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Around the NL Central: September 13 Edition

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News and notes from around the Central:

Yesterday's action:

  • St. Louis stubbed its toe after an impressive weekend sweep of the Braves, gagging away a 4-3 eighth-inning lead and falling to Pittsburgh, 6-5, at PNC Park. Albert Pujols' two-run, sixth-inning homer had given the Cards the one-run advantage, and Tony LaRussa tabbed Octavio Dotel in the eighth inning. Dotel struck out Andrew McCutchen but walked Derrek Lee, and TLR then summoned Marc Rzepczynski to face Ryan Doumit. Doumit foiled that move by ripping a game-tying double to right field, and after an intentional walk to Ryan Ludwick, Scrabble fanned Josh Harrison and gave way to Fernando Salas, who promptly surrendered a cue-shot, 2-RBI double to Pedro Ciriaco. Joel Hanrahan wasn't on top of his game, giving up two hits and allowing a run to score on a wild pitch, but he struck out Corey Patterson to secure his 37th save of the year.
  • Cincinnati has eliminated its margin for error in the NL Central race after getting stomped by Chicago, 12-8, at Great American Ballpark. The Cubs roughed up Dontrelle Willis in a big way, plating eight earned runs on nine hits and three walks in just 3.1 innings, and though Rodrigo Lopez wasn't much better (5.1 IP, nine hits, five earned runs, four homers allowed), he was good enough to earn his fifth win on the year. Aramis Ramirez hit his 25th home run on the year, and Starlin Castro homered and hit two doubles en route to a 3-for-4, 3 RBI day.
  • Houston got its 50th win of the year courtesy of a 5-1 triumph over the NL East-leading Phillies. Brett Myers held the Phils in check for eight innings, giving up just one run on six hits and a walk while striking out four. Meanwhile, former Astro Roy Oswalt got roughed up by his old team, as the Astros worked Oswalt for five earned runs on 11 hits in seven innings. Carlos Lee hit his 16th homer to support Myers' cause.
  • Milwaukee had the day off.

Your updated standings for September 13:

W L GB Last 10 Streak Elimination #
86 62 -- 5-5 W1 --
Cardinals 79 68 6.5 6-4 L1
Reds 71 76 14.5
4-6 L3 1
Pirates 67
80 18.5 5-5 W1
Cubs 65 82 20.5 6-4 W3 Done
Astros 50 97 35.5 3-7 W1 Done

The Wild Card race looks like this right now:

W L GB Last 10 Streak
86 62 -- 5-5 W1
84 64 2.0 3-7 L4
Cardinals 79 68 6.5 6-4 L1
Giants 77 70 8.5
5-5 W2
Dodgers 72
74 13.0 6-4 L2

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

W L GB Last 10 Streak
Phillies (East) 94 50 --
6-4 L2
Brewers (Central)
86 62 10.0 5-5 W1
D-backs (West)
86 62 10.0 8-2 W1
Braves (Wild Card)
84 64 12.0
3-7 L4


On tap for today:

  • The Crew welcomes the Rockies to town for a quick two-game set that kicks off at 7:10 p.m. CDT. Zack Greinke (14-6, 3.93) faces Esmil Rogers (6-5, 6.26) in game one.
  • The Cardinals and Pirates are back in action at 6:05 p.m. CDT at PNC Park, when Chris Carpenter (9-9, 3.75) takes on Jeff Karstens (9-9, 3.32).
  • The Reds and Cubs resume hostilities at 6:05 p.m. CDT at Great American Ballpark. Mike Leake (11-9, 4.00) makes what's probably his last start of the year against Ryan Dempster (10-11, 4.74).
  • The Astros go for the improbable series win against the Phillies (no type) at 7:05 p.m. J.A. Happ (5-15, 5.77) faces his former mates, while Cole Hamels (14-7, 2.60).