News and notes from around the Central:
- I'd ordinarily give you a Cardinals roster note here, but I've got something else to say this morning: I realized last night who Tony LaRussa is. Tony LaRussa is that older person in your neighborhood who says horribly racist things all the time, only no one is willing to tell that person to knock it off because "that's how things were when he was growing up." Sometimes, though, things get to a point where enough is enough, and someone finally snaps and says: "You know what? I don't care what decade you were born. We don't say s**t like that anymore. Knock it off."
- That's the level it's reached with LaRussa and his mindless, pathetic habit of ordering his pitchers to throw at opposing hitters whenever one of his guys gets accidentally hit. I don't know what the baseball equivalent of someone telling the old dude to knock it the hell off is -- perhaps you think my suggestion of trying to break a Cardinal's hand the next time Ryan Braun gets dotted goes too far; personally, I think it's the kind of drastic action that's required here -- but something has to be done to stop this lunatic. Enough is enough.
- Pittsburgh catcher Ryan Doumit, who's missed the last two months after spraining his ankle at the end of May, is expected to return from the disabled list today after successfully completing a rehab assignment at AAA Indianapolis.
- Meanwhile, the news isn't as good for injured Reds third baseman Scott Rolen, who's eligible to come off the DL on Friday but isn't close to returning to action: Rolen hasn't done any baseball-related activity since landing on the disabled list, and he'll have his bum shoulder re-examined today.
- Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez was back in the lineup yesterday after taking a night off because of tightness in his quadriceps, and he responded by clubbing his 20th homer of the year and driving in four runs in Chicago's romp over Pittsburgh.
- The trading deadline has come and gone, but that doesn't mean the Astros are done dealing: there was a lot of interest in lefty Wandy Rodriguez before the deadline, and many people expect Rodriguez to be dealt before the end of August.
- I have nothing nice to say about St. Louis, so I will say nothing. Cardinals 8, Milwaukee 7 in 11 innings. Recap's here.
Chicago bludgeoned Pittsburgh, 11-6, last night at PNC Park. The Cubs lit up Bucs starter Kevin Correia early and often: they scored in each of the game's first four innings en route to a 10-2 advantage after four innings, as Tyler Colvin, Aramis Ramirez, Geovany Soto, Alfonso Soriano (twice), and Marlon Byrd all homered before the sun set. Correia lasted just two innings, giving up ten hits (four homers) and eight earned runs as his ERA ballooned to 4.71 on the year. Randy Wells got to coast for most of the night, and he responded with six effective innings -- five hits, one walk, seven strikeouts, two earned runs -- as Pittsburgh dropped back to .500 on the year.
Cincinnati bounced back from a tough loss the night before with an easy 5-1 victory over Houston last night at Minute Maid Park. The Reds got all their offense in a five-run fifth inning fueled by Edgar Renteria's grand slam and Ramon Hernandez's RBI double. Homer Bailey was on top of his game yesterday, limiting the Astros to one run on five hits and three walks over eight innings as he improved to 6-5 on the year.
Your updated standings for August 3:
On tap for tonight:
- The Crew and Cards return to the Thunderdome for more beanball action at 1:10 p.m. CDT today, as Randy Wolf (7-8, 3.44) faces new Cardinal Edwin Jackson (8-7, 3.78).
- The Cubs and Pirates play game three of their four game series at 6:05 p.m. CDT. Charlie Morton (8-6, 4.04) takes on Matt Garza (4-8, 3.99) in this one.
- The Reds and Astros wrap up their series at 7:05 p.m. CDT tonight, when Dontrelle Willis (0-1, 3.52) matches up against Jordan Lyles (0-6, 4.41).