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Around the NL Central: August 9 Edition

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News and notes from around the Central:

Yesterday's action:

  • Cincinnati's return to Great American Ballpark didn't cure what ails the Reds: the offense did its part in a 10-7 loss to Colorado, but Homer Bailey and Friends got battered around the park as the Reds dropped 10 games off the pace in the Central. Bailey gave up five earned runs in just three innings; he couldn't protect a 3-0, first-inning lead, giving up a pair of two-run homers to Seth Smith in the second and third innings, respectively, and a run-scoring single before departing after a lengthy rain delay. Things were no better for the Reds relievers: Sam LeCure gave up a two-run shot to Todd Helton, Bill Bray gave up a two-run tater to Carlos Gonzalez, and Nick Masset surrendered a run-scoring double to Mark Ellis. Cincinnati got homers from Jay Bruce (22), Drew Stubbs (15), and Brandon Phillips (11), but it wasn't enough on this night.
  • Now that's how you get off the schneid: Pittsburgh rebounded from its devastating 10-game losing streak with an impressive 5-0 win over the Giants in San Francisco. The Bucs jumped on Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong in the first inning, plating a couple of runs on a Neil Walker double and Ryan Ludwick's run-scoring single. Pittsburgh then tacked on another run in the third (bases-loaded walk by Pedro Alvarez) and put the game out of reach with two more in the fifth. That was all the support Charlie Morton needed: the right-hander worked eight shutout innings, scattering six hits (three by Nate Schierholtz) and three walks while striking out four.
  • Chicago and Washington were washed out by rain. The game will be made up on Thursday at 1:20 p.m. CDT, which had been a scheduled off day for both clubs.
  • Houston thumped the Diamondbacks in Phoenix, 9-1. The Astros roughed up Snakes starter Daniel Hudson to the tune of five first-inning runs: J.D. Martinez got the party started with a three-run bomb to right field, and Carlos Corporan doubled in Jimmy Paredes and Clint Barmes with two down. Houston then tacked on two more in the second (Matt Downs had an RBI double and Barmes had a run-scoring infield single), and Wandy Rodriguez rocked the D-backs to sleep, working six scoreless innings and giving up just two hits while fanning five. The only run the Diamondbacks could muster was a Henry Blanco solo homer off of Jeff Fulchino in the seventh.
  • Milwaukee and St. Louis had the day off.

Your updated standings for August 9:

W L GB Last 10 Streak
65 50 -- 9-1 W4
Cardinals 62 53 3.0 7-3 W4
Pirates 55 59 9.5
1-9 W1
Reds 55
60 10.0 5-5 L1
Cubs 49 66 16.0 7-3 L1
Astros 38 77 27.0 3-7 W1


BONUS STANDINGS for August 9: the Wild Card race looks like this right now:

W L GB Last 10 Streak
67 49 -- 6-4 W2
65 50 1.5 9-1 W4
D-backs 62 53 4.5 5-5 L1
Cardinals 62 53 4.5
7-3 W4
Mets 57
57 9.0 4-6 W1


On tap for tonight:

  • The Crew and Cardinals begin a pivotal three-game series at 7:15 p.m. CDT at Busch Stadium. Shaun Marcum (10-3, 3.58) faces Edwin Jackson (8-8, 4.11) in the opener.
  • The Reds continue their series against the Rockies at 6:10 p.m. CDT. Scheduled to start: for the Reds, Dontrelle Willis (0-1, 3.41); for the Rockies, Esmil Rogers (5-1, 6.35).
  • The Cubs and Nationals try to start their series again at 7:05 p.m. CDT, and because of the rainout, yesterday's scheduled starters -- Matt Garza (5-8, 3.78) and Chien-Ming Wang (0-2, 6.00) are now tonight's scheduled starters.
  • The Pirates are back in action against San Francisco at 9:15 p.m. CDT, when James McDonald (7-5, 4.23) does battle with Madison Bumgarner (6-11, 3.71).
  • The Astros and D-backs play game two of the series at 8:40 p.m. CDT. Jordan Lyles (1-6, 4.36) tries to pick up his second win against new Diamondback Jason Marquis (8-6, 4.33).