National League Central Update: May 28, 2021
The Major League Baseball season is nearing two months of play, and the National League Central is shaping up with its contenders. The grind of the 162-game season is still in its early stages, but some exciting developments are happening within the division to dive into.
Cincinnati Announces "Re-Opening Day" on June 2nd
Great American Ballpark is returning to full capacity on June 2nd, so officials and community leaders got together on Wednesday to announce plans for Re-Opening Day. Ohio's health orders related to the pandemic are set to end.
The Reds host the Philadelphia Phillies in a day game that has a 12:35 p.m. start. Cincinnati mayor John Cranley encouraged fans to attend the ballgame and visit the DORA District at the Banks. Businesses have already stated they plan to give employees a half-day that day to get down to the stadium and support the surrounding small businesses.
Yelich Returns to Lineup for Milwaukee
After spending more than a month on the injured list nursing a lower back injury, star outfielder Christian Yelich returned to the Brewers lineup last week. Yelich has struggled since returning, collecting just two hits in 22 at-bats, but one of those hits was a home run.
Milwaukee desperately could use Yelich returning to form at the plate, as the Brewers sport the worst team batting average in the National League. Their .209 team average is only better than Seattle's .202 average.
Cardinals' Skipper Mike Shildt Ejected
St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt was ejected Wednesday night after umpire Joe West made Cardinals' pitcher Giovanny Gallegos switch ballcaps due to the appearance of sunscreen on Gallegos' bill. Shildt was visibly upset, believing that West unfairly singled out his pitcher.
The ejection was Shildt's second of the season, and the skipper was still fuming in the post-game. Shildt said in the press conference after the game, "Let's go check the guys that are sitting there going into their glove every day with filthy stuff coming out, not some guy before he even steps on the mound with a spot on his hat."
Chicago's Nico Hoerner Placed on IR
Chicago Cubs' second baseman Nico Hoerner was placed on the 10-day injured list Wednesday with a hamstring injury. Hoerner has been a huge piece to the Cubs' offense this season, hitting .338 and providing stellar defense.
Injuries have piled up for the Cubs over the last month, with ten players landing on the injured list. Chicago used its 40th player of the season on Tuesday, the earliest that's happened in a season for the Cubs.
Pirates Continue Losing Trend
Two months into the season, the Pittsburgh Pirates find themselves in a familiar position, the bottom of the NL Central standings. The Pirates have dropped six in a row and nine of their last ten.
The Pirates, who finished at the bottom of the standings the last three seasons, already find themselves nine games back of the first-place Cardinals. During the losing stretch, the Pirates have scored only ten runs while allowing 46 runs to opponents.
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