Nick Saban, Alabama AD Greg Byrne test positive for COVID-19 — Fox 59

Alabama coach Nick Saban and athletic director Greg Byrne have tested positive for COVID-19, three days before the second-ranked Crimson Tide is set to face No. 3 Georgia in a clash of Southeastern Conference and national powers. Both said their tests Wednesday morning came back positive, but Saban said he didn’t have any symptoms by […]

Nick Saban, Alabama AD Greg Byrne test positive for COVID-19 — Fox 59

Highlights: Dodgers Social Media goes wild after historic 11-run first inning — Daily News

The Dodgers scored 11 runs in the first inning of Game 3 of the NLCS. It was the most runs in any single inning in MLB postseason history. Here are some highlights and what Dodgers fans were tweeting in a must-win game after being down 2-0 in the series to the Atlanta Braves. And oh,…

Highlights: Dodgers Social Media goes wild after historic 11-run first inning — Daily News

ALCS: RAYS-ASTROS NOTES

ON THE CUSP—In postseason history, teams leading 3-0 in a best-of-seven have gone on to win the series 37 of 38 times (97.4 pct.)…the only team
to come back from a 3-0 deficit was the 2004 Red Sox (ALCS vs. NYY)…
the Rays are attempting to become the sixth team to sweep the American League Championship Series since its best-of-seven format began
in 1985…they would join the 1988 Athletics, 1990 Athletics, 2006 Tigers,
2012 Tigers and 2014 Royals…the Rays are attempting to sweep a multigame postseason series for the second time, but the only previous time
was a best-of-three 2020 Wild Card Series at Tropicana Field (vs. TOR).
— The Rays are a win away from their second AL pennant (2008),
but the only current Rays player or uniformed personnel who witnessed them winning it in 2008 from field level (Game 7, at Tropicana Field) was Kevin Cash, who was a Red Sox catcher at the time.
— The Rays have won six of their past seven postseason games since
losing Game 1 to the Yankees…the Rays are 24-22 all-time in the
postseason, 8-2 in 2020 and 10-3 since Game 3 of the 2019 ALDS…
including the end of the regular season, they are 17-4 since Sep 17.
— Combining regular season and postseason, the Rays have only lost
once in their last 18 series since Aug 4, going 13-1-4 in series play.

The Astros will try to stave off elimination tonight in Game 4 of the American
League Championship Series at Petco Park against the Rays…to do so, the Astros will turn to 17-year veteran RHP Zack Greinke, who’s making his 19th
career postseason start, this time opposite RHP Tyler Glasnow and the Rays.
GREINKE THIS POSTSEASON: The Astros will start RHP Zack Greinke tonight, who has two starts this postseason, Game 1 of the Wild Card Series at
MIN (1ER/4IP) and Game 4 of the ALDS vs. OAK (4ER/4.2IP)…this will be Greinke’s second career postseason start against the Rays, as he started Game
3 of the 2019 ALDS at TB (6ER/3.2IP).

