News from around the Central:
- Another day, another injury note for the Cards: this time it's Lance Berkman who's on the mend, as the St. Louis outfielder got a cortisone shot in his ailing right wrist and missed yesterday's game vs. the Cubs. The injury has been bugging Berkman for the last three weeks after he landed awkwardly making a diving catch on May 18.
- Chicago's resident master of understatement and subtlety, Carlos Zambrano, might need a refresher course in anger management: after Carlos Marmol blew a save yesterday by giving up a game-tying RBI double to former Cub Ryan Theriot, Zambrano unloaded on the Cub closer's pitch selection, fuming that the Cubs "should know that Ryan Theriot is not a good fastball hitter." Zambrano wasn't finished, as he ranted that the team, which lost its sixth straight game on Sunday, is "embarrassing" and has been playing "like a Triple A team." (Brief editorial note: Awesome.)
- The Reds continued their less-than-torrid play against teams other than Milwaukee, falling back to .500 with yesterday's loss to the Dodgers. Though the team now sits a season-high 5.5 games out of first place, outfielder Chris Heisey says fans shouldn't be panicking.
- Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez continues to rehab his strained right quadriceps at extended spring training in Florida, and it's expected that Alvarez will begin a minor league rehab assignment in the next week or so.
- The Astros got some good news on the injury front, as left-hander Wandy Rodriguez has recovered nicely from the left-elbow injury that's sidelined him since May 23. If all goes well on Rodriguez's rehab start for AA Corpus Christi, he could rejoin the team on June 13 against Atlanta.
- Cryin' Mike Quade is apparently unfamiliar with George Santayana. He might want to look him up before Chicago plays St. Louis again: one day after Quade admitted he made a mistake by allowing Jeff Samardzija to pitch to Albert Pujols in extra innings -- an at-bat that ended with Pujols hitting a walk-off homer -- Quade saw His Supreme Respectfulness prance and preen around the bases with another game-winning homer as the Cardinals swept the Cubs out of St. Louis, 3-2. Lord Albert's victim this time was Cubs right-hander Rodrigo Lopez, who lasted all of four pitches in the 10th inning before Pujols swatted the game-winner.
- Milwaukee kept pace with the Cards with its third straight win over the Marlins in Miami, 6-5, in 11 innings. The hero for the Crew was recently-acquired utilityman Josh Wilson, who clubbed his second homer with two down in the 11th to give the Brewers the lead. John Axford walked the tightrope in the 11th for his third save in as many days. Our recap is here.
- It wasn't a good day for the rest of the division, and Cincinnati was no exception: the Reds plummeted back to .500 with a 9-6 loss to the Dodgers at Great American Ballpark. L.A. battered left-hander Travis Wood, whose ERA ballooned to 5.72 on the year with a 4.2-inning start that saw him give up eight runs (all earned) on eight hits and five walks. Matt Kemp hit a two-run homer in the first to set the tone for Wood's day, and Chad Billingsley -- who also wasn't on top of his game, with a five-inning, four-run, eight-hit start -- homered and doubled and drove in three runs.
- Pittsburgh couldn't finish off the sweep of Philadelphia, dropping a 7-3 decision to the Phils at PNC Park. Pirates starter James McDonald wasn't sharp, lasting just four innings and 79 pitches and walking five, and the top of the Phillies' lineup -- Shane Victorino, Placido Polanco, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard -- combined to go for 9-for-19 (all singles) with 5 runs batted in and four runs scored. Roy Halladay pitched seven effective innings to pick up his eighth win on the year.
- Houston also got a poor showing from its starter, as 20-year-old right-hander Jordan Lyles needed 96 pitches to complete four innings and the Astros eventually fell to the Padres, 7-2, in San Diego. Lyles only walked one batter, but he gave up five hits and four earned runs while striking out three. The Padres got to Lyles early, plating three runs in the first on a Jason Bartlett RBI triple, a Brad Hawpe single, and an Aaron Cunningham RBI ground out.
Your updated standings for June 6:
On tap for tonight:
- The Crew wraps up its wraparound series in Miami with a 6:10 p.m. CDT contest against the Marlins. Zack Greinke (4-1, 5.29) gets the ball for Milwaukee, while Javier Vazquez (3-4, 6.02) starts for the Fish.
- The Cubs travel to Cincinnati to open a three-game series at 6:10 p.m. CDT tonight. Matt Garza (2-4, 3.72) returns from the disabled list to start for Chicago, while the Reds start Mike Leake (4-2, 5.03).
- St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Houston have the day off.