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Around the NL Central: July 10


It's a shame that Ryan Braun won't be playing in the all-star game, but I think all of us would just prefer him to get healthy for the stretch run.  I'm happy that Andrew McCutchen was named as his replacement, though.  Now to get him in the starting line-up!

The Cardinals plan to tweak their rotation a bit after the all-star break.  Nobody is being promoted or demoted, but there is some switching around.  Kyle Lohse will begin the second half, followed by Chris Carpenter, Jake Westbrook, Kyle McClellan and Jaime Garcia.

Yesterday's Games:

The Cubs beat the Pirates 6-3.  The Cubs came out with a fur, scoring in each of the first four innings, a pace the Pirates just couldn't keep up with.  Kosuke Fukodome was 2-4 with two runs and an RBI, Starlin Castro was 3-5 with a run and an RBI, Darwin Barney was 2-4 with two runs and Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Pena and Alfonso Soriano all had a couple of hits.  For the Pirates, Alex Presley went 2-4 with a walk, a double, and a run scored, Michael McKenly was 2-4 with a double and a run scored and Matt Diaz was 2-4 with a double and two RBI. Neither starting pitcher was fantastic as Ryan Dempster gave up three runs in five innings and Kevin Correia allowed five runs in 3.2 innings.

The Astros lost to the Marlins 6-1Chris Johnson was 2-4 and scored the lone run as pinch hitter Brian Bugusevic drove him in.  Brett Myers had a forgettable outing, allowing six runs (five earned) in 4.1 innings.  He allowed four hits and four walks while striking out four.

The Cardinals beat the Diamondbacks 7-6.  St. Louis was down 6-3 going into the eighth, but scored three runs in that frame thanks to a three run blast by Albert Pujols and had the game winner in the ninth on a Tony Cruz single that scored Colby Rasmus.  His Majesty went 3-4 with that home run, Matt Holliday picked up a couple of hits, and Skip Schumaker had a three hit day while scoring and driving in a run.  Chris Carpenter gave up five runs (four earned) in six innings.

The Brewers lost to the Reds in extra innings last night.  Here's our recap.

Updated Standings:

W L GB Last 10 Streak
Brewers 48 43 -- 4-6 L1
Cardinals 48 43 -- 5-5 W1
Pirates 46 43 1.0 6-4 L2
Reds 45 46 3.0 4-6 W1
Cubs 37 54 11.0 4-6 W1
Astros 30 61 18.0 2-8 L3


Today's Matchups:

Wandy Rodriguez (6-5, 3.25) starts for the Astros as they face the Marlins and Chris Volstad (4-8, 5.46)

The Cubs and Pirates do battle again.  This time, it's Ramon Ortiz (0-1, 3.00) against Paul Maholm (5-9, 3.08)

The Brewers get a fun opponent today as Dontrelle Willis returns to the big leagues for the Reds.  Randy Wolf (6-6, 3.72) will take the mound for the Brewers.

Jaime Garcia (8-3, 3.23) and the Cards face Zach Duke (2-3, 5.40) and the D-Backs.