NBA PLAYOFFS

Miami 125 Boston 113

 

NFL SCOREBOARD

Indianapolis 36 NY Jets 7

Cleveland 34 Washington 20

Chicago 30 Atlanta 26

Cincinnati 23 Philadelphia 23 OT

Detroit 26 Arizona 23

Buffalo 35 LA Rams 32

Tennessee 31 Minnesota 30

New England 36 Las Vegas 20

San Francisco 36 NY Giants 9

Pittsburgh 28 Houston 21

Carolina 21 LA Chargers 16

Tampa Bay 28 Denver 10

Seattle 38 Dallas 31

Green Bay 37 New Orleans 30

 

WEEK 4 NFL SCHEDULE

Thursday, October 01, 2020

Denver Broncos at New York Jets (Thu) 8:20p (ET) 8:20p NFLN

 

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Indianapolis Colts at Chicago Bears 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Cleveland Browns at Dallas Cowboys 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

New Orleans Saints at Detroit Lions 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans 12:00p (CT) 1:00p FOX

Seattle Seahawks at Miami Dolphins 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Los Angeles Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

Baltimore Ravens at Washington Redskins 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

New York Giants at Los Angeles Rams 1:05p (PT) 4:05p FOX

New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs 3:25p (CT) 4:25p CBS

Buffalo Bills at Las Vegas Raiders 1:25p (PT) 4:25p CBS

Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers 5:20p (PT) 8:20p NBC

 

Monday, October 05, 2020

Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers (Mon) 7:15p (CT) 8:15p ESPN

 

COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Friday, October 2

Campbell at Wake Forest, 7 p.m., ACC

Louisiana Tech at BYU, 9 p.m., ESPN2

Saturday, October 3

Baylor at West Virginia, Noon, ABC

South Carolina at Florida, Noon, ESPN

Arkansas State at Coastal Carolina, Noon, ESPN2

East Carolina at Georgia State, Noon, ESPNU

Missouri at Tennessee, Noon, SEC

NC State at Pitt, Noon, ACC

UTSA at UAB, 12:30 p.m., Stadium

Abilene Christian at Army, 1:30 p.m., CBSSN

Rice at Marshall, 2 p.m.

Texas A&M at Alabama, 3:30 p.m., CBS

North Carolina at Boston College, 3:30 p.m., ABC

Oklahoma State at Kansas, 3:30 p.m., ESPN

Memphis at SMU, 3:30 p.m., ESPN2

Texas Tech at Kansas State, 3:30 p.m., FS1

South Florida at Cincinnati, 3:30 p.m., ESPN+

Ole Miss at Kentucky, 4 p.m., SEC

Virginia Tech at Duke, 4 p.m., ACC

Charlotte at Florida Atlantic, 4 p.m., ESPNU

Jacksonville State at Florida State, 4 p.m.

Western Kentucky at Middle Tennessee, 5 p.m.

Navy at Air Force, 6 p.m., CBSSN

North Alabama at Liberty, 6 p.m.

Georgia Southern at Louisiana Monroe, 7 p.m.

Auburn at Georgia, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

LSU at Vanderbilt, 7:30 p.m., SEC

Arkansas at Mississippi State, 7:30 p.m., SEC

Tulsa at UCF, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2

Southern Miss at North Texas, 7:30 p.m., Stadium

Virginia at Clemson, 8 p.m., ACC

Troy at South Alabama, 8 p.m., ESPNU

Oklahoma at Iowa State, Noon, FOX or 7:30 p.m., ABC

TCU at Texas, Noon, FOX or 7:30 p.m., ABC

 

COLLEGE FOOTBALL POLL

AP Rankings
Rankings as of 9/27/2020
Rank School Votes Prev
1 Clemson (2-0) 1542 (55) 1
2 Alabama (1-0) 1473 (3) 2
3 Florida (1-0) 1324 5
4 Georgia (1-0) 1310 4
5 Notre Dame (2-0) 1231 7
6 Ohio State (0-0) 1169 (4) NR
7 Auburn (1-0) 1133 8
8 Miami (FL) (3-0) 1045 12
9 Texas (2-0) 862 8
10 Penn State (0-0) 840 NR
11 UCF (2-0) 743 13
12 North Carolina (1-0) 734 11
13 Texas A&M (1-0) 705 10
14 Oregon (0-0) 651 NR
15 Cincinnati (2-0) 646 14
16 Mississippi State (1-0) 590 NR
17 Oklahoma State (2-0) 555 15
18 Oklahoma (1-1) 535 3
19 Wisconsin (0-0) 510 NR
20 LSU (0-1) 401 6
21 Tennessee (1-0) 377 16
22 BYU (2-0) 295 18
23 Michigan (0-0) 277 NR
24 Pittsburgh (3-0) 248 21
25 Memphis (1-0) 196 17

Others: Virginia Tech (195) , Louisiana (126) , Minnesota (110) , USC (104) , Kansas State (60) , SMU (37) , Marshall (31) , Baylor (22) , Iowa (16) , Utah (14) , Virginia (12) , Arkansas State (11) , UAB (5) , Washington (4) , Kentucky (4) , Louisville (4) , Army West Point (3)

 

COACHES POLL

Coaches’ Rankings
Rankings as of 9/27/2020
Rank School Votes Prev
1 Clemson (2-0) 1194 (42) 1
2 Alabama (1-0) 1144 (4) 2
3 Florida (1-0) 1038 6
4 Georgia (1-0) 1006 3
5 Notre Dame (2-0) 971 7
6 Ohio State (0-0) 890 (2) 10
7 Auburn (1-0) 889 8
8 Miami (FL) (3-0) 795 14
9 Texas (2-0) 745 9
10 Penn State (0-0) 589 13
11 North Carolina (1-0) 578 12
12 UCF (2-0) 577 15
13 Texas A&M (1-0) 561 11
14 Mississippi State (1-0) 492 NR
15 Cincinnati (2-0) 480 16
16 Oklahoma (1-1) 473 3
17 LSU (0-1) 445 5
18 Wisconsin (0-0) 438 17
19 Oklahoma State (2-0) 374 18
20 Tennessee (1-0) 321 21
21 Michigan (0-0) 271 19
22 BYU (2-0) 260 23
23 Virginia Tech (1-0) 215 24
24 Memphis (1-0) 210 20
25 Pittsburgh (3-0) 179 NR

Others: Louisiana (108) , Minnesota (106) , SMU (46) , Kansas State (33) , Iowa (32) , Virginia (29) , Baylor (25) , Marshall (22) , Kentucky (17) , Arkansas State (16) , Boston College (9) , South Carolina (6) , Nebraska (4) , Army West Point (3) , UAB (3) , Coastal Carolina (3) , Louisiana Tech (2) , Ole Miss (1)

 

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL THIS WEEK

Friday, Oct. 2

Tech at Anderson  7 pm

Kokomo at Logansport  7 pm

Marion at Muncie Central 7 pm

McCutcheon at Harrison 7 pm

Richmond at Lafayette Jeff 7:30 pm

Knightstown at Tri 7 pm

Northeastern at Shenandoah 7 pm

Union City at Lincoln  7 pm

Union County at Centerville 7 pm

Winchester at Hagerstown 7 pm

East Central at Connersville  7 pm

Greensburg at Batesville  7 pm

Rushville at Lawrenceburg  7 pm

South Dearborn at Franklin County  7 pm

New Castle at Mount Vernon  7:30 pm

New Palestine at Shelbyville 7:30 pm

Pendleton Heights at Delta  7:30 pm

Yorktown at Greenfield  7:30 pm

Eastern Hancock at Monroe Central  7 pm

Tindley at Wes-Del 7 pm

OHIO

Monroe at Madison 7pm

Franklin at Brookville 7pm

Northridge at Waynesville 7pm

Miami East at Mississinawa Valley 7pm

Talawanda at Northwest 7pm

Dixie at Milton-Union 7pm

Oakwood at Bellbrook 7pm

National Trail at Ansonia 7pm

Preble Shawnee at Carlisle 7pm

Eaton at Valley View 7pm

Ansonia at Tri-County North 7pm

Tri-Village at Ft. Loramie 7pm

 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Miami 5 NY Yankees 0

Chicago Cubs 10 Chicago White Sox 8

Cleveland 8 Pittsburgh 6

Cincinnati 5 Minnesota 3 (10)

Boston 9 Atlanta 1

LA Dodgers 5 LA Angels 0

Tampa Bay 5 Philadelphia 0

Kansas City 3 Detroit 1

Texas 8 Houston 4

Baltimore 7 Toronto 5

Oakland 6 Seattle 2

Washington 15 NY Mets 5

San Diego 5 San Francisco 4

Arizona 11 Colorado 3

St. Louis 5 Milwaukee 2

 

TOP AP HEADLINES

COLTS POUND JETS

Xavier Rhodes delivered the first punch Sunday for the Indianapolis Colts.

T.J. Carrie finished it off on a milestone day for Philip Rivers.

Rhodes and Carrie each returned an interception for a touchdown, Indianapolis recorded its second safety in as many weeks and Rivers added his 400th career TD pass as the Colts routed the New York Jets 36-7. It’s the first time since October 1970 the Colts returned two INTs for scores in a game, which also happened against the Jets.

“Any time we touch that rock, that’s the most important part of the game,” Carrie said. “It’s not just saying something, you have to actually go out and practice it.”

The Colts (2-1) came in with the league’s top-rated defense and could stay there after picking off three more passes, giving up just 260 yards and seven points.

But for a franchise better known for high-scoring offenses, getting 18 points from the defense in two victories has been a welcome addition.

Couple that with Rivers, who got rid of the ball quickly and crisply while avoiding mistakes on a milestone day.

The 38-year-old quarterback went 17 of 21 with 217 yards, becoming the sixth player in league history to throw 400 career TD passes and the sixth to top 60,000 yards. He passed Hall of Famer Dan Marino for fifth all-time in completions and broke a tie with Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton for eighth in league history with win No. 125..

Rivers now has exactly 400 TDs, 60,065 yards, 4,980 completions.

“I think it’s OK when you don’t caught up in it to go, `Oh man,'” he said. “What it’s done for me in this little short bit of time is you start thinking about all the guys who caught so many of those balls. You know it’s all about the team. But I’m certainly thankful and I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t care.”

For the winless Jets, it was another ugly chapter in a season already filled with them after only three weeks.

Rhodes picked off Sam Darnold on the fifth play of the game, returning it 44 yards for his first score since 2016.

Darnold answered with a 16-yard TD pass to Braxton Berrios to tie it midway through the first quarter. He finished 17 of 27 with 168 yards, one TD and three interceptions.

Then, it was all Colts.

 

BENGALS TIE AT PHILLY

Joe Burrow kept his team from losing again. So did Carson Wentz after several mistakes.

Neither quarterback earned a win, however.

Burrow tossed a pair of touchdown passes to Tee Higgins in regulation and Wentz dove into the end zone for the tying score in the final minute as the Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles played to a 23-23 tie on Sunday.

Philadelphia’s Jake Elliott lined up for a 59-yard field goal with 19 seconds left in overtime, but a false start on Matt Pryor forced the Eagles to punt it away and play for the tie.

Both teams are 0-2-1.

“This is a loss to me. We didn’t win, that’s all it is to me,” Burrow said. “If you don’t win, you lose. That’s the mind-set to me.”

Facing an 0-3 start for the first time since 1999, Wentz drove the Eagles 75 yards in the final three minutes. He barreled 9 yards on third-and-6 to the Bengals 19 and then ran in from 7 with a head-first dive into the end zone. Elliott’s extra point tied it with 21 seconds left.

Neither team could do anything in overtime.

“Tying is no fun. It’s an awkward way to end a game,” Wentz said.

Burrow, the Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick, calmly picked apart the secondary in the second half, completing 31 of 44 for 312 yards. He’s still seeking his first win since leading LSU to the national championship in January.

“I’ve never tied in my life, so it feels strange for sure,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. ‘I know it sure as hell doesn’t feel like we won, that’s what I can tell you for sure.”

Wentz struggled again, tossing two more interceptions, before rallying the Eagles late. He finished 29 of 47 for 225 yards, one TD and ran for 65 yards and one score.

The Bengals took a 17-16 lead on their first drive of the third quarter. Burrow completed all seven of his passes for 78 yards, including a pair of third-down conversions. He finished it off with a 4-yard TD pass to Higgins for a 17-16 lead.

Wentz was picked by LeShaun Sims on the ensuing possession and the Bengals took over at the Eagles 44. They turned that into a 31-yard field goal by Randy Bullock and a 20-16 lead. Bullock hit a 25-yarder to extend the lead to 23-16 with 3:05 left.

Burrow tossed a 1-yard TD pass to Higgins for a 10-6 lead late in the second quarter. But Wentz and the Eagles answered quickly. On third-and-5 from the 26, Wentz hit a wide-open Greg Ward down the right side for a TD and a 13-10 lead.

