News and notes from around the Central:
- The Cardinals have enjoyed a renaissance season from outfielder Lance Berkman in 2011, and Berkman has apparently enjoyed his time in St. Louis as well: he told reporters on Wednesday that he plans to play in 2012, and he'd like to play that season for the Cards.
- As we told you yesterday, the Reds and Marlins opted to play a doubleheader on Wednesday with Hurricane Irene bearing down on the Sunshine State and threatening to wash out today's scheduled contest. But the weather seems to have scared off the fans in Miami, too: according to one unofficial count, there were 347 warm bodies inside Sun Life Stadium for the opening pitch of game one.
- Another day, another injury note for the Pirates: this time, the Bucs have lost outfielder Ryan Ludwick to the DL after the outfielder's back locked up on him on Tuesday.
- The Cubs placed first baseman Carlos Pena on waivers this week, and, somewhat unsurprisingly, the Yankees -- who've been using the ancient Jorge Posada at DH all season -- claimed the slugging lefty. More surprisingly, the Cubs elected not to make a deal with New York and instead pulled Pena back from waivers, meaning he'll be a Cub for the rest of the year. In a related story: I have no ****ing idea what the Cubs are doing.
- Houston and Colorado had until Thursday afternoon to work out a deal for left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, who was claimed by the Rockies after the Astros put him on waivers earlier this week. But Houston apparently wasn't willing to budge on its demand for a top prospect in exchange for Wandy, and since the Rox wouldn't meet that price, the Astros pulled Rodriguez back from waivers.
- Someone named Aaron Thompson teamed up with a few of his Pittsburgh buddies to blank Milwaukee, 2-0. Here's our recap, if you're so inclined.
- For the second day in a row, a St. Louis starter got rocked by the Dodgers; this time, it was Jaime Garcia's turn to take a paddlin', as the left-hander gave up six third-inning runs and L.A. blew the Cards' doors off, 9-4, to sweep the three-game series. Matt Kemp had a 2-RBI single in the third, Juan Rivera doubled Kemp home, Casey Blake plated Rivera with a single, James Loney drove home Blake with a double, and A.J. Ellis capped the scoring with a single to score Loney. Ellis added a solo homer (his first) in the fifth, and Rivera added a two-run shot in the sixth as the Dodgers didn't miss a beat after Tuesday night's 13-2 beatdown of the Cards.
Cincinnati split its doubleheader with Florida, dropping the opener 6-5 but winning the nightcap 3-2. The Marlins scored three runs in the eighth inning of game one (Omar Infante single, Greg Dobbs' 2-RBI double) to snap a 3-3 tie and then survived a two-run homer from Todd Frazier in the ninth to secure the victory in the opener. In game two, the Reds jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead after three innings (thanks to Joey Votto's RBI single in the first, Jay Bruce's run-scoring double, and Votto's solo homer in the third) and hung on from there: Bronson Arroyo threw eight outstanding innings (six hits, no walks, no runs) and, despite some fireworks from CoCo Cordero in the ninth (Dobbs doubled home a run and Gaby Sanchez drove Doggs home with a single), the Reds snagged the win.
- Chicago eeked out a 3-2 win over the Braves at Wrigley Field on the strength of Alfonso Soriano's two-run homer in the second inning and Randy Wells' RBI groundout in the same frame. Wells held Atlanta in check for 6.2 innings, limiting the Braves to two hits and two walks and just one earned run, and the Cub 'pen made the advantage stand up (though Kerry Wood surrendered a solo homer to Alex Gonzalez to allow the Braves to draw within a run). Carlos Marmol notched his 30th save with a scoreless ninth.
- Houston once again staged rally after rally to keep pace with the Rockies, but the Astros couldn't push across any more runs after the fifth inning and wound up dropping the game, 7-6, in ten innings when Aneury Rodriguez uncorked a wild pitch to score Troy Tulowitzki with the winning run. Wandy Rodriguez put his team in a hole early: after the 'Stros scored two in the top of the first, W. Rodriguez surrendered an RBI triple to Dexter Fowler, an RBI single to Carlos Gonzalez, and a two-run tater to Tulowitzki. The Astros got back in the game thanks to a solo homer from Clint Barmes and Wandy's RBI single in the second inning.
Your updated standings for August 25:
|W||L||GB||Last 10||Streak||Elimination #
The Wild Card race looks like this right now:
And here are the playoff participants, if the season ended today:
Braves (Wild Card)
On tap for today:
- The Cardinals welcome the Pirates to town for a four-game series that kicks off at 7:15 p.m. CDT. In game one, Edwin Jackson (9-9, 4.03) takes on Charlie Morton (9-6, 3.42).
- The Cubs and Braves wrap up their series at 1:20 p.m. CDT, when Matt Garza (6-9, 3.62) faces Brandon Beachy (6-2, 3.32).
- Houston continues its travels out west with a series in San Francisco that begins at 9:15 p.m. CDT tonight. Henry Sosa (0-2, 6.35) gets to take his lumps against Ryan Vogelsong (10-3, 2.47) in the opener.
- Milwaukee and Cincinnati have the day off.