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After all the jostling for position, all the times in and out of first place in the NL Central, all the times they've played each other this season and all the times we've wondered which is the better team — it comes down to one more gam...
After all the jostling for position, all the times in and out of first place in the NL Central, all the times they've played each other this season and all the times we've wondered which is the better team — it comes down to one more game for the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals. Game 5 of their NLDS series is Wednesday at 8:07 p.m. ET. Finally, for these two teams who know each other so well, it's do-or-die. Wednesday's game is the 24th this season between the Pirates and the Cardinals, including the playoffs. They're 12-11, with Pittsburgh owning that one-game advantage. Another indicator of how close the two teams are — three runs, 102-99. That's their run count against each other this year, with the Cardinals holding that advantage. But the season series and the runs scored in 23 previous games don't really matter now. They were all just a warm-up for this. One game. Most runs wins. It isn't about evening a season series for the Cardinals or scoring three more runs for the Pirates. This is about moving on to the NLCS, being one step away from the World Series. On one side of this, Cardinals ace and Wednesday's starting pitcher Adam Wainwright: "It's the biggest game of the year, isn't it? That's what I always tell these guys," Wainwright told reporters, including MLB.com's Joey Nowack. "Every start of mine is the biggest game of the year. It's a big-time game against a good opponent, and I'm looking forward to doing it." On the other side, Pirates star and MVP candidate Andrew : "You live for those situations," McCutchen told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "This is the game that we play. They didn't say it was going to be easy getting here to where we are. We've done a good job of getting in this position. We live for all those moments. Anything can happen in this game." Yes, Cutch is right. Anything can happen. This postseason has already shown us that. But, hey, we wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't give you five storylines to watch for in Wednesday's game. • Will it a blowout or a close one? In the Pirates and Cardinals 19 regular season meetings, 10 were won by five or more runs. Four of the others were decided by one run. The postseason has been somewhat similar — the first two games were blowouts (9-1 for the Cardinals in Game 1 and 7-1 for the Pirates in Game 2). But it's gotten closer since: The Pirates winning 5-3 in Game 4, then the Cardinals winning 2-1 in a tense Game 5. • Will Adam Wainwright come through in Game 5 this time? Here's one bit of history, the Pirates wouldn't mind seeing repeated: Wainwright was lit up by the Washington Nationals in Game 5 of last season's NLDS. He gave up six runs in 2 1/3 innings. But here's the part the Cardinals liked about that game: They scored four runs in the ninth inning to win 9-7 and advance in the series. • Can Gerrit Cole do it again? The Pirates are sending their 22-year-old rookie (pictured) to the mound in Game 5 rather than A.J. Burnett. Cole dazzled in his previous NLDS appearance, leading Pittsburgh to a Game 2 win. He pitched six innings and held the Cards to one run. • Will Andrew McCutchen find his MVP moment? He's considered the favorite in the NL MVP race, and while he's hitting .357 in the series, he doesn't yet have a home run or RBI. He had the perfect moment in the ninth inning of Game 4, but didn't come through. Now, in a Game 5, can Cutch bring the clutch? • Can Carlos Beltran further cement his postseason legacy? He has two homers and six RBIs in the series already, adding to an amazing postseason résumé that includes a .355/.464/.783 batting line plus 16 homers and 31 RBIs in 38 games. The postseason is upon us. Spend it with The Stew. Follow @MikeOz and @bigleaguestew, on Twitter, along with the BLS Facebook page.
about 1 hour ago
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley and his wife Christine are being sued by a company claiming that they reneged on a purchase agreement, and then trashed a luxury house on their way out the door. According to the lawsu...