HE’S DUE: Greinke has gone 3-6 with a 4.29 ERA (48ER/100.2IP) and ranks tied for third among active pitchers with 18 career postseason starts, trailing only RHP Justin Verlander (30) and LHP Clayton Kershaw (27) in that category…Greinke has gone 10 postseason starts without earning a win dating to his last postseason victory in Game 2 of the 2015 NLDS vs. NYM…the MLB record is 11
consecutive postseason starts without a win, streaks authored by LHP David Price (2010-18), RHP Tim Hudson (2002-14) and LHP Al Leiter (1997-2000).
VS. GLASNOW: RHP Tyler Glasnow has been
great this postseason for the Rays, going 2-0 with a 4.05 ERA and posting a dominant 20 strikeouts in his 13.1 innings…he last pitched in Game 5 of the ALDS, starting on two days rest, and tossed 2.1 scoreless frames…the Astros have experience against Glasnow in the postseason, having defeated him twice in the ALDS last year in Games 1 and 5, in which he allowed six runs in 7.0 innings for a 0-2 record and a 7.71 ERA.
POSTSEASON EXPERIENCE: This is the Astros 14th appearance in the postseason in club history in what is the 59th year of the franchise that began in
1962…this group of Astros has won a postseason series in four straight seasons (2017-20), leading all MLB teams in postseason games (53) and wins (30) in
that time frame…in both categories, the Astros top the Dodgers (43g, 25 wins) and Yankees (34g, 18 wins).
LCS HISTORY: This marks the Astros fourth straight trip to the ALCS and their eighth appearance overall in a League Championship Series (1980, 1986, 2004-05, 2017-20)…they are the third team in AL history and the fifth team in Major League history to advance to four straight LCS (since 1969)…the other clubs to do so: the Cardinals (2011-14), Yankees (1998-2001), Braves
(1991-99) and A’s (1971-75).
THE WILL TO WIN—Last night the Rays overcame a 1-0 deficit, their
third comeback win of the postseason after an AL-most 20 come-from behind wins in the regular season…the Rays are 3-2 this postseason when
their opponent scores first after going an AL-best 15-14 in the regular season…last night was the second time in club history the Rays won a postseason game without hitting a home run, following Game 2 of the 2008
World Series vs. PHI…combining regular season and postseason, the Rays
are 15-6 (.714) when held without a homer, and their 14-5 (.737) mark in
the regular season was the best since the 1906 Cubs went 99-34 (.744).
— The Rays have been outhit, 26-18, this series, but they are 3-2 this
postseason when outhit by their opponent…they are 3-1 when
held to 4 hits (or fewer) and 3-2 when scoring 3 runs (or fewer).
— The Rays have 3 wins this postseason when striking out 13 times
(or more), the most for a team in a single postseason in major league
history…prior to this season, the Rays had never won a postseason
game on 13 SO (or more)…all three of these wins came in succession: Game 5 vs. NYY, Game 1 vs. HOU and Game 2 vs. HOU.
CLOSE SHAVES—Between the regular season and postseason, 38 of the
club’s 70 games (54.3 pct.) have been decided by 2 runs (or fewer)…the
Rays are 28-10 (.737) in them, going 5-0 in the postseason in addition to a
majors-best 23-10 (.697) in the regular season…the Rays are 16-5 (.762) in
1-run games, including 2-0 this postseason and 15-3 (.833) since Aug 7.
— Combining regular season and postseason, the Rays have a majorleague-record 13 different pitchers with a save and are 35-1, 32-0
and 39-0 when leading after 6, 7 and 8 innings, respectively.
— Since July 28, 2019, the Rays have won 62 straight games when
leading after 7 innings, the longest active streak in the majors.
PITCHING PROPERLY—The Rays have allowed 2 runs (or fewer) in six of
10 postseason games, including four straight for the first time in franchise
history…this matches the longest such streak in the last 13 postseasons,
and they are the first to do it since the 2017 Dodgers (4)—the last team to
allow 2 runs (or fewer) in five straight is the 2007 Red Sox…the Rays have
a 3.03 ERA (89-IP, 30-ER) in the postseason, including a 3.15 ERA (45.2-IP,
16-ER) from their starters and a 2.91 ERA (43.1-IP, 14-ER) from relievers.
— The Rays have held the Astros to 5 runs and 4 HR (all solo) this
series, after the Astros scored 33 runs and hit 12 HR in the Division
Series (4 games vs. OAK)…similarly, the Rays held the Yankees to
24 runs and 10 HR in the 5-game Division Series, after the Yankees
scored 22 runs and hit 7 HR in their Wild Card sweep at CLE.
— Opponents are batting .167 (11-for-66) against Rays pitching with
RISP this postseason…the Rays have held the Astros to .167 (4-for24) with RISP—and none of these 4 hits have resulted in a run.
The Rays bullpen has stranded all 21 IR this postseason…according
to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the longest streak of inherited
runners stranded to start a postseason, passing the 2006 Cardinals
(17)…in the last 7 games (beginning with Game 2 of the ALDS vs.
NYY), the Rays bullpen has pitched to a 2.18 ERA (33-IP, 8-ER).

