HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL THIS WEEK

Friday

Harrison at Logansport  7 pm

Tech at Richmond  7 pm…..RADIOTROY.COM, PRE-GAME @ 6:30

Kokomo at Marion  7 pm

McCutcheon at Lafayette Jeff  7 pm

Muncie Central at Anderson  7 pm

Lincoln at Tri  7 pm

Hagerstown at Union City  7 pm

Shenandoah at Centerville, 7 pm

Union County at Knightstown  7 pm

Winchester at Northeastern  7 pm

Harrison (Ohio) at East Central, 7:30 pm

Eastern Hancock at Fountain Central, 7 pm

Monroe Central at Adams Central, 7 pm

Shenandoah at Centerville, 7 pm

Wes-Del at Park Tudor, 7 pm

Saturday

Batesville vs. South Dearborn, 5:30 pm, Lucas Oil

Greensburg vs. Connersville, 12 pm, Lucas Oil

Lawrenceburg vs. Milan, 8 pm, Lucas Oil

Rushville vs. Franklin County, 2:45 pm, Lucas Oil

 

RICHMOND COACH TONY SONSINI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkvWVE6z2bQ 

RICHMOND QB DREW VANVLEET: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CErjiakfF_c

 RICHMOND OL/DL BRANDTON THOMAS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo9Fj6lOWY8

 RICHMOND OL/DL BLAINE PIERCE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-3ngvdos_o

 THIS WEEK IN THE TEC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRYFHlFXjUA

 HAGERSTOWN FOOTBALL COACH SCOTT SNODGRASS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYU9t2TGNBQ

 CENTERVILLE FOOTBALL COACH KYLE PADGETT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JF4RTxFVgI

 LINCOLN FOOTBALL COACH PHIL RENFORTH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZfqgUsieOc

LINCOLN RB/DC ALEX HOKEYhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egzDeqg8uPY

 UNION COUNTY FOOTBALL COACH JOEL HOFMANN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9v8MHa5bV64

NORTHEASTERN COACH WES OLER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4O8IbAo4kg

NORTHEASTERN TE JOSH JOHNSON: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPXRYh_1yCw

 

HIGH SCHOOL BOYS SOCCER – NCC/AREA

Rushville 7 Centerville 0

Indianapolis Tech 2 New Palestine 0

Kokomo 3 Hamilton Heights 1

 

HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS SOCCER – NCC/AREA

Oldenburg Academy 2 Centerville 0

 

HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS GOLF

Centerville shot a season low team score in girls’ golf on Thursday night as they defeated Union County at Liberty Club by a score of 223-227.  Emilee Engle led Centerville with a personal best score of 52.  She was followed by Erin Baker with a 53, Morgan Hale with a personal best of 58, Hailie Ridge with a 60, and Karis Koyles with a 65.  Union County was led by the match medalist Olivia Curry who shot a 49.  Centerville moved to 4-5 overall and 3-3 in the TEC.  The Bulldogs play again next Tuesday at Highland Lake Golf Course when Northeastern hosts the Bulldogs in a conference match.

 

HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL

Muncie Central 3 Richmond 2

By Jan Clark

Disappointment hung heavy in the Tiernan Center Thursday as the Richmond girls volleyball team lost to North Central Conference and sectional rival Muncie Central in five sets 25-21, 19-25, 25-20, 20-25, 15-17.

Here’s the most disappointing part: The Red Devils were in seemingly total command at 7-1 in the 15-point tiebreaker and let it get away. The loss dropped Richmond to 4-8 on the season. The RHS junior varsity won its match 25-14, 25-19.

After a long night of back and forth volleyball, the two teams went to a fifth and deciding set. Lauren Uhte was serving for Richmond and the Red Devils roared to a 7-1 lead. The Devils and a partisan crowd definitely smelled victory. But the Bearcats were true to the task, drawing even at 12-12. A block by Laurelai DePew-Rayonna Rogers gave RHS a 14-12 advantage, just one point away from total victory.

The Bearcats tied it again at 14-14 and had match point at 15-14 but a Muncie service error tied it again. The last two excruciating points went to the visitors and the ‘Cats celebrated.

“I can’t believe we let that one get away,” said Richmond coach Russ Uhte. “I thought we had it. We came out (in the fifth set) with energy but they stayed in the fight all the way through. We started to get a little nervous at the end and didn’t play with the calmness we usually play with. It just got away from us.”

The night started out on a positive note as Richmond won a tight 25-21 decision in set one,. The Devils trailed 8-4 before Ashley Clark rallied the team with a back row kill. Laurelai DePew followed suit soon after in the middle and Alison Juday had two service aces and five straight service points for a 17-12 lead. Molly Morken put it away with two kills near the end.

The Bearcats bounced back to take set two, leading 8-2 early on. Kills by DePew, Clark, Adrianne Weber from the back row and Morken tied the score at 14-14. DePew then had three quick kills in a row but the Devils lost too much ground at the end.

Richmond took a 2-1 lead in sets by winning game 3. Morken turned in numerous impressive push shots to the corner for points and Clark and J’naya Thompson had back row kills. The Devils were down 17-11 when Clark had a kill to pull her team to within 17-15. DePew had an ace and Clark two more kills to lead to the third set win.

Set four is what really hurt, especially since Richmond jumped out to a 5-3 lead on the serving by Uhte. Clark had a neat down the line kill and two more to follow, one from the back row. Another Morken corner shot and another Clark kill tied the score 18-18. A Rogers kill came soon after but it was too late.

That sent the two teams to a fifth set and we all know what happened there.

Clark and Morken led in kills with 11 each, Thompson in digs with 20, Morken in assists with 14, Uhte in aces with three and Ella Wilson in blocks with three.

Richmond is in action only once next week, a Tuesday trip to Union County (Liberty).

“I think it’s a good thing we only have one match next week because we’ve been playing a really hard schedule,” coach Uhte said. “We know it’s going to be a big match next Tuesday. It’s a team we need to get some success against and to do that we have to go out and fight.”

Varsity stats — Clark 11 kills, 10 digs; Morken 1 ace, 11 kills, 7 digs, 14 assists; Uhte 3 aces, 2 digs, 12 assists; Rogers 5 kills, 1 dig, 3 assists, 1 block; Juday 1 ace, 13 digs, 1 block; DePew 1 ace, 7 kills, 7 digs, 2 blocks; Thompson 1 kill, 20 digs; Wilson 1 dig, 3 blocks; Weber 1 ace, 1 kill, 5 digs; Haskett 1 dig.

JV stats — Haskett 2 aces, 5 kills, 1 dig; Wright 1 ace, 1 dig; James 3 kills, 4 digs; Bosell 1 ace, 7 kills, 1 dig; Bopp 1 ace; Harrison 1 ace, 1 dig, 6 assists; Orr 6 assists; Warner 5 digs; Whichard 1 kill, 1 assist; Mathews 1 dig.

 

The Hagerstown Varsity Volleyball team  raised their record to 7-1 on the season  by defeating Seton by the scores of 25-10 25-10 25-11. Regan Tinkle had 21 kills in 23 attempts; Jessica Swimm had 10 kills; and Carli Cox had 6. Hallie Rogers had 36 assists and reached 1,000 assists for her career. The Lady-Tigers will travel to the Wes-Del Invitational on Saturday. They will start at 10:00 against Western, they will also play Marion, and Fort Wayne Bishop Luers before the crossover. They will host Wapahani on Tuesday night of next week.

The Hagerstown Junior Varsity also won by the scores of 25-6 and 25-19 to raise their record to 6-0. Allison Ayotte had 19 assists and Makayla Matanich had 6 kills. 

 

Union County 3 Winchester 0

Franklin County 3 Lincoln 2

Kokomo 3 Marion 2

 

HIGH SCHOOL BOYS TENNIS

Richmond 5 Muncie Central 0

 

LINCOLN              2

KNIGHTSTOWN  3

 

#1 SINGLES  GARRETT DALTON (K) DF DEVIN BROOKS (L)  6-0, 6-0

#2 SINGLES  MIKE DALRYMPLE (L) DF COOPER DAVIS (K)  7-5, 6-4

#3 SINGLES  BRANDON DURAN (L)  DF BRADY HOWELL (K) 4-6, 6-0, 7-5

#1 DOUBLES  CONNER PYLE & KYLE JOHNSON (K) DF ZACH HALL & JACOB LONGO (L) 6-2, 6-1

#2 DOUBLES  CONNER KEITH & DYLAN CHANDLER (K) DF DILLON ASHER & JARRIN ERVIN (L)  6-2, 6-2

JUNIOR VARSITY

LINCOLN               2

KNIGHTSTOWN   1

#1 DOUBLES  AIDEN RICHARDSON & VANCE WILKERSON (K) DF TYLER WYLES & AUSTIN BROOKS (L)  6-1

#2 DOUBLES  WYLES & A. BROOKS (L)F ETHAN WOODS & JEFFERY ALEXANDER (K)  6-3

#3 DOUBLES  A. BROOKS & WYLES DF BAYLOR HOGAN & MIKE OTT (K) 6-0

 

Northeastern 4 Hagerstown 1…Northeastern continued good play winning at all positions except a competitive #1 Doubles match.  Radehyn Foust played his first match of the season at JV winning 4-3. Coltyn Coyle continued strong play also winning a JV match.

Next week the Knights face two conference teams, away on Tuesday at Union County and home on Thursday against Tri.  

 

NFL THURSDAY

Green Bay 10 Chicago 3

 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Cincinnati 4 Philadelphia 3 (11)

Chicago White Sox 7 Cleveland 1

Detroit 6 Kansas City 4

Oakland 10 LA Angels 6

Texas 3 Baltimore 1

Minnesota 2 Boston 1

Tampa Bay 6 Toronto 4

Houston 11 Seattle 9 (13)

St. Louis 10 San Francisco 0

Miami 10 Pittsburgh 7

Chicago Cubs 10 Milwaukee 5

Atlanta 4 Washington 2

 

WNBA

Atlanta 78 Las Vegas 74

Los Angeles 102 Seattle 68

 

BIG 10/MAC COLLEGE FOOTBALL THIS WEEK

SATURDAY

Rutgers at Iowa

Syracuse at Maryland

Army at Michigan

Cincinnati at Ohio State

Nebraska at Colorado

Central Michigan at Wisconsin

Western Michigan at Michigan State

Buffalo at Penn State

Vanderbilt at Purdue

Illinois at Connecticut

Eastern Illinois at Indiana

Minnesota at Fresno State

Ohio at Pittsburgh

UAB at Akron

Bowling Green at Kansas State

Kennesaw State at Kent State

Fordham at Ball State

Tennessee Tech at Miami Ohio

Eastern Michigan at Kentucky

 

TOP 25 SCHEDULE

FRIDAY

Marshall at #24 Boise State

SATURDAY

Rutgers at #20 Iowa

#21 Syracuse at Maryland

Army at #7 Michigan

Cincinnati at #5 Ohio State

Northern Illinois at #13 Utah

#12 Texas A&M at #1 Clemson

#25 Nebraska at Colorado

Central Michigan at #17 Wisconsin

New Mexico State at #2 Alabama

Murray State at #3 Georgia

Northern Colorado at #22 Washington State

#18 Central Florida at Florida Atlantic

South Dakota at #4 Oklahoma

Tulane at #10 Auburn

Tennessee Martin at #11 Florida

Western Michigan at #19 Michigan State

Nevada at #16 Oregon

Buffalo at #15 Penn State

#6 LSU at #9 Texas

#23 Stanford at USC

California #14 Washington

 

NFL GAMES WEEK 1

Sunday September 8, 2019

Baltimore @ Miami 1:00pm

Buffalo @ Jets 1:00pm

Kansas City @ Jacksonville 1:00pm

Atlanta @ Minnesota 1:00pm

Washington @ Philadelphia 1:00pm

Rams @ Carolina 1:00pm

Tennessee @ Cleveland 1:00pm

Cincinnati @ Seattle 4:05pm

Indianapolis @ Chargers 4:05pm

Detroit @ Arizona 4:25pm

San Francisco @ Tampa Bay 4:25pm

Giants @ Dallas 4:25pm

Pittsburgh @ New England 8:20pm

Monday September 9, 2019

Houston @ New Orleans 7:10pm

Denver @ Oakland 10:20pm

All game times Eastern

 

Packers’ D, Aaron Rodgers beat Bears 10-3 in opener

 Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have to lay waste to a defense to enjoy Packers football.

He sure had a good time seeing what his guys on the other side of the ball did Thursday night to the archrival Bears.

“Yeah, it was fun to watch,” Rodgers said after Green Bay opened the NFL’s 100th season with a 10-3 victory over Chicago. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a performance like that. Obviously, a lot of credit to Mike Pettine and his staff, but to those players, just incredible.

“We didn’t do them a whole lot of favors with our performance on offense. I mean every time we needed something a stop, they came up with some really big plays.”

It was a defensive battle also marked by sloppy offense and penalties. A lack of action in the preseason clearly damaged both offenses, and Rodgers at times looked uncomfortable in the attack designed by new coach Matt LaFleur. But he is a two-time league MVP, and he hit Jimmy Graham in the second quarter for the only touchdown.

That aggressive Green Bay defense would have made Vince Lombardi proud in the latest edition of the NFL’s longest rivalry, which the Packers lead 98-95-6. Green Bay has won 16 of the last 19 regular-season meetings, and Rodgers is 17-5.

Chicago’s defense hardly slacked, getting five sacks – tying the most it has had against Rodgers. But it could do little with the ball and the Packers had five sacks of Mitchell Trubisky, who never found his stride, and was sacked on Chicago’s final offensive play. Former Bears safety Adrian Amos picked off an end-zone pass into double coverage with 1:58 remaining, the only turnover of the contest.

