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Smurfville :: Fun! (Non Smurf) :: Forum Games :: And then I cannot imagine - View Topic
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And then I cannot imagine (3rd Nov 18 at 6:26am UTC)
LOS ANGELES — While the long ball is getting all the attention for the Los Angeles Dodgers of late Mallex Smith Jersey , they have also used an old reliable to get them in position to grab their sixth consecutive National League West title.Before the current series against the San Diego Padres began, Dodgers starters had a 3.06 ERA since the All-Star break, the best mark in the major leagues. That number had come in 57 starts and 332 innings.Then came a stumble Friday from right-hander Ross Stripling and the Dodgers fell 5-3 to the last-place Padres. Los Angeles’ lead in the National League West fell to 1 1/2 games with just over a week remaining in the season. Stripling lasted just 3 1/3 innings.Article continues below ...Carrying those Dodgers pitching expectations into Saturday’s game against the Padres is left-hander Rich Hill (9-5, 4.02 ERA), who has done his part during the team’s second-half pitching success. Hill is 7-1 since the All-Star break, posting a 3.55 ERA. In his 11 second-half starts, the Dodgers have gone 8-3.The Dodgers have not always had all aspects of their game firing at once until the last two weeks. The starting pitchers, though, had long since set an example for the rest of the team.The intensity has ramped up further as a Dodgers team that has played three National League Championship Series and one World Series over the last five years has that October look once again.“These are playoff games,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I think you can see the intent on every single pitch. We smell the finish line of the regular season. There’s a lot of sacrifice going on. The preparation hasn’t wavered. The bottom line is we have very good players.”That sounds good, but the Dodgers are actually 1-3 in their last four games against last-place teams. They lost two of three to the Cincinnati Reds on their most recent road trip.The Padres would like to see rookie right-hander Jacob Nix (2-3 http://www.raysfanproshop.com/authentic-blake-snell-jersey , 5.75) rise to the occasion amid all that Dodger Stadium energy Saturday, and against an opposing veteran starter who has been a key member in the Dodgers’ last three playoff runs.Complicating matters for Nix is a sore hip that might need surgery in the offseason, although the right-hander is doing everything he can to avoid going down that route. He will not only be focused on the Dodgers on Saturday, but will have to be in lock step with his mechanics as well.“I don’t want to be compensating for something down the chain,” Nix said, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.Nix has just seven career starts, all since Aug. 10. His best outing came Aug. 28 against the Seattle Mariners, when he gave up just one run over 8 1/3 innings, but he has given up 14 earned runs in the three starts since then (6.19 ERA).Nix has never faced the Dodgers. Hill has two starts against the Padres this year, going 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA over 13 innings. He is 5-4 lifetime against San Diego with a 3.09 ERA over 10 starts. The Chicago Cubs find themselves in the midst of a stretch in which getting a chance to catch their breath hasn’t been easy.And while Hurricane Florence and accompanying storms threatened to prevent the Cubs and Washington Nationals from playing a makeup game Thursday at Nationals Park, it now appears everything is a go.Rain that hovered over Washington Rob Refsnyder Jersey , D.C. last weekend forced the Cubs to make a quick trip east that is being sandwiched between Wednesday’s 5-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers and the start of a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds that starts Friday at Wrigley Field.Article continues below ...Already in a hectic stretch, Thursday’s game will make the 30th straight day the Cubs have played while they have seen their lead over the Brewers in the National League Central dwindle to one game.“I love my teammates but seeing them 30 days in a row is not what I intend to do on a daily basis,” Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo told reporters, according to the Chicago Tribune. “The one day away from them goes for two weeks seeing them.”The threat of hurricane-like weather along the East Coast kept Thursday’s game in question before it was determined that the most serious conditions will steer clear of Washington. Earlier this week, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein asked for a common-sense solution and argued that forcing the Cubs to play the makeup game Thursday seemed unreasonable.“I know (MLB) would not send us into a situation with any danger or risk,” Epstein said in a radio interview on Chicago’s 670 The Score on Wednesday. “And then I cannot imagine that they would send us into a situation where there’s a chance of rain given what we experienced in Washington last weekend and given the situation that would create 30 straight days with a game scheduled in the middle of a pennant race, which is just about unprecedented.”Mike Montgomery (4-5, 3.85 ERA) will start for the Cubs on Thursday, making only his third start since Aug. 7. Montgomery surrendered a pair of earned runs over four innings in his last start and will face Washington for the first time as a starter in his career.The Nationals, who took two of three games in last weekend’s rain-shortened series, have won five straight games after sweeping a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Stephen Strasburg finished off the sweep Wednesday with a seven-inning masterpiece in Washington’s 5-1 victory.Before Wednesday’s game http://www.raysfanproshop.com/authentic-brad-miller-jersey , the Nationals activated right-handed pitcher Jeremy Hellickson from the disabled list after he had been sidelined with a right wrist injury. Hellickson, who had been part of the starting rotation, will return in a role that manager Dave Martinez told reporters Wednesday remains “up in the air.”“At the moment right now, we’re taking it one day at a time,” Martinez said, according to the team’s official website.Hellickson said he prefers to return to his previous role.“I’m a starter — never came out of the bullpen,” Hellickson told reporters, according to MLB.com. “I’m a starter so I don’t think (heading to the bullpen) is something I really want to do.”Joe Ross (0-0), who is coming off Tommy John surgery last year, will start Thursday. Ross faced the Cubs last week but had his outing wiped out after 1 2/3 ininings when rain forced the game to be postponed. Ross is 0-2 with a 3.44 ERA in three career starts against the Cubs.
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