NBA PLAYOFFS

LA Lakers 114 Denver 108

 

WNBA PLAYOFFS

Seattle 89 Minnesota 79

Connecticut 77 Las Vegas 68

 

NFL SCOREBOARD

Miami 31 Jacksonville 13

 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

LA Dodgers 5 Oakland 1

Cleveland 5 Chicago White Sox 4

Toronto 4 NY Yankees 1

Baltimore 13 Boston 1

Kansas City 8 Detroit 7

Houston 12 Texas 4

Pittsburgh 7 Chicago Cubs 0

Colorado 5 San Francisco 4 (11)

NY Mets 3 Washington 2

Miami 4 Atlanta 2

St. Louis 4 Milwaukee 2

 

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: NCC/TEC/AREA/OHIO

Logansport (1-4) at Richmond (0-4)

Indianapolis Roncalli (3-1) at Harrison (West Lafayette) (3-2)

Lafayette Jeff (5-0) at Marion (3-2)

Kokomo (2-3) at Anderson (0-5)

McCutcheon (1-4) at Indianapolis Tech (2-2)

Lincoln (1-1) at Knightstown (3-1)

Centerville (4-1) at Northeastern (1-4)

Tri (3-2) at Winchester (1-4)

Union City (1-3) at Union County (3-1)

Connersville (1-2) at Jennings County (0-5)

Delta (3-1) at New Castle (3-1)

Greenfield-Central (1-2) at New Palestine (3-1)

Monroe Central (2-1) at Wes-Del (1-4)

Mount Vernon (Fortville) (5-0) at Pendleton Heights (4-1)

OHIO FOOTBALL

Fort Loramie (4-0) at Twin Valley South (0-4)

Miami East (1-3) at Bethel (1-3)

Talawanda (2-2) at Mt. Healthy (1-3)

Franklin (2-2) at Eaton (1-3)

Covington (3-1) at Tri-County North (3-1)

Monroe (1-3) at Oakwood (1-3)

Bellbrook (4-0) at Brookville (4-0)

Greenville (0-4) at Troy (2-2)

Carlisle (2-2) at Waynesville (4-1)

Madison (2-2) at Northridge (0-4)

Milton-Union (3-1) at Valley View (3-1)

Tri-Village (4-0) at Mississinawa Valley (1-3)

 

NFL WEEK 3

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Los Angeles Rams at Buffalo Bills 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Washington Redskins at Cleveland Browns 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

Las Vegas Raiders at New England Patriots 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

San Francisco 49ers at New York Giants 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Cincinnati Bengals at Philadelphia Eagles 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Houston Texans at Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts 4:05p (ET) 4:05p CBS

Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Chargers 1:05p (PT) 4:05p CBS

Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals 1:25p (MST) 4:25p FOX

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Denver Broncos 2:25p (MT) 4:25p FOX

Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks 1:25p (PT) 4:25p FOX

Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints 7:20p (CT) 8:20p NBC

 

Monday, September 28, 2020

Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens (Mon) 8:15p (ET) 8:15p ESPN

 

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Saturday, Sept. 26

Kansas State at No. 3 Oklahoma | 12 p.m. | Fox

No. 5 Florida at Ole Miss | 12 p.m. | ESPN

No. 7 Notre Dame at Wake Forest | 12 p.m. | ABC

No. 23 Kentucky at No. 8 Auburn | 12 p.m. | SEC Network

No. 13  UCF at East Carolina | 12 p.m. | ESPN+

No. 24 Louisville at Pitt | 12 p.m. | ACC Network

Georgia Southern at No. 19 Louisiana | 12 p.m. | ESPN2

Campbell at Appalachian State | 12 p.m. | ESPN+

Georgia Tech at Syracuse | 12 p.m. | ESPN3

Georgia State at Charlotte | 12 p.m. | ESPNU

FIU at Liberty | 1 p.m. | ESPN3

Iowa State at TCU | 1:30 p.m. | FS1

Tulane at Southern Miss | 2:30 p.m. | Stadium

Mississippi State at No. 6 LSU | 3:30 p.m. | CBS

No. 8 Texas at Texas Tech | 3:30 p.m. | Fox

West Virginia at No. 15 Oklahoma State | 3:30 p.m. | TBD

No. 22 Army at No. 14 Cincinnati | 3:30 p.m. | TBD

UTEP at UL Monroe | 3:30 p.m. | ESPNU

Tulsa at Arkansas State | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN2

No. 4 Georgia at Arkansas | 4 p.m. | SEC Network

Duke at Virginia | 4 p.m. | ACC Network

Texas State at Boston College | 6 p.m. | ESPN3

South Florida at Florida Atlantic | 6 p.m. | CBSSN

No. 2 Alabama at Missouri | 7 p.m. | ESPN

North Texas at Houston | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Houston Baptist at Louisiana Tech | 7 p.m. | ESPN3

Stephen F. Austin at SMU | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Vanderbilt at No. 10 Texas A&M | 7:30 p.m. | SEC ALT

No. 16 Tennessee at South Carolina | 7:30 p.m. | SEC Network

Florida State at No. 12 Miami (FL) | 7:30 p.m. | ABC

Kansas at Baylor | 7:30 p.m. | ESPNU

NC State at No. 20 Virginia Tech | 8 p.m. | ACC Network

Troy at No. 18 BYU | 10:15 p.m. | ESPN

 

HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL-NCC/AREA

Richmond 3 Anderson 0 (RHS has won nine straight)

Waldron 3 Tri 0

Northeastern 3 Centerville 1

Seton Catholic 3 Winchester 1

McCutcheon 3 Logansport 0

Knightstown 3 Lincoln 1

Harrison 3 Lafayette Jeff 0

 

BOYS HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER-NCC/AREA

Lawrenceburg 8 Richmond 0

Muncie Burris 8 Anderson 1

Hamilton SE 7 Marion 3

Pendleton Heights 3 Mt. Vernon 2

Westfield 4 Harrison 1

New Castle 1 Rushville 0

 

TOP AP HEADLINES

LAKERS TAKE 3-1 LEAD

The Los Angeles Lakers are a victory away from returning to the NBA Finals – and only another comeback from 3-1 down by the Denver Nuggets can stop them.

Anthony Davis scored 34 points, LeBron James had 26 and the Lakers beat the Nuggets 114-108 on Thursday night in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.

“We played great down the stretch, we played great overall,” Davis said. “Still some things that we can fix if we want to put this thing away.”

Davis got the Lakers off to a fast start with his scoring and James helped them finish it with his defense, forcing Jamal Murray into some late misses after the guard had kept the Nuggets in it with an array of high-difficulty baskets.

“I knew it was winning time and Jamal had it going,” James said.

James added nine rebounds and eight assists, and the Lakers had 12 offensive rebounds for a whopping 25-6 advantage in second-chance points.

“This is the Western Conference finals, Game 4. If you can’t help us on the defensive end, maybe you shouldn’t be on the floor,” Denver coach Michael Malone said. “We have to be able to lock in, finish with a rebound. We had too many empty possessions tonight.”

Game 5 is Saturday night, when the Lakers can reach the NBA Finals for the first time in a decade. Davis said he expects to be fine for it after rolling his ankle in the fourth quarter.

The Nuggets will be facing elimination for the seventh time in the bubble. They were down 3-1 against Utah in the first round and climbed out of the same hole against the Los Angeles Clippers in the West semifinals.

But they couldn’t come back in this game, getting within one point in the opening minute of the fourth quarter but constantly turned back from there by a key stop or rebound by the Lakers.

“We just had so many breakdowns throughout the game,” Murray said. “We’ve just got to be better.”

