What the NFL did in quantity Sunday, the MLB more than outdid in quality on Monday.
And ultimately, no other one day may have more of an impact on the push to October, with a trio of stars on playoff contenders facing serious injury concerns.
First came a move in Pittsburgh which last season’s Cinderella was trying so hard to avoid.
More than a week after getting hit in the side by a pitch during a contentious series in Phoenix, reigning NL MVP Andrew McCutchen was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday with a broken rib.
The Pirates, currently two games behind St. Louis for first place in the NL Central, gave the injury a week to see if would heal before making the move, but ultimately the team felt it had no choice but to put McCutchen on the DL.
McCutchen is batting .311 with 17 home runs and 67 RBI this season. The reigning NL MVP leads the playoff-contending Pirates in batting average, on-base percentage, homers and RBI.
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Later that night in Pittsburgh, the Pirates took any frustrations out on the visiting Tigers and starter Justin Verlander — and that was just the beginning of Verlander’s problems.
Baltimore’s Manny Machado goes down after twisting his knee on a swing Monday night.
Machado, who suffered a gruesome left knee injury late last season which cost him the first month of this season, twisted his right knee on a grounder to New York shortstop Derek Jeter, fell to the ground and had to helped off the field by the team trainer and manager Buck Showalter.
The initial diagnosis Monday was a sprained knee, though Machado will be re-examined Tuesday.
Baltimore still ended the day with a 5.5-game lead in AL East after the 11-3 win over New York.
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The star power potentially in baseball on Monday certainly puts the damage done in pro football into perspective. On Sunday, the first day of league-wide practices following the first weekend of the preseason, a number of players went down with injuries, however the most notable name was likely Jets’ top cornerback Dee Milliner, who injured his ankle.