Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

NL Central Watch: La Russa sends a message to dinged-up Cards

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Here's a quick glance at what's happening around the National League Central.

The St. Louis Cardinals are dinged up, but manager Tony La Russa won't let his players use that as an excuse. Before the game Wednesday, La Russa sent a message to his players, saying: ''This is the lineup we've got. And we can win with this lineup.'' Then the Cards went out and lost to the last-place Pirates, assuring themselves of a losing trip. The Cardinals have lost seven of their last 10 games and no longer hold sole possession of first place in the Central. Here is the list of hurting Cardinals: Ryan Ludwick, Chris Carpenter, Rick Ankiel and Troy Glaus.

One of the teams sharing first place with the Cardinals is the Reds, winners of six of their last seven. The Reds are feeling pretty good about themselves. This is the latest they have been in first place since June 8, 2006, when Dusty Baker was still managing the Cubs. The Reds, however, are concerned about the recent bout of dizziness that has sidelined Joey Votto.

The Brewers are the other Central team in first place with a 20-14 record. They flexed their muscle and got another save from new closer Trevor Hoffman to win for the 16th time in 21 games. Their victory over the Marlins marked the Brewers 12th come-from-behind win this season, tied with the Phillies for most in the majors.

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This page contains a single entry by Chris De Luca published on May 14, 2009 10:50 AM.

Cubs rookie Scales keeps impressing as hitting streak reaches 6 was the previous entry in this blog.

Cubs' Zambrano ready -- and sorry is the next entry in this blog.

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