NL Central Watch: July 30

Here’s a quick glance at what’s happening around the National League Central.

While losing the first two games of a key four-game series against the Cubs — and with co-aces CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets on the mound — the Brewers looked overmatched, writes Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Michael Hunt. Any way you slice it, the Brewers have some defensive issues at second base, whether it’s Rickie Weeks starting or Ray Durham, who suffered another injury to his aging legs.

Former ace Chris Carpenter is making his first major-league start in nearly 500 days. After watching the Cubs (Rich Harden) and Brewers (Sabathia) load up on arms this month, the Cardinals need a big contribution from Carpenter to stay in the race. The bullpen remains a liability for the Cards, but they are giving the ninth inning back to Jason Isringhausen.

Looking to end further speculation before the non-waiver trade deadline Thursday, Astros general manager Ed Wade stressed that shortstop Miguel Tejada will not be dealt.

The Latest
After a five-season fizzle since it went dancing for the first time, Northwestern is on the cusp of second place in the Big Ten.
A one-sided buck in a forest preserve, another expansion of wild turkeys in the suburbs, the world-record lake whitefish and Quint on bluegills and sharks are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.
MLB outlawed extreme infield shifts, so will outfielders be used to circumvent the rule change?
What else were we going to ask about, the flavor of Sunday’s Gatorade baths?