Posts Tagged ‘Toronto Blue Jays’

During the regular season the Chicago Cubs tied for 14th in baseball with a batting average of .256. They finished 13th in home runs with 199. They struck out the 9th most in baseball with 1339 strikeouts, but they led baseball in walks with 656.

In the post season combined the Cubs are hitting .185; that’s 8th out of the 10 teams that made the playoffs. The New York Mets are 9th at .133 and the Baltimore Orioles are 10th at .100. Of course the Mets and the Orioles only had 1 post season game to put up their numbers. The Cubs have had 7 post season games. The Cubs have 7 post season home runs. That’s the lowest number of the 4 teams still playing. They’ve struck out 63 times in the post season which is 3rd out of the 4 teams still playing. Only the Cleveland Indians have struck out less than the Cubs. They’ve walked 17 times which is 3rd again they are ahead of the Cleveland Indians out of the teams still in the post season.

You can see how things have really went down in the playoffs. Now the Cubs are facing better pitching in every game than they would in the regular season. There’s a reason why people say “Good pitching beats good hitting”. Now after putting up 8 runs in Game 1 it looked as though the Cubs might be out of there slump. 7 innings of Clayton Kershaw and 2 innings of Kenley Jansen put the Cubs bats right back into a slump as they combined to shut them out and even the series at 1 game apiece. In Game 3 last night the Cubs failed to score again. This time it was 6 innings of Rich Hill, an innings of Joe Blanton, 2/3rd of an inning from Grant Dayton and an inning and 1/3 from Jansen that did the job as the Dodgers took the game 6-0.

We’re moving on to Game 4 tonight and the Cubs are turning to veteran John Lackey to try and even the series at 2 games apiece. Lackey was 11-8 with a 3.35 ERA during the season. Lackey lasted 4 innings and gave up 3 runs while getting a no decision in his NLDS series start. The Dodgers are going with 20-year old rookie Julio Urias as their Game 4 starter. Urias was 5-2 with a 3.39 ERA in the regular season. Urias has not made a post season start, but did come in in relief and threw 2 scoreless innings. Is it a must win for the Cubs tonight? If they where to lose Game 4 tonight would they see Kershaw as the Game 5 starter in Dodgers stadium to try and close out the series.

The Toronto Blue Jays got there first win in Game 4 of the ALCS 5-1 over the Cleveland Indians. Aaron Sanchez went 6 innings giving up 1 run on 2 hits while walking 2 and striking out 5. Brett Cecil, Jason Grilli and Roberto Osuna all pitched an inning after Sanchez. None of them allowed a run while Cecil and Osuna each struck out 2 batters. Corey Kluber made the start for the Indians. He lasted 5 innings giving up 2 runs on 4 hits while walking 2 and striking out 7. Dan Otero worked a scoreless inning out of the Cleveland bullpen, but Bryan Shaw really struggled. Shaw pitched just 1/3rd of an inning and gave up 2 hits, 2 runs, 1 earned and walked 1. Mike Clevinger followed Shaw and gave up 1 run on 1 hit while walking 1 and striking out 1 over an 1 2/3rd.

Josh Donaldson provided some power for the Blue Jays going 1 for 3 with a solo home run. Edwin Encarnacion went 2 for 4 and drove in 2 runs. Ezequiel Carrera had 2 hits; one being a triple and drove in a run. Kevin Pillar had the other RBI for the Blue Jays. The Indians only had two hits in the game and they where both doubles. Tyler Naquin had one and Roberto Perez had the other with Perez’s double driving in the Indians run.

Marco Estrada comes back to start Game 5 for the Blue Jays. Estrada pitched a complete game in Game 1, but took the loss. Estrada gave up 2 runs on 6 hits over 8 innings in Game 1. The Indians are going with Ryan Merritt as their Game 5 starter. Merritt has one career start and 11 career innings all this past season. Can the Blue Jays even the series? Or will there season be over after Game 5.

Mr. Fantasy had a very good Week 6 in our pick contest going 12-3 to take the win for the week, Schaumburg Stu and I tied at 9-6 while Dan the Man was a game behind us at 8-7. Overall for the season Schaumburg Stu is still in the lead at 56-36. Dan the Man is in 2nd with a record of 52-40. Then it’s Mr. Fantasy and I tied at 48-44 on the season. We’ll see if someone has a big Week 7.

It looks like the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to be without there starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for to 6 weeks. Roethlisberger had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. The Steelers where informed of the timetable by Dr. James Bradley who performed Roethlisberger’s surgery on Monday. Pittsburgh was hoping to have Roethlisberger back by Week 9, but it looks like it’s going to be a little longer before he can return. Roethlisberger has thrown 16 touchdowns and 6 interceptions while totaling 1685 yards while completing 64.2% of his passes. The Steelers are 4-2 and if it’s just 4 weeks that Roethlisberger misses he’ll miss this week’s games at home against the New England Patriots. Pittsburgh’s bye week is Week 8. Then there’s a road game against the Baltimore Ravens and then a home game against the Dallas Cowboys. If it’s 6 weeks Roethlisberger is going to  miss you can add road games against the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts. The 1st place Steelers turn to Landry Jones as their starter. Jones is 1-1 in 2 career starts, but has played in 11 career games. Jones has 3 touchdowns and 4 interceptions in his career and completes 57.1% of his passes. Can the Steelers hold on to 1st place while “Big” Ben is out? If he misses 6 weeks or 5 games; what will the Steelers record be in the game Roethlisberger misses?

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The Cleveland Indians took Game 1 of the ALCS 2-0 over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night. Corey Kluber showed why he was a Cy Young candidate pitching 6 1/3rd innings of shutout baseball against a very good hitting Blue Jays line up. After Kluber the Indians went to their bullpen; first to Andrew Miller to hold the game for and 1 1/3rd innings and to closer Cody Allen for a 1 inning save and a 1-0 lead in the series. Kluber gave up 6 hits and walked 2 while striking out 6 batters. Kluber’s pitch total piled up as he reached 100 pitches over his 6 1/3rd innings. Miller did give up a hit, but struck out 5 while Allen struck out 1 batters in his inning of work.

The Blue Jays got very good pitching out of Marco Estrada, but just couldn’t give him any runs to work with. Estrada saved the Blue Jays bullpen pitching an 8 inning complete game. Estrada gave up 2 runs on 6 hits while walking 2 and striking out 6. A 2-run home run by Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor  in the bottom of the 6th inning was the only real mistake Estrada made. Estrada was able to get through the game on just 101 pitches.

The Indians got 6 hits in the game and 3 of them where by Lonnie Chisenhall. Interestingly Chisenhall got his 3 hits while seeing just 4 pitches. Lindor was 2 for 3 with a run scored and 2 RBI’s. Carlos Santana had the other Indians hit while Jason Kipnis scored the other run after he walked in front of the Lindor home run.

The Blue Jays got 7 hits in the game with 2 Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion and Michael Saunders each getting 2 hits a piece. One of Encarnacion’s hits was a double. Troy Tulowitzki had the other hit for Toronto. The Blue Jays may be dealing with an injury as 2nd baseman Devon Travis left the game in the bottom of the 5th inning with what was being called a right knee injury.

