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  1. Ryan Howard believes he may have torn Achilles’ tendon

    Oct 8, 2011, 2:30 AM EDT

    Ryan Howard

    As if Ryan Howard making the final out of the season for a second straight year wasn’t painful enough for Phillies fans, there’s a chance he could be sidelined when his five-year, $125 million extension kicks in next season. According to David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News, Howard believes he may have torn his…

  2. Dramatic Cards-Phillies contest shows why five games isn’t enough

    Oct 8, 2011, 1:54 AM EDT

    Cardinals' Pujols reacts to making an out on Phillies' Rollins to end the eighth inning of their MLB baseball playoff game in Philadelphia

    It doesn’t get a whole lot better than that. Roy Halladay versus Chris Carpenter in a dramatic game that was 1-0 almost the entire way. It was enough to make one wish there was a Game 6 between the Cardinals and Phillies and maybe even a Game 7 on the way. But there isn’t, and…

  3. Cardinals continue Cinderella run, will meet division-rival Brewers in NLCS

    Oct 8, 2011, 12:52 AM EDT

    St Louis Cardinals v Philadelphia Phillies - Game 5

    Do you know where the Cardinals were exactly one month ago? Oh, just 6 1/2 games behind the shoo-in Braves in the Wild Card race. Yet in the space of one month, not only did they leapfrog the Braves to win the National League Wild Card, but they also earned a trip to the NLCS…

  4. Destiny denied: The Phillies learn that pitching isn’t enough

    Oct 7, 2011, 11:54 PM EDT

    Phillies' Ibanez reacts to grounding out to end the seventh inning of their MLB baseball playoff game against the Cardinals in Philadelphia

    Someone tell me when I can breathe. I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that the Cardinals’ 1-0 win over the Phillies was the best pitching matchup I’ve witnessed since Morris vs. Smoltz.  Not when you figure in the stakes involved. Not when you appreciate just how brilliant Roy Halladay and Chris Carpenter each were.…

  5. Plucky Diamondbacks can’t count on a repeat performance

    Oct 7, 2011, 10:00 PM EDT

    Justin Upton celebrates his solo home run against the Milwaukee Brewers with teammate Roberts in Milwaukee

    They were the comeback kids of 2011: the Diamondbacks won a major league-high 48 games in which they were trailing on their way to the NL West crown. Too bad that’s not the kind of thing a team can count on carrying over from year to year. Ian Kennedy, Miguel Montero, Ryan Roberts, Josh Collmenter, Gerardo…

  6. Yovani Gallardo’s emergence as ace helps Brewers advance

    Oct 7, 2011, 9:08 PM EDT

    Yovani Gallardo

    It was hardly a given that the Brewers should start Yovani Gallardo in Game 1 of their series against the Diamondbacks. The pitching stats of their top three starters were eerily similar: Yovani Gallardo: 17-10, 3.52 ERA, 1.22 WHIP Zack Greinke: 16-6, 3.83 ERA, 1.20 WHIP Shaun Marcum: 13-7, 3.54 ERA, 1.16 WHIP Gallardo, though, was Milwaukee’s Opening…

  7. NLDS Game 5 Live Chat: Cardinals vs. Phillies

    Oct 7, 2011, 8:20 PM EDT

    Charlie Manuel

    It all comes down to this. Another win-or-go-home game in the division series, this time between the Cardinals and the Phillies. Chris Carpenter will take on Roy Halladay tonight, which is pretty much one of the sweetest matchups you can ask for in a deciding game. Looking for lineups? We have you covered right here.…

  8. Brewers beat Diamondbacks in 10, advance to NLCS

    Oct 7, 2011, 8:04 PM EDT

    Nyjer Morgan

    8:49 p.m.update: Nyjer Morgan singled in Carlos Gomez with one out to advance the Brewers to the NLCS. Gomez singled off J.J. Putz and stole second to get into scoring position before Morgan hit a groundball single up the middle. Chris Young’s throw from center field wasn’t nearly in time. 8:40 p.m. update: Axford rebounded from…

  9. Report: Rangers to make big run at Yu Darvish

    Oct 7, 2011, 7:40 PM EDT

    Yu Darvish

    USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale tweets the following: Rival teams are predicting that the Rangers will be the winners in the [Yu] Darvish derby, with every scout predicting stardom. It’s certainly an interesting thought. Once the posting fee is factored in, Darvish figures to be about as expensive as the Rangers’ own free-agent-to-be, C.J. Wilson, and if that’s the…

  10. Chris Young is making the LDS his highlight reel

    Oct 7, 2011, 7:22 PM EDT

    Chris Young

    It wasn’t a banner regular season for the center fielder, but with three homers against Milwaukee and now the defensive play of the month so far, Chris Young is making a name for himself in October. With Brewers on first and second, Young ran down a long Jerry Hairston Jr. drive in the sixth inning to momentarily keep…

