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    Brandon Morrow got the call Saturday night. It was a call nine days in the making.

    The Chicago Cubs‘ closer had not pitched since June 7 [url=http://www.packerscheapstore.com/jake-ryan-jersey-cheap]Jake Ryan Jersey[/url] , due to his team either winning games in lopsided fashion or losing them. It was only natural that he started out a bit rusty against the Cardinals, allowing singles to Jairo Munoz and Kolten Wong to begin the bottom of the ninth.

    But Morrow clicked into rhythm after that. Following an infield out, Morrow threw 99 mph fastballs by Matt Carpenter and Tommy Pham to end Chicago’s 6-3 win over St. Louis and give him his 16th save in 17 chances.

    Despite a 25-pitch inning in his return, Morrow should be available if needed for Sunday night’s series finale at Busch Stadium, where the Cubs will try to score a sweep and win for the 15th time in 20 games.

    “I’d like to keep him sharp,” Chicago manager Joe Maddon said, “but guys like that can normally throw on the side and stay sharp.”

    Morrow has been everything the Cubs could have asked for in his first year with the team. Tasked with replacing Wade Davis as the ninth inning man, Morrow has pitched to a 1.59 earned run average, allowing just over one baserunner per inning and whiffing 25 hitters over 22 2/3 innings.

    His ninth inning helped spotlight one of the biggest differences between Chicago and St. Louis. While the Cubs have a reliable back end of the bullpen, the Cardinals do not. They have basically two reliable relievers [url=http://www.officialbluejackets.com/authentic-adidas-seth-jones-jersey]Seth Jones Jersey[/url] , and Jordan Hicks proved mortal in the eighth inning Saturday night when he ceded his first runs of June on Jason Heyward’s two-run homer.

    That’s put the pressure on St. Louis starters, who for the most part have handled it. The burden now falls on rookie Jack Flaherty (3-2, 2.96) to match his outing from a 5-2 win Monday night over San Diego and keep the Cardinals (36-32) from a fifth straight defeat.

    Flaherty gave up just three hits and a run in 6 1/3 innings against the Padres, walking one and striking out six to claim his first win since May 20. This will be his first career start against Chicago, although he did pitch a scoreless inning of relief against the Cubs last year.

    “We were just throwing with more conviction tonight,” Flaherty told mlb.com. “Last time out, I said I really didn’t execute well. I feel like it had a lot to do with execution and conviction behind everything, just throwing everything with intent.”

    The Cubs (40-27) will counter with lefthander Jose Quintana (6-4, 4.09), whose up-and-down season is trending more in a positive direction of late. Quintana is coming off a no-decision Monday night in Milwaukee [url=http://www.officialbluejackets.com/authentic-adidas-sonny-milano-jersey]Sonny Milano Jersey[/url] , where he allowed two runs on four hits in six innings as Chicago won 7-2 in 11 innings.

    Quintana has permitted only four runs in his last three starts, covering 17 2/3 innings. He’s 3-1 in five career starts against the Cardinals with a 2.67 ERA, beating them twice last year after his mid-July acquisition from the Chicago White Sox.

    Eight months after ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez hanged himself in prison, a new book by bestselling author James Patterson is reviving unanswered questions.

    Patterson spoke with The Associated Press on Friday about what he calls ”the most fascinating, complicated and troubling crime story of our times.”

    Hernandez, a former standout tight end for the New England Patriots, was found hanging by a bedsheet in his cell on April 19, hours before his ex-teammates were due to visit the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl victory. The 27-year-old athlete had been serving life without parole for a 2013 murder. Just days earlier, he had been acquitted of a separate double murder.

    After his death, Hernandez was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy [url=http://www.officialbluejackets.com/authentic-adidas-zach-werenski-jersey]Zach Werenski Jersey[/url] , a degenerative brain disease tied to head blows which can cause depression and violent mood swings.

    Patterson’s book on the case, ”All-American Murder,” is set to be released Monday by Little, Brown and Company, and CBS is airing a companion ”48 Hours ” special Saturday night.

    AP: Most of your work tends to be fiction. What drew you to this real-crime story?

    Patterson: I don’t usually do nonfiction, but I was compelled to do this story. You can’t take your eyes off this guy because of all his gifts: his good looks, the smile, the beautiful fiancee, the baby girl, the $40 million NFL contract. When I was in my teens [url=http://www.officialstarsproonline.com/authentic-adidas-alexander-radulov-jersey]Authentic Alexander Radulov Jersey[/url] , my family moved up near Boston, and I became a fan of the Patriots and the other Boston teams. I still am to some extent.

    AP: Why do you think Hernandez killed himself if there was a chance – however small – of overturning his conviction and winning his freedom?

    Patterson: Most people who suffer from brain damage do not become murderers. My take is if you take somebody with a psychopathic personality – somebody who enjoyed killing people – hit him in the head a few thousand times and add some PCP and weed, you have a nightmare. And there are a lot of suicides with CTE.

    AP: What do you make of the rumors that Hernandez may have been gay or bisexual and had a prison lover?

    Patterson: We never talked to anybody who said there was something to that. He was in his cell 22+ hours a day. He had virtually no contact with any prisoners. What could he do?

    AP: Did Hernandez have some kind of jailhouse conversion? He wrote ”John 3:16” in ink on his forehead and in blood on a cell wall.

    Patterson: He was clinging to this notion, real or imagined, that if he believed in Jesus he could be saved. But he was over the top with everything. His thinking was scrambled big-time.

    AP: Why does this case captivate people so powerfully?

    Patterson: This is the most dramatic and surprising murder mystery in the last 25 years – including O.J. (Simpson). The story is just stunning, from his days as a well-behaved kid in high school to his time at the University of Florida to the NFL. It’s the most amazing fall from grace imaginable.

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