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

 

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ESPN Launches MLB Pre-Season Coverage Thursday; To Carry World Baseball Classic Final Tonight

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN kicks off its Major League Baseball pre-season coverage Thursday afternoon.

The Yankees and the Rays face off in the first of the network’s pre-season broadcasts beginning at 1 p.m. Jon Sciambi will have the call for the Grapefruit League game.  He will be joined by analysts Rick Sutcliffe and Doug Glanville in the booth for additional commentary.

The Dodgers and Angels follow at 7 p.m. on ESPN in a Cactus League showdown.  The Angels currently sit fourth in the league while Los Angeles sits seventh.  Dan Shulman, the voice of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, will have the call for the game.  He will be joined in the booth by his SNB cohorts Jessica Mendoza and Aaron Boone.  Reporter Buster Olney will also be on hand for all of the latest in-game news and interviews.

Karl Ravech and Tim Kurkjian will have a wrap of up the day’s action on the diamond at 10 p.m. on Baseball Tonight on ESPN.

Before ESPN launches its Major League pre-season coverage Thursday, it will broadcast live the World Baseball Classic Final tonight at 9 p.m.  The United States and Puerto Rico will face off for this year’s title live on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.  The broadcast begins at 9 p.m. ET.

The United States made its way to the Final after defeating Japan 2 – 1 Tuesday. The game marks the team’s first-ever time it has reached the Final.

The re-match against Puerto Rico will not be an easy contest for the Americans.  That is because Puerto Rico is undefeated in the tournament at 7 – 0.  Marcus Stroman is expected to get the start in tonight’s game for the United States while Seth Lugo is scheduled to take the mound for Puerto Rico.

More information on ESPN’s Major League Baseball 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

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, Blue Jays Face Off Live On TBS This Weekend

Courtesy: Turner Sports

Courtesy: Turner Sports

Two AL East opponents will face off this week in the latest edition of TBS’ Sunday MLB on TBS.

The Yankees and Blue Jays will face off live at 1:00pm ET on TBS’ weekly MLB program Sunday MLB on TBS.  The game is the third in the teams’ four-game series.  The series’ closer is Monday night with first pitch set for 7:07pm.

Michael Pineda is expected to get the start for the Yankees in Sunday afternoon’s game while Marco Estrada (9-9) is expected to take the mound for Toronto.  Estrada’s last time on the mound was Monday against Seattle.  He was credited with the win in the Blue Jays’ 3-2 win over the Mariners.  Estrada shined in the game, fanning 8 while only allowing just 1 hit, 0 runs or earned runs, 3 walks and no home runs.  That was over the course of 7 innings pitched.

Pineda (6-11) last took the mound Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Rays.  Pineda pitched 5.1 innings in the Yankees 5-3 win over the Rays.  He had a rough time on the mound, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits 2 earned runs, 1 walk and no home runs while striking out 11.

The numbers seem to favor Toronto in Sunday’s game and the weekend’s series overall.  Toronto is almost as good at home as it is on the road so far this season, going 42-32 at home so far this season and 41-37 on the road.

New York meanwhile has been lackluster on the road going 35-42 on the road so far this season versus a home record of 44-31.  Even with both teams looking to get back in the “W” column this weekend – both teams lost their most recent games – Toronto’s chances are better having gone 5-5 in its last ten games versus New York going 3-7 in its last ten games.

Ernie Johnson will have the call in Sunday afternoon’s broadcast on TBS.  He will be joined in the booth by MLB on TBS analysts Ron Darling and Cal Ripken, Jr. for additional commentary.

MLB on TBS Pre-Game Show will precede Sunday afternoon’s broadcast of the Yankees and Blue Jays. Broadcast of the TBS Pre-Game Show begins at 12:30pm ET.  Casey Stern will anchor the program and will be joined by analysts Pedro Martinez and Gary Sheffield for additional commentary.

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ESPN Announces Opening Day Matchups For MLB’s 2017 Season

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The 2016 Major League Baseball Season is officially winding down and the road to the postseason is on.  But ESPN has already set its sights on the league’s 2017 season.

Officials with ESPN announced last week the network’s 2017 opening day broadcast schedule.  Major League Baseball’s 2017 season opens on ESPN on Sunday, April 2 with a double header divisional schedule.

First up on the day will be the Yankees on the road against the Tampa Bay Rays in an American League East showdown.  The Diamondbacks and Giants will follow in a matchup of National League West opponents.

Times for the games have not yet been determined and telecasts could be subject to local blackouts.  As an additional note ESPN will exclusively carry Major League Baseball’s MLB Opening Night game – a nationally televised primetime game.  The matchup for the game will be announced in the weeks to come.

More information on ESPN’s 2017 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

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.

