Central Intelligence: A Look Around the Division for the Week of May 27

Two months down and the Cubs are building momentum

Two months of the Major League season have passed, and like every year, the cream is starting to separate themselves from the rest of the crop. Here is a look at the teams around the National League Central division following the week of May 27, 2018.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • The Crew is still clinging to first place, after a 4-3 week, they are currently 37-23.
  • Zach Davies is back on the disabled list with rotator cuff inflammation. The Brewers’ pitching depth is thin and if they keep getting injuries who knows how long the pitching can hold up.
  • Speaking of pitching, the bullpen has been near the top in the National League. They have posted an ERA under 3 so far this season.
  • Orlando Arcia got recalled from AAA Colorado Springs. He was sent down to work on his swing.

Chicago Cubs

  • The Cubs have turned it on. This week they posted a 7-1 record, including a 4-game sweep of the Mets at Citi Field. The boys in blue are 33-23, two games back of the Brewers.
  • A nice gesture by the Cubs happened on Friday night. Tyler Chatwood has struggled for the Cubs to say the least. The players all wore high socks in support of Chatwood, and he turned it into a 5.1, two-run performance. A turning point, perhaps?
  • Carl Edwards, Jr has been placed on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation. It’s good to rest him, as the back end of the Cubs’ bullpen has been worked heavily the first part of the season.
  • In a 14-inning game on Saturday evening, Luke Farrell gave the Cubs five much-needed innings out of the bullpen, as the offense finally broke through in the 14th inning, winning 7-1.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • The Redbirds are hanging around 3 1/2 games out of first place, after a 5-3 week they are 32-25.
  • Alex Reyes made his season debut after coming back from Tommy John surgery. He pitched four innings against the Brewers on Wednesday and, unfortunately, went right back on the DL with what is described as a “significant” lat strain.
  • Michael Wacha might finally be developing into the pitcher the Cardinals hoped he could be. He has a career low ERA (2.41) and the second lowest FIP (3.31) of his young career. Wacha took a no-hitter into the ninth inning on Sunday against the Pirates before Colin Moran broke it up.
  • Yairo Munoz hit a walk off three-run home run on Thursday against the Pirates, capping off a five-run rally in a 10-8 win.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • The Pirates have been in a free fall for the last three weeks. They were 2-5 this week, and are now 30-29 overall.
  • Austin Meadows is slashing .392/.418/.784, which is a 1.202 OPS. He has added in five home runs in 51 at bats. The kid just hits and has earned himself an every day spot in this lineup.
  • Felipe Vazquez needs to find himself again. He has blown four out of his last five save opportunities, and currently has an ERA of 4.84. Granted, he has pushed through a minor injury during this run, but if he can be the guy he was last year that would help the Bucs out immensely.
  • Francisco Cervelli hit his eighth home run of the season against the Cardinals on Thursday, eatablishing a new career high in the process.

Cincinnati Reds

  • A 2-5 week puts the Reds at 21-39.
  • I’m not sure what the Redlegs did to Scooter Gennett, but they should keep doing that. He won NL player of the week twice in May. He leads the Reds in home runs, doubles, batting average, and hits. His slash line of .342/.378/.571 is also tops on the ballclub.
  • Raisel Iglesias returned from the disabled list this week and recorde his ninth save against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday.
  • Through five starts with the Reds, Matt Harvey has posted a 4.44 ERA in 24.1 innings. He has pitched to a .274 BAA and given up four home runs. Not terribly bad, but he could certainly be better. The Reds would certainly like him to be better.
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