“It feels real good,” Amos said. “It feels great to come back to win and how we did as a defense.”

Mason Crosby made a 39-yard field goal in the final period for Green Bay, while defending NFC North champion Chicago got a 38-yarder from Eddy Pineiro.

 

Report: Jim Irsay turned down record $3.2 billion offer for Colts

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay recently turned down a record offer for the franchise, according to a report.

According to Joel A. Erickson and Nat Newell of the Indianapolis Star, Irsay was recently offered $3.2 billion for the Colts, but turned down the offer. It is unknown who the prospective buyer was.

A team spokesperson told the Star that the Colts are not for sale.

A $3.2 billion sale would have been unprecedented. Not only would it have surpassed the Carolina Panthers’ record $2.3 billion sale price, but it would have been the most expensive sale of any North American sports franchise.

Irsay’s family has owned the Colts franchise since 1982, when they were still based in Baltimore. Irsay himself has been the team’s controlling owner since 1997 despite some significant personal issues in recent years. He has deep roots in the community, and he’s not prepared to give that up.

The offer also underlines just how valuable NFL franchises are — even ones that are currently going through a bit of a bumpy period on the field.

 

5 best remaining NFL free agents

The NFL saw an influx of over 1,000 players added to the free agent market over the weekend as team’s trimmed their rosters to 53 players. The results was a late surge of signings — the very last wave of free agency, if you will.

While a feeding frenzy has whittled that number down substantially, there are still some talented players available. Here’s a look at the top five best remaining free agents.

  1. OL Stefen Wisniewski

A second-round pick of the Raiders in 2011, Wisniewski had a strong rookie season before eventually falling out of favor in Oakland. He spent a year with the Jacksonville Jaguars before moving onto the Philadelphia Eagles, where he saw time at both guard and center, including an impressive Super Bowl LII performance. However, after struggling in training camp and grading out as one of the worst centers in football this preseason, the Eagles decided to go in a different direction and cut the 30-year-old loose. A move back to guard would benefit Wisniewski and anyone who chooses to sign him.

  1. RB Jacquizz Rodgers

After three seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Rodgers caught on with the New Orleans Saints earlier this offseason and was thought to be another piece to their running back puzzle. That’s not how things shook out however, as Rodgers found himself among some surprise cutdown-day transactions. While Rodgers has averaged fewer than 4.0 yards per carry in his career, he represents an experienced veteran running back capable of both carrying the load and making an impact out of the backfield. For any team looking for experienced depth, Rodgers could be a gem.

  1. LB Shane Ray

When the Baltimore Ravens signed Shane Ray this offseason, it appeared as if they had a long-term plan for him at linebacker. However, it became quickly apparent that the two sides simply weren’t a fit. When cutdown came, Ray went. A former first-round pick, Ray still possesses all the talent necessary to make an impact in the NFL, particularly as a pass rusher, but injuries have been the story throughout his career. Only once has Ray appeared in all 16 games (2016) and that has hindered what could have otherwise been a solid professional career. Still, when healthy, Ray represents a solid option for a team in search of an edge rusher.

  1. WR Laquon Treadwell

This spot could have just as easily gone for former 1,000-yard receiver Michael Floyd, but given that his career is in a steady decline, Treadwell gets the honor. A first-round pick in 2016, the 24-year-old Treadwell became a bit of a bust for the Minnesota Vikings, failing to eclipse 350 yards in each of this three seasons, while reaching the endzone just once. Still, there have been signs of improvement over the previous two seasons, and while it didn’t work out in Minnesota, that doesn’t mean a fresh start would not greatly benefit the college star. In the right offense, Treadwell still has tremendous upside.

  1. LB Brandon Marshall

One of the single most surprising releases on cutdown day came via linebacker Brandon Marshall, who was sent packing by the Raiders. The immediate assumption was that Marshall must have been injured, but that was not the case. Rather, Oakland simply decided to go in another direction — one of many questionable personnel decisions — leaving a very talented linebacker to hit the open market. In 74 career games, the 29-year-old Marshall has recorded more than 415 tackles with 25 passes defensed and two interceptions. While he’s already worked out for the Houston Texans, he shockingly remains a free agent (paging the New York Giants).

 

RANKING THE 8 NFL DIVISIONS

Andrew Luck has retired and Jadeveon Clowney is headed to Seattle, giving us a strong NFC West and leaving us a weak AFC South.  Patrick Mahomes and Philip Rivers are two of the NFL elite quarterbacks, while the once proud NFC East is made up of one team surrounded by three franchises shrouded in question marks.  How does each of the eight NFL divisions rank now that the regular season is only days away?  Here is how I rank them as Week One gets underway.

When I created this list, I looked at the depth of each of the eight divisions, not just the teams expected to contend for a conference title.  It would be two easy to say the AFC West is the best of the eight divisions just because they have Patrick Mahomes and Philip Rivers; while it helps, I looked at all four teams before assessing a division’s strength.  With that said, here’s my list.

From top to bottom the most competitive division in the NFL this year will be the NFC North, with four teams that could all be a few plays away from being 6-10 or 10-6.  All four teams could win the division and winning the NFC North will likely come down, as it always does, to the last games of the season with a few tiebreakers in there for good measure.

Because I believe in the San Francisco 49ers, the NFC West is my second ranked division heading into the season.  With three contenders to win the division crowd (sorry Arizona, you’re the fourth team on the list of three), how well the ‘Niners, Seahawks and Rams play outside the division will go a long way to determining who will have a home field playoff game in January.

Cam Newton’s health is going to make or break the fortunes of the Carolina Panthers as well as the NFC South.  New Orleans expected to a run at the Super Bowl berth they were robbed of last year, the division has three teams strong enough to win the divisional title.  I expect a bounce back year for Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons, who are one more bad year away from seeing the front office clean house, beginning with the head coach.

The AFC West is the first division to make our rankings, because with two proven QBs (Mahomes and Rivers) joined by two who need to show they are playing for the right head coach (Flacco and Carr), the West is going to be an offensive shootout from start to finish.  Even without holdout running back Melvin Gordon in the Chargers backfield, every team has a chance to make noise during the season and even in the playoffs, where seeing three teams comes from this division may not be as unlikely some might have you believe.

It could be the changing of the guard in the AFC North where Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger could be handing over the mantle of the division’s best quarterback to Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield.  Not believing that Lamar Jackson is the short or long-term solution for the Baltimore Ravens is why the depth of this division is only two teams deep; and with Cincinnati in total rebuilding mode, this might be the Steelers last chance to earn an easy division title.

Just like the NFC North, the AFC South is going to be a competitive division; however, while in the North, ten wins will likely be needed for a division crowd, the South could be won with 8 or 9.  The Houston Texans became the favorite to win the division title after signing Leshaw McCoy and with all the trades the made on Saturday.

The NFC East and AFC East are easily the two worse divisions from top to bottom, with Philadelphia in the NFC and New England in the AFC are head and shoulders ahead of the rest of their division, thereby making it easy to proclaim each of them division winners in September.  Their dominance over their division rivals will likely earn each of them at least one of not two home playoff games come January.

AFC East

New England Patriots: 12-4

New York Jets: 9-7

Buffalo Bills: 6-10

Miami Dolphins: 2-14

The New England Patriots will win the division again — with some resistance from the New York Jets. Gang Green may actually pull off an upset against the defending champions in Weeks 3 or 7. Still, head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady capture their 11th consecutive AFC East title.

The Patriots are the gold standard, but the Jets should take a significant step forward in quarterback Sam Darnold‘s sophomore campaign with running back Le’Veon Bell in the backfield and wideout Robby Anderson primed for a breakout third term.

The Buffalo Bills remain stagnant at 6-10 with an offensive line featuring four new faces. Although the front office upgraded the talent in that group, the unit needs time to jell for optimal results in pass protection and run blocking. Above all, quarterback Josh’s Allen’s accuracy remains a question mark after he completed 52.8 percent of his passes last year.

The Miami Dolphins dealt their franchise left tackle Laremy Tunsil, and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will open the season under center, which sounds like a recipe for disaster. Hence, this club finishes 2-14 and secures the top pick in the 2020 draft. If Josh Rosen takes over the huddle late in the year, he’ll do it in audition mode to land in a better spot next offseason.

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers: 11-5

Cleveland Browns: 10-6

Baltimore Ravens: 7-9

Cincinnati Bengals: 3-13

The Pittsburgh Steelers sit atop the AFC North once again. The team doesn’t have the uncertainty of Bell’s contract hovering over its season outlook. The front office parted ways with wideout Antonio Brown; his work relationship with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went completely sour. With less friction surrounding the franchise, wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and running back James Conner will emerge as stars in the league.

The Cleveland Browns stirred the most buzz during the offseason, partially because of their Super Bowl talk and also general manager John Dorsey‘s decision to acquire wideout Odell Beckham Jr.

Beckham will form an electric connection with quarterback Baker Mayfield, but the offense has some question marks on the front line at right guard and right tackle. How will Eric Kush fare on the interior? Can Chris Hubbard bounce back after allowing 7.5 sacks last year, per Washington Post’s STATs.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson fully utilized his legs last year, logging 695 yards on the ground—paired with the second-most stingy scoring defense. Over the offseason, the league had time to study his tape and find ways to stop an offense that heavily relies on the run. Jackson will have to throw more than 25 times per contest, which he only did once during the regular season last year. The 22-year old has a lot to prove.

The Cincinnati Bengals land in the AFC North cellar with an unimpressive offensive line. Quarterback Andy Dalton may have issues staying upright in the pocket.

Center Billy Price, a 2018 first-rounder, didn’t earn a starting spot; he’ll back up Trey Hopkins. The team’s long-tenured starting left guard, Chris Boling, retired. At one point Christian Westerman was considered a front-runner to replace him, per The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr., but he also decided to hang up his cleats.

Rookie fourth-rounder Michael Jordan will start at the position. Right tackle Bobby Hart is slated to retain his first-unit position despite allowing 11.5 sacks last year, per Washington Post‘s STATs.

With rookie head coach Zac Taylor calling the shots in a season headed south pretty quickly, the Bengals could look to replace Dalton with a top draft pick in 2020.

AFC South

Houston Texans: 11-5

Tennessee Titans: 8-8

Indianapolis Colts: 6-10

Jacksonville Jaguars: 5-11

The Texans sent Clowney to the Seattle Seahawks and acquired Tunsil in separate deals Saturday. Houston’s pass rush will take a significant hit. On the other hand, quarterback Deshaun Watson should have extended time in the pocket, which means more points on the scoreboard. Don’t underestimate the loss of running back Lamar Miller (torn ACL and MCL), but Duke Johnson Jr. and Carlos Hyde can fill his void in the backfield.

Houston will win the division because of Luck’s decision to walk away from the game. With him, the Colts would’ve listed first in the AFC South. Now, they’re a 6-10 team that must rally around quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Indianapolis showed faith in him, inking the 26-year old to a two-year, $30 million extension, but he hasn’t played meaningful games since the 2017 campaign.

The Tennessee Titans will also benefit from Luck’s retirement, but quarterback Marcus Mariota hasn’t shown enough production in four years to suggest he’s ready to take advantage of the opportunity to steal the division crown. Head coach Mike Vrabel‘s defense will keep this club in most contests, but the offense isn’t explosive enough to reap the benefits.

The Jacksonville Jaguars sit in the AFC South cellar with head coach Doug Marrone likely on his way out of the door. The front office acquired quarterback Nick Foles, but he’s yet to play through a 16-game slate. He’s a Super Bowl MVP, but the 30-year old has started just five or fewer regular-season games in each of the last three years. We have no idea what to expect from him in a full-time starting role.

Like last year, the Jaguars finish with a top-10 defense, but Foles must acclimate himself to driving the offense for an entire season as opposed to playing reliever late in the term.

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs: 12-4

Los Angeles Chargers: 9-7

Denver Broncos: 8-8

Oakland Raiders: 5-11

We should get used to seeing the Kansas City Chiefs competing for a division title every year with Patrick Mahomes under center. He’s an aggressive passer who fits head coach Andy Reid‘s offensive schemes like a glove.

The team replaced defensive coordinator Bob Sutton with Steve Spagnuolo who takes over a defense with two solid pass-rushers, Chris Jones and Frank Clark, along with a proven playmaker in defensive back Tyrann Mathieu on the back end. We could see improvements in the Chiefs defense in 2019.

If not for Okung’s absence, the Chargers would finish as a 10-11-win squad. Without him, quarterback Philip Rivers will depend on tackles Trenton Scott and right tackle Sam Tevi to keep him upright. The former started one game as a rookie, and the latter gave up six sacks last year, per Washington Post‘s STATs. Defensive coordinators will likely attempt to exploit the offensive line’s edges to thwart the passing attack. Still, the Chargers hang on for a 9-7 record.

The Denver Broncos opted not to hire a young offensive-minded head coach. However, lead skipper Vic Fangio will help this defense return to top-five status similar to the Wade Phillips’ years in 2015 and 2016.

The front office acquired quarterback Joe Flacco who’s accustomed to playing alongside a top-notch defensive unit and a physical ground attack — the Broncos should check both boxes this year. Denver won’t provide a lot of flashes, but running backs Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman will lead the offensive charge with Flacco picking his spots downfield.

The Oakland Raiders could field a high-octane offense with quarterback Derek Carr and wide receiver Antonio Brown together on the field. That quarterback-wide receiver connection will pull off some wins. However, it’s fair to question the offensive line.