The Lakers have 16 championships, one behind Boston for the most in NBA history, but they haven’t played for one since winning their most recent title in 2010.

 

DOLPHINS BEAT JAGS AGAIN

Ryan Fitzpatrick handles the Jacksonville Jaguars as well as anyone in the NFL.

It doesn’t matter which uniform the journeyman quarterback is wearing, either.

Fitzpatrick accounted for three touchdowns and led Miami to a 31-13 victory Thursday night, becoming the first NFL quarterback to notch six wins over the same opponent with six teams.

“Fitz is out of his mind,” tight end Mike Gesicki said. “He’s (37) and playing like he’s 23. You see the fun he has. After I scored, we came off the field chest bumping and screaming. It’s so much fun to play with him.”

The lopsided outcome also gave Miami (1-2) its first double-digit victory in 39 games, ending the longest drought in the league. It was the first time the Dolphins have won a game by more than eight points since Dec. 3, 2017, a 35-9 victory over Denver.

Fitzpatrick completed his first 12 passes – a career high – as Miami scored touchdowns on its first three drives for the first time since 2011. He ended the night celebrating another victory over the Jaguars (1-2).

“It’s why I still play,” Fitzpatrick said. “I enjoy playing, especially when you’re having success. I feel like the luckiest guy in the world sometimes getting to go outside and play football with my friends.”

He improved to 6-2 as a starter versus Jacksonville, with wins coming with Cincinnati (2008), Buffalo (2012), Tennessee (2013), Houston (2014), the New York Jets (2015) and now Miami.

Fitzpatrick also ran for 39 yards and a score, his 37-year-old legs looking as fresh as any in Miami’s backfield.

He completed 18 of 20 passes – the last one to himself – for 160 yards and two touchdowns in his latest successful outing against the Jags, who made countless mistakes while failing to consistently move the chains and get off the field on third down.

In short, they looked exactly like the team most outsiders expected them to be this season.

“As a group we just didn’t get it done,” said Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew, who completed 30 of 42 passes for 275 yards and two turnovers. “We had too many mistakes. That’s plain and simple.”

Jacksonville’s most egregious errors:

-Chris Conley dropped two passes that would have been first downs and was flagged for offensive pass interference in the third quarter. Minshew fumbled on the next play, leading to Miami’s fourth touchdown of the night.

“I let this offense down,” Conley said. “Rough night.”

-Minshew audibled to a pitch to the short side of the field on a third-and-5 play. He was sacked on the next play, ending a shot at making the game close at halftime.

-Left tackle Cam Robinson was disqualified for making contact with an official following Minshew’s fumble.

-Rookie cornerback CJ Henderson was on the wrong end of one of four pass interference calls against Jacksonville. He also failed to touch receiver Jakeem Grant down after Grant made a diving catch. Grant jumped up and gained an extra 10 yards.

Adding injury to insult, the Jaguars may have lost linebacker Leon Jacobs for the season. Jacobs was carted off the field on the opening drive with a right knee injury.

Fitzpatrick was already in control by then. He scored a few plays later as Jacksonville allowed a touchdown on the game’s opening drive for the third straight week.

 

CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST ROBERT KRAFT

Florida prosecutors dropped a misdemeanor charge against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on Thursday after courts blocked their use of video that allegedly shows him paying for massage parlor sex.

Palm Beach State Attorney Dave Aronberg will explain the decision during an online press conference later Thursday.

Palm Beach County court records show that the owner and manager of the Orchids of Asia Day Spa are still facing numerous felony charges related to running a house of prostitution.

The Florida 4th District Court of Appeal found last month that Jupiter police violated the rights of Kraft and the other customers when they secretly installed video cameras inside massage rooms at the spa in early 2019. The court then blocked use of the video footage at trial.

The recordings, which have not been made public, are the only known evidence the men paid for sex. It could not be immediately determined if the charges against the other men have also been dropped, but that is likely.

Prosecutors decided this week not to appeal that decision to the Florida Supreme Court, saying a loss there could have “broader, negative implications” on future law enforcement investigations beyond the Kraft case.

Kraft’s attorneys have already filed a motion asking that the recordings be destroyed so they could never be released to the public. They said Kraft might be willing to pay the state’s costs if anyone challenges a destruction order.

Kraft, 79, could still face suspension or other punishment from the National Football League.

He and the others were charged in February 2019 in a multicounty investigation of massage parlors that included the secret installation of video cameras in the spas’ lobbies and rooms. Police say the recordings show Kraft and other men engaging in sex acts with women and paying them.

 

RHS WINS 9TH STRAIGHT

By Jan Clark

Guess what volleyball fans. The Richmond girls have now won nine in a row and stand 10-4 on the season.

More importantly, the Red Devils have improved to 4-0 in the North Central Conference, securing the No. 1 seed in the East Division going into the NCC tournament at Muncie Oct. 10.

Their latest conquest came Thursday at the Tiernan Center, defeating Anderson 25-8, 25-13, 25-18. The RHS junior varsity also won in straight sets 25-17, 25-14.

Now it gets tougher from here on. Saturday the Devils compete in the Muncie Invitational against the likes of 12-1 Wapahani, 9-6 East Central and rival Muncie Central. Monday they journey to Rushville for the last dual match of the season.The Richmond Invitational is Oct. 3.

“There’s definitely been a change in how hard we work and how much we’re wanting to win,” said senior Amanda Wolfe. “I have no doubt in my mind that we’ll be able to meet the challenges ahead.”

Alison Juday, another senior, had a different slant.

“I think we’re really connecting,” she said. “We’re talking a lot more and I’m really looking forward (to the upcoming games) because I think we need more of a challenge (going forward). I’m excited to see how we will react.”

Coach Russ Uhte couldn’t be happier.

“Nine in a row sounds really good,” he said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a nine in a row run. I’m pleased with that.”

Of the stronger competition coming up?

“The girls are excited. Wapahani is having a great season but our girls are ready to compete. We haven’t been challenged for a while but we’re ready for the challenge (Saturday),” he said.

“I’ve been telling the girls for weeks now that when they click and come together and everybody does their job on the court, it’s something really special and magical. It’s everything you want out of a volleyball team. When I see them all coming together as a system, it’s fun to see it, fun to coach them.and fun to be a part of it.”

The only set that was close against Anderson was the third set but Richmond broke from a 17-17 tie to win going away.

The unofficial stats were spread evenly. Juniors JaKaia Lotz, Laurelai DePew, Ashley Clark and Haylee Haskett combined for 23 kills. The Devils also had 14 service aces with Juday and Adrianne Weber combining for nine.

 

MOORE COMING BACK TO PURDUE

Purdue All-America receiver Rondale Moore is opting back in to the 2020 football season.

Moore announced in early August that he was opting out and would concentrate on preparing for the NFL draft. His decision came before the Big Ten postponed its fall football season, but there was speculation at that time the conference could be heading into that direction because of concerns about playing through the pandemic.

The Big Ten announced last week that it would stage a fall football season, starting the weekend of Oct. 24. The Big Ten has pledged to daily COVID-19 testing for its athletes.

Moore, a possible first-round draft pick who missed much of last season due to a knee injury, decided to rejoin the Boilermakers for his junior year. As a freshman, Moore had 114 catches for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also ran for 213 yards and two scores. Last year he was limited to just four games.

 

PAC-12 AND MWC SET TO START SEASON

A major college football season that was in peril six week ago as conferences succumbed to concerns about COVID-19 is reconstituting.

The West Coast got back in the game Thursday night, The Pac-12 set Nov. 6 to start a seven-game season, joining the Big Ten in overturning August decisions to punt on fall football. The Mountain West followed up a few hours later by announcing it is aiming to kick off Oct. 24.

