The Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers close out a National League Central series Sunday afternoon at Miller Park

Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers

The Cincinnati Reds are 26-18 versus NL Central foes this year

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I was sad to see yesterday that Dontrelle Willis was held out of his next start. Nobody is saying it, but you have to imagine that it will be very hard for him to find his way back into the rotation. He showed some promise in his early starts, but he’s been getting increasingly ineffective since then. He’s clearly not a major league pitcher at this point. It never fails to amaze me to see a guy totally lose his game like that. It’s like what has happened with Fausto Carmona – a couple of years ago he was the next big thing, and now he’s toiling down in class A.

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I couldn’t be happier for any player than I am for Dontrelle Willis after last night. In his second start of the year he earned his first win in almost 20 months. He was pretty spectacular, too – allowing just one hit in six and a third shutout innings. His first start, six days earlier, was pretty ugly, but this was one heck of a bounce back. Not only did he pitch well, but he did it against the incredibly hot Texas Rangers as well. It’s obviously way too early to trust him, but it will be fascinating to see how he does in his next couple of outings. I’m no psychologist, so I have no idea if this is relevant or not, but I can’t help but make a comparison between Willis and Zack Greinke . Both are stunningly talented pitchers who had their career derailed by an anxiety disorder. I don’t know if the conditions were even remotely related, but Greinke certainly bounced back well, and Willis has more than enough talent to do the same. I’m pulling for him.

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Manchester United rules the European soccer world after taking the Champions League final today over Chelsea. If you are North American then chances are pretty good that you don’t care. This was a pretty spectacular game, though, or at least the finish was. They were tied at one after the 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of overtime. That meant that the game and the most prestigious club championship in the world would be decided in the middle of the night in Moscow in the puring rain by penalty kicks. Cristiano Ronaldo, Man U’s top scoring threat and one of the top players in the world, missed his kick and all looked lost. All Chelsea captain John Terry had to do was score and they won. As he approached the ball he slipped and fell, and the ball sailed harmlessly wide of the net. Man U went on to win in extra kicks, and Terry, one of the elder statesmen of English soccer, looked like he was going to hang himself with his consolation medal. You don’t have to like soccer to enjoy this – you just have to like human suffering and pure agony.

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