Cubs, Pirates Face Off In Key NL Central Matchup Tonight On MNB

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The Pittsburgh Pirates took 2 of 3 against the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend, winning 4 – 1 and 5 – 1 Friday and Saturday respectively.  But the Reds got a bit of revenge Sunday night, taking the last of the teams’ 3-game series 6 – 5 in extra innings.  Now after that tough loss the Pirates look to regroup as they are set to face yet another NL Central foe this week in the form of the Chicago Cubs.  The teams face off this week in a 3-game series that begins tonight.  And ESPN will have full coverage of the series’ opener in this week’s edition of Monday Night Baseball presented by USAA.

Tonight’s game (and the series in whole) will have major implications for both teams even this early in the season.  That is because there’s more than just NL pride on the line.  The team’s cross city rivals, the White Sox, currently sit at 18 – 8 on the season so far.  The Cubs on the other hand are 17 – 6 so far on the season.  In the NL ranks, the Cubs are currently trying to hold off the second place Washington Nationals (17 – 7).  A win tonight (and wins Tuesday and Wednesday) would help the Cubs pad their lead over the Nats.  It would also help the Cubs in their rivalry with the White Sox.  On the other side of the ball, a win in tonight’s series opener (combined with wins Tuesday and Wednesday) would help the Pirates as they battle with the Phillies and the Cubs for position.

Gerrit Cole is currently expected to start for the Pirates tonight.  He is 2- 2 so far on the season.  His last time on the mound was six days ago on April 26th against Colorado.  The Pirates routed the Rockies in that game 9 – 4 with Cole pitching six innings.  Cole didn’t have the greatest game, allowing 4 runs and 2 earned runs on 8 hits, and 1 home run.  He walked 2 and struck out 3.  This was all against 27 total batters.  Thanks to good fielding on Pittsburgh’s side and just as many problems for Colorado’s bullpen, the Pirates were able to pull off the win.

Starting for the Cubs tonight will be Jason Hammel.  Hammel is currently 3 – 0 on the season.  He has had plenty of time to rest and prepare for tonight’s game.  That’s because his last time on the mound was seven days ago against the Reds.  The Cubs blanked the Reds in that game 9 – 0.  Hammel was credited with the win having pitched 6 innings.  He was in top form in the game, too, allowing 0 runs on only 3 hits.  He walked only 2 of the 23 batters that he faced and struck out 7 while allowing 0 home runs and 0 earned runs.  Red pitcher Alfredo Simon meanwhile struggled mightily in the game, pitching only 2.2 innings before being pulled.  In that short time, he allowed 8 runs, 8 earned runs, and 2 home runs on 10 hits.  He walked only 1 of the 18 batters that he faced and struck out only 3.  So needless to say that Hammel will be on his A-game tonight.

Adding to the interest for tonight’s game (and this week’s series) is that while Pittsburgh and Chicago are evenly matched in their home records—Pittsburgh is 7 – 4 at home so far this season to Chicago’s 7 – 3—the visiting Cubs are 10 – 3 on the road so far to Pittsburgh’s 8 – 6 road record.  Chicago is 7 – 3 in its last 10 games while Pittsburgh is 8 – 2 in its last 10.  So when all of the numbers are added up, they show tonight’s game to be full of fireworks for both sides.  The same can be said of Tuesday and Wednesday’s games, too.

Dave Flemming will be in the booth for tonight’s game.  He will be joined by analysts Dallas Braden and Eduardo Perez for additional commentary.  ESPN Deportes will simulcast the game for the network’s Spanish-speaking audiences.  More information on tonight’s game is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BBTN

 

To keep up with 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 the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Adds NL, AL Matchups To Its MNB, WNB Broadcast Schedule

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has added two more games to its Major League Baseball broadcast schedule.

On Monday, April 18th, the Cubs and Cardinals will face off live on ESPN’s Monday Night Baseball presented by USAA.  The game is the series-opener in a three-game set between the NL Central opponents.  The game will also mark the midway point of what will be a six-game home stand for the team.   No announcement has been made at this time in regards to starting lineups or pitching rotations for either team in the game.  The other three games in that run will see the Cardinals host another NL Central opponent, the Cincinnati Reds.  Currently the Reds sit second in the division just behind the Cubs.  Dave Flemming will be in the booth for the game.  He will be joined by analysts Curt Schilling and Eduardo Perez for additional commentary.

