NL Central Weekly Recap: The Pittsburgh Pirates (5-8) have won four of their last six games as they took two out of three from the Chicago Cubs and the San Diego Padres. During those four games, they put a total of 28 runs and only gave up 8 runs.
The Pirates’ bats have been heating up as they rank 11th with five players batting above the .275 mark early in the season. The Pirates also faced Joe Mosgrove who pitched the first no-hitter in Padres history against the Texas Rangers. Musgrove gave up four hits and 1 earned run in 4.0 innings pitched but suffered the loss.
The Pirates took the loss last night but look to get back on track against the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Chicago Cubs (5-7) have been on the opposite trend of what the Pirates have been doing. They lost five out of seven games as the bats have basically been non-existent this week.
The Cubs got shut out against the Brewers last night and only put up 15 runs in their last seven games. They have been shut out twice during that stretch. The Cubs currently have the worst batting average in the league by batting .163, and the worst on-base percentage at .254.
They also have the worst slugging percentage in the league. The Cubs schedule is only getting harder as the Atlanta Braves are visiting Wrigley Field.
SAINT LOUIS CARDINALS
The Saint Louis Cardinals (6-6) started off the season well and held the second spot in the NL Central with high expectations coming into the season. That hasn’t necessarily been the case as the Cardinals are currently sitting at .500.
The team has been very inconsistent after sweeping the Miami Marlins. The Milwaukee Brewers took two out of three against them and the Washington Nationals took two out of three in that series as well. The Cardinals did have a great game on Tuesday as they put up 14 runs but got shut out the next day.
The Milwaukee Brewers (7-5) are holding the second spot as they are behind the Cincinnati Reds due to run differential. The Brewers have four of their last five games and relied on their pitching to stay in the game.
The Brewers have the 28th best batting average in the league at .204 and second to last slugging percentage with a .339. The Brewers’ best asset over the years has been their pitching especially the bullpen. The Brewers have eight pitchers who have a 2.12 ERA or under.
The Brewers are fifth in earned run average and opposing batters have a .189 batting average against the team which is good for second.
The Cincinnati Reds (7-5) have a +5 run differential as they remain in the top spot in the NL Central. However, the Reds have lost four of their last five games as they are tied with the Brewers for the first spot.
In the last five games, the Reds have been shut out twice and lost both series to the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Francisco Giants. The Reds need to bounce back in a big as they will host the Indians as their bats are very weak.
The Reds have the fifth-best batting average in the league with a .264 average and are in first place with 20 home runs this season. They still have a strong pitching rotation as opposing teams hit .223 which is good for eighth.