13) Nationals 2, Cardinals 0— St Louis scored ten runs in the top of the first inning Wednesday, then they came home and got one hit here.
Anibal Sanchez is the first pitcher EVER to throw 6+ innings and allow one or no hits in two playoff games.
Mike Muchlinski was the home plate ump here; he umped Max Scherzer’s no-hitter in 2015 and also a 2013 game when Sanchez struck out 17 batters.
12) Oregon 45, Colorado 3— Ducks allowed total of 22 points in winning their last four games against I-A opponents. Colorado went in the tank in the second half here.
11) In six games this season, New England opponents have only had four drives (out of 72) where they ran a play in the Patriots’ red zone. New England’s offense has 25 such drives.
10) Steelers’ QB Mason Rudolph is officially out Sunday with a concussion, meaning Devlin Hodges will get his first NFL start; Paxton Lynch was promoted from the practice squad to be the backup QB.
Rams’ CB Aqib Talib (ribs) is out Sunday; Todd Gurley (quad) is doubtful.
Neither of the Cowboys’ starting OT’s practiced Friday. a red flag.
9) Washington Redskins will start Case Keenum at QB Sunday in Miami, in Bill Callahan’s first game as the interim coach. Expect Keenum to hand off a lot.
8) Living in Denver must be weird; at 2pm Wednesday, it was 79 degrees- at 2pm Thursday, it was 24 degrees, the 15th-largest temperature drop in Denver history.
7) MLB sources say that a player who accepts a qualifying offer this winter will get a one-year, $17.8M contract next season, down from $17.9M this year. It’s the first time the value of the qualifying offer has ever dropped from one year to the next.
6) XFL players will earn an average of $55,000, when the new football league starts in February; by way of contrast, the minimum salary in the NFL is $495,000.
5) From Ralph Michaels: Since 2015, home favorites in Game 1 of a baseball playoff series:
— If a favorite of -$135 or less: 3-7
— If a favorite of -$136 or more: 20-3
4) Heard this yesterday and while it isn’t new news, it does raise an eyebrow; UNLV’s basketball team hasn’t been in the NCAA’s since 2013. Long time. 30 years ago, UNLV basketball was like Gonzaga is now; a huge fish in a tiny pond (Big West Conference) that more than held its own nationally. Gonzaga is in the WCC, also a fairly small pond
3) Red Sox led the major leagues this year, winning eight (out of 45) games where they trailed by 4+ runs at some point in the game.
Minnesota was the only team that didn’t win a game (0-35) when they trailed by 4+ runs.
2) NFL coaches are 1-21 on pass interference challenges; NFL appeased the Saints by putting in a rule they don’t seem to want to enforce. Go figure.
1) RIP to the outstanding actor Robert Forster, 78, who passed away Friday; I remember him most from the terrific movie Jackie Brown, where he played a bail bondsman, and also from a 2-part episode of Magnum PI, where he played an old Army buddy of Magnum. RIP, sir.