Two Months Down

3zhma0aeq17tktge1huh7yok5June wraps up with the St. Louis Cardinals still holding a 6 game lead in the NL Central.

Seems like many are expecting the injuries to capsize this team, but I think that ignores some facts:

  1. Matt Adams has been largely ineffective in 2015, so losing him doesn’t really diminish the product anyhow.
  2. Losing Adam Wainwright is huge on paper, but this is a team that always seems to overcome injuries to their pitching staff. Yes, the team has gotten rid of a few established starting pitchers recently – Shelby Miller… Joe Kelly… – but they always find a way to get an arm from inside their system and they cruise along just fine.
  3. I would be a little concerned about the Jordan Walden injury, however, especially when you lose a starting pitcher like Waino who you can rely on to shorten your bullpen. The relievers will be a bit more exposed this summer and not having Walden around could hurt. He had put up a 0.87 ERA (1.93 FIP) in 12 appearances before suffering an injury in his throwing shoulder. This after starting his career with 5 straight seasons with a FIP no higher than 3.02. He’s a valuable asset down there in the pen. Walden should be back by July’s end.

To make a long story short, don’t cry for the Cardinals.

They took 2 of 3 at home against the Dodgers this weekend and have now won 6 of their last 7 games. Coming up is a series against the Brewers, so the winning shouldn’t stop anytime soon.

In the month of May, they increased their lead in the division by 3.5 games.

* * *

The Chicago Cubs skittered to a break-even record of 14-14 in the month of May, including losing 4 of their last 6. They get a chance to start June off better with a series in Miami, but then travel to Washington for a 4-game set.

* * *

Also 14-14 in the month of May, highlighted by a 7-game winning streak towards the end of the month was the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are starting to play better.

They split a 4-game series in San Diego over the weekend, staring this weekend off with a series in San Francisco before flying clear across the country for another road series in Atlanta.

* * *

The Cincinnati Reds swept their weekend series against the Washington Nationals (how?!), finishing 11-16 for the month of May.

They lost 6 games in the standings during the month. 6 of their first 9 games in June are against the Philadelphia Phillies and the other 3 are against the San Diego Padres, so they have a chance to get off on the right foot

* * *

The Milwaukee Brewers replaced their manager and actually had what you might consider a relatively good month of May, finishing 12-17.

Yes, they lost an additional 6.5 games in the standings and, no, they have no real chance here. The team’s awfulness is well-documented already.

They start the month of June with a 9-game road trip against the Cards, Twins and Bucs.

* * *

National League Ranks

Batting Pitching
St. Louis 6th 1st
Chicago 9th 6th
Cincinnati 11th 10th
Pittsburgh 7th 3rd
Milwaukee 13th 15th

* * *

Standings

W L GB Strk
St. Louis Cardinals 33 17 W1
Chicago Cubs 26 22 6.0 W1
Pittsburgh Pirates 26 24 7.0 L1
Cincinnati Reds 22 27 10.5 W3
Milwaukee Brewers 17 34 16.5 W1

* * *

Schedule

26-22 CUBS Hammel (3-2, 2.98)
20-31 Marlins Urena (0-1, 9.39)
6:10 PM CT
17-34 BREWERS Fiers (1-5, 4.53)
33-17 CARDINALS Garcia, J (1-1, 3.46)
7:10 PM CT
26-24 PIRATES Cole, G (7-2, 2.11)
30-22 Giants Vogelsong (4-2, 4.24)
9:15 PM CT
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