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Around the NL Central: July 17 Edition

The rapture is taking Prince!
The rapture is taking Prince!


Rumors are that the Cubs will pay big money for second round draft pick Dan Vogelbach, whom the team is apparently hoping will be their very own Prince Fielder, according to this Trib article.

Astros' minor league pitcher Manuel Sanchez was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for an illegal substance.  Sanchez had a 2.25 ERA in his first professional season.

The Astros' made some lineup moves yesterday, dropping Carlos Lee out of the cleanup spot.  Houston will also be giving Matt Downs a chance to hold the job at third base.

Yesterday's Games:

The Cubs lost a heartbreaker to the Marlins, 13-3.   Carlos Zambrano was a few pitches from getting out of it, but ended up allowing 8 earned runs in on seven hits and four walks in 4.2 innings.  He also allowed two home runs.  Aramis Ramirez hit a three run home run, scoring Kosuke Fukudome and Starlin Castro.  That's about all the Cubs did that was noteworthy.  The Marlins did a lot, but this isn't Around the NL East.

The Astros beat the Pirates, 6-4.  Pittsburgh was up by one after six innings, but a three run eighth for Houston gave them a lead that they wouldn't give up.  Both starting pitchers had pretty mediocre nights with Bud Norris going 5.2 innings and giving up four runs and Paul Maholm went five innings and allowed three runs.  For the Astros, Jeff Keppinger was 2-4 with a two run home run.  Michael Bourn had a three hit night and drove in a run, Carlos Lee was 2-4 with a run scored, and Humberto Quintero was 2-4 with an RBI.  Neil Walker had a big day for Pittsburgh, going 4-5 with his ninth home run and two RBI.  Michael McKenry was 3-4 with a run scored, Lyle Overbay was 2-4 with a home run, and Brandon Wood also hit a homer. 

The Cardinals beat the Reds 4-1.  Stupid Albert Pujols hit a three run home run and Jon Jay had a 3-4 day.  Skip Schumaker also scored a couple runs for St. Louis.  For the Reds, Drew Stubbs reached base four times, going 3-4 with a walk  and a double.  He also scored the lone Cincinnati run, being driven home by Joey Votto.  Chris Carpenter was great as he went eight innings and allowed just the one run.  Bronson Arroyo was not so great, giving up four runs in 6.2 innings. 

The Brewers beat the Rockies, 8-7.  Yay.

Updated Standings:

W L GB Last 10 Streak
Cardinals 50 44 -- 5-5 W1
Brewers 50 45 0.5 5-5 W1
Pirates 48 44 1. 6-4 L1
Reds 46 48 4.0 4-6 L1
Cubs 38 57 12.5 3-7 L1
Astros 31 63 19.0 2-8 W1


Today's Match Ups:

For the Cardinals, Jaime Garcia (9-3, 3.22) will take on Homer Bailey (3-4, 4.13) and the Reds.

Kevin Correia (11-7, 4.01) and the Pirates will face off against Wandy Rodriguez (6-6, 3.52) and the Astros.

The Cubs and Randy Wells (1-3, 6.80) will take on Chris Volstad (5-8, 5.40) and the Marlins.

And for the Brew Crew, Shaun Marcum (7-3, 3.39) will take on Aaron Cook (0-4, 5.82) and the Rockies.