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.

Yankees, Rangers Close Out 3-Game Series Tonight On ESPN

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s MLB broadcast schedule for this week has official been released.  And it’s going to be another busy one.  It all begins tonight on ESPN and ESPN Deportes with an American League showdown between two teams that are struggling to get some footing right now early in the season.

Tonight on ESPN’s Wednesday Night Baseball presented by Hankook Tire the Texas play host to the New York Yankees live at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.  The game is the rubber match in the teams’ three-game series, which began Monday.  The Yankees took Game 1 3 – 1.  But the Rangers didn’t stay down after that loss.  They stormed back Tuesday night, routing the Yankees 10 – 1.  CC Sabathia is expected to start for the “Pinstripers” in tonight’s game.  He is currently 1 – 1 so far on the season with his last start being on April 16th against Seattle.  Sabathia took the loss in that game.  He pitched a little more than four innings in the game, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits and 3 earned runs.  He struck out five of the 22 batters that he faced in that time, though walking only 1 batter and allowing only 1 home run.  The rest of the Yankees’ dugout picked up the slack, keeping the Mariners’ bats relatively silent, allowing only 3 hits and striking out 8 total batters.  Along the way they allowed no walks, home runs, earned runs, or runs.

Martin Perez will get the start for the Rangers in tonight’s game.  Perez has struggled just as much as Sabathia this season, going winless in two starts.  His last time on the mound was last Friday, April 22nd against the Chicago White Sox.  Perez pitched 5.2 innings in the game, allowing 5 runs on 5 hits, and 5 earned runs.  He walked two and struck out just as many.  To the positive, of the 24 batters that he faced in the game, he prevented any of them from knocking one out of the park.  Needless to say he will be looking to bounce back just as much as Sabathia when New York and Texas round out their series.

In the bigger picture, both teams will have plenty more to play for tonight than just the series win.  The Yankees sit at the bottom of the AL East standing at 8 – 11.  On the other hand, Texas is 11- 10 so far on the season, only one game over .500.  The Rangers are 7 – 4 at home so far this season while the Yankees are 3 – 4 on the road.  New York is 4 – 6 in its last 10 games while Texas is 5 – 5.  So the odds would seem to be more in the Rangers’ favor for tonight’s game.

Jon Sciambi will be in the booth for tonight’s game.  He will be joined by analysts Rick Sutcliffe and Eduardo Perez for additional commentary.  The game will be blacked out in the New York market.  Coverage of the game is scheduled to begin at 8pm ET on ESPN.  Ahead of tonight’s broadcast, Karl Ravech, Alex Cora, and Jim Bowden will preview the game at 7pm ET on Baseball Tonight.  More information on tonight’s game 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.  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 Networks Kick Off 206 NFL Draft Coverage Thursday Night On ESPN

 Chicago, IL - April 30, 2015 - Auditorium Theatre: Mel Kiper Jr., Jon Gruden, Louis Riddick and Chris Berman on the set during the 2015 NFL Draft Presented by Bose (Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images)


Chicago, IL – April 30, 2015 – Auditorium Theatre: Mel Kiper Jr., Jon Gruden, Louis Riddick and Chris Berman on the set during the 2015 NFL Draft Presented by Bose (Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images)

The countdown to the 2016 – 2017 NFL season officially begins this week.  It all begins Thursday with the annual NFL draft.  And ESPN will have full coverage of this year’s draft.

ESPN launches its coverage of the 2016 NFL draft Thursday night at 8pm ET live from Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.  ESPN will carry Round one with limited commercial interruption for the fifth consecutive year when it begins Thursday night.  It will be simulcast live on ESPN Radio nationwide.  Before the network’s coverage begins, it will air a special pre-draft SportsCenter broadcast at 7pm ET that looks forward not only to the first round of the draft but all seven rounds.  Speaking of those other rounds, ESPN will carry coverage of Rounds 2 and 3 live Friday evening beginning at 7pm ET from the Auditorium Theatre live on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNRadio.  Rounds 4 – 7 will be covered live Saturday beginning at noon eastern.  ESPN will carry coverage of Rounds 4 – 7 live from Chicago’s Grant Park.

