Weekday Morning Sports – Wednesday 10/8/14

Sports Radio 1400 WSJM     @wsjmsports      wsjmsports.com     Wednesday, October 08, 2014

MLB – Major League Baseball – Division Series (Best of 5)
Last Night
St. Louis Cardinals 3, Los Angeles Dodgers 2                    (Cardinals win series 3-1)
San Francisco Giants 3, Washington Nationals 1               (Giants win series 3-1)

Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2 – Cardinals sink Kershaw again, head to another NLCS
The St. Louis Cardinals are in the National League Championship Series for the fourth straight year after Matt Adams slammed a go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh inning of a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Clayton Kershaw carried a one-hitter and a 2-0 lead into the seventh before surrendering back-to-back singles and Adams’ home run. Kershaw was 0-2 with a 7.82 ERA in two games during the series after leading the league with 21 points and a 1.77 earned run average.

Giants 3, Nationals 2 – Giants top Nationals 3-2, return to NLCS vs Cards
Ryan Vogelsong combined with four relievers on a four-hitter as the San Francisco Giants beat Washington 3-2 in Game 4 of the National League Division and advanced to the LCS. Joe Panik hit an RBI grounder in the Giants’ two-run third, but San Francisco blew the 2-0 lead before Panik scored on a wild pitch in the seventh inning. The Nationals wasted Bryan Harper’s game-tying homer and RBI double.

NFL – Prater is Detroit’s latest choice at kicker
The Detroit Lions have signed Matt Prater to a one-year deal in their latest effort to fix their early kicking woes. The Lions confirmed the agreement Tuesday night. The Broncos cut ties with Prater earlier this month, when the 30-year-old kicker was about to come off a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Prater made 25 of 26 field goals last season, including a record-setting 64-yarder against Tennessee. The Lions have grown increasingly desperate for kicking help after rookie Nate Freese went 3 of 7 on field goals and Alex Henery went 1 of 5. Henery missed three field goals in Sunday’s 17-14 loss to Buffalo, including a 50-yarder that would have put Detroit ahead in the final minute.

NFL – Bears waive backup defensive end, cornerback
The Chicago Bears have waived defensive end David Bass and cornerback Isaiah Frey and elevated cornerback Al Louis-Jean from the practice squad. The moves were announced on Tuesday. Bass appeared in 13 games with one start over two seasons with the Bears. He had 20 ½ tackles and an interception, which he returned for a touchdown. Frey made seven starts and appeared in 19 games over three seasons with Chicago, with 73 tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and two pass breakups. Louis-Jean is an undrafted rookie free agent out of Boston College.

NFL – NFL owners set to meet
NFL owners will meet Wednesday to discuss the league’s personal conduct policy, vote on the sale of the Buffalo Bills and look at further international play. These are critical meetings for the owners, with Commissioner Roger Goodell under fire for his handling of the Ray Rice case, and with several high-profile player arrests involving domestic abuse.  Their discussions of social responsibility and the personal conduct policy initiatives will overshadow approval of the purchase of the Bills. That transaction is considered certain, with three-quarters of the teams needing to vote in favor of the sale to Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula.  They also will receive reports on the league’s games in London, three this year for the first time, with two still to come. The NFL has an eye on adding more London games, perhaps as soon as next season.

NFL – League investigation in laser pointers goes on
The NFL is attempting to shed light on who allegedly shined a laser pointer at Buffalo Bills players at Detroit’s Ford Field last weekend. A league spokesman says the league is investigating the Bills’ complaint and attempting to identify the person responsible. Quarterback Kyle Orton and holder Colton Schmidt said they had a laser directed at them during Buffalo’s 17-14 win over the Lions on Sunday. Signora says the league will share the results of its investigation with police. All four North American major professional sports leagues bar the use of laser pointers at their facilities. 

NCAA Football – No. 8 Spartans looking to finish games
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio says his eighth-ranked Spartans deserve to be in the inaugural College Football Playoff if they win the rest of their games. Michigan State (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten) beat No. 19 Nebraska 27-22 in its Big Ten opener, nearly blowing a 24-point lead. Dantonio said he may talk to his team Tuesday about finishing games strong as the Spartans prepare to travel to Purdue (3-3, 1-1) on Saturday. But he noted the Spartans’ 19-2 record since the beginning of last season and said his players deserve to be in the playoff if they win out.
 
NCAA Football – Notre Dame balances run production vs. promise
Sixth-ranked Notre Dame is looking for ways to improve its running game this week against North Carolina. So far this season, the Irish running game has come down to a balance of production vs. promise. Senior captain Cam McDaniel represents production, while sophomores Greg Bryant and Tarean Folston represent potential and promise.  Kelly says the Irish depended heavily on McDaniel in a 17-14 win against Stanford because he has a tendency to err toward going with a senior captain in those kinds of hard-hitting games. Kelly says the Irish know they can get more production from Bryant and Folson. He says the Irish are committed to running the ball better. He also says the offensive line that was shuffled two weeks ago is continuing to improve.

