Cubs, Phils To Close Out Weekend Series Live Today On TBS With Rubber Match

Courtesy: Turner Sports

National League foes the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies will close out their three-game weekend series this afternoon as Major League Baseball’s 2018 season inches closer to its finale.

The Phillies took the series’ opener Friday 2-1 over Chicago.  That game was a pitcher’s duel as it wasn’t until the top of the 5th inning that the game’s first run was scored by Chicago. the Phillies tied it up in the bottom of the 6th with a run of their own.  After Philadelphia tied it up, the game was forced into extra innings, and the Phillies would take advantage of the overtime setup, adding one more run for the 2-1 final.

Pat Neshek (2-1) was credited with the win for the Phillies while Steve Cishek (4-2) took the loss for Chicago. This was despite fellow Chicago pitcher Jose Quintana (11-9) pitching six innings in the game. Quintana allowed just one run on three hits, one earned run, and one walk while striking out seven Phillies batters.

Philadelphia starter Nick Pivetta (7-10) meanwhile was almost as solid as Quintana, allowing only one run and one earned run on five hits while walking three Cubs batters and striking out six.

Chicago controlled Game Two right from the start, scoring two runs in the first.  two more followed in the third with three more runs coming in total between the seventh and ninth inning.  Philadelphia was held to just one run in the game. That lone run came from outfielder Odubel Hererra.

The Phillies’ woes weren’t limited to just that lone run.  Pitcher reliever Austin Davis had his cheat sheet taken by umpire Joe West during Saturday’s game.  The sheet told Davis how to throw to the Cubs’ batters, and while not illegal, should not have been in Davis’ possession according to MLB rules section 6.02 (c) (7), which bans pitchers having any “foreign substance” on their person during a game.

Jon Lester (14-5) is expected to get the start for the Cubs in today’s series finale.  Lester’s last time on the mound was Tuesday against the Mets, and he had a bit of a rough time in that game.  Over the course of six innings, he allowed three runs and three earned runs on five hits while walking three batters, allowing one home run and striking out three Mets batters.

Aaron Nola (15-3) is currently expected to get the start for Philadelphia.  His last time on the mound was also Tuesday, in this case against Washington.  The Nats took that game 5-4 in nine.  While Nola got the start, Neshek took the loss in the game for the Phillies.

Nola had a rough time in Tuesday’s game, pitching seven innings.  Over the course of that time, he allowed two runs, one earned run and two walks on four hits while striking out eight Washington batters.

Looking at each team’s overall stats, the numbers don’t favor fully one team over another. Philadelphia is playing host to Chicago for the series, and has been far better at home so far this season than at home, going 43-24 at home and 29-38 on the road.

Chicago meanwhile has also proven better at home than on the road, going 44-24 at home and 35-31 on the road so far this season.

Chicago has gone 8-2 in its last 10 games and sits atop the National League Central standings with just a narrow 3.5 game lead over second place St. Louis.  Philadelphia meanwhile sits second in the National League East, but has gone 4-6 in its last 10 games.  At the same time though, Philadelphia is only two games behind the division-leading Atlanta, so this afternoon’s series closer will have major playoff implications for both teams.

Brian Anderson will have the call for this afternoon’s broadcast on TBS.  He will be joined in the booth by analyst Ron Darling for additional commentary.  Coverage is currently scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. and the game will be blacked out in Chicago.

More information on TBS’s Major League Baseball coverage is available online now along with more MLB news at:

 

Website: http://www.tbs.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tbsnetwork

 

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.

 

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ESPN Announces Final Two ‘SNB’ Broadcasts For MLB’s 2018 Season

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has added two more matchups to its broadcast schedule for the 2018 Major League Baseball season, including the network’s season finale broadcast of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell.

Up first on that schedule is an inter-divisional National League matchup between the Dodgers and Cardinals on September 16.  The game is certain to have major playoff implications for both teams as Los Angeles (70-61) currently sits on the cut-off line for the National League’s post season picture and as St. Louis (73-58) is also playing hard for its own spot in the post season.