Jalen Hurts took a snap out of shotgun with Wentz lined up wide at receiver and ran 8 yards for a first down on the opening drive of the third quarter that ended with Elliott kicking a 54-yarder to make it 16-10.

Philadelphia’s opening series ended when Wentz’s pass on third down was deflected at the line and picked by Logan Wilson at the Bengals 44.

Wentz has thrown multiple picks in three consecutive games. He hadn’t done that in two straight games before this season. Wentz hasn’t thrown more than seven interceptions since his rookie year but already has six in three games.

“I gotta be better. I know that,” Wentz said.

 

BROWNS BEAT WASHINGTON

For the first time in six years, the Cleveland Browns have a winning record.

They want to keep it that way.

“We gotta start changing history and our legacies right now,” defensive end Myles Garrett said.

Baker Mayfield threw two touchdown passes, Nick Chubb ran for two more, Garrett had a key sack and the Browns moved over .500 for the first time since 2014 with a 34-20 win Sunday over the Washington Football Team, which lost rookie defensive end Chase Young to a groin injury.

With their second straight win under first-year coach Kevin Stefanski, the Browns are 2-1 for the first time since 2011. It’s also the first time they’ve had a winning record since Week 14 in 2014, when they were 7-6 before dropping their last three and costing Mike Pettine his job.

Cleveland had gone 90 consecutive weeks without a winning record. The Browns won just four games from 2015-17.

And while the start is notable, Stefanski downplayed its significance.

“We’re just trying to get to 1-0 every week,” he said.

Young, the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft, left in the second quarter with his injury. The former Ohio State All-American had an early pressure on Mayfield, but otherwise had little impact before he went out.

Washington coach Ron Rivera didn’t have a specific update on Young, who will receive more treatment and evaluation Monday. Young joined his teammates on the sideline in the second half and was animated while cheering them on.

Led by Garrett, the Browns’ defense, which spent the week hearing about Young and Washington’s sack-hungry front, intercepted Dwayne Haskins three times and forced two fumbles.

Garrett’s strip sack and recovery midway through the fourth effectively sealed Cleveland’s win. He had a similar play last week in a win over Cincinnati.

“That is really what we expect from Myles,” Stefanski said. “I know he expects it of himself. We need him to play great, and when it turns into a pass-rush game, he is built for that. You get an honest day’s work out of Myles Garrett.”

Mayfield’s 3-yard TD pass to rookie tight end Harrison Bryant with 11:14 left helped the Browns shake off a horrid third quarter, when Washington (1-2) scored two TDs to take the lead.

Chubb then scored on a 20-yard run with 8:40 left to make it 31-20, the TD coming after linebacker B.J. Goodson intercepted Haskins at the Washington 35.

Chubb finished with 108 yards on 19 carries and the Browns leaned on the third-year back to wear down Washington in the fourth.

“We take pride in those 2-yard dirty runs because we know it takes a toll on the team, and eventually, we will bust one,” Chubb said. “The whole game everybody kept telling me, `Just be patient. It is going to pop. It is going to pop.’ It worked for us.”

Haskins threw two TD passes to Dontrelle Inman, but the second-year QB continued to make mental errors and his two picks before halftime helped Cleveland open a 17-7 lead.

“My teammates did a great job trying to keep my head up knowing there were plays I wish I could have back,” said Haskins, who finished 21 of 37 for 224 yards. “I’m going to make sure I’m better and take the blame for what I did and get better from it.”

Young came into the game tied for the league lead with 2 1/2 sacks, and the Browns spent the week scheming ways to slow him down.

Without Young, Washington’s defensive front lost some of its teeth and the Browns took advantage.

Chubb’s 16-yard TD in the second quarter was a thing of beauty.

Taking a handoff and going right, Chubb cut back, made one Washington defender miss badly, ran out of another tackle and then powered his way in to make it 10-7.

 

PACKERS WIN AT NEW ORLEANS

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers sounds increasingly enamored with the scheme and play-calling philosophy of second-year head coach Matt LaFleur.

The Packers are unbeaten and putting up some of the best offensive numbers in the NFL. So why not?

Rodgers passed for 283 yards and three touchdowns, and the Packers scored 10 points in the final nine minutes to pull out a 37-30 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night.

“We’ve gotten in a good flow,” Rodgers said. “I feel so much more comfortable in the offense this year, and I think Matt has really settled in to the rhythm of the play calling, and it’s made my job a lot easier.”

With Packers top receiver Davante Adams unable to play because of a hamstring injury, Rodgers nonetheless found ways to attack New Orleans (1-2) with a variety of passes, short and long.

Allen Lazard caught six passes for 146 yards for Green Bay (3-0), including gains of 48 and 72 yards on throws deep downfield that each set up touchdowns.

“We have the best deep ball thrower in the league if not NFL history,” Lazard said. “To be able to go out there and connect on those plays I think is huge. It’s demoralizing for the defense.”

Rodgers’ scoring passes went for 5 yards to Lazard, 18 yards to tight end Marcedes Lewis and 1 yard to tight end Robert Tonyan. Lazard’s longest catch set up Aaron Jones’ 1-yard TD run.

“I really like the timing on certain calls,” Rodgers said. “Sometimes, you’ve got to kind of dig deep at certain times and hold on to something and trust the players. I really appreciate the flow that we had tonight and the trust in us to make the plays.”

The decisive drive got going when Rodgers hit tight end Jace Sternberger for a 23-yard gain and later drew a pass interference calls in the end zone on a third-down play, which set up the Tonyan TD with two minutes left.

“We’re not playing well enough. Let’s not fool ourselves. We’re making too many mistakes,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “We’re not playing disciplined enough on both sides of the ball.”

Saints running back Alvin Kamara built on a sensational start to the season, gaining 197 yards from scrimmage and scoring twice on short passes from Drew Brees, with shifty, tackle-slipping runs after the catch.

“It’s nice when you’ve got a weapon like that, that you just get the ball in his hands in space and he’s tough to tackle,” Brees said. “It’s like a human highlight reel.”

Kamara’s scoring plays included a 52-yarder in which he took a pass near the line of scrimmage and broke four tackles, including one that forced him to balance along the sideline before he cut back inside for the final yards. That play, which tied the score at 27, might have wound a typical Superdome crowd into a wild, stadium-vibrating frenzy. But the stands were virtually empty, with the exception of fewer than 1,000 Saints player and staff guests.

Brees completed 29 of 36 passes for 288 yards and three TDs. Emmanuel Sanders caught a 10-yard scoring pass at the end of the first half that gave the Saints a 17-13 lead.

 

BEARS RALLY AT ATLANTA

No matter how bad things might have seemed a week ago, the Atlanta Falcons somehow managed to make it even worse.

Yep, another epic fourth-quarter collapse.

This one could spell the end for embattled coach Dan Quinn, who already carried the burden of the biggest squandered lead in Super Bowl history.

The Falcons surrendered a 16-point advantage in the final 6 1/2 minutes to the Chicago Bears, who got three touchdown passes from backup quarterback Nick Foles and pulled out a 30-26 win on Sunday.

It would have seemed downright improbable – if it hadn’t happened for the second week in a row.

Atlanta (0-3) became the first team in NFL history to lose back-to-back games in which it led by 15 or more points in the final period, according to STATS.

“These last two weeks have been nothing short of crushing,” said Quinn, the sixth-year coach who desperately needed a strong start to the season after two straight losing campaigns.

A week ago, Atlanta became a national laughingstock after failing to pounce on an onside kick, allowing the Dallas Cowboys to finish off their comeback from a 39-24 deficit to win 40-39 on a field goal as time expired.

“It doesn’t get no worse than this,” defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. said. “We probably found the two worst ways you can lose a football game.”

Under Quinn, the Falcons also wasted a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl after the 2016 season and lost in overtime to the New England Patriots.

Quinn faced questions about his job security after the latest debacle. He insisted that he’s only focused on turning things around.

“I need to be the same guy on our best days and on our worst days,” Quinn said. “Anything past that does not help the team. All I can focus on is us finishing better. That’s where my focus needs to be.”

This time, it was Foles who guided the improbable comeback after relieving erratic Mitchell Trubisky in the third quarter, pushing the Bears to 3-0 for the first time since 2013.

The former Super Bowl MVP won it with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Miller with 1:53 remaining.

“Pretty special,” said tight end Jimmy Graham, who had a pair of touchdown caches. “He was out there ad-libbing a bit for sure and checking and changing some plays. There’s one play he called, I’m like, `We got that?’ So it was pretty cool to see and pretty cool to be a part of.”

Foles had two apparent touchdown passes overturned by official reviews – and still managed to pull out the victory.

He tossed a 3-yard touchdown pass to Graham to make it 26-16 with 6:20 to go. The Falcons still appeared in good shape after the Bears failed on a 2-point attempt.

But Chicago got the ball back and moved quickly down the field. Foles connected with Allen Robinson on a short pass that turned into a 37-yard touchdown when Isaiah Oliver and Blidi Wreh-Wilson both missed tackles, allowing the receiver to scoot down the sideline.

After the Falcons went three-and-out on their third straight possession, Foles heaved one down the middle of the field with a rusher in his face. Miller hauled it in for the winning score.

The Falcons still had a shot, but Matt Ryan was intercepted by Tashaun Gipson to seal it.

Foles finished 16 of 29 for 188 yards. Trubisky, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft, was 13 of 22 for 128 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He was sacked twice.

Brian Hill and Todd Gurley each ran for a touchdown and Ryan connected with Hayden Hurst on a short TD pass that helped stake the Falcons to their seemingly comfortable lead.

Of course, no lead is safe for the Falcons.

Especially with Foles recapturing some of the magic he had in guiding the Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl title three seasons ago after replacing the injured Carson Wentz.

Foles spent one injury-plagued season in Jacksonville, then was acquired by the Bears to put some heat on the disappointing Trubisky.

Trubisky set up Chicago’s first touchdown with the second-longest run of his career, a 45-yarder after the Falcons abandoned the entire middle of the field. He connected on Graham on a 2-yard scoring pass to pull the Bears within 16-10 at halftime.

But Foles got his chance after Trubisky threw an interception in the third quarter that led to a Falcons field goal, pushing the lead to 26-10.

“It kind of happened out of nowhere,” Trubisky said. “I just accepted the news. I had Nick’s back like he’s had mine. The situation sucked, but it was just the flow of the game and how it happened and coach made the decision that he felt was best for the team.”

 

BILLS BLOW LEAD, STILL GET WIN

Josh Allen might get the credit for saving the Buffalo Bills from a monumental second-half meltdown. The third-year starter was more upset that he helped put the team in that position to begin with.

Two second-half turnovers led to the Los Angeles Rams rallying from a 25-point deficit, but Allen bailed the Bills out by completing a 3-yard pass to tight end Tyler Kroft with 15 seconds remaining to secure a 35-32 win on Sunday.

“Yeah, probably just got too relaxed and that’s on me,” said Allen, whose five-touchdown outing (including one rushing) was clouded by two turnovers that led to Rams TDs.

“I’ve got to be better for our team and our offense,” he added.

“I can’t throw an interception, and I can’t fumble the ball, and then lose my cool like that,” he said, referring to a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that nearly ended Buffalo’s final drive. “But we bounced back. Proud of our guys.”

The game appeared to be a blowout once Allen hit Stefon Diggs for a 4-yard pass to put Buffalo up 28-3 with 8:05 left in the third quarter. It ended up being a nail-biter.

Jared Goff led the Rams to score on four consecutive drives, and LA took the lead on Darell Henderson’s 1-yard run with 4:30 remaining.

Allen responded by marching the Bills on a 11-play, 75-yard drive. He hit Cole Beasley for 16 yards on third-and-25, and then got help from a pass-interference penalty against Darious Williams on fourth-and-7.

One play later, Allen had time to drop back and wait for Kroft to cut across the middle. Watching as Kroft got a step past linebacker Micah Kiser, Allen lofted a pass, which the tight end reached up and caught before tumbling to the ground for his second TD of the game.

Buffalo has won its first three games in consecutive seasons, the first time the franchise has done that since 1991-92 and the third time overall.

The Rams (2-1) failed to match what would’ve been the third-largest comeback in NFL regular-season history. They blamed themselves for digging such a deep hole. But they also were unhappy with the officials either for the call against Williams.

“We were just one step away, and unfortunately in this league that’s not good enough,” safety John Johnson said. “The whole game was a weird game.”

As for the penalty against Williams, Johnson said “it was the wrong call,” before adding: “You can’t narrow it down to just one call.”

“Disappointing end to a very resilient effort by our guys,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “I love this football team. We’re not going to make any excuses. We’re going to use this as an opportunity to move forward.”

Kroft played a role in Allen’s interception. He made a leaping catch but had the ball stripped from his arms by Johnson. But Kroft, who has spent the past two seasons bothered by foot and ankle injuries, ultimately capitalized while filling in for injured starter Dawson Knox, who was sidelined by a concussion.

“Obviously, there’s emotion that’s been brought into this,” Kroft said. “Playing on two bad feet last year, there was a lot of stuff to overcome personally. … I’m just happy I was in a position to make a play today.”

Allen finished 24 of 33 for 311 yards with four touchdown passes and also scored on a 1-yard run. He’s had a hand in 12 touchdowns, the most in team history through the first three games of the season. Hall of Famer Jim Kelly held the record of 10, set in 1991.

It was the eighth successful fourth-quarter comeback for Allen in his three seasons. Last week, the Bills overcame a 20-17 fourth-quarter deficit to beat Miami 31-28.

Goff went 23 of 32 for 321 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

Aaron Donald had two sacks and also forced an Allen fumble, which he recovered at the Bills 37. The recovery led to Henderson’s touchdown, which put the Rams up 32-28.

“I thought we had it,” Donald said “I thought we came together, rallied together and tried to find a way to win. We came up short, obviously. Can’t make those mistakes early.”

 

TITANS WIN AT MINNESOTA

Stephen Gostkowski made his career-high sixth field goal of game, a 55-yarder with 1:48 left that lifted undefeated Tennessee to a 31-30 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday after Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill carried the Titans on another comeback.

Henry rushed for 119 yards and two third-quarter touchdowns for the Titans, who improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2008 after trailing for most of the game. Tannehill passed for 321 yards, guiding the Titans on a go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter or overtime for the sixth time in 16 games since becoming the starter. The Titans are 12-4 behind Tannehill, including the playoffs, and they’re 15-0 when Henry hits the 100-yard mark.

Dalvin Cook rushed for a career-high 181 yards and a score for the Vikings, who are 0-3 for the first time since 2013. Kirk Cousins threw for 251 yards and three touchdowns, hitting Kyle Rudolph for a one-handed, toe-tapping grab in the back of the end zone for a 30-25 lead with 10:22 left. The depleted Vikings defense didn’t do enough to hold it, though, as Tannehill moved the Titans just close enough for Gostkowski to go to work. The last three of his makes were all from 50-plus yards.

Gostkowski, the longtime New England Patriots stalwart, missed three field goals in the 40 to 49-yard range and two extra points over his first two performances with the Titans. The 15-year veteran has three game-winning kicks with less than two minutes left in three games, though. The Titans have a net scoring margin of just six points.

The Vikings, who were outscored 37-13 in the first half over their first two games, had 464 yards by an offense that finally got going. Cousins was hit late by Jeffery Simmons for a roughing-the-passer penalty that gave Minnesota the ball at its 40-yard line with 1:41 remaining, but the Titans toughened up after that. Amani Hooker picked off a desperation fourth-down heave by Cousins, who has already matched his 2019 interception total with six.

 

PATS DOWN RAIDERS

Rex Burkhead can’t remember the last time he scored three touchdowns in a game. But he said every time he reached the end zone Sunday was for James White.

Burkhead had two rushing touchdowns and a receiving TD, and Bill Belichick joined George Halas (318) and Don Shula (328) as the only coaches in NFL history to reach 275 regular-season victories in the New England Patriots’ 36-20 win over the Las Vegas Raiders.

“We tried to go out there and play for him,” Burkhead said of White, who missed his second straight game after his father, Tyrone, was killed in a car accident. “He’s a brother to me. I really feel his pain.”

With White out, the Patriots’ running backs picked up the slack for an offense that struggled early. Sony Michel finished with nine carries for 117 yards. As a team, New England (2-1) rushed for a season-high 250 yards.

“We came together and just played hard. That’s what James White does,” Michel said.

Cam Newton was 17 of 28 passing for 162 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Shilique Calhoun had two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery for a score.

The Patriots have won the last six meetings with the Raiders and improved to 47-9 in regular-season games following a loss. Raiders coach Jon Gruden dropped to 0-3 against Belichick.

Derek Carr finished 24 of 32 for 261 yards and a two TDs for Las Vegas (2-1). But he had two fumbles that led to a field goal for New England and a late touchdown when he lost the ball in the end zone and it was recovered by Calhoun. Josh Jacobs also had a fumble.

Las Vegas opened the season by scoring at least 34 points in its first two games with six red zone touchdowns. The Raiders were also second in the NFL, converting on 57 percent of third downs.

They went just 2 for 5 in the red zone and 3 of 9 on third down Sunday.

“We fumbled the ball in the red zone. We missed a field goal that we should make. We can’t stop the run in the second half. There are some issues that add up to a loss,” Gruden said.

But Carr said there’s no reason to panic.

“It’s one game,” he said. “If we’re gonna blow up everything after the good things that we’ve done after one game, then this game ain’t for some of those people. We are just fine. We’re gonna be fine.”

The offenses were stagnant in the first half as both teams struggled to get into a groove.

Things changed for the Patriots on their first drive of the third quarter when Michel, who struggled in the first two games, broke free for a 38-yard run.

A 15-yard pass from Newton to Burkhead got the Patriots into the red zone. Three plays later Burkhead capped the drive with a spinning 5-yard TD run to stretch New England’s lead to 20-10.

After both teams traded field goals, the Patriots took over with 11:22 remaining and ate up more than five minutes of clock with a 10-play, 86-yard drive that was capped with a 5-yard TD plunge by Burkhead.

“We played the best 30 minutes of football in the second half, which is what we needed,” Belichick said. “They didn’t get down about it, they just went out there and responded.”

 

49ERS POUND THE GIANTS

The way the San Francisco 49ers played, missing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and a slew of starters wasn’t an issue against the woeful and winless New York Giants.

Backup Nick Mullens threw for 343 yards and a touchdown and the Niners controlled the ball on offense, took it away on defense and had another easy day on the East Coast in a 36-9 win at MetLife Stadium Sunday.

“I real happy with this week,” said coach Kyle Shanahan, who wore a mask this week after being fined $100,000 for failing to do so last week in a game that saw his team lose six starters to injuries on a new field his players criticized.

“We pulled together throughout the week,” Shanahan said of the concern about the field. “I just got real good energy and vibe from the guys from Wednesday when we started practicing all the way to last night at the hotel meeting. And then today. I thought they played very hard all four quarters, I was very proud of our team.”

San Francisco played a near flawless game as Mullens hit 25 for 36 passes, including a 19-yard TD pass to running back J eff Wilson. It outgained New York 420-231, held the ball for 39:44 and forced three turnovers without giving the ball up. The Giants did not run a play in the red zone.

“Nick was great, very poised,” Shanahan said. “We went on a lot of long drives today. They’re better than not scoring, but long drives can get a little bit exhausting. Especially for me. I don’t want to have to call that many plays.”

Wilson, Jerick McKinnon and Brandon Aiyuk also scored on runs for the Niners (2-1), who stayed in West Virginia to prep for the game. Robbie Gould added three field goals for San Francisco, which last week beat the Jets 31-13 here and denied Giants coach Joe Judge a chance for his first win this week.

The Niners had Garoppolo (ankle), defensive linemen Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas (knees) and running backs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman hurt against the Jets. They complained about the new turf after the game, saying it was “sticky” and led to injuries.

The NFL had the field re-examined and it meet all standards.

San Francisco scored on seven of its first eight possessions. It would have been all eight but a snap-hold problem led to Gould missing a 55-yarder. He connected from 52, 32 and 26 yards. The Niners’ ninth possession ended the game

New York, which came into the game as the NFL’s lowest-scoring offense, got three field goals from Graham Gano, the second of which tied the game at 6-all midway through the second quarter. Quarterback Daniel Jones turned the ball over twice.

“We are not looking for excuses or pointing fingers,” Judge said after his team’s worst effort of the season. “We are not looking for shortcuts. We are looking to build this thing and build it the right way. We’re going to come back Wednesday and work our butts off to get this thing right.”

New York was tied 6-6 midway through the second quarter when the Niners drove 75 yards in 12 plays to take the lead, added by an illegal contract penalty against rookie Darnay Holmes on third-and-22.

McKinnon scored on a 10-yard run with 1:13 left in the half and a 26-yard field goal by Gould pushed the lead to 16-6 at the half. The field goal was set up when linebacker Fred Warner stepped in front of Jones’ pass at the New York 32.

Jones finished 17 of 32 for 179 yards, but the second half was all San Francisco.

 

STEELERS SEND HOUSTON TO 0-3

The Pittsburgh Steelers spent two quarters trying to hem in Deshaun Watson. It didn’t take. After watching the Houston quarterback move the Texans up and down Heinz Field with remarkable ease, the Steelers blew up their meticulously put-together game plan and went back to their default setting: attack.

Might want to stick with that one. Probably for good.

Slicing into the backfield relentlessly, the Steelers put the clamps on the Texans in the second half to rally for a 28-21 victory that pushed them to 3-0 for the first time in a decade. Houston managed just 51 yards and two first downs over in the final 30 minutes to fall to 0-3.

“We didn’t blink, man,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said.

The Texans blinked plenty.

Houston’s defense wilted late, giving up a 12-play, 79-yard touchdown drive following a pick by Watson, one that ended with James Conner’s 12-yard sprint that put the Steelers up 28-21 with 6:24 to go. Pittsburgh forced its third three-and-out of the second half on Houston’s next possession and the Steelers then ran off the final 4:47 that began with a 25-yard dash by Conner and ended with three anticlimatic knee downs inside the Houston 10.

“You’re not going to win football doing what we do in the fourth quarter these last two weeks, giving up all of these runs,” said Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, whose team let the Ravens push them around late in a lopsided loss in Week 2.

Conner finished with 109 yards rushing and added 40 yards receiving. He had plenty of help from rookie Anthony McFarland, who ran for 42 yards on six carries in his NFL debut and Benny Snell Jr., who converted a key third-and-1 on the go-ahead touchdown drive. After opening the season with two relatively drama-free wins, the Steelers needed to overcome an early 11-point deficit to stay perfect.

“We’re a four-quarter team,” Conner said. “Our defense allowed us to get back in it and … (if) you get us back on offense, we’re going to get it going sooner or later.”

 

CAROLINA WINS IN LA

Carolina’s defense forced three Los Angeles turnovers, Joey Slye kicked five field goals and the Panthers beat the Chargers 21-16 on Sunday, giving coach Matt Rhule his first NFL victory.

The Panthers had not recorded a sack and allowed 65 points in their first two games but looked like a different unit. They sacked Justin Herbert twice and converted three turnovers into 12 points.

Teddy Bridgewater was 22 of 28 for 235 yards and a touchdown in his first win with Carolina (1-2). The seven-year veteran helped the Panthers snap a 10-game losing streak dating to last season.

Herbert became the third quarterback since the merger to throw for 300 yards in his first two starts. The rookie was 35 of 49 for 330 yards and a touchdown, but also had a fumble and an interception.

Keenan Allen had 13 receptions for 136 yards and a TD while Austin Ekeler had 159 scrimmage yards (59 rushing, 80 receiving) and a score.

After forcing Carolina to punt, the Chargers (1-2) took over on the LA 1 with 1:43 remaining. They drove to the Carolina 28 before the drive stalled. Herbert had Allen open in the end zone with 6 seconds left but Tre Boston broke it up.

On the final play, Allen caught the ball at the Carolina 15, but his pitch to Ekeler was too high.

After going three-and-out on its opening possession, Carolina scored on five consecutive drives in the first half. Four ended with field goals by Slye.

Tahir Whitehead recovered Herbert’s fumble after a sack by Brian Burns to set up Slye’s second field goal.

The Chargers took a 7-6 lead early in the second quarter when Ekeler ran it from around right end from 12 yards. Carolina regained the lead on the ensuing possession when Slye connected from 30 yards.

The Panthers got their only touchdown after a Chargers turnover. They took over at the Carolina 43 after Shaq Thompson recovered Joshua Kelley’s fumble and scored in eight plays. Mike Davis caught Bridgewater’s screen pass and went 13 yards to the end zone. Nasir Adderley blocked Slye’s extra-point attempt to keep Carolina’s lead at 15-7.

It looked like it was going to remain that way going into halftime before Donte Jackson intercepted Herbert’s pass intended for Allen and returned it 66 yards to the LA 8. Two plays later, Slye was good from 22 yards.

The teams traded field goals in the second half before Herbert brought the Chargers within 21-16 with a 14-yard strike to Allen with 4:39 remaining. The 2-point attempt failed.

 

LIONS RALLY FOR WIN AT ARIZONA

It was the kind of moment that had stymied the Detroit Lions so many times during their 11-game losing streak: A potential game-winning play, a gut-punch penalty that reversed it and the realization that nothing was going to come easy.

But Matthew Stafford has seen a lot during his 12 seasons in the NFL. He wasn’t going to let this opportunity slip away.

“I’ve been doing this a long time,” Stafford said. “I feel real comfortable in that situation. I love it.”

Stafford calmly led a drive in the final minutes that was capped by Matt Prater’s 39-yard field goal as time expired, and the Lions won for the first time in 11 months by beating the Arizona Cardinals 26-23 on Sunday.

The Lions looked like they would take the lead with about two minutes left when Stafford completed a spectacular deep pass to Marvin Hall at the 1-yard line, but the play was called back when offensive lineman Halapoulivaati Vaitai was flagged for holding.

For a moment, it felt like another Detroit disaster was in the works.

Not this time. Prater made his 15th game-winning kick with less than 2 minutes to play in the fourth quarter or overtime.

“I’m happy for him. He’s as clutch as they get,” Stafford said. “He loves that moment. That moment has Matt Prater written all over it.”

It was also a big win for embattled coach Matt Patricia, who is now 10-24-1 record in two-plus seasons. Patricia’s defense made life tough for Kyler Murray, who had three interceptions.

“I’m really proud of the players,” Patricia said. “Give all the credit to them.”

Murray threw for 270 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a score. DeAndre Hopkins caught 10 passes for 137 yards and Andy Isabella had two TD receptions.

“There is going to be adversity every game. That is part of it,” Murray said. “We understand that. Obviously I feel like if I don’t turn the ball over three times today, we put ourselves in a better chance to win that game.”

Arizona (2-1) pushed ahead 23-20 near the end of the third quarter when Murray connected with Isabella from 4 yards out for the pair’s second score. The 5-foot-9, 188-pound Isabella had a slow start last season as a second-round pick out of UMass but has become an important piece of the offense this year.

Duron Harmon, Jamie Collins and rookie Jeff Okudah had Detroit’s interceptions.

“Our defense played outstanding, getting three turnovers for us. We should have scored 40,” Stafford said.

Detroit (1-2) took a 17-13 lead on Kenny Golladay’s 15-yard TD catch with 31 seconds left before halftime. Golladay, who led the NFL with 11 receiving touchdowns last year, missed the first two games of this season with a hamstring injury.

Golladay’s catch capped an entertaining first half that saw the teams trade the lead five times. Murray had another highlight-reel touchdown run, juking past Detroit’s Okudah for a 1-yard score and a 13-10 lead.

“You can see how dangerous he is when he gets out in space,” Patricia said. “There were a couple plays, we had a couple missed tackles on him. He’s got unbelievable quickness and unbelievable acceleration. Obviously, it was a big priority for us to make sure that we did the best we could to stop him.”

A first-half interception by Murray gave Detroit the ball at the Arizona 27. Six plays later, the Lions took a 10-7 lead when Stafford hit Jesse James for a 5-yard score.

“We didn’t play particularly well. I think you can see that,” Arizona coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “It starts with me not getting them ready to play. I didn’t call a very good game. We turned the ball over three times. They didn’t turn it over any. Twelve men on the field, things of that nature.

“That is what will get you beat and that is what happened today.”

Adrian Peterson had a 27-yard run on his first carry of the game to push Detroit into Arizona territory, leading to a field goal. The 35-year-old Peterson, who is in his 14th NFL season, played six games for the Cardinals in 2017.

The Cardinals went ahead 7-3 when Murray’s perfectly placed, high-arcing throw went over two Detroit defenders and into Isabella’s hands.

 

BRADY AND BUCS WIN AT DENVER

Tom Brady threw three touchdown passes and Shaq Barrett celebrated his homecoming with a pair of sacks, one for a safety, in Tampa Bay’s 28-10 victory over the winless Denver Broncos on Sunday.

With his first road win for the Bucs (2-1), Brady evened his career record against the Broncos at 9-9 with just his fifth win in a dozen trips to Denver.

Before Sunday, the Broncos were the only team in the NFL with a winning record against the six-time Super Bowl champion.

This also marked the first time since in almost a decade – Nov. 14-21, 2010 – that the Buccaneers won back-to-back games by 14 or more points.

The Broncos (0-3) completed a second straight winless September under head coach Vic Fangio, who donned a face shield a la Andy Reid after getting fined $100,000 for failing to wear a face mask last week.

Barrett, who led the league last year with 19 1/2 sacks in his first season in Tampa, picked up his first sacks of this season in the city where he played from 2014-18 after starring at Colorado State.

His second sack of Jeff Driskel, who started in place of Drew Lock (shoulder), came in the end zone for a safety that pushed the Bucs’ lead to 25-10.

Afterward, Barrett performed the signature sack dance of Bradley Chubb, a friendly jab at the 2018 first-round pick whose selection helped Barrett decide to leave Denver after that season.

With his full complement of receivers finally available, Brady looked like the methodical QB he was for two decades in New England, driving the Buccaneers on scoring drives on four of five first-half drives.

Chris Godwin caught a 10-yard touchdown pass in his return from a concussion before leaving in the second half with a hamstring injury and Mike Evans had two 1-yard TD grabs as the Bucs took a 23-10 halftime lead.

And just days after insisting he was in Tampa to serve as “a blocking tight end,” Rob Gronkowski caught six passes for 48 yards after getting shut out last week and coming into the game with just two receptions for 11 yards.

Denver special teams coach Tom McMahon, who described his unit’s play at Pittsburgh as “one word: terrible,” won’t need a Thesaurus for this one.

Sam Martin, who fumbled away the snap for a costly safety against the Steelers, was blocked on his first punt Sunday when rookie long snapper Jacob Bobenmoyer didn’t rise out of his stance fast enough to block Patrick O’Connor.

O’Connor swept past the snapper to block the pun t, then recovered the ball at the Broncos 10-yard line. Three plays later, Godwin reached over the goal line for Tampa Bay’s first score.

After a trio of three-and-outs and a field-goal drive, Driskel suddenly did an imitation of Brady and drove the Broncos 75 yards in eight plays, hitting Tim Patrick from 7 yards with 14 seconds left in the half to pull the Broncos to 23-10.

But Driskel, who fell to 1-8 as a starter in the pros, gave way to Brett Rypien in the fourth quarter with the score 28-10. He completed his first eight passes for 53 yards before Mike Edwards stepped in front of Jerry Jeudy at the goal line for a one-handed interception on fourth-and-1 from the 13.

 

SEATTLE HOLDS OF COWBOYS

DK Metcalf made up for a huge first-half blunder by catching a 29-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson with 1:47 remaining, and the Seattle Seahawks held off the Dallas Cowboys 38-31 on Sunday.

Wilson threw five touchdown passes, setting a record for most scoring passes in the first three games of a season with 14. Patrick Mahomes threw for 13 TDs in his MVP season of 2018. Wilson became the first QB to have at least four TD passes in each of the first three games.

It was Metcalf who found redemption in the closing minutes.

Metcalf appeared to have a walk-in touchdown after hauling in a deep pass from Wilson late in the first quarter. But he was careless with the ball in the final few steps before the goal line, and Dallas cornerback Trevon Diggs came up from behind and knocked the ball free. It went out of the end zone for a touchback.

Instead of a touchdown and 16-3 lead for Seattle, it was a 62-yard reception and a forgettable moment.

Metcalf was mostly quiet after his mistake as Tyler Lockett became the favorite target for Wilson. But when Seattle needed a big play late, Wilson floated a pass into the end zone and allowed Metcalf to run underneath it for the deciding touchdown.

Wilson was 27 of 40 for 315 yards. His latest bit of fourth-quarter magic ruined Dak Prescott’s attempt at a second straight major comeback.

Dallas trailed 30-15 after Prescott fumbled on the first play of the second half and Wilson subsequently threw his fourth TD pass. But Prescott threw TD passes of 42 yards to Cedrick Wilson and 43 yards to Michael Gallup, and Greg Zuerlein’s 42-yard field goal with 4:03 left gave Dallas a 31-30 lead.

Prescott had one last chance after Metcalf’s TD reception. He led the Cowboys to the Seattle 22 but was sacked by rookie Alton Robinson on second down, and Dallas had use its final timeout with 16 seconds left. On third down, Prescott’s desperation throw to the end zone was intercepted by Ryan Neal.

Prescott finished 37 of 57 for 472 yards, with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He set career highs for yards and attempts.

While Prescott became the latest QB to have a big day against Seattle’s leaky secondary, the Seahawks held Ezekiel Elliott in check. Elliott finished with 34 yards rushing on 14 carries and scored on a 1-yard run in the first half.

Lockett set a career high with three TD receptions and finished with nine catches for 100 yards. Lockett scored once from 43 yards out and twice from the 1-yard line. Jacob Hollister also had a 1-yard TD catch and made the reception on Seattle’s 2-point conversion after Metcalf’s TD.

 

CARDINALS CLINCH PLAYOFF SPOT

Harrison Bader tripled and homered to help the St. Louis Cardinals clinch a postseason berth on the final day of the regular season with a 5-2 win over Milwaukee, and the Brewers also earned a playoff spot Sunday via help on the West Coast moments later.

St. Louis (30-28) will be the fifth seed in the NL and open a three-game wild-card series at San Diego on Wednesday. By winning, the Cardinals avoided having to travel to Detroit for two makeup games Monday. St. Louis finished the regular season with 23 games in 18 days as it made up a slew of postponements caused by a coronavirus outbreak in the clubhouse.

“You had to throw some of the expectations out the window not knowing what to expect after taking those couple weeks off and all those doubleheaders and so many new guys,” Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. “It was very different, very fulfilling to make the playoffs.”

The Brewers (29-31) locked up the eighth seed and a third consecutive postseason berth after the Padres beat San Francisco 5-4 in a game that ended about 15 minutes after St. Louis’ victory. The Giants finished with an identical record as the Brewers but lost out on a tiebreaker due to an inferior intradivision record.

“It’s fitting for 2020 and everything we went through,” Brewers left fielder Christian Yelich said. “It felt just as good as past years. This year’s a unique one. There’s so many challenges we had to go through on a daily basis behind the scenes, things you don’t deal with in a normal year.”

Milwaukee will face the top-seeded Dodgers in Los Angeles in a three-game series that also starts Wednesday.

The Brewers haven’t had a winning record at any point this season. Milwaukee and Houston will be the first teams ever to qualify for the playoffs with a losing mark.

“It’s a celebration,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We’re in the playoffs. That’s how you see it. There’s no reason to apologize for getting into the playoffs.”

Cardinals starter Austin Gomber allowed one run, one hit and two walks and struck out three over four innings.

Giovanny Gallegos (2-0), Genesis Cabrera and Alex Reyes combined to pitch the final five innings. Reyes got his first save.

 

HEAT HEADED TO NBA FINALS

It was exactly one year ago Sunday when Jimmy Butler walked into the Miami Heat practice gym, took a seat on a makeshift stage and said he wanted to be part of the team’s next title run.

He’ll have that chance.

The Heat are going to the NBA Finals – surprising many, perhaps, but not themselves. Bam Adebayo scored a season-high 32 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, Butler scored 22 points and the Heat won the Eastern Conference finals for the sixth time by topping the Boston Celtics 125-113 on Sunday night.

“A great series. It was so competitive,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I mean, in many ways, this was a seven-game series, just how competitive it was. Extremely well-coached and well-put together and we are just honored to be a part of that type of series in the conference finals, and then we get an opportunity for the next stage. Our guys will look forward to it. We’re going to try to enjoy it for a night.”

The Heat won the series 4-2 – and now, waiting on that next stage to decide the NBA title, are LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is Wednesday night.

Tyler Herro scored 19 points, Duncan Robinson and Andre Iguodala each had 15 and Goran Dragic added 13 for the Heat.

“We deserve to be here,” Dragic said.

Jaylen Brown scored 26 points, Jayson Tatum had 24 and a career-high 11 assists, and Marcus Smart and Kemba Walker each scored 20 points for Boston – which fell in the East finals for the third time in the last four seasons.

“Miami deserves a lot of credit,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “They’re super physical, super tough, very, very savvy. I think they’re the best team in the East and deserve to be representing the East in the way that they have played.”

Miami was down by six early in the fourth before regaining control. A 6-0 burst – Herro had the last five of those points, needing only 31 seconds to do so – tied it at 96. Boston took the lead twice more, with Adebayo answering both times, first with a dunk, then a go-ahead three-point play with 6:16 left.

He smacked the floor in celebration.

It’s like they knew what was coming. They never trailed again. Herro had a pair of baskets in a 9-0 burst that put the Heat up by 10, Adebayo found Butler for a layup and a 116-102 lead everyone on the Heat bench was on their feet.

“This means everything,” Herro said.

And before long, all the Celtics could do was offer their congratulations.

“Regrets, I don’t have any,” Walker said. “I don’t have any, man. I thought we fought hard. A lot of credit to Miami. Those guys are really good.”

The Heat are the only NBA franchise with six Finals appearances in the last 15 years. They’re seeking their fourth title, and this chance didn’t come easily.

The Heat had a 5-for-5 stretch from 3-point range in the first quarter, but otherwise struggled again from beyond the arc in the first half. They were 6 for 14 from deep in the first 24 minutes, Boston was 11 for 23 before the break and the Heat took a 62-60 lead into halftime.

And the margin remained two going into the fourth.

Iguodala’s fourth 3-pointer – in as many attempts – with 4:20 left in the third put the Heat up eight, before Brown had five points in a 10-2 Boston spurt to tie it. Dragic had a go-ahead layup on Miami’s final shot of the quarter and it was 88-86 Heat with 12 minutes remaining.

The Celtics scored 10 of the first 12 points of the fourth, going up 96-90. From there, all Miami.

The Heat scored 35 of the game’s final 52 points. The game was theirs. So was the silver trophy that conference champions get.

“Four more,” Adebayo said. “That’s what matters.”

 

THE BREWERS ARE IN

The Giants will look back at several missed chances over the final week that cost them a playoff berth that was right there for the taking.

San Francisco had its postseason hopes dashed on the final day of the regular season, losing 5-4 to the playoff-bound San Diego Padres on Sunday.

“We kind of controlled our own destiny this past week. We just needed to win another game or two the last couple series to get in,” shortstop Brandon Crawford said. “We played great I think the last six or eight weeks. To not take the opportunity to win a couple of these last games and get into the playoffs, it definitely hurts.”

San Francisco finished 29-31 under first-year manager Gabe Kapler, beginning the day tied with Milwaukee for the final NL playoff spot. The Brewers hold the tiebreaker, which meant the Giants needed to win and have Milwaukee lose at St. Louis – the Brewers did their part but the Giants couldn’t.

“We just didn’t play good enough baseball,” Kapler said. “… It stings, right?”

Now, the Giants’ drought reaches four years since they lost a four-game division series in 2016 to the eventual World Series champion Cubs. The Giants – World Series winners in 2010, `12 and ’14 – will look back to costly losses in the final stretch, most notably Thursday’s 5-4, 11-inning defeat at home to the Rockies then 6-5 to the Padres in Game 2 of Friday’s doubleheader.

Wil Myers homered in the second for San Diego (37-23), the NL’s No. 4 seed, as the Padres prepare for their first postseason in 14 years. They will host a best-of-three series against St. Louis beginning Wednesday.

Mitch Moreland hit a go-ahead double in the fourth. Jorge Mateo’s double in a three-run seventh followed by Greg Garcia’s sacrifice fly provided insurance.

Brandon Crawford hit a two-run homer for the Giants in the seventh then Wilmer Flores connected in the eighth. That just wasn’t quite enough.

Trevor Rosenthal closed it out for his 11th save, retiring Austin Slater on a called third strike to end it. Slater put his hands on his head, and Giants players cursed from the dugout at plate umpire Rob Drake.

“It was disappointing,” Kapler said. “I haven’t had a chance to go back and watch the game but I know there were some calls that went against our guys.”

There was no out-of-town scoreboard to be seen inside Oracle Park to follow the Brewers-Cardinals game. Dozens of boats and kayaks stayed hopeful waiting on the other side of right field in McCovey Cove on a picture-perfect late-September day when first-pitch temperature was 84 degrees.

In fact, even former Giants fan favorite outfielder Hunter Pence watched from a vessel called BRAVO a day after announcing his retirement.

Mauricio Dubon homered in the bottom of the second for San Francisco, which also missed giving Drew Smyly (0-1) his first victory in five starts and seven appearances.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow today,” said Smyly, who would like to stay with the Giants if it works out. “Our guys grinded all day, we gave it our all, we gave it our all season. I think we outperformed most expectations. It’s a good group of dudes and we’re very disappointed today but I think we’ll all look back and have a lot of really good memories about the season.”

 

INDIANS EARN FOURTH SEED IN AL PLAYOFFS

The Cleveland Indians are staying home for the first round of the postseason – and the New York Yankees are coming to town.

Carlos Santana had four RBIs and delivered a go-ahead, two-run double in the seventh inning as the Indians rallied for an 8-6 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday to gain home-field advantage for their AL wild-card series.

Cleveland (35-25) finished second in the Central and grabbed the No. 4 seed in the American League playoffs when the Chicago White Sox lost to the crosstown Cubs.

“We feel proud of our city and we wanted to play here,” Indians designated hitter Franmil Reyes said. “We want to give the city of Cleveland what they deserve, which is to keep winning and a championship.”

The Indians, who won seven of their last eight games, host the Yankees in a best-of-three series beginning Tuesday. The opener features a prime pitching matchup, with Cy Young Award favorite Shane Bieber set to face New York ace Gerrit Cole.

“We knew we had a chance to be at home, so that was our No. 1 goal,” Cleveland closer Brad Hand said. “It wasn’t entirely in our control, but we knew we had to win our game today first.”

The Pirates held a 6-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth, when Reyes belted a three-run homer that chased starter JT Brubaker.

Nik Turley (0-3) entered for the seventh, hitting Cesar Hernandez with a pitch and giving up a double to Jose Ramirez before Santana scored them both to put Cleveland ahead 7-6.

A sacrifice fly by Reyes drove in Santana, who hit a two-run homer in the third after promising acting manager Sandy Alomar Jr. that he would make up for his error in the second.

“I told Sandy, `No worries, I’ll get it back for us,'” said Santana, who went 3 for 3 with two doubles and three runs. “I live day to day, I play day to day and right now I’m focused on the baseball playoffs.”

James Karinchak (1-2) struck out all three batters he faced in the seventh for his first win in the majors. Hand got four outs for his AL-high 16th save in 16 opportunities.

Ramirez, a leading AL MVP contender, doubled twice and scored two runs. He batted .442 with six homers and 18 RBIs over the final 12 games.

“Jose, that’s my MVP there,” Reyes said. “The way he carried us at the end was big. Really big, big for the team.”

Pirates rookie Ke’Bryan Hayes singled in the first and homered in the third, becoming the first Pittsburgh player with eight straight hits since Andy Van Slyke in 1994.

The 23-year-old also reached base in 10 consecutive plate appearances and finished with a .376 batting average (32 for 85) after making his major league debut on Sept. 1.

Jose Osuna went 3 for 3 with two RBIs and two runs, belting a solo homer in the fifth, and Adam Frazier had a two-run double for Pittsburgh.

 

REDS BEAT TWINS, MINNESOTA WINS AL CENTRAL

Tucker Barnhart and Eugenio Suarez had RBI singles a three-run 10th inning, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Minnesota Twins 5-3 Sunday in a regular-season finale that determined postseason matchups.

Cincinnati (31-29) became the National League’s seventh seed and will play No. 2 Atlanta in the first round starting Wednesday.

Minnesota (36-24) clinched its second straight American League Central title despite the defeat when the Chicago White Sox lost to the Cubs. The Twins host No. 6 Houston in the first round starting Tuesday.

Raisel Iglesias (4-3) pitched 1 1/3 innings, allowing Marwin Gonzalez’s RBI single in the bottom of the 10th..

Caleb Thielbar (2-1) started the 10th and got one out, then was replaced by Sergio Romo, who allowed the run-scoring hits and a bases-loaded walk to Joey Votte while failing to get any outs.

Cincinnati had high expectations after adding Nicholas Castellanos, Mike Moustakas and Shogo Akiyama in the offseason and having Trevor Bauer from the start. The Reds were 15-21 after losing 16-2 to the Cardinals on Sept. 1. They went 16-8 to finish the regular season and earn a playoff spot for the first time since 2013.

Hosting Houston could be important for the Twins, a major league-best 24-7 at home this season. Minnesota went 101-61 last year and won the AL Central by eight games, then was swept by the New York Yankees in the Division Series.

Reds starter Sonny Gray allowed two runs, two hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings. Minnesota’s Rich Hill gave up one run, two hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings.

Gray balked in the first run in the fifth, rushing a throw him when Jake Cave took off from third.

Cincinnati tied the score in the sixth when Eugenio Suarez had an RBI double, but Eddie Rosario’s sacrifice fly gave the Twins a 2-1 lead in the bottom half. Freddy Galvis’ run-scoring single retied the score in the seventh.

 

WHITE SOX NOW THE SEVENTH SEED

Chicago White Sox manager Rick Renteria had a succinct message for his team after a disappointing finish to a successful regular season.

Forget about it, he said. It’s time to move on.

“We have to respond,” Renteria said. “We don’t respond, we’re out.”

Reynaldo Lopez struggled and the White Sox tumbled out of position for a home playoff series, losing 10-8 to Kris Bryant and the crosstown Cubs on Sunday.

The White Sox (35-25) finished the season with seven losses in eight games to go from first in the AL Central to the seventh seed and a trip to Oakland for their first playoff appearance since 2008. They were in second place in the division heading into the final day, but Cleveland rallied for an 8-6 victory over Pittsburgh and hopped over Chicago via tiebreaker based on its 8-2 record in the season series.

Game 1 against the AL West champion Athletics is Tuesday.

“Just keep moving forward and get ready for the postseason,” rookie outfielder Luis Robert said through a translator. “We’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing the whole season; just play hard and try to win games. That’s going to be our mindset for the postseason.”

The South Siders scored five in the eighth inning, and Yasmani Grandal’s two-run homer trimmed the Cubs’ lead to 10-8 in the ninth. Andrew Chafin came in with two outs and a runner on and struck out Nomar Mazara looking for his first save of the season.

Bryant, Billy Hamilton and David Bote homered for the Cubs (34-26), who rested Anthony Rizzo, Jason Heyward, Willson Contreras and Ian Happ a day after clinching the NL Central title. Adbert Alzolay (1-1) struck out a career-high eight in five effective innings.

The Cubs are the NL’s third seed for their fifth playoff appearance in the last six years. They will be at Wrigley Field for the wild-card round beginning on Wednesday against No. 6 seed Miami.

 

SOTO WINS BATTING TITLE

Juan Soto became the National League’s youngest batting champion, Trea Turner hit a grand slam and drove in seven runs, and the Washington Nationals closed out the season with a 15-5 victory over the New York Mets on Sunday.

Soto walked and singled before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the third inning, elevating his average to .351 and sealing the NL lead in the category during this pandemic-shortened 60-game season.

The 21-year-old Soto surpassed Brooklyn’s Pete Reiser for the youngest ever to take a batting crown. Reiser was 22 when he ended the 1941 season hitting a league-leading .343.

“For me, it doesn’t matter the age,” Soto said with a smile when informed of the feat’s historical significance. “If you deserve it, you deserve it.”

Soto held off Atlanta teammates Freddie Freeman (.341) and Marcell Ozuna (.338) and also finished 2020 with the major league-lead in on-base percentage (.490) and slugging percentage (.695).

Yan Gomes homered for Washington, which won seven of its last nine and closed the season on a three-game winning streak and caught the Mets in the NL East standings.

“These guys don’t quit,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “They play hard every day and you saw what they did the last nine games. I’m proud of them hanging in there.”

The Nationals finished 26-34 a year after winning their first World Series. The Nationals’ .433 winning percentage in the truncated season was the lowest for a defending champion since the 1998 Florida Marlins went 54-108 (.333).

New York slipped from 86-76 last season and third place in the NL East to 26-34 and tied for fourth in manager Luis Rojas’ first season. The Mets still held slim playoff hopes entering Saturday before dropping three in a row, and they would have secured a wild card had they won those games because of three-game slides by Philadelphia and San Francisco to end the season.

“We didn’t get it done,” Rojas said. “We needed to do it, and we didn’t do it. It was definitely all on us. It makes it a little bit more frustrating just seeing that part happened the way we wanted, but we didn’t execute what we needed to do.”

Pete Alonso homered twice for New York and finished with 16 after clubbing a rookie-record 53 last season. Guillermo Heredia added a solo shot for the Mets.

Washington right-hander Austin Voth (2-5) needed 36 pitches to escape the first but made it through five innings to close his season with back-to-back victories. Voth allowed four runs while striking out four.

 

MARLINS CLINCH WINNING SEASON

Miami heads to its first postseason appearance since the Marlins’ 2003 World Series title with its first winning record in more than a decade.

Rookie Jazz Chisholm had a home run and three RBIs on Sunday in a 5-0 win over the New York Yankees.

Miami (31-29) finished third in the NL East and earned the NL’s sixth seed and a matchup at the Chicago Cubs in the first round.

“We’ll be rested,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “We’ll be ready. I think they’re going to expect to play well. I think our guys will be loose, I think we’ll be fine.”

Miami lost an NL-worst 105 games last year and had 18 players sidelined with COVID-19 early on, forcing the Marlins to use 61 players and make 174 transactions. The Marlins had not finished with a winning record since going 87-75 in 2009.”

“This group has been a solid group, a great group actually, trustworthy from the standpoint they’ll be ready to play,” Mattingly said. “Anything that’s come their way, they’ve dealt with, so really proud of these games and happy to have a winning record.

Chisholm hit a two-run double in Miami’s three-run second off rookie Clarke Schmidt (0-1), who made his first big league start, and homered off Nick Nelson in the eighth. Brian Anderson homered against Jonathan Holder, and Corey Dickerson hit an RBI single for Miami.

“As a kid you always want to play in Yankee Stadium,” said Chisholm, who had two extra-base hits in his first 19 games before Sunday. “It was really cool to be able to perform like this today.”

Daniel Castano (1-2) pitched 6 1/3 innings for his first career win. Schmidt allowed three runs and four hits in four innings.

The Marlins lost outfielder Starling Marte and right-hander Jose Urena to injuries in the first three innings. Marte left with a bruised left ear after being hit by Schmidt’s 94 mph fastball in the second. Urena a candidate for Miami’s bullpen in the postseason, was hit on the right hand by DJ LeMahieu’s liner in the third.

“Kind of your biggest fear on a day like today,” Mattingly said. “You hate to be playing your guys almost.”

 

ANGELS FIRE GM

The Los Angeles Angels fired general manager Billy Eppler on Sunday after the long-struggling franchise finished its fifth consecutive losing season under his watch.

Eppler was under contract for one more year with the Angels in an extension he signed in July with no public announcement, but team president John Carpino said the franchise will seek new baseball leadership after missing the playoffs for the sixth straight year.

The Angels have endured a historically bad half-decade during Eppler’s tenure despite many positive moves made by the former New York Yankees executive, all while dealing with the spending whims of owner Arte Moreno.

But Eppler was dismissed when the Angels couldn’t even make the eight-team AL playoff field this month. Los Angeles finished 26-34 in the pandemic-shortened season with a star-studded roster including three-time AL MVP Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, three-time NL MVP Albert Pujols and Shohei Ohtani playing for manager Joe Maddon.

Eppler’s teams went 332-376 (.469) under three managers with a rotating cast of supporting players around Trout and Pujols.

Eppler didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

The 45-year-old Eppler took the fall for a decade of mostly miserable baseball under Moreno, whose penchant for handing out big-money contracts to older veteran players has repeatedly hurt his club since its last playoff victory in 2009.

Eppler began each of his seasons working around the 10-year, $240 million deal given by Moreno to Pujols, whose performance hasn’t come close to justifying the huge chunk of payroll taken up by the 40-year-old superstar for many years. Moreno also interfered in other areas, such as firing Eppler’s hand-picked manager, Brad Ausmus, after one season and installing Maddon last fall.

Eppler rebuilt a farm system that was left barren by former GM Jerry Dipoto, and he both signed Trout to a massive contract extension and persuaded Ohtani to bring his two-way talents to the Angels. Eppler’s farm system is finally bearing fruit recently, with blue-chip prospect Jo Adell, slugger Jared Walsh and infielder David Fletcher making impacts on the Angels this season with other prospects on the way.

Yet Eppler never managed to sign enough quality pitchers to prevent Trout’s Angels from being a perennial also-ran. Eppler repeatedly guessed wrong in his acquisitions from Tim Lincecum and Trevor Cahill to Matt Harvey and Julio Teheran, leaving the Angels with one of the majors’ worst starting rotations for much of his tenure.

The Angels still haven’t won a playoff game with Trout, who will turn 30 years old next August. The Halos finished the season by losing 5-0 to the crosstown Dodgers, who have won eight straight NL West titles.

Moreno doesn’t plan to discuss his latest franchise reboot publicly until Wednesday.

 

MLB PLAYOFFS BEGIN TUESDAY

The 2020 postseason field is set. Below is a look at all eight of the matchups in the Wild Card Series, which will begin with four American League games on Tuesday.

AL games are scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (if necessary). The game times are TBD. The games will be played at the home field of the higher seed, and all subsequent rounds will be played at neutral sites.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Blue Jays (8) at Rays (1)

White Sox (7) at A’s (2)

Astros (6) at Twins (3)

Yankees (5) at Indians (4)

NATIONAL LEAGUE

NL games are scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (if necessary). The game times are TBD. The games will be played at the home field of the higher seed, and all subsequent rounds will be played at neutral sites.

Brewers (8) at Dodgers (1)

Reds (7) at Braves (2)

Marlins (6) at Cubs (3)

Cardinals (5) at Padres (4)

 

FIRST ROUND PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

TUESDAY

GAME 1: NY Yankees at Cleveland

GAME 1: Houston at Minnesota

GAME 1: Chicago at Oakland

GAME 1: Toronto at Tampa Bay

WEDNESDAY

GAME 1: St. Louis at San Diego

GAME 1: Miami at Chicago

GAME 1: Milwaukee at Los Angeles

GAME 2: NY Yankees at Cleveland

GAME 2: Houston at Minnesota

GAME 2 Chicago at Oakland

GAME 2: Toronto at Tampa Bay

GAME 1: Cincinnati at Atlanta

THURSDAY

GAME 2: Milwaukee at Los Angeles

GAME 2: Cincinnati at Atlanta

GAME 3: NY Yankees at Cleveland*

GAME 3: Chicago at Oakland*

GAME 3: Houston at Minnesota*

GAME 3: Toronto at Tampa Bay*

GAME 2: St. Louis at San Diego

GAME 2: Miami at Chicago

FRIDAY

GAME 3: Cincinnati at Atlanta*

GAME 3: Miami at Chicago*

GAME 3: Milwaukee at Los Angeles*

GAME 3: St. Louis at San Diego*

*if necessary

 

FINAL MLB STANDINGS

American League
East
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
X-Tampa Bay 40 20 .667 20 – 9 20 – 11 27 – 13 0 – 0 0 – 0 8 – 2 W 4
Y-NY Yankees 33 27 .550 7 22 – 9 11 – 18 23 – 17 0 – 0 0 – 0 4 – 6 L 1
Y-Toronto 32 28 .533 8 17 – 9 15 – 19 22 – 18 0 – 0 0 – 0 6 – 4 L 1
Baltimore 25 35 .417 15 13 – 20 12 – 15 14 – 26 0 – 0 0 – 0 3 – 7 W 1
Boston 24 36 .400 16 11 – 20 13 – 16 14 – 26 0 – 0 0 – 0 6 – 4 W 2
Central
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
X-Minnesota 36 24 .600 24 – 7 12 – 17 0 – 0 23 – 17 0 – 0 6 – 4 L 1
Y-Chi White Sox 35 25 .583 1 18 – 12 17 – 13 0 – 0 25 – 15 0 – 0 2 – 8 L 1
Y-Cleveland 35 25 .583 1 18 – 12 17 – 13 0 – 0 23 – 17 0 – 0 8 – 2 W 1
Kansas City 26 34 .433 10 15 – 15 11 – 19 0 – 0 17 – 23 0 – 0 5 – 5 W 1
Detroit 23 35 .397 12 12 – 15 11 – 20 0 – 0 12 – 28 0 – 0 2 – 8 L 1
West
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
X-Oakland 36 24 .600 22 – 10 14 – 14 0 – 0 0 – 0 26 – 14 5 – 5 W 1
Y-Houston 29 31 .483 7 20 – 8 9 – 23 0 – 0 0 – 0 19 – 21 4 – 6 L 3
Seattle 27 33 .450 9 14 – 10 13 – 23 0 – 0 0 – 0 20 – 20 5 – 5 L 1
LA Angels 26 34 .433 10 16 – 15 10 – 19 0 – 0 0 – 0 19 – 21 6 – 4 L 3
Texas 22 38 .367 14 16 – 14 6 – 24 0 – 0 0 – 0 16 – 24 4 – 6 W 3

 

National League
East
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
X-Atlanta 35 25 .583 19 – 11 16 – 14 24 – 16 0 – 0 0 – 0 6 – 4 L 2
Y-Miami 31 29 .517 4 11 – 15 20 – 14 21 – 19 0 – 0 0 – 0 5 – 5 W 1
Philadelphia 28 32 .467 7 19 – 13 9 – 19 21 – 19 0 – 0 0 – 0 3 – 7 L 3
NY Mets 26 34 .433 9 12 – 17 14 – 17 17 – 23 0 – 0 0 – 0 3 – 7 L 3
Washington 26 34 .433 9 15 – 18 11 – 16 17 – 23 0 – 0 0 – 0 7 – 3 W 3
Central
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
X-Chi Cubs 34 26 .567 19 – 14 15 – 12 0 – 0 22 – 18 0 – 0 4 – 6 W 1
Y-St. Louis 30 28 .517 3 14 – 13 16 – 15 0 – 0 22 – 18 0 – 0 6 – 4 W 1
Y-Cincinnati 31 29 .517 3 16 – 13 15 – 16 0 – 0 21 – 19 0 – 0 7 – 3 W 1
Y-Milwaukee 29 31 .483 5 15 – 14 14 – 17 0 – 0 19 – 21 0 – 0 5 – 5 L 1
Pittsburgh 19 41 .317 15 13 – 19 6 – 22 0 – 0 16 – 24 0 – 0 4 – 6 L 1
West
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
X-LA Dodgers 43 17 .717 21 – 9 22 – 8 0 – 0 0 – 0 27 – 13 8 – 2 W 4
Y-San Diego 37 23 .617 6 21 – 11 16 – 12 0 – 0 0 – 0 24 – 16 5 – 5 W 3
San Francisco 29 31 .483 14 19 – 14 10 – 17 0 – 0 0 – 0 18 – 22 4 – 6 L 3
Colorado 26 34 .433 17 12 – 18 14 – 16 0 – 0 0 – 0 17 – 23 4 – 6 L 1
Arizona 25 35 .417 18 16 – 14 9 – 21 0 – 0 0 – 0 14 – 26 6 – 4 W 1

 

NFL STANDINGS

American Football Conference
East Division
  W L T Pct GB PF PA Home Road vs. Conf vs. Div Streak
Buffalo Bills 3 0 0 1.000 0.0 93 77 2-0-0 1-0-0 2-0-0 2-0-0 3 W
New England Patriots 2 1 0 .667 1.0 87 66 2-0-0 0-1-0 2-0-0 1-0-0 1 W
Miami Dolphins 1 2 0 .333 2.0 70 65 0-1-0 1-1-0 1-2-0 0-2-0 1 W
New York Jets 0 3 0 .000 3.0 37 94 0-1-0 0-2-0 0-2-0 0-1-0 3 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 1 0 .667 0.5 88 90 1-0-0 1-1-0 0-1-0 0-0-0 1 L
Los Angeles Chargers 1 2 0 .333 1.5 52 57 0-2-0 1-0-0 1-1-0 0-1-0 2 L
Denver Broncos 0 3 0 .000 2.5 45 70 0-2-0 0-1-0 0-2-0 0-0-0 3 L
 
North Division
  W L T Pct GB PF PA Home Road vs. Conf vs. Div Streak
Pittsburgh Steelers 3 0 0 1.000 0.0 80 58 2-0-0 1-0-0 2-0-0 0-0-0 3 W
Baltimore Ravens 2 0 0 1.000 0.5 71 22 1-0-0 1-0-0 2-0-0 1-0-0 2 W
Cleveland Browns 2 1 0 .667 1.0 75 88 2-0-0 0-1-0 1-1-0 1-1-0 2 W
Cincinnati Bengals 0 2 1 .167 2.5 66 74 0-1-0 0-1-1 0-2-0 0-1-0 1 T
 
South Division
  W L T Pct GB PF PA Home Road vs. Conf vs. Div Streak
Tennessee Titans 3 0 0 1.000 0.0 80 74 1-0-0 2-0-0 2-0-0 1-0-0 3 W
Indianapolis Colts 2 1 0 .667 1.0 84 45 2-0-0 0-1-0 1-1-0 0-1-0 2 W
Jacksonville Jaguars 1 2 0 .333 2.0 70 84 1-1-0 0-1-0 1-2-0 1-1-0 2 L
Houston Texans 0 3 0 .000 3.0 57 95 0-1-0 0-2-0 0-3-0 0-0-0 3 L
 
National Football Conference
East Division
  W L T Pct GB PF PA Home Road vs. Conf vs. Div Streak
Washington Football Team 1 2 0 .333 0.0 62 81 1-0-0 0-2-0 1-1-0 1-0-0 2 L
Dallas Cowboys 1 2 0 .333 0.0 88 97 1-0-0 0-2-0 1-2-0 0-0-0 1 L
Philadelphia Eagles 0 2 1 .167 0.5 59 87 0-1-1 0-1-0 0-2-0 0-1-0 1 T
New York Giants 0 3 0 .000 1.0 38 79 0-2-0 0-1-0 0-2-0 0-0-0 3 L
 
West Division
  W L T Pct GB PF PA Home Road vs. Conf vs. Div Streak
Seattle Seahawks 3 0 0 1.000 0.0 111 86 2-0-0 1-0-0 2-0-0 0-0-0 3 W
Arizona Cardinals 2 1 0 .667 1.0 77 61 1-1-0 1-0-0 2-1-0 1-0-0 1 L
Los Angeles Rams 2 1 0 .667 1.0 89 71 1-0-0 1-1-0 2-0-0 0-0-0 1 L
San Francisco 49ers 2 1 0 .667 1.0 87 46 0-1-0 2-0-0 1-1-0 0-1-0 2 W
 
North Division
  W L T Pct GB PF PA Home Road vs. Conf vs. Div Streak
Green Bay Packers 3 0 0 1.000 0.0 122 85 1-0-0 2-0-0 3-0-0 2-0-0 3 W
Chicago Bears 3 0 0 1.000 0.0 74 62 1-0-0 2-0-0 3-0-0 1-0-0 3 W
Detroit Lions 1 2 0 .333 2.0 70 92 0-1-0 1-1-0 1-2-0 0-2-0 1 W
Minnesota Vikings 0 3 0 .000 3.0 75 102 0-2-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 3 L
 
South Division
  W L T Pct GB PF PA Home Road vs. Conf vs. Div Streak
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2 1 0 .667 0.0 82 61 1-0-0 1-1-0 1-1-0 1-1-0 2 W
New Orleans Saints 1 2 0 .333 1.0 88 94 1-1-0 0-1-0 1-1-0 1-0-0 2 L
Carolina Panthers 1 2 0 .333 1.0 68 81 0-1-0 1-1-0 0-1-0 0-1-0 1 W
Atlanta Falcons 0 3 0 .000 2.0 90 108 0-2-0 0-1-0 0-3-0 0-0-0 3 L

 

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

1897       Although he gives up 14 runs on 17 hits, Dave Wright of the Chicago Colts (Cubs) wins his first and only major league game. The 21 year-old Dennison, Ohio native is the beneficiary of Chicago’s 11-run fifth inning when the club beats the Pirates, 15-14.

1902       On the last day of the season, the Browns and the White Sox decide to use an assortment of seven infielders and outfielders on the mound instead of relying on their pitching staffs. Chicago’s flychaser Sam Mertes earns the victory, and the Browns’ left fielder Jesse Burkett takes the loss in the Pale Hose’s 10-4 victory at Sportsman’s Park, making it the last time the winning and losing pitchers were both position players in the same game until 2012, when Chris Davis of the Orioles and Darnell McDonald of the Red Sox also accomplished the feat in Baltimore’s 17-inning victory at Fenway Park.

1919       In the first game of a twin bill on the last day of the season, the Giants need only 51 minutes to defeat the Phillies, 6-1. The Polo Grounds contest is the shortest nine-inning game ever played in the major leagues.

1920       Eight White Sox players are indicted by the grand jury on charges of fixing last season’s World Series against the Reds. The eight members involved in the ‘Black Sox Scandal’ will be cleared of the charges by the court, but on the same day, they will be banned for life from baseball by Kenesaw Mountain Landis, baseball’s first commissioner.

1920       Jim Bagby wins his 30th game, en route to posting a 31-12 record, when the Indians beat the Browns, 9-5. The 30 year-old right-hander helps his cause by stroking two doubles and driving in two runs in the Sportsman’s Park contest.

1923       At Yankee Stadium, the Bronx Bombers beat the Red Sox, 24-4. En route to their one-sided victory, New York bangs out thirty hits in the game to set an American League record.

1924       Rogers Hornsby finishes the season with a .424 batting average to lead the National League. The Cardinal second baseman easily outdistances Zack Wheat, who finishes second in the race, batting .375 for the Dodgers.

1930       In a 13-11 season-finale victory over the Reds, Cubs outfielder Hack Wilson drives in his 189th and 190th run of the season to establish a new major league record. The total will be revised to 191 in 1999 after baseball’s historian Jerome Holtzman finds a missing RBI in a game played in July of 1930.

1930       As a Yankee, Babe Ruth returns to the mound after a nine-year absence at Fenway Park and pitches a complete game, beating the Red Sox at Fenway Park, 9-3. The last time the ‘Bambino’ took the mound, he defeated the A’s at the end of the 1921 season.

1938       In the ninth inning at Wrigley Field, Gabby Hartnett’s ‘Homer in the Gloamin’ gives the Cubs a 6-5 victory. Their ninth consecutive win proves to be significant in Chicago’s quest of the National League pennant.

1939       The Reds, ending a 20-year title drought, clinch their first pennant since 1919 when the team beats the second-place Cardinals at Crosley Field, 5-3. Right-hander Paul Derringer goes the distance, giving up 14 hits en route to his 25th victory of the season.

1941       Batting .399955, Ted Williams elects to play in a doubleheader against the A’s on the final day of the season rather than to back into the coveted .400 average because the number is rounded up. The ‘Splendor Splinter’ comes through by going 6-for-8 in the twin bill to finish the season with a .4057 mark (.406).

1947       Harry Walker hits .363 to win the National League batting title during the season he is traded to the Phillies, after appearing in just ten games with the World Champion Cardinals, a team in which he played a pivotal role. The ‘Hat’s older brother, Dixie, also won a batting crown the Senior Circuit with a .357 BA for Brooklyn in 1944.

1947       On the final day of the season in front of 23,085 fans, the Yankees stage the first Old-Timers’ Day in major league history. The team’s signature event, the brain child of general manager Larry MacPhail and public relations director Red Paterson, is held to honor an ailing Babe Ruth.

1948       A crowd of 60,405 attends Joe Early Night at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium. The 26 year-old night watchman wrote Bill Veeck asking why an average fan never gets a ‘Day’, and the Indians’ owner responded by giving the World War II veteran a spectacular day of his own.

1951       In the first game of a twin bill, Yankees right-hander Allie Reynolds no-hits the Red Sox, 8-0, setting the stage for the team to clinch their third consecutive pennant with a victory in the nightcap. ‘Superchief’, who is one-quarter Creek, accomplishes his second no-hitter of the season on American Indian Day when he gets Ted Williams to pop up for the second time to the same spot in the at-bat, after the first catchable pop fly is dropped by Yogi Berra, for the final out of the game.

1952       On the last day of the season at Ebbets Field, the Braves’ 77 years of representing Boston is extended by three innings when Eddie Mathews’ ninth-inning, two-out double ties the game. The contest is called due to darkness and ends in the 12th inning in a 5-5 tie with the Dodgers.

1953       Reversing their decision from last season, the American League owners unanimously agree on moving the Browns from St. Louis to Baltimore, where the franchise will become known as the Orioles. The 54-100 team finishes last in attendance, averaging only 3,860 fans a game at Sportsman’s Park, including yesterday’s crowd of 3,174 in the franchise finale in St. Louis.

1955       In the bottom of the second inning, Elston Howard, in his first World Series at-bat, knots the score at two to two when he homers off Dodgers’ right-hander Don Newcombe. The round-tripper to deep left field at Yankee Stadium marks the first time a black batter has hit a home run off a black pitcher in the history of the Fall Classic.

1958       On the last day of the season, Gus Triandos steals his first and only base of his 13-year major league career, swiping the bag off off rookie pitcher Zach Monroe and third-string catcher Darrell Johnson, who are playing to give the Yankees regular battery a day off before the upcoming Fall Classic. The 28 year-old Orioles backstop will play a record 1,206 games consecutive games without ever being caught stealing a base.

1958       Red Sox outfielder, going 7-for-11 to end the season, Ted Williams becomes the first 40 year-old to lead the league in hitting and wins his sixth and final batting title. The ‘Splendid Splinter’s’ .328 batting average beats out his teammate Pete Runnels, who goes 0-for-4 today and ends up the campaign with a .322 mark.

1958       On the last day of the season, Dave Philley establishes a big-league record by getting his eighth consecutive pinch hit. The seventh inning run-producing double helps the Phillies beat the Pirates at Forbes Field, 6-4.

1958       On the last day of the season at Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field, Richie Ashburn goes 3-for-4, including a tenth inning single, to capture his second batting crown. The Phillies center fielder, who also led the league in 1955, ends the season with a batting average of .350, three points higher than Giants slugger Willie Mays.

1959       The Braves, who ended the National League regular season in a first-place tie with the Dodgers, lose Game 1 of the three-game series, 3-2, in front of a sparse crowd of 18,297 at County Stadium. Milwaukee will lose tomorrow’s game in L.A., spoiling their chance for a three-peat as NL Champs.

1960       In his last major league appearance, an at-bat that will be immortalized by John Updike’s Hub fans bid Kid Adieu, Ted Williams homers off Orioles’ hurler Jack Fischer. The Boston writer’s explanation of why the 41 year-old superstar did not acknowledge the Fenway faithful’s thunderous ovation is because “Gods do not answer letters”.

1962       In front of only 595 fans at Wrigley Field, the Cubs (58-101) beat the Mets (39-118) in the first meeting in major league history between two 100-loss teams before the series begins. The New York expansion team will split the remaining two games in Chicago to finish the season 40-120, establishing the record for the most losses in baseball’s modern-era.

1965       Dave Morehead takes the loss when the Angels beat the Red Sox at Fenway Park, 4-3. The defeat is the right-hander’s tenth consecutive defeat at the hands of the Halos, establishing a new American League record.

1966       At Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Larry Jaster throws a four-hitter, blanking Don Sutton and the Dodgers, 2-0. It’s the southpaw’s fifth shutout against LA this season, equaling a post-1900 major league mark held by the Senators’ Tom Hughes (against the Indians in 1905) and Grover Cleveland Alexander of the Phillies (against the Reds in 1916).

1968       Blanked by the combined efforts of Angel hurlers Marty Pattin and Jim McGlothlin, the White Sox lose their ninth 1-0 decision of the season. The defeat ties an American League record, matching the mark established by the 1914 Yankees.

1968       Although the future Hall of Famer gives up 16 hits, Giants’ right-hander Gaylord Perry goes the distance, earning a 10-4 victory over the Reds at Crosley Field. Cincinnati’s 14 singles and two doubles cannot overcome their two errors and a three-run poke by Willie McCovey.

1974       At Anaheim Stadium, Angel Nolan Ryan strikes out 15 batters when he no-hits the Twins, 4-0. The no-no is the third of seven the Alvin, Texas native will toss during his career, and the third of the four hitless games he hurls for the Halos.

1975       In a tune-up for the ALCS against the Angels, A’s pitchers Vida Blue, Glenn Abbott, Paul Lindblad, and Rollie Fingers share a no-hitter. It is the first time four pitchers have accomplished such a feat.

1976       At Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Giants hurler John Montefusco no-hits the Braves, 9-0. The ‘Count’ is almost perfect, giving up just a leadoff walk to Jerry Royster in the fourth inning.

1979       In a twin bill at Busch Stadium, Cardinal infielder Garry Templeton collects three hits against the Mets to become the first player to get 100 hits from each side of the plate. The St. Louis shortstop bats just right-handed during the last nine games to establish the unprecedented switch-hitting mark.

1982       Although the Twins stake Terry Felton to a 3-0 lead in the nightcap of a twin bill, the Blue Jays tie the score, knocking out the hard-luck pitcher from his last major league game. The no-decision leaves the 24 year-old right hander with a lifetime mark of 0-16, a major league record for most career losses without recording a victory.

1982       At Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium, right hander Jim Clancy is perfect until he faces Randy Bush leading off the ninth inning. The Twins designated hitter ruins the bid for perfection with a broken-bat single to right field, and the Blue Jays starter has to settle for a one-hitter, beating Minnesota, 3-0.

1983       At Wrigley Field, the Phillies clinch the National League East championship with a 13-6 victory over Chicago. The clincher is the team’s 7000th win in franchise history.

1987       Royals’ Kevin Seitzer becomes the first rookie in 23 years to collect 200 hits in a season. Dick Allen and Tony Oliva both accomplished the feat in 1964.

1988       In Seoul, South Korea, Jim Abbott, born without a right hand, goes the distance en route to a 5-3 victory over Japan to win the Olympic Gold medal for the United States. After the game, the Japanese players, in a display of great respect, line up to congratulate the former University of Michigan pitcher who had just beaten them.

1988       In his last start of the regular season, Dodger Orel Hershiser tosses 10 shutout frames to extend his streak to 59, breaking Don Drysdale’s record of 58 consecutive scoreless innings.

1990       The scoreboard at Old Comiskey Park ‘explodes’ for the last time when Frank Thomas goes deep off Randy Johnson in the seventh inning of a 13-4 loss to Seattle. The Monster, which has shot off fireworks whenever a White Sox player hit a home run since 1960, was an innovation of team owner Bill Veeck, who was inspired by the design of a pinball machine.

1995       A fan takes exception when a Cub reliever gives up two-run, pinch-hit home run to James Mouton, giving the Astros an eighth inning 9-7 lead. As the Houston pinch-hitter rounds the bases, the 27 year-old spectator runs out of the stands and heads toward the mound, where he is immediately pinned by Randy Myers, who in addition to his pitching prowess, is well trained in the martial arts.

1995       Greg Harris becomes the first post-1900 major leaguer to pitch ambidextrously. The Expos reliever, in his ninth inning appearance, blanks the Reds, facing four batters, two as a right-hander, his natural side, and the other two as a southpaw.

1996       The Rockies’ Ellis Burks becomes the fourth player to hit 40 home runs and swipe 30 bases in a single season when he goes deep off Dan Carlson with an eighth-inning solo shot in the team’s 8-5 loss to the Giants at Coors Field. The 32 year-old Colorado outfielder joins Hank Aaron (1963 Braves), Jose Canseco (1988 A’s), and Barry Bonds (1996 Giants) in accomplishing the feat.

1996       The Devil Rays become the second team to sign a working agreement with a Japanese professional team. Tampa Bay signs a two-year contract with the Seibu Lions, which includes a four-year option extending the deal through 2002.

1997       With his 40th home run, catcher Mike Piazza sets a single season Los Angeles Dodger record. Duke Snider holds the franchise record, slugging 43 round-trippers for Brooklyn in 1956.

1997       Tony Gwynn equals Honus Wagner’s record by winning his eighth National League batting title when he finishes the season with a .372 batting average. The Padres outfielder becomes the first player to win four consecutive NL batting crowns since Rogers Hornsby accomplished the feat with the Cardinals, winning six straight titles between 1920 and 1925.

1997       Toronto’s Roger Clemens goes 8.1 innings against his former team, but doesn’t get a decision when the Blue Jays score two runs in the bottom of the ninth and beat Boston in a 3-2 come-from-behind victory. The right-hander will finish the season with a 21-7 record, the best winning percentage for a starting pitcher on a team that will finish last.

1998       In the first National League playoff since 1980, the Cubs beat the Giants, 5-3, in a one-game showdown to take the National League’s wild-card berth. San Francisco makes the game interesting by scoring three runs in the ninth inning in front of a very anxious crowd at Wrigley Field.

2000       Equalling the 1996 Orioles, the Blue Jays become only the second team in major league history to have seven players to hit twenty or more homers during the same season when DH Darrin Fletcher goes deep in the fifth inning for the team’s only tally in a 23-1 rout by the Orioles at Camden Yards. The other Toronto players to reach the milestone include Carlos Delgado, Tony Batista, Shannon Stewart, Jose Cruz, Raul Mondesi, and Brad Fullmer.

2000       The Brewers play the last game at Milwaukee County Stadium, bowing to the Reds, 8-1. Warren Spahn throws the ceremonial first pitch to Del Crandall, his batterymate on Opening Day 47 years ago when the Future Hall of Fame southpaw Spahn and the Braves beat the Cardinals in 10 innings, 3-2, in 1953.

2000       Troy Glaus hits his 44th, breaking the 47 year-old record for homers by an American League third baseman set in 1953 by Al Rosen, who played the hot corner for the Indians. The Angel infielder will lead in the circuit with 47 round-trippers, including one hit as a designated hitter.

2001       In the first home game at Wrigley since the terrorist attacks on America, Sammy Sosa, after hitting his 59th home run of the season, pulls out a small American flag and waves it as he circles the bases. After scoring and making a curtain call from the dugout, the Cub slugger continues to wave Old Glory.

2001       Ranger infielder Alex Rodriguez becomes the 20th player and first shortstop in major league history to hit 50 home runs season. The milestone blast is given up by Angel hurler Ismael Valdes in the first inning in at Edison Field in an 11-2 Texas win.

2001       Angels infielder David Eckstein breaks Frank Robinson’s rookie record for getting hit by a pitch. The Halos’ shortstop is struck by Rangers hurler Aaron Mayette’s fifth inning pitch, making it the 21st time he has been plunked this season.

2001       On a night he hits his 68th round-tripper of the season in quest of Mark McGwire’s single-season home run record, Barry Bonds is walked for the 163rd time, breaking ‘Big Mac’s’ 1998 National League record for bases on balls. The major league record is 170 walks held by Babe Ruth.

2003       Ron Santo, the team’s radio color commentator, joins Hall of Famers Ernie Banks and Billy Williams, becoming third player to have his number retired by the Cubs. The nine-time All-Star third baseman, who spent 14 of his 15-year career with Chicago (1960-73), will have his uniform #10 below Ernie Banks’ on the left-field foul pole.

2003       At Turner Field in Atlanta, Jose Reyes becomes the second Mets player to hit a home run from both sides of the plate in one game. Lee Mazzilli was the first when he went yard twice against the Dodgers in LA on September 3, 1978.

2003       Following an emotional closing ceremony, the Braves beat the Phillies 5-2 in the final game at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. The two hour festivities at the intersection of Broad Street and Pattison Avenue include the introduction of the All-Vet team and a eulogy given by Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Kalas, who receives a standing ovation from the 58,554 enthusiastic fans in attendance.

2005       Alex Rodriguez breaks Joe DiMaggio’s 1937 single-season club record for home runs by a right-handed batter. The third baseman’s 47th homer proves to be the difference as the Yankees edge the Orioles, 2-1.

2005       With the lowest winning percentage ever compiled by a division champion during a non-strike year, the Padres (79-79) win their fourth division flag in the 37-year history of the franchise. San Diego, which needs to win three of their last four games just to finish above .500, accomplishes the feat, surpassing the Mets, who previously possessed the dubious record by going 82-79 (.509) to win the NL East in 1973.

2006       For the third consecutive season, Kansas City will lose 100 or more games. The team’s 2-1 defeat to the Twins in the Metrodome makes the Royals the 11th franchise in big league history to accomplish this dubious feat.

2006       At Coors Field in Colorado, James Loney collects four hits, including two homers, and drives in nine runs in the Dodgers’ 19-11 victory over the Rockies. The rookie first baseman, who had one homer and eight runs batted in in 93 previous at-bats with the team, ties the franchise RBI mark set by Gil Hodges in his 1950 four-homer game for Brooklyn and breaks the Los Angeles club mark held by Ron Cey.

2008       On the last day of the season, 39 year-old Yankee right-hander Mike Mussina (20-9) becomes the oldest pitcher to win 20 games in a season for the first time. The 18-year career veteran tosses six shutout innings against the Red Sox in New York’s 6-2 Fenway Park victory.

2008       The Mets play their final game at Shea Stadium, a 4-2 loss to the Marlins, disappointing a sellout crowd by failing to qualify for the postseason on the last day of the season for the second consecutive year. After the contest, former Mets, including Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Yogi Berra, and Tom Seaver, as well as Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden and Mike Piazza, but not any of the club’s current players, take part in a ceremony to celebrate the history of the 45 year-old ballpark in front of the subdued spectators gathered to ‘Shea Goodbye’.

2008       Pitching on a day’s short rest, CC Sabathia tosses a complete game, defeating the Cubs, 3-1. The victory, along with the Mets’ 4-2 loss to Florida an hour later, makes the Brewers the NL Wild Card and puts Milwaukee in the postseason for the first time since 1982.

2008       The Astros set a new National League mark for the fewest errors committed in one season. The 67 Houston miscues are one less than the record shared by the 1999 Mets and 2007 Rockies.

2008       For the first time in team history, the Red Sox draw over three-million patrons at home. A crowd of 37,091 fans attending the first game of a day-night doubleheader on the last day of the season brings the season’s total to 3,010,801, marking the ninth straight year the attendance at Fenway Park has broken the franchise record.

2008       The Red Sox’ last regular-season game at Yankee Stadium is a fitting finale for the two rivals at the 85 year-old historic ballpark. Trailing 2-0, the Bronx Bombers rally late in the game, thanks to Jason Giambi’s seventh-inning pinch-hit two-run homer and his walk-off single in the ninth, to beat Boston, 3-2, avoiding a sweep and keeping their wild-card hopes alive.

2009       The Angels acquire left-hander Scott Kazmir (8-7, 5.92) from the Rays in exchange for two prospects, left-hander Alex Torres and infielder Matt Sweeney, as well as a highly touted minor league player to be named later. The Rays dealt the 25 year-old talented southpaw, who is in the first year of a three-year, $28.5 million contract, due to restrictions in the organization’s payroll.

2009       The Angels clinch their fifth AL West title in the last six years with their 11-0 win over Texas. Although the team has been very successful reaching the postseason, Los Angeles has won just one playoff series since winning Game 7 of the 2002 World Series for their only championship.

2010       David Wright sets the all-time Mets record for strikeouts in a season with 157. The third baseman passes the infamous mark shared by Dave Kingman (1982) and Tommie Agee (1970).

2011       With their season-finale extra-inning victory over Atlanta, the Phillies set a team record with their 102nd win of the campaign. The 4-3 victory also moves skipper Charlie Manuel (646-488) past Gene Mauch for the most wins by a manager in the history of the franchise.

2011       With a Tampa Bay loss all but assured, the Red Sox, appearing to need just a win to advance to the ALDS or to Tampa Bay for a one-game playoff if they lose, become optimistic about their chances for a playoff spot with their 3-2 lead over Baltimore, and the Rays trailing New York, 7-0. Boston will drop a 4-3 walk-off decision when the Birds score two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, and moments later will see their season come to a crushing end when Evan Longoria hits a solo homer in the bottom of the 12th inning, giving the Rays an unbelievable comeback victory and the AL Wild Card.

2011       On the last day of the season, the Braves become the first team in major league history to blow a lead of at least eight games in September when the team is eliminated from the playoffs when drop a 4-3 decision to Philadelphia in 13 innings. On August 26, Atlanta was ten games ahead of St. Louis, the eventual Wild Card team.

2011       Jose Reyes takes himself out of the season finale, after laying down a bunt single off Edinson Volquez in the first inning of the Mets’ 3-0 victory over Cincinnati at Citi Field. The infield hit, which will be his last for the Mets until returning to the club in 2016, raises the shortstop’s average to a league-leading .337, nudging Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun for the NL batting crown, the first in franchise history.

2011       Starlin Castro ( 21 years, 188 days) becomes the youngest player to lead the National League in hits, finishing the season with 207. The Cubs sophomore All-Star shortstop, who hit .307 in 158 games, reaches base for the 40th straight game with an eighth-inning double in the team’s 9-2 loss to Padres at Petro Park, extending his current hitting streak to 10 games.

2011       On the final day of the season, the Brewers beat the Pirates 7-3, for their 96th victory of the season to break the franchise record for victories, established in 1979 and tied in 1982. The National League Central Division champs finish the season 96-66, the second-best record in the circuit, trailing only Philadelphia.

2011       Eric O’Flaherty, who induces a double play from the only batter he faces in the Braves’ 4-3 loss to Philadelphia, finishes the season with a microscopic 0.98 ERA. The 26 year-old southpaw’s earned run average is the lowest ever posted by a pitcher with 75 or more appearances.

2011       The Rays, trailing 7-0 going into the eighth, complete their storybook finish on the final day of the season with a ninth-inning, two-out, two-strike, game-tying pinch-hit solo home run hit by Dan Johnson, and Evan Longoria’s walk-off round-tripper in the 12th. The victory, along with the Red Sox 4-3 loss to Baltimore minutes before, gives Tampa Bay the AL wild-card berth, after being down by nine games at the beginning of the month.

2011       Ozzie Guillen, who signed a four-year, $10 million deal with Florida, is introduced before the season’s finale as the club’s new manager, replacing 80 year-old interim Jack McKeon. The outspoken former White Sox skipper is expected, in addition to bringing a better product on the field, to help spark enthusiasm for the team as they start a new era playing in a new ballpark as the Miami Marlins.

2011       The Marlins attract 34,615 fans to their finale at Dolphin Stadium, now known as Sun Life Stadium, but will still post the poorest attendance in the National League for the sixth consecutive year. The last-place club, which has played in its current venue during the first 19 years of the franchise’s existence, will play next season’s home games in a new ballpark with a retractable roof located on approximately 17 acres of the historic 42-acre Orange Bowl site in the Little Havana section of Miami.

2020       On the same day MLB celebrated Jackie Robinson Day, Chadwick Boseman, the actor who portrayed the Brooklyn Dodgers star in the 2013 movie 42, dies of colon cancer. The 43 year-old actor, best known for the title role in Marvel’s blockbuster Black Panther, also played music legend James Brown and future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshal on the big screen.