Good morning, Pittsburgh. Here’s your day in sports for Saturday, September 26, 2015.
What’s on tap for today:
The Chicago Cubs (89-64) clinched a playoff berth yesterday anyway, despite losing to the Pirates (94-60), as the San Francisco Giants lost to the Oakland A’s last night. The Pirates got some help of their own as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the St. Louis Cardinals to bring the Pirates to three games out of first place.
Even more worrisome for the Cardinals is the potential loss of starter Carlos Martinez, who left the game in the first inning with a shoulder injury. The Bucs and Cubs will go at it again this afternoon. Francisco Liriano will face Jason Hammel at 1:05 p.m. WPGH-TV FOX 53
West Virginia (2-0) will get a not-so-friendly visit from their neighbors to the east, as the Mountaineers will host the Maryland Terrapins (2-1) at Milan Puskar Stadium this afternoon. After cupcakes Georgia Southern and Liberty, the Terps will be the first big test of 2015 for Dana Holgorson’s squad. Kickoff is at 3:00 p.m. Fox Sports 1
In their final tuneup before Northeast Conference play, the Duquesne Dukes (2-1) will visit the Albany Great Danes (1-2) for a 3:00 p.m. start. WJAS 1230 AM
Penn State (2-1, 1-0) will host their third straight game at Beaver Stadium, where they are 2-0 this season. This time they will host the San Diego State Aztecs (1-2) in a non-conference matchup. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. Big Ten Network
The Penguins (2-1-0) will host the Columbus Blue Jackets at Consol Energy Center for their fourth of eight preseason games this season. Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel and Chris Kunitz highlight the Penguins players on the roster, while Brandon Saad, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Johansen and Sergei Bobrovsky are expected to suit up for the Blue Jackets. The puck will drop at 4:00 p.m. NHL Network & WPCW-TV Pittsburgh’s CW
In the USL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, the fifth-seeded Riverhounds will travel to New York (well, New Jersey) to take on the fourth-seeded New York Red Bulls II. The teams split their two matches during the regular season, with the Red Bulls eking out a 3-2 win at home and the Riverhounds delivering a 3-0 drubbing in Pittsburgh. The playoffs will get underway at 5:00 p.m. Riverhounds.com
Robert Morris (1-2) will try to build on last week’s homecoming victory when they visit No. 6 South Dakota State (2-0). The Jackrabbits had an opening-week win over Kansas — yes, that Kansas — and spanked Southern Utah 55-10 last week. Kickoff is at 6:00 p.m. ESPN3 and ESPN Radio 970-AM
Gerrit Cole’s masterful pitching and some timely hitting on his part led the Pirates to an early lead over the Cubs on Friday. The bullpen was able to hold it out, with Watson and Melancon each getting key strikeouts to send the Pirates to yet another victory.
Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier, who had a breakout performance in the team’s drubbing of San Francisco last week, will miss this Sunday’s game against the Rams with a shoulder injury.
See where the Pitt Panthers stack up in our Week 4 ACC Power Rankings, compiled by Matt Shetler. The Panthers have a bye this week. They will travel to Virginia Tech next Saturday to get their conference schedule started.
Nittany Lions beat writer Meghan Delsite has everything you need to know about how Penn State matches up with the Aztecs for the first time in program history today.
In addition to the Pirates and Astros, Hamilton called games for the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox, Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs. Hamilton passed away earlier this month at age 88.
He said it: “I like our fans better.” Pirates closer Mark Melancon, after acknowledging the raucous crowd at Wrigley Field for the Pirates Friday afternoon game against the Cubs.
Photo credit: Getty Images (main) Washington Times (inset)