Snell struggles as Pirates fall to Cardinals 9-3


By John Perrotto ST. LOUIS _ The one thing we have learned about Ian Snell since he first came to the major leagues with the Pirates in 2004 is that you never know what you‚Äôre going to get from the right-hander. He can be brilliant in one start and awful the next. There is seemingly never any in-between. Tuesday night, he was awful, getting tagged for eight runs, six earned, and nine hits in four innings of a 9-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. He walked three, uncorked two wild pitches, gave up two home runs and threw just 49 of his 89 pitches for strikes. ‚ÄúI had nothing,‚Äù Snell said. That was obvious from the outset as he gave up two runs in the first inning by walking his long-time nemesis Albert Pujols with two outs and then surrendering a two-run home run to ChrisRead More »

Inside Report


Third playoff berth in three seasons: The Penguins clinched their third playoff berth in three seasons¬†Tuesday night after a 6-4 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning. At the 95 point mark, the Penguins are currently settled in the #6 spot in the Eastern Conference and would play the New Jersey Devils in a first round matchup if the playoff started today. Four weeks ago, nhl pundits would have said the Devils were the worst possible matchup for the Penguins in the East, but that is no longer the case. The Devils don‚Äôt scare the Penguins one bit and inside the locker room, the Penguins believe they made a statement in last Wednesday‚Äôs 6-1 win over the Devils. The Penguins have the momentum going into a potential first round series, if the two teams are to meet. The Penguins cannot finish any worst than 7th in the Eastern Conference. Contract worriesRead More »

Penguins edge Lightning 6-4, Clinch playoff berth


Sidney Crosby scored two power play goals to hit the 100 point plateau and the Penguins held off a late Lightning rally to clinch their third straight playoff berth in a 6-4 win Tuesday night at the St. Pete Times Forum. Pittsburgh went up 4-0 with goals from Ruslan Fedotenko (16), Sidney Crosby (31, 32) and Matt Cooke (12) but the last place Lightning fought back and scored three unanswered goals to get within one goal of the Penguins at 9:43 of the third period Two minutes later, Petr Sykora scored on a Ruslan Fedotenko rebound to put the Penguins up 5-3 at 11:43 in the third. Sykora‚Äôs third period tally was his 300th goal of his career and his first point in eight games. The Lightning continued to battle as the game got physical late in the third. A total of 37 penalty minutes were amassed and fightning majorsRead More »

NFL: Leftwich has scheduled visit with Bucs, remains in talks with Redskins


Quarterback Byron Leftwich has a new suitor to add to his list. A source close to the Steelers tells me, Leftwich has a scheduled visit set for next week with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Leftwich who was offered a one year deal from the Steelers, worked out for the Redskins on Friday and the two sides remain in contact. The Redskins

Pirates rally in the 9th inning; beat Cards 6-4


Jack Wilson’s three run double with two outs in the ninth inning capped off a four run inning as the Pirates rallied to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 Monday evening. The Pirates got a strong pitching performance from starter Paul Maholm who pitched 6 2/3 innings allowing two runs and striking out one. Tied at 2-2 in the eighth inning, Ryan Ludwick hit a leadoff homer in the eighth inning off Tyler Yates, and David Freese added a sacrifice fly off John Grabow to give the Cardinals a 4-2 lead going into the top of the ninth. The Cardinals sent rookie closer Jason Motte to the mound in the ninth inning and new year, same problem for the Cardinals who led the majors with 31 blown saves in 2008. 2B Freddy Sanchez started the Pirates rally in the¬†ninth with a leadoff double off Motte, while Adam Laroche (single) andRead More »

Will Alexander Ovechkin catch Evgeni Malkin?


Scoring Race 1. Evgeni Malkin | 34 goals – 74 assists – 108 points | Remaining Schedule: TB, NYI, MTL 2. Alexander Ovechkin | 55 goals – 51 assists – 106 points | Remaining schedule: ATL, TB, FLA Alexander Ovechkin has a six game point streak that includes 5 goals – 7 assists during that streak as he is now within two points of catching Evgeni Malkin for the NHL points lead Both players have three games remaining and

NFL: Steelers, Harrison $11-$15 million apart in guaranteed money


The Steelers offer to linebacker James Harrison remains in the range of $14.5 million guaranteed and the team has no plans to offer Harrison more guaranteed money than what Troy Polamalu ($15.75 million) received in 2007 The Latest Contract Talks Talks with linebacker James Harrison have not progressed over the past month and

Pregame Report: Penguins @ Panthers; Fleury to start in goal


The Florida Panthers have made a few changes for tonight’s game upfront and in goal. Michael Frolik has been taking off of the Panthers first line. Zednik – Horton – Booth Stillman- Weiss-Dvorak Olesz – Campbell – Peltonen McLean – Kreps – Frolik Defensemen Bouwmeester – Skrastins McCabe – Ballard Boynton – Cullimore Tomas Voukon will start in goal. Backup goaltender Craig Anderson has started the Panthers previous four games. With four games remaining and two points behind the Rangers for 8th place in the Eastern Conference, the Panthers are in a must-win situation tonight. For the Penguins they