A week after pulling into first place, the Cincinnati Reds are still atop the NL Central, tied with St. Louis at 26-19. The Reds are 15-8 at home, but 11-11 on the road. It will be interesting to see whether the Reds starting rotation can keep pace with the Cardinals, but for now they’re playing good ball.
Carlos Zambrano threw a simulated game as he attempt to make his way back into the starting rotation. The Cubs signed Bob Howry to pitch out of the bullpen, searching for some stability. The Brewers, who have been having bullpen trouble this season as well, have an opportunity to get on a hot streak with three games at Houston this week.
San Diego is playing good baseball behind a steady rotation. Jon Garland is leading the staff with a 5-2 record and a 2.38 ERA. Four starters have ERAs between 2.38 and 3.32. Adrian Gonzalez is leading the offense with nine home runs and 27 RBIs. David Eckstein has collected 12 doubles and is batting .310 on offense.
Behind San Diego, Los Angeles keeps moving up. As of Tuesday, they were just one game behind the division leaders. L.A. won four of five games against the Padres to move up the standings. The Dodgers host the Cubs and Rockies this week. The home stand is a great opportunity to overtake the Padres – that is assuming SD stumbles. Losing Andre Ethier to injury is costly for the Dodgers though.
The Rockies Ubaldo Jimenez leads the league with eight wins and a microscopic 0.99 ERA.
Out east, it’s pretty inconsistent behind first-place Philadelphia. Teams are beating one another and the Phillies have built a 3.5-game lead over the second place Braves. With the pitching staff of the Phillies and the offensive power, it’s likely only a matter of time before that lead grows.
The Braves have moved into second place behind a stellar record at home. Atlanta is 13-6 on their home turf, but have lost 15 of their 25 road games so far. The Braves have won seven of their last 10.
The Nationals still have a winning record, but many people are more interested in young prospect Stephen Strasburg, who has moved up the minor league system quickly, and now sits at AAA.
Philadelphia – The division looks awfully shaky behind them; division title hopes look better each week.
St. Louis – May be pestered by Reds, but have a lot of experience.
San Diego – Beaten up by Dodgers reason to be concerned, but not to panic.
Cincinnati – Not going away any time soon.
Los Angeles – Winning quality baseball games without Ethier.