Nine of the 10 FBS conferences are now ready to have their seasons completed by Dec. 20, the day the College Football Playoff selection committee is scheduled to pick teams to play for the national championship and in the most lucrative bowls.

As soon as Friday, the Mid-American Conference, the first FBS league to postpone, could make it 10 out of 10.

All that talk about playing football in the winter and spring, about whether it was a good idea to play during a pandemic at all? Out the window. Not even a pandemic could stop college football at the schools that play it at the highest level.

“The discussion among the presidents and chancellors was largely about the benefits as well as the cons of starting in the fall versus starting in January,” said University of Oregon President Michael Schill, the head of the Pac-12’s CEO Group. “The consensus opinion was the benefits of starting in the fall were much greater than the benefits of starting in the … winter.

With the Pac-12 having secured daily COVID-19 testing for its athletes and been given the green light from state and local health officials, the CEOs voted unanimously to lift a Jan. 1 moratorium on athletic competition.

“Things changed from the first time we addressed this issue,” Schill said.

The Pac-12’s men’s and women’s basketball seasons can start Nov. 25, in line with the NCAA’s recently announced opening date. The football championship game is set for Dec. 18, putting the conference back in play for the biggest postseason games – and the multimillion dollar payouts that come with them.

It was Aug. 11 when the Big Ten and Pac-12 announced they were postponing their football seasons, a dark day in college sports that came six months after the pandemic canceled March Madness.

Six leagues forged ahead, including the powerful Southeastern Conference, which begins play this weekend. The Big 12, Atlantic Coast Conference and three others have been up and running since Labor Day weekend.

This every-conference-for-itself college football season looks like it will have five different start dates.

Some teams could play as many as 12 games while others get in only six. And that’s not even counting what seems like the inevitable disruptions still to come. There have been 21 games postponed or canceled since Aug. 26 because of teams battling various levels of COVID-19-related issues, including four this week that were wiped off Saturday’s schedule.

The Pac-12 will try squeeze seven games into seven weeks, borrowing an idea from the Big Ten and allowing all its teams to play an extra cross-division game on championship weekend.

“We want to be in the best position, quite frankly, to get ourselves in the CFP conversation, but also bowl game consideration at the very highest level,” Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson said. “We want to play.”

The turning point for the return of sports in the Pac-12 came Sept. 3 when it entered an agreement with diagnostic testing company Quidel that will give each school the capacity to conduct daily antigen tests on their athletes.

Still, it took three weeks for the conference to reverse course on fall football, leaving it starting later and scheduled to play fewer games than its Power Five peers.

“I don’t think we’re behind,” Schill said. “I think that we are acting deliberately. We are acting in the students’ best interest. We waited until we were able to, if not ensure, protect their health and safety.”

 

NC STATE ANNOUNCES CUTS AND FURLOUGHS

North Carolina State has announced temporary salary cuts or furloughs for coaches and staff members because of financial concerns amid the pandemic.

The school announced the measures Thursday, citing expected losses of $25 million to $35 million in projected revenue.

Coaches and staff members making at least $200,000 will have a 20% reduction in salary, while those making at least $100,000 face a 15% cut. Coaches and staff members who make less than $100,000 will have 19 days of furlough.

Those measures will run Oct. 24 through June 30 to end the fiscal year.

Athletic director Boo Corrigan noted the school has already taken cost-cutting steps such as reducing overtime and leaving positions vacant in the athletics department.

“These are uncomfortable and very difficult decisions and I fully understand that actions taken will have a significant impact on individuals and families,” Corrigan said.

 

JAYS CLINCH PLAYOFF SPOT

Barred from playing in their own ballpark this year because of COVID-19, the vagabond Toronto Blue Jays have found a home in the playoffs.

The slumping New York Yankees, meanwhile, look likely to play on the road in the postseason, where they’ve struggled all year.

Hyun Jin Ryu pitched seven shutout innings and the Blue Jays clinched their first postseason spot since 2016, beating the Yankees 4-1 Thursday night and further damaging New York’s chances of hosting a first-round series.

New York lost for the fourth time in five games following a 10-game winning stretch and remained two games behind the slumping White Sox for the fourth seed. Chicago lost 5-4 at Cleveland, its fifth straight defeat.

“We’ve got to get it rolling again, obviously, if we’re going to get to where we want to go,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I’m confident we can do it.

New York went 21-7 at home this season but was 11-18 on the road. Boone said he’s not concerned about that split even as a potential road playoff series looms next week.

“We’ve got to get ourselves in order and start playing really good baseball if we’re going to give ourselves a chance,” Boone said.

Toronto secured at least an AL wild-card spot and ensured its eighth trip overall to the postseason. The Blue Jays had endured three losing campaigns since their previous playoff trip, going 67-95 last season.

“I’m just so proud of my club and everything we’ve gone through all year,” second-year manager Charlie Montoyo said.

Canada’s federal government refused to allow games at Toronto’s Rogers Centre this season, citing the closed Canada-U.S. border and the travel risk associated with the pandemic. Stuck on the road to start the season, the Blue Jays eventually ended up at their Triple-A ballpark, Sahlen Field in Buffalo, but didn’t gripe about their fate.

“They never complained,” Montoyo said. “They had their mind set on getting to this moment right now.”

 

INDIANS SWEEP WHITE SOX

Jose Ramirez delivered a go-ahead, two-run double in the seventh inning and the Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago White Sox 5-4 Thursday night for a four-game sweep in a matchup of playoff-bound teams.

The victory pulled the Indians within one game of Chicago for the fourth seed and home-field advantage in the first round of the postseason. Idle Minnesota leads the White Sox by one game in the AL Central with three to play.

The Indians have won five straight and the White Sox have lost a season-high five in a row.

“If there is anyone you’d want at the plate right now, it has to be Jose,” Cleveland pitcher Zach Plesac said. “He’s at next level. Next level. It’s so cool watching him hit.”

Chicago scored three times in the top of the seventh to take a 4-1 lead, but the Indians answered with four in the bottom half. Ramirez’s two-out double to center off Carlos Rodon (0-2) drove in Cesar Hernandez and Delino DeShields.

“My expectation did not come to fruition with what I thought we were going to see,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “If everybody wants to put it on me, put it on me.”

Rodon disagreed, saying, “I’m the one who gave up the hits. Ricky had nothing to do with throwing any of the pitches, so it’s not on him.”

On Tuesday night, Ramirez hit a three-run homer with two outs in the 10th inning to give Cleveland a 5-3 win over White Sox that clinched a playoff spot.

The AL MVP candidate went 2 for 3 in the series finale and is hitting .485 with eight homers and 20 RBIs over his last 13 games.

 

MOLINA GETS 2,000TH HIT

Despite having no fans to witness his career milestone, Yadier Molina’s teammates managed to make it special for him anyway.

Molina singled twice to reach 2,000 career hits and the St. Louis Cardinals began a five-game series between playoff contenders by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 Thursday night.

Rookie Dylan Carlson homered, doubled and drove in three runs as the Cardinals (28-26) kept their slim lead over Cincinnati (29-28) for second place in the NL Central. St. Louis trails division leader Chicago by 2 1/2 games.

Milwaukee (27-29) missed a chance to move up in the wild-card standings. The Brewers and Cardinals play four more times this weekend, including a doubleheader Friday.

“Me and Goldy (Paul Goldschmidt) were talking before the game that this is probably one of the biggest games we’ve missed not having a crowd,” St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said. “You know what that crowd would have been like tonight and this weekend. Yadi missed it tonight.”

But his teammates didn’t let him down.

