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It was a ball

in Was ist neu im Forum? 17.11.2018 10:21
von elaine95 | 557 Beiträge | 50130 Punkte

DENVER (AP) — Opposing managers Dave Roberts and Bud Black are close friends. Star infielders Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt talk all the time.Just maybe not so much right now.This NL West title chase is serious business and shaping up to go down to the wire. Colorado holds a 1 1/2-game lead over Los Angeles and stretched its margin to 4 1/2 over Arizona by taking three of four this week. The Rockies are aiming for their first division title in franchise history.“I expected us to be in this position http://www.raysfanproshop.com/authentic-jonny-venters-jersey ,” Arenado said . “I thought we had the type of players who could do something like this.”Typically, Dodgers left-hander Rich Hill doesn’t start looking at the standings until