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley and his wife Christine are being sued by a company claiming that they reneged on a purchase agreement, and then trashed a luxury house on their way out the door. According to the lawsuit first posted by Deadspin, the Haleys had an agreement with Williamson and Jefferson to purchase a $1.4 million house outside Pittsburgh once their house in Kansas City was sold. In the meantime, they were renting the Pittsburgh property for $6,000 a month on a standard 12-month lease, starting in August 2012. Williamson and Jefferson claims that the Haleys violated the agreement when they never disclosed that their Kansas City home had sold in March. The company denied the couple's request for a lease extension this summer, effectively kicking them out of the house in August. According to the lawsuit, that's when the Haley's defaced the property by ripping a wide variety of appliances and other improvements off the walls and taking them with them. Williams and Jefferson accused the couple of taking: plants, trees shrubs, other landscaping, toilets, bathtubs, water heaters, a kitchen cooktop, a kitchen countertop, dishwashers, microwaves ovens, an outdoor grill, light fixtures, cabinets, faucets, and speakers, among other items. Here are the pictures from the lawsuit: Where the shrubs were removed: A lawyer for the Haleys told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that his clients deny that accusations, saying in a statement: "The Haleys deny they 'trashed' the house when the builder forced them to leave. The items removed from the house were all appliances and improvements the Haleys had paid for and installed when the work was not done by the builder and the removal was done by professional contractors. The builder has also refused to return a $62,000 deposit owed to the Haleys. The lawsuit was unnecessary but after it was filed and the Haleys asserted claims of their own, the parties agreed to submit their disputes to mediation. The Haleys are hopeful the matter can be resolved amicably through the mediation." Williamson and Jefferson claims that "the Property was in disarray and wholly unmarketable for sale."Join the conversation about this story »
about 1 hour ago
On this day in 1919, the White Sox threw game eight of the World Series to the Reds with reckless abandon. Chicago's Lefty Williams gave up three runs and four hits before manager Kid Gleason pulled him in favor of Big Bill James*, who a...
On this day in 1919, the White Sox threw game eight of the World Series to the Reds with reckless abandon. Chicago's Lefty Williams gave up three runs and four hits before manager Kid Gleason pulled him in favor of Big Bill James*, who allowed an inherited runner to score as well. The Reds would eventually go up 10-1 in the top of the eighth before the White Sox scored four meaningless runs in the bottom of the eighth. With a 10-5 win, the Reds clinched their first ever World Series championship. *See! Those guys in the newspaper were right; Bill James did ruin baseball. On this day in 1924, former Red Jake Daubert died in Cincinnati at the age of 40. On this day in 1963, the Reds bought catcher Joe Campbell from the Houston Colt .45's. Campbell never appeared in a game with Cincinnati. On this day in 1969, former Red Don Hoak died in Pittsburgh, PA at the age of 41. On this day in 2007, the Reds granted free agency to second baseman Mark Bellhorn. On this day in 2012, Homer Bailey struck out ten batters and allowed one run in seven innings against the Giants in game three of the divisional series. Unfortunately, the Reds' offense sputtered and collected only four hits on the night before Buster Posey scored the game-winning run on a Scott Rolen error in the bottom of the tenth. The Giants defeated the Reds, 2-1. Unmitigated Audacity earned the point yesterday. Joey Jay earned the win in the Reds' only victory in the 1961 World Series. With the Reds' World Series championship in 1919, Cincinnati became the eighth major league team to win the World Series. Name the first seven teams to win the World Series. You must name all seven teams to earn the point.
about 1 hour ago
Thanks to a super understanding employer and an amazing spouse I have practically lived at Tropicana Field over the last 6 weeks... During that time span I was lucky enough to see them win 18 games while losing just 2. Last night was the...
