Here's a quick glance at what's happening around the National League Central.
The Cardinals have made it official: former ace Chris Carpenter will be activated from the disabled list to face the Cubs on Wednesday at Busch Stadium. By starting Carpenter on Wednesday, the Brewers can then have him start the opener of a key series against the Brewers next Monday at Miller Park. The Cardinals were in desperate need of some good news after losing nine of their last 13 games. But St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz says it's too soon for Cards fans to panic. That said, the Cardinals are definitely hurting from a power outage because of injuries. Meanwhile, former Cubs pitcher Todd Wellemeyer had a strange start Sunday: He became the first Redbirds pitcher in at least 55 years to walk at least seven hitters and hit two batters in the same start.
So much for the Brewers taking a nose dive after losing co-aces CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets in the same offseason. The Brewers are the hottest team in baseball and have made a strong statement after an early stumble. Not bad for a team that was in last place on April 21, Since then, the Brewers have gone 19-5 -- moving into first place -- entering their series finale tonight against the Cardinals. ''We're getting good pitching and great hitting,'' left-hander Manny Parra said ''Everything seems to be going together. It makes it a lot of fun to come to the ballpark.'' There is cause for concern in Milwaukee. Second baseman Rickie Weeks has flown to Phoenix to see a hand specialist after hurting his left wrist Sunday while striking out to open the game.
The Reds entered the weekend in a tie for first place, but slipped in San Diego. The road ahead doesn't get much easier. This was a big setback for the Reds, who entered the Padres series with the most victories on the road (13) and best road winning percentage in the majors. Meanwhile, the Reds still have concerns about Joey Votto's dizzy spells. He is expected to undergo more tests today in Cincinnati.