Sunday Night Central Links – Sept. 12

Cincinnati Reds Aroldis Chapman hits 103 MPH on the radar gun as he pitches the eighth inning to the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on September 4, 2010. UPI/Bill Greenblatt Photo via Newscom

Nice to see the Brewers finally able to scrap together a couple of runs today, even if it took a leadoff double from Yovani Gallardo and a broken bat blooper from Ryan Braun to get on the board.  Here’s what’s been going on elsewhere in the division over the past week:

Red Reporter: It Would Be an Historic Event If the Reds Blew this Lead
I know quite a few fans in Cincinnati (well, the 12 of them that bother going to Great American Ballpark) are worried about the Reds possibly blowing their big lead over the Cardinals.  I know it’s only natural after so many years of losing, but it’s important to remember just how rare it would be if it did happen.  Then again, the most recent incident was last year, when Detroit blew a 6.5 game lead with 24 to play, ultimately losing to the Twins in Game 163.  It’d still be a collapse of epic proportions if they’re not in the playoffs, though, and the Reds probably have the Brewers to thank for that one.  So you’re welcome, Cincinnati.

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Baseball Digest: How to Round Out the 2011 Redbird RotationMatt Wilson takes a look at some of the options the Cardinals will have to fill out their rotation behind their top trio of Carpenter, Wainwright, and Garcia.  He finds what Brewers fans have known for awhile — it’ll be slim pickings this year, in terms of affordable options.  The difference, of course, is that the Brewers would be looking at these names to be middle of the rotation fixes, while the Cards are just trying to fill out their 4th and 5th spots.

Fungoes: Narveson leads ex-Cardinals repaying their old team
Pip notes that Chris Narveson’s start against his former parent club on Tuesday night was the best of any former Cardinal against his old club this season.  Narveson topped two performances by Dan Haren and one by Jamie Moyer.  Narveson’s July 2nd start against the Cards also makes the Top 5.

Clark-Addison Cubs Fan Blog: Big Z: Too good, too late
As the Brewers saw this weekend, Carlos Zambrano has been impressive since returning from the restricted list.  Some Cub fans aren’t ready to forgive him, though, and are hoping he’s pitching well enough for Jim Hendry to find a taker in the offseason.  They’d certainly like to unload that salary.

Another Cubs Blog: Aramis Ramirez and his opt-out clause
Speaking of Cubs that may be on their way out, Aramis Ramirez has been dropping not-so-subtle hints that he may be opting out of his contract at season’s end (again).  ACB notes that contrary to popular belief, though, he won’t be able to sit back and see if the Cubs make improvements before deciding on his contract.  ACB also brings up Adrian Beltre as a possible replacement if Ramirez does leave Chicago.

Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke?: A good year for Neil Walker
Pat at WHYGAVS recaps the past calendar year for Neil Walker, or as Brewer fans know him, That Freaking Guy We Can’t Get Out.  He compares him to Freddy Sanchez, another Pirate late-bloomer that turned out to be a solid regular for a few years.  Decent comparison, I think.

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