News and notes from around the Central:
- With an off day yesterday, the Cardinals are tweaking their rotation again, and, as per usual, Edwin Jackson is at the center of things: Jackson will start tonight on regular rest, while Jaime Garcia will start on Saturday after six days off.
- Reds fireballer Aroldis Chapman has been used exclusively as a reliever in his time in Cincinnati, but Reds pitching coach Bryan Price says he's "very confident" that Chapman is going to get a shot to start, perhaps next season.
- From the "too little, too late" files: Pirates outfielder Ryan Ludwick, who's been out since August 22 because of back spasms, was activated from the disabled list on Wednesday.
- Cubs right-hander Andrew Cashner will come out of the 'pen in the last couple weeks of the season before he heads to the Arizona Fall League, where he'll be used as a starter.
- There's still no news on Houston businessman Jim Crane's pending purchase of the Astros, and that's not making Crane very happy: Crane says he's getting impatient with the lack of action on the sale, and he says that his offer to buy the team expires on November 30.
- Chris Narveson's standard-issue Inning of Doom, coupled with some curious (and circuitous) routes to the ball from Carlos Gomez, proved too much for Milwaukee to overcome on Thursday night: Narveson barfed up six two-out runs in the sixth inning and the Crew fell meekly to the Phillies, 7-2. Our recap is here.
- Everybody else in the Central gained a half-game on the Crew; St. Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Houston had the day off.
Your updated standings for September 9:
|W||L||GB||Last 10||Streak||Elimination #
The Wild Card race looks like this right now:
And here are the playoff participants, if the season ended today:
Braves (Wild Card)
On tap for today:
- The Crew has their hands full once again, as Shaun Marcum (12-5, 3.11) has to face Phillies ace Roy Halladay (16-5, 2.49) at 7:10 p.m. CDT.
- The Cardinals now find themselves 7.5 games back of the Braves in the Wild Card race after Atlanta swept the Mets in a doubleheader yesterday, but the Cards can cut into that margin when Edwin Jackson (11-9, 3.78) faces Atlanta's Randall Delgado (0-1, 4.20) at 7:15 p.m. CDT at Busch Stadium.
- The Reds head to Denver to face the Rockies at 7:40 p.m. Homer Bailey (7-7, 4.57) faces Jhoulys Chacin (11-10, 3.60) in this one.
- The Pirates welcome the Marlins to town for a three-game series that starts at 6:05 p.m. CDT. Ross Ohlendorf (0-1, 6.35) takes on Ricky Nolasco (9-10, 4.39) in the opener.
- The Cubs pay a visit to Citi Field at 6:10 p.m. CDT to battle the Mets. Casey Coleman (2-7, 6.61) is on the bump for the Baby Bears, while Mike Pelfrey (7-11, 4.68) starts for New York.
- Houston is in Washington for a three-game set with the Nats that begins at 6:05 p.m. CDT. Bud Norris (6-9, 3.83) faces Tom Milone (0-0, 8.31) in game one.