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Around the NL Central: August 24 Edition

News and notes from around the Central:

Yesterday's action:

  • Milwaukee jumped all over Pittsburgh starter Ross Ohlendorf, going BEAST MODE early and often en route to seven second-inning runs and an 11-4 romp over the Bucs at PNC Park. Our recap is here.
  • Meanwhile, on the opposite end of the spectrum, St. Louis got bludgeoned by the Dodgers, as L.A. chased Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse from the game after three innings (eight hits, one walk, two homers, eight earned runs) and curbstomped the Cards, 13-2. Matt Kemp got the party started in the first with a three-run bomb off Lohse, and the Dodgers tacked on four more runs in the second thanks to an RBI double from Justin Sellers, an RBI single from James Loney, and a two-run double by Juan Rivera. Rod Barajas clubbed two homers to put the game firmly into "this is getting silly" territory, and Aaron Miles cemented that status with a homer off of Skip Schumaker (no typo) in the ninth. Clayton Kershaw picked up his 16th win of the year with six shutout innings.
  • Cincinnati plated four runs in the ninth inning to swipe a come-from-behind, 8-6 win over Florida in Miami. Johnny Cueto put the Reds behind the eight ball by walking six Marlins in his five innings of work, but he limited the Fish to four hits and three earned runs. Still, the Reds found themselves down 6-4 in the ninth, but Dave Sappelt tied the game with a two-run double to left field and Yonder Alonso gave the Reds the lead with a two-RBI double of his own one batter later. CoCo Cordero retired the Fish in order in the ninth to pick up his 27th save.
  • The Braves used a third-inning grand slam from Jason Heyward to steal a victory from Chicago, 5-4, at Wrigley Field. Casey Coleman wasn't as awful as he usually is -- he gave up five hits and two walks in five innings -- but Heyward's blast made it five earned runs for Coleman in as many innings as his ERA ballooned to 7.59 on the year. Mike Minor wasn't a lot better for Atlanta -- he worked five innings and gave up six hits and four runs (three earned) while striking out six -- but the Braves dynamic bullpen turned the lights out in the last four innings, limiting the Cubs to four hits and fanning six Cub batters. Craig Kimbrel notched his 40th save of the year with a scoreless ninth.
  • Houston rallied back from deficits throughout the night, taking a 3-2 lead after Colorado grabbed a first-inning 2-0 advantage and later rallying to tie the game at 5 in the sixth inning and at 6 in the seventh. But the Astros had no answer for the Rockies' pivotal two-run seventh inning, when Jonathan Herrera clubbed a two-run shot to give the Rox an 8-6 lead they wouldn't relinquish. Carlos Lee hit a solo homer for the 'Stros and Jimmy Paredes added a two-run shot, but it wasn't enough to get Houston over the hump on this night.

W L GB Last 10 Streak Elimination #
78 53 -- 8-2 W1 --
Cardinals 67 62 10.0 3-7 L2
Reds 63 65 13.5
6-4 W2 20
Pirates 60
68 16.5 4-6 L1
Cubs 56 73 21.0 5-5 L3 12
Astros 42 87 35.0 4-6 L3 Done


The Wild Card race looks like this right now:

W L GB Last 10 Streak
78 52 -- 8-2 W6
78 53 0.5 8-2 W1
Giants 68 60 8.5 4-6 W1
Cardinals 67 62 10.5
3-7 L2
Reds 63
64 14.0 6-4 W2


On tap for today:

  • The Crew and Pirates wrap up their series with an early one: first pitch is scheduled at 11:35 a.m. CDT, with Shaun Marcum (11-3, 3.40) facing new call-up Aaron Thompson (0-0, ---).
  • The Cardinals and Dodgers conclude their series at 1:15 p.m. CDT. Jaime Garcia (10-6, 3.45) takes on Hiroki Kuroda (9-14, 2.88) in this one.
  • The Reds and Marlins have a double-dip, starting at 3:10 p.m. CDT with game two following immediately thereafter. Game one features Homey Bailey (7-5, 4.48) facing Javier Vazquez (7-11, 4.67), while game two sees Bronson Arroyo (7-10, 5.28) battling Chris Volstad (5-10, 5.66).
  • The Cubs and Braves are back in action at 7:05 p.m. tonight. Randy Wells (4-4, 5.84) gets the call for the Baby Bears, while Derek Lowe (8-11, 4.73) starts for the Braves.
  • Houston and Colorado welcome a special guest* to Coors Field at 2:10 p.m. CDT for the finale of their three-game series. Wandy Rodriguez (9-9, 3.31) is scheduled to start, provided he's still on the club, while Aaron Cook (3-7, 5.23) gets the call for the Rockies.

* Spoiler alert: it's me