Look! A series with playoff implications!

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Let’s stop talking about games that have been cancelled and start talking about games that matter. Like the series that really and truly matters most this weekend, the Angels vs. the Rangers.

Who’d-a-thunk it a week and a half ago when Texas soundly dispatched Anaheim, taking three of four in the Big A, and extending their division lead to seven?  Then the Angels went on a tear and the Rangers lost their gravity and here we are with only two games separating the two.

Tonight is Dan Haren vs. Derek Holland. Haren was knocked around by the Rangers back on July 20th, but he’s on a bit of a roll right now. Holland is the opposite: he was pretty sharp the last time out against Texas but has had a rough go of it in August otherwise, most recently being beat up by the White Sox.  I’m told by the sports writing guild that I am obligated to say “something’s gotta give” here, but I’m not even sure that applies. But hey, rules are rules.

In the other two games it’s C.J. Wilson vs. Joel Piniero and then Colby Lewis vs. Jered Weaver on Sunday Night Baseball.

Real pennant race baseball. And no hurricanes. Guaranteed.

Video: Gift Ngoepe singles in his first major league at-bat

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Pirates infielder Gift Ngoepe, just called up from Triple-A Indianapolis, singled in his first major league at-bat on Wednesday evening against Cubs starter Jon Lester. It was a well-struck ground ball up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates could not bring him around to score.

Ngoepe, who was pinch-hitting, stayed in the game to play second base.

Shelby Miller getting third opinion on elbow from Dr. James Andrews

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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday due to inflammation in his right elbow. He had a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday and is currently awaiting a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews, Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports reports. That he’s getting a third opinion seems to imply that Miller’s elbow issue is rather serious.

Miller, 26, hasn’t been able to catch a break since joining the Diamondbacks. Last year’s nightmarish season included a finger injury stemming from mechanical woes and a brief demotion to the minor leagues. In 20 starts in the majors last year, Miller posted an ugly 6.15 ERA. This year, his ERA is a mediocre 4.09 over four starts.

The Diamondbacks called up Zack Godley to take Miller’s spot in the rotation. There was some speculation that it would be Archie Bradley instead, but he’s been working out of the bullpen.