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Around the NL Central: September 15 Edition

News and notes from around the Central:

Yesterday's action:

  • Shaun Marcum was bad for the first time in a while, and a reeling Brewers offense couldn't bail him out as Milwaukee saw its advantage in the Central shrink to 5.5 games in a 6-2 loss to the Rockies. Our recap is here.
  • St. Louis stayed on Milwaukee's heels with a 3-2 victory over Pittsburgh. Yadier Molina had the crucial hit in this one, as his two-run double in the top of the fourth snapped a 1-1 tie and gave the Cards a two-run advantage that held up for the rest of the game. Edwin Jackson worked out of danger in his 6.2 innings, giving up eight hits and five doubles but limiting the Bucs to just two runs. The St. Louis bullpen took over from there, slamming the door with 2.1 hitless innings and five strikeouts. Jason Motte picked up his seventh save with a perfect ninth inning.
  • Cincinnati managed to overcome the loss of Johnny Cueto by rocking Chicago's Casey Coleman for six runs in 3.2 innings en route to an easy 7-2 win over the Cubs. Ramon Hernandez kicked off the party with a three-run bomb off of Coleman in the second inning and Juan Francisco tacked on two more with a single in the third inning that plated Jay Bruce and Joey Votto. Meanwhile, the Reds 'pen held the Cubs after Cueto's exit: Sam LeCure worked 2.1 innings and gave up two runs, but the three relievers who followed him gave up just one hit and no runs over the last three innings.
  • Houston couldn't complete the sweep of Philadelphia, though it's hard to be upset about this result if you're an Astros fan: the Phils grabbed a run in the first inning against Bud Norris on Shane Victorino's double and Placido Polanco's RBI single, and that was it for scoring for the day. Roy Halladay blanked the 'Stros in a complete-game shutout, holding the Astros to just six hits and a walk while fanning seven. The win gives Halladay 18 on the year and the shutout lowers his ERA to 2.34.

Your updated standings for September 15:

W L GB Last 10 Streak Elimination #
87 63 -- 4-6 L1 --
Cardinals 81 68 5.5 7-3 W2
Reds 73 76 13.5
5-5 W2 Done
Pirates 67
82 19.5 3-7 L2
Cubs 65 84 21.5 6-4 L2 Done
Astros 51 98 35.5 4-6 L1 Done

The Wild Card race looks like this right now:

W L GB Last 10 Streak
87 63 -- 4-6 L1
86 64 1.0 4-6 W2
Cardinals 81 68 5.5 7-3 W2
Giants 79 70 7.5
6-4 W4
Dodgers 73
75 13.0 5-5 W1

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

W L GB Last 10 Streak
Phillies (East) 95 51 --
7-3 W1
D-backs (West) 87 63 10.0 7-3 L1
Brewers (Central)
87 63 10.0 4-6 L1
Braves (Wild Card)
86 64 11.0
4-6 W2


On tap for today:

  • The Reds and Cubs conclude their series at 6:10 p.m. CDT, when Homer Bailey (8-7, 4.34) takes on Randy Wells (7-4, 4.73).
  • The Pirates head to L.A. for a series with the Dodgers that starts at 9:10 p.m. CDT. Ross Ohlendorf (0-2, 8.03) faces Dana Eveland (2-0, 0.60) in game one.
  • The Crew, Cardinals, and Astros have the day off.