Left guard Richie Incognito will serve a two-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Right guard Gabe Jackson is recovering from an MCL injury. Left tackle Kolton Miller has a lot to prove after allowing 12 sacks last year, per Washington Post‘s STATs.

He dealt with knee injuries in the previous season, which contributed to his rough rookie term. The UCLA product will face a lot of pressure with Clark, Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram in the division.

Oakland doesn’t have a single Pro Bowl or All-Pro player on defense and rookie starters like defensive end Clelin Ferrell and safety Johnathan Abram are playing key positions. The defense will allow a lot of points — forcing the Silver and Black to win shootouts with an offensive line that won’t take the field in its entirety until midway through the year.

NFC East

Philadelphia Eagles: 11-5

Dallas Cowboys: 9-7

New York Giants: 4-12

Washington Redskins: 3-13

We’re going to hear this plenty of times in the upcoming season. If Carson Wentz can stay healthy, the Philadelphia Eagles could make a run for the Super Bowl. He won’t have Foles behind him, but the front office acquired running back help — signing Jordan Howard and selecting Miles Sanders in the second round of April’s draft. With a strong offensive line, head coach Doug Pederson should have a prolific offense.

The Eagles defense has the talent to make timely stops. Derek Barnett, Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson and Brandon Graham will have a solid year up front. Cornerbacks Sidney Jones and Avonte Maddox could take major developmental steps in prominent roles.

The Dallas Cowboys signed running back Ezekiel Elliott to a six-year, $90 million extension Wednesday — his presence gives this club a better chance at a winning season, but Dak Prescott isn’t the quarterback to lead his team to victory when opposing units load the box.

Wideout Amari Cooper will give the aerial attack a boost, but he can be hit or miss as a contributor. Last year, he registered 100-plus receiving yards in two games and fewer than 50 yards in four outings. We’ll find out if the 25-year-old can reach an elite level, but that requires Prescott to elevate his game as well.

The New York Giants and Washington Redskins will sink to the bottom of the NFC East. Both clubs have placeholder quarterbacks starting the year, Eli Manning and Case Keenum. We’ll probably see their successors, Daniel Jones and Dwayne Haskins, at some point in a lost season.

NFC North

Chicago Bears: 11-5

Minnesota Vikings: 10-6

Green Bay Packers: 9-7

Detroit Lions: 6-10

Assuming key players stay healthy, the NFC North features three teams with winning records.

The Chicago Bears defense won’t look the same without Fangio calling the shots, but the unit has enough talent to remain top five in scoring and yards allowed. Edge-rusher Khalil Mack, interior defender Akiem Hicks, inside linebacker Roquan Smith, safety Eddie Jackson and cornerback Kyle Fuller will continue to shut down offenses.

More importantly, the Bears offense should blossom with Mitchell Trubisky going into his third season. Last year, under head coach Matt Nagy, he showed flashes, and the offense quietly ranked ninth in scoring. The Bears lead skipper can’t wait to unleash running back David Montgomery who will probably lead the backfield in touches.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins will continue to drive the offense, but running back Dalvin Cook may have his best year. He’s a dynamic playmaker out of the backfield, who’s healthy after missing 17 games in his first two years because of a torn ACL and hamstring injury. The balance on offense with a top-10 defense propels the Vikings to second place in the division.

Over the offseason, Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur’s work relationship with quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been a hot topic. How will the two-time All-Pro and Super Bowl-winning signal-caller mesh with a first-time lead skipper?

LaFleur and Rodgers will need time to understand each other’s tendencies and find a middle ground, but the head coach’s intention to reintroduce the ground attack bodes well for Rodgers. Green Bay starts slow out of the gate and picks up late in the season to finish 9-7.

Unfortunately for the Detroit Lions, they’re going to play in one of the toughest divisions with three potential playoff teams. Head coach Matt Patricia fielded a defense that ranked 10th in yards allowed last year; he’ll oversee another stingy unit, but wideout Kenny Golladay and running back Kerryon Johnson must solidify themselves on the other side of the ball.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons: 11-5

New Orleans Saints: 11-5

Carolina Panthers: 9-7

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 5-11

The Atlanta Falcons take a leap in a bounce-back season after finishing 7-9 with a battered defense. Safety Keanu Neal (torn ACL), cornerback Ricardo Allen (torn Achilles) and linebacker Deion Jones (foot) will go into the season healthy. Head coach Dan Quinn, who worked with the Legion of Boom as a defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks, will call the plays this year. The Falcons defensive unit may finish top 12 in yards or points allowed in 2019.

Offensively, Atlanta has the personnel to rank top three in scoring. Quarterback Matt Ryan will throw to arguably the best wide receiver trio in the league, featuring Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu. Tight end Austin Hooper had a breakout 2018 campaign with 71 receptions for 660 yards and four touchdowns. With running back Devonta Freeman healthy, expect the Falcons to run up and down the field against most opponents.

The New Orleans Saints tie the Falcons at 11-5. Although quarterback Drew Brees didn’t play his best late in the last season, throwing one or no touchdowns in each of the final four games, he’s still remarkably accurate. He logged a 74.4 percent completion rate in 2018. Wideout Michael Thomas, running back Alvin Kamara and tight end Jared Cook will provide plenty of sparks for the offense.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton suffered a mid-foot sprain in Week 3 of the preseason, but the team isn’t concerned with the injury going into Week 1. Nonetheless, running back Christian McCaffrey will continue to power this unit; he logged 326 touches in 2018. Still, offensive coordinator Norv Turner needs wideouts D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel to show consistency in order for his group to compete with the Falcons and Saints.

In a critical year for Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, he’s going to throw the ball all over the field under head coach Bruce Arians. As shown in the past, the 25-year old can make some big plays downfield but also commit turnovers, throwing 58 interceptions in four seasons.

The Buccaneers defense isn’t good enough to compensate for the botches on the other side of the ball. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul will miss the first six games on the non-football injury list because of a neck injury stemming from a car accident. Vernon Hargreaves III is the most experienced cornerback on the active roster, and he’s missed 22 contests over the last two years. Tampa Bay’s defense will struggle from beginning to the end of the season.

NFC West

Los Angeles Rams: 11-5

San Francisco 49ers: 10-6

Seattle Seahawks: 9-7

Arizona Cardinals: 3-13

Through the offseason, running back Todd Gurley‘s knee has sparked widespread discussion. The Los Angeles Rams selected running back Darrell Henderson in the third round of this year’s draft. He could cut into the starter’s touches, but we won’t know until the offense takes the field. For now, head coach Sean McVay still makes the calls for one of the top offensive units in the league.

When healthy, cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib can lock down wide receivers on the perimeter. The Rams added savvy veteran safety Eric Weddle to the secondary to pair with John Johnson, who’s recorded an impressive 22 pass breakups and five interceptions in two seasons. Of course, defensive tackle Aaron Donald will wreak havoc on the interior, which solidifies a decent defensive group.

The San Francisco 49ers pose the toughest challenge to the Rams for two reasons. Head coach Kyle Shanahan can match offensive wits with McVay. Secondly, general manager John Lynch selected defensive end Nick Bosa and acquired pass-rusher Dee Ford via trade with the Chiefs; both can pressure the pocket alongside defensive tackle DeForest Buckner.

Aside from cornerback Richard Sherman, the 49er’s secondary will continue to experience growing pains, which will cost this team a few games.

The Seattle Seahawks also have a pair of pass-rushers who can put Rams quarterback Jared Goff in uncomfortable spots. Under head coach Pete Carroll, Ezekiel Ansah and Clowney will look like a two-man wrecking crew on the ends.

Like last year, the Seahawks may rely on the ground attack to move the ball. Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny should finish the season with a lot of tread on their legs. However, quarterback Russell Wilson must find a reliable target other than wideout Tyler Locket in a passing league. Seattle will feel the loss of Doug Baldwin.

The Arizona Cardinals could bring excitement to the league with head coach Kliff Kingsbury‘s Air Raid offense and No. 1 overall pick quarterback Kyler Murray, but don’t expect this squad to win many games.

The Cardinals will have a rookie signal-caller and a head coach attempting to make the jump from the collegiate level to the pros. At Texas Tech, Kingsbury went 35-40 in six terms. He’s going to see stiffer competition on the pro level, which likely means a rough first year in the NFL.

 

2019 NFL season: Final win-loss predictions before Week 1

More than likely, your 2019 NFL season predictions changed between May and August. A handful of star players have significantly affected the upcoming season for multiple teams.

Quarterback Andrew Luck shocked players, coaches and fans when he decided to retire still in pain from an ankle injury. The Houston Texans unloaded pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney and acquired left tackle Laremy Tunsil in separate deals. As of Thursday, running back Melvin Gordon is still holding out.

In addition to the summer transactions, we must also consider injuries, suspensions and a player on the comeback trail. Los Angeles Chargers left tackle Russell Okung will miss an unspecified amount of time with blood clots. Tennessee Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan will serve a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. The league reinstated New England Patriots wideout Josh Gordon.

Without a doubt, all the latest transactions and happenings around the league will alter expectations for multiple teams in the win or loss column.

Every year we can expect the unexpected to occur. We’ll see division champions fall to the bottom and cellar dwellers rise to the top. With the regular season set to kick off between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers in just a few hours, we’ll go through each division with a final estimate on final records for the 2019 season.

Will the Texans’ trade gambles pay off? How many games do the Indianapolis Colts win without Luck? Which division winners stay on top, and who’s set to plummet in the standings?

 

Drew Brees defends himself from anti-gay accusations

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees says he’s been unfairly and incorrectly portrayed as anti-gay after recording a video encouraging Christian students to take their bibles to school.

The video was disseminated by an organization called Focus on the Family, which has promoted policies widely viewed as hostile to the LGBTQ community.

Brees said Thursday his only intention was to encourage Christian students to practice their faith with confidence on National Bring Your Bible to School Day.

Brees says he was not aware “at all” that Focus on the Family was associated with anti-gay messaging, inequality or “any type of hate.”

The record-setting quarterback says he sees Christianity as representing love, forgiveness, respecting all and accepting all.

Brees says “shame on” those who portrayed his video as an endorsement of anti-gay propaganda for the purpose of making headlines.

 

Antonio Brown not with Raiders amid reports of suspension

Star receiver Antonio Brown was sent away from the Oakland Raiders four days before the season opener amid reports he could be suspended over a confrontation with general manager Mike Mayock.

Mayock said at the beginning of practice Thursday that Brown wasn’t at the Raiders facility and wouldn’t be practicing a day after posting a letter from the GM on social media detailing nearly $54,000 in fines.

“I’ll make it short and sweet,” Mayock said. “Antonio Brown is not in the building today, won’t be practicing. I don’t have any more information for you right now. When I have some and it becomes appropriate you guys will all get it. But that’s it for today.”

ESPN reported earlier Thursday that the two had a confrontation the previous day over the posting of the letter and that the Raiders plan to suspend Brown. Teams have the right under the collective bargaining agreement to suspend players up to four games for conduct detrimental to the team.

A suspension would also void the more than $29 million in guarantees over the next two seasons contained in Brown’s contract with the Raiders.

“I’m not going to get into any of that stuff right now,” coach Jon Gruden said. “We’ll have an official announcement later.”

Gruden said he was frustrated by the situation but that the team is ready to start the season without Brown if necessary. The Raiders spent most of training camp without Brown on the field as he dealt with frost bite on his feet and a fight with the NFL over his helmet.

“We’ve been going out for practice every day and we adjusted without him,” Gruden said. “We never knew sometimes when he was going to practice. So we’re good at it. We’re good at adapting and adjusting. Unfortunately. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed.”

 

Unhip: Browns’ Beckham slowed by injury heading into opener

Odell Beckham Jr.’s customized, orange Rolls Royce is running smoothly.

His engine has some issues.

The Browns’ new star wide receiver is still slowed by a hip injury that sidelined him in the preseason, but shouldn’t prevent Beckham from making his highly anticipated debut for Cleveland on Sunday against Tennessee.

The three-time Pro Bowler, whose arrival from the New York Giants in a blockbuster trade in March has made the Browns a trendy Super Bowl pick, said he hasn’t been able to run as fast as he can.

The Browns kept Beckham out of their four exhibition games to manage the unspecified ailment. He’s still not 100 percent, but even not at his best, Beckham is better than most.

“I’m confident in me,” he said Thursday following practice. “I remember one game I didn’t practice the entire week, couldn’t run even up to pregame because of a hip pointer and swelling and I still went out there and played over in London, taped it up, went out there and just did what I can to help the team, so I’m confident in me.

“And you know, once you get out there it’s a different energy that you have. It’s a different adrenaline. I feel like nothing will get in the way of that.”

Beckham was added to Cleveland’s injury list after not being on it Wednesday.

The 26-year-old Beckham didn’t give any specifics of his injury, but likened himself to a car needing a tuneup.

 

Nearly a 53-Man Roster of Ohio State Buckeyes in the NFL

COLUMBUS, Ohio – When the 100th season of NFL football kicks off this evening with a game between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers, former Ohio State center Corey Linsley will be on the field beginning his sixth season as a Packer. He’ll be the first of a large contingent of Buckeyes – 52 in all – who are in the league this season either on active rosters (44), on practice squads (three) or on an injured or physically unable to perform list (five). 

“Developed Here” is a motto of the football program and it certainly is worthy with 12 Ohio State rookies in the league, including eight on active rosters: Nick Bosa (San Francisco), Michael Jordan (Cincinnati), Dre’Mont Jones (Denver), Parris Campbell (Indianapolis), Isaiah Prince (Miami), Kendall Sheffield (Atlanta) and Dwayne Haskins and Terry McLaurin (Washington). 

