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The Lineup: Thursday, October 3

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Justin K. Aller/Getty Images Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Donte Hitner signs on to do charity work for the Make a Ish Foundation.. Send any suggestions to SI.TheLineup@gmail.com. (Bold indicates a national broadcast. All times Eastern.)

Pregame Reads

  • How does Madden deal with career-ending spinal injuries? Owen Good of Kotaku looks into it.
  • Grantland runs a Director's Cut of David Grann's spectacular 2002 profile of Barry Bonds for the New York Times.
  • Roger Goodell is "just a scared little kid like the rest of us," says Will Leitsch of Sports on Earth.


Starter

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 5:00p.m. (TBS)

Pirates fans turned baseball in to BASEketball on Tuesday, psyching out Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto by simply chanting his name. They didn't even have to resort to simulated self-mutilation.


Reserves

MLB

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves, 8:30p.m. (TBS)

A recent L.A. times profile of Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis reveals, among the usual road-to-the-majors stuff, that he drives a 1999 Chevy Prism with 130,000 miles on it. A curious choice for a man with a $2 million contract. More interesting, though, is Ellis' devout advocacy for Smuckers Uncrustables PB&J sandwiches. Probably explains that silly grin.

aj_ellis_celebrates

NHL

Tampa Bay Lighting vs. Boston Bruins, 7:00p.m.

New Jersey Devils vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, 7:00p.m.

Calgary Flames vs. Washington Capitals, 7:00p.m.

Nashville Predators vs. St. Louis Blues, 8:00p.m.

L.A. Kings vs. Minnesota Wild, 8:00p.m. (NBC Sports & Live Extra)

Beat writers in L.A. must be resenting the early-season resurgence of Dwight King. I'm sure he's a nice guy, but look at the semantic p-in-the-a that King's name creates when having to write about him. Better to get a Smith or Johnson in there and make everyone's life easier.

Florida Panthers vs. Dallas Stars, 8:30p.m.

New York Rangers vs. Phoenix Coyotes, 10:00p.m.

Vancouver Canucks vs. San Jose Sharks, 10:00p.m.

NFL

Buffalo Bills vs. Cleveland Browns, 8:25p.m. (NFL Network)

After looking like they were bailing on their season just two weeks ago, suddenly the Browns have rattled off two wins. This is either a sign of growth within the franchise or an indication that Cleveland can't even successfully tank.

College Football

Texas vs. Iowa State, 7:30p.m. (ESPN)

Western Kentucky vs. Louisiana-Monroe, 7:30p.m. (ESPNU)

Delta State vs. West Alabama, 7:30p.m. (ESPN3)

Harding vs. Southern Arkansas, 8:00p.m. (CBS Sports)

#12 UCLA vs. Utah, 10:00p.m. (Fox Sports 1)

NCAA Soccer

Boston College vs. Florida State, 7:00p.m. (ESPN3)

UEFA Europa League Soccer

Rubin Kazan vs. SV Zulte Waregem, 11:55a.m. (ESPN3)

FC Kuban Krasnodar vs. Valencia, 11:55a.m. (ESPN3)

Anzhi vs. Tottenham Hotspur, 11:55a.m. (Fox Sports 1 & ESPN3)

Hnk Rijeka vs. Real Betis Balompie, 12:55p.m. (ESPN3)

FC Chornomorets Odesa vs. PSV Eindhoven, 3:00p.m. (ESPN3)

Swansea vs. St. Gallen, 3:00p.m. (Fox Sports 1)

UEFA Europa League Soccer

Vivendi Seve Trophy, 9:00a.m. (Golf)

Presidents Cup, 12:00p.m. (Golf)

Probably a good omen when you knock in a hole-in-one the day before you begin a big international tournament, right? Well, Jordan Spieth did just that yesterday. Check out his reasonably subdued reaction.

Tennis

Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships: Quarterfinals, 10:00p.m. (ESPN3)

NCAA Women's Volleyball

Penn State vs. Indiana, 7:00p.m. (ESPN2)

Ball State vs. Toledo, 7:00p.m. (ESPN3)

BYU vs. Pepperdine, 11:00p.m. (ESPNU)

TV

Tailgate Fan, LSU at Georgia, 6:30p.m. (CBS Sports)

Let it Ride, 10:00p.m. (National Geographic)

Impact Wrestling, 9:00p.m. (Spike)


Birthdays

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Swedish Soccer Star, 32

Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers Wide Receiver, 33

Gary Neal, Milwaukee Bucks Guard, 29

Fred Couples, PGA Tour Golfer, 54

Dave Winfield, MLB Hall of Fame Outfielder, 62

Courtney Lee, Boston Celtics Guard, 28

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