NCAA Football – Offense good, but defense still rules in Big Ten
There are 10 Big Ten teams scoring at least 26 points per game. Rest assured, however, that the late Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler would still recognize the conference where they once relied on rock-hard defenses. After all, even though it seems every game ends up 45-38 and that spread offenses are running rampant, defense still has an often overlooked foothold in the 14-team league. The Big Ten is represented by six of the top 20 teams in the nation in total defense, five of the top 20 in scoring defense and five of the top 25 in stopping the run and interceptions.

NBA – National Basketball Association Preseason
Last Night
Detroit Pistons 111, Chicago Bulls 109 – OT

Pistons 111, Bulls 109 – OT – Monroe leads Pistons past Bulls, 111-109 in OT
Greg Monroe had 22 points and nine rebounds to lead Detroit to a 111-109 overtime victory over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night in Stan Van Gundy’s preseason debut as Pistons coach. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 18 points for Detroit, while Brandon Jennings had 10 points and 10 assists. Aaron Brooks and Jimmy Butler scored 18 points each for the Bulls, who didn’t have Joakim Noah and only played Derrick Rose for 14 minutes. Brooks scored eight points to pull Chicago to 99-97 in the final 30 seconds of regulation. Monroe’s putback gave Detroit a two-possession lead. Brooks hit three free throws, giving him 15 points in the quarter, and Kyle Singler made 1 of 2 from the line. Caldwell-Pope then fouled Tony Snell with 1.2 seconds left, and he sent the game to overtime. Jonas Jerebko’ 3-pointer gave the Pistons another four-point lead late in overtime.

NHL – Red Wings assign Ouellet, Mrazek to Grand Rapids
The Detroit Red Wings have assigned defenseman Xavier Ouellet and goaltender Petr Mrazek to Grand Rapids of the AHL, reducing their roster to 23 before Thursday night’s season opener against the Boston Bruins. Ouellet played 70 games for Grand Rapids in 2013-14 and four for the Red Wings, making his NHL debut last October. Mrazek posted a 2.10 goals-against average in 32 games for Grand Rapids last season, and he had a 1.74 GAA in nine games for the Red Wings.  Detroit announced the moves on Tuesday.

NHL – Blackhawks place F Mashinter on injured reserve
The Chicago Blackhawks have placed forward Brandon Mashinter on injured reserve. The move for Mashinter is retroactive to last Wednesday. It looks as if Chicago will have a roster of 13 forwards, eight defensemen and two goaltenders for Thursday’s regular-season opener at Dallas.  The Blackhawks did not identify Mashinter’s injury in Tuesday’s release. The 26-year-old Mashinter appeared in three preseason games with Chicago and recorded one fighting major.  Mashinter was acquired in a trade with the New York Rangers on Dec. 6, 2013. He has appeared in 23 NHL games.

MCCAA – Junior College Sports
Last Night
Women’s Volleyball
Lansing 3, Lake Michigan College 0

MHSAA – High School Sports
Last Night
Boys Soccer
SMAC Tournament – Round 1
St. Joseph 2, Battle Creek Lakeview 1
Lakeshore 1, Kalamazoo Loy Norrix 0 – 2OT
Mattawan 2, Portage Northern 1 – Shootout
Gull Lake 3, Kalamazoo Home School 0
Portage Central 4, Kalamazoo Central 0
Battle Creek Central 4, Niles 1

Wolverine Conference – Tournament Round 2
Consolation Matches
Coloma 2, Vicksburg 0

Lake Michigan Catholic 5, Howardsville Christian 1
Michigan Lutheran 10, Watervliet Grace Christian 0

Girls Volleyball
Gull Lake Mini Invitational, 4:00 p.m.
St. Joseph goes 2-1, beating Gull Lake and Lakeshore, losing to Hudsonville

Bridgman 4, New Buffalo 1
Buchanan 3, Lake Michigan Catholic 1
Centreville 3, Eau Claire 0
Decatur 3, Lawrence 1

Girls Swimming
St. Joseph 108.5, Battle Creek Central 77.5
Battle Creek Harper Creek 137, South Haven 48

Tonight
Girls Volleyball
Benton Harbor at St. Joseph
Lakeshore at Portage Northern
Niles at Portage Central

Boys Soccer
Lake Michigan Catholic at Gobles
Buchanan at Hartford

Wolverine Conference Soccer Tournament – Final Round
Paw Paw at Plainwell – Championship Game
Vicksburg at Three Rivers
Edwardsburg at Sturgis
Dowagiac at South Haven
Allegan at Otsego
Coloma at Berrien Springs