Thanks to a super understanding employer and an amazing spouse I have practically lived at Tropicana Field over the last 6 weeks... During that time span I was lucky enough to see them win 18 games while losing just 2. Last night was the second loss and unfortunately it was the loss that ended their season... This photo was snapped yesterday while the game was still knotted up at 1 and we were all full of hope. I think everyone knows how it all ended. The game, the season and my delightful distraction from real life. I know its just a game and when its all said and done there is one winner and a whole bunch of losers, but I can't help but feel sad, melancholy and a little empty... Congrats to the Red Sox. They played a super tight series. Jacoby Ellsbury was an amazing catalyst, as was Shane Victorino. There is no shame in getting beat by those two. It does however sting that it was Xander Jan Bogaerts drawing 2 key walks and scoring the game winning and insurance runs last night. Yeah, that stung, but either way the Rays are done, the Red Sox are rolling and now I will be shifting all of my rooting and attention to the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight. I would LOVE to see them face off (and beat) the Red Sox in the Series. So that is all. My cowbell is gonna sit on the shelf for the next few months, my Rays jerseys are hung up in the closet and Stub Hub will no longer be my most frequently visited website. It was a great run and I loved be a part of it as a fan. Things worked out so magically for me. I paid my bills before I bought tickets and so many times they just fell into my lap. That happened last night when our friend Lora (pictured above on the end, wife in middle, Troll on other end) offered us 2 of her season tickets and joined us in the last row in right field under the Jumbotron scoreboard. Out of 20 games in 6 weeks we only paid for about half of the games we saw - we relied and benefited from the kindness of strangers (and friends) and to all of them I saw thank you! To the Rays I say the same thing - THANK YOU! For an exciting season full of hope with a little despair thrown in for good measure... Of course I will be watching the rest of the playoffs and I will be talking over the theoretical hot stove all (Florida) winter long. I will be hoping that David Price returns in 2014 and signs a nice long term deal. I will be hoping that James Loney, Yunel Escobar (3 for 3 last night!), David DeJesus, Jose Lobaton and Jamey Wright all elect to remain Rays in 2014 and beyond and I will be hoping that Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist, Alex Cobb, Matt Moore, Desmond Jennings, Alex Torres, Jake McGee, Wil Myers, Chris Archer, Jeremy Hellickson, Jeff Niemann and company all get plenty of rest, maintain their health and continue to improve on their games through the off season. I will also be hoping that my awesome online friends and fellow bloggers continue to share their unwanted Rays cards with me,too! Yes, this was a magical year for the Rays and their fans, but its over. I am bummed, I am gonna have a whole bunch of free time and I have less chances to scream my head off and give strangers high fives, but spring training is right around the corner and I eagerly await seeing my team on the field again. Thank you, thank you, thank you! To the Rays, their fans, my friends and game day buddies and all of the generous ticket gifters out there. THANK YOU!!! Go Pirates! Troll out. P.S. A HUGE thank you to my lovely (and tired) wife who cheered for every pitch till the end and didn't get home till 3:00 AM and turned around and went to work at 6 this morning. What a trooper! P.S.S. This does mean I will be posting more often. I have completed many trades and received several surprise gifts in the mail and those awesome folks need thanks too! P.S.S.S. I still have many Allen and Ginter dupes and minis available for the taking and for trading... I need only 2 more base cards to finish the set, 1-350
about 1 hour ago
Carrick High School in Pittsburgh originally dedicated one day during their homecoming week to slain teen Trayvon Martin, but due to complaints, it has been cancelled. Seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by neighborhood...
Carrick High School in Pittsburgh originally dedicated one day during their homecoming week to slain teen Trayvon Martin, but due to complaints, it has been cancelled. Seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in February 2012.  Zimmerman was charged with second degree murder and found not guilty. Since Martin’s death, the hooded sweatshirt he was wearing the night he died has been a symbol of his supporters. Carrick High School homecoming committee and students voted, selecting ‘Trayvon Martin Day’ as part of their homecoming week celebrations. Students planned to wear hoodies, commemorating Martin’s death. The entire Miami Heat basketball team and Jamie Foxx, as well as other celebrities, have posted photos of themselves wearing hoodies. Jennifer Kagel, a parent of one of the Carrick students, told KDKA,  ”I am a little worried about that with the different people, how they’re going to react.” While another parent, Bruce Bergener said, “If they want to wear the hoodies to represent him and the kind of person he was, they should do it.” “It brought up some controversy to the point where there were people giving mixed signals about it,” said homecoming committee member Javon Jordan. The day dedicated to Martin has been replaced by ‘Bucco Day,’ celebrating Pittsburgh’s Major League Baseball team, the Pirates. Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals.
about 1 hour ago
This is actually at the core of Marcellus Shale economics. A lot of early visions of what profit (and for individuals the potential royalties) the Marcellus Shale could bring everyone presumed far more than they should have that new Pen...
