News and notes from around the Central:
- Let me see if I can summarize this briefly: noted crazy person gets into verbal altercation with noted dickhead, and, for some reason, noted pompous jackass escalates the thing by attempting to intervene, and then noted drunk blames everything on noted crazy person. How'd I do?
- The Reds are still planning to cap starter Mike Leake's innings before the end of the season, but Leake looked so good in his nine-inning effort against the Cubs on Tuesday that he earned himself another start.
- Charlie Morton staggered through his last start, giving up four runs and walking five Cubs in just 4.1 innings on Sunday, so the Pirates have decided to skip Morton's next scheduled start. Lefty Jeff Locke will take Morton's turn against the Marlins on Saturday.
- Someone at the Chicago Sun-Times -- seriously, put a byline on your article, morans -- says the Cubs should follow the Brewers model: strip everything down and make room for the kids to take over.
- The Astros seem to be getting a jump on the housecleaning process, even though their proposed ownership change hasn't been approved yet: on Wednesday, the club informed two scouts -- including the man who signed Hunter Pence -- that their contracts wouldn't be renewed next year.
- 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 #
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 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.