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Around the NL Central: July 15 Edition

News and notes from around the Central:

Yesterday's action:

  • If yesterday was a tone-setter for the second half for the Crew, you might want to avert your eyes: Yovani Gallardo was pitiful, giving up 11 hits and six runs (all earned) in just four innings, and the 'pen was no better, as the Rockies ran away from Milwaukee, 12-3, at Coors Field. Our recap is here.
  • This is going to be a long recap, but we all need a little schadenfreude on a morning like this one: the Cubs were breezing along with a 2-0 lead heading into the ninth inning of yesterday's contest vs. the Marlins. Matt Garza had given up a lot of baserunners -- six hits and three walks in seven innings -- but had stranded all of 'em, thanks in part to six strikeouts. And it seemed that Chicago had gotten just enough from its offense, as a homer from Marlon Byrd and a bases-loaded, grit-fueled HBP of Darwin Barney staked the Cubs to a two-run advantage. But then Carlos Marmol took the mound in the ninth inning and promptly walked the bases loaded, and pinch hitter Greg Dobbs just as promptly cleared them, lining a three-run double to right field (though the last run scored on a throwing error by Barney). After Marmol walked another batter, Kerry Wood took over and walked Omar Infante, then surrendered a sac fly to Gaby Sanchez and a single to Hanley Ramirez to plate two more runs. James Russell then relieved Wood, and Mike Cameron capped the scoring with a two-out single that scored Infante. That's six ninth-inning runs, if you score along with us, and the Fish get the win, 6-3.

Your updated standings for July 15:

W L GB Last 10 Streak
Cardinals 49 43 -- 5-5 W2
Brewers 49 44 0.5 5-5 L1
Pirates 47 43 1.0 6-4 W1
Reds 45 47 4.0 3-7 L1
Cubs 37 56 12.5 3-7 L2
Astros 30 62 19.0 1-9 L4

On tap for tonight:

  • St. Louis and Cincinnati start a three-game series tonight at Great American Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. CDT, with Jake Westbrook (7-4, 5.34) taking on Johnny Cueto (5-3, 1.96).
  • The Crew and Rox are back at it at 7:40 p.m. CDT at Coors Field. In game two, Chris Narveson (6-5, 4.75) faces Juan Nicasio (3-2, 4.91).
  • The Pirates and Astros begin a three-game set at Minute Maid Park at 7:05 p.m. CDT tonight. Scheduled to start: for the Bucs, Jeff Karstens (7-4, 2.55); for the Astros, Brett Myers (3-9, 4.88).
  • The Cubs continue their four-game series with Florida at 1:20 p.m. CDT this afternoon. Ryan Dempster (6-6, 5.01) gets the start for the Baby Bears, while Ricky Nolasco (6-5, 3.70) takes the ball for the Fish.