Pirates take weekend series against Cards

NL Pitcher of the Month Gerrit Cole (4-1, 2.27) takes the mound this evening in Philly

NL Pitcher of the Month Gerrit Cole (4-1, 2.27) takes the mound this evening in Philly

The NL Central Hub returns!

I’m back from a work trip which kept me away from baseball for four days. Returned home to a blown out water heater that led to me tending to standing water in the basement, though thankfully not too much. In the past six days I got to listen to two games, watch a few innings with a traveling salesman from St. Louis late at night in a hotel bar, and watched Cards/Pirates and Cubs/Brewers on Sunday.

Over the weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals lost their first series of the year, as the Pittsburgh Pirates were finally able to take 2 of 3 against them. You may recall that in the prior weekend, the Bucs were swept by the Redbirds, losing three straight games in extra innings.

The Milwaukee Brewers showed that they can, in fact, win – as long as they’re playing the Chicago Cubs, against whom they are now 4-2.

The Cincinnati Reds dropped two out of three in an inter-league series against the Chicago White Sox.

* * *

Some quick hits…

The Cardinals get a welcome day off today. They’ve played in 20 straight days… Jaime Garcia made a rehab start in the minors and was hitting low-90s on his fastball. Garcia’s next start will be Friday as he continues to aim his sights on taking the spot in the rotation that opened up when Adam Wainwright went down with an Achilles injury… Marco Gonzales, also hoping to take that spot, makes his next rehab start on Thursday…

Gerrit Cole is back doing his thing for the Pirates tonight. He was the first Pirates pitcher to win National League Pitcher of the Month in 23 years, which is kind of ridiculous. Seriously?! Cole went 4-0 with a 1.76 ERA in April, striking out 35 men in 30.2 innings of work…

* * *

So the standings aren’t too terribly different from where we sat one week ago. The Cards are still kicking butt, the Cubs have stalled, the Reds and Pirates are kind of floating around, and the Brewers have regressed towards the mean. Not a lot of action here.

In NL Ranks, the big move up this past week was the Cardinals, who jumped up from 7th to 4th in Offense.

On the way down was the Cubs’ pitching, falling from 5th to 10th. Their bullpen continues to drag the team down.

* * *

National League Ranks

Batting Pitching
St. Louis 4th 1st
Chicago 8th 10th
Pittsburgh 12th 3rd
Cincinnati 9th 9th
Milwaukee 13th 14th

* * *

Schedule

15-16 PIRATES Cole, G (4-1, 2.27)
11-21 Phillies Williams, J (2-2, 5.18)
6:05 PM CT
14-17 Braves Miller, S (4-1, 1.66)
15-16 REDS Leake (2-1, 2.47)
6:10 PM CT
12-16 White Sox Samardzija (2-2, 4.38)
11-21 BREWERS Peralta, W (1-4, 3.92)
6:20 PM CT
20-11 Mets deGrom (3-3, 2.95)
15-15 CUBS Lester (2-2, 4.04)
7:05 PM CT

* * *

Standings

W L GB Strk
St. Louis Cardinals 22 9 L2
Chicago Cubs 15 15 6.5 L2
Cincinnati Reds 15 16 7.0 L2
Pittsburgh Pirates 15 16 7.0 W2
Milwaukee Brewers 11 21 11.5 W2
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