NLCS: DODGERS-BRAVES NOTES

TONIGHT’S GAME: The Braves and Dodgers
continue their best-of-seven National League
Championship Series tonight with their third meeting
of the season…The 2020 NLCS marks the fourth
postseason series between the two clubs.
• Atlanta and Los Angeles did not play during the
regular season, and last met in 2019…The Braves
went 2-4 in six games against the Dodgers last
season, being swept at Dodger Stadium and
winning two-of-three in Atlanta.
• The Braves’ series win against the Dodgers last
season was their first since also taking two-of-three
from Los Angeles in 2015…In 32 games between
the clubs since the start of 2016, including the
postseason, Atlanta is 11-21 (.344) vs. Los Angeles.
• The Braves and Dodgers have met three times
in postseason play, all of which have come in the
Division Series…Atlanta swept Los Angeles in the
1996 NLDS, while Los Angeles has won each of the
past two series, in 2013 and 2018, 3-1.
RHP Kyle Wright has never faced Los Angeles…
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound native of Huntsville,
AL made his postseason debut with the start in
Game 3 of the NLDS and blanked Miami over 6.0
innings, becoming just the fifth player in franchise
history to throw at least 6.0 scoreless frames in
their playoff debut.
LHP Julio Urías is set for his second career
postseason start and 15th playoff appearance…The
6-foot-0, 215-pound native of Culiacan, Mexico
is 4-2 with a 3.42 ERA (9 ER/23.2 IP) in his
postseason career, including 8.0 innings without an
earned run in two relief appearances this season…
Urías has made two career appearances against
Atlanta, pitching 4.0 scoreless innings.
2-0 LEAD: Atlanta beat Los Angeles, 5-1, in Game
1 of this series on Monday night, before an 8-7 win
yesterday to take a 2-0 lead in the series.
• The Braves have previously gone 2-0 in a
postseason series 14 times in franchise history, and
are 12-2 (.857) in these sets…They have never lost
a Championship Series when taking a 2-0 lead.
• The Braves took a 2-0 lead in the 1992 LCS
vs. Pittsburgh and won in seven games, swept
Cincinnati in 1995, and went up 2-0 over the Mets
in 1999 before winning in six.
SCORING EARLY: Freddie Freeman’s fourth-inning
home run last night gave Atlanta a 2-0 lead, and the
Braves have now scored first in each of their seven
games this postseason.
• The Braves went 24-6 (.800) when scoring first
during the regular season, the best mark in the
National League and second best in the majors
(Tampa Bay, 25-6, .806).
• Atlanta pitchers have thrown 67 innings this
postseason and trailed in just five of them, with all
five coming in Game 1 of the NLDS vs. Miami.

The Dodgers are looking to climb out of an 0-2 hole following
last night’s 8-7 loss in Game 2. Los Angeles is playing in its fifth
National League Championship Series in the past eight years and
fourth in the past five seasons. The Dodgers and Braves have never
met in a Postseason series with a World Series berth on the line, but
have met three previous times, all in the NLDS (1996, 2013 and
2018). Los Angeles beat the Braves 3-1 in both the 2013 and 2018
NLDS. Atlanta swept the Dodgers in the 1996 NLDS.
The Dodgers have come back from 0-2 deficits four times
in their postseason history:

1955 World Series vs. NYY (best of seven), won series 4-3
1965 World Series vs. MIN (best of seven), won series 4-3
1981 NLDS vs. HOU (best of five), won series 3-2
1981 World Series vs. NYY (best of seven), won series 4-2
To reach the NLCS, the Dodgers swept the Padres, 3-0, and
the Braves swept the Marlins, 3-0. The Braves have not lost
a Postseason game in 2020.
Since 1969, when the League Championship Series was
introduced to Major League Baseball, the Dodgers have
appeared in the LCS 14 times, which is tied with the
Cardinals for the most in the National League. The Dodgers
and Braves (11) are two of seven franchises that have
appeared in the LCS 10+ times.
SEAGER STRONG: Dodger shortstop Corey Seager went 2-for-4
with a walk, three-run homer and four RBI last night to raise his 2020
Postseason average to .308 (8-for-26). His 1.060 OPS ranks ninth
among all playoff performers with at least 20 AB. Earlier today, it
was announced that Seager was one of seven National League
finalists for the Hank Aaron Award, given to the most outstanding
regular season offensive performer in each league.
POSTSEASON POWER: Dodger infielder/outfielder Kiké
Hernández earned the start in Game 1 Monday night and delivered
a solo homer in the fifth inning, his first of the 2020 Postseason and
his seventh since 2017, which is tied with Justin Turner and Max
Muncy for the most by a Dodger over the last four years. Muncy hit
his seventh Postseason homer last night and this trio is inching closer
to the top of the Dodger Postseason list, which is led by Duke Snider
(11), Steve Garvey (10), Hernández (7), Joc Pederson (7), Adrían
González and Muncy (7).
EIGHT’S NOT ENOUGH: The Dodgers went 43-17 in the 60-
game season to win their record eighth straight NL West title with
the best record in the Majors. The club’s .717 winning percentage
was the best in franchise history and marked the seventh time in club
history that the Dodgers posted the Majors’ best mark (last: 2017).
Los Angeles has topped the National League in wins in three of the
last four seasons (2017, ’19, ’20) and seven times in the divisional
era (since 1969, 23rd time overall).
The Dodgers won a division title for the eighth straight year, something
only two other franchises have accomplished:
MLB All-Time – Most Consecutive Division Titles
Braves, 1991-2005 14
Yankees, 1998-2006 9
Dodgers, 2013-2020 8 (active streak)
Source: Stats, LLC
The Dodgers reached the World Series in each of their six
previous seasons with the best record in the Majors:
Dodgers Finishing w/MLB’s Best Record, All-time
1949 Brooklyn Dodgers (tied) 97-57 (.630) Lost WS (4-1 NYY)
1952 Brooklyn Dodgers 96-57 (.627) Lost WS (4-3 NYY)
1953 Brooklyn Dodgers 105-49 (.682) Lost WS (4-2 NYY)
1955 Brooklyn Dodgers 98-55 (.641) Won WS (4-3 vs NYY)
1974 Los Angeles Dodgers 102-60 (.630) Lost WS (4-1 Oak)
2017 Los Angeles Dodgers 104-58 (.642) Lost WS (4-3 Hou)

2020 Players Choice Awards Finalists Announced

NEW YORK, Oct. 14 – Players selected José Abreu, Shane Bieber and Freddie Freeman as finalists for Major League Baseball’s Player of the Year and Nelson Cruz, Jason Heyward and Adam Wainwright as nominees for Marvin Miller Man of the Year in voting for the 2020 Players Choice Awards.

The Players Choice Awards are held in high regard by players because the winners are selected in balloting among their peers. In addition to the Marvin Miller Man of the Year and Player of the Year award winners, who represent both leagues, players in the American and National Leagues choose their outstanding players, pitchers, rookies and comeback players.

All told, the 2020 Players Choice Award winners will designate charities to receive grants totaling $55,000 from the Major League Baseball Players Trust. Since 1992, the Players Trust has recognized the outstanding on-and off-field performances of Players Choice Awards recipients by contributing more than $5 million to charities around the world.

In balloting for the Marvin Miller Award, players are asked to vote for the player they “most respect based on his leadership on the field and in the community.” Curtis Granderson, who retired after the 2019 season, won the award four times. Other recent honorees include Anthony Rizzo (2017), Adam Jones (2015), Clayton Kershaw (2014) and Mariano Rivera (2013).