This is actually at the core of Marcellus Shale economics. A lot of early visions of what profit (and for individuals the potential royalties) the Marcellus Shale could bring everyone presumed far more than they should have that new Pennsylvania supplies would continue to sell at a higher price than other supplies out west. The price differential caused in large part by the proximity to New England demand or the city-gate price for the New York region.well....... That economics 101 hits you and that question on what happens when you push the supply curve out. But we are not talking widgets here. So don't ask me why the Department of Energy is able to put out new data when most other Fed agencies can't, but today they have one of those Rosetta Stone graphics and analysis if you want to read more. Channeling my inner energy trader, this is saying that where there used to be a premium for Pennsylvania produced natural gas... now the futures market is projecting that Pennsylvania supplies will be worth less than the spot price at the reference Henry Hub... which is in Louisiana. Rational expectations anyone? So this is all really important to the future of shale development in Pennsylvania. When you factor in that the Henry Hub prices are sustaining very low $$ already, the lower price available to Pennsylvania suppliers is really depressing realized prices.
about 2 hours ago
By now, you all are likely aware that Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley and his wife Christine are being sued by a home builder who claims the couple reneged on million-dollar rent-to-own agreement. In addition, the Ha...
By now, you all are likely aware that Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley and his wife Christine are being sued by a home builder who claims the couple reneged on million-dollar rent-to-own agreement. In addition, the Haley's are also being accused of doing damage to the home in question. Following up on the Tuesday […] More Details Of The Lawsuit Against Steelers Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley Surface is a post from: Steelers Depot [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
about 2 hours ago
ST. LOUIS -- The excitement level in St. Louis is high in anticipation of the Cardinals facing the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 5 of the National League division series Wednesday night.
ST. LOUIS -- The excitement level in St. Louis is high in anticipation of the Cardinals facing the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 5 of the National League division series Wednesday night.
about 2 hours ago
The Carolina Hurricanes rallied from a two-goal deficit to tie its game against Pittsburgh in the third period, but Jussi Jokinen — who had a hat trick — and the Penguins combined for three unanswered goals in the game’...
The Carolina Hurricanes rallied from a two-goal deficit to tie its game against Pittsburgh in the third period, but Jussi Jokinen — who had a hat trick — and the Penguins combined for three unanswered goals in the game’s final 15 minutes to walk away with a 5-2 win and first place in the Metropolitan Division. Eric Staal and Nathan Gerbe scored for Carolina, and Cam Ward stopped 32 of 37 shots for the Canes. Three Observations 1. If Carolina is going to compete with powerhouse teams like the Penguins, they need to do a better job of dictating play. Through three games, the Hurricanes have been reactive instead of proactive in trying to set the pace of the game. That can be proven by simply looking at the time of ice thus far this season: the second line of Jordan Staal, Patrick Dwyer and Gerbe have all logged more even-strength minutes than the team’s three most lethal scorers (Eric Staal, Alexander Semin and Jeff Skinner). By making it a priority to stop the opposition with the second line rather than unleashing the offensive players, coach Kirk Muller has guided his team into reactive territory. No one’s asking for Carolina to run-and-gun with more talented teams, but more aggression is needed if the Hurricanes are going to build the confidence to know they can go head to head with teams like Pittsburgh. 2. Ward probably didn't walk away from Tuesday’s games feeling great about his effort, but he did his part in keeping Carolina in the game with some spectacular efforts. Still, there were signs that the Hurricanes’ No. 1 netminder still hasn't shaken off all the rust following last season’s lockout and injury. With three games in four nights starting Thursday, Anton Khudobin should see one — if not two — starts while Ward continues to round into form. 3. It was good to see Drayson Bowman making a difference on the top line with Eric Staal and Semin, but it was at the expense of Jiri Tlusty being shuffled down the rotation. From where I sit, it's a little too early to panic about line combinations, especially when the one being messed with was arguably the NHL's best last year. It's clear the team misses Tuomo Ruutu’s wrecking ball (I'm not requesting Ruutu-Miley Photoshop mashups, folks) forechecking, and once