The Milwaukee Brewers won their fifth straight game Monday, matching the Phillies for the best streak in the National League. They have made up a few games on the Cardinals but will soon be forced to decide if they want to be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. Prince Fielder’s name has been included in trade rumors. He currently is second in the NL with 24 home runs.
The Cardinals are still in first place in the Central, however, they lost a three-game series over the weekend to the rival Chicago Cubs. St. Louis needed extra innings to salvage the final game of the series. Nonetheless, they still looked to be poised to take the title with Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Jaime Garcia bolstering the rotation.
The Reds have lost two games in a row and are 5-5 over the last 10 games. They are moving the wrong way in the standings but will definitely be looking to add an impact player, or two, at the trade deadline.
The Padres are for real. They have won eight of their last 10 games and are rivaling the Braves gaudy home-field record. San Diego is 30-19 at home and 58-39 overall, the best in the Majors. They have accomplished these feats without having one player in the Top 5 of any major offensive statistic. On the pitching side of things, Matt Latos leads the staff with a 11-4 record, with Jon Garland (9-6) and Clayton Richard(7-5) helping the team. Heath Bell has a co-Major League best 29 saves – and he’s collected those saves in 32 opportunities.
Brian Wilson of the San Francisco Giants also has 29 saves, and his ball club is the current leader for the NL Wild Card spot. The Giants have been matching the Padres hot streak, but can’t make up any ground as long as SD keeps winning. With the Giants young pitching staff – boasting Tim Lincecum (143 strikeouts) – the Wild Card is definitely an attainable goal for this team.
Martin Prado (.319; 71 runs, 134 hits, 28 doubles) and the Atlanta Braves still lead the NL East, but teams behind them are getting hot.
The Philadelphia Phillies are starting to play like they were expected to be. Philly is currently riding a five-game winning streak. They still trail Atlanta by 4.5 games and the Giants by 2.5 in the Wild Card race. But players are performing: Placido Polanco’s batting average ranks third in the NL (.317), Ryan Howard leads the league with 78 RBIs and is second with 117 hits, Jason Werth has a league-high 32 doubles and Shane Victorina leads the NL with eight triples.
San Diego – Still chugging along
Philadelphia – Red hot = five game winning streak
St. Louis – Ready to reclaim the NL Central crown
San Francisco – Would look great if the Padres were in another division
Atlanta – Starting to come down from their high a little