“We gave him a standing ovation,” Shildt said. “It was just a fun moment. A moment where you pause and honor a great accomplishment for a great player. The bullpen did the same thing. So, he got a little bit of the tip of the cap. It was a nice moment.”

In his 17th season, the 38-year-old star catcher was happy with his achievement but he kept the big picture in mind.

“It was great but we got the win as a team and that’s important,” Molina said. “In that moment, it was great from a personal standpoint. It’s been many years. You want to get to that point and it’s finally here so you want to enjoy it.”

St. Louis starter Kwang Hyun Kim (3-0) went five innings to pick up the win. He allowed five hits and just one run in his seventh career start. Andrew Miller got the final two outs – both on strikeouts – to record his fourth save.

Corbin Burnes (4-1), who began the day with a 1.77 ERA, left the game with lower back discomfort in the fourth inning. He pitched 3 2/3 innings, allowing three runs and six hits.

“Coming down the stretch like this, knowing how close we are to the postseason, it’s tough to go out there and not get through four innings,” Burnes said, “and to make it tough on the bullpen really for the rest of this weekend.”

Molina singled in the second inning and again in the seventh, and became the 12th catcher in major league history to reach the 2,000-hit mark.

Molina is the sixth player to collect 2,000 hits with the Cardinals, joining Stan Musial, Lou Brock, Rogers Hornsby, Enos Slaughter and Albert Pujols.

 

ASTROS ROUT RANGERS

The Houston Astros are on the verge of clinching the American League’s last playoff spot, powered by some of their mainstays in a breakout performance that certainly excited manager Dusty Baker.

“I’m just hoping that these guys are about to get hot,” Baker said.

Just in time for the postseason.

George Springer, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Josh Reddick all homered with runners on base, and each finished with three hits, as the Astros trimmed their magic number to one for clinching the American League’s last playoff spot with a 12-4 win over the Texas Rangers on Thursday night.

“I think that’s what we should be doing. We’re a very good offense,” said Bregman, who had three extra-base hits. “It’s repeating. We’ve had a few games this year I thought we swung the bat well, but we didn’t really repeat it, so now it’s time to repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, and keep doing that.”

The Astros (29-28) have to win only one of their three remaining games against Texas to secure second place in the AL West, and a spot in baseball’s expanded playoff during the pandemic-shortened season. They also get in if the Angels (26-31) lose any in their final three-game series against the NL-best Dodgers.

Houston’s three-year reign as AL West champion has already been ended by Oakland. Seattle had the day off when the Astros won to eliminate them from the playoff chase.

Bregman, Springer, Altuve and Reddick have been part of the recent playoff runs with the Astros, including their 2017 World Series title and another AL pennant last year.

A’s right-hander Mike Fiers was the whistleblower in the Astros’ offseason sign-stealing scandal. He publicly called out his former club for cheating in an article published by The Athletic last November. Manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow lost their jobs after MLB’s investigation into the claims.

 

PIRATES SHUTOUT CUBS

Chad Kuhl pitched seven sharp innings and Colin Moran and Bryan Reynolds had home runs among their three hits each Thursday in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 7-0 victory over the slumping Chicago Cubs.

Kuhl (2-3) retired the first nine batters and had a no-hitter until Anthony Rizzo doubled to the wall in right-center with one out in the sixth inning.

The right-hander finished his comeback season on a strong note. He allowed two hits, struck out five hits and gave up three walks. He sat out last season while rehabbing after Tommy John surgery.

The Cubs, who clinched a postseason berth Tuesday, are stumbling toward the playoffs with five losses in six games. They have scored two or fewer runs in each of the five defeats.

Chicago’s number for clinching the NL Central remained two. The Cubs’ only other hit was Jason Kipnis’ double in the seventh.

Geoff Hartlieb and Blake Cederlind completed the shutout in which the Pirates’ staff was backed by four home runs.

Moran connected in the first inning to open the scoring and Reynolds homered in the second off Alec Mills (5-5). The Pirates got a third solo homer in the third inning from Adam Frazier to move in front 3-0 and Josh Bell hit a two-run blast in the fifth off Kyle Ryan that pushed the lead to 6-0.

Jared Oliva had the first two hits of his major league career for Pittsburgh with a pair of singles.

Mills lasted 3 2/3 innings and gave up four runs and eight hits with one walk and two strikeouts.

STALLINGS IS MVP

C Jacob Stallings won the Roberto Clemente Award as the Pirates’ most valuable player in voting by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. He won the Chuck Tanner Good Guy Award.

The Steve Blass Award, emblematic of the Pirates’ top pitcher, went to LHP Steven Brault.

 

MLB DRAFT MOVED TO ALL-STAR WEEKEND

Major League Baseball is moving its amateur draft to the All-Star break beginning next season.

A three-day draft of at least 20 rounds will begin Sunday, July 11 as part of All-Star week in Atlanta, the league announced Thursday. The first night, which has traditionally included only the first round, will take place before the All-Star Futures Game.

MLB has staged its draft in June since its inception in 1965, and it had broadcast the first night live from MLB Network’s studios in Secaucus, New Jersey, since 2009.

The later draft date will allow college players to attend the draft, similar to what the NFL and NBA have long done. The College World Series usually concludes in mid-to-late June, creating conflicts.

This year’s draft was slimmed from 40 rounds to five in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s unclear how many rounds will be in future drafts. The league and the union have agreed the draft will be at least 20 rounds, but it’s unlikely the draft will return to its full 40-round size as MLB seeks to shrink the minor leagues after the expiration of the Professional Baseball Agreement on Sept. 30.

MLB said more details about the draft will be released in the coming months.

MLB also unveiled the logo for the 2021 All-Star Game in Atlanta. This year’s game at Dodger Stadium was cancelled due to the pandemic.

“Major League Baseball is eager for the return of the All-Star Game and for the opportunity to put one of the game’s great new ballparks on a worldwide stage,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “Tonight marks the start of an exciting journey for the Braves’ organization and its fans as our sport prepares for a thrilling postseason and for a successful All-Star Week next summer.

“We are pleased to make our draft the newest part of 2021 All-Star Week festivities in Atlanta. The All-Star Game is a celebration of baseball, and the draft will highlight the amateur levels of our great game and its future stars.”

 

McCUMBER LEADS IN PUNTA CANA

Tyler McCumber was the only player to reach 8-under par Thursday in the Caribbean breeze until he dropped a shot on his 17th hole and fell into a four-way for the lead in the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship.

Sepp Straka was the only one at 7-under 65 who kept a clean card. He was joined by Hudson Swafford, who made two tough par saves late in his round, and Scott Harrington, who made bogey on the second-easiest hole on the Corales course at Puntacana Resort and Club.

They were one shot clear of Xinjun Zhang and Joseph Bramlett, while former Southern California star Justin Suh got his season off to a happy start and was among those at 67.

Straka’s round was highlighted by a 5-wood to 5 feet for eagle on the par-5 fourth hole early in his round. He also was the only player at 65 who played in the morning before a stiff ocean breeze kicked up late in the afternoon.

“This course is not really one where you can push it,” Straka said. “You can shoot a low round out here, but it’s got to be a consistent low round.”

Rob Oppenheim would appreciate that. He was 4 under through six holes, only to make a pair of bogeys and then take a double-bogey 7 on the par-5 12th hole. He wound up with a 72.

Nearly two-thirds of the 144-man field broke par.

The tournament typically is held in the March opposite a World Golf Championship. It was postponed to the week of the Ryder Cup because of the COVID-19 pandemic. And with the Ryder Cup since postponed until 2021, Punta Cana is now a full FedEx Cup event. The winner receives an invitation to the Masters in April.