ESPN closes out the 2018 season of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell September 23 as the American League and Major League Baseball leading Boston Red Sox (90-42) visit the Cleveland Indians (74-56) in an equally important matchup looking to the post season.  For the Red Sox, the game (and series) will be a chance for the team to continue widening its lead over the league and conference while Cleveland will be looking to stay just inside the post season picture in the American League.

The Indians currently sits 5th in the American League and atop the American League Central Division, 13 games ahead of second place Minnesota.  The rotations and pitchers will be announced closer to each game’s broadcast.

Matt Vasgersian will anchor both broadcasts.  He will be joined in the booth by analysts Alex Rodriguez and Jessica Mendoza for additional commentary.  Reporter Buster Olney will also be hon hand for all of the games’ latest news and interviews.

The season finale episode of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell will have a special start time of 7 p.m. ET.  The September 16 episode will still start at 8 p.m. ET.  As is the case each week, both games will be preceded by an hour-long episode of Baseball TonightSunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet.

Those who won’t be close to a television during each game can still catch the broadcasts online via the ESPN App and on the radio via ESPN Radio.  The games will also be simulcast in Spanish on ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio.

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.

Red Sox, Rays Close Out Key Weekend Series Live Sunday On TBS

Courtesy: Turner Sports

The race to Major League Baseball’s 2018 post season is heating up, and this weekend, two American League foes will face off in a three-game series with serious playoff implications for both teams that culminates Sunday on TBS.

The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays face off in a three-game series that launches Friday night.  The series is critical for both teams as Boston (currently 89-39 on the season) looks to extend its lead both in the American League and major League Baseball’s overall standings.

The Rays (66-61) meanwhile will be fighting for their playoff lives as they are just above the American League’s cut line right now for the post season.  this is despite being third overall in the American League East.

No starting pitcher has been named yet for the Rays for Sunday’s series closer on TBS at the time of this posting.  That name will likely be announced very soon.  Nathan Eovaldi (5-5) is expected to get the start for Boston.

Eovaldi’s last time on the mound was August 21 against Cleveland.  The Indians won that game 6-3, with Eovaldi taking the loss for Boston.  Eovaldi struggled in the game, allowing four runs on 10 hits, four earned runs, one walk and one home run while striking out only two batters.

Sunday’s series closer (and the weekend’s series in whole) looks to be a big one not just for its playoff implications for both teams but because of the teams’ records.  Tampa Bay, who will play host to the Red Sox for the series, is currently in the midst of a four-game in streak and is 6-4 in its last 10 games.  The team also has proven to be far better at home this season than on the road, having gone 37-24 at home so far this season versus its far more dismal 29-37 road record.

Boston meanwhile is also 6-4 in its last 10 games, and just got back in the “W” column Wednesday after dropping two to Cleveland August 20 and 21.  Last weekend though, the Red Sox took two of three from the Rays in another of the teams’ showdowns, adding even more interest and importance to this weekend’s series.

Coverage of Sunday’s game on TBS currently scheduled to start at 1 p.m. ET.  Ernie Johnson will have the call.  He will be joined in the booth by analyst Ron Darling for additional commentary.

More information on TBS’ Major League Baseball coverage is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.tbs.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tbsnetwork

 

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.

Mets, Phillies To Close Out Five-Game Series Sunday Night On ESPN’s ‘SNB’

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has a National League East divisional matchup on tap in this week’s edition of its weekly Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell broadcast.

The Philadelphia Phillies (68-54) will host the New York Mets (52-69) in the closer of the teams’ five-game series.  The series started Thursday with a one and one double-header between the NL East foes.  The Mets routed the Phillies in the first game 24-6 while the Phillies won game two 9-6.

Philadelphia took control of the series on Friday, defeating the Mets 4-2.  The Mets came back Saturday and evened things back up at two games each with a 3-1 win over the Phillies.  That means Sunday night’s game will be the rubber match between the teams.

Nick Pivetta (7-9) is expected to get the start on the mound for the Phillies Sunday night. He was last on the mound August 14 against the Boston Red Sox.  The Bosox won that game 2-1 with Philadelphia’ Tommy Hunter taking the loss.