The teams turn right around for Game 2 this afternoon. Toronto is sending 20-game winner J.A. Happ to the mound to try to even the series while the Indians are going with Josh Tomlin as their Game 2 starter. Originally Trevor Bauer was going to get the Game 2 start for Cleveland, but he cut the pinky on his throwing finger and needed stitches. Because of the injury Bauer has been moved back to Game 3.

The NLCS gets started tonight with the Chicago Cubs hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers. In a must win situation in Game 5 of the NLDS the Dodgers pulled out all the stops. Closer Kenley Jansen pitched 2 1/3rd innings in the game while throwing 51 pitches; so there’s a good chance he won’t be available for a closing situation tonight. Then after making a start on 3-days rest Clayton Kershaw came in to get the save in Game 5. Kershaw did only throw 7 pitches in the game, but he had to warm up and again he was coming off a start he had made on 3-days rest. So taking this all into consideration the Cubs should have a big advantage in Game 1 and maybe even in the series. The Dodgers are going with Kenta Maeda as their Game 1 starter. Maeda took the loss in Game 3 of the NLDS. He lasted just 3 innings and gave up 4 runs. The Cubs in contrast where able to set up their starting rotation and will go with Jon Lester in Game 1. Lester threw 8 shutout innings while picking up the win in Game 1 of the NLDS. There was some talk yesterday that Kershaw will try to come back for Game 2, but that it would be for just 5 or 6 innings. While the Dodgers are scrambling the Cubs are set. They know that it’s Kyle Hendricks in Game 2, Jake Arrieta in Game 3 and John Lackey in Game 4. Not only is the rotation set, but the Cubs will have a full bullpen to use if needed. That has to be a big plus for the Cubs coming into this series.

Now both teams have some hitters they’d like to see get going in this series. While Corey Seager did hit 2 home runs in the series against Washington his average was just .130. Adrian Gonzalez homered in the NLDS as well, but his average was just .200. Chase Utley at .188 and Yasmani Grandal at .125 are two other players the Dodgers would like to see start hitting. On the Cubs side both Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell where 1 for 15 (.067) in the NLDS series. Jason Heyward’s hitting struggles continued into the first round of the playoffs as he hit .083 in the NLDS. Dexter Fowler at .133 and Ben Zobrist at .188 are two other guys the Cubs would like to see get going in this series against the Dodgers. Both teams where able to advance with these hitters struggling, but it could make things so much easier for them of a few or even better all of them could get on some type of hot streak even for a game or two.

We had our fantasy hockey draft last Saturday night and I was pretty happy with the way my team came out. Then the injury bug hit me right before the season started and then into the first couple of games. I grabbed defenseman Kevan Miller of the Boston Bruins late in our draft. It’s a category league and he is a solid plus minus guy though his career. Miller broke his ankle right before the season started and needed surgery on it. Miller is scheduled to be out 6 to 8 weeks. Then the season started and Evander Kane of the Buffalo Sabres went crashing into the boards in their first game of the season and cracked 3 ribs. There’s no real timetable for Kane’s return as Sabres head coach was quoted as saying “It’s weeks, depending on the severity, and in the oblique area it’s something you’re going to deal with even when you come back with the rotation and the discomfort.” Then believe it or not I picked up one more injury. In the first game of his season Bryan Little of the Winnipeg Jets collided with Bryan Bickel of the Carolina Hurricanes and got hurt. Little has a Lower Body Injury and is expected to be out an indefinite period of time. Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice said “We’ll have a better idea of just how long in a couple weeks.” So it’s going to be weeks before they even know how long Little will be out. Hopefully your fantasy hockey season didn’t get off to the same type of start mine did. Looks like I need to get on the waiver wire.

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The division series have started in the MLB playoffs. The National League has one game under it’s belt while the American League teams have played two and are on a travel day today.

We’re going to work backwards here as the last game of the day was the best game of the day. The Chicago Cubs got past the San Francisco Giants in a pitchers duel 1-0. Jon Lester and Johnny Cueto both showed why they are Cy Young Award contenders as they pitched shut out baseball for 8 innings. Cueto was great pitching 8 innings giving up 3 hits and 1 run while striking out 10 and not walking anyone. They one mistake Cueto made was giving up a solo home run to Javier Baez in the bottom of the 8th inning for the only run of the game. Lester was on his game as well as he pitched 8 innings giving up 5 hits and striking out 5 while not allowing a walk or a run. Aroldis Chapman came in to pitch the bottom of the 9th and get the save. Game 2 is today 7:00 p.m. CST as Kyle Hendricks and Jeff Samardzjia are the starting pitchers as the Cubs look to go up 2-0 in the series.

The Los Angeles Dodgers took the first game of their division series 4-3 over the Washington Nationals. All the scoring in this game happened pretty early. The Dodgers got to Max Scherzer for 4 runs in the first 3 innings. The Nationals got back into the game putting up 3 runs on Clayton Kershaw over the first 4 innings of the game. Just as it looked like we where in for a high scoring game the runs stopped scoring. Kershaw picked up the win pitching giving up 8 hits and 3 runs while walking 1 and striking out 7. The Dodgers bullpen shut the Nationals down over the final 4 innings. Joe Blanton pitched 2/3rds of an inning walking 1. Grant Dayton also pitched 2/3rds of an inning walking 1 and striking out 1. Pedro Baez worked an inning then Kenley Jansen came in to get the save. Jensen gave up 1 hit I his inning of work. Scherzer went 6 innings for the Nationals giving up 4 runs on 5 hits while striking out 5. The Dodgers did get to Scherzer for 2 hone runs in the game. The Nationals bullpen matched the Dodgers bullpen as they didn’t allow a run either. Sammy Solis pitched 2 innings giving up 1 hit while walking1 and striking out 1. Nationals closer Mark Melancon got an inning of work in the game. Melancon gave up 2 hits, walked 1 and struck out 3 in his inning of work. Game 2 has a 3:00 p.m. scheduled start time as Rich Hill gets the start for the Dodgers and the Nationals turn to Tanner Roark to try to draw them even in the series.

In both American League series teams took 2 games to 0 leads, but I’m not sure they’re the teams the experts thought they would be. The Toronto Blue Jays went into Texas and swept the Rangers in the first two games of their division series. The Cleveland Indians held home field advantage as they won the first two games of their series against the Boston Red Sox.

The Blue Jays put up 10 runs in Game 1 of the series for a 10-1 win. Game 2 saw the Blue Jays get a little closer win at 5-3. Most if not all of the experts had the Rangers as the favorite in these first two games as they had Cole Hamels as their Game 1 starter and then Yu Darvish ready for Game 2. Hamels lasted just 3 1/3rd innings in Game 1. Hamels gave up 6 runs. walked 3 and struck out 1 in his start. Hamels was totally out pitched by Marco Estrada who went 8 1/3rd innings giving up 1 run and striking out 6 for Toronto. Darvish struggled as well pitching 5 inning giving up 5 hits and 5 runs while walking 1 and striking out 4. Darvish gave up 4 home runs in his 5 innings. 20-game winner J.A. Happ was the Game 2 starter for the Blue Jays and while he didn’t pitch great he pitched good enough to win with the support he got. Happ went 5 innings; he gave up 1 run on 9 hits while walking 1 and striking out 5. Troy Tulowitzki has been the breakout hitter in the first two games for Toronto. “Tulo” has a triple and a home run while hitting .556 with 5 RBI’s. The series heads to Toronto for Game 3 on Sunday. American League ERA leader Aaron Sanchez  (3.00) gets the start for the Blue Jays as the rangers turn to Colby Lewis to try and keep their season alive.