he's ready there will be some changes anyway. But even though the top line has failed to reconnect like last year, it's the one line Muller knows can succeed. Stick with it. Number To Know 50 — or more seconds per shift in each of Ryan Murphy’s three games this season, including tops on the team the last two outings. Muller has long preached short shifts, but thus far Murphy has been out noticeably longer than his fellow teammates. Sometimes that can be good — some end-of-shift, end-to-end puck-carrying displays have showcased Murphy at his best a few times already this young season — but there are also times when he has found himself caught on the ice for way to long. Being tired and pinned in your own end is not a recipe for success for a smaller defender. Plus Justin Faulk — Faulk has been an absolute rock on the back end, logging more than 24 minutes a night and consistently facing the opposition’s best. He did more of that Tuesday, spending more than 60 percent of his even-strength ice time against the Pens’ top two lines. Faulk — and partner Andrej Sekera — proved to be up to the task. Not only was the duo only on the ice for one Pittsburgh goal — Jokinen’s power play tally to open the scoring — but they were both on the score sheet for both Carolina goals. Faulk earned an assist after his point shot was redirected by Eric Staal, and Sekera got secondary assists on that and Gerbe’s goal. Minus Ron Hainsey — There was plenty of fault to go around Tuesday, but Hainsey’s inability to tap the puck past Marc-Andre Fleury twice in the third, coupled with h
about 2 hours ago
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports After Marcus Gilbert filled in for Max Starks on the blind-side during Pittsburgh’s Wild Card playoff loss to Denver in January of 2012, many believed that the former Florida Ga...
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports After Marcus Gilbert filled in for Max Starks on the blind-side during Pittsburgh’s Wild Card playoff loss to Denver in January of 2012, many believed that the former Florida Gator might assume that position during the 2012 campaign. Gilbert might very well have taken over at left tackle that fall, but the selections of David DeCastro and Mike Adams in the first two rounds of that April’s draft kept the then-second year player at right tackle. Although Gilbert worked at left tackle earlier this spring after  Starks was allowed to explore his options on the free agent market, the coaching staff felt more comfortable with Adams as the blind-side protector. Despite Adams’ recent struggles, it does not appear that the Steelers’ coaching staff are inclined to move Gilbert over to the blind-side any time soon according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In a Q&A on his “Steelers Blog,” Bouchette answered the following when someone questioned why Gilbert would not see time at left tackle since Adams was demoted: The Steelers want to let well enough alone and keep Gilbert at right tackle. Either Levi Brown or Kelvin Beachum will start at left tackle; that is, as long as they can handle the job. To their credit, Gilbert would be best served to stay at the right tackle position for the rest of the 2013 regular season anyway. A stronger run-blocker than pass-blocker, Gilbert has struggled with speed-rushers this year and during the first two years of his career. In addition, putting a player who has started his last 22 games at right tackle on the blind-side would be just as much of gamble as inserting Beachum or Brown there until an adequate solution is found. Moreover, how comfortable can a team be with a player if he could not even beat out the struggling Adams during the summer and training camp? Of course, just because Gilbert is going to stay at right tackle doesn’t mean that his starting job will be safe at the end of the 2013 regular season Chris Bradford of the Beaver County Times referenced how Gilbert has allowed 11 quarterback hurries during the Steelers’ first four regular season games. In addition, Gilbert is currently ranked 31st among all tackles according to Pro Football Focus, and Bradford mentioned that only two of the tackles in the top 30 have allowed as many as the former Gator. For now, it appears that Gilbert’s job is safe on the right side and the Steelers’ coaching staff have faith that he can continue to improve. With three other “right tackles” on their roster (Brown, Beachum, and Adams) on their roster, Gilbert must prove that he is the “answer” over Pittsburgh’s final 12 games. Otherwise, Pittsburgh’s coaching staff might be comfortable with somebody else manning the right tackle spot by the time the 2014 regular season starts. Stats & Contract Info. Provided By: ESPN.com, Steelers.com , Spotrac, and Pro Football Reference Follow me on Twitter: @DominicDiTolla Follow & Like “NPC” on Facebook: Nice Pick, Cowher Steelers Apparently Comfortable With Marcus Gilbert at Right Tackle - Nice Pick, Cowher - Nice Pick, Cowher - A Pittsburgh Steelers Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.
about 2 hours ago