McCumber, the son of 10-time PGA Tour winner Mark McCumber, also made eagle on No. 4 and his birdie on the par-5 seventh took him to 8 under. But his approach on the next hole went long, along the rocks. He tried to play from there and moved it sideways, and he kept the damage to a bogey by making an 8-foot bogey putt.

Harrington never feels more relaxed than on resort courses along the ocean, and such was the case as he motored his way into a share of the lead. But toward the end of his round, he hit a tee shot so wild the ball was deemed lost and he had to return to the tee to play his third shot. He managed to make bogey.

He rolled in a birdie putt on the next hole, and then hit his tee shot to 8 feet on the par-3 ninth, only to burn the edge of the cup on his birdie attempt to finish the round.

 

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

1907       Pirates third baseman Honus Wagner, in the 14-1 rout of New York at the Polo Grounds, swipes four bases, including second, third, and home in the second inning. Outfielder Fred Clarke also has four stolen bases for Pittsburgh.

1925       When Rogers Hornsby refuses to play a game against the Robins, he is fined $500 by the Cardinals and suspended for the remainder of the season. The Redbird infielder claims to be feeling ill despite the opinion of the team doctor, who believes that the infielder is well enough to take the field.

1929       During the fifth inning of the Red Sox-Yankee contest at Fenway Park, all the players are summoned to home plate and are told a telegram had just arrived announcing the death of New York manager Miller Huggins. The crowd rises and the centerfield flag lowered to half-staff when home plate umpire Bill McGowan requests a moment of silence in memory of the Bronx Bomber skipper.

1930       With four games remaining in the campaign, Cubs skipper Joe McCarthy (442-331) ‘resigns’ and is replaced by Rogers Hornsby, who was recently named by owner William Wrigley Jr. as Chicago’s player-manager for next year. McCarthy, who was not offered a contract for the upcoming season with his team still mathematically alive in the pennant race, will agree in October to manage New York, where he will win seven World Series in his 15 seasons with the Yankees.

1932       At home, the sixth-place Cardinals end the season with a split of a doubleheader against Pittsburgh, having drawn 279,219 fans during the season to Sportsman’s Park. The Columbus Red Birds, the team’s minor league affiliate in the American Association, outdraw their parent club, attracting over 310,000 patrons, thanks to a new stadium, night games, and radio broadcasts.

1941       Combined with a Cardinal defeat, the Dodgers win their first pennant in 21 years when they beat Boston at Braves Field, 6-0. Whitlow Wyatt throws a five-hitter, and Pete Reiser hits a homer in the winning cause.

1949       In front of a cheering crowd of 33,977 attending the Indians’ final home game, Charley Lupica, after spending 113 days in the air waiting for the Tribe to take first place or be eliminated from the pennant race, climbs down from his flagpole perch, which was recently shifted five miles from his confectionery store to the ballpark on a hydraulic lift. After the wobbly loyal fan kisses the Municipal Stadium’s home plate, he receives a new automobile from team owner Bill Veeck, in addition to receiving a 50-foot flagpole as a souvenir.

1954       A crowd of 14,175 Fenway faithful fans pays tribute to retiring Red Sox outfielder Ted Williams, who is playing his last game at home. The Splendid Splinter’s retirement lasts only until May when his divorce becomes finalized, keeping his contract from being part of the settlement.

1954       Early Wynn loses his bid for a no-hitter when the Tigers scratch out two ninth-inning hits, producing a meaningless run in the Indians’ 11-1 triumph at Cleveland Stadium. The victory is the Tribe’s 111th of the season, surpassing the 1927 Yankees for the wins in American League history.

1955       Al Kaline, at the age of 20, becomes the youngest player to win a batting title, finishing his sophomore season with a .340 average. Ty Cobb was one day older than the Tiger outfielder when he claimed the crown, batting .350 in 1907, also playing for Detroit.

1956       Dodger right-hander Sal Maglie no-hits the Phillies at Ebbets Field, 5-0. The ‘Barber’s’ gem helps second-place Brooklyn to keep pace in the pennant race with Milwaukee and Cincinnati.

1960       The Yankees clinched the American League flag with a 4-3 victory over Boston at Fenway Park. The title will be 70 year-old Casey Stengel’s tenth and last pennant after being dismissed and replaced by the team’s hitting coach Ralph Houk when the Bronx Bombers lose the World Series to Pirates in seven games.

1962       After appearing in 60 games over a two-year span, Dodger reliever Ed Roebuck suffers his first loss. The LA right-hander gives up a 10th inning home run to Houston’s Al Spangler, breaking the 2-2 deadlock at Chavez Ravine.

1963       Team owner August A. Busch announces the Cardinals will permanently retire Stan Musial’s uniform number 6. ‘Stan the Man’ is also appointed the Redbirds’ vice president, a duty he’ll begin at the end of this season after completing his 22-year Hall of Fame career as a player.

1965       Satchel Paige, at the alleged age of 60, becomes the oldest player ever to appear in a major league game. The future Hall of Fame right-hander blanks Boston for three innings, striking out one and giving up a lone hit to Carl Yastrzemski as the starter in the A’s 5-2 victory at KC’s Municipal Stadium.

1965       At age 34, Willie Mays becomes the oldest player to slug 50 home runs in a season. The Giants’ center fielder was also the youngest to accomplish the feat, hitting 51 homers in 1955.

1965       Mudcat Grant throws a one-hitter to beat the Senators at D.C. Stadium, 5-0, becoming the first black player in the American League to win twenty games. Don Blasingame’s third-inning double spoils the 30 year-old right-hander’s bid for a no-hitter.

1965       Willie Mays, who hit 51 round-trippers in 1955, joins Ralph Kiner as only the second National Leaguer to have more than one 50-home run season. The milestone homer, a fourth-inning two-run blast off Bob Sadowski, helps the Giants to beat Milwaukee at Candlestick Park, 7-5.

1966       The Mets, for the first time in the five-year history of the franchise, will not end their season in last place. The Amazins, who will finish ahead of the Cubs, clinch ninth place by beating Cincinnati at Crosley Field, 8-4.

1968       After going for 1-for-3, Mickey Mantle, with two outs in the ninth inning, steps up to the plate for his last Yankee Stadium at-bat. The aging superstar works out a walk against Cleveland starter Luis Tiant, who will strike out the next batter to complete a 3-0 complete-game victory at the Bronx ballpark.

1973       It’s Willie Mays Night in Flushing as the Mets honor the fan favorite in an emotional ceremony at Shea Stadium after their 2-1 victory over Montreal. The ‘Say Hey Kid’ tells the crowd, “Just to hear you cheer like this for me and not be able to do anything about it makes me a very sad man. This is my farewell.”

1974       In the first-of-its-kind operation, Dr. Frank Jobe transplants a tendon from Tommy John’s right wrist to the Dodger pitcher’s left elbow. The revolutionary ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, which will become a standard surgical procedure better known as Tommy John surgery, enables the southpaw to win an additional 164 games, more than half of his career total of 288 victories.

1975       Randy Jones, with San Diego’s 6-5 victory over Los Angeles, becomes the first 20-game winner in the seven-year history of the franchise. Two seasons ago, the southpaw led the National League in losses with 22 defeats for the Friars.

1979       Behind the solid pitching of Frank Tanana, the Angels defeat the Royals, 4-1, to win their first American League West title. Jim Fregosi’s 88-74 team, which will finish three games ahead of second-place Kansas City, will lose the best-of-five ALCS to Baltimore in four games.