The award is dedicated to Marvin Miller, who served as the Major League Baseball Players Association’s first full-time executive director, from 1966 through 1982, and guided its emergence as one of the country’s strongest and most cohesive labor unions.

Below are all the finalists:

Outstanding Player Award

National League players: Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Juan Soto

American League players: José Abreu, DJ LeMahieu and Mike Trout

Outstanding Pitcher Award

National League players: Trevor Bauer, Yu Darvish and Jacob deGrom

American League players: Shane Bieber, Gerrit Cole and Lance Lynn

Outstanding Rookie Award

National League players: Alec Bohm, Jake Cronenworth and Devin Williams

American League player: James Karinchak, Kyle Lewis and Luis Robert

Comeback Player Award

National League players: Daniel Bard, Adam Duvall and Wil Myers

American League players: Carlos Carrasco, Salvador Perez and José Ramírez

The Marvin Miller Award winner receives a $10,000 grant, while the recipients of the nine other awards receive grants of $5,000.

Through their collective charity, players pool resources to support efforts that provide hope, sustainability and lasting change around the world. Players direct grants to the wide range of causes they support – from disaster relief to health and human services to promoting the growth of baseball in the United States and abroad.

Players Choice Awards voting among all players was conducted in mid-September. Winners will be announced Oct. 22.

For more information on the 2020 Players Choice Awards, be sure to visit the link here.

ABOUT THE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYERS TRUST

Major Leaguers contribute their time, money and celebrity to call attention to important causes. Each year the Players Trust distributes more than $1 million in annual grants and programs. For additional information, please visit www.PlayersTrust.org. Follow the Trust on Twitter (@MLBPlayersTrust) and Instagram (@mlbplayerstrust).

NFL will test for COVID-19 on game days, but has no ‘bubble’ plans — Bangor Daily News

The league will begin PCR testing for COVID-19 on game days starting this week and the use of masks in walk-throughs is now mandatory.

NFL will test for COVID-19 on game days, but has no ‘bubble’ plans — Bangor Daily News

Warriors GM on Klay Thompson’s progress: There’s one “final piece to his puzzle” — Times-Standard

Warriors general manager Bob Myers liked the way Klay Thompson moved at the team’s mini-camp last week but said the true test for the five-time NBA All-Star will come once he’s able to play in actual games. “The final piece to his puzzle is live NBA action, where (you have) that kind of speed, and…

Warriors GM on Klay Thompson’s progress: There’s one “final piece to his puzzle” — Times-Standard

Big Bruin guns went under the knife — Boston Herald

The Bruins belatedly released their injury list from the playoffs on Tuesday — and it’s a doozy. The B’s announced that they may very well be starting the 2020-21 season without two thirds of their potent top line. On Sept. 16, David Pastrnak underwent right hip arthroscopy and labral repair, performed at the Hospital for…

Big Bruin guns went under the knife — Boston Herald

Hoornstra: Braves are out-Dodgering the Dodgers in NLCS — Press Enterprise

After Tyler Matzek won a CIF championship for head coach Bob Zamora at Capistrano Valley High School, and before he took the mound for the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series Tuesday, he was an AirHog. The Texas AirHogs play in the independent American Association. Their home field is a…

Hoornstra: Braves are out-Dodgering the Dodgers in NLCS — Press Enterprise

Alexander: Dodgers’ late rally doesn’t produce a win, but it provides hope — Whittier Daily News

You know it’s bad when Fox’s Joe Buck and John Smoltz are discussing “The Masked Singer” or Freddie Freeman’s tattered T-shirt or 3-pound hot dogs by the middle innings. This was bad, for the Dodgers and their fans. Discouragingly so. Depressingly so. Edge-of-the-cliff so. They were trailing 7-0 in the game, about to go down…

Alexander: Dodgers’ late rally doesn’t produce a win, but it provides hope — Whittier Daily News