In an effort to make me look like a fool, the Reds are back on the upswing and in first place once again. Cincinnati has won three games in a row and seven of their last 10 to overtake St. Louis for the Central lead. However, the Reds did not make any moves at the trade deadline to bolster their roster. Pitching is a must down the stretch, and Dusty Baker has a reputation for wearing his pitchers out.
The Cardinals, on the other hand, added Jake Westbrook to their pitching staff. St. Louis was interested in Houston’s Roy Oswalt, but he was dealt to the Phillies. The Cardinals are half a game back of first place, and primed to make a deep run.
Elsewhere in the division, the Brewers followed their five-game winning streak last week with a five-game losing streak. They got out of their slump Monday night when they whooped the Cubs, 18-1.
The Cubs are making everyone look good these days, mostly due to their lackluster pitching. Check out the Rockies below, for more details.
In an effort to extend its two-game lead over San Francisco, the Padres added a couple of veteran players at the deadline. San Diego brought in Ryan Ludwick from St. Louis and Miguel Tejada from Baltimore. The Padres have also reached the 20 games above .500 mark, currently sitting at 62-42.
San Francisco brought in two relievers to help with their second half run, but it was the Los Angeles Dodgers who made the most noise at the trade deadline.
The Dodgers acquired Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot from the Cubs, Scott Podsednik from the Royals and landed Octavio Dotel to bolster their bullpen. It remains to be seen if the shake-up can help the team overcome a nine-game deficit in the division race, or the seven-game deficit in the wild card chase.
The Rockies are lingering in third place in the division, but they did have a hell of a series against the Cubs. On Friday, the Rockies set an MLB record by scoring 12 runs with two outs in the eighth inning. Then on Saturday, Carlos Gonzalez hit a walk-off home run to compete the cycle.
The Phillies landed one of the biggest names in the trade market when they got Roy Oswalt from the Astros. However, the right hander was beaten up by the Nationals, 8-1, in his first start with Philadelphia, snapping the squad’s eight-game winning streak.
Nonetheless, Philadelphia is creeping up behind Atlanta, losers of six of the last 10. The Braves were not silent at the deadline, bringing in a handful of players. Atlanta got Kyle Farnsworth and Rick Ankiel from Kansas City.
Though, the Reds and Cardinals are in a tight race in the Central, keep an eye on the race in the East. The Phillies quest to reclaim the division could be the most interesting storyline in the next month.
San Diego – Made enough moves to hold of San Francisco
Philadelphia – Be afraid Atlanta, very afraid
St. Louis – Already the NL Central champs in my mind
Atlanta – Needs to correct current losing trend
Cincinnati – Fans still clinging to hope