That youth movement isn’t just with this year’s class of rookies: Ohio State boasts 24 NFL players with three years or less experience. 

The veteran Buckeyes are led by a trio of outstanding leaders: Philadelphia safety Malcolm Jenkins, who is entering his 11th year in the NFL, Buffalo safety and 10-year NFL vet Kurt Coleman, and nine-year defensive lineman of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cameron Heyward. 

There are 27 NFL teams with an Ohio State Buckeye on a roster. 

Buckeyes on 2019 NFL Rosters

By Team – 52 

LB Dante Booker – Arizona Cardinals, practice squad

WR Johnnie Dixon – Arizona Cardinals, practice squad

DT Michael Bennett – Atlanta Falcons, IR

CB Kendall Sheffield – Atlanta Falcons, active

SAF Kurt Coleman – Buffalo Bills, active

WR Curtis Samuel – Carolina Panthers, active

DE Sam Hubbard – Cincinnati Bengals, active

OG Michael Jordan – Cincinnati Bengals, active

OC Billy Price – Cincinnati Bengals, active

CB Denzel Ward – Cleveland Browns, active

WR Noah Brown – Dallas Cowboys, PUP

RB Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys, active

WR Devin Smith – Dallas Cowboys, active

RB Mike Weber – Dallas Cowboys, practice squad

TE Jeff Heuerman – Denver Broncos, active

DT Dre’mont Jones – Denver Broncos, active

OT Taylor Decker – Detroit Lions, active

OC Corey Linsley – Green Bay Packers, active

RB Carlos Hyde – Houston Texans, active

CB Bradley Roby – Houston Texans, active

WR Parris Campbell – Indianapolis Colts, active

SAF Malik Hooker – Indianapolis Colts, active

DE Tyquan Lewis – Indianapolis Colts, active

OG Andrew Norwell – Jacksonville Jaguars, active

LB Darron Lee – Kansas City Chiefs, active

DE Joey Bosa – Los Angeles Chargers, active

LS Jake McQuaide – Los Angeles Rams, active

LB Jerome Baker – Miami Dolphins, active

LB Raekwon McMillan – Miami Dolphins, active

OT Isaiah Prince – Miami Dolphins, active

OG Pat Elflein – Minnesota Vikings, active

DT Jalyn Holmes – Minnesota Vikings, active

SAF Nate Ebner – New England Patriots, active

DE John Simon – New England Patriots, active

CB Eli Apple – New Orleans Saints, active

SAF Vonn Bell – New Orleans Saints, active

WR Ted Ginn Jr. – New Orleans Saints, active

CB Marshon Lattimore – New Orleans Saints, active

WR Michael Thomas – New Orleans Saints, active

RB Rod Smith – New York Giants, IR

CB Gareon Conley – Oakland Raiders, active

DT Jonathan Hankins – Oakland Raiders, active

SAF Malcolm Jenkins – Philadelphia Eagles, active

P Cameron Johnston – Philadelphia Eagles, active

DE Cameron Heyward – Pittsburgh Steelers, active

LB Ryan Shazier – Pittsburgh Steelers, PUP

DE Nick Bosa – San Francisco 49ers, active

OT Jamarco Jones – Seattle Seahawks, active

OG Demetrius Knox – Seattle Seahawks, IR

TE Nick Vannett – Seattle Seahawks, active

QB Dwayne Haskins – Washington Redskins, active

WR Terry McLaurin – Washington Redskins, active

 

Buckeyes on 2019 NFL Rosters

Active Roster by Position – 44 

Defensive Backs – 11

CB Eli Apple – New Orleans Saints

SAF Vonn Bell – New Orleans Saints

SAF Kurt Coleman – Buffalo Bills

CB Gareon Conley – Oakland Raiders

SAF Nate Ebner – New England Patriots

SAF Malik Hooker – Indianapolis Colts

SAF Malcolm Jenkins – Philadelphia Eagles

CB Marshon Lattimore – New Orleans Saints

CB Bradley Roby – Houston Texans

CB Kendall Sheffield – Atlanta Falcons

CB Denzel Ward – Cleveland Browns 

Defensive Line – 9

DE Joey Bosa – Los Angeles Chargers

DE Nick Bosa – San Francisco 49ers

DE Cameron Heyward – Pittsburgh Steelers

DT Jalyn Holmes – Minnesota Vikings

DT Jonathan Hankins – Oakland Raiders

DE Sam Hubbard – Cincinnati Bengals

DT Dre’mont Jones – Denver Broncos

DE Tyquan Lewis – Indianapolis Colts

DE John Simon – New England Patriots 

Offensive Line – 8

OT Taylor Decker – Detroit Lions

OG Pat Elflein – Minnesota Vikings

OT Jamarco Jones – Seattle Seahawks

OG Michael Jordan – Cincinnati Bengals

OC Corey Linsley – Green Bay Packers

OG Andrew Norwell – Jacksonville Jaguars

OC Billy Price – Cincinnati Bengals

OT Isaiah Prince – Miami Dolphins 

Wide Receivers – 6

WR Parris Campbell – Indianapolis Colts

WR Ted Ginn Jr. – New Orleans Saints

WR Terry McLaurin – Washington Redskins

WR Curtis Samuel – Carolina Panthers

WR Devin Smith – Dallas Cowboys

WR Michael Thomas – New Orleans Saints 

Linebackers – 3

LB Jerome Baker – Miami Dolphins

LB Darron Lee – Kansas City Chiefs

LB Raekwon McMillan – Miami Dolphins 

Running Backs – 2

RB Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys

RB Carlos Hyde – Kansas City Chiefs 

Quarterback – 1

QB Dwayne Haskins – Washington Redskins 

Tight Ends – 2

TE Jeff Heuerman – Denver Broncos

TE Nick Vannett – Seattle Seahawks 

Specialists – 2

P Cameron Johnston – Philadelphia Eagles

LS Jake McQuaide – Los Angeles Rams

 

Is Oregon’s Football Team Really Good Or Really Bad?

When your football team has the lead for all but nine seconds of a game, normally, as a fan (or bettor) you are happy.  When those nine seconds that your team is trailing by happens to be the last nine of the game, you are angry.  That was what Saturday night was like for fans of the Oregon Ducks, who must now wonder, is their 2019 team the one that builds a 21-6 lead against Auburn, or the one that gave it away?

After taking an early 7-0 lead, the Ducks reached the Auburn Tigers two-yard line, but a dropped touchdown pass and missed field goal left the scoreboard reading the same.  Still, Oregon scored 14 of the games next 20 points and had a 21-6 third quarter advantage before their feathers were ruffled by the the Tigers defense.

While the Ducks were unable to run the ball against a stiffing Tigers defense, Auburn scored one touchdown, and then a second, while forcing Oregon to punt or turn the ball over on downs.  Finally, in Auburn’s final possession, 19-year-old freshman quarterback Bo Nix tossed a game winning touchdown pass to give the Tigers a 27-21 comeback victory.

Oregon’s issue was two-fold in their loss Saturday night: First was their inability to run the ball while they had a big lead, thereby shortening the game, and second, once Auburn caught up with the Ducks’ up tempo offense, they could not adjust and failed to score.

So which team is the true Oregon team this year?  Sadly for Ducks’ fans (and people like me who thought they were playoff bound), the team that blew the lead will be more like how they play in tough games for the rest of the season.  And their loss Saturday night could easily have knocked them out of the playoff picture before September even began.  Start rooting hard for Auburn in the Pacific Northwest, because without the Tigers winning the SEC title, the Oregon Ducks have no shot of representing the Pac-12 in the College Football Playoffs this year.  Oh yeah, not blowing 15-point leads helps your playoff chances too!

 

Stanford QB K.J. Costello to miss game against USC

Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello will miss the 23rd-ranked Cardinal’s Pac-12 opener against Southern California with an injury.

Coach David Shaw said after practice Thursday that Costello had been ruled out against the Trojans on Saturday after getting knocked out of the opener against Northwestern with a head injury. Davis Mills is expected to make his first career start for the Cardinal (1-0, 0-0 Pac-12).

Costello got hurt in the closing seconds of the first half against Northwestern last week when he was hit with a forearm to the facemask while sliding on a scramble. Costello’s head hit the turf and he was down for several minutes before being helped off the field.

Mills completed 7 of 14 passes for 81 yards and also lost two fumbles in his most extensive collegiate action. Mills played only one game last season, throwing two passes and running the ball once.

Stanford also is without star left tackle Walker Little. He also got hurt in the opener and is out indefinitely.

 

Ervin’s 11th-inning homer lifts Reds over Phillies 4-3

J.T. Realmuto almost lifted the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League wild-card race.

Phillip Ervin sent them in the other direction.

Ervin homered leading off the 11th inning, and the Cincinnati Reds beat Philadelphia 4-3 Thursday to drop the Phillies 3 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs for the NL’s second wild card.

Ervin hit an opposite-field drive to right off Nick Vincent (1-3) that barely eluded Bryce Harper’s attempt at a leaping catch.

“There is nothing like it,” Ervin said. “It’s a great feeling. I thought I hit it good enough. I saw Harper go back on it. The wind just pushed it out. I was just trying to get on base, but everyone wanted to get out of here.”

Ervin’s sixth home run this season and the second game-ending homer of his career gave the Reds their second straight win and a four-game split.

“Obviously, it’s a super disappointing loss,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “Our path to success is going to be through our offense and having big innings, and we weren’t able to do that in these games.”

Realmuto tripled in the fourth and tied the game in the eighth against Robert Stephenson when he led off with his 21st homer. The catcher also stopped a seventh-inning rally attempt by nabbing Jose Peraza off second base with a pinpoint throw.

Philadelphia rallied from a 5-0 deficit to tie the score on Wednesday, then lost 8-5.

 

Schwarber’s slam powers Cubs to 10-5 win over Brewers

 Kyle Schwarber helped the Cubs put some distance between themselves and the Milwaukee Brewers.

Schwarber launched a grand slam to cap a five-run sixth inning that sent Chicago to a 10-5 victory over Milwaukee on Thursday night in the opener of a crucial four-game series.

“That ball was beyond properly struck,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “If the back wall’s not there, that’s somewhere over, shoot, I don’t know, what’s on the other side? The lake? That ball was kilt. It was K-I-L-T, kilt.”

The third-place Brewers dropped 7 1/2 games behind first-place St. Louis in the NL Central and five back of the Cubs for the second wild card. Chicago remained 2 1/2 behind the Cardinals, who routed San Francisco 10-0.

“It’s a big series. We’re fighting for the division,” Schwarber said. “Whenever you’re in their environment, and you can take the first game, it’s a positive step. Now we have to focus on tomorrow and take game two.”

The Cubs loaded the bases with one out in the sixth on two singles and a walk against Matt Albers (5-5). Drew Pomeranz relieved and Anthony Rizzo lined a sacrifice fly to right field that put Chicago up 5-4.

Willson Contreras reached on a swinging bunt to reload the bases. Schwarber then sent the first pitch 442 feet to right-center for his 34th homer and second grand slam of the season.

 

Cardinals rout Giants 10-0 to open 3-game NL Central lead

 Dakota Hudson’s arm and bat gave the St. Louis Cardinals another boost in their postseason push.

Hudson pitched six innings of one-hit ball and hit a two-run single for his first big league RBIs, helping the Cardinals rout the San Francisco Giants 10-0 on Thursday to open a three-game lead over the second-place Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.

“I feel like I didn’t have my best offspeed stuff,” Hudson said. “I commanded my cutter pretty well and I was able to get that sinker down in the zone and get some weak ground balls. Besides that, I was able to eat up as many innings as I could. I fell short in my own eyes trying to get a little deeper.”

Paul DeJong hit an early two-run homer, and Paul Goldschmidt singled and scored twice for the Cardinals, who won for the sixth time in seven games.

“We’re just keeping the gas down,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said.

San Francisco has lost five of six and eight of 10, dropping nine games back for the NL’s second wild card at 67-73.

Hudson (15-6) allowed a one-out single in the second to Kevin Pillar and walked Brandon Crawford, then retired 14 of his final 15 batters. He has won five straight starts.

“Even in some hitter’s counts he did a good job trusting his sinker to throw it and get some weak contact,” Pillar said.

Genesis Cabrera finished the four-hitter for his first big league save.

 

López pitches 1-hitter, White Sox beat sliding Indians 7-1

Jason Kipnis thinks now is the time for the Cleveland Indians to start looking like a playoff team.

What may be their last chance starts Friday night with a series at the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins.

Chicago right-hander Reynaldo Lopez pitched a one-hitter against the Indians on Thursday for his first big league complete game, a 7-1 win that gave the White Sox a split of the four-game series.

Cleveland lost for the fifth time in seven games. The Indians began the day 5 1/2 games behind the AL Central-leading Twins and tied with Oakland for the second AL wild card, a half-game behind Tampa Bay.

“You’d love to have momentum,” Kipnis said. “You’d love to be gaining ground every single time out. That doesn’t lessen the importance of the series coming up and lessen the intensity we’ll bring. We’ll have to pick ourselves up from this game and forget it real fast.”

Seeking their fourth straight division title, the Indians won three of four at Minnesota from Aug. 8-11 and took a half-game lead following a victory over Boston the following day. Cleveland is 9-13 since and headed to Minnesota without third baseman Jose Ramirez for the remainder of the regular season because of a broken hand.

“We’ve got to go in there thinking we’re going to win the games. Otherwise what are we doing?” Kipnis said. “You give Minnesota credit, too. They’ve gotten hot and played a little better baseball than we have since that series. If we want to play into October and play as a playoff baseball team, we’ve got to start playing like it.”

