BIG series: Pirates and Cardinals clash for NL Central supremacy

(Getty Photos) As the pennant races warmth up, Massive League Stew takes a better have a look at some of the largest sequence down the stretch.

Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals.

SITUATION: Those stunning Pirates bring a one-and-a-half-sport NL Central lead into a 3-recreation series towards the Cardinals starting Friday. The Playing cards were tops in the division in May, June and July. However the Pirates haven’t pale down the stretch this season like they have in years previous, instead surging into first place and making this NL Central race the most entertaining in all of baseball.

This three-sport set might swing the division in both approach. If the Cards can manage a sweep, it could kill the Pirates spirits and put St. Louis in management again. If the Pirates sweep then they’re trying even stronger for the division title. If it’s the most probably state of affairs, some form of break up, then the grappling continues. Both teams are almost assured postseason berths, but getting that division title and avoiding a do-or-die wild card game is of the utmost importance.

PREVIOUSLY: These groups have performed each other 11 time since July 29, with the collection leaning 7-four in favor of the Pirates. The Pirates additionally lead the overall season sequence 10-6. This is the final assembly between the two teams within the common season.

(Getty Photographs) PITCHERS:
Friday: A.J. Burnett (7-9, three.09 ERA) vs. Joe Kelly (7-3, 2.82 ERA)
Saturday: Jeff Locke (9-4, 3.22 ERA) vs. Adam Wainwright (15-9, three.14 ERA)
Sunday: Charlie Morton (7-three, three.00 PERIOD) vs. Michael Wacha (2-0, 3.20 ERA)

Will the Pirates get win No. 82? The Pirates (eighty one-fifty eight) are one win away from their first winning season in 20 years. It is not a matter of if, however once they get it and doing it towards perennial NL Central power St. Louis would definitely be good for morale.

• Will the Cards rebound? They just lost three of 4 against the opposite NL Central contender, the Cincinnati Reds. St. Louis is 2-6 in its final eight games. Now is the time to get it collectively.

• Which starter can find their huge-sport stuff on Saturday? Playing cards ace Adam Wainwright has gotten crushed up within the last two starts, both towards the Reds. He gave up a un-Wainwrightian 9 runs in two innings on Aug. 28 then six runs in six innings on Sept. 2. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh’s Jeff Locke, as soon as a really pleasant surprise, has come back to earth. He hasn’t pitched into the sixth inning since July 26. He gave up 10 hits and four runs in 4 innings the last time he faced the Cardinals.


A’s beat Rangers to move into AL West first-place tie; Pirates all alone atop NL Central again

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The Oakland Athletics are again in first place in the AL West, in a tie at the least, for the first time since Aug. 9 after pulling off a 4-2 victory on Sunday in opposition to the division rival Texas Rangers. Each teams are seventy nine-fifty eight, with two more games towards each other this week then one other three-sport set subsequent week.

The A’s victory wouldn’t have occurred with a two-run, fifth-inning homer from Coco Crisp that broke a 2-2 tie. It smacked off the left-field foul pole and the umpiring crew reviewed the play before upholding the home-run call — a welcome on the spot-replay victory for an Oakland staff that’s been on the fallacious facet of reviewed homers a few occasions this season.

Dan Straily pitched solely 5 innings for the A’s, however acquired the win whereas giving up three hits and two runs. The Oakland bullpen gave up five hits, however didn’t let one other Ranger run cross the plate.

The A’s picked up the win here after sweeping another playoff hopeful, the Tampa Bay Rays, over the weekend and taking three of four from the Detroit Tigers final week. It’s a nice turnaround for a staff that faltered in August, going 14-13 for the month, a mark that will have appeared much worse had it not won five of six video games to complete the month. Only a month ago, on Aug. 3, the A’s had a 3 half of game lead on the Rangers in the AL West.

PIRATES RETAKE NL CENTRAL LEAD: It’s Sept. 3 and the Pittsburgh Pirates are all alone atop the NL Central, just two wins away from clinching their first winning season in 20 years.

On Sunday, the Pirates beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2. That mixed with — spoiler alert — a St. Louis Cardinals loss, broke the primary-place tie within the NL Central. Pittsburgh acquired a huge three-run homer from Neil Walker in the seventh inning, which turned a 2-1 game right into a 5-1 sport. The Pirates received seven innings of two-run ball from beginning pitcher Charlie Morton.


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Dodgers 10, Rockies eight: Clayton Kershaw withstands a rough begin (together with a career-high 11 hits allowed) and the Dodgers win. Yasiel Puig, nevertheless, leaves the sport with a strained knee and will seemingly sit out Tuesday’s recreation.