Pivetta was strong in that game, pitching six innings, allowing only one run on three hits, one walk and one earned run while striking out six and allowing only one home run in that time.  So he will be looking to get the Phils back in the “W” column in this series’ finale against the Mets, whose playoff hopes at this point are nil.

Jason Vargas (2-8) is expected to get the start for the Mets Sunday night.  The 35-year-old has had a rough season so far, pitching a total of 53.1 innings in 13 games with an ERA of 8.10.  His last time on the mound was August 14 against Baltimore.

The Orioles took the win over the Mets in that game, 6-3.  Vargas’ struggles continued in that game as he allowed two runs on five hits, two earned runs while walking three batters and striking out only one over six innings.  He also allowed one home run in that time.

Just by the pitchers’ numbers, one would think Sunday night’s game is in the Phillies’ favor, but New York has been a surprise this weekend against Philadelphia.  That could be because the Mets know they have nothing to lose and don’t want to finish in the bottom of the league, causing them to play harder.

With the two losses to the Phillies this weekend, the Mets ended their two-game losing ski and back back into the “W” column, though win or lose it won’t be enough to help the team’s playoff hopes.  Philadelphia is 41-20 at home and 27-34 on the road so far this season. Saturday’s loss to the Mets drops the Phillies to 68-55 on the season, still keeping the team in the post season hunt.  The Mets will still be playing with a ire in their bellies because they have at least something to prove since they won’t be in the playoffs, so Sunday night’s game could go either way.

Matt Vasgersian will have the call for Sunday’s game.  He will be joined in the booth by analysts Alex Rodriguez and Jessica Mendoza for additional commentary.  Reporter Buster Olney will have all of the game’s latest news and interviews.

Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton will cover the game on ESPN Radio.  The NL East matchup will also be simulcast on ESPN Deportes and on the ESPN app.

Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell will be preceded by Baseball TonightSunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet at 7 p.m. ET.with Karl Ravech at the helm.  Ravech will be joined by analysts Mark Teixeira, David Ross and Tim Kurkjian for additional commentary.

More information on ESPN’s MLB coverage is available online now at:

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espn

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.comphilspicks 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.

Bosox, ‘Stros Go Under The Lights Live Sept. 9 On ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

As Major League Baseball’s race to the post season heats up, ESPN has announced what is certainly its own hot addition to the network’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell schedule.

The MLB-leading Boston Red Sox will play live under the lights against theAmerican League West-leading Houston Astros Sept. 9 on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell.  As of August 18, the Red Sox lead Major League Baseball’s standings at 87-36, the only team in the league so far this season to reach and even surpass the 80-win mark.  That puts the Red Sox both at the top of the league and the top of the American League East.

The Astros currently lead the American League West at 74-49, tying them with the Oakland Athletics for the division’s top spot.  The teams are now tied for third in the American League, too.

Since the game is still so far out, no rotations or pitchers have been announced for the key showdown.Matt Vasgersian will anchor the broadcast.  he will be joined by analysts Alex Rodriguez and Jessica Mendoza for additional commentary while rpoerter Buster Olney will have all of the game’s latest news and interviews.

Jon Sciambi will anchor the game’s broadcast on ESPN Radio.  He will be joined by analyst Chris Singleton for additional commentary.

ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell is preceded each week by Baseball TonightSunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet at 7 p.m. ET.  Karl Ravech anchors with additional commentary from analysts Mark Teixeira, David Ross and Tim Kurkjian.

ESPN Deportes will broadcast the teams’ showdown in Spanish for the game’s Spanish-speaking audiences.  Audiences who won’t be near a television on Sept. 9 can still catch the game online via the ESPN app.

More information on ESPN’s Sept. 9 Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell broadcast is available online now along with all of the network’s latest MLB headlines at:

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espn

 

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.

Yanks Look To Sweep Jays Sunday In Weekend Series Finale Live On TBS

Courtesy: Turner Sports

The New York Yankees continue their post season hunt Sunday afternoon on TBS as they close out a three-game weekend series against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The “Bronx Bombers” just wrapped the second win of the series earlier today, taking Game Two 11-6 against Toronto.  Luis Severino (15-6) was credited with the win for New York while Sean Reid-Foley (0-2) took the loss for the Jays.