Also added to the network’s MLB coverage, the defending MLB champion Kansas City Royals will host the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday, April 20th on ESPN’s Wednesday Night Baseball presented by Hankook Tires.  Currently the Royals sit fourth in the AL Central, one game back from the division-leading Tigers.  The White Sox and Indians currently sit in second and third respectively in the division.  The game will be the second in a three-game set between those two teams.  Coverage is expected to begin at 7pm ET on ESPN.  Jon Sciambi will be in the booth for the game.  Analysts Rick Sutcliffe and Eduardo Perez will also be on hand for additional commentary.  As an additional note, this game will be a full national telecast.

Both the NL Central matchup on the 18th and the AL Central game set for the 20th will be simulcast on television on ESPN Deportes and online via WatchESPN.  More information on both of these games is available online along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BBTN

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.comphilspicks and “Like” it.

PBS To Release New Ken Burns Documentary This Spring

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

This spring PBS and PBS Distribution will release a brand new documentary from acclaimed documentarian Ken Burns.

PBS and PBS Distribution will release Ken Burns’ new documentary Jackie Robinson this spring. The four-hour documentary will be released on April 15th. The timing of the double-disc set, which will be presented both on DVD and Blu-ray, is wholly intentional as it will coincide with Jackie Robinson Day. It follows the life and career of the famed baseball star and the impact that he had both on the diamond and off. That impact is highlighted through discussions from the likes of famed newsman Tom Brokaw, singers Carly Simon and Harry Belafonte, and even President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama among others.

Jackie Robinson is not the first time that Burns has delved in to the baseball world having helmed his documentary Baseball in 1994. In discussing the film Burns explained that the film came from a desire to focus more closely on Robinson after having helmed that docu-series. “Jackie Robinson is the most important figure in our nation’s most important game,” he said. “He gave us our first lasting progress in civil rights since the Civil War and, ever since I finished my BASEBALL series in 1994, I’ve been eager to make a stand-alone film about the life of this courageous American. There was so much more to say not only about Robinson’s barrier-breaking moment in 1947, but about how his upbringing shaped his intolerance for any form of discrimination and how after his baseball career, he spoke out tirelessly against racial injustice, even after his star had begun to dim.”  Audiences can hear Burns discuss his new film at more length in an interview on CBS’ Face The Nation via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUawlPAl5vA.

Jackie Robinson was co-directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon. It will be available on Tuesday, April 15th and will be released both on DVD and Blu-ray. The program’s double-disc DVD presentation will retail for MSRP of $24.99 and the double-disc Blu-ray presentation for $29.99. It will also be available in a number of combo packages, from which audiences can choose online and pre-order at http://www.shoppbs.org/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=ken%20burns%20jackie%20robinson&origkw=Ken+Burns%27+Jackie+Robinson&sr=1. More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pbs

To keep up with 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 the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Announces Early Details For MLB 2016 Season Coverage

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Winter has just started. But don’t tell baseball fans. Officials with ESPN announced today that its weekly Sunday night baseball broadcast will return for its 27th season in 2016.

ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball returns for its 27th season next year. The Worldwide Leader In Sports will premiere its 27th season of Sunday Night Baseball on Sunday, April 3rd at 8:30pm with a World Series rematch between the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals. The game will be preceded earlier in the day with a doubleheader beginning at 1pm ET on ESPN. The first game on tap is an NL Central faceoff between the Pirates and Cardinals. The second of the day’s games, on ESPN2, will be between The Blue Jays and Rays. That game is scheduled for a 4pm ET start time. Both games will be simulcast online via WatchESPN. They are part of a two-day, seven-game season-opening schedule of games that will feature every team that appeared in the 2015 post season. ESPN’s full season-opening schedule is noted below.

ESPN MLB season-opening schedule:

Date

Time (ET)

Telecast

Network(s)

Sun, Apr. 3

1 p.m.

St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates

ESPN, WatchESPN

Sun, Apr. 3

4 p.m.

Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays

ESPN2, WatchESPN

Sun, Apr. 3

8:30 p.m.

New York Mets at Kansas City Royals

ESPN, WatchESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes Radio

Mon, Apr. 4

1 p.m.

Houston Astros at New York Yankees

ESPN, WatchESPN

Mon, Apr. 4

4 p.m.

Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers

ESPN, WatchESPN

Mon, Apr. 4

7 p.m.

Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres

ESPN, WatchESPN

Mon, Apr. 4

10 p.m.

Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

ESPN2, WatchESPN

 

After the special season premiere of the network’s flagship MLB broadcast, each week’s broadcast will come to audiences every Sunday night at 8pm ET on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio, ESPN Radio, and WatchESPN. No concrete schedule has been released at this time. However, it is known that ESPN’s coverage in 2016 will include multiple appearances from a number of teams expected to contend for the MLB championship. Those teams include: Boston, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, New York Yankees, and San Francisco Giants. Also expected in the 2016 is an ongoing career retrospective of Red Sox great David Ortiz as he embarks on his final season. There will also be a focus on the continued rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees as the teams will meet three times in 2016, including back-to-back weeks. Those weeks are the weeks of May 1st, 8th, and 17th. The Dodgers and Giants will also be the center of focus at points in the 2016 season as their equally legendary rivalry rolls on. As if all of this isn’t enough, fans will get to see now former Dodgers ace Zach Greinke make his Sunday night debut with the D’Backs in 2016 and the return of the Houston Astros to SNB. The Pittsburgh Pirates will also go under the lights in 2016. It will mark the third consecutive year that Pittsburgh has been featured on SNB. The current schedule of games for ESPN’s 2016 SNB is listed below.

Early-season Sunday Night Baseball schedule:

Date

Time (ET)

Telecast

Network(s)

Sun, Apr. 3

8:30 p.m.

New York Mets at Kansas City Royals on Opening Night

ESPN, WatchESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes Radio

Sun, Apr. 10

8 p.m.

New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers

ESPN, WatchESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes Radio

Sun, Apr. 17

8 p.m.

San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers

ESPN, WatchESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes Radio

Sun, Apr. 24

8 p.m.

Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros

ESPN, WatchESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes Radio

Sun, May 1

8 p.m.

New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

ESPN, WatchESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes Radio

Sun, May 8

8 p.m.

Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees

ESPN, WatchESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes Radio

Sun, May 29

8 p.m.

Los Angeles Dodgers at New York Mets

ESPN2, WatchESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes Radio

Sun, June 12

5 p.m.

St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates

ESPN, WatchESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes Radio

8:30 p.m.

Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants

ESPN, WatchESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes Radio

Sun, July 10

8 p.m.

Arizona Diamondbacks at San Francisco Giants

ESPN, WatchESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes Radio

Sun, July 17

8 p.m.

Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees

ESPN, WatchESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes Radio

*remaining Sunday Night Baseball game selections will be made two to three weeks out.

Along with the weekly SNB broadcast, ESPN’s weekly MLB pre-game broadcast of Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Coundown presented by Chevrolet will return in 2016, too. Each broadcast will begin at 7pm ET.

More information on the ESPN networks’ MLB coverage is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight

To keep up with 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 the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

2015 World Series Presentations Set For Release Next Month

The 2015 MLB season is officially a wrap. But even as the season has come to its last inning Lionsgate, MLB Productions, and A&E Home Video have announced that it is giving fans some extra-innings enjoyment with the upcoming release of the 2015 World Series Film and 2015 World Series Collector’s Edition.

Courtesy:  MLB Productions/A&E Home Video/Lionsgate

Courtesy: MLB Productions/A&E Home Video/Lionsgate

Lionsgate, MLB Productions, and A&E Home Video have teamed up once again to cap off another season of Major League Baseball with another complete installment of World Series collections. The companies will release the 2015 World Series Film and 2015 World Series Collector’s Edition on Tuesday, December 1st. Both collections will be released on their own separate DVD and Blu-ray platforms. The 2015 World Series Collector’s Edition features the complete 2015 World Series spread across eight discs on both DVD and Blu-ray. It also includes the Sleevestats(TM) ooklet with official game stats and trivia for each game. As an additional bonus the 2015 World Series Collector’s Edition also includes two key Royals post season games (the ALDS and ALCS clinchers) and key regular season highlights. The Blu-ray will retail for MSRP of $69.99 and DVD for $59.98. Audiences can pre-order the set on DVD for a discounted price of $44.98 via Lionsgate’s online store now at http://www.lionsgateshop.com/search_results.asp?Search=2015%20world%20Series.

 

Courtesy:  MLB Productions/A&E Home Video/Lionsgate

Courtesy: MLB Productions/A&E Home Video/Lionsgate

The 2015 World Series Film is a shortened take on the annual Fall Classic. It is narrated this year by famed actor Paul Rudd (Ant-Man, Role Models, I Love You Man). Rudd takes audiences through the most pivotal moments of this year’s World Series in the DVD. There are also interviews, exclusive behind-the-scenes access footage, and more throughout the eighty-six minute presentation. As with the 2015 World Series Collector’s Edition, the 2015 World Series Film will be released both on DVD and Blu-ray. It will retail for MSRP of $34.99 on Blu-ray and $29.98 on Blu-ray an DVD respectively. It can be pre-ordered online now for a discounted price of $27.99 on Blu-ray and $19.98 on DVD via Lionsgate’s online store at http://www.lionsgateshop.com/search_results.asp?Search=2015%20world%20Series. More information on both the 2015 World Series Film and 2015 World Series Collector’s Edition and other titles from Lionsgate is available online now at:

Website: http://www.lionsgate.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lionsgate

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LionsgateNews

More information on the latest titles from MLB Productions is available online now at:

Website: http://mlbproductions.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mlbprod

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MLBProductions

More information on the latest titles from A&E Home Video is available online now at:

Website: http://www.aetv.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AENetworks

Twitter: http://twitter.com/aenetworks

To keep up with 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 the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Announces SNB Season Finale, First Post Season Game

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

It’s hard to believe but another season of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell is almost over.

Officials with the worldwide leader in sports announced this week that the season finale of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell will be Sunday, September 27th. The season finale will see the Pittsburgh Pirates taking on their NL Central foes the Chicago Cubs. There is currently no word on who will take the mound for either team in that game or either team’s rotation. The matchup will be a big one for both teams as both are currently in the hunt for a wild card spot in the playoffs. Coverage of the game is expected to begin at 8pm ET on ESPN. The game will also be simulcast on radio, television, and online via ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio, and WatchESPN.

Dan Shulman will have the call for the Pirates/Cubs matchup, which will be the closer in a three-game series between the teams. He will be joined in the booth by analysts Jessica Mendoza and John Kruk. Reporter Buster Olney will also be on hand for additional commentary and news. Sunday night’s broadcast of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell will be preceded, as always by Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet. Coverage for that broadcast begins at 7pm ET. Karl Ravech will anchor the broadcast. He will be joined at the desk by analyst Aaron Boone and reporter Tim Kurkjian.

Along with its season finale of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell, ESPN has also announced the first game in its coverage of the 2015 MLB post season. In the first game of the post season, recently acquired Troy Tulowitzki and the Toronto Blue Jays host Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees on Tuesday, September 22nd. Fans can see the game on television and online via ESPN and WatchESPN. The remaining schedule of regular season games on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell is listed below.

Upcoming Sunday Night Baseball schedule

Date

Telecast

September 13

Kansas City Royals at Baltimore Orioles presented by Taco Bell

September 20

New York Yankees at New York Mets presented by Taco Bell

September 27

Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs presented by Taco Bell

 

As an added bonus ESPN will also carry the 2015 AL Wild Card game on Tuesday, October 6th. More information on ESPN’s MLB coverage is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight

To keep up with 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 the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Dodgers, Cubs Take Center Stage This Weekend On ESPN’s SNB

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

This Sunday night, ESPN’s flagship baseball broadcast returns to the west coast once more for a matchup of the Dodgers and Cubs.

ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell will come live from Dodgers Stadium this Sunday night as the Dodgers host the Chicago Cubs in the closer of a three-game series between the NL foes that kicks off Friday night. Currently no information is available about who will take the mound for either team in Sunday’s game. The Dodgers currently lead the NL West division by a game and a half over the Giants while the Cubs sit third in the NL Central six and a half games back from the division leading St. Louis Cardinals. St. Louis also leads the league overall at 79 – 45. Speaking of the NL Central, before the Dodgers take on the Cubs this weekend, they will look to end their five-game skid as they kick off a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds tonight in Ohio’s Queen City. Cincinnati is currently in the basement in the NL Central at 52 – 71 having just ended its nine game skid last night with a come-from-behind 12 – 5 win against the Detroit Tigers. Los Angeles is 25 – 36 on the road so far this season verses its far more impressive home record of 42 – 20 and has gone 4 – 6 in its last ten games.

ESPN’s SNB team of Dan Shulman, Curt Schilling, and John Kruk will b in the booth for the call for Sunday’s game. They will be joined on the field by reporter Buster Olney for additional commentary. Sunday night’s broadcast will be preceded, as always by Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet. Adnan Virk will anchor the broadcast. He will be joined at the desk by analyst Aaron Boone and ESPN MLB Insider Tim Kurkjian.

Those that won’t be near a television Sunday night can still catch that game live online via WatchESPN.

As an additional note, the rubber match in this weekend’s series between the Dodgers and Cubs will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio affiliates across the country Saturday evening at 8pm ET. Jon Sciambi will have the call for Saturday night’s game. He will be joined in the booth by Chris SIngleton for the broadcast.

All of the latest information on ESPN’s MLB coverage is available online now at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight

To keep up with 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 the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.