Angels 11, Rays 2: When a crew scores 11 runs, its beginning pitcher can get away with strolling seven in five innings. For Angels starter Garrett Richards, all those walks someway only led to 1 run.

Phillies three, Nats 2: The Phillies get two in the bottom of the eighth — a Jimmy Rollins RBI double and a Carlos Ruiz RBI single being the clutch moments — to high the Nats.

Blue Jays 4, D-backs 1: Esmil Rogers pitches 6 1/three innings of 1-hit ball for Toronto.

Orioles 7, Indians 2: Bud Norris pitches seven innings, giving up just one run and 4 hits. He is now four-0 since being traded to Baltimore.

Padres 4, Giants 1: Barry Zito loses his eighth straight and Ian Kennedy wins his first begin against an NL West group this season.

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Reds 7, Cardinals 2: Mat Latos throws a four-hit full recreation for the Reds while Adam Wainwright provides up 10 hits and 6 runs.

Marlins 4, Cubs 3: Henderson Alvarez not only pitches six innings and gets the win for Miami, but he additionally hits a three-run homer.

Twins 10, Astros 6: Chris Colabello homers twice for the Twins, including a ninth-inning grand slam.

Royals 3, Mariners 1: Felix Hernandez loses once more for the M’s, whereas Will Smith fans eight in a stellar four-inning aid appearance for Ok.C.

Tigers three, Pink Sox zero: Doug Fister combines with Phil Coke, Bruce Rondon and Jose Veras to shut out the Purple Sox.

Braves 13, Mets 5: Freddie Freeman knocks five RBIs as Braves beat up on Dice-Okay Matsuzaka and the Mets.

Yankees 9, White Sox 1: The Yanks get an eight-run fourth inning, plus two hits from Derek Jeter, to whack the Sox.

”That was actually a troublesome one; it actually damage. It was like a stab within the coronary heart.”

— Nationals manager Davey Johnson on Monday’s loss.

(USA As we speak)

No, Derek Jeter did not immediately go on the disabled record after this play.

• Indians ace Justin Masterson left Monday’s sport in the second inning with tightness in his aspect. He’ll get an MRI on Tuesday.

• This season, Freddie Freeman has hit349 with five homers and sixteen RBIs towards the Mets.

• Outfielder Sam Fuld pitched to a batter for the Rays of their loss to the Angels. He received J.B. Shuck to fly out for the Angels’ final out of the sport.


Penn State, Central Florida will play 2014 game in Dublin

Croke Park in Dublin. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) According to a report from the Irish Times, the oft-rumored Penn State/Central Florida-in-Dublin game is happening. Per the Times:

Croke Park is to host an American football colleges fixture in the autumn of next year.

Details are expected in the next few days of the meeting of Penn State and the University of Central Florida.

I could read Irish papers writing about college football for hours. It’s so fun to get the outside perspective on something we are so used to. “Fixture?” Yes, please.

This deal makes sense for a myriad of reasons. For Penn State, the school basically gets a bowl game during its third season of NCAA sanctions. Now when coaches are recruiting high school seniors, they can promise a chance at the postseason in 2016 and beyond in addition to a trip to the Emerald Isle for the players’ first game in a Nittany Lion uniform. That is not a terrible sales pitch.

Central Florida can make the same claim to recruits – come to Ireland with us – while also bumping up its profile going into life as a member of the American Athletic Conference. With Sunshine State recruiting insanely competitive, every little edge helps, and a trip to Dublin certainly qualifies as one.

(Oh, and let us not forget the two head coaches are named O’Leary and O’Brien.)

For Ireland, it’s a boon to a still struggling economy. When Notre Dame and Navy played at Aviva Stadium in Dublin to start the 2012 season, the game brought in a reported 60 million Euros to the country from 35,000 visiting American fans. Even if the Nittany Lions and Knights can’t replicate that success, Ireland will happily take a fraction of the haul. (The Irish and Midshipmen also played at Croke Park in 1996.)

And for fans? You now have an excuse (if you needed one) to book a trip to Ireland. Go on a tour of the Jameson or Guinness factories, dance your face off at Copper Face Jacks, take a bus tour of the Dingle Peninsula, get amazing seafood in Kinsale, wander around Galway, or check out any of the historic sites that dot the island.

There are also reports that Notre Dame, Alabama and Boston College are being considered or games in 2016 and 2018. This is in addition to last month’s news that Ireland is being considered as a site for a future bowl game.

Either way, this is some tricky navigation of the NCAA sanctions by Penn State, and a nice bit of creative promotion from Central Florida. Good work from both sides getting this put together.