Central Intelligence: Week of April 29

The NL Central is going to be a dogfight all season and the winner may very well be decided in the last weekend. But it’s only the first week of May right now, so let’s take a look at what happened over the past seven days.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • St. Louis is clinging to first place after a .500 week with an overall mark of 20-13.
  • Luke Gregerson was activated off the IL on Saturday. As a result, Tyler O’Neill was sent down to Triple-A.
  • Jose Martinez is a bona fide major league hitter. After Saturday’s game against the Cubs, his slash line sits at .364/400/.511.
  • Paul Goldschmidt is 0 for his last 13 against Cubs’ pitching, which is insane considering his last stretch this long against the Cubs was 0-for-12, that was all the way back in 2013

Chicago Cubs

  • The Cubs only sit a half game back of first after a 4-0 week and a six-game winning streak.
  • Kyle Hendricks did something really cool and also really rare. He threw an 81-pitch “Maddux” against the Cardinals. Since pitch data has been tracked, the record for fewest pitches in a complete game is 78 by fellow Cub, Jon Lieber.
  • What a moment for Taylor Davis. The backup to the backup catcher, his first career home run was also a grand slam against the Cardinals on Saturday. The Cubs won 6-5.
  • Kyle Schwarber has broken his slump. Over the past seven games, Schwarber is slashing .318/.429/.545 with a game-winning home run against Seattle on Tuesday.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • After a 4-2 week, the Brewers are 19-16 and two games out of first place.
  • During the series against the Mets, Ryan Braun is 9-for-12 including the game-winning RBI in the 18th inning Saturday. Nine hits in two games is very impressive.
  • Jesus Aguilar seems to be coming around. Over his last seven games, Aguilar is slashing .313/.450/.875 with three homers, all three coming against the Rockies.
  • Christian Yelich has yet to play a game this week due to a sore back, but no decision has been made whether to put him on the IL.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • The Pirates ended their eight-game losing streak by going 3-1 this week. They sit at an even 15-15.
  • Michael Feliz, a key piece of the Gerrit Cole trade to the Astros, was recalled from Triple-A this week and has had three scoreless appearances so far. Feliz has pitched 3.2 innings, giving up just one hit while walking three and striking out five.
  • The injury bug has struck Jameson Taillon again. He was placed on the IL Saturday with a flexor strain in his right elbow and will not throw for at least four weeks. Tyler Lyons was recalled in his place.
  • Josh Bell‘s career high in home runs is 26, but he has a great chance to break that this season. He hit two on Saturday to bring him up to eight home runs already.

Cincinnati Reds

  • The Reds went 3-3 this week and own a 14-19 record.
  • After placing Matt Kemp on the IL with a broken rib, the Redlegs decided to release him on Saturday.
  • Top prospect Nick Senzel was called up this weekend and hit his first career home run on Saturday, a 9-2 Reds win.
  • Jesse Winker trolled Mets fans all week after the Reds won, waving to the fans as the last out was made. In the finale of the series, however, Winker was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. Everything evens out.
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