Lopez (9-12) pitched his first complete game in 75 career big league starts. The 25-year-old allowed an RBI double in the second to Kevin Plawecki that scored Jake Bauers, who had walked.

Lopez struck out 11, walked three, retired his final 16 batters and threw 109 pitches. He pounded his right fist into his glove when he struck out Franmil Reyes to end the game.

 

A’s score 7 in 7th to beat Angels; Trout hits 45th homer

Manager Bob Melvin is fond of saying that the Athletics are at their best when hitting home runs and showing patience in the batter’s box.

They’ve proven they’re pretty good when pinch-hitting, too.

Robbie Grossman hit a pinch-hit two-run triple over the head of center fielder Mike Trout as part of a seven-run eighth inning when the A’s benefited from four consecutive walks, and Oakland rallied to beat the Los Angeles Angels 10-6 on Thursday to complete a three-game sweep.

“That’s just the mentality of this team,” Grossman said. “How many times this season has something like that occurred? This team’s full of confidence. We never feel like we’re out of it.”

The A’s trailed 6-1 and had only four hits before batting around in the seventh, when the Angels used five pitchers.

Josh Phegley started the comeback with a two-run home run off Jose Suarez. Ty Buttrey (6-7) came on and allowed Marcus Semien’s single, followed by walks to Matt Chapman, Matt Olson and Mark Canha to force in a run. Jurickson Profar walked in another run, and Khris Davis added an RBI groundout.

Grossman followed with a first-pitch triple off Adalberto Mejia that sailed past Trout’s outstretched glove as he jumped for the ball near the fence. Grossman, who bats primarily left-handed, switched to the right side when the lefty Mejia was brought in.

“He doesn’t have a ton of right-handed at-bats this year but I think it’s probably a low-maintenance swing for him,” Melvin said. “He was ready for it and he was aggressive coming off the bench with guys on base.”

Grossman’s triple was the 13th extra-base hit by A’s pinch-hitters this season, tying the Oakland record set in 1968. Overall, the A’s are 23- for-81 in pinch-hit situations.

“Pinch-hitting, you have to be aggressive early,” Grossman said. “You have to see where you’re at on the first pitch and I put a good swing on it. Luckily Mr. Trout didn’t catch it.”

Profar drove in three runs and Semien had four hits for Oakland.

 

Astros pitcher Aaron Sanchez to have season-ending surgery

Astros right-hander Aaron Sanchez will have surgery on his throwing shoulder and will miss the remainder of the season.

Sanchez hasn’t pitched since Aug. 20 because of what the team said was a sore right pectoral muscle. The team had expected him to return this season, but general manager Jeff Luhnow said Thursday morning that he would have the unspecified procedure on his right shoulder next week and wouldn’t return this year.

Sanchez was acquired from Toronto on July 31 and combined with three relievers to throw a no-hitter in his first start for the Astros on Aug. 3.

Also on Thursday, Luhnow said that outfielder George Springer has been diagnosed with a mild concussion and will miss a few games. Luhnow said he expects Springer to return early next week. Springer was carted off the field on Tuesday after his head hit the wall after he made a catch against the Brewers.

 

Homers surge 58% at Triple-A with switch to big league ball

Home runs surged 58% at Triple-A this season following the switch to major league baseballs.

According to the organization that governs the minors, 5,752 homers were hit in the International and Pacific Coast Leagues. That’s up from 3,652 in 2018.

Rawlings provides baseballs for the majors and minors. The big league balls are manufactured in Costa Rica, the minor league balls in China.

Big league batters are on pace to break the season home run record next week with 2+ weeks remaining in the season.

Home runs rose 57% in the International League, from 1,555 to 2,440, and 58% in the Pacific Coast League, from 2,097 to 3,312.

Long balls dropped in nine of 14 leagues from Double-A down, where China-manufactured balls were used.

There were drops at all three top-level Class A leagues: 908 from 976 in the California League (7%), 820 from 886 in the Carolina League (7%) and 896 from 954 in the Florida State League (6%). There were 6% decreases in both lower full-season Class A leagues: 1,298 from 1,388 in the Midwest League and 1,266 from 1,348 in the South Atlantic League.

Among the short-season Class A leagues, home runs rose 5% in the New York-Penn League (500 from 475) and fell 19% in the Northwest League (348 from 432).

At rookie ball, homers rose 7% in the Appalachian League (547 from 510), 2% in the Pioneer League (518 from 506) and 25% in the Arizona League (620 from 402), and dropped 6% in the Gulf Coast League (393 from 416).

 

1 more for 24: Serena Williams reaches US Open final again

With another U.S. Open final in sight, and Grand Slam title No. 24 within reach, Serena Williams got past a slightly shaky start and quickly took control.

Williams turned in an increasingly impressive performance for a 6-3, 6-1 victory over No. 5-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in their semifinal at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Thursday night.

This will be Williams’ fourth final in the past six major tournaments. She was the runner-up at Wimbledon each of the past two years, losing to Angelique Kerber in 2018 and to Simona Halep in July. And she was also the runner-up, of course, a year ago at Flushing Meadows, losing to Naomi Osaka.

That final was, and forever will be, overshadowed by Williams’ extended argument with chair umpire Carlos Ramos, who docked her a point, then a game – and was barred by the U.S. Tennis Association from officiating any matches in this year’s tournament involving her or her older sister, Venus.

So much of what Williams does nowadays must be seen through the prism of tennis history, and that was certainly the case this time. Her 101st career match win at Flushing Meadows tied Chris Evert’s tournament record.

“It’s just impressive, I guess,” Williams said. “I don’t think about it. I just come out here and do what I can.”

By getting to the final, Williams set a record for longest gap between first career Grand Slam title match and most recent such appearance: It’s almost exactly 20 full years since she won the 1999 U.S. Open as a teenager.

Most importantly, if she can beat No. 13 Belinda Bencic or No. 15 Bianca Andreescu in Saturday’s final, Williams will equal Margaret Court with 24 Grand Slam singles titles, the most in tennis history. Court, though, won more than half of hers against amateur competition before professionals were allowed to play in majors starting in 1968.

 

Big Ten Announces Start Times and Television Designations for 2019-20 Men’s Basketball Conference Schedule and Select Non-Conference Games

CHICAGO, Ill. – BTN today announced its 2019-20 television schedule for men’s and women’s basketball, with nearly 200 total games across the entire season. BTN will air at least 133 men’s basketball games, including 75 conference games and 10 Big Ten Tournament games, as well as at least 64 women’s basketball games, including four ACC-Big Ten Challenge matchups alongside 12 conference tournament games. 

Men’s nonconference play begins with a doubleheader on Tuesday, Nov. 5, when Juwan Howard and Fred Hoiberg make their respective Big Ten coaching debuts as Michigan faces off against Appalachian State and Nebraska takes on UC-Riverside. The men’s schedule also features a pair of notable neutral-site games. On Saturday, Dec. 21, Purdue will take on Butler in the Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis at 2:30 p.m. ET, and on Saturday, Jan. 4, Penn State will host Iowa at the historic Palestra in Philadelphia. 

Men’s conference play gets started on Dec. 7 with a pair of Saturday games featuring Indiana at Wisconsin and Penn State at Ohio State, the first of 11 conference games appearing on BTN in December. In February, BTN will once again be home to Super Saturday at Madison Square Garden, with Rutgers and Michigan wrestling squaring off before the Scarlet Knights and Wolverines basketball programs take to the hardwood at 4:30 p.m. ET. 

The women’s non-conference schedule gets rolling on Wednesday, Dec. 4, with back-to-back doubleheaders in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. On night one, Nebraska welcomes the Duke Blue Devils to Lincoln ahead of Iowa hosting Clemson. On Dec. 5, Virginia travels to Rutgers before Louisville heads to Ohio State for a border battle. Women’s conference play tips off on Dec. 28 with a Saturday night doubleheader showcasing Michigan State at Indiana and Michigan at Maryland. 

Both men’s and women’s conference tournaments will take place at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. From March 4-7, BTN will broadcast nearly the entire B1G Women’s Basketball Tournament, including both semifinal games, before closing the year with first 10 games of the B1G Men’s Basketball Tournament. 

All basketball programming can be streamed via the web, smartphones, tablets and connected devices on the Fox Sports app. 

Four men’s games in November will potentially be added to the schedule at a later date, including Troy at Indiana, Jacksonville State at Purdue, Yale at Penn State and South Dakota State at Indiana. 

2019-20 Men’s Basketball Television Schedule: 

Date Visiting Team Home Team Time (ET)
November 5, 2019 Appalachian State Michigan 7:00 PM
November 5, 2019 UC-Riverside Nebraska 9:00 PM
November 6, 2019 Green Bay Purdue 7:00 PM
November 7, 2019 Bryant Rutgers 7:00 PM
November 8, 2019 SIU-Edwardsville Iowa 9:00 PM
November 10, 2019 Binghamton Michigan State 7:00 PM
November 12, 2019 North Alabama Indiana 7:00 PM
November 13, 2019 Providence Northwestern 9:00 PM
November 13, 2019 McNeese State Wisconsin 7:00 PM
November 15, 2019 South Dakota State Nebraska 9:00 PM
November 15, 2019 Elon Michigan 7:00 PM
November 18, 2019 Charleston Southern Michigan State 6:30 PM
November 18, 2019 Stetson Ohio State 8:30 PM
November 19, 2019 Fairfield Maryland 8:30 PM
November 19, 2019 Bucknell Penn State 6:30 PM
November 20, 2019 Princeton Indiana 7:00 PM
November 20, 2019 The Citadel Illinois 9:00 PM
November 21, 2019 North Florida Iowa 7:00 PM
November 21, 2019 Green Bay Wisconsin 9:00 PM
November 22, 2019 George Mason Maryland 7:00 PM
November 24, 2019 Cal-Poly Iowa 5:00 PM
November 24, 2019 North Dakota Minnesota 7:00 PM
November 25, 2019 Louisiana Tech Indiana 8:30 PM
November 25, 2019 Kent State Ohio State 6:30 PM
November 26, 2019 NJIT Rutgers 7:00 PM
November 29, 2019 Morgan State Ohio State 9:00 PM
December 7, 2019 Indiana Wisconsin TBD
December 7, 2019 Penn State Ohio State TBD
December 8, 2019 Rutgers Michigan State 7:00 PM
December 8, 2019 Northwestern Purdue 5:00 PM
December 9, 2019 Minnesota Iowa 8:00 PM
December 11, 2019 Michigan Illinois 9:00 PM
December 11, 2019 Wisconsin Rutgers 7:00 PM
December 13, 2019 Nebraska Indiana 8:00 PM
December 14, 2019 Seton Hall Rutgers 4:00 PM
December 14, 2019 Old Dominion Illinois 6:00 PM
December 14, 2019 Alabama Penn State 2:00 PM
December 15, 2019 Purdue Nebraska 4:00 PM
December 15, 2019 Ohio State Minnesota 6:30 PM
December 17, 2019 Southeast Missouri State Ohio State 7:00 PM
December 18, 2019 Michigan State Northwestern 8:00 PM
December 20, 2019 Central Connecticut State Penn State 6:00 PM
December 21, 2019 Butler Purdue 2:30 PM
December 21, 2019 Milwaukee Wisconsin 5:00 PM
December 21, 2019 Presbyterian Michigan 12:00 PM
December 21, 2019 Eastern Michigan Michigan State 7:00 PM
December 28, 2019 Central Michigan Purdue 12:00 PM
December 28, 2019 FIU Minnesota 2 or 4 PM
December 29, 2019 Hartford Northwestern 2 or 4 PM
December 29, 2019 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Nebraska 2 or 4 PM
December 29, 2019 Bryant Maryland 12:00 PM
December 29, 2019 Arkansas Indiana 6 or 8 PM
December 29, 2019 Western Michigan Michigan State 6 or 8 PM
December 31, 2019 Rider Wisconsin 7:00 PM
January 2, 2020 Minnesota Purdue 7:00 PM
January 3, 2020 Rutgers Nebraska 8:00 PM
January 4, 2020 Iowa Penn State 2:00 PM
January 5, 2020 Northwestern Minnesota 7:30 PM
January 7, 2020 Iowa Nebraska 9:00 PM
January 7, 2020 Penn State Rutgers 7:00 PM
January 8, 2020 Illinois Wisconsin 9:00 PM
January 8, 2020 Northwestern Indiana 7:00 PM
January 11, 2020 Rutgers Illinois TBD
January 11, 2020 Wisconsin Penn State TBD
January 11, 2020 Nebraska Northwestern TBD
January 12, 2020 Michigan Minnesota 1:00 PM
January 14, 2020 Iowa Northwestern 8:00 PM
January 15, 2020 Indiana Rutgers 7:00 PM
January 15, 2020 Penn State Minnesota 9:00 PM
January 18, 2020 Northwestern Illinois 5:00 PM
January 18, 2020 Indiana Nebraska 7:00 PM
January 19, 2020 Minnesota Rutgers 1:00 PM
January 21, 2020 Nebraska Wisconsin 9:00 PM
January 22, 2020 Rutgers Iowa 9:00 PM
January 22, 2020 Penn State Michigan 7:00 PM
January 25, 2020 Nebraska Rutgers 2:00 PM
January 26, 2020 Ohio State Northwestern 6:30 PM
January 27, 2020 Wisconsin Iowa 8:30 PM
January 28, 2020 Purdue Rutgers 8:00 PM
January 29, 2020 Indiana Penn State 8:30 PM
January 29, 2020 Northwestern Michigan State 6:30 PM
January 30, 2020 Iowa Maryland 8:30 PM
February 1, 2020 Rutgers Michigan 4:30 PM
February 1, 2020 Penn State Nebraska 7:00 PM
February 1, 2020 Purdue Northwestern 9:00 PM
February 4, 2020 Penn State Michigan State 8:00 PM
February 5, 2020 Iowa Purdue 7:00 PM
February 5, 2020 Wisconsin Minnesota 9:00 PM
February 8, 2020 Nebraska Iowa 6:00 PM
February 8, 2020 Minnesota Penn State 4:00 PM
February 9, 2020 Northwestern Rutgers 6:30 PM
February 11, 2020 Nebraska Maryland 8:30 PM
February 11, 2020 Penn State Purdue 6:30 PM
February 12, 2020 Michigan Northwestern 9:00 PM
February 12, 2020 Rutgers Ohio State 7:00 PM
February 13, 2020 Iowa Indiana 8:00 PM
February 15, 2020 Wisconsin Nebraska 2:15 PM
February 15, 2020 Illinois Rutgers 4:30 PM
February 15, 2020 Northwestern Penn State 12:00 PM
February 18, 2020 Northwestern Maryland 8:00 PM
February 19, 2020 Michigan Rutgers 7:00 PM
February 19, 2020 Indiana Minnesota 9:00 PM
February 23, 2020 Rutgers Wisconsin 1:00 PM
February 23, 2020 Minnesota Northwestern 3:00 PM
February 24, 2020 Nebraska Illinois 8:00 PM
February 26, 2020 Maryland Minnesota 9:00 PM
February 26, 2020 Rutgers Penn State 7:00 PM
February 27, 2020 Illinois Northwestern 8:00 PM
February 29, 2020 Penn State Iowa 12:00 PM
March 1, 2020 Indiana Illinois 2:00 PM
March 1, 2020 Minnesota Wisconsin 6:30 PM
March 1, 2020 Northwestern Nebraska 4:15 PM
March 3, 2020 Purdue Iowa 9:00 PM
March 3, 2020 Maryland Rutgers 7:00 PM
March 4, 2020 Minnesota Indiana 7:00 PM
March 4, 2020 Northwestern Wisconsin 9:00 PM
March 7, 2020 Penn State Northwestern 4:00 PM
March 7, 2020 Rutgers Purdue 2:00 PM
March 8, 2020 Iowa Illinois 7:00 PM
March 8, 2020 Nebraska Minnesota 1:00 PM
March 11, 2020 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament Game #1 TBD 6:00 PM
March 11, 2020 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament Game #2 TBD Approx. 8:30 PM
March 12, 2020 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament Game #3 TBD 12:00 PM
March 12, 2020 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament Game #4 TBD Approx. 2:30 PM
March 12, 2020 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament Game #5 TBD 6:30 PM
March 12, 2020 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament Game #6 TBD Approx. 9 PM
March 13, 2020 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament Quarterfinal #1 TBD 12:00 PM
March 13, 2020 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament Quarterfinal #2 TBD Approx. 2:30 PM
March 13, 2020 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament Quarterfinal #3 TBD 6:30 PM
March 13, 2020 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament Quarterfinal #4 TBD Approx. 9 PM

