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A look ahead to top enterprise and feature stories planned globally by AP Sports. New digests will go out each Thursday and Monday and will be repeated on other weekdays. Please note that story plans may change depending on news and other issues.
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As with all our operations, we welcome and want your feedback. If you have thoughts or questions about the Sports Showcase Digest or the material listed, please reach out to Oskar Garcia, assistant sports editor for the U.S. east region, at 215-446-6632 or at ogarcia(at)ap.org.
All times are Eastern.
SATURDAY, March 31
It is the only hole at Augusta National that doesn’t have a bunker. No other hole on the back nine is shorter. Rory McIlroy watched the Masters every year when he was younger and didn’t see what was so difficult about the 440-yard 14th hole until he had to try it himself. ”There’s a 3-yard square you have to hit it,” he said. Sitting between the dynamic par 5s on the back nine, the hole called ”Chinese Fir” has played a key role over the years. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 3 a.m.
GLF–MASTERS-ANNIVERSARIES. By Doug Ferguson. A capsule look at key moments over the years at the Masters. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 3 a.m.
PALM HARBOR http://www.brownsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-chad-thomas-jersey , Fla. – Golf is getting younger, and the PGA Tour is going after its slice of the new generation to build a fan base. That has brought more energy, more volume and raucous behavior that has led to some high-profile players asking that fans be removed. Rory McIlroy suggested limiting alcohol sales. PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan says it’s a good problem to have. But it won’t be a problem at the Masters, where fans know they best mind their manners. By Mark Long. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 3 p.m.
MONDAY, April 2
HKN–ONE FOR 1,000
Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook and Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin are the latest of only about 60 NHL players to reach 1,000 games with a single franchise. But that number will grow significantly in the coming years as stars and core players choose to re-sign with their current teams long term because of the collective bargaining agreement and hockey’s lean toward security over movement. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 a.m.
FRIDAY, April 6
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Nashville Predators are having their best season yet through a combination of savvy drafting Josh Sitton Color Rush Jersey , surprising trades and a handful of salary cap-friendly contract extensions. General manager David Poile’s crafty moves have the defending Western Conference champs on the verge of what could be a dominant run in the NHL. By Teresa M. Walker. UPCOMING: 725 words, photos. Video.
Again, if you have questions about the Sports Showcase Digest or the material listed, please reach out to Oskar Garcia, assistant sports editor for the U.S. east region, at 215-446-6632 or at ogarcia(at)ap.org.
NEW YORK — An emotional Tuesday may have brought the end to an era for the New York Mets. But the Mets know there’s no better way to pay tribute to Sandy Alderson than by proving Wednesday night that Tuesday night’s win was no fluke.
The Mets will look to earn a series victory Wednesday night, when they host the Pittsburgh Pirates in the rubber match of a three-game set at Citi Field.
Zack Wheeler (2-6, 4.85 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for New York against Pittsburgh’s Ivan Nova (4-5, 3.98 ERA) in a battle of right-handers.
The Mets concluded a whirlwind day by edging the Pirates 4-3 in 10 innings. Wilmer Flores, who had a two-run single in the first inning Jessie Bates III Jersey Elite , delivered his third walk-off hit of the season and the ninth walk-off hit of his career when his single down the third-base line scored Michael Conforto from first base with one out.
The Mets (32-45) snapped a seven-game losing streak hours after learning Alderson, who has been the team’s general manager since October 2010, would be taking an indefinite leave of absence to battle a recurrence of cancer. He was originally diagnosed in 2015 and underwent treatment following that season.
Three of Alderson’s assistants — John Ricco, J.P. Ricciardi and Omar Minaya — will share the general manager’s role while Alderson is out.
Alderson said during a pregame press conference that the cancer returned in April. He informed players of his diagnosis during a pregame meeting that left many players in tears but also may have crystallized their focus.
“We have a job to do and lately we haven’t been doing it up to our potential,” Conforto said. “So we really wanted to focus in and just make sure that we bounce back today, of all days, and play a little bit better. I think we showed a little fight there. We battled back and scratched together enough runs to win a ballgame tonight. So hopefully that gets us on the right path.”
The Pirates (37-42) were hoping a wire-to-wire 6-4 victory in Monday’s opener would get them back on the right track, but Tuesday’s loss was the sixth in the last seven games.
On Wednesday, the Pirates will be seeking only their second series win in their last 13 series dating back to May 17, a span in which they are 12-25.
“I think I shared with our club — I don’t believe I’ve ever been through a rough patch of 34 games since I’ve been in the major leagues as a player, coach or manager http://www.packersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-marquez-valdes-scantling-jersey ,” said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, who reached the bigs as a player in 1977. “And I’ve had enough. There’s a point in time you stop talking about being a good team, now you go play like a good team. Because your record’s telling you you’re not a good team.”
Wheeler will be looking to earn his first win in almost two months. He took the loss Friday after allowing four runs over seven innings as the Mets fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2. Wheeler is 0-5 with a 5.13 ERA in 10 starts since his most recent victory April 29.
Nova didn’t factor into the decision Friday, when he allowed three hits over eight scoreless innings in the Pirates’ 2-1, 13-inning loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. It was the second time this season Nova has tossed eight scoreless innings. He also didn’t earn a decision in Pittsburgh’s 1-0 win over the Detroit Tigers on April 26.
Wheeler didn’t factor into the decision in his lone previous start against the Pirates on May 27, 2017, when he gave up three runs over six innings as the Mets fell 5-4 in 10 innings.
Nova is 1-0 with a 2.82 ERA in four career appearances (three starts) against the Mets.