Daily Sports: NL Central Focus For Thursday

The NL Central race is the daily sports focus on the MLB Network today, starting with matinee action in Cincinnati and concluding with a big prime-time game in St. Louis.

Cincinnati plays the finale of its three-game series with Arizona, with the getaway afternoon game schedule for 12:30 PM ET. In addition to the NL Central implication for the Reds, the Diamondbacks are also the one team that can jump into the wild-card picture and knock one of the three Central teams (including the Cardinals and Pirates) out of the postseason.

St. Louis starts a big four-game series with Atlanta, who’s all but wrapped up the NL East. Game time is 8:15 PM ET. The Cards were recently swept in Atlanta, starting one of St. Louis’ worst stretches of the season, and now it’s time for both revenge and to get through a tough spot on their schedule.

The NFL starts “dress rehearsals” tonight. The Week 3 preseason games are renowned as the ones where the starters play a little longer and game plans are opponent-specific, rather than generic—in other words, the “dress rehearsal” for the start of the regular season, before the starters go into hiding for next week’s preseason finale.

ESPN will carry Carolina-Baltimore at 8 PM ET. The other game on tap is New England-Detroit. If you want to watch this game, it will have to be tape delay. The NFL Network isn’t going to step on the toes of the league’s broadcast partners and the Patriots-Lions telecast won’t be re-broadcast until midnight.

In the meantime, NFL Network has some good biographies going on its “A Football Life” series. The one-hour features tonight look at the lives and careers of Kurt Warner, Tom Coughlin and John Riggins and they start at 8 PM ET. Riggins is the one of the three who’s been out of the game for a while, and younger viewers would not remember.

Those of us who are Redskins fans will never forget what Riggins meant in the early 1980s, particularly his dramatic 4th-and-1 touchdown run in the 1982 Super Bowl.