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Around the NL Central: September 4 Edition

A home run and a Cycle--I'm not sure who looks happier.
A home run and a Cycle--I'm not sure who looks happier.


The Cubs have given a contract extension to farm director Oneri Fleita.

Francisco Coredero still says he wants to stay with the Reds after this season. Cincinnati holds a $12MM option for 2012 on Cordero.

Yesterday's Games:

The Brewers beat the Astros 8-2. You can find our recap here.

The Pirates beat the Cubs 7-5. After the Pirates tied the game 3-3 in the top of the seventh inning, the Cubs took the lead back in the bottom of the frame with a two run outburst of their own. With the Pirates down two in the ninth and the bases loaded against Carlos Marmol, Derrek Lee hit a grand slam to take the lead. Joel Hanrahan shut down the Cubs to end the game. Lee ended up 3-5 with five RBI in this game. Alfonso Soriano was 2-3 with four RBI and Aramis Ramirez was 2-3 with three runs scored. The Cubs are officially eliminated from the playoff race.

The Cardinals beat the Reds 6-4. The Reds scored a couple in the eighth as they tried to make a run, but couldn't overcome an early Cardinals lead, as St. Louis put up five total runs in the second and third innings. Jaime Garcia had a nice start, going six innings and giving up just one earned run while striking out six. Jay Bruce went 2-4 with a two run homer and Edgar Renteria had a three hit day. John Jay, Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, and Skip Schumaker each picked up a couple hits for the Cards.

Updated Standings:

W L GB Last 10 Streak Elimination #
83 57 -- 6-4 W2 --
Cardinals 74 65 8.5 7-3 W1
Reds 68 71 14.5
5-5 L1 9
Pirates 64
75 18.5 3-7 W2
Cubs 59 80 23.5 3-7 L3 Done
Astros 47 92 35.5 5-5 L2 Done

The Wild Card race looks like this right now:

W L GB Last 10 Streak
83 57 -- 6-4 W2
81 57 1.0 5-5 L1
Cardinals 74 65 8.5 7-3 W1
Giants 73 66 9.5
5-5 L1
Reds 68
71 14.5 5-5 L1

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

W L GB Last 10 Streak
Phillies (East) 88 47 -- 7-3 L1
Brewers (Central)
83 57 7.5 6-4 W2
D-backs (West)
79 60 11.0 9-1 W1
Braves (Wild Card)
81 57 8.5
5-5 L1

Today's Matchups:

The Brewers send Shaun Marcum (11-5, 3.24) to the mound to combat the Astros and Wandy Rodriguez (10-9, 3.43).

Bronson Arroyo (8-11, 5.13) and the Reds take on Edwin Jackson (11-9, 3.83) and the Cardinals.

The Pirates and Cubs play again with Charlie Morton (9-8, 3.74) facing off against Randy Wells (6-4, 5.06).