Around the NL Central: September 8 Edition

News and notes from around the Central:

Yesterday's action:

  • Another chance to drive a stake through the Cardinals' heart, another opportunity wasted: this time, it was Milwaukee's offense that didn't hold up its end of the donkey, getting shut down by a mediocre St. Louis starting pitcher in 2-0 loss to the Cards. Our recap is here.
  • Chicago scored five runs in their last three turns at bat to defeat Cincinnati, 6-3, at Wrigley Field. The Reds tied the game at 3 in the seventh inning thanks to a sac fly from Joey Votto and a double off the bat of Jay Bruce, but Carlos Pena snapped the tie in a big way in the bottom of the eighth: with a man on second and one out, the Reds intentionally walked Aramis Ramirez and brought in LOOGY Bill Bray to pitch to Pena. Pena foiled that strategy by crushing Bray's first offering for a three-run homer, his 26th on the year.
  • Pittsburgh rallied from an early 4-1 deficit to clip Houston, 5-4, at PNC Park. Carlos Lee and Matt Downs staked the Astros to a 3-0, first-inning advantage with homers off of Brian Burres, and Clint Barmes gave the 'Stros a 4-1 lead with his 10th homer in the fourth. But Andrew McCutchen clubbed a pair of homers -- one a solo shot, the other a three-run jack in the fifth -- to knot the game at 4, and the Bucs scrapped for a single run in the bottom of the eighth, with Jason Jaramillo plating Chase d'Arnaud with the winning run on a run-scoring single.

Your updated standings for September 8:

W L GB Last 10 Streak Elimination #
85 59 -- 5-5 L2 --
Cardinals 76 67 8.5 7-3 W2
Reds 70 73 14.5
3-7 L1 5
Pirates 66
77 18.5 4-6 W1
Cubs 62 81 22.5 5-5 W1 Done
Astros 48 95 36.5 5-5 L1 Done

The Wild Card race looks like this right now:

W L GB Last 10 Streak
85 59 -- 5-5 L2
82 60 2.0 3-7 L3
Cardinals 76 67 8.5 7-3 W2
Giants 75 68 9.5
4-6 L1
Mets 70
71 13.5 7-3 W1

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

W L GB Last 10 Streak
Phillies (East) 91 48 -- 8-2 W3
Brewers (Central)
85 59 8.5 5-5 L2
D-backs (West)
82 61 11.0 8-2 W1
Braves (Wild Card)
82 60 10.5
3-7 L3


On tap for today:

  • The Crew comes home after a successful 4-2 road trip to host the NL East leading Phillies at 7:10 p.m. CDT. Chris Narveson (10-6, 4.26) faces Cole Hamels (13-7, 2.63) in game one.
  • Everybody else in the Central has the day off.
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