1980       The Padres become the first team in baseball history to have three players to steal more than 50 bases in a season when both Jerry Mumphrey and Ozzie Smith swipe their 50th sack in a 5-3 extra-inning loss to Cincinnati. Fellow Friar Gene Richard, who will lead the club with 61 stolen bases, reached the milestone at the end of last month.

1980       Brian Kingman loses his 20th game when the A’s are defeated by the White Sox at the Oakland Coliseum, 6-4. The 26 year-old right-hander, who will win his next decision to finish the season with an 8-20 record, will become the last 20-game loser of this century, and the first to hurl for a winning team since Dolf Luque posted a 13-23 mark for the 1922 second-place Reds.

1984       New York’s pinch-hitter Rusty Staub becomes only the second player to hit a round-tripper as a teenager and one after his 40th birthday when he blasts a walk-off home run off Larry Anderson to give the Mets a 6-4 victory over Philadelphia at Shea Stadium. Ty Cobb was the first major leaguer to accomplish the feat.

1986       The Orioles suffer the 82nd of their 89 defeats this season, a 9-3 loss to Milwaukee at County Stadium, assuring the Birds will finish below .500 for the first time in 18 seasons. The last time Baltimore lost more games than it won in a campaign was in 1967 when the sixth-place team compiled a 76-85 record under Hank Bauer.

1986       The Astros win the National League West when Mike Scott doesn’t yield a hit in his 2-0 complete-game victory over the Giants. The game marks the first time a title has been clinched with a no-hitter, although Allie Reynolds’ second no-no of the season assured the Yankees a tie for the 1951 American League pennant.

1987       A’s rookie Mark McGwire sets an Oakland team record for home runs, going deep for the 48th time this season when he connects off Bobby Thigpen in the bottom ninth inning to tie the score in the team’s eventual extra-inning 2-1 loss to the White Sox. The 23 year-old first baseman’s Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum round-tripper breaks the mark Reggie Jackson established in 1969.

1987       Benito Santiago sets the modern (post-1900) major league record for rookies with a first-inning single, extending his streak to 27 consecutive games with a hit. The 22 year-old Padres catcher surpasses the previous standard by set in 1943 by White Sox outfielder Guy Curtright, and ties James Williams, who established the all-time longest hitting streak by a freshman while playing for the 1899 Pirates.

1989       The Red Sox announce the team will not exercise its option on 39 year-old Jim Rice, who will retire at the end of the season. Also, Bob Stanley, the club’s all-time save leader with 173, reports he will also call it quits when this year’s campaign is over.

1989       Wade Boggs extends his own modern major league record when he collects his 200th hit for the seventh consecutive season. The Red Sox third baseman goes 4-for-5 in Boston’s 7-4 victory over the Yankees at Fenway Park.

1996       Giants slugger Barry Bonds draws an intentional walk which gives him the National League record with 149 bases-on-balls in a season. The free pass is issued in the seventh inning by LA’s Mark Guthrie with two outs and a runner on third base in the team’s 7-5 loss at Dodger Stadium.

1997       NBC’s hit TV show “ER” airs live and uses the Cubs telecast in the background in various scenes to authenticate the telecast’s claim of not being pre-recorded. The medical drama cuts to the game just as Brad Ausmus hits a three-run homer, much to the delight of the Astros’ catcher, who is taping his favorite program to watch later, not knowing he would be part of the cast.

1997       Eleven years to the day that the club won their last title, the Astros clinch the NL Central Division by beating the Cubs, 9-1. Houston manages to capture the flag despite being only five games over .500.

1997       Joe Carter, donning uniform number 43 to honor recently fired manager Cito Gaston, becomes the Blue Jays career home run leader, hitting his 203rd round-tripper in a 4-3 victory over Baltimore. George Bell, who spent nine seasons in Toronto, had previously set the franchise mark in 1990.

1997       Pedro Martinez records his final strikeout for the Expos, fanning Dale Daulton in the Montreal’s 3-2 victory over Florida at Olympic Stadium. The 25 year-old right-hander, who will be traded to the Red Sox in the off-season for Carl Pavano and Tony Armas, establishes a franchise record with his 305th strikeout of the season.

1998       The Bronx Bombers, with a 6-1 win over the Devil Rays, set an American League record with their 112th win. The 1906 Cubs, who finished the season with a 116-36 record, are the only team to end a campaign with more victories than the 1998 Yankees.

1998       Sammy Sosa hits #66 and his final round-tripper of the season, a 462-foot blast at the Astrodome, to take the lead in the home run race. Less than an hour later, Mark McGwire will also hit his 66th, en route to his record-setting 70, in the Cardinals’ 6-5 victory over Montreal, tying the Cub outfielder in the historic home run race.

1998       Ken Griffey, Jr. hits his league-leading 56th homer of the season and 350th of his career, becoming the youngest player ever to reach the milestone. The 28 year-old outfielder drives in five runs in the Mariners’ 15-4 rout of Texas, who still manages to cop their second consecutive American League West Division title thanks to an Anaheim loss to Kansas City.

1999       For the first time in fifty years, a major leaguer drives in 159 runs when Manny Ramirez gets two RBIs in the Indians’ 9-6 victory over the Blue Jays at the SkyDome. The Cleveland right fielder, who will finish the season with 165 ribbies, matches Ted Williams’ and Vern Stephens’ output with the Red Sox in 1949.

2000       For only the second time since 1900, three teams play in the same twin bill when the Indians beat the White Sox in the opener, 9-2, and then lose the nightcap to the Twins, 4-3 at the Jake. In 1951 at Sportsman’s Park, the Cardinals played host to the Giants, winning 6-4 before bowing to the Braves, 2-0.

2001       Richie Sexson and Jeromy Burnitz both hit three home runs in the Brewers’ 9-4 victory over Arizona at Bank One Ballpark. The teammates’ accomplishment marks the first time in major league history that two players on the same team have gone deep three times in the same game.

2003       Sammy Sosa becomes the first National Leaguer to have at least 100-RBIs nine seasons in a row. The Cubs’ right fielder surpasses Mel Ott and Willie Mays, who had accomplished the feat eight straight seasons and joins Rafael Palmeiro and Jimmie Foxx as the only players in major league history to hit 35 home runs and 100 RBI for nine consecutive seasons.

2003       Carlos Delgado becomes the 15th player in big-league history and only the fifth American League player to hit four home runs in one game. The Blue Jays’ first baseman’s first homer was the 300th of his career, and his barrage gives him 41 for the season.

2003       Friends, family, associates, and former players gather at Shea Stadium on Bob Murphy Appreciation Night to honor the long-time broadcaster. Following the pregame ceremonies, the Hall of Famer, who started with the Mets in their inaugural season in 1962, will call the last of his more than 6,000 games for the team.

2007       Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder becomes the youngest major leaguer to hit 50 home runs in a season, going deep twice in the team’s 9-1 victory over the Cardinals at Miller Park. The 23 year-old cleanup hitter and his father, Cecil, who hit 51 round-trippers with the Tigers in 1990 are the first father-and-son tandem to accomplished the feat.

2008       The Diamondbacks, defending division champions, lose to St. Louis, 12-3, allowing the Dodgers to clinch the NL West. Los Angeles first-year skipper Joe Torre’s 13-year postseason streak continues, unlike the Yankees, his former team.

2008       Roy Halladay, giving up six hits and two runs in his ninth complete game of the season, posts his second 20-win season with an 8-2 victory over the Yankees at the Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays right-hander, en route to the Cy Young Award, compiled a 22-7 record in 2003.

2008       Mark Reynolds strikes out for the 200th time, breaking the major league record set last year by Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard. The Diamondbacks third baseman will extend the dubious mark to 204 by season’s end.

