The light-hitting Pirates again didn't generate much offense on Friday, scoring just one run against the Cubs. Fortunately for the Bucs, that lone run was all they needed --- five Pittsburgh hurlers (started off by A.J. Burnett's scoreless 5 1/3 frames) combined to shut out Chicago in a 1-0 result. The Cubs have now suffered 10 consecutive losses.
Here's the latest from around the division...
- Lance Berkman was considering retirement two years ago before playing in pennant races with the Yankees and Cardinals reignited his love of baseball, writes Richard Justice for MLB.com. Berkman discussed retirement again in the wake of his recent knee injury, but he is expected to miss only 8-10 weeks of action, rather than the entire season. Justice can see Berkman signing to play DH with the Astros when they move to the AL West next season, but I'm not sure if Berkman's love of his old team would overcome his desire to play for a contender, should one exist this winter.
- The Cubs are expected to focus on Major League roster moves once the June 4 amateur draft passes, reports Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.
- Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy's rise to the majors is profiled by Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Lucroy is enjoying a huge breakout season and the five-year, $11-13MM extension he signed with Milwaukee in March is looking like a great bargain for the team, especially given the much more expensive deals signed by catchers Yadier Molina and Miguel Montero.
- "Rumors continue to swirl that Astros scouts prefer Byron Buxton but that higher-ups want someone who can provide more immediate help," writes Jim Callis of Baseball America. Callis thinks Houston should take Buxton, a high school outfielder who Callis compares to Matt Kemp, Justin and B.J. Upton in terms of overall tools.
- Astros legend Craig Biggio has been given the title of special assistant with the team, owner Jim Crane tells Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle.