ESPN Announces Matchup For Last Sunday Night Baseball Broadcast Of 2013

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has made it official.  The “Sports Leader” has announced the matchup for the last game of its regular season coverage for 2013.  On Sunday, September 22nd, ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell will present a matchup of the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers.  The Red Birds are currently in the hunt for the National League Central Division as they come into the game.  They are looking to get back in the win column as they face the NL Central leading Pittsburgh Pirates this weekend in a three-game series beginning tonight.  The Brewers, the Cards’ NL Central foes, are in the basement right now.  They currently sit at 60-80 and are at 3-7 in their last ten games at the time of this posting.

ESPN’s Dan Shulman will anchor the 8pm broadcast.  He will be joined by analysts Orel Hershiser and Jon Kruk and reporter Buster Olney for commentary.  Broadcast of the game (and all ESPN Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell games) will be available on ESPN Radio with Jon Sciambi and analyst Chris Singleton.  ESPN Deportes will also carry the game with Ernesto Jerez, Luis Alfredo Alvarez, Guillermo Celis, and Ozzie Guillen.  All games will also be broadcast on ESPN Deportes Radio and online via WatchESPN.

Before the Cardinals and Brewers go head to head, the Los Angeles Dodgers will face off against The Cincinnati Reds tomorrow night, September 8th.  The Reds are currently in the hunt for a spot in the 2013 postseason.  And next Sunday, September 15th, the Yankees and Red Sox hit the field in the latest round of their ongoing battle.  All broadcasts of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell are preceded by Baseball Tonight at 7pm.

More information on Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell is available online at http://espn.go.com/mlb and http://www.facebook.com/ESPN.  And for all the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with all of the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

MLB Superstars A Good “Lead Off” For The 2013 MLB Season

Courtesy:  A&E Home Video/MLB Productions

Courtesy: A&E Home Video/MLB Productions

MLB Productions’ latest home release is a good way to start off the New Year and a new season of baseball.  MLB Superstars: Impact Players is an hour plus profile of some of Major League Baseball’s best up-and-coming players.  It’s an easy to follow feature that takes audiences around the diamond focusing on the top players from both the American and National League without the unnecessary add-ons that one might see on a television take of the program.  Though it was produced and edited much in the same vein of something one might see in the course of a pre-game show on MLB network or any network currently airing big league baseball.

Over the course of its near ninety-minute run time, audiences get profiles of young stars the likes of Prince Fielder, Joey Votto, Aroldis Champman, Stephen Strasburg, and many more.  Their pedigrees are expertly illustrated through the eyes of those closest to them and to the game, including broadcasters, fellow and former teammates, and even managers and owners.  It’s all set largely against the backdrop of the 2012 MLB All-Star Game.  The video quality is top notch as each player’s profile is highlighted by footage of both their performance at the All-Star Game and through games that each has played.  The footage was recorded and edited by Major League Baseball.  So viewers naturally get professional quality footage.  Viewers even get some more lighthearted moments as they get to hear audio of the players both before and during their games.  That coupled with the profiles of fellow players, managers, and broadcasters will entertain and enlighten baseball fans, thus keeping them engaged throughout the program’s run-time.

This new DVD’s main feature makes for a great introduction to Major League Baseball’s 2013 season.  It serves as a way to introduce viewers to baseball’s next generation of star athletes.  As an added bonus, viewers also get a brief history of the players’ walk-offs.  Also, Troy Tulowitzki, who is one of those up-and-comers, gets his own feature as does San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain.  Cain’s pitching performance in the Giants’ first ever perfect game closes out the disc’s bonus features.  That game and the footage from the disc’s other bonus features was also produced and edited by Major League Baseball.  So audiences even get in these bonuses professional quality game footage and one more way to get hyped for a new season.  Together with the disc’s main feature the bonuses and the main feature mix to make another release that is everything baseball fans have come to expect from MLB Productions.  MLB Superstars: Impact Players is available now and can be ordered online at http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=19148216.

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MLB, A&E Offer Brewers Fans Reason To Celebrate This Offseason

Courtesy: MLB Productions/A&E Home Video

The Milwaukee Brewers is one of Major League Baseball’s younger teams.  The team, which was originally started in part by Bud Selig in 1970, has had its share of great moments in its roughly forty-two year history.  Now thanks to MLB Productions and A&E Home Video, the team’s fans and baseball fans alike can enjoy a handful of the team’s greatest moments in the new four-disc box set, The Essential Games of the Milwaukee Brewers

It’s fitting that all four of the games included in this box set are taken from the Brewers’ post season history, as Major League Baseball is currently in its second season.  Now fans yearning for a fresh start next season can enjoy these momentous games in the meantime.  One of the games that fans will enjoy from this set is its matchup against the then California Angels.  The game in question was the teams’ faceoff in Game Five of the 1982 ALCS.  Both teams were tied up at two games each in this best of five series.  So both teams’ fates boiled down to this decisive match.  And both teams showed how bad they wanted it.

Game Five of the 1982 ALCS started off with both the Angels and Brewers bringing in one run a piece.  The next two innings would see only one run scored on the part of the Angels’ catcher, Bob Boone.  Both sides stayed toe to toe in the game’s fourth inning with each one bringing in another run each, bringing the score at that point to 3-2, advantage Angels.  The Brewers’ lone run that inning came after a single run home run by Ben Oglivie.  The fifth and sixth innings would go scoreless on both sides of the ball.  But apparently the legendary seventh inning stretch must have done some magic for the Brewers as Milwaukee would seal the game with two more runs, bringing the Brewers past the Angels, 4-3.  The runs turned out to be the last runs of the game on either side of the ball as both teams went scoreless in the game’s last two innings.  The Brewers’ seventh inning surge started when Don Money hit a pop fly single to first base off of Angels pitcher Luis Sanchez.  Charlie Moore followed up that hit with a single to second base.  Sanchez gave up a single to Center Field against Jim Gantner next, thus allowing Moore to move to second.  Sanchez made up for that sacrifice by striking out future MLB legend Paul Molitor.  But then he walked Robin Yount, loading the bases.  Cecil Cooper’s single to Left Field brought in both Gantner and Moore and moved Yount to second.  These two runs would be the last two for the game, and would be the last scored against Sanchez, as he was replaced on the mound by Andy Hassler.  Hassler struck out Ted Simmons to end the inning.  Hassler wouldn’t be back until the bottom of the eighth inning.  He and the Angels’ fielding unit worked together to keep the bases empty on a quick three up, three down.  Bob McClure and Pete Ladd would finish the game for the Brewers, allowing only one man on base.

The Brewers’ 1982 post season run would see not one but two amazing games for this team that just over a decade prior had been brought in from Seattle of all places.  After the Brewers finished off the Angels in Game Five of the ALCS, they went on to the World Series to face the St. Louis Cardinals.  Things got started pretty well for the Brewers in the World Series with Milwaukee taking a decisive Game One win 10-0.  But two straight losses in Games Two and Three put the Brewers’ back somewhat to the wall.  Had the Cards won this game, it would have put the Brewers in a huge three games to one hole.  But the boys weren’t to be counted out just yet.  Despite going down by four runs early on, the Brewers’ offense kept the Cardinals scoreless in the third and fourth innings and finally getting on the board in the bottom of the fifth.  Don Money got things started first with a hard hit double.  Charlie Moore followed up with a short fly ball to Center Field.  That hit let Money move to third and into scoring position.  Jim Gantner finished things off with this rush, hitting a ground ball double that sent in Money for the score.  Paul Molitor ended up being taken out on a fly ball to Center Field, ending the inning.

The Cardinals answered the Brewers right back in the top of the sixth inning on doubles by both Lonnie Smith and Dane Iorg.  Iorg’s double brought in Smith, putting the Brewers deep into a 5-1 deficit.  But the Brewers showed that they still had a fire burning as they answered back with six big runs against four different Cardinals pitchers.  Those six runs were all the Brewers needed as they retook the lead 7-5.  The Brewers’ offense came to life in the eighth and ninth, keeping the Cardinals scoreless.  They went toe to toe with the Cardinals’ offense, showing that they weren’t about to just lay down for the red birds.  They took that momentum into Game Five and won that matchup 6-4.  Sadly though, it would be the last win for Milwaukee, as the Cardinals would force Game Six and then Seven, eventually taking the title in 1982.  Despite the Cardinals’ eventual title win, the Brewers showed in Game Four that the club’s appearance in the Fall Classic that year was no fluke.  And the team reiterated that in Game Five, too.  And while the Brewers may not be in the playoffs this year, this club proved that it could still hold its own in the National League with an 83-79 final record.  This team could have made it into the playoffs.  And it showed in turn, that it could easily make the second season next year, too.  In the mean time, Brewers fans have these two games and two others to enjoy throughout the offseason.  The Essential Games of the Milwaukee Brewers is available now.  It can be ordered online now at MLB Productions’ shop site, http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=13117903&cp=1452356.2184761.3740939.

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