2009       David Wright, playing a position which the team was unable to field a reliable everyday player on a consistent basis for decades, establishes a franchise record by starting is his 836th game at third base for the Mets, surpassing his hitting coach and friend Howard Johnson. More than 120 players, beginning in 1962 with Don Zimmer, have appeared at the hot corner for the team, but only ten have appeared in as many as 200 games during the club’s 47-year history.

2009       New York clears the fence for the 127th time at the new Yankee Stadium to break the franchise record for most home runs hit by the team at home. Alex Rodriguez’s third-inning poke off Jon Lester in the Bronx Bombers’ 9-5 victory over Boston puts this year’s squad ahead of the 2004 and 2005 clubs, who both went deep 126 times in the old stadium.

2010       In the game in which he sets a team record for striking out, Brandon Inge drives in the winning run with a walk-off single in the 13th inning of the Tigers’ 11-10 victory over Minnesota. The Detroit third baseman, with the second of his three whiffs, surpasses the franchise record of 1,099, playing more than 1,000 fewer games than Lou Whitaker, who previously held the infamous mark.

2010       Bobby Cox, who will retire after the season ends, earns his 2,500th major league victory as a manager when the Braves blank Washington at Nationals Park, 5-0. The veteran skipper joins Connie Mack, John McGraw, and Tony La Russa as the fourth field boss to reach this milestone.

2010       Neftali Feliz records his 38th save of the season when he limits the A’s to one hit in an inning and a third of work in the Rangers’ 4-3 victory in Oakland. The freshman closer surpasses Mariners’ Kazuhiro Sasaki’s mark of 37 in 2000, establishing the record for the most saves by a rookie closer.

2012       With Zack Greinke fanning 13 batters during his five-inning outing and the bullpen adding another seven, the Angels’ staff combines for 20 strikeouts in the team’s 5-4 victory over Seattle, tying the record for the most ever recorded in a nine-inning game. The Anaheim starter’s performance makes him the first hurler since 1920 to whiff 13 opponents in an outing that lasts less than six innings.

2013       In the final game he plays at Coors Field, Todd Helton homers in his first at-bat, a second-inning solo shot in Colorado’s 15-5 loss to Boston. The 40 year-old first baseman, who announced his retirement last week, has spent his entire 17-year career with the Rockies.

2014       Derek Jeter makes his last game at Yankee Stadium very memorable when he drives in the winning run in the ninth inning with an opposite-field one-out single off of Evan Meek in the team’s 6-5 walk-off win over Baltimore. The Captain’s heroics help the Bronx Bombers overcome blowing a three-run lead in the top of the frame.

2015       “I owe too much to this organization for the next two years to risk getting hurt for an incentive. My outing (Sept. 12) got rained out and the last inning of my last start got rained out, so for whatever reason, it wasn’t meant to be. There’s a lot bigger problems out there. I’m proud of my season.” – PHIL HUGHES, explaining why he turned an offer to pitch for a $500,000 bonus

Phil Hughes, who finished the final start of his season one out short of reaching 210 innings to receive a $500,000 contract incentive because of yesterday’s 66-minute rain delay, is given the opportunity to make a brief relief appearance for the Twins. The right-hander turns down the club’s offer, saying he also he would not have any interest in merely being given the bonus that is worth half-a-million dollars.

2017       In the second inning of the Cubs’ 10-2 rout of the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, Addison Russell dives into the stands chasing a foul ball, spilling a fan’s nachos onto the playing field. In the following frame, the Chicago shortstop hand delivers a fresh order of tortilla covered with cheese to the grateful Redbird fan.

2018       Max Scherzer strikes out 300 batters in a single season when he whiffs Marlins rookie Austin Dean, after a ten-pitch at-bat. The Washington ace in his final appearance of the year fans ten hitters to precisely reach the plateau in the team’s 9-4 victory at Nationals Park, becoming just the third pitcher to accomplish the feat in the past 15 years.

 

WORLD SERIES HISTORY

1907

The 1907 World Series once again, featured the National’s Chicago Cubs going up against the American’s Detroit Tigers, who had just edged out the previous year’s champion Philadelphia Athletics in a fierce pennant race. The opening contest rewarded fans on both sides of the field with neither team backing down. After twelve innings, the game was called because of darkness. Tigers 3, Cubs 3. Although Detroit had clearly started Game 1 with more momentum, Chicago showed it’s resolve and snatched the victory from the Tiger’s grasp. The Cubs seemed inspired by their stunning loss to the underdog White Sox in the last years Series and had obviously learned from their mistakes. It was only the beginning as Manager Hugh Jennings’ Tigers would fail to recapture the initial fire and fail to score more than one run in any of the remaining Series games. Chicago’s Jack Pfiester dominated Detroit, 3-1, in Game 2 and Ed Reulbach continued the streak beating American League champs, 5-1, the next day.

The Tigers showed some signs of life in Game 4 when they seized a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning as an up-and-coming twenty year-old named Ty Cobb, having just won his first batting championship, slammed a triple and scored on a Claude Rossman single. Unfortunately that was all they could muster and went down to a 6-1 defeat against Orval Overall. Game 5 was Detroit’s last chance at turning the series, but Mordecai Brown threw a seven-hitter clinching the 2-0 triumph and a Cubs sweep of the Series. Chicago’s boys from the West Side had dominated the entire contest and made amends for the Series loss to their cross town rivals the previous year.

Most fans were not surprised by Chicago’s supremacy. The Cubs were quickly becoming baseball’s first “dynasty” making their second (soon to be third) post-season championship appearance, getting there by winning one-hundred seven games and finishing seventeen games ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Detroit never had a chance as the Cubs aggressive play on both sides of the plate stole the show. They had outstanding offense from Steinfeldt and Evers, who batted .471 and .350, respectively (with Steinfeldt getting seven hits in the last three games of the Series and Evers getting seven in the first three games). They ran with reckless abandon against the Tigers, stealing seven bases in Game 1 and finishing the Series with eighteen. Most importantly, Chicago’s pitching staff held a potentially threatening Tigers line-up to forty-three scoreless innings out of forty-eight and shut down the American League’s top hitters of 1907, Cobb and Sam Crawford. Cobb managed only a .200 average in the Series after batting .350 in the regular season; Crawford hit .238 after a .323 season.

 

MLB STANDINGS

American League
East
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
X-Tampa Bay 37 20 .649 17 – 9 20 – 11 27 – 13 0 – 0 0 – 0 7 – 3 W 1
Y-NY Yankees 32 25 .561 5 21 – 7 11 – 18 23 – 17 0 – 0 0 – 0 6 – 4 L 2
Y-Toronto 30 27 .526 7 15 – 8 15 – 19 20 – 17 0 – 0 0 – 0 4 – 6 W 2
Baltimore 24 33 .421 13 13 – 20 11 – 13 13 – 24 0 – 0 0 – 0 3 – 7 W 1
Boston 22 35 .386 15 11 – 20 11 – 15 14 – 26 0 – 0 0 – 0 6 – 4 L 1
Central
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
Y-Minnesota 35 22 .614 23 – 5 12 – 17 0 – 0 23 – 17 0 – 0 6 – 4 W 4
Y-Chi White Sox 34 23 .596 1 17 – 10 17 – 13 0 – 0 25 – 15 0 – 0 3 – 7 L 5
Y-Cleveland 33 24 .579 2 16 – 11 17 – 13 0 – 0 23 – 17 0 – 0 7 – 3 W 5
Kansas City 24 33 .421 11 13 – 14 11 – 19 0 – 0 15 – 22 0 – 0 5 – 5 W 2
Detroit 22 33 .400 12 12 – 15 10 – 18 0 – 0 11 – 26 0 – 0 2 – 8 L 4
West
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
X-Oakland 34 22 .607 20 – 8 14 – 14 0 – 0 0 – 0 24 – 12 5 – 5 L 1
Houston 29 28 .509 5.5 20 – 8 9 – 20 0 – 0 0 – 0 19 – 18 6 – 4 W 1
LA Angels 26 31 .456 8.5 16 – 15 10 – 16 0 – 0 0 – 0 19 – 21 7 – 3 W 3
Seattle 25 31 .446 9 14 – 10 11 – 21 0 – 0 0 – 0 18 – 18 4 – 6 W 1
Texas 19 38 .333 15.5 13 – 14 6 – 24 0 – 0 0 – 0 13 – 24 2 – 8 L 4

