CINCINNATI - It's Wednesday September 19:
MY TIME OF YEAR: I left the window cracked in the bedroom last night and it was a bit nippy this morning. It's why they make blankets. And hot coffee.
REDS 3 CUBS 1: Homer Bailey owns Wrigley Field. Or maybe it's just the Cubs. He notched his third victory of the season at Wrigley Tuesday night. That's a quarter of his victories this season. He pitched a two-hitter through seven innings. When he gave up a couple of hits in the eighth, Dusty lifted him and Sean Marshall put out the fire.
ONE BIG HIT: The Reds didn't have much success against Justin Germano until the sixth inning. That's when he walked the first three batters to load the bases. Ryan Hanigan then smacked a double into right-center field to score three runs.
DOOR CLOSER: Jonathan Broxton continues to prove to be a great acquisition, especially with Aroldis Chapman on the sidelines. Broxton has had 11 straight scoreless appearances, and three straight saves.
MAGIC: The Reds so-called Magic Number to clinch the Central Division title was reduced to four with the victory. The Cardinals were scoring a 4-1 victory over the Astros.
MILESTONE: It was the 3,000th game that Dusty Baker managed in the big leagues.
DURABLE DUSTY: Dusty Baker played in 2,079 games and has managed 3,000.
WEDNESDAY QUIZ: Who managed the most major league games?
WEDNESDAY'S BILL: Mike Leake will pitch against the Cubs Chris Rusin Wednesday night at 8:05.
COUNTING THE CARDS: The Reds might dwarf the Cardinals in the NL Central standings, but St. Louis isn't going away. With their victory Wednesday, the Cards took a 1 1/2 game lead in the NL Wild Card race over the Dodgers.
COMING BACK: Speaking of the Cards, it should be noted that their former ace Chris Carpenter threw in the bullpen Tuesday night and plans to make his first start of the season Friday in Chicago. He's coming back from surgery to relieve nerve compression in his pitching shoulder.
WET AND WILD CARD: The Dodgers game at Washington was postponed Tuesday night, so the two teams will play a doubleheader in DC on Wednesday. The Dodgers come into Cincinnati for the weekend.
BALTIMORE 4 SEATTLE 2: I dare you to name 5 players on the Baltimore Orioles, but the Birds are making a bid for the AL East title. The Orioles won in 18 innings Tuesday night/Wednesday morning in a game that took 5:44 to play. The Yanks lead the East at 83-63 and the Orioles are percentage points back at 84-64. The Yanks and Toronto got rained out Tuesday and they'll play a doubleheader Wednesday.
LATE NIGHT HEROES: How's this for a stat? The Orioles have won 14 straight extra inning games.
THE AL WILD CARD: The Athletics and Orioles are tied at the top. The Angels are three back and the Tigers are five back.
THE NL WILD CARD: The Braves are on their way to taking the first spot, but the second spot is still being contested. The Cards lead the Dodgers by 1 1/2 games and the surging Brewers by 2 1/2 games.
TOTALLY OVERLOOKED: Did you know that Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers is very close to winning the Triple Crown in the American League. He leads the league with a .333 batting average and 129 runs batted in. He's second in home runs, two behind Josh Hamilton.
QUICK QUIZ: Who was the last player to win the Triple Crown in the American League?
TRADING PLACES: As expected, DE Jamaal Anderson was placed on injured reserve for the Bengals on Tuesday. He tore a quad tendon against the Browns. The Bengals signed DE Wallace Gilberry who has played with the Chiefs and the Bucs. He was cut by Tampa last Friday.
EAGLE GROUNDED: Jason Kelce, who played his college ball at UC, needs season-ending knee surgery. He was a sixth round pick of Philadelphia in 2011, and played every game for the Eagles.
QUICK QUIZ ANSWER: The last American Leaguer to win the Triple Crown was Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.
LOSS OF A LEGEND: Steve Sabol who built NFL Films into an empire died Tuesday of brain cancer at the age of 69. Steve and his dad Ed wowed us with slow motion video, stirring music, sideline comments and the god-like narration of John Facenda. Steve visited us back in the 80's when the Bengals were Super Bowl-bound and he was a great guy who was passionate about football and presenting it in a different way. "Hard Knocks" was his modern-day baby. He changed with the times and with the sport.
WEDNESDAY MORNING QUIZ: Connie Mack managed 7,755 games. Nobody was going to fire him. He owned the team.
LET'S GET OVER THE HUMP...
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