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NL Central Watch: July 25

Here’s a quick glance at what’s happening around the National League Central.

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin shot down rumors he is near a deal for Orioles closer George Sherrill. Sources have told the Sun-Times the O’s are not expected to move Sherrill to ANY team before the July 31 non-waivers trade deadline. After their sweep of the Cardinals, the Brewers are 28-26 on the road, a major turnaround for a club that went 32-49 away from Miller Park last season, a key reason they couldn’t hold off the Cubs in the division race, notes Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who adds the Brewers haven’t had a winning season on the road since 1999 (42-39), the last year they won at least six away games in a row until now.

Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols, who went 0-for-2 in a loss to the Brewers on Thursday night, hasn’t homered since a July 4 game against the Cubs. ”Other people can worry about it. You can worry about it. But I don’t worry about it,” Pujols said. It’s a safe bet manager Tony La Russa is a little worried. If you haven’t noticed, the Cardinals have a terrible bullpen. If they don’t make a deal this week, there is no way they can stay in the hunt with their current group of relievers. Meanwhile, La Russa will stick with his current setup of 13 pitchers and four bench players.

Meanwhile, Jack Curry of the New York Times examines the broken-bat trend. Since July 2, all 30 teams have been instructed to save their broken bats, a span of 260 games that has produced 257 broken bats, or nearly one per game, Curry writes.