  11. Scratch that: Tigers alter ALCS rotation

    Oct 7, 2011, 6:55 PM EDT

    Max Scherzer

    Just a few hours after announcing their rotation for the ALCS, the Tigers adjusted it Friday, moving Max Scherzer up to Game 2 and Rick Porcello to Game 4. Scherzer certainly would have been the No. 2 starter originally if not for his relief appearance in Thursday’s Game 5 against the Yankees, but the Tigers originally…

  12. Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels both available in relief tonight

    Oct 7, 2011, 6:32 PM EDT

    Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay

    The Phillies would prefer that Roy Halladay take care of business tonight against the Cardinals, but he has some pretty good reinforcements if needed. According to David Hale of the Wilmington News Journal, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said this afternoon that both Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels are available in relief for Game 5. Lee…

  13. Enjoy your Joe West-less and Angel Hernandez-free LCSs

    Oct 7, 2011, 5:50 PM EDT

    Terry Francona, Joe West, Angel Hernandez

    The umpiring crews for the League Championship Series have been announced, and as prescribed, Joe West and Angel Hernandez will get a welcome respite. ALCS: Tim Welke (crew chief), Larry Vanover, Jim Wolf, Fieldin Culbreth, Jeff Nelson and Tom Hallion NLCS: Gary Darling (crew chief), Tim Timmons, Sam Holbrook, Mike Everitt, Bill Miller and Mike Winters Umpires…

  14. NLDS Game 5 lineups: Cardinals vs. Phillies

    Oct 7, 2011, 5:21 PM EDT

    blank lineup card

    Here are the lineups for Game 5 of the Cardinals-Phillies series tonight: ST. LOUIS CARDINALS PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES 1. Rafael Furcal, SS 1. Jimmy Rollins, SS 2. Skip Schumaker, CF 2. Chase Utley, 2B 3. Albert Pujols, 1B 3. Hunter Pence, RF 4. Lance Berkman, RF 4. Ryan Howard, 1B 5. Matt Holliday, LF 5. Shane…

  15. Eric Chavez is “leaning heavily” toward retirement

    Oct 7, 2011, 5:00 PM EDT

    Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees

    Joel Sherman of the New York Post just tweeted that, while there’s nothing official yet, he’s hearing that Yankees utilityman Eric Chavez is “leaning heavily” toward retirement. Chavez had more plate appearances this year than he had had since 2007 — a whole 175 of them — but the magic is long gone.  He hit…

  16. Tigers set ALCS rotation: Verlander, Porcello, Fister, Scherzer

    Oct 7, 2011, 4:46 PM EDT

    Justin Verlander

    By defeating the Rays in four games the Rangers got a chance to set up their ALCS rotation in the same order as the ALDS, but the Tigers will juggle things a bit after needing five games to defeat the Yankees. Jim Leyland avoided using Justin Verlander as a reliever in Game 5, so he’ll…

  17. The Yankees continue to ensure that their fans will be unhappy most years

    Oct 7, 2011, 4:30 PM EDT

    George Steinbrenner AP

    George Steinbrenner started and perpetuated the notion that a New York Yankees season is a failure if it doesn’t end with a World Series title.  Not that winning a championship is the goal — it’s obviously every team’s goal — but that in addition to it being the goal, it is the only acceptable outcome.…

  18. Rangers choose Derek Holland for Game 2 start in ALCS

    Oct 7, 2011, 4:16 PM EDT

    Derek Holland

    Ron Washington waited to see who the Rangers would be playing in the ALCS before announcing their rotation, but it looks like the Tigers will be facing the same starters the Rays did. C.J. Wilson will start Game 1 for Texas, followed by fellow left-hander Derek Holland in Game 2. Washington hasn’t named his Game…

  19. Yankees have struggled in playoffs against non-Twins teams

    Oct 7, 2011, 3:47 PM EDT

    joe girardi and ron gardenhire

    I’m a Minnesotan and so it has seemed at times like the Yankees are unbeatable in the playoffs, but it turns out they haven’t been so good when they’re not beating up on the Twins. During the past 10 seasons the Yankees’ playoff record is 12-2 against the Twins and 26-34 against all other teams.…

  20. Pray that no home runs are hit in the new Marlins ballpark

    Oct 7, 2011, 3:30 PM EDT

    unseen

    This is not exactly news — it was announced a couple of years ago and I recall mocking it then — but today Grant Brisbee reminds us of one of the signature features of the Marlins’ new ballpark:  a plug-ugly and gigantic … thing which will light up and go crazy every time there’s a…

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