Here's a quick glance at what's happening around the National League Central.
It's one thing when your offense struggles. It's another when it struggles against the Reds' pitching staff, one of the worst in the majors. This is the current state of the Brewers. Their 5-4 loss to the Reds was the Brewers' third in a row and seventh in nine games on the homestand with one left before starting a 10-game trip that probably will make or break their season, points out Tom Haudricourt. The Brewers are hoping CC Sabathia can give them a lift today against the Reds. The left-hander is making his 13th start for the Brewers and is seeking his 10th victory with the club. A bone spur in David Riske's right elbow likely explains the relievers' recent struggles.
Bum elbow and all, Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols is putting the finishing touches on an MVP season. Consider this: Pujols has three home runs in his last three games and is hitting .396 since July 26. He has nine RBI this month and has multiple RBI in nine of his last 16 games. And in this same story, he downplays the notion he is headed for offseason surgery on his elbow.
The red-hot Astros aren't talking playoffs yet, despite winning 12 of their last 13 games.