When the sun rose yesterday the Pittsburgh Pirates found themselves only a half game back of the NL Central lead and the best record in baseball. With a double header against the division leading St. Louis Cardinals on their plate, they could take sole possession of the Central if they could sweep the double header.
Game 1 of the double header was a close one as both teams scored a run each in the opening 3 innings. From then on a pitching duel would take place between Pittsburgh ace, AJ Burnett, and St. Louis Cardinal pitcher, Lance Lynn. Burnett went 7 strong for the Bucs. He only gave up 3 hits and he struck out 9. Lynn went 6 innings, only allowed 3 hits and struck out 7. The winning run was scored in the 11th when Alex Presley hit a walk-off single off of Cards pitcher Kevin Siegrist. This win was big for the Pirates as it gave them a half game lead over St. Louis in the division.
Let’s just say that Game 2 of the double header wasn’t as close as the first. The Cards gave up 6 runs off 11 hits, while the Bucs shut St. Louis down only giving up 3 hits and 0 earned runs. Andrew McCutchen went 2-5 in the game with 2 RBI. Jody Mercer, Gaby Sanchez, and Tony Sanchez all had an RBI each. With this win the Pirates extended their NL Central lead to 1.5 games and now have the best record in the MLB. Can they keep it up for the rest of the season? Can the Pirates finally make the playoffs for the first time since 1992? We will all have to just wait and see.
Two days ago, in a walk off win against the AL East Leading Tampa Bay Rays, Derek Jeter returned to the Yankees lineup. In his first at-bat since going back on the DL with a Quad Strain, he blasted a homer to right center and sent the New York crowd into a frenzy. Jeter went 2-4 with an RBI and 2 runs scored in the game. Another familiar face also had a great game, Alfonso Soriano. In his 3rd game back in pinstripes Soriano went 4-5. He hit a homerun and had 3 RBI in the game. Oh yeah, he also hit a walkoff single to give the Yankees a 6-5 win. Both of these players gave the Yankees lineup a huge boost. The Captain energized the team by giving them some much needed power by hitting the first homerun by a right handed batter since June 25. Soriano hit with runners in scoring position and was able to give the Yankees the lead in clutch situations. Having Soriano and Jeter in the lineup mixes things up a bit. It gives the lineup depth and also a couple of very good right handed batters that can do some major damage. In my opinion, getting these two players back will prove to be a major turning point in the Yankees season. I believe they will be the spark that the Bomber’s offense needs and needs desperatley. As of now the Yankees are 7.5 games back of the AL East Division lead and 2.5 games back of the Wild Card spot. If these two players can provide some offense and if Curtis Granderson can come back and perform the Yankees still have a chance to get that Wild Card spot or even win the division. I guess we will have to see how it all works out.
Here are my predictions for this weeks divisional round of the NFL playoffs.
Broncos: 31 vs Ravens: 21
Packers: 28 vs 49ers: 24
Seahawks: 20 vs Falcons: 14
Texans: 14 vs Patriots: 21
8 teams will face off this weekend for a spot to play in the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs. Which teams will win? Here are my picks
Bengals: 17 vs Texans: 24
Vikings: 31 vs Packers: 30
Colts: 24 vs Ravens: 20
Seahawks: 31 vs Redskins: 17
Now that the season is over we can really begin to debate which NFL star should receive the honor of being the leagues most valuable player. In my mind there are only two players that really have a chance to win the award, Adrian Peterson, or Peyton Manning. Both players had phenomenal seasons and both came off major injuries. Maybe you can add in Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady as candidates to win the mvp but I highly doubt either of them will win.
As we all know Peyton Manning came off a severe neck injury this season. He was dumped by the Colts, the franchise he played for his whole career, and some people thought he would never be the same again. Everyone questioned him and felt like one big hit would end his career for good. As we all know, Peyton proved all his doubters wrong. He threw for 4,659 yards, and 37 touchdowns. He had a QB rating of 105.8 which was the best in the league. He also completed 68 percent of his passes. Oh yeah, he did all this on the way to making the Broncos the number one seed in the AFC. If that’s not a case for MVP then I don’t know what is
Adrian Peterson was coming off a very different injury. On December 24th of last season Peterson tore his ACL and his MCL of his left knee and many people thought he would be out almost all of the 2012 season. Well, all those people were wrong. Peterson was determined to get through his rehab and be back for next season. His determination paid off when he put on his pads for the start of the 2012 season, and what a season it was. The running back rushed for 2,097 yards, 9 away from the all-time record. He had 12 touchdowns and had six yards per carry. He also rushed for more than 200 yards twice and more than 150 yards seven times. He did all this while bringing the Vikings to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth. He carried the team on his back all season.
When it comes down to it, I believe both players deserve the award, but if I had to choose I would have to go with Adrian Peterson. He came back from an injury that usually takes a year to recover in a few months. He brought the Vikings to the playoffs when absolutely nobody thought it could be done. He basically did it all for that team. What Peyton did for the Broncos was fantastic but what Peterson did for the Vikings was even better.
Sources: Dwight Howard has stated that he would be willing to stay in L.A if traded. A deal between the two teams is being worked out as we speak, and knowing that Dwight will re-sign, the Lakers will not hold back on their offer.