Add Zone For You

SITE123 - Website Builder

eturned. Daeturned. Da from 123's blog

CINCINNATI -- Down to their final strike, the Cubs pulled off one more improbable comeback followed by one more wall-shaking party in the clubhouse. Nikola Vucevic Jersey . Victory No. 103 had such a familiar feel to it.Matt Szczur doubled home two runs with two outs in the ninth inning, and Miguel Montero followed with a homer as Chicago finished one of its most successful seasons with a flourish, beating the Cincinnati Reds 7-4 on Sunday.Its a perfect example of why weve won so many games this year, Montero said.With victory No. 103 in the books, the Cubs headed back to Wrigley Field for their first playoff game on Friday against the winner of the NL wild-card game. Theyve been using the last week to basically stay sharp and get ready for bigger games.Ending the season with their 14th win in their last at-bat was fitting. So was the music-driven party in the clubhouse that ended with players raiding the cooler for bottles of water and then spraying manager Joe Maddon in celebration.Ending up with a win on the last day of the season, I think that speaks about our whole group, said Maddon, sitting in the managers office with water dripping down the walls and the desk. 103 is a nice, round number. Ill take it.The Cubs led the majors with their most victories since 1910. Thats no longer the reference point, however. The postseason focus is 1908, the last time they won a World Series.The final series at Great American Ball Park was more about personal milestones. Jon Lester failed to get his 20th win on Saturday, and Kyle Hendricks finished as the ERA leader at 2.13 on Sunday despite a ragged performance. He gave up four runs and six hits in five innings, forcing in one run with a bases-loaded walk.Hendricks hadnt allowed more than three earned runs in any of his last 22 starts. He came into the game with a 1.99 ERA, hoping to become the third Cubs pitcher in the last 96 years to finish below 2.00.The meaningful statistic now: Hendricks 1.32 ERA at Wrigley Field this season, the best home ERA in the majors.At this point in my career, I never thought Id be in this situation, said Hendricks, 26, who is in only his second full season in the majors.The Cubs have pulled off improbable comebacks all season, and had one more left. After Raisel Iglesias (3-2) retired the first two batters in the ninth, Chicago pulled ahead with a walk, a single and Szczurs double. Monteros homer was a major league record 103rd allowed by Reds relievers.Justin Grimm (2-1) retired the one batter he faced for the win. Carl Edwards Jr. got his second save.Cincinnatis Joey Votto singled in four at-bats, giving him a .408 average since the All-Star break. Hes the first player in the majors to bat .400 after the break since Ichiro Suzuki hit .429 in 2004.The Reds finished 68-94. Combined with last years 98 losses, its the first time theyve had back-to-back 90-loss seasons since 1933-34. Attendance at Great American Ball Park was 1,894,085, a significant drop from the 2.4 million they drew last season while hosting the All-Star Game.What matters is how we utilize 2016 to be better in 2017 and 2018 and 2019 and get more fans in the stands, manager Bryan Price said.HONORING ROSSThe Reds showed a video from David Ross days in Cincinnati on the videoboard in the middle of the first inning, honoring the Cubs catcher who will retire after the season. Fans gave him a standing ovation, and he waved his cap from the dugout railing.STATSThe last two Cubs pitchers with ERAs below 2.00 were Grover Cleveland Alexander (1.91) in 1920 and Jake Arrieta (1.77) last year. ... The Cubs hit 42 homers against the Reds this season, the most by any team against Cincinnati. ... Reds pitchers allowed 258 homers overall, shattering the previous mark. The previous NL record was 239 by the 2001 Rockies.TRAINERS ROOMCubs: Jorge Soler was in left field after missing a week with a sore right side. He went 0 for 2 with a walk.Reds: 2B Brandon Phillips missed the last five games with a bruised left hand.UP NEXTCubs: Await the winner of Wednesdays NL wild-card playoff game hosted by the Mets against San Francisco. Manager Joe Maddon hasnt announced his pitching rotation for the playoffs, although its likely to start with Lester. Chicago will work out on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.Reds: Price got a one-year contract extension on Friday, answering the biggest offseason question.---Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: Horace Grant Jersey . Sulaiman, 44, was chosen unanimously Tuesday in a vote by the leadership, the World Boxing Council said. Sulaiman becomes the sixth president of the organization. Penny Hardaway Jersey ., for the next three years with the signings on Monday of Daryl Townsend and Michael Carter. . Barcelona also left injured defenders Carles Puyol, Javier Mascherano and Jordi Alba out of its squad for the trip to Glasgow. That means that Marc Bartra will probably start again in the centre of the defence alongside Gerard Pique. You followed all the offseason movements, watched the NHL draft, adapted your own customized projections, monitored training camp assignments and then invested in your later-round wingers ... aaaand theyre gone.Uh... what?Theyre gone. Theyre all gone. All your predictions, they didnt do well. Theyre gone.Maybe you really liked the idea of Troy Brouwer coming on board with the Calgary Flames to be the big forechecking body on the top line. After five games, however, Brouwer has only played there sparingly at even strength. In his first game starting on the top line, he was replaced by rookie Matthew Tkachuk in a mid-game switch. Is it good news that Brouwer is with Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau on the power play? No, because he wont be there much longer. The Flames are 30th in the NHL at this point, with one power-play goal in 22 chances (4.5 percent).How about the reunion between Adam Henrique and Taylor Hall on the New Jersey Devils top line? The former Windsor Spitfires linemates and Memorial Cup champions would surely be able to draft off the hundreds of goals theyve already scored together to find some chemistry. They skated together all preseason, only to spend one game together before being split up in the regular season. At least for now, this duo isnt even sharing ice time on the power play.P.A. Parenteau is playing top-line minutes, but not for the New York Islanders. We were projecting a return to glory for the winger finding chemistry with John Tavares again, but he didnt even make the Islanders opening night roster. The Devils picked him up after the Isles waived him, and he is currently flanking the aforementioned Hall. Where does that leaves the Islanders? With Josh Bailey back on the top line following a season of exile to the bottom six. Remember, Bailey had some pretty impressive stretches of fantasy relevance on the top line with Tavares as recently as 2014-15.With some talented fresh blood in the Nashville Predators system, we were looking to the end of fantasy relevance for players such as Mike Ribeiro, Mike Fisher and Craig Smith. Those thoughts were especially premature for Fisher, who has secured a role on the Predators first power-play unit and already has three points -- all of them on the man advantage -- in three games.How about the Vancouver Canucks, who were largely expected to be a fantasy wasteland outside of the top line? Well, the team has four wins in four games and is being led by the most unlikely of heroes offensively. Brandon Sutter leads the Canucks with four points and 15 shots on goal. Aside from his second-line role at even strength, hes playing on the power play with the Sedin twins and Loui Eriksson.Unlike many of the projections before the season, your hopes for fantasy success are not gone. You just need to be adaptable and aware of the many fluctuations early in the season. Are Brouwer and Henrique doomed for no value this season? Will Bailey, Fisher and Sutter all be season-long fantasy contributors? The answer to both questions is, quite possibly. Dont continue to lean on all your preseason prognostications, regardless of how much work went into them. But dont abandon them, either.As players settle into their roles on their respective teams, they is a natural warming or cooling period. This part of the season is all about finding the right balance between not giving up on a player too soon and not waiting too long to buy into another. The balance is between trusting the process and adapting to coaching decisions. We know the roles that will facilitate fantasy value, but we cant make the NHL coaches put certain players into them. Follow the roles!Fantasy Forecaster: Oct. 24-30We already have a confirmed sighting of the five-game week schedule and we are only into the second scoring period of the NHL season. The condensed NHL schedule due to the World Cup of Hockey and implementation of bye weeks in January and February appears to, at least in the early going, make checking the weekly schedule even more important. As youll see, we have a situation for this coming week where Matt Read might be a better fantasy hockey asset than Nathan MacKinnon.Access the downloadable forecaster chart PDF hereTeam notesPhiladelphia Flyers: This week is about all Flyers, all the time. The team has the ever-elusive golden fantasy week of five games. They play Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday next week, giving anyone in your weekly lineup almost two extra games above the league average. Travis Konecny and Sean Couturier should be locked into lineups, even though both are available in more than 70 percent of ESPN leagues. But you can go further than that in the depth chart, as Matt Read has a hot start with four goals, and Ivan Provorov is still playing enough minutes to earn a look in your lineup (despite his minus-5 rating).Dallas Stars: Though they have been short two top-six forwards of late with Patrick Sharp and Jiri Hudler out of the lineup, the Stars still look to have a favorable schedule next week, with a home-and-home against the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets have allowed more goals per game this season than all but two other franchises, which should open up the door for a good week for Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Drew Gooden Jersey. Keep an eye on who is skating with them through the weekend, as Patrick Eaves left Thursdays game with an injury. The door