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NL Notes: The Little League Classic was awesome

Plus notes on the Dodgers, Nationals, Marlins and Diamondbacks.

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates Brett Carlsen-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a classic game that figures to become a yearly tradition. Sunday night, the Cardinals and Pirates treated fans to a small-town game with big-league implications.

The first Little League Classic unfolded at Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, in conjunction with the Little League World Series. The stadium seats just 2,500, but Sunday night, it was jam-packed with Little Leaguers and their families, who gathered to watch their big-league heroes play the same game they had just played on a smaller field just a few miles away.

Ivan Nova pitched the Pirates to a 6-3 win in what was a de facto home game for Pittsburgh.

Here’s what else is happening around the National League:

In a somewhat surprising turn of events, the Mets elected to trade outfielder Curtis Granderson to the Dodgers. Granderson provides the Dodgers with veteran leadership and solid fielding (as if L.A. needed any help). The Mets will receive a player to be named later in the deal.

The Nationals don’t have too much worry about on the subject of making the playoffs. However, another recent injury flare-up has fans worrying if this team is durable enough to make a decent run. This time, it’s ace Max Scherzer, who is headed to the 10-day DL with a neck injury. The injury has manager Dusty Baker “concerned,” which leads prognosticators to assume that Scherzer might sit out more than 10 days. Scherzer’s DL stint, as well as Clayton Kershaw’s extended absence, has shaken up the NL Cy Young race. It might be anybody’s award at this point.

Sorry, Derek. As many fans are probably already aware, Derek Jeter has headlined a group that successfully purchased the Marlins earlier this week. Jeter took one look at the home run sculpture in Marlins Park’s outfield and decided he wanted to ditch it, but the county will not allow it. Miami-Dade County insists that the sculpture is not movable. I’m with Derek on this one, but sometimes you have to buckle to government.

The Diamondbacks have slipped a bit over the last few weeks (though they still hold a comfortable lead for the NL’s second wild-card spot), but this return has them feeling optimistic. Left-hander Robbie Ray is returning this week, just weeks after taking a 108-MPH line drive to the head. Ray could pitch Tuesday or Wednesday, given Arizona’s current rotation cycle, and you have to assume that Torey Lovullo will insert him as soon as possible.