 

2019-20 Women’s Basketball Television Schedule: 

Date Visiting Team Home Team Time (ET)
December 4, 2019 Clemson Iowa 9:00 PM
December 4, 2019 Duke Nebraska 7:00 PM
December 5, 2019 Louisville Ohio State 8:00 PM
December 5, 2019 Virginia Rutgers 6:00 PM
December 22, 2019 UCLA Indiana 12:00 PM
December 28, 2019 Michigan Maryland 8:00 PM
December 28, 2019 Michigan State Indiana 6:00 PM
December 31, 2019 Indiana Rutgers 3:00 PM
December 31, 2019 Maryland Northwestern 5:00 PM
January 4, 2020 Minnesota Nebraska 6:00 PM
January 4, 2020 Penn State Wisconsin 4:00 PM
January 5, 2020 Iowa Northwestern 2:00 PM
January 5, 2020 Rutgers Purdue 12:00 PM
January 6, 2020 Illinois Indiana 7:00 PM
January 9, 2020 Maryland Iowa 8:00 PM
January 9, 2020 Michigan Ohio State 6:00 PM
January 12, 2020 Indiana Iowa 5:00 PM
January 12, 2020 Minnesota Illinois 3:00 PM
January 16, 2020 Nebraska Maryland 8:00 PM
January 16, 2020 Ohio State Michigan State 6:00 PM
January 19, 2020 Michigan Nebraska 5:00 PM
January 20, 2020 Indiana Maryland 8:00 PM
January 20, 2020 Michigan State Rutgers 6:00 PM
January 23, 2020 Indiana Penn State 6:00 PM
January 23, 2020 Ohio State Iowa 8:00 PM
January 25, 2020 Nebraska Wisconsin 12:00 PM
January 26, 2020 Michigan State Iowa TBD
January 26, 2020 Penn State Purdue TBD
January 27, 2020 Minnesota Indiana 6:00 PM
January 30, 2020 Maryland Ohio State 6:30 PM
February 2, 2020 Iowa Michigan 12:00 PM
February 3, 2020 Indiana Purdue 6:00 PM
February 3, 2020 Michigan State Maryland 8:00 PM
February 6, 2020 Maryland Indiana 8:00 PM
February 6, 2020 Purdue Michigan 6:00 PM
February 9, 2020 Rutgers Maryland 12:00 PM
February 10, 2020 Michigan Minnesota 7:00 PM
February 10, 2020 Michigan State Northwestern 9:00 PM
February 13, 2020 Iowa Maryland 6:00 PM
February 16, 2020 Michigan Rutgers 12:00 PM
February 17, 2020 Minnesota Michigan State 6:30 PM
February 20, 2020 Michigan State Purdue 7:00 PM
February 22, 2020 Wildcard selection Wildcard selection 12:00 PM
February 22, 2020 Wildcard selection Wildcard selection 2:00 PM
February 23, 2020 Michigan Michigan State 5:00 PM
February 25, 2020 Purdue Maryland 8:00 PM
February 25, 2020 Northwestern Ohio State 6:00 PM
February 27, 2020 Wildcard selection Wildcard selection 6:00 PM
February 29, 2020 Illinois Northwestern 2 or 6 PM
February 29, 2020 Ohio State Purdue 4:00 PM
March 1, 2020 Wildcard selection Wildcard selection 12:00 PM
March 4, 2020 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament Game #1 TBD 2:00 PM
March 4, 2020 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament Game #2 TBD Approx. 4:30 PM
March 5, 2020 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament Game #3 TBD 12:00 PM
March 5, 2020 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament Game #4 TBD Approx. 2:30 PM
March 5, 2020 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament Game #5 TBD 6:30 PM
March 5, 2020 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament Game #6 TBD Approx. 9 PM
March 6, 2020 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament Quarterfinal #1 TBD 12:00 PM
March 6, 2020 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament Quarterfinal #2 TBD Approx. 2:30 PM
March 6, 2020 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament Quarterfinal #3 TBD 6:30 PM
March 6, 2020 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament Quarterfinal #4 TBD Approx. 9 PM
March 7, 2020 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament Semifinal #1 TBD 6:30 PM
March 7, 2020 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament Semifinal #2 TBD Approx. 9 PM

 

Butler MBB Announces BIG EAST Schedule, Game Times and Television

2019-20 Butler Schedule Notes:

  • Including the 18 BIG EAST games, 25 of Butler’s 31 regular season games will be against teams from power conferences.
  • Butler travels to St. John’s Dec. 31 to open BIG EAST play. The Bulldogs won’t play the Red Storm again until March 4 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. That is the second-to-last regular season game of the season. Those games are spaced more than two months apart.
  • The Bulldogs open February with four of their five games being held at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
  • Butler will be finished with the season series with Providence (after games Jan. 10 and Feb. 1) prior to playing Xavier once. The Bulldogs and Musketeers will play Feb. 12 and in the regular season finale March 7.
  • Butler has approximately two-week turnarounds in their season series against both Villanova (Jan. 21 and Feb. 5) and Marquette (Jan. 24 and Feb. 9). 

Butler’s 18 BIG EAST games, along with tip times and television assignments, have been announced by the BIG EAST. The announcement from the Conference office was made Thursday, Sept. 5.
The Bulldogs’ schedule features at least two match-ups on network television as FOX will carry the Dec. 7 home game against nationally-ranked Florida as well as Butler’s contest against Georgetown Feb. 15 at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Including non-conference games (which also had game times and television assignments announced today), Butler will have at least 16 regular season games on FS1 and four others on CBS Sports Network. Once again, all of Butler’s games will be nationally-televised.
Butler opens the BIG EAST schedule New Year’s Eve, traveling to St. John’s. Butler’s home portion of the BIG EAST schedule includes four Saturday contests in addition to a Friday night contest against Marquette Jan. 24. Senior Night will be Wednesday, March 4 when St. John’s visits Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Game times and television assignments will be announced soon for the Crossroads Classic (Dec. 21 vs. Purdue at Bankers Life Fieldhouse), and road contests at Ole Miss Dec. 3 and at Baylor Dec. 10.
The BIG EAST will have more over-the-air national telecasts than any conference. The exposure on the FOX broadcast network includes 17 games in the regular season, all on weekends.  The league’s continuing double round-robin competition concludes with FOX Sports’ complete coverage of the BIG EAST Tournament played at Madison Square Garden March 11-14.  

The BIG EAST will have at least 22 over-the-air network broadcasts – 17 on FOX in the regular season, plus the BIG EAST Tournament title game, and four on CBS Sports.  

The number of FS1 telecasts again will top 100.  All 90 regular-season games will be televised.  Play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson along with analysts Bill Raftery and Jim Jackson are back to form the FOX Sports lead announce teams.
The BIG EAST is coming off a season that had all 10 teams earning postseason invitations for the first time in the history of conference, which celebrated its 40th birthday on May 29.  Over the first six years of the 10-team BIG EAST, the league has earned 32 NCAA Tournament invitations, averaging more than five NCAA bids per season.     

FOX and FS1 again serve as the television home of the BIG EAST Tournament at Madison Square Garden.  The 2020 tourney will be played March 11-14.  The World’s Most Famous Arena will host the BIG EAST Tournament for the 38th consecutive year.  It’s college basketball’s longest running conference tournament held at the same venue.  The FOX broadcast network will carry the championship game at 6:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 14.  All other rounds, which total eight games, will be telecast on FS1. 

BIG EAST basketball during the 2019-20 season will also be seen on the BIG EAST Digital Network.  The FOX Sports App provides live streaming video of FOX Sports content at home or on-the-go.   FOX Sports App users, who are also subscribers of participating video providers, can live stream men’s basketball telecasts carried on the FOX broadcast network, FS1 and FS2.  Games televised on the FOX Sports Regional Networks can be streamed on FOX Sports GO. 

Shootaround, the BIG EAST’s live weekly men’s basketball online show that captures interviews and highlights of league action, will begin its third season in 2019-20.  BEDN will carry 225 live streamed events in 2019-20, including every women’s basketball conference game not carried by FOX Sports or CBS Sports Network.  BEDN content also will include Olympic sports weekly updates, selected news coverage and shoulder programming.  

CBS Sports’ coverage will be available to stream live via the CBS All Access subscription service, with additional coverage on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports app. 

The BIG EAST will conduct its Men’s and Women’s Basketball Media Day on Oct. 10 at Madison Square Garden.

 

Purdue Wrestling Announces 2019-20 Schedule

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue wrestling head coach Tony Ersland announced his 2019-20 schedule Thursday, unveiling three tournaments and 17 dual contests for the Boilermakers this season. Purdue will compete at home five times, hosting the Boilermaker duals in the non-conference slate and welcoming four Big Ten foes to West Lafayette in 2020. 

“We’re excited about the opportunities that lay ahead,” said Ersland. “We feel like this year’s schedule features some great challenges and will have us ready to succeed come March at the Big Ten and NCAA Championships.” 

The Boilermakers open 2019-20 at the Michigan State Open on Nov. 2, and will send the majority of their roster to East Lansing to get the season underway. They’ll remain on the road the next couple weeks, set to compete in a trio of duals at the 2019 Journeymen Classic at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York on Nov. 9 and heading to Fargo, North Dakota to face North Dakota State on Nov. 17. 

Purdue will square off with Buffalo, Utah Valley and Arizona State in the Empire State, and meet the Bison for the second time in the last three years, defeating NDSU 26-6 on Jan. 26,2018. 

The first home meet of the season is scheduled for Nov. 24 as the Boilermakers welcome Clarion, Northern Illinois and Indianapolis to Holloway Gymnasium, and will wrestle a round-robin set of duals in front of a home crowd. 

The Boilermakers return to Las Vegas in early December for the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, with another star-studded field awaiting in the desert. Purdue finished 10th in 2018 behind place-winning performances from Griffin Parriott, Devin Schroder, Dylan Lydy and Christian Brunner, including a runner-up finish from Parriott at 157 pounds. 

The last two non-conference dates are set for a Dec. 19 dual at SIU Edwardsville and the 2019 Midlands Championships. Purdue last met the Cougars in 2017, beating SIUE 31-9 at Holloway Gymnasium. Northwestern will host Midlands at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, as the Boilermakers return as a full team after finishing seventh with 84 points in 2017. 