In a surprise the Indians used Trevor Bauer as their Game  starter. Corey Kluber has been battling an injury and was pushed back to Game 2 to give him some extra rest. With Cy Young favorite and 22-game winner Rick Porcello line up to start Game 1 the Red Sox looked like a heavy favorite. Bauer didn’t have a shut down type of outing, but he kept the Indians in the game and their bats came through. Bauer pitched 4 2/3rd innings giving up 3 runs on 6 hits while striking out 6. Cleveland went to there bullpen set up of Andrew Miller 2 innings and the win, Bryan Shaw who gave up a run in 2/3rds of an inning and Cody Allen 1 1/3rd of an inning getting the save as they took Game 1. Porcello pitched 4 1/3 innings giving up 5 runs on 6 hits with 3 of those hits being home runs while striking out 6. Drew Pomeranz 2 1/3rd innings, Joe Kelly 1/3rd of an inning and Koji Uehara 1 inning didn’t allow a run, but the Red Sox where unable to pull of a comeback win and the Indians took Game 1 5-4. The extra day of rest really helped Kluber, He pitched 7 innings giving up 3 hits and while he did walk 3 batters he didn’t allow a run and stuck out 7. The Red Sox countered with David Price who has had his post seasons struggles and they continued yesterday. Price lasted just 3 1/3rd innings giving up 5 runs on 6 hits; one of them a home run. Price walked 2 and struck out 3 as he fell to 0-8 in his post season career. Dan Otero and Bryan Shaw each pitched a scoreless inning in Game 2 to lock down the Indians 6-0 win and a 2-0 lead in the series. The series shifts to Boston Sunday at 3:00 p.m.for a must win Game 3 for the Red Sox. Clay Buchholz will be called on to keep the Red Sox season alive at home while Josh Tomlin is the Game 3 starter for the Indians.

Admit it you didn’t have the Blue Jays or the Indians winning the first two games of their series. Now the question is will we see either the Rangers or the Red Sox be swept out of the playoffs.

Tonight is the Sports Time Radio fantasy hockey draft. It’s an auction style draft and since we’re a Chicago based league we’ll see how much some of the Blackhawks go for. I’ve had some success in fantasy hockey and while I haven’t won the league yet maybe this will be my year. I am woefully unprepared. With the baseball playoffs going on I’ve been distracted, but I have stayed up to date with the injuries; so that should help me out. The draft is at 7:15 p.m. tonight; so I have some time to still get ready. Wish me luck.

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With Week 4 of the NFL in the books here’s the update on our pick contest. Schaumburg Stu, Dan the Man and I all ended Week 4 with an 8-7 record while Mr. Fantasy may have set a record for his 5-10 record. Overall Schaumburg Stu is holding the lead at 37-26. Dan the Man is one game behind at 36-27. I’m in 3rd place at 31-32 while Mr. Fantasy slipped deeper into the cellar with a record of 28-35. Let’s see how Week 5 goes.

Could the MLB playoffs have gotten off to a better start? The Toronto Blue Jays hosted the Baltimore Orioles in the American League wild card game yesterday. The Blue Jays sent Marcus Stroman to the mound for the game and the Orioles countered with Chris Tillman. The Blue Jays got on the scoreboard first on a solo home run by Jose Bautista to lead off the bottom of the 2nd inning. In the top of the 4th inning Adam Jones got the first hit for the Orioles to lead off the inning. Jones went to 2nd on a ground out and then there was a liner to centerfield for the 2nd out. Then Major League home run leader Mark Trumbo gave the Orioles the lead when he hit a 2-run home run to leftfield. With one out in the bottom of the 5th inning Michael Saunders hit a ground rule double to left followed by a Kevin Pillar double to right, but some how Saunders only advanced to 3rd base. Ezequiel Carrera singled to centerfield to drive Saunders in and tie the game at 2-2. That ended Tillman’s night and the scoring for 6 innings. Brian Duensing was on the mound to start the bottom of the 11th inning for the Orioles. Duensing struck out Carrera for the 1st out of the inning and was then removed from the game for Ubaldo Jimenez. Devon Travis greeted Jimenez with a single. Josh Donaldson followed with a single of his own and Travis advanced to 3rd base. Edwin Encarnacion was up next and hit a 3-run walk off home run to leftfield for a 5-2 Blue Jays win.

Francisco Liriano picked up the win for the Blue Jays in relief while Jimenez gets the loss. Stroman went 6 innings giving up 2 runs on 4 hits while striking out 6. After Stroman the Blue Jays bullpen didn’t give up a run over 5 relief innings. Brett Cecil pitched 1/3rd of an inning, Joe Biagini pitched 2/3rd of an inning, Jason Grilli pitched an inning, Roberto Osuna pitched an 1 1/3rd innings then it was Liriano who pitched the final 1 2/3rds. Tillman lasted just 4 1/3rd innings for the Orioles giving up 2 runs on 4 hits while walking 1 and striking out 4. The Orioles had the best bullpen in baseball and it showed last night as they matched the Blue Jays outing up zero’s for 6 1/3rd innings. Mychal Givens followed Tillman and pitched 2 1/3rd innings. Then it was Donnie Hart for 1/3rd of an inning, Brad Brach for 1 1/3rd innings, Darren O’Day pitched 1 2/3rd innings before Duensing worked his 1/3rd of an inning. Jimenez didn’t get anyone out; so he didn’t pitch any innings. What you’ll notice about the Orioles pitching is that closer Zach Britton wasn’t used in the game. Britton had 47 saves and an ERA of 0.54 in the regular season.

Donaldson and Carrera where the only players with multiple hits in the game; they had 2 hits apiece. The Orioles recorded just 4 hits in the game.

The Blue Jays now advance to play the Texas Rangers starting Thursday night at Globe Life Park in Arlington Texas. The Blue Jays haven’t announced a starting pitcher for the game, but the Rangers are going with Cole Hamels as their Game 1 starter.

Can the National League wild card game match the excitement of last nights AL wild card game? The San Francisco Giants are going with Madison Bumgarner while the New York Mets have Noah Syndergaard on the mound tonight. Based on the starting pitchers it looks like we’ll get a pitchers duel, but the games don’t always go that way. Will we get that 1-0 or 2-1 game that people might think we’re going to get or will we see a 6-5 or a 9-8 game. While Syndergaard is still putting together his post season resume we’ve seen Bumgarner pitch in these situations time and time again. Will Bumgarner’s experience lead the Giants to a victory or will Syndergaard start to build that resume with a win for the Mets tonight.

