The Pirates and Cardinals are making a move, but it’s the Cubs, who are leading the NL Central, they are focused on more than the wild-card. The Cardinals have pulled within a game of the Cubs, and the Pirates are now three games back in the division, which is closer than either team is in the NL wild-card race.
NL Wild-Card Standings through Games of Friday
ROCKIES 3B Nolan Arenado reached the 100 RBI mark on Friday night. He is in position to become the fourth player in history to lead a league in RBI three consecutive years. Joe Medwick (1936-38) and George Foster (1976-78) did it in the NL, and Cecil Fielder (1990-92) in the AL.
D-BACKS have lost five of their last six games — two at the Giants, and two of three at home against the Dodgers in addition to Friday’s series opener against the Cubs. The D-Backs have been outscored 46-24 in the six games, and have called on relievers 18 times to work 19 1/3 innings.
CARDINALS have won seven in a row, and have scored eight or more runs in the last six games. That equals a franchise record previously reached April 11-16, 2011, and Sept. 9-15, 1922.
PIRATES won at Toronto on Friday night, but Andrew McCutchen, who has been the key to their recent surge, came out of the game in the top of the third inning because of what appeared to be a cramp in his left knee. McCutchen said he hopes to return Saturday, but given Toronto’s artificial surface and the short turn around time from last night it wouldn’t be surprising if he was not in the lineup for the noon start.
BREWERS are watching the Caridnals and Pirates streak upward while they are looking to snap out of a recent slide. Brewers scored 10 runs on Friday night, which was one run less than they had scored in the previous five games. They, however, still loss their sixth in a row, equaling their longest losing streak of the season.
MARLINS are long shots to claim a wild-card spot, but they are the highest ranked team in the NL, and they do feature Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton hit his 40th home run on Friday, starting the Marlins on their way to a comeback victory over the Rockies. He is now two home runs shy of the Marlins single-season record set by Gary Sheffield in 1990, and five head of Aaron Judge of the Yankees for the major-league lead this season.