The Big Ten schedule begins Friday, Jan. 10 with the Boilermakers heading back to Northwestern for the conference opener, and returning home Sunday, Jan. 12 to host Iowa. Purdue’s annual rivalry bout with Indiana follows Monday, Jan. 20 in Bloomington. 

Purdue has two duals in each of the following weekends, heading to Maryland and Rutgers on Jan. 24 and 26, respectively, and then hosting Minnesota and Wisconsin on Jan. 31 and Feb. 2. The Boilermakers’ homestand continues Feb. 7, hosting Nebraska for the final home dual of the season and the conference slate wraps up on the road Sunday, Feb. 16, heading across the state line to face Illinois for the Big Ten finale. 

The postseason opens with the Big Ten Championships on March 7, hosted by Rutgers at the RAC in Piscataway, N.J. and the Boilermakers return six national qualifiers with plans to head to U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota for the 2020 NCAA Championships. 

Purdue awaits word of potential television broadcast matchups from the Big Ten Network, and all duals are subject to change based on that schedule.

 

COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL: No. 18 Purdue Visits Notre Dame

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The No. 18 Purdue volleyball team travels to South Bend, Ind. for its first road contest of the season Friday, Sept. 6. The Boilermakers and the Irish will go head-to-head at 7 p.m. ET at Purcell Pavilion and the match will be streamed live via ACC Network Extra.

PURDUE VS. NOTRE DAME

Friday, September 6 | 7 p.m. ET

SERIES HISTORY

The Boilermakers are 15-7 all-time against the Irish.  The squads met last season (9/2/18), when then-No.20 Purdue fought off a resilient Notre Dame to win 3-1 at a sold-out Holloway Gymnasium. Blake Mohler and Caitlyn Newton recorded 11 kills each, while Mohler hit a team-best .526 clip. Grace Cleveland rounded out the Purdue attack with 10 kills. Defensively, Shavona Cuttino paced the Boilermakers at the net with five blocks, followed by Mohler with four.

In 2016, the Irish knocked off #24 Purdue in four sets at Purcell Pavilion.

QUICK HITS

– The 2019 season marks the 44th year of Purdue volleyball.

– The Boilermaker roster features a pair of redshirt seniors, two juniors, six sophomores and six freshmen.

– Preseason All-Big Ten selection Blake Mohler returns after a strong junior season. In 2018, Mohler guided Purdue’s defensive efforts at the net with 1.08 stuffs per set, while also sitting sixth in the Big Ten with a team-best 0.358 hitting percentage. Her 140 total blocks rank sixth in the league and 43rd in the NCAA. In conference action, she ranked among the top-15 blockers with 0.95 stuffs per set average and was 10th with a .321 attack clip. A returning starter for Purdue, Mohler also ranked third on the team with 316 kills for a 2.43 kills per set average while adding 46 digs, 10 assists and one service ace on the season.

– The 2019 Purdue volleyball team welcomes six freshmen to Holloway in Maddy Chinn, Emma Ellis, Madeline Koch, Megan Renner, Maddie Schermerhorn and Ava Torrance. Together the incoming group was ranked the 8th-best recruiting class in the nation by PrepVolleyball.

– Purdue opens the year with a pair of victories over Ohio University (3-1) and Ball State (3-0).

– The Boilermakers’ sweep against Ball State marked head coach Dave Shondell’s 350th Purdue victory. Shondell is Purdue’ second volleyball head coach to reach the milestone. He joins Purdue volleyball’s inaugural head coach Carol Dewey, who recorded 469 victories during her time with the Boilermakers.

– Despite having only played two matches, Purdue ranks second among all Big Ten volleyball programs with 15 aces on the year. The Boilermakers follow a Michigan squad that has delivered 28 aces through three matches.

– Earning back-to-back starts at libero, junior Jena Otec guides Purdue’s back court with 30 digs (4.29) per set.

– In her collegiate debut, freshmen Emma Ellis hammered out nine kills on 15 attempts with only one error to record a match-high .533 hitting percentage.

SCOUTING NOTRE DAME

– Notre Dame returns four second-team All-ACC honorees, including Sydney Bent, Charley Niego, Zoe Nunez and Jemma Yeadon, from a squad that went 16-12 overall and 10-4 at the Purcell Pavilion.

– Head coach Mike Johnson enters his second season as head coach of the Irish volleyball program.

– Sophomores Sydney Bent, Charley Niego and Zoe Nunez were each named to the 2019 Preseason All-ACC Volleyball Team, the conference announced on August 9. In addition, the Irish were slotted fourth in the conference’s preseason coaches’ poll.

– Purdue is only one of two Big Ten teams to face Notre Dame in 2019, as the Irish also host Michigan on Wednesday, Sept. 18. The Irish will also visit the Wolverines on Sunday, Sept. 22.

– The Irish enter the weekend 3-1 with wins against La Salle, Bowling Green and Valparaiso and a loss to Wright State.

– Freshman Caroline Meuth and sophomore Lauren Wenzel earned 2019 Golden Dome Invitational All-Tournament Team honors after helping the Irish pick up a pair of victories over the weekend. Through Notre Dame’s first three matches, Meuth leads the team with 61 kills (3.81 kills per set), while Wenzel has recorded 27 kills and 14 block assists.

 

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

1883       At Chicago’s Lakefront Park, the National League’s White Stockings send 23 batters to the plate, scoring 13 runs before an out is recorded. Tommy Burns and Ned Williamson both score three times in the 18-run, 18-hit seventh inning, establishing a major league record that still stands today.

1905       Frank Smith no-hits the Tigers, 15-0, in the biggest no-hit rout in major league history. The White Sox right-hander will toss another no-hitter in 1908, beating the A’s, 1-0.

1912       In a game which purposely matches the superstars, Boston hurler Smokey Joe Wood bests Senators’ legend Walter Johnson, 1-0, for his 30th (14th consecutive) victory in a season in which he will win 34. The Red Sox’ only run is a result of back-to-back doubles by Tris Speaker and Duffy Lewis; the first two-bagger should have been an easy fly out, but the ball lands into an area cordoned off by a rope to section off the overflow Fenway Park crowd.

1912       Jeff Tesreau, joining Christy Mathewson (Giants, 1901) and Nick Maddox (Pirates, 1907) becomes the third post-1900 rookie to throw a no-hitter. The 24 year-old right-hander holds the Phillies hitless in the Giants’ 3-0 victory in the first game of a twin bill at the Baker Bowl.

1924       In a game that features a total of only six hits, the Brooklyn Robins beat Boston, 1-0, behind the strong two-hit performance of right-hander Bill Doak. The Braves Field victory is the team’s 15th consecutive win, establishing the longest winning streak in franchise history.

1924       Browns right-hander Urban Shocker throws two complete games, beating the White Sox 6-2 in each of Comiskey Park contests. The 1922 major league strikeout leader faces 77 batters in the twin bill, but fans only one opponent, getting Chicago first baseman Earl Sheely in the opener.

1943       Carl Scheib became the youngest player to appear in an American League game when he tosses two-thirds of an inning in the A’s 11-4 loss to New York, giving up two hits and an earned run in the ninth inning of the Shibe Park contest. The 16 year-old good-hitting right-hander will post a 45-65 win-loss record, along with a .250 batting average during his 11 seasons in the major leagues.

1948       After 2,592 plate appearances, Emil Verban hits his first and only major league home run, establishing the mark for the longest homerless streak to start a career. The Cubs second baseman hits the historic home run off Johnny Vander Meer in the seventh inning of the team’s 3-1 loss to Chicago at Crosley Field.

1952       The National League’s longest game of the season ends when Del Ennis hits a walk-off home run in the 17th inning, giving the Phillies a 7-6 victory over the Braves in the first game of a twin bill at Shibe Park. Philadelphia starter Robin Roberts goes the distance, giving up 18 hits in the three-hour and fifty-minute contest.

1953       With Giants manager Leo Durocher yelling “stick it in his ear”, Ruben Gomez hits Carl Furillo, the National League’s leading hitter, on the wrist by a pitch. After taking first base, the Dodgers right fielder bolts into the opposing dugout to choke ‘Leo the Lip’, but in the melee, the knuckle on his little finger is fractured, putting an end to his season.

1954       Cuban-born Carlos Paula integrates the Senators when he collects a single and a double, playing left field in the team’s 8-1 victory over Philadelphia at Griffith Stadium. Next year, the 27 year-old Havana native, in his only full season in the majors, leads all freshmen when he compiles .299 batting average, playing in 115 games for Washington.

1967       In Detroit, Tiger right-hander Earl Wilson throws a complete game to earn his 20th victory of the season, beating the A’s in the nightcap of a twin bill, 6-3. The 32 year-old Louisianian will compile a 22-11 record, along with an ERA of 3.27, helping to keep the second-place club in the pennant race until the final day of the season.

1972       A’s southpaw Ken Holtzman and first baseman Mike Epstein wear black armbands on the sleeves of their uniforms to pay respect to the 11 Israeli Olympic athletes who were killed yesterday by terrorists in Munich. The action taken by the Jewish players, affirming the importance of their faith, is well received by the club, with Reggie Jackson wearing an armband in solidarity, along with skipper Dick Williams being fully supportive of the symbolic gesture made by the Oakland teammates.

1973       The formerly first-place Pirates make a rash decision to replace their skipper Bill Virdon after the team drops three of four to St. Louis to fall three games back in the standings. The bespectacled manager, who led the club to a division title last year, will be replaced with Danny Murtaugh, the man whom he had replaced prior to the 1972 season.

1973       Two Alou brothers are released by the Yankees when Felipe is selected off waivers by the Expos and Matty is purchased by Cardinals. Felipe and Matty will finish the season with their new teams, retiring the following season after brief stints with the Brewers and the Padres, respectively.

1974       Behind the complete-game pitching performances by Dave McNally and Mike Cuellar, the Orioles sweep a twin bill, blanking Cleveland twice, 2-0 and 1-0. The victories are the fourth and fifth consecutive shutouts thrown by the Birds, who establish an American League mark by hurling 54 straight scoreless frames.

1981       Fernando Valenzuela ties the National League’s rookie record for shutouts, blanking St. Louis, 5-0, for his seventh whitewash of the season. The Dodger lefty shares the mark with Irv Young (1905 Beaneaters), Grover Alexander (1911 Phillies), and Jerry Koosman (1968 Mets).

1981       “I told him to quit threatening me. If he wants me to go, make the move – don’t wait. I can’t take it any longer” – GENE MICHAEL, speaking to the press about his relationship with George Steinbrenner.

Calling it the most the ”most agonizing” decision he has made as the owner of the Yankees, George Steinbrenner fires Gene Michael and replaces him with Bob Lemon. The former skipper’s demise was prompted by his comments to the press concerning his inability to no longer tolerate the Boss’s constant threats of dismissal and for his refusal to apologize for the August 28th remarks.

1985       In a matchup of aces that lives up its advanced billing, Dwight Gooden and Fernando Valenzuela hook up in one of the best pitchers’ duel in recent memory. New York beats Los Angeles at Chavez Ravine, 2-0, thanks to Darryl Strawberry’s two-run double on a day that the 20 year-old Mets right-hander strikes out ten batters, throwing nine shutout innings, while the Dodger southpaw pitches 11 innings without allowing a run.

1995       Cal Ripken breaks Lou Gehrig’s consecutive game record, playing in his 2,131st straight game. When the game becomes official in the middle of the fifth inning, the new ‘Iron Man’ takes a victory lap around Camden Yards during the 22-minute standing ovation from the sellout crowd, including President Bill Clinton.

1996       Paul Molitor reaches the 200-hit plateau for the fourth time in his career when he singles off Chuck Finley in the Twins’ 6-2 victory over California at the Metrodome. The Minnesota DH becomes the second major leaguer to reach the milestone as a 40 year-old, joining Sam Rice, who accomplished the feat while playing with the Senators in 1930.

Amazon 1996 Paul Molitor Baseball Card

(Topps Gallery #51)

1996       Brett Butler returns to the Dodger lineup four months after having surgery for throat cancer. The 39 year-old center fielder scores the decisive run in the team’s 3-2 victory over the Bucs.

1996       Eddie Murray of the Orioles becomes the 15th player in major league history to hit 500 home runs when his seventh-inning solo shot goes deep, knotting the score at 3-3 off Tiger pitcher Felipe Lira at Camden Yards. The Los Angeles native joins Hank Aaron and Willie Mays as the only players to reach this milestone and also have three thousand hits.

1996       After reaching a sponsorship deal with a local energy company, the Reds officially rename Riverfront Stadium to Cinergy Field. The ballpark, a multi-purpose, circular cookie-cutter stadium, which opened in 1970, will be imploded in 2002 after serving the team for 32 seasons to help make room for Cincinnati’s new home, the Great American Ball Park.

2000       After reaching an agreement with Mogan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, Major League Baseball can now use the URL www.mlb.com. The law firm registered the mlb.com in 1994 and had refused to release the domain name, making it necessary for the sport to use www.majorleaguebaseball.com.

2000       Scott Sheldon joins Bert Campaneris (A’s, 1965) and Cesar Tovar (Twins, 1968) to become the third player in baseball history to play all nine positions in a single game. With the White Sox ahead 10-0, the Ranger infielder comes into the game defensively in the bottom of the fourth inning, replacing backstop Bill Haselman, and will proceed to play in every spot on the field, including a third of an inning on the mound, where he strikes out the only batter he faces.

2001       Joining Babe Ruth (1927 Yankees), Roger Maris (1961 Yankees), Mark McGwire (1998 Cardinals), and Sammy Sosa (1998 Cubs), Barry Bonds becomes the fifth major leaguer to hit 60 home runs in a season. The 37 year-old Giant left fielder, who is the oldest to join this elite group, reaches the historic plateau the quickest, needing only 141 games to reach the milestone.