With the NBA regular season starting at the end of the month fans of the Philadelphia 76ers finally got to see Joel Embiid play in a game. Embiid missed the first two seasons of his NBA career with foot injuries. In 13 minutes last night Embiid scored 6 points, grabbed 4 rebounds and blocked 2 shots in the 76ers 92-89 win over the Boston Celtics. In an odd twist for the 76ers Embiid made his debut the same day this season #1 overall pick Ben Simmons had foot surgery. Simmons is expected to be out a minimum of 8 weeks, but there have been reports that it will be longer than that.

The NHL season is even closer to starting than the NBA season and the Tampa Bay Lighting are still without one of their top players. Nikita Kucherov is a restricted free agent and is not in training camp with the start of the season a little less than two weeks away. Kucherov’s agent is Scott Greenspun and reports are he’s told Tampa Bay’s general manager Steve Yzerman that Kucherov will not show up until he gets a new deal. Kucherov is just 23 years old and was the Lighting’s leading scorer last season. Kucherov had 66 points on 30 goals and 36 assists. He was also the Lighting’s leading scorer in the playoffs with 19 points on 11 goals and 8 assists. Even though he hasn’t been in traing camp with hos teammates Kucherov has been on the ice as he played for Team Russia in the World Cup of Hockey.

NASCAR has moved into the 2nd round of The Chase and that means that the field of drivers was cut from 16 to 12. The 4 drivers who where eliminated from The Chase where Chris Buescher, teammates Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson as well as Tony Stewart. Stewart is in his last season in NASCAR and there where a lot of fans who where hoping to see him go deep into The Chase. The 2nd round of The Chase kicks off Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the Bank of America 500. Will we see one of the 12 remaining Chase drivers get a win and automatically move into the 3rd round or will someone outside of The Chase find their way into victory lane.

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So the rumors started yesterday that the Los Angeles Dodgers are seriously interested in trading Yasiel Puig. We heard these same rumors last season, but Puig is still with the Dodgers. Is this the season the Dodgers deal him? While it seems as though he’s been around longer this is just Puig’s 4th season in the majors and he is just 25 years old. Remember Puig came out of the gate like a sure fire superstar. Puig came in and played 104 games in 2013. He hit .319 with 19 home runs and 42 RBI’s and added 11 stolen bases. There are some people out there who have identified him as the Rookie of the Year, but he actually finished 2nd to Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins. Puig also picked up some MVP votes that season and finished 15th in that voting. In 2014 Puig played 148 games hitting .296 with 16 home runs and 69 RBI’s and making his first All-Star team. He also picked up some MVP votes after that season and finished 19th in the voting. Puig was injured for much of the 2015 season. He played in just 79 games. He hit .255 with 11 home runs and had 38 RBI’s. The Dodgers where hoping a healthy Puig would bounce back t numbers more like his first two seasons, but he hasn’t. In 76 games Puig is hitting .256 with 7 home runs and 32 RBI’s this season. If the Dodgers do find a taker for Puig; which player will they get? Let’s take a look at some landing spots for Puig.

How about the New York Yankees? Take it easy Yankees fans I don’t think you’ll be getting Aroldis Chapman for Puig, but there are some options for these teams to deal. A more likely trade that could happen between these two teams is Puig for Carlos Beltran. Beltran is 39 years old, but is having a good season. He’s hitting .301 with 19 home runs and 58 RBI’s. If Clayton Kershaw’s return is pushed back with his injury the Dodgers are going to have to find a way to stay in contention for a wild card spot and adding some offense might help. Beltran has been able to stay healthy this season and has appeared in 88 games this season for the Yankees. Another plus for the Dodgers is Beltran is in the last year of his contract and with the young outfielders they have in their system he won’t be in the way. Beltran is owed about $8 million for the rest of this season while Puig is under contract for two more years at $7 million apiece. It’s two teams with plenty of money; so swapping salaries shouldn’t be an issue. The Dodgers could get some offensive help to put between Corey Seager and Adrian Gonzalez while the Yankees can get a young outfielder they can build around.

Another possible landing spot for Puig could be the rebuilding Atlanta Braves. It might sound odd to some people as the Braves are on their way to losing 100 plus games this season and possibly next season as well. It would actually give the Braves a chance t look at Puig and decide if he could be part of their rebuilding as his contract was coming to an end after the 2018 season. If so they could try to resign him or if not they could just let him go into free agency. The tough part would be figuring out what the Braves could send back in return. I don’t think the Dodgers would be interested in Nick Markakis. With the Braves rebuilding they’d want to hang on to their young players. Could the Braves out together a package featuring someone like Chase D’Arnaud or Jace Peterson with a pitcher or two thrown in be enough to get the Dodgers to send them Puig. It’s a deal that the Braves need to look into the question will be can they find a player or players that would interest the Dodgers enough to trade them Puig.

Could another rebuilding team like the Milwaukee Brewers be a team that could step up and tried to add Puig. It could be an easy deal if the Dodgers where willing to accept Ryan Braun and what’s left of his contract for Puig. Braun is signed through 2020 with an option for 20121. He’ll receive $20 million next season and in 2018, $19 million in 2019, $17 million in 2020 with a $15 million dollar option for 2021. Braun is 32 years old and it seems as though his power has been in decline. While Braun is still a home run threat he’s not the same player who hit 41 home runs in  2012. In 77 games this season Braun is hitting .313 with 13 home runs and 44 RBI’s. If the Brewers are going to truly rebuild they need to find a way to move Braun’s contract and this could be the answer they’ve been looking for. The issue may be will the Dodgers who have some talented young outfielders be willing to tie themselves down with Braun until 2020. Don’t forget that the Dodgers are going to be paying off Carl Crawford’s contract for the next couple of seasons.

Let’s reach out for one more team here and add the Toronto Blue Jays to the list of teams that could be a good spot for Puig. Jose Batista is injured and in the last year of his contract. Don’t forget that Batista is looking for a big payday at the end of the season and adding Puig could allow the Blue Jays to let Batista walk. Edwin Encarnacion is also in the last year of his contract and has been recruited by David Ortiz to sing with the Boston Red Sox and take over his role with them next season.  At 25 Puig along with Devon Travis would be the youngest player on the Blue Jays roster. The difficult part again here is finding someone to send back to Los Angeles in a deal. Ezequiel Carrera has had a solid season for the Blue Jays; so maybe they could add him into a deal with a young pitcher like Drew Hutchinson and a couple of bullpen pieces for Puig. This is the tough part about making a deal. While it looks as though Puig would be a good fit for the Blue Jays and their future it’s difficult to fin the right set of players to send back to the Dodgers to make a deal.

There are four interesting options for Yasiel Puig. Do the Dodgers finally go through with their plan to deal Puig or will he still be there at the end of the season? Remember this is a different front office talking about trading Puig this time; so maybe he ends up being dealt this time. Would you like to see your favorite team acquire Puig? Or do you have a better landing spot than the four I picked for him. If you do let me know.

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Blue Jays ahead

Posted: October 25, 2015 by Sports Time Radio in baseball
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The Toronto Blue Jays season ended Friday night with a 4-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. It was Toronto’s first playoff appearance since 1993 and it ended the longest drought by any team of not making the playoffs. As the Blue Jays look to the 2016 season you have to wonder what they’ll look like.