is wide open for someone to steal some unexpected value for a week.Toronto Maple Leafs: Dont get sucked into going crazy with the Leafs four-game schedule next week, as they will be running into some pretty staunch defenses, headlined by the Florida Panthers and Montreal Canadiens. Sample sizes are small, but all four of the Leafs opponents next week are top 10 in penalty killing, including the still-perfect Panthers and 94.7 percent effective Canadiens.Goalie notesAs hinted in this space last week, Peter Budaj is starting to look like a pretty good backup plan for both fantasy owners and the Los Angeles Kings. If you missed out on Jeff Zatkoff on waivers last week, it could be a blessing in disguise. Zatkoff was porous in his two chances to succeed Jonathan Quick (until January), allowing Budaj to swoop in and take the reins -- at least for now. Not to continue to belabor the point, but the Kings crease is conducive to solid goaltending statistics. Just be aware the back end of next week gets ugly with the Predators, St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks on the docket.Both Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth will start two games this week thanks to the Flyers five-game schedule with two back-to-back sets during the week.Al Montoya, he of the .962 save percentage in three starts, should get a mid-week nod in a back-to-back set for the Canadiens. If you need a slight boost and can stash him until then, itll likely be worth it.The Coyotes have lost Mike Smith officially on a day-to-day basis, but it sounds worse than that as he has a lower-body injury evaluated. Louis Domingue found exactly none of the magic he had last season while filling in for Smith. In parts of two games, Domingue has managed a pee wee-esque .727 save percentage. Justin Peters looked infinitely better in relieving Domingue on Thursday. Domingue is starting again Friday, but this could be Peters crease by next week if Domingue doesnt shine.Player notesYour sixth and final member of the Boston Bruins top two lines: Danton Heinen. Yes, the correct response is Who? With Patrice Bergeron back in action on Thursday, Ryan Spooner was a surprise healthy scratch. David Backes shifted back to the wing on the second line with David Krejci and Heinen. Out of the University of Denver, Heinen played his way onto the Bruins this preseason, and has the offensive skills to stick on the second line, if the Bruins give him an extended look there.It will be more notable if it continues after Rickard Rakell is back on the ice with the Anaheim Ducks, but its still worth looking at the fact that coach Randy Carlyle has Ryan Kesler back on the top power-play unit with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. Thats not a role Bruce Boudreau used him in last season, and it would add another element to Keslers potential value this season.Short a bevy of injured forwards, the Buffalo Sabres have been using Matt Moulson as the fourth forward on the top power-play unit. Its probably meaningless in fantasy leagues for now, but Evander Kane and Jack Eichel are out for a while, so Moulson has a chance to bring up his stock.Chris Stewart is currently playing on the second line for the Minnesota Wild with Mikko Koivu and Michael Granlund. And hes doing exactly what made him a one-season fantasy superstar back in 2012-13: Scoring points and collecting PIM. Stewart has three points in four games, including one on the power play, to go with 19 penalty minutes. He should be on rosters as long as he holds down a top-six role.At first glance it might appear as though Tyler Motte replaced Marian Hossa as Jonathan Toews winger partway through Tuesdays rout of the Flyers. Not true. Hossa was actually playing in the bottom six to begin the contest, as coach Joel Quenneville continues to tinker with his lines. An injury to Hossa, however, has bought Motte some additional time to try and find some chemistry with Toews.With Kris Letang on the sidelines, the Pittsburgh Penguins turned to Justin Schultz to man the top power-play unit. Given Letangs sordid injury history, this is information to keep ready if we ever learn that Letang will be out for an extended period. If youll recall, the Penguins power play can be pretty dangerous.The top two lines for the Blues remain in flux. Jaden Schwartz has returned, but Jori Lehtera has hit the injured reserve with an upper-body injury. Nail Yakupov got a one-game chance against the Canucks to play on a scoring line, but was back in the bottom six on Thursday when Schwartz returned. David Perron managed to hang on to a top-six role, shifting to the second line with Paul Stastny and Robby Fabbri.Its interesting note that from the opening period of the season, Joe Colborne has been on the Colorado Avalanches top power-play unit and is fourth on the team in power-play ice time per game. If he continues to skate on the man advantage with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog, his opening night hat trick may not have been a one-hit wonder. ' ' ' 

Previous post     
     Next post
     Blog home

The Wall

No comments
You need to sign in to comment

Sujay Bhaattacharjee The Man Behind Senstional Design

Alexa Rank 299000

google ranking checker

Website Page View Hit