2002       For the first time in 11 years, the Homer Hanky makes its return to the Metrodome in hopes of halting Oakland’s record-setting 20-game winning streak. The Twins, 8-0 in World Series home games (1987 and 1991) with the fans waving their trademark towels, see the magic continue when they blank their opponents, 6-0.

2002       The Twins and Brad Radke, who throws a six-hitter, stop Oakland’s 20-game winning streak, blanking the visitors at the Metrodome, 6-0. Oakland falls one game short of equaling the second-longest modern winning streak in baseball history, established by the Cubs, who won 21 straight contests in 1935.

2005       At an afternoon press conference at PNC Park, Pirates General Manager Dave Littlefield announces the dismissal of manager Lloyd McClendon. The former skipper, who compiled a 336-446 record during his 3+ year tenure in the Bucs dugout, will be replaced by bench coach Pete Mackanin on an interim basis for the remainder of the season.

2005       As part of the National Roberto Clemente Day celebration, teams will collect donations from fans in support of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. Also, in remembrance of those affected by the disaster, major league players will don helmets bearing the Red Cross logo on the right side, and the number to call to help those in need will appear on the sides of the bases.

2005       Mark Teixeira, with his 36th round-tripper this year, becomes the fifth player in major league history to collect 100 homers during his first three seasons when he hits a three-run, two-out blast to right-field in the top of the ninth off Joe Nathan, giving the Rangers a come-from-behind 10-7 victory over Minnesota at the Metrodome. The 25 year-old slugger, who will finish with 43 dingers, went yard 26 and 38 times, respectively, in his first two seasons with Texas.

2006       With the help of three defensive gems at Miami’s Dolphin Stadium, Anibal Sanchez no-hits the Diamondbacks, 2-0, when Eric Byrnes makes the last out of the game on a questionable, bang-bang play at first base. The 22 year-old Venezuelan hurler is the 18th rookie to throw a no-hitter, and he joins Al Leiter, Kevin Brown, and A.J. Burnett as the fourth Marlin to throw a no-hitter.

2009       With a leadoff first-inning double in the Mariners’ 5-2 loss in Oakland, Ichiro Suzuki becomes the 259th player and the second-quickest to collect 2000 major league hits. In 1933, Al Simmons, playing with the White Sox, reached the milestone in his 1,390th game, a dozen contests less than Seattle’s superstar.

2012       Cal Ripken becomes the fifth Oriole of the six O’s who have been inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame to have a statue dedicated in Camden Yards’ Legends Park. The Iron Man joins Frank Robinson, Earl Weaver, Jim Palmer, and Eddie Murray, along with Brooks Robinson, scheduled to also be honored at the end of the month.

Cal Ripken, Jr., Statue

2013       Facing his former team, Yusmeiro Petit retires the first 26 Diamondbacks he faces in the Giants’ 3-0 victory at AT&T Park. The 28 year-old right-hander’s bid for perfection is spoiled by pinch-hitter Eric Chavez, who strokes a line drive single to right field with two outs in the ninth inning.

 

THIS DAY IN SPORTS-1995

BALTIMORE-In the brightest, most dramatic development of a season damaged by an unresolved labor dispute, Cal Ripken defied the odds of probability and baseball reality tonight, playing in his 2,131st consecutive game. That was one more game than Lou Gehrig achieved in his legendary streak that stood untouched-and was believed to be untouchable-for 56 years.
Gehrig’s record, which Ripken broke on the Baltimore Orioles’ home field at Camden Yards, was not as glamorous as many others in baseball lore-Babe Ruth’s 60 home runs in a season and 714 in his career, for example-but Ripken’s ability to break it was perhaps an even more remarkable feat. Playing every game for 131/2 seasons certainly was thought to be beyond the grasp of the modern-day player.
“Tonight, I stand here, overwhelmed, as my name is linked with the great and courageous Lou Gehrig,” Ripken said at the conclusion of an hourlong post-game ceremony. “I’m truly humbled to have our names spoken in the same breath. Some may think our strongest connection is because we played many consecutive games. Yet I believe in my heart that our true link is a common motivation-a love of the game of baseball, a passion for our team and a desire to compete on the very highest level.”
The record-setting game against the California Angels was sufficiently scintillating to attract President Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Joe DiMaggio and other notables. They joined a crowd of 46,272 in saluting the 35-year-old Ripken at every opportunity-when Rex Barney, the former pitcher and public address announcer, announced his name in the starting lineup; when he ran on the field for the start of the game, and when he batted for the first time, at the start of the second inning.
On Ripken’s second time at bat, in the fourth inning, he lined a 3‚0 pitch from Shawn Boskie into the left-field seats for his 15th home run of the season and a 3‚1 Oriole lead en route to a 4‚2 victory. The blow continued Ripken’s sizzling recent hitting. Throughout the streak, some have criticized Ripken for not resting once in a while, saying his daily presence on the field tired him and weakened his hitting. But the home run was the third he had hit in the last three games, and his two hits in four at-bats raised his batting average to .390 in the last 10 games.
Fans saved their longest and loudest ovation for the moment at the end of the California half of the fifth inning, when the game became official and the number 1 was unfolded to replace the number 0 on the warehouse wall behind the right-field stands, making the 10-foot numbers read 2 1 3 1. For 20 thunderous, spine-tingling minutes, the Camden Yards populace roared for Ripken, forcing him out of the first-base dugout time and time again. At the 10-minute mark, Rafael Palmeiro, the Orioles’ first baseman, and Bobby Bonilla pushed Ripken into a lap around the field.
“They said we’ll never get this game going if you don’t run around the field,” Ripken said at a news conference after the post-game ceremony. “I said I didn’t have the energy to make it. They said, ‘Then walk.'”

 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL STANDINGS

American League
East
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
NY Yankees 92 49 .652 53 – 22 39 – 27 48 – 16 16 – 14 16 – 11 8 – 2 W 2
Tampa Bay 83 59 .585 9.5 40 – 32 43 – 27 35 – 29 20 – 13 15 – 12 7 – 3 W 2
Boston 75 65 .536 16.5 35 – 36 40 – 29 31 – 31 21 – 11 16 – 15 6 – 4 L 1
Toronto 55 86 .390 37 27 – 42 28 – 44 21 – 34 17 – 18 14 – 17 3 – 7 L 4
Baltimore 46 94 .329 45.5 22 – 47 24 – 47 21 – 46 10 – 18 9 – 19 4 – 6 L 2
Central
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
Minnesota 87 53 .621 39 – 29 48 – 24 20 – 12 37 – 20 23 – 11 8 – 2 W 1
Cleveland 81 60 .574 6.5 43 – 29 38 – 31 18 – 16 41 – 23 16 – 13 5 – 5 L 1
Chi White Sox 62 78 .443 25 33 – 35 29 – 43 15 – 18 30 – 30 11 – 16 2 – 8 W 1
Kansas City 51 90 .362 36.5 29 – 44 22 – 46 10 – 23 27 – 39 8 – 19 5 – 5 L 1
Detroit 41 97 .297 45 18 – 49 23 – 48 11 – 15 20 – 43 5 – 24 2 – 8 W 1
West
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
Houston 90 50 .643 51 – 17 39 – 33 19 – 13 18 – 13 42 – 15 7 – 3 L 1
Oakland 81 58 .583 8.5 46 – 26 35 – 32 17 – 16 20 – 6 33 – 27 7 – 3 W 3
Texas 69 73 .486 22 40 – 29 29 – 44 10 – 10 18 – 16 32 – 36 5 – 5 W 1
LA Angels 65 76 .461 25.5 35 – 34 30 – 42 15 – 14 11 – 14 27 – 40 2 – 8 L 4
Seattle 58 82 .414 32 29 – 40 29 – 42 13 – 17 16 – 14 25 – 41 3 – 7 L 2

 

National League
East
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
Atlanta 87 54 .617 45 – 27 42 – 27 39 – 21 20 – 13 16 – 14 8 – 2 W 7
Washington 78 61 .561 8 41 – 29 37 – 32 35 – 27 16 – 13 18 – 16 6 – 4 L 2
Philadelphia 72 67 .518 14 41 – 31 31 – 36 28 – 30 20 – 13 14 – 19 5 – 5 L 2
NY Mets 71 68 .511 15 37 – 27 34 – 41 34 – 32 12 – 18 10 – 13 4 – 6 W 1
Miami 50 89 .360 36 28 – 43 22 – 46 20 – 46 10 – 20 12 – 14 3 – 7 W 1
Central
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
St. Louis 79 61 .564 46 – 26 33 – 35 16 – 14 38 – 25 16 – 11 7 – 3 W 1
Chi Cubs 76 63 .547 2.5 47 – 24 29 – 39 17 – 17 31 – 26 16 – 12 7 – 3 W 3
Milwaukee 71 68 .511 7.5 40 – 31 31 – 37 17 – 11 34 – 30 12 – 15 4 – 6 L 1
Cincinnati 66 75 .468 13.5 39 – 33 27 – 42 16 – 15 29 – 38 13 – 13 4 – 6 W 2
Pittsburgh 61 79 .436 18 30 – 39 31 – 40 11 – 21 24 – 37 14 – 16 6 – 4 L 1
West
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
LA Dodgers 92 50 .648 55 – 18 37 – 32 21 – 9 22 – 11 42 – 22 6 – 4 W 4
Arizona 73 67 .521 18 36 – 33 37 – 34 15 – 12 11 – 12 33 – 37 9 – 1 W 3
San Francisco 67 73 .479 24 30 – 38 37 – 35 11 – 16 13 – 16 34 – 33 2 – 8 L 1
San Diego 64 75 .460 26.5 31 – 37 33 – 38 14 – 18 11 – 15 28 – 33 4 – 6 L 3
Colorado 59 82 .418 32.5 34 – 35 25 – 47 15 – 15 10 – 17 26 – 38 1 – 9 L 9

 

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER STANDINGS

Eastern
Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
x – Philadelphia 29 15 6 8 54 42 12 10-3-2 5-3-6 51
x – New York City FC 27 14 8 5 51 34 17 8-4-1 6-4-4 50
Atlanta 28 15 3 10 47 33 14 10-3-1 5-0-9 48
D.C. 30 11 9 10 39 38 1 6-5-4 5-4-6 42
New York 29 12 5 12 47 44 3 8-2-5 4-3-7 41
New England 28 10 9 9 41 47 -6 7-3-5 3-6-4 39
Toronto FC 28 10 8 10 44 45 -1 7-4-4 3-4-6 38
Montreal 30 11 4 15 42 56 -14 7-2-5 4-2-10 37
Orlando City SC 29 9 7 13 35 39 -4 6-1-7 3-6-6 34
Chicago 30 8 10 12 44 43 1 7-6-2 1-4-10 34
Columbus 30 8 7 15 33 44 -11 5-5-6 3-2-9 31
FC Cincinnati 28 5 3 20 28 67 -39 3-1-9 2-2-11 18

 

Western
Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
x – Los Angeles FC 28 19 5 4 74 30 44 11-2-1 8-3-3 62
Seattle 28 13 7 8 46 43 3 9-3-2 4-4-6 46
Minnesota 28 13 6 9 46 37 9 8-5-1 5-1-8 45
San Jose 28 13 5 10 48 43 5 10-2-3 3-3-7 44
Real Salt Lake 28 13 4 11 40 35 5 10-1-3 3-3-8 43
FC Dallas 29 12 7 10 47 38 9 9-5-1 3-2-9 43
Los Angeles 28 13 3 12 41 45 -4 9-1-4 4-2-8 42
Portland 27 12 4 11 43 40 3 6-2-3 6-2-8 40
Sporting KC 28 10 7 11 41 45 -4 7-3-5 3-4-6 37
Houston 28 9 4 15 38 49 -11 7-4-3 2-0-12 31
Colorado 28 8 6 14 45 54 -9 6-2-6 2-4-8 30
Vancouver 30 6 9 15 30 53 -23 4-4-6 2-5-9 27

X – Clinched Playoff Spot,  Y – Clinched Conference

 

Page Legend
GP Games Played
W Wins
D Draws
L Losses
PTS Points
GF Goals For
GA Goals Against
GD Goal Differential

 

WNBA STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
  W L Pct GB Home Road Conf Last 10 Streak
x-Washington Mystics 24 8 .750 12-3 12-5 12-3 9-1 4 W
x-Connecticut Sun 23 9 .719 1.0 15-1 8-8 11-3 7-3 3 W
x-Chicago Sky 19 13 .594 5.0 12-5 7-8 10-4 6-4 1 W
Indiana Fever 11 21 .344 13.0 6-10 5-11 5-9 4-6 2 L
New York Liberty 9 23 .281 15.0 4-12 5-11 2-12 1-9 5 L
Atlanta Dream 8 25 .242 16.5 5-11 3-14 3-12 3-7 1 W

 

Western Conference
  W L Pct GB Home Road Conf Last 10 Streak
x-Los Angeles Sparks 21 12 .636 14-2 7-10 9-6 6-4 2 W
x-Las Vegas Aces 20 13 .606 1.0 13-4 7-9 10-5 5-5 1 L
Minnesota Lynx 17 15 .531 3.5 11-6 6-9 6-8 6-4 4 W
x-Seattle Storm 17 16 .515 4.0 11-6 6-10 9-6 5-5 1 L
x-Phoenix Mercury 15 17 .469 5.5 9-6 6-11 5-9 4-6 2 L
Dallas Wings 10 22 .313 10.5 8-8 2-14 5-10 4-6 2 L