Team President Paul Beeson had announced that he planned on retiring at the end of the 2015 season and Mark Shapiro has been hired to take his place. Shapiro has been a member of the Indians front office since 1991, serving as GM for the 2002-2010 seasons and then being promoted to president prior to the 2011 season. Even though the Blue Jays had a 93-69 season and won the American League East a new President may want his own people with him. Everything points to General Manager Alex Anthopoulos returning next season you can never be sure. That’s where the questions have to start for the Blue Jays.

There are some easy decision; at least they look easy. 1st Baseman/Designated Hitter Edwin Encarnacion has a $10 million dollar option for 2016 you’d expect the Blue Jays to pick up. Jose Bautista has an option for next season to at $14 million. I’m pretty sure we’ll see both these guys in the Toronto line up next season. Catcher  Dioner Navarro is a free agent as is shortstop Cliff Pennington; I don’t think either player will be back with the Blue Jays next season. The rest of the position players are either under contract or will go to arbitration. The position players aren’t too big of a deal for the Blue Jays to deal with, but the starting Rotation is another story. David Price is a free agent and you’d have to think he’s looking at $30 million a season from whoever he signs with. Toronto has said that they intend to try and resign Price, but really what else did you think they would say. Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey has an option for nest season at $12 million or the Blue Jays can buy him out for $1 million. Dickey is 41 and went 11-11 with an ERA of 3.91 in 33 starts. I have a feeling the Blue Jays buy him out at $1 million and try to bring him back at a lower salary. He may not be the same pitcher who won the 2012 Cy Young for the New York Mets, but he does eat innings and a staff could use a guy like that as a #3 or #4 starter. While Dickey has an option year for the Blue Jays to deal with Mark Buehrle and Marco Estrada are just free agents like Price. Buehrle went 15-8 with an ERA of 3.81 in 32 starts last season, but wasn’t used in the post season. Buerhle will turn 37 before the start of the 2016 season and he hasn’t said if he plans to retire or not. Estrada went 13-8 with an ERA of 3.13 over 28 starts. Estrada also made 6 appearances out of the bullpen.. Estrada is 32 and those 28 starts was the most he’s ever made in a season. Toronto does have a pitcher to build around even if they lost all of these starters. Marcus Stroman is 24 and won’t reach free agency until 2021. Stroman looked very good returning from a knee injury and may have been the Blue Jays best post season starter. You’d also have to think that Drew Hutchison figures into the 2016 rotation. Hutchison who’s 25 did have a ERA of  5.57 over 30 games; 28 of which where starts he did go 13-5. The Blue Jays could be set at closer for a while as 20 year old Roberto Osuna seems to have fit into that role. Another question may be will 22 year old Aaron Sanchez continue to set up for Osuna or will he be moved into the starting rotation. Sanchez did make 11 starts in 2015; so Toronto will have to decide where his future is. The main set up core of Liam Hendricks, Brett Cecil and Aaron Loup should be back in 2016, but 42 year old LaTroy Hawkins is retiring. While Hawkins struggled greatly in the post season he was a very reliable during the regular season. Trade deadline acquisition Mark Lowe will hit free agency; so Toronto will have t make a decision on him as well.

It should be interesting to watch the Blue Jays off season and see who they try to bring back, who they decide to let go and who they try to bring in. There are reports that Toronto has money to spend this off season, so maybe some of the bigger free agents end up north of the border.

The Kansas City Royals are headed to the World Series for the second year in a row with a 4-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series.

I had heard someone say the game would greatly favor the Royals since they where playing at home in Kaufman Stadium and there wouldn’t be as many home runs. Of course with that being said there where 4 home runs in the game; 2 for each team. The Royals used 2 solo home runs; 1 by Ben Zobrist in the 1st inning and then a controversial home run by Mike Moustakas in the 2nd. It appeared that a fan reached out over the wall for Mike Moustakas’ home run, prompting the Blue Jays to challenge the call. The play was upheld after a review. Jose Bautista cut the Royals lead in half with the first of his two home runs a bomb to left field that was listed as traveling 431 feet. It took until the bottom of the 7th inning before the Royals where able to put another run on the board. Moustakas led the inning off with a single. Salvador Perez flied out for the 1st out. Alex Gordon grounded out to 2nd, but Moustakas moved to 2nd base. That was the end of the night for David Price as Aaron Sanchez was brought in from the Toronto bullpen to face Alex Rios. Rios went down in the count 0-2. He took the 3rd pitch for a ball and on the 4th pitch of the at bat he singled t left field to score Moustakas giving the Royals a 3-1 lead. Now I thought with a 3-1 lead and the way the Kansas City bullpen has pitched in this series that the game was over it was just a matter of them getting the last 6 outs. As you know I was wrong. Ryan Madson took over on the mound in the top of the 8th inning. Ben Revere led off with an infield single and after Josh Donaldson struck out for the 1st out of the inning Jose Bautista came to the plate. Bautista fouled the first pitch off and then hit the second pitch into the left field seats and with Revere scoring ahead of him the game was tied 3-3. After a 45 minute rain delay Lorenzo Cain led off the bottom of the 8th inning by drawing a walk off of Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna. Eric Hosmer followed Cain’s walk by singling to right field. Bautista fielded the ball cleanly in right, but rather than hit the cut off man Bautista threw to second base. That gave Cain, running full speed and waved home by third-base coach Mike Jirschele, just enough time to beat the relay throw from second base sliding in safely to give the Royals a 4-3 lead. Wade Davis had been brought in to get the final 2 outs of the 8th inning and had to sit trough the rain delay before going out to pitch the top of the 9th. There had to be some concern that the delay and then having to sit through the Kansas City at bat would affect Davis and after a lead off single by Russell Martin and then a walk to Kevin Pillar you had to wonder if that was the case. Adding to things Dalton Pompey was sent in to pinch run for Martin and stole 2nd and 3rd during Pillar’s at bat. With the tying run 90 feet away and the go ahead run on 1st base Dioner Navarro was inserted as a pinch hitter for Ryan Goins. Navarro struck out swinging, but on the strikeout Pillar stole 2nd. Wit one out and runners on 2nd and 3rd it was back to the top of the order for the Blue Jays. Ben Revere stuck out for the 2nd out of the inning and that left the Blue Jays season in the hands of their MVP candidate Josh Donaldson. Donaldson worked the count to 2-1 before grounding out to 3rd to end the game.

David Price made the start for the Blue Jays and pitched pretty well. Price worked 6 2/3rd innings; he gave up 3 runs on 5 hits, he walked 1 while striking out 8. Aaron Sanchez followed Price, but only pitched 1/3rd of an inning giving up 2 hits. The run Sanchez gave up was charged to Price. Roberto Osuna pitched an inning giving up 1 run on 2 hits and did walk a batter. Yordano Ventura made the Game 6 start for the Royals. Ventura pitched 5 1/3 rd innings giving up 1 run on 4 hits while walking 2 and striking out 5. As usual Kelvin Herrera was the first guy out of the Royals bullpen. Herrera pitched an 1 2/3rd; he gave up no hits and struck out 2. Ryan Madson was next out of the Royals bullpen, but lasted just 1/3rd of an inning giving up 2 runs on 2 hits while walking 1 and striking out 1. Then it was Wade Davis; turn. Davis worked an 1 2/3rd he gave up 1 hit, walked 1 and struck out 3 and didn’t give up a run.