MLB Productions, A&E Score Again With Phillies Four Piece Box Set

Courtesy: MLB Productions/A&E Home Video

The Philadelphia Phillies are one of the oldest teams in the history of Major League Baseball.  This team has been in its hometown since 1883.  That’s nearly one hundred and thirty years.  In the time that the Phils have been an organization, this storied club has had a number of important games.  Now thanks to MLB Productions, fans of the Phillies have a new box set complete with four of the team’s greatest games to enjoy, regardless of the team’s post season hopes.  The Essential Games of the Philadelphia Phillies is a four disc box set.  It includes: the Phillies’ 1980 NLCS Game Five matchup against the Houston Astros, Game Six of the NLCS from 1993, Game Five of the 2008 World Series, and Game One of the 2010 NLDS against the Reds.

Phillies fans will appreciate that the set starts off with the team’s Game Five matchup against the Astros from the 1980 NLCS.  Long time fans will recall that this was the game that sent the Phillies into the World Series to face the Kansas City Royals.  The Phillies would go on to defeat them, too and take the team’s first ever MLB title.  Game Five was a pivotal one as it was a hard fought battle on both sides of the ball.  Houston would strike first after Jose Cruz hit a double, allowing Terry Puhl to score.  Puhl had led off the bottom of the first with a single.  He followed that up by stealing second.  A fly ball to Center Field by Joe Morgan allowed Puhl to make his way to third base.  It was Cruz’s single that brought in Puhl.  His run would be the only one of the inning.

The Phillies answered back in the top of the second with two runs scored.  The Phillies’ bats got warmed up when Manny Trillo hit a single to Center Field.  Astros legend Nolan Ryan was on the mound throughout the top of the second inning.  And things didn’t go his way after that hit.  He would go on to walk Garry Maddox, thus moving Trillo to second.  Larry Bowa was up next.  A groundout on his part allowed Trillo and Maddox to move another base.  The pair would end up scoring when catcher Bob Boone hit a single to Center Field off of Ryan. 

Both teams went scoreless in the next three innings.  But things started to pick back up in the bottom of the sixth when Astros pinch hitter Alan Asby hit a single to Center Field, allowing Denny Walling to score.  That run tied the game at two runs a piece and gave the Astros a jolt as they’d go on to score three more runs in the bottom of the seventh, putting the Astros up by two.  The Phillies would battle back in the top of the eighth, bringing in five more runs, putting them back up by two.  But the Astros weren’t about to just lay down for the Phillies.  They answered back with two more runs in the bottom of the inning, tying the game right back up at seven runs each.  Those two runs would be the last for the Astros, though.  The tie brought the teams into the tenth.  This was the last showdown for the two teams.  Del Unser hit a double to Right Field. Trillo would follow that play with a fly ball to center field.  Garry Maddox would seal the game when he hit a double to Center Field, bringing in Unser for the team’s eighth run.  The Astros had nothing for the Phillies at the bottom of the inning, ending the game.  And the rest, as they say, is history.  From here, the Phillies would go on and take its first ever MLB Championship against the Royals.

The Phillies’ road to the team’s first ever championship was closed off in quite the dramatic fashion with the team’s game Five matchup against the Astros.  In 2008, the Phillies would face an equally tough match against the Tampa Bay Rays.  Game Five of this matchup would be the nail in the coffin for the Phillies.  The team had only lost one game to the Rays in the series.  And it had dominated the Rays 10-2 in Game Four.  All the Phils needed was one more win.  And while they got that win, it wasn’t as easy as they had wanted.  While the Phils struck first with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning, the Rays kept them scoreless for the next four innings.  It wasn’t until the sixth inning that the Phillies would score again.  Even then, the team only brought in one run.  That run came courtesy of Jayson Werth.  Werth hit a single to Second Base, allowing Geoff Jenkins to score.  The Rays weren’t about to have any of that, though.  They answered back in the top of the seventh with a single run homer by Rocco Baldelli.  That homer would tie the game back up at three runs each.  The back and forth didn’t stop there, though.  The Phillies answered right back in the bottom of the seventh.  Pat Burrell hit a double to Center Field.  Eric Bruntlett would end up pinch running for Burell, and would eventually score the winning run after Pedro Feliz hit a ground ball single to Center Field.  Neither team knew it at that time, of course.  But Bruntlett’s score would finish things off as both teams went scoreless in the game’s last two innings, thus bringing the Phillies the team’s second ever championship.

The two games noted here are just a sampling of what baseball fans have to look forward to in The Essential Games of the Philadelphia Phillies.  There are two more games for fans to enjoy any time they want.  And just as with each one f MLB Productions’ previous releases, fans can easily follow the games as each one comes in its own slim case, complete with box score and roster lineups.  This is one more gem of a set for any baseball fan regardless of the Phillies’ fate this season.  And fans can even enjoy it throughout the cold winter months as they count down the days to the opening day of 2013 Spring Training.

The Essential Games of the Philadelphia Phillies is available now.  It can be ordered direct via the MLB Productions website at http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=13156453

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