Chris Berman will anchor ESPN’s broadcast of the draft’s first round Thursday evening.  He will be joined at the desk by veteran NFL Draft Analyst Mel Kiper, Jr., ESPN Monday Night Football analyst and Super Bowl-winning head coach Jon Gruden, and NFL Front Office Insider Louis Riddick.  Fellow NFL Insider Adam Schefter will be on hand along with NFL host Suzy Kolber, and a team of NFL reporters from team sites with all of the latest news throughout the first round.

Trey Wingo will anchor ESPN’s coverage of Rounds 2 – 7 over the weekend.  He will be joined by Mel Kiper, Jr., NFL Front Office Insider Louis Riddick, NFL Insider Adam Schefter, and NFL Draft Analyst Todd McShay.  The full broadcast schedule for this weekend’s NFL draft coverage across the ESPN networks is listed below.

 

ESPN NFL Draft Programming Originating from Chicago (April 28-30):

Date Time (ET) Event Network(s)
Thu, Apr 28 6-10 a.m. Mike & Mike ESPN Radio, ESPN2
10-11 a.m. SportsCenter ESPN
10 a.m.-12 p.m. First Take ESPN2
1:30-2:30 p.m. NFL Insiders ESPN
2:30-3:30 p.m. NFL Live ESPN
6-7 p.m. SportsCenter ESPN
7-8 p.m. SportsCenter Special: Draft Countdown ESPN
8-11:30 p.m. NFL Draft (Round 1) ESPN,
ESPN Radio
11:30 p.m.-1 a.m. SportsCenter ESPN
Fri, Apr 29 6-10 a.m. Mike & Mike ESPN Radio, ESPN2
10-11 a.m. SportsCenter ESPN
10 a.m.-12 p.m. First Take ESPN2
1:30-2:30 p.m. NFL Insiders ESPN
2:30-3:30 p.m. NFL Live ESPN
7-11:30 p.m. NFL Draft (Rounds 2-3) ESPN/ESPN2, ESPN Radio
Sat, Apr 30 12-8 p.m. NFL Draft (Rounds 4-7) ESPN

 

Along with its domestic coverage of the NFL Draft, ESPN International will carry coverage of the NFL Draft to more than 72 million households in 59 countries and territories throughout Latin America’s Spanish-speaking regions, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands.  Canada will have coverage of the NFL Draft via TSN.  Audiences in Mexico and Central America can get full coverage of the draft via ESPN’s ESPNPlay broadband platform.  Audiences in Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil will be able to catch coverage of the NFL Draft online via WatchESPN while audiences in the rest of South America will get live coverage of Round 1 live online via ESPNPlay.

The ESPN networks’ primary draft coverage is just the tip of the iceberg for this year’s events.  There will also be special, additional commentary and more across each of ESPN’s networks and platforms including but not limited to The Mel Kiper Draft Grades –the foundation of SportsCenter Special: Draft Grades on May 1st at 7pm ET on ESPN.  More information on the ESPN networks’ coverage of this year’s NFL Draft is available online now at:

 

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

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

 

 

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 To Carry Full Coverage OF 2016 NFL Schedule Announcement Tonight

NFL on ESPN Logo

The start of the 2016 NFL season is still many months away.  But, as always, it’s never too early to talk football, right?  Right.  With that in mind, the NFL will announce its full 2016 season schedule tonight.  And ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports, will have full coverage of the announcement.

The National Football League will announce its full 2016 season schedule tonight.  And ESPN will have full coverage of tonight’s announcement on a special extended edition of SportsCenter.  Tonight’s two-hour edition of SportsCenter begins at 8pm ET on ESPN and will have full coverage of the league’s announcement of each team’s season schedule.  The first hour of the special broadcast will air on ESPN.  The second hour (9pm ET – 10pm ET) will air on ESPN2.  Football fans that won’t be near a TV during tonight’s broadcast can still see the whole thing live online via WatchESPN.  NFL Live’s Trey Wingo will anchor tonight’s special edition of SportsCenter.  He will be joined by analysts Herm Edwards, Ryan Clark, and Brian Dawkins.  There will also be a handful of NFL coaches and players on tonight’s broadcast, which will break down each team’s schedule, ESPN’s own Monday Night Football schedule, and other primetime games.  ESPN.com’s NFL Nation writers will also offer in-depth analysis of each team’s schedule and other key matchups throughout the season.