 

National League
East
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
X-Atlanta 34 23 .596 18 – 9 16 – 14 24 – 16 0 – 0 0 – 0 6 – 4 L 1
Miami 29 28 .509 5 11 – 15 18 – 13 21 – 19 0 – 0 0 – 0 4 – 6 W 1
Philadelphia 28 29 .491 6 19 – 13 9 – 16 21 – 19 0 – 0 0 – 0 4 – 6 W 1
NY Mets 26 31 .456 8 12 – 17 14 – 14 17 – 20 0 – 0 0 – 0 5 – 5 W 1
Washington 23 34 .404 11 12 – 18 11 – 16 14 – 23 0 – 0 0 – 0 5 – 5 L 2
Central
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
Y-Chi Cubs 32 25 .561 19 – 14 13 – 11 0 – 0 22 – 18 0 – 0 5 – 5 L 3
St. Louis 28 26 .519 2.5 12 – 11 16 – 15 0 – 0 20 – 16 0 – 0 6 – 4 W 1
Cincinnati 29 28 .509 3 16 – 13 13 – 15 0 – 0 21 – 19 0 – 0 8 – 2 W 1
Milwaukee 27 29 .482 4.5 15 – 14 12 – 15 0 – 0 17 – 19 0 – 0 6 – 4 L 2
Pittsburgh 18 39 .316 14 13 – 19 5 – 20 0 – 0 16 – 24 0 – 0 4 – 6 W 3
West
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
X-LA Dodgers 40 17 .702 18 – 9 22 – 8 0 – 0 0 – 0 27 – 13 7 – 3 W 1
Y-San Diego 34 22 .607 5.5 21 – 11 13 – 11 0 – 0 0 – 0 21 – 15 5 – 5 L 2
San Francisco 28 28 .500 11.5 18 – 11 10 – 17 0 – 0 0 – 0 17 – 19 5 – 5 L 1
Colorado 25 31 .446 14.5 12 – 18 13 – 13 0 – 0 0 – 0 16 – 20 4 – 6 W 1
Arizona 22 34 .393 17.5 13 – 13 9 – 21 0 – 0 0 – 0 11 – 25 5 – 5 W 2

 

X – Clinched Division,  Y – Clinched Playoff Spot

 

 

NFL STANDINGS

American Football Conference
East Division
  W L T Pct GB PF PA Home Road vs. Conf vs. Div Streak
Buffalo Bills 2 0 0 1.000 0.0 58 45 1-0-0 1-0-0 2-0-0 2-0-0 2 W
New England Patriots 1 1 0 .500 1.0 51 46 1-0-0 0-1-0 1-0-0 1-0-0 1 L
Miami Dolphins 1 2 0 .333 1.5 70 65 0-1-0 1-1-0 1-2-0 0-2-0 1 W
New York Jets 0 2 0 .000 2.0 30 58 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 2 L
 
West Division
  W L T Pct GB PF PA Home Road vs. Conf vs. Div Streak
Kansas City Chiefs 2 0 0 1.000 0.0 57 40 1-0-0 1-0-0 2-0-0 1-0-0 2 W
Las Vegas Raiders 2 0 0 1.000 0.0 68 54 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0 0-0-0 2 W
Los Angeles Chargers 1 1 0 .500 1.0 36 36 0-1-0 1-0-0 1-1-0 0-1-0 1 L
Denver Broncos 0 2 0 .000 2.0 35 42 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-2-0 0-0-0 2 L
 
North Division
  W L T Pct GB PF PA Home Road vs. Conf vs. Div Streak
Baltimore Ravens 2 0 0 1.000 0.0 71 22 1-0-0 1-0-0 2-0-0 1-0-0 2 W
Pittsburgh Steelers 2 0 0 1.000 0.0 52 37 1-0-0 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0 2 W
Cleveland Browns 1 1 0 .500 1.0 41 68 1-0-0 0-1-0 1-1-0 1-1-0 1 W
Cincinnati Bengals 0 2 0 .000 2.0 43 51 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-2-0 0-1-0 2 L
 
South Division
  W L T Pct GB PF PA Home Road vs. Conf vs. Div Streak
Tennessee Titans 2 0 0 1.000 0.0 49 44 1-0-0 1-0-0 2-0-0 1-0-0 2 W
Indianapolis Colts 1 1 0 .500 1.0 48 38 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 1 W
Jacksonville Jaguars 1 2 0 .333 1.5 70 84 1-1-0 0-1-0 1-2-0 1-1-0 2 L
Houston Texans 0 2 0 .000 2.0 36 67 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-2-0 0-0-0 2 L
 
National Football Conference
East Division
  W L T Pct GB PF PA Home Road vs. Conf vs. Div Streak
Washington Football Team 1 1 0 .500 0.0 42 47 1-0-0 0-1-0 1-1-0 1-0-0 1 L
Dallas Cowboys 1 1 0 .500 0.0 57 59 1-0-0 0-1-0 1-1-0 0-0-0 1 W
New York Giants 0 2 0 .000 1.0 29 43 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-0-0 2 L
Philadelphia Eagles 0 2 0 .000 1.0 36 64 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-2-0 0-1-0 2 L
 
West Division
  W L T Pct GB PF PA Home Road vs. Conf vs. Div Streak
Arizona Cardinals 2 0 0 1.000 0.0 54 35 1-0-0 1-0-0 2-0-0 1-0-0 2 W
Los Angeles Rams 2 0 0 1.000 0.0 57 36 1-0-0 1-0-0 2-0-0 0-0-0 2 W
Seattle Seahawks 2 0 0 1.000 0.0 73 55 1-0-0 1-0-0 1-0-0 0-0-0 2 W
San Francisco 49ers 1 1 0 .500 1.0 51 37 0-1-0 1-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 1 W
 
North Division
  W L T Pct GB PF PA Home Road vs. Conf vs. Div Streak
Green Bay Packers 2 0 0 1.000 0.0 85 55 1-0-0 1-0-0 2-0-0 2-0-0 2 W
Chicago Bears 2 0 0 1.000 0.0 44 36 1-0-0 1-0-0 2-0-0 1-0-0 2 W
Minnesota Vikings 0 2 0 .000 2.0 45 71 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 2 L
Detroit Lions 0 2 0 .000 2.0 44 69 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-2-0 0-2-0 2 L
 
South Division
  W L T Pct GB PF PA Home Road vs. Conf vs. Div Streak
New Orleans Saints 1 1 0 .500 0.0 58 57 1-0-0 0-1-0 1-0-0 1-0-0 1 L
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1 1 0 .500 0.0 54 51 1-0-0 0-1-0 1-1-0 1-1-0 1 W
Atlanta Falcons 0 2 0 .000 1.0 64 78 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-2-0 0-0-0 2 L
Carolina Panthers 0 2 0 .000 1.0 47 65 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 2 L