1. Collapse of the Brewers: The Milwaukee Brewers may still lead the division, but at the rate they’re going now, it won’t be for much longer. They lost 8-0 on Thursday to the Cardinals, their fourth loss in a row. Adam Wainwright had one of his best starts of the year for St. Louis, with seven scoreless innings and eight strikeouts. Catcher Yadier Molina pounded two homers, despite coming into the game with one the entire year. The Brewers were swept by the Cardinals, who are now only 2.5 games back. The Cubs haven’t been great recently either, but they trail by only a half game. The Brewers, who have been outscored this season, are only 4-10 in August, and it’s looking like they will give up their division lead in the near future.
2. Desert Dominance: Like the Brewers, the Diamondbacks have been outscored for the season. That is where the similarities end, however. Arizona has the National League’s best record at 69-53, and is 10-4 this month. They have a three game lead over the second place Padres in the division. The D-Backs wrapped up a series win over Florida with a 5-4 victory on Thursday. It was a typical win for them–decent but not great starting pitching, hitting that just gets the job done, and great work by the bullpen. Despite their 22-10 record since the All Star break, the Diamondbacks still haven’t been great statistically in that span. They’re batting .250 with a 4.23 team ERA since the break, in fact. Sooner or later, those poor statistics will catch up with them. For now, though, the Diamondbacks appear to be on cruise control.
3. The Showdown Begins: The Tigers and Yankees hadn’t seen each other all year before Thursday, but they are scheduled to play two four game series in two weeks. The Tigers won the first battle of the majors’ two highest-scoring teams, handing the Yankees their third straight loss. Detroit’s 8-5 win was fueled by six runs in the first two innings, including a grand slam by Carlos Guillen in the first. Justin Verlander pitched well enough for his 13th win. The Tigers and Yankees now have identical 67-54 records this year, with the Tigers a half game ahead in their division and the Yankees a half game behind in the wild card. The Yanks have dropped to 5.5 games back in the division thanks to two inexcusable losses to Baltimore earlier this week.
Player of the Day: Mark DeRosa, Cubs: 5-5, 4 RBIs in a 12-4 win over Cincinnati. DeRosa was one of three Cubs to put up at least four hits in this blowout.