More information on tonight’s special extended edition of SportsCenter is available online now along with all of the latest NFL headlines at:

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ESPNNFL

 

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.

Orioles Look To Stay Perfect Tonight Against Boston On ESPN’s WNB

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The Baltimore Orioles are off to a hot start in the 2016 MLB regular season.  The team currently sits at a perfect 7 – 0 so far on the season, leaving the team the only undefeated team so far on the season.  It also means that the team currently sits atop the league standings.  Tonight the “Orange Birds” look to keep their success going when they wrap up a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox.  The game will be carried live tonight on ESPN’s Wednesday Night Baseball presented by Hankook Tire.

The Orioles and Red Sox face off tonight on ESPN in the last of a three-game series.  The game Joe Kelly is expected to get the start for the BoSox in tonight’s game.  It will be Kelly’s second start of the season.  His first start of the season was on April 8th.  And it was a rather inauspicious start for the right hander.  He pitched three whole innings before being pulled in the fourth, having allowed 7 hits, 7 runs, 7 earned runs, and 3 walks, and striking out only four of the twenty batters that he faced over that time.  A base-clearing grand slam by Josh Donaldson in the fourth ended Kelly’s night.  Ubaldo Jimenez is expected to get the start for Baltimore in tonight’s game.  His last time on the mound was April 7th against Minnesota.  He was credited with the win in the game having allowed only 2 runs on 8 hits, and striking out nine of twenty-eight batters over seven innings.  He allowed only 1 earned run in that time, too.

Broadcast of tonight’s game is scheduled to begin at 7pm ET.  It will be live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes+.  Jon Sciambi will be in the booth for tonight’s game.  He will be joined by Rick Sutcliffe and Doug Glanville for additional commentary.  Before the first pitch is thrown, Karl Ravech, John Kruk, Eduardo Perez, and Tim Kurkjian will have a preview of the game on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight on ESPN2 beginning at 6:30pm ET.  Anyone that won’t be near a TV for tonight’s game can still catch the game online on WatchESPN.  More information on tonight’s game and all of ESPN’s scheduled 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.  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.

ESPN Unveils MNF Preseason Broadcast Schedule

NFL on ESPN Logo

Next Friday, April will already be halfway over.  That means that the year is already almost three and a half months old.  Before long summer will be here and then fall.  And with the return of fall also comes the return of football.  In anticipation of its return ESPN has unveiled its 2016 Monday Night Football preseason broadcast schedule.

The network’s 2016 Monday Night Football preseason broadcast schedule features two games this year.  The first of the games, the league’s annual Hall of Fame game, is a cross-conference matchup between the Colts (AFC) and the Packers (NFC).  That game is currently scheduled for Sunday, August 7th at 8pm ET.  This year’s broadcast marks the first time that ESPN will have the Hall of Fame game.  The game is typically broadcast on NBC.  However, this year it will carry the Olympics thus leading to the change.

The second game on ESPN’s 2016 Monday Night Football preseason broadcast schedule is just as big as its first game.  That is because it will feature the hugely anticipated return of the Rams to Los Angeles.  The Rams will take on the Cowboys in that game.  It is currently scheduled to air live Saturday, August 13th at 8pm ET.  Mike Tirico and Jay Gruden will be in the both for both games.  Reporter Lisa Salters will be on the sidelines for all of the latest in-game news, interviews and more during both games.

Both of this year’s Monday Night Football preseason games will be simulcast on ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s 24-hour Spanish-language domestic sports network.  Each game will also be available online via WatchESPN and the ESPN app.

The full 2016 ESPN MNF broadcast schedule is expected to be released in the coming weeks.  More information on ESPN’s MNF schedule is available online now along with all of the latest NFL headlines at:

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ESPNMondayNight

 

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.