Carlos Marmol blows save, gives Cardinals new life in Wild Card race

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The Cardinals really need to take Carlos Marmol out for a steak dinner.

After being held scoreless over the first eight innings this afternoon, the Cardinals were handed two runs in the bottom of the ninth as part of a dramatic 2-1 win over the Cubs.

In another one of his trademark implosions, Marmol walked Ryan Theriot with the bases loaded to force in the tying run and then uncorked a wild pitch to the backstop which allowed pinch-runner Adron Chambers to score with the winning run. Marmol walked three and threw just 13 out of 30 pitches in the inning and now has a major-league worst 10 blown saves this season.

The Braves lost to the Nationals 4-1 this afternoon, so their lead over the Cardinals in the Wild Card is down to two games with four games remaining.

The Red Sox will air anti-racism PSA before games beginning next week

Associated Press
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Adrian Walker of the Boston Globe reports that the Boston Red Sox will air an anti-racism public service announcement at Fenway Park before their game on September 28. This is part of a large campaign backed by the Sox, the Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics, New England Patriots and New England Revolution “featuring athletes calling on fans to take a stand against racism and hate speech at sports venues.”

This comes in the wake of a group of protesters hanging an anti-racism banner in Fenway Park last week which, in turn came a few months after Adam Jones, like many visiting players of color before him, claimed that racial epithets were hurled at him by fans in the Fenway bleachers.

Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy tells the globe that the Jones incident is what inspired the PSA campaign:

“When the incidents in May occurred, one of the first things we recognized was sports teams are high-profile, and we have the opportunity to help lead a high-level discussion around this,” he said. “We wanted to take the lead in taking a stand against racism.”

Bryce Harper could return next week

Associated Press
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Bryce Harper, out with a bone bruise in his knee, was able to take batting practice again yesterday. He also sprinted and played catch and stuff and reported no problems. As such, the Washington Nationals are optimistic he’ll be able to return next week.

This is certainly good news for Washington. By coming back next week Harper should be able to shake off some rust before the playoffs start.

Harper, who has been out since mid-August, is hitting .326/.419/.614 with 29 homers and 87 RBI in 106 games on the year.