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Around the NL Central: May 15

News From Around the Division

The Reds have optioned renowned shirt-stealer Mike Leake to AAA Louisville.  In his place, they have called up righty Jose Arredondo.  Arredondo last pitched in the majors in 2009 with the Angels when he had a 6.00 ERA in 43 games.

Eduardo Sanchez, who has been the Cardinals closer since Ryan Franklin lost the job, will no longer fill that role.  The bullpen revolving door continues as the likely candidates to take over the ninth inning are either Mitchell Boggs or Fernando Salas.

The Pirates released pitcher Scott Olsen, who they had just signed the previous offseason to a one year, $550K contract. Olsen didn't appear in a single game for the Pirates after injuring himself in spring training.

The Cubs sent Justin Berg to the minors to make room for Doug Davis.

Yesterdays Games

The Astros beat the Mets 7-3, thanks in part to a big four run first inning.  J.A. Happ had one of his best starts as an Astro, going six innings and allowing just two runs.  Bill Hall, Chris Johnson, Carlos Lee and Brett Wallace all had two hits.  Hall hit a homer and drove in two runs and Lee hit a homer and scored two runs.  Matt Downs also hit a pinch hit home run.

The Cubs lost to the Giants 3-0 in a rain shortened game that went just seven and a half innings.  Former Brewer Doug Davis actually pitched pretty well for the Cubs, going five innings, striking out six, and allowed three runs, though just one was earned.  The Cubs offense just couldn't get going, though, as they did not have a single extra base hit.  Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro each went 2-3, though.

The Reds beat the Cardinals 7-3 to take back first place in the NL Central by half a game.  No Cardinal hitters got on base multiple times as the team only managed to pick up four hits total.  All three runs were scored on a Jon Jay home run in the eighth inning, in what was Jay's only at-bat of the night.  Johnny Cueto wasn't too shabby for the Reds, going 7.2 innings and striking out five hitters while allowing just five walks + hits.  He allowed all three Cardinals runs, but none of them were earned.  Ramon Hernandez had a great game, going 3-3 with a walk and two solo home runs.  Brandon Phillips went 2-3 with a home run and drove in three Reds.  Drew Stubbs was 3-4 and scored two runs.

The Brewers beat the Pirates 8-2.  Here's our recap of the game.

Updated Standings

W L GB Last 10 Streak
Reds 22 17 -- 8-2 W2
Cardinals 22 18 0.5 5-5 L2
Brewers 18 21 4.0 5-5 W2
Pirates 18 21 4.0 4-6 L4
Cubs 17 21 4.5 5-5 L1
Astros 1 24 7.0 3-7 W1


Today's Matchups

The Cardinals try to wrest back first place from the Reds as Chris Carpenter (1-2, 4.32) takes on Travis Wood (2-3, 5.28)

The Astros and Wandy Rodriguez (0-1, 5.50) take on former Brewer Chris Capuano (2-4, 4.93) and the Mets.

The Cubs take on the Giants in that series' rubber match that sees Carlos Zambrano (4-1, 4.35) go up against Tim Lincecum (3-3, 2.11).

The Brewers go for the sweep against the Pirates as superman (1-1, 5.40) takes on Kevin Correia (5-3, 3.25), who has no right to be pitching as well as he has and is bound to come down eventually.