Even if it isn't the best baseball, the most dramatic divisional race in the majors this season is easily the NL Central. For any baseball fan, watching the NL Central action Wednesday most certainly didn't disappoint in terms of the entertainment factor, either. Between the five -- with the Red Sox mixed in, as someone outside the division had to play one of the five Central teams -- we saw just about everything. 

Let's run through it as best we can. 

Brewers homer their way back in see-saw battle

The Pirates got out to a 4-0 lead through the top of the third inning in Milwaukee, but the Brewers cut it to 4-3 with a pair of homers in the bottom of the third, including new acquisition Neil Walker hitting a two-run shot. Travis Shaw would tie things up with a home run in the sixth. 

Then, the Pirates scored in the seventh and Keon Broxton hit his second homer of the game to tie it. Then, the Pirates scored in the eighth and Manny Pina hit a two-run shot for the Brewers to take the lead for good in the bottom of the eighth. 

Yes, the Brewers hit five home runs, and most of them could be filed in the "clutch" category. Here is Pina's shot: 

With it being a day game, the Brewers and their fans could turn to watching the Cubs and Cardinals at night and, boy was the night action a doozy. 

Cardinals grab early lead, but ...

The Cardinals had a 4-0 lead in the second inning after stringing together a series of hits and it appeared it would be 5-0 on a one-out single to center with a runner on third. Only Matt Carpenter was thrown out at home by Jackie Bradley Jr. Yes, from third on a single to center. 

Obviously the circumstances there made it so. It was hit hard, was close to being a lineout with fewer than two outs -- so Carpenter had to hang in case he was going to tag up -- and an amazing throw had to be made. 

It would turn out to be an ominous precursor. 

Cubs grab big lead 

First, John Lackey got into trouble in the first inning. The Reds loaded the bases with no outs. After a sac fly scored one, the Cubs were able to get a double play via Kyle Schwarber throwing out his second runner at home plate in the past few days. 

In the bottom half, the Cubs also loaded the bases with no outs themselves. The Reds wouldn't be as fortunate: 

The grand slam was Anthony Rizzo's 28th homer of the season. 

Lackey stole a base on the pitcher (what?!?)

The Cubs would tack on two more for a 6-1 lead heading into the late innings. In the meantime, the 38-year-old Lackey singled, stole the first base of his career and then he got a bit too nuts and was picked off on a walk with the meat of the Cubs' order coming up. 

Here's the steal: 

Things would only get more crazy. 

Matheny ejected in Boston

Back to Fenway Park, where the Cardinals were now clinging to a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the ninth. There were two runners on base and manager Mike Matheny had already been barking at the umpires for a while regarding the strike zone and a check-swing call during Bradley's walk. 

Then, with an 0-2 count, pitcher John Brebbia was taking an inordinate amount of time to pitch the ball and time was granted. Or was it? It actually doesn't look like Red Sox hitter Eduardo Nunez called time and instead home-plate umpire Chris Segel decided to call time on his own. Catcher Yadier Molina would know and he reacted angrily. Matheny then went nuts and got tossed: 

Brebbia would retire Nunez, but the next batter was Mookie Betts and this happened:

Another gut punch of a loss for the Cardinals. 

Meanwhile, in Wrigley ...

At about the same time all this was happening, the Reds got a solo shot from rookie Phillip Ervin (his first career hit, in fact) and a two-run homer from Zack Cozart to make things interesting. They would get even more interesting when Adam Duvall tied the game with a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the eighth. 

Circling back to the Brewers: Were they about to see the Cardinals blow a 4-0 lead on the same night the Cubs lost after a 6-1 lead on the same day the Brewers came back to win after a 4-0 deficit? Well, first there was another ejection

Joe Maddon tossed

Javier Baez would double to start off the bottom of the ninth for the Cubs before Jon Jay drew a walk to set up an obvious bunt situation for Ben Zobrist. He was hit by a pitch, but the umpiring crew ruled that he offered. 

That's a tough one to judge intent. The bat head did drop, but it seemed like it was possible the bat head would naturally drop when the body contorts to get out of the way. Of course Maddon thinks it was obvious Zobrist didn't offer, just like the Reds (and Cardinals, Brewers and Pirates for that matter) probably would say it's obvious Zobrist did offer. 

Still, it's funny that both Matheny and Maddon went ballistic in the bottom of the ninth in weird situations on the same night. 

Zobrist would weakly tap out, so the Cubs essentially got their "bunt," moving the runners to second and third. Albert Almora would strike out, setting up 2016 NL MVP Kris Bryant in the spot to be clutch. 

The walk-off ... what?

The first pitch to Bryant would end the game. 

A walk-off wild pitch was pretty much the perfect way to conclude the day of action in major-league baseball's worst and most fun division. 

How things stand

Here's a look at the four contenders for the NL Central title and how the SportsLine projections show things right now:

TeamRecordGames backChances to win division




53.6 percent



1 1/2

15.6 percent



2 1/2

25.5 percent



5 1/2

5.1 percent

The Cubs host the Reds at 2:20 p.m. ET Thursday before hosting the Blue Jays for a three-game series this weekend. The Cardinals head to Pittsburgh for a four-game series with the Pirates starting Thursday at 7:05 p.m. ET. The Brewers start a three-game series in Colorado on Friday. 

Stay tuned. If Wednesday was any indicator, it's gonna be entertaining, even if it's not the best baseball.