The World Series starts Tuesday night in Kansas City as the Royals will host the New York Mets. Remember the American League won the All-Star game; so they’re the home team in the series.

I understand that the NFL schedule comes out way in advance of the season; so you don’t know what the teams will actual be playing like when the games happen. There’s also no flex scheduling for the Thursday night games like there is with the Sunday night games. I’m sure on paper this looked like a great match up. An NFC West battle featuring a team (Seattle Seahawks) that has been to back to back Super Bowls against a team (San Francisco 49ers) who went to a Super Bowl the season before the Seahawks started going and a playoff contender was what we thought we might be getting when the schedule was released. What we got was a struggling Seahawks team that was having issues holding 4th quarter leads against a 49ers team that doesn’t look anywhere near what it did last season. San Francisco went through a much publicized coaching changed and also had multiple top players retire in the off season. Instead of what might’ve been a marquee match up a season or two ago we got a pretty boring 20-3 Seattle victory.

Of course even in bad games there are people who have fantasy players going and Marshawn Lynch was the guy to have in this game. Lynch carried the ball 27 times for 122 yards and a touchdown. Besides Lynch the only other touchdown went to was a Russell Wilson to Tyler Lockett 43 yard connection in the 2nd quarter. Wilson was 18/24 for 235 yards with that 1 touchdown, but he threw 2 interceptions and was sacked 5 times for 23 yards. Wilson did pick up 20 yards rushing on 7 carries. If you had Lockett in your line up he was the Seahawks leading receiver with 5 receptions for 79 yards and that touchdown. The other fantasy relative might’ve been Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka. Hauschka made both of his extra point attempts in the game and hit 2 field goals a 46 and a 49 yarder. The San Francisco player who may give you the most fantasy help this week might be tight end Vernon Davis; if he was in your line up. Davis hasn’t produced for his fantasy owners this season and has missed some games with injuries, but if you had him in line line up for Week 7 he caught 4 passes for 61 yards. Davis could be a big help in a league where you have to start 2 tight ends.

Here’s hoping the rest of the games in Week 7 of the NFL are better than this one. Don’t forget that Week 7 gets an early start as the Buffalo Bills play the Jacksonville Jaquars in London. This is the NFL’s first attempt at live streaming a game; so don’t forget that it’s an 8:30 a.m. start time and you can watch it online.

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The League Championship series are one win away from being wrapped as as yesterday the Kansas City Royals took a 3 games to 1 lead over the Toronto Blue jays and the New York Mets went ahead in there series 3 games to 0 on the Chicago Cubs. Game 5 of the ALCS is this afternoon with the Royals looking to go back to the World Series. Game 4 of the NLCS is tonight where the Mets will look to sweep and advance to the World Series.

The offensives really got rolling in the ALCS as both teams combined for a total of 19 runs in the Blue Jays 11-8 win. The Blue Jays had a 10-4 lead after 5 innings and added a run in the bottom of the 8th inning and looked like they would cruise to there first ALCS victory. The Royals decided to make the game a little more interesting than people thought it would be as they scored 4 runs in the top of the 9th inning, but it wasn’t enough as the Blue Jays held to for a win an9d cut the deficit in the series to 2 games to 1.

The offense continued in Game 4 of the ALCS, but just for the Royals. Kansas City scored 4 runs in the top of the 1st inning highlighted by a 2-run Ben Zobrist home run and an Alex Rios solo home run in the top of the 2nd gave the Royals a 5-0 lead and they never looked back on there way to a 14-2 victory and control of the ALCS 3 games to 1. Former Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey made the start for the Blue Jays, but didn’t get through 2 innings. Dickey lasted 1 2/3rd innings giving up 5 runs; 4 of which where earned on 4 hits while walking 2 and striking out 1. There was also a passed ball charged to catcher Russell Martin while Dickey was on the mound. Chris Young made the Game 4 start for the Royals. Young lasted 4 2/3rd innings before giving way to the Kansas City bullpen. He gave up 2 runs on 3 hits while walking 2 and striking out 4. It wasn’t a long outing for Young, but it was what the Royals need as Luke Hochevar (1 1/3rd innings), Ryan Madson (1 inning), Kelvin Herrera (1 inning) and Franklin Morales (1 inning) didn’t allow the Blue Jays to score in relief. Each pitcher gave up 1 hit in relief; Madson struck out 2 while Herrera and Morales each recorded 1 strikeout. After Dickey was removed Liam Hendriks came out of the Blue Jays bullpen and allowed just 1 hit to the Royals over 4 1/3rd innings while striking out 2. LaTroy Hawkins took over on the mound at the top of the 6th inning and didn’t record an out while giving up 3 runs on 2 hits while walking 1. Ryan Tepera relieved Hawkins and didn’t have much more success against the Royals line up. Tepera pitched 1 2/3rd innings giving up 4 runs on 5 hits and walking 2. Mark Lowe worked an inning after Tepera and gave up 2 runs on 1 hit while striking out 2. Shortstop Cliff Pennington got the final out of the top of the 9th for Toronto becoming the first position player to pitch in a post season game. Pennington pitched 1/3rd of an inning giving up 2 hit, but 0 runs.

It will be a rematch of Game 1 on the mound as Edison Volquez starts for the Royals and Marco Estrada gets the start for the Blue Jays. Volquez got the win in the Royals 5-0 Game 1 victory. He pitched 6 innings walking 4 and striking out 5. Estrada took the Game 1 loss for the Blue Jays pitching 5 1/3rd innings giving up 3 runs on 6 hits while striking out 6. Can the Blue Jays extend the series and go back the Kansas City for a Game 6 behind Estrada or will the Royals win with Volquez and head to the World Series.

In the NLCS the Mets have used there good young pitching and Daniel Murphy’s bat to take all 3 game of the series against the Cubs. The Mets jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 1st inning on a Javier Baez error that allowed David Wright on base and then with Wright on the move Yoenis Cespedes doubled and with Wright moving on the hit and run he was able to score. The Cubs got even in the bottom of the 1st inning on a Kyle Schwarber solo home run, Murphy struck again for the Mets in the top of the 3rd inning when with 2 outs he homered to center field to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. The Cubs evened the game up again in the bottom of the 4th inning on another solo home run this time by Jorge Soler. The Mets found a way to take the lead again in the top of the 6th inning on one of the odder plays this post season. With Cespedes on 3rd and 2 outs Michael Conforto struck out which would normally end the inning, but the baseball got away from Cubs catcher Miguel Montero and Conforto was able to reach base safely and Cespedes scored to give the Mets a 3-2 which they’d never relinquish. The Mets added 2 big insurance runs in the top of the 7th inning. With 1 out Wright doubled then Murphy got an infield hit moving Wright to 3rd base. Cesepedes followed that with a single to left field scoring Wright with Murphy going to 3rd and Cesepedes moving to 2nd on the throw. A Lucas Duda ground out allowed Murphy to score the 5th and final Mets run of the night on there way to a 5-2 win.

