Time to take another trip around the Central, Brewers fans. And while the 2012 season is proving either feast or famine for the Central Division teams, there are still plenty of stories worth talking about – and I happen to think that Fansided tells them best.
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals are still on top of the central with a record of 24-19, despite a dismal record over their last ten. Part of the reason for their recent slide would be the gauntlet of pitching they are running through on a West Coast swing, but a huge part of it is injuries. The folks at Redbird Rants have been covering the issues of injuries throughout the year, but Chris Ferguson’s article really puts it in perspective.
They also have a great piece on just how frustrating West Coast road trips are for Midwestern fans – a baseball staple we all have to deal with here. They also talk about new manager Mike Matheny’s handling of the team’s current slide. And, as always, check out their Daily Rants if you’d like to keep a close eye on the enemy.
The Reds have been consistently good this year, and that continued success has finally put them at 23-19, within a half game of the Cardinals for the division lead. But even with that kind of success, the folks at Blog Red Machine are in constant pursuit of perfection – a theme that has dominated the last few weeks of their work. First off, the Reds have an ever-changing lineup, and staff writer John Heitz threw his two cents in on the subject. Matt Gahris also has a good piece where Aroldis Chapman belongs now that he is seemingly out of the rotation and back to the bullpen. Steve Engbloom also talks about just how good Votto – and the rest of the Reds’ bats – are so far in May.
And, just for fun, here’s a piece about Joey Votto and the folks who love him best.
Boy, the ‘Stros simply refuse to ride quietly into the American League. They’ve won their last two
games, held strong against tough opponents and now, at only four games back, they can actually see the top of the division from where they’re sitting. You would think this would make the three-man staff of Climbing Tal’s Hill giddy as schoolgirls. You’d be wrong. They are professionals. Instead, the boys of CTH have been focusing on the upcoming Rule 4 draft (the Draft is like an Astros fan’s Christmas – except you only get to lease your presents.) Alex Sandoval also puts his tongue pretty firmly in his cheek in a discussion about the new ‘rivalry’ with the Rangers, and Greg Thurston is the go-to-guy in discussions of Interleague Play. And, in case you’re wondering, Carlos Lee is the Star Performer of the Week.
Hanging tough in the middle of the Central are the Buccos, currently tied with the Astros and steadily turning themselves around from perennial punchline to division contender. As always, your one-stop shop for Pirates news and Pirates-related photoshop escapades is Rum Bunter. Tom Smith took a trip to Nationals Park recently, and he has photo evidence of a traveling fan base there. He also brings us these confusing post-game comments from Manager Clint Hurdle after Verlander handed his team a shellacking.
The Boys at Rum Bunter also analyze GM Neil Huntington’s grasp on the team. They shower praise on a bullpen that is more than deserving of it – particularly Hanrahan’s dominating presence. All in all, it’s a pretty nice time to a Pirates fan.
Now, the Brewers may be under-performing this year, but at least we are two games up on the Cubs. The sad story of the Northsiders continues as they are in the midst of an eight-game losing streak and find themselves already well down a certain creek with a dire need of rowing equipment.
Despite that, our frienemies over at Cubbies Crib are putting on their best brave faces and soldiering on against steep nine game deficit to the top of the division. Jordan Campbell uses their “One Liners” segment to show a little preference for their Minor League system, Andrew Denny lightens up their discussion about an anemic (or should I say flaccid?) batting performance, and then he pokes a little fun at manager Dale Sveum. Finally, the team discusses what the legacy of newly-retired pitcher Kerry Wood should be.
To be honest, I feel for Cubs fans this year. Maybe it’s because we’re basement buddies in the division right now, but I feel their pain. Stay Strong guys.
Number five in the standings, but number one in our hearts. There’s no beating around the bush this year, optimism is fading throughout the fan base.
Adam McCalvy remains a consummate professional, even if he does hate using pictures.
We owe a great debt to the rest of these brave Brewer bloggers, all of whom we greatly admire or are secretly jealous of in some way. Check them all out (after you hit us up first, of course.)
If you see anything deserving of a mention in Reviewing the Blogs, be sure to let us know.