wild pitch two batters later. The Reds got one run back when Reed Johnson booted Yonder Alonso's drive in the seventh, turning a single into a three-base error, and pulled within one in the eighth when Starlin Castro kicked away Joey Votto's grounder, allowing Brandon Phillips to score. But Carlos Marmol put the Reds down in order in the ninth to notch his 32nd save on the season.
  • James McDonald was magnificent for 7.1 innings, holding the Astros to three hits and three walks while striking out six, as Pittsburgh got a measure of revenge, defeating Houston 3-1.  Rookie Henry Sosa worked in and out of trouble all day, giving up six hits and three walks in six innings but limiting the Bucs to two runs, both of which scored in the fourth inning (Ryan Doumit RBI double and Josh Harrison run-scoring single). Derrek Lee homered in the eighth to account for the final margin, and Joel Hanrahan worked out of a jam in the ninth inning to pick up his 35th save.

Your updated standings for September 6:


W L GB Last 10 Streak Elimination #
Brewers
85 57 -- 7-3 W4 --
Cardinals 74 67 10.5 6-4 L2
11
Reds 69 72 15.5
4-6 L1 6
Pirates 65
76 19.5 4-6 W1
2
Cubs 61 80 23.5 4-6 W2 Done
Astros 47 94 37.5 4-6 L4 Done

 
The Wild Card race looks like this right now:


W L GB Last 10 Streak
Brewers*
85 57 -- 7-3 W4
Braves
82 58 2.0 4-6 L1
Cardinals 74 67 10.5 6-4 L2
Giants 74 67 10.5
5-5 W1
Reds 69
72 15.5 4-6 L1

 
And here are the playoff participants, if the season ended today:


W L GB Last 10 Streak
Phillies (East) 89 48 -- 6-4 W1
Brewers (Central)
85 57 6.5 7-3 W4
D-backs (West)
81 60 10.0 9-1 W3
Braves (Wild Card)
82 58 8.5
4-6 L1

 

On tap for today:

  • The Crew and Cardinals are back at it at 7:15 p.m. CDT, when Yovani Gallardo (15-9, 3.68) takes on Kyle Lohse (12-8, 3.72).
  • The Reds and Cubs play under the lights at Wrigley Field at 7:05 p.m. CDT. Mike Leake (11-8, 4.12) faces Rodrigo Lopez (4-6, 4.94) in this one.
  • The Pirates and Astros play game two of their series at 6:05 p.m. CDT at PNC Park. Brad Lincoln (1-1, 3.64) gets another start for the Bucs, while Brett Myers (3-13, 4.81) returns from paternity leave for the 'Stros.
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