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Around the NL Central: September 2 Edition

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News and notes from around the Central:

Yesterday's action:

  • All Milwaukee needed to do to end St. Louis' season was win one game at home. That was too much to ask of Yovani Gallardo, though: Yo blew up in a big way, giving up four homers in a weak 4.2 inning effort as the Crew got swept by the Cards, 8-4. Our postmortem is here.
  • Cincinnati also got swept, but at least Cincy's four straight losses are understandable: the Phillies are steamrolling everything in their path right now, and the Reds just happened to be in the way this week. On Thursday afternoon, the Phils scored four runs against starter Reds Mike Leake (three run-scoring singles and Ryan Howard's 30th homer) and tacked on two more in the seventh on Michael Martinez's two-run homer. That was enough support for Vance Worley, who ran his record to 10-1 despite giving up eight hits and four earnies in 6.0 innings, as Philadelphia completed the sweep with a 6-4 win.
  • Pittsburgh dropped its fifth straight game -- in a related story: the NL Central is really bad -- bowing to the Dodgers, 6-4, in a makeup game at PNC Park. L.A. jumped on Brad Lincoln right at the start, scoring three runs in the first thanks to Aaron Miles' 2-RBI single and Tony Gwynn Jr.'s sac fly. Lincoln settled down from there, holding the Dodgers scoreless over the next five innings, but L.A. tacked on some insurance runs in the eighth and held on as the Bucs staged a three-run rally in the ninth. But Kenley Jackson put out the fire, striking out Josh Harrison and Brandon Wood to end the game.
  • Chicago and Houston had the day off.

Your updated standings for September 2:

W L GB Last 10 Streak Elimination #
81 57 -- 5-5 L3 --
Cardinals 73 64 7.5 6-4 W4
Reds 67 70 13.5
5-5 L4 12
Pirates 62
75 18.5 2-8 L5
Cubs 59 78 21.5 3-7 L1 4
Astros 47 90 33.5 5-5 W4 Done

The Wild Card race looks like this right now:

W L GB Last 10 Streak
81 55 -- 7-3 W2
81 57 1.0 5-5 L3
Cardinals 73 64 8.5 6-4 W4
Giants 72 65 9.5
5-5 W1
Reds 67
70 14.5 5-5 L3

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

W L GB Last 10 Streak
Phillies (East) 87 46 -- 7-3 W4
Brewers (Central)
81 57 8.5 6-4 L3
D-backs (West)
78 59 11.0 9-1 W9
Braves (Wild Card)
81 55 7.5
7-3 W2


On tap for today:

  • The Crew tries to snap out of its recent sleepwalking fit against the Astros at 7:05 p.m. CDT at Minute Maid Park. Zack Greinke (13-5, 4.05) faces youngster Lucas Harrell (0-0, 7.20) in this one.
  • The Cardinals look to keep the good times rolling against the reeling Reds at 7:15 p.m. CDT at Busch Stadium. Chris Carpenter (8-9, 3.76) takes on Johnny Cueto (9-5, 2.05) in the opener.
  • The Pirates and Cubs play out the string in a three-game series at Wrigley Field that starts at 1:20 p.m. CDT this afternoon. Ryan Dempster (10-10, 4.76) battles Brian Burres (0-0, ---) in game one.