J.A. Happ (13-6) is expected to get the start Sunday afternoon for the Yankees. His last time on the mound was August 14 against Tampa Bay.  Happ was credited with the win in the Yanks’ 4-1 victory over the Rays in that game, allowing only 1 hit and 4 walks over 7 innings while striking out 4 batters.

Ryan Borucki (2-2) is expected to get the start for Toronto.  His last time on the mound was also August 14 when Toronto took on the Royals.  Jake Petricka (2-1) was credited with the win for Toronto while Borucki struggled slightly over the course of just four innings.  Borucki only struck out one batter while allowing four runs on six hits, four earned runs and four walks, so he’ll be looking to improve Sunday afternoon when the Blue Jays close out this weekend’s series against the Yankees in the teams’ American League East matchup.

While the Yankees (76-46) — currently second in the American League —  have taken two of three already this weekend from the Blue Jays, it won’t make too much difference in the race against long-time rivals the Boston Red Sox.  However, one more win is still critical for the “Pinstripers” because New York is just ahead of Houston (74-48) and Oakland (73-49) in the American League standings, so Sunday’s game will still have its own importance for New York as it tries to maintain its place in the race to the post season.

The Blue Jays also have nothing to lose as they sit below the cutoff line in the American League standings for the post season at 55-67 with little chance at a playoff spot. This weekend’s losses have Toronto in the midst of a two-game losing streak and have dropped the team to 4-6 in its last 10 games.  The losses drop Toronto’s road record now to 26-35 so far on the season versus a 29-32 home record, so by the numbers, the odds are in New York’s favor to sweep this weekend’s series against Toronto.

Brian Anderson will anchor Sunday’s broadcast live from New York.  He will be joined in the booth by analyst Ron Darling for additional commentary.  Coverage is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. live on TBS.  More information on Sunday’s game and all of the network’s Major League Baseball coverage is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.tbs.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tbsnetwork

 

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.

 

Astros, Mariners Close Weekend Series Sunday Live On TBS

Courtesy: Turner Sports

The race for the post season is officially on in Major League Baseball’s 2018 season, and this Sunday, August 12, TBS will broadcast an American League West conference showdown that will have playoff implications for both teams.

The defending World Series Champion Houston Astros (73-42) will host the Wild Card-contending-Seattle Mariners live on TBS at 2 p.m. ET.  Sunday’s game between the Astros and Mariners will be the closer in the teams’ 4-game weekend series, which opens tonight in Houston.

Dallas Keuchel (9-9) is scheduled to get the start for Houston, five days after his last time on the mound — Aug. 7 against San Francisco.  He pitched six innings in the Astros’ 2-1 win over the Giants, allowing 1 run, 1 earned run and 2 walks on 3 hits over that time while striking out 5 batters and allowing no homers.  Joel Smith (4-1) was credited with the win in the game.

Felix Hernandez (8-10) is expected to get the start Sunday for Seattle. His last time on the mound was August 7 against the Rangers. The Rangers won that game 11-4 over Seattle.  Hernandez took the loss in the game, struggling along the way.  He allowed 11 runs on 8 hits, 7 earned runs, 4 walks and 3 home runs while striking out only 2 batters.  This means that Hernandez will be looking to make up for that poor performance, giving more motivation for him to play hard.

Looking at the bigger picture of the teams’ numbers, the Astros have been more dominant on the road than at home so far this season, going 41-18 on the road and 32-24 at home.  Both records are strong winning records, though.  The team is also in the midst of a 2-game win streak and has gone 6-4 in its last 10 games.  It leads Seattle, which sits 3rd in the AL West, by 8 games.

The Mariners are in the midst of a 2-game losing skid and have gone 3-7 in their last 10 games.  Seattle has performed far better at home this season than on the road, having gone 29-26 on the road and 36-24 at home.  Looking at these numbers, the odds seem to favor the Astros in Sunday’s game and the weekend’s series overall.

Don Orsillo will anchor Sunday’s broadcast on TBS.  He will be joined in the booth by analyst Dennis Eckersly for additional commentary.  More information on Sunday’s game and all of TBS’ MLB coverage is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.tbs.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tbsnetwork

 

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.