Whole lot of interesting action around the NL Central today.
- The 100 year anniversary of Crosley Field is coming up.
- Brandon Phillips will not ask the Reds to show him the money.
- I’m used to questions about Dusty Baker’s handling of his pitching staff, but not his catchers.
The PIRATES took 2 out of 3 against the Phillies, coming back from a 4-1 hole to win a walk-off of their own. Recently extended center fielder Andrew McCutchen picked up the game-winning single. All three games were decided by one run. Still too early to say if the concerns about Philadelphia’s aging lineup will be valid. But go to an NL East blog if you’re looking for analysis on that front. Pedro Alvarez hit a bomb that left the park in right.
- On Jeff Karstens settling into his role as a starter. He was pretty great yesterday.
- Your re-habbing Pirates’ pitchers watch.
In the feature series of the weekend, the CARDINALS won the rubber match against the BREWERS behind a very impressive Lance Lynn start. Lynn (W 1-0) went 6.2 innings, allowing just one run on a pair of hits and one walk while whiffing 8. My choice for best off-season free agent signing (dollars considered) Carlos Beltran connected for his second homer of St. Louis’ 4-game season. I’m only saying I’m a genius. (Never mind that many notable baseball web sites have the same opinion.)
Laugh now, but the ASTROS took their rubber match against the Rockies with a 3-2 win. No, seriously, it’s okay. You can laugh now. On a lighter note, Houston made zero errors in this game. Only 14,000 or so were in attendance.
- Manager Brad Mills’ attempt to humiliate his team must have worked.
- I’m posting this not because it’s an interesting signing, but because I see the Houston Chronicle’s writer put his triple-slash line in the article. Which I approve of. You’ve been linked, sir.
And Jeff Samardzija tried to help the CUBS avoid a bullpen meltdown by attempting to finish what he started, taking his first MLB start into the 9th inning before an Adam LaRoche 2-run homer chased him out of the game. Y’know what? It might have been Andy LaRoche. Anybody want to check that for me? I’ve lost track of my LaRoches. The Cubs held on for a 4-3 win to avoid the sweep.
- Paul Sullivan on the Cubs’ bullpen woes following game 2.
- Ex-third sacker and full-time cock fighter Aramis Ramirez wonders whether Cub fans will boo him when he returns to Wrigley as a Brewer this week. This is a fan base that cheers for mediocre former players who return to play against them (see DeRosa, Mark), so I’m guessing they won’t, E-Ram. Besides, he didn’t ask to leave. He was (rightfully) shown the door.
- The Cubs are standing behind “closer” Carlos Marmol. I think the strategy to give him as many save opportunities as possible where he only needs to record one out is a sound one.