Kyle Hendricks made the start for the Cubs and while he had a solid outing he wasn’t around long pitching 4 innings giving up 2 runs on 5 hits while walking 1 and striking out 4. Cjayton Richard was the first of 6 Cubs relievers out of there bullpen pitching 1 inning, walking 1 and giving up 1 hit, but 0 runs. Trevor Cahill followed Richard and pitched an inning giving up 1 runs on 2 hits while striking out 1. Travis Wood worked 1/3rd of an inning giving up 2 runs on 2 hits while striking out 1. Justin Grimm pitched 2/3rd of an inning giving up 1 hit while striking out 1. Pedro Strop was next and worked a perfect inning getting 1 strikeout. Hector Rondon was the last Cubs pitcher of the night and he threw 1 inning, walking 1 and striking out 1. Jacob deGroom started for the Mets pitching 7 innings. deGroom gave up 2 runs on 4 hits while walking 1 and striking out 7. Tyler Clippard pitched 1 inning giving 1 hit and striking out 1 before closer Jeurys Familia entered the game working a perfect 9th inning striking out 1 to pick up the save and give the Mets a 3 games to 0 lead in the series.

The Mets are looking for the sweep tonight behind rookie pitcher Steven Matz. Matz has made 1 post season start going 5 innings and taking the loss against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. Trying to avoid the sweep on the mound for the Cubs will be Jason Hammel. In Hammel’s 1 post season start he lasted just 3 innings against the St. Louis Cardinals in that NLDS match up. There was some talk last night that the Cubs may turn to Jon Lester on 3 days rest to take this start, but I don;t think that’s been announced yet. No matter who gets the start for the Cubs tonight they’re going t have to be the first team since the 2004 Boston Red Sox to come back from being down 0-3 if they want to get out of this series. Sorry Cubs fans, but Jon Lester wasn’t on that 2004 Red Sox team.

Believe it or not Week 6 in our NFL picks actually went my way. I won the week with a 9-5 record while Dan the Man and Schaumburg Stu finished a game behind me at 8-6. Either Mr. Fantasy’s illness or the fact that he didn’t make his picks live on the Sunday podcast cost him as he finished under .500 at 6-8. With the poor showing by Mr. Fantasy Dan the Man has been able to leap frog him and move into 1st place by a game 56-35 (Dan) 55-36 (Mr. Fantasy) I’m still in 3rd place at 51-40 while Schaumburg Stu is 2 games behind me at 49-42. Let’s see how Week 7 goes for us.

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Who had the Chicago Cubs being the first team to lock up a spot in the National League Championship Series (NLCS)? The Cubs wrapped up there series against the St. Louis Cardinals last night with a 6-4 win. What’s interesting in this Cubs series victory is the fact that players like Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant didn’t carry the team. They each have 3 hits this post season with 2 of Rizzo’s hits being home runs and 1 of Bryant’s hits being a home run. Jorge Soler is hitting .571 during the post season. Kyle Schwarber is hitting .538 with a team leading 3 home runs and 5 RBI’s. Dexter Fowler is hitting .300 out of the lead off spot for the Cubs. Javier Baez had to enter Game 3 do to an injury to starting shortstop Addison Russell. Baez had a couple issues in the field which might’ve been do to nerves, but he was 4 for 5 at the plate and hit a big 3-run homer last night. Now I’m not sure if the Cubs can continue to advance with Rizzo hitting .167 and Bryant hitting .150, but they’ll have a few days off as they wait for the winner of the other National League Division Series (NLDS) be it the New York Mets or the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The American League will wrap up both if it’s division series today. The first game of the day has the Texas Rangers on the road to take on the Toronto Blue Jays. Now no home team has won a game in this series and the Blue Jays will need to change that to advance. The pitching match up for Game 5 is a rematch from Game 2 as Cole Hamels starts for the Rangers and the Blue Jays go to Marcus Stroman. Both pitchers threw 7 innings last game, but neither figured in the decision as the rangers win the game 6-4 in 14 innings. Hamels gave up 4 runs, but only 2 where earned on 6 hits while striking out 6, Stroman gave up 4 runs with 3 being earned on 5 hits while walking 2 and striking out 5.This series has been kind of a surprise as no one thought the Rangers would be this much trouble for the Blue jays let alone take them to a Game 5. Do the Rangers have 1 more surprise in them.

The second Game 5 in the American League has the Houston Astros on the road to take on the defending American League champions the Kansas City Royals. The Astros are going with Colin McHugh as there starting pitcher while Kansas City turns to there trade deadline pick up Johnny Cueto. McHugh got the win for the Astros in Game 1 of this series pitching 6 innings giving up 2 runs on 4 hits while walking 1 and striking out 1. Cueto started Game 2 of this series for Kansas City pitching 6 innings giving up 4 runs on 7 hits while walking 3 and striking out 5. Cueto didn’t figure in the decision, but the Astros won Game 2 5-4. This is another series that I don’t think anyone had going 7 games and I don’t remember anyone picking the Astros to win.

If you live in the Chicagoland area you might not know that there was a second National League playoff game last night. Clayton Kershaw went out and did just what he was suppose to do for the Los Angeles Dodgers last night. Over 7 innings Kershaw gave up 1 run on a solo home run to Daniel Murphy. Kershaw struck out 8 walked just 1 and besides the home run only gave up 2 other hits to the Mets. Steven Matz got the Game 4 start for the Mets. Matz pitched 5 innings giving up 3 runs on 6 hits while walking 2 and striking out 4. The Dodgers got all there runs off of Matz in the top of the 3rd inning. An Adrian Gonzalez single to center with runners on 1st and 3rd got the Dodgers 1st run home. Justin Turner followed Gonzalez with a double down the left field line to drive in the Dodgers other 2 run. That gave the Dodgers a 3-0 lead and they scored all of these runs with 2 outs in the inning. The Murphy homer cut the lead to 3-1, but neither bullpen gave up a run and Kenley Jansen worked a 1,2,3 9th inning striking out 2 while picking up the save for the Dodgers. The series heads back to Los Angeles on tied 2-2 with Game 5 being on Thursday. The Mets are going with Game 1 winner Jacob deGroom. deGroom worked 7 shutout innings giving up 5 hits while walking 1 and striking out 13. The Dodgers are countering with Game 2 winner Zack Greinke. Greinke went 7 innings giving up 2 runs on 5 hits while striking out 8. The winner of this game knows they’ll go on to face the Cubs while the loser is done for the season.

Now baseball will always be my first love as far as sports go, but football isn’t far behind. This season I;m having a big problem with the NFL. Where has the defense gone? It seems as if every game I watch the when there’s about 3 minutes left to play neither team can stop the other one. I understand the rules greatly favor the offensive team, but you’ve stopped them time and again the entire game and now that there’s just 3 minutes left you can’t even slow them down. Not only can’t I figure this out, but I’m starting to feel like I’m wasting my time watching the first 3 and 3/4th of the game when all I need to see is the last 3 minutes. If you’ve listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast you know that my biggest issue with the NBA is the fact that I only really need to see the 4th quarter to know what’s going on with the game. This season in the NFL has pretty much went the same way for me. Besides the Denver Broncos is there another team out there that’s going to play defense?

With baseball in the post season and the football season up and running you might not have noticed that the NHL season has started. The Montréal Canadiens are off to a 4-0 start and there are a few teams behind them at 3-0. Canadiens left winger Max Pacioretty has 4 goals and is tied for the league lead with Justin Abdelkader of the Detroit Red Wings, Zach Parise of the Minnesota Wild and Oscar Lindberg of the New York Rangers. While it’s too early for these stats to mean all that much it’s always fun to see who’s putting the puck in the net.

Now I didn’t forget about our pick for Week 5 in the NFL, but I’d like to. Dan the Man won the week with a 10-4. Mr. Fantasy was a game behind him at 9-5. Schaumburg Stu had an 8-6 week while I barely made it to 7-7. Mr. Fantasy still has the overall lead at 49-28 with Dan the Man a game behind at 48-29. I’m a ways back in 3rd at 42-35 and Schaumburg Stu is still in the cellar at 41-36. Maybe I’ll have a good Week 6, but I doubt it.

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How was your Week?

Posted: October 10, 2015 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football
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With the Division series under way the first question that comes to mind is; who had the Texas Rangers winning the first two games against the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto? I’m not even sure if the biggest Rangers fan had them doing this. Most if not all the experts talking about this game thought that the Blue Jays had far and away the biggest home field advantage in the division series, but I guess someone forgot to tell the Rangers. Toronto looked to have the edge in Game 1 with David Price as there starting pitcher against Yovani Gallardo for the Rangers. Gallardo threw 79 pitches over 5 innings. He gave up 2 runs on 4 hits while walking 1 and striking out 1. While it wasn’t a long post season outing giving up 2 runs to the Blue Jay offense could be considered a success. Price pitched 7 innings; he gave up 5 runs on 5 hits while walking 2 and striking out 5. Not the kind of Game 1 outing you’re looking for from your Cy Young contending starting pitcher. You have to wonder if Price not having pitched since September 26th had anything to do with this sub par performance. Even in that September 26th outing Price pitched just 5 innings. Is it possible that Price was over rested coming into his Game 1 start. So with the Rangers finding a way to get a Game 1 victory as a team they had to start looking at taking both games in Toronto when they had Cole Hamels starting Game 2. As it turned out neither Hamels nor Blue Jays Game 2 starter Marcus Stroman would be around to get a decision in Game 2. Hamels had a good outing pitching 7 innings. He did give up 4 runs, but only 3 of them where earned on 6 hits. Hamels stuck out 6 and didn’t walk anyone, but did throw 114 pitches over his 7 inning outing. Stroman had a good outing as well as he also pitched 7 innings. Stroman gave up 5 hits and 4 runs, but only 3 of his runs where earned. He walked 2 and struck out 5 while throwing 93 pitches. Don’t forget that this was Stroman’s 5th start of the season as he missed most of the year with a knee injury. The Blue Jays where looking like they would even the series as they had a 4-3 lead in the Top of the 8th inning. Delino DeShields Jr. led off the inning with a single and that ended Stroman’s day. Brett Cecil took over on the mound for the Blue Jays. Shin-Soo Choo sacrificed DeShields to 2nd and then after a Prince Fielder strikeout Mike Napoli cam e in to pinch hot for Mitch Moreland Napoli singled to right center field and DeShields scored to tie the game 4-4. After that the bullpens shut things down for both teams. Sam Dyson )1 Inning), Jake Diekman (2 innings), Shawn Tolleson )2 innings) and Keone Kela (1 Inning) allowed just 2 hits and struck out 6 over 6 innings of relief. For the Blue Jays Roberto Osuna (2 Innings), Mark Lowe (2/3rd of an inning), Aaron Loup (2/3rd of an inning) and Aaron Sanchez (1 and 2/3rd of an inning) kept the Rangers in check and the game was still 4-4 going into the top of the 14th inning. LaTroy Hawkins took the mound to work against the Rangers. Hawkins got the first two batters, Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton out to start the inning. With 2 outs Rougned Odor beat out an infield single Chris Gimenez and Odor went to 3rd base. So the Rangers have 1st and 3rd with 2 outs against Hawkins and it’s Hanser Alberto coming to the plate. Alberto is playing 3rd base for the injured Adrian Beltre. It’s kind of funny how post season baseball seems to out guys you’re not expecting in these type of spots. Alberto came through in his spot with a single to center field. Odor scored to give the Rangers a 5-4 lead. Gimenez went to 3rd base and Alberto went to 2nd on the throw home. That ended Hawkins night after 2/3rd of an inning; Liam Hendriks took over for Hawkins. DeShields beat out an infield single as Gimenez scored to give the Rangers a 2-run lead at 6-4. Hendricks got Choo to line out to center field to end the Rangers half of the inning. With there closer Tolleson already used in the game the Rangers turn to Ross Ohlendorf to get the save. Ohlendorf got Troy Tulowitzki looking at strike three for the 1st out. Justin Smoak went down swinging for the 2nd out. Russell Martin was hit by a pitch and then went to 2nd base on fielder’s indifference. It was up to Kevin Pillar to keep the Blue Jays hopes alive, but he struck out swinging as well to the game and give the rangers that 2-0 lead in the series. The ALDS gets a day off as they travel to Texas for Game 3. The Blue Jays are going with Marco Estrada as there Game 3 starter and the Rangers counter with Martin Perez as there Game 3 starter. Estrada was 13-8 on the season with an E.R.A. of 3.13. Estrada’s last outing was October 9th when he struck out 9 over 6 2/3rd innings. Estrada does have 4 post season appearances; all in relief for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2011. Perez made 14 starts for the Rangers this season going 3-4 with a 4.46 E.R.A. If there’s going to be baseball in Canada again this season the Blue Jays will have to find a way to win both games in Texas.

All the division series where in action yesterday with the Rangers/Blue jays kicking things off. Game 2 of the Houston Asttros/Kansas City Royals may have started a few hours later than Rangers/Blue Jays, but it came very close to ending before it. The Royals did win Game 2 of the series to even it up at 1-1. Game 1 of the National League series kicked off with the St. Louis Cardinals getting a 4-0 win over the Chicago Cubs. Don’t be fooled by that score as it was a 1-0 game for 7 plus innings before a couple of St. Louis home runs put the game out of reach. It was a very well pitched game on both sides by John Lackey (St. Louis) and Jon Lester (Chicago) and it had to be a tough game for the Cubs to lose to open the series. The final game of the night had the New York Mets at the Los Angeles Dodgers. In another well pitched game that saw both starters strikeout double digit hitters Jacob deGroom (13 strikeouts) out dueled Clayton Kershaw (10 Strikeouts) as the Mets took Game 1 3-1.

It’s a travel day for the American League series; so the 2 National League games take center stage. Kyle Hendricks takes the mound for the Cubs against Jaime Garcia for the Cardinals in Game 2 of there series with the Cubs trying to even it up. The Mets will send  Noah Syndergaard out against the Dodgers who are starting Zack Greinke in Game 2 to try to get that series even for Los Angeles.

With all this baseball going on I bet you thought I forgot all about our picks for Week 5 in the NFL. Well I wish I had, but I didn’t. My week didn’t start off well as I had the Houston Texans beating the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night. So going into Sunday I’ll be 0-1 while Dan the Man, Schaumburg Stu and Mr. Fantasy all and the Colts and are 1-0. If I said I was giving them a head start would anyone believe me?

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