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Around the NL Central: August 29 Edition

An abbreviated Around the NL Central this morning, since I'm getting on a plane in 20 minutes:

Yesterday's action:

  • Milwaukee got its second straight sweep of Chicago, thanks to a two-run homer from Corey Hart and a stellar outing from Zack Greinke. The Crew wins, 3-2, and Noah's got your recap here.
  • St. Louis kept its deficit at 10.5 games in the Central by handling Pittsburgh, 7-4, at Busch Stadium. The Cards jumped on Jeff Karstens for three runs in the first inning, as Skip Schumaker and Ryan Theriot rapped run-scoring singles and David Freese had an RBI groundout. But the Bucs answered right back in the top of the second: Ronny Cedeno drove in Josh Harrison and Karstens helped his own cause with an RBI groundout. But the Cards took over from there, scoring three times in the bottom of the seventh -- Freese had an RBI single and Schumaker drove in a run with a groundout -- to take the series, 3-1.
  • It took a while, but Cincinnati is back over .500 after its 5-4, 14-inning win over Washington. The Nats broke a 3-3 tie in the ninth inning on Jayson Werth's run-scoring single, but Yonder Alonso tied the game right back up with his third homer of the year in the bottom of the inning. Both teams wasted scoring opportunities in extras, but Joey Votto sent the home crowd happy when he jacked his second homer of the game (and 26th on the year) in the bottom of the fourteenth.
  • Break up the Astros: Houston somehow managed to take another game from the defending World Series champions, clipping the Giants in 11 innings, 4-3. Matt Downs was the hero of the day, driving in Mighty Mite Jose Altuve with a run-scoring single in the 11th. Bud Norris deserved the win, but he exited with the game tied at 2 after going 7.0 innings and giving up three hits and one walk and striking out 10.

Your updated standings for August 29:

W L GB Last 10 Streak Elimination #
81 54 -- 8-2 W3 --
Cardinals 70 64 10.5 4-6 W1
Reds 67 66 13.0
7-3 W4 16
Pirates 62
71 18.0 4-6 L1
Cubs 57 77 23.5 3-7 L4 5
Astros 44 90 36.5 4-6 W1 Done


The Wild Card race looks like this right now:

W L GB Last 10 Streak
81 54 -- 8-2 W3
79 54 1.0 7-3 L1
Giants 71 63 9.5 4-6 L1
Cardinals 70 64 10.5
4-6 W1
Reds 67
66 13.0 7-3 W4


And here are the playoff participants, if the season ended today:

W L GB Last 10 Streak
Phillies (East) 83 46 -- 5-5 L2
Brewers (Central)
81 54 -- 8-2 W1
D-backs (West)
75 59 -- 6-4 W6
Braves (Wild Card)
79 54 --
7-3 L1


On tap for tonight:

  • The Reds welcome the NL East-leading Phllies to town for a four-game series that starts at 6:10 p.m. CDT. Homer Bailey (7-5, 4.44) faces Cole Hamels (13-7, 2.62) in game one.
  • The Pirates get a layup after their series with the Cardinals: Pittsburgh visits Houston for a series that kicks off at 7:05 p.m. CDT. Ross Ohlendorf (0-1, 7.24) takes on Wandy Rodriguez (9-9, 3.41) in the opener.
  • The Cubs head west to face the Giants in a three-game series, starting at 9:15 p.m. CDT tonight. Randy Wells (5-4, 5.53) gets the ball for the Cubs, while Tim Lincecum (12-10, 2.46) goes for San Francisco.
  • The Crew and the Cardinals have the day off.