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footballs to help improve the inexact science of ball placement.Official

NFL Nation reporters assess the CHICAGO -- Wrigley Field was dark and empty when a loud cheer reverberated throughout the neighborhood surrounding the iconic ballpark. Cheap Portland Trail Blazers Jerseys .While the Chicago Cubs decided to delay their party, their long-downtrodden fans were ready to celebrate.Chicago wasted its first chance to clinch the NL Central title when pinch-hitter Scooter Gennett delivered a tiebreaking, two-run double in the seventh inning Thursday night, leading the Milwaukee Brewers to a 5-4 victory. But St. Louis 6-2 loss at San Francisco completed the Cubs season-long dominance of the division.It appeared manager Joe Maddon and his players were long gone when the West Coast game wrapped up. But the final out in San Francisco touched off a celebration in Chicago that included honking horns and chanting in the streets.This is just the first step, Maddon said before the Cardinals lost. I mean, we have much larger baseball fish to fry in our skillet.The Cubs (93-53) were hoping to begin a 10-game homestand with a boozy celebration of their first division title since 2008. But Keon Broxton homered and Orlando Arcia drove in two runs for Milwaukee, making Chicago wait a little while longer.Now the party shifts to Friday, right after the Cubs afternoon start against the Brewers. It might be a bit anticlimactic for Maddon and Co., but they took all the drama out of the division race long ago.Led by a stellar pitching staff and MVP contenders Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, Chicago got off to a sizzling 25-6 start. After stumbling into the All-Star break, the Cubs pulled away with a 22-6 August that turned the NL Central race into a mere formality.But the division title is not how this group of Cubs will be judged, not this year. After running roughshod over the rest of the majors for most of the season, they are trying to end the franchises famous championship drought that goes all the way back to when the Cubs beat the Tigers in the 1908 World Series.Weve got a lot ahead of us. We really do, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said before the loss to Milwaukee. It kind of all boils down to how you perform in October.Its only the fourth time the Cubs have reached the postseason in consecutive seasons. They got in as a wild card last year and made it to the NL Championship Series before they were swept by the New York Mets.The offseason additions of Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward only added to the anticipation for the Cubs loyal fan base, and they have delivered up until this point. But many of those same fans also were around for the last division title, when the 2008 Cubs won 97 games and then were swept by the Dodgers in the division series.Theres no team Id rather be going into October with, Epstein said. But there are never favorites in October the same way there are in the regular season.Jorge Soler hit a two-run homer for the Cubs, who had won three of four. Mike Montgomery pitched six solid innings and helped himself with a tying single in the fourth for his first career hit.Justin Grimm (1-1) replaced Montgomery in the seventh, and the Brewers put runners on first and third with one out. Gennett, batting for Jimmy Nelson (8-14), blooped an 0-2 curveball into the corner in left for a 5-3 Milwaukee lead.I was just trying to put the ball in play, Gennett said. Hes a guy who throws a lot of curveballs so its important not to get too big or try to do too much. Its really just, get a good pitch to hit and put it in play.The Cubs got one back on Heywards RBI double in the eighth, but Tyler Thornburg threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Willson Contreras with runners at the corners to end the inning.Thornburg also worked the ninth for his 10th save in 15 chances.It was just a flat-out good ballgame, Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. Obviously, with where theyre at, there was great energy in the park tonight.TRAINERS ROOMBrewers: RHP Michael Blazek (right forearm strain) threw a simulated game. Counsell would like to get Blazek into some games before the end of the season, but said theres no rush. The goal with Mike is just to go into the offseason healthy, Counsell said.Cubs: RHP Pedro Strop, who tweaked his right groin while working his way back from arthroscopic left knee surgery, threw a bullpen and said it went well. Hes getting close, Maddon said. Its not far off.UP NEXTMaddon likely will rest several regulars when the series resumes Friday afternoon. RHP John Lackey (9-8, 3.35 ERA) is scheduled to face Brewers RHP Chase Anderson (8-11, 4.53).---Follow Jay Cohen at Cheap Swingman Blazers Jerseys . Miikka Kiprusoff had just announced his retirement after a decade-long run in Calgary and it would be up to Berra and Ramo to fill the void. Cheap Blazers Jerseys Authentic . The International Olympic Committee released the official list of bid cities on Friday after the deadline for applications had passed. The candidates -- all previously announced in their own countries -- are: Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing; Krakow, Poland; Lviv, Ukraine; Oslo, Norway; and Stockholm. . -- Brandon Jennings made the most of his first game with the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night. The NFL is finalizing plans to insert custom-made data chips into the game balls used in the 2016 preseason and Thursday night regular-season games, a league source said Sunday night.The data would be used for research that could spark significant changes in officiating, kicking and other areas as soon as the 2017 season.The Toronto Sun reported earlier Sunday that the league would use chips in K-balls to help determine the potential impact of narrowing the goalposts sometime in the future.The data will tell the league how close each kick comes to the uprights and thus help project how many additional kicks would be missed if the uprights were closer together.The NFL added a level of difficulty to extra points last season, pushing them back to a 33-yard kick, and saw a modest reduction in conversion rates.Field goals, however, continued to hover at historic levels. In 2015, NFL place-kickers made 84.5 percent of field goal attempts -- the second-best rate in league history.But the chip program appears to have a larger intent than simply research for kickers.All 332 NFL teams were recently informed of plans to use a chip-equipped ball for all plays based in part on feedback from a number of veteran quarterbacks. Wholesale Blazers Jerseys. They were asked to ensure that the chip-equipped football felt similar to the traditional football and that it did not act differently in the air.For years, the NFL has been investigating the possibility of using chips in footballs to help improve the inexact science of ball placement.Officials put the ball at the spot they believe it hits when the runner is ruled down. A chip could provide a more precise location on plays near the first-down marker. It could also help officials determine when and if the ball crossed the goal line.Research to this point had suggested that chips were unreliable when the ball is buried in a pile of players.For the past two years, NFL players and officials have worn RFID chips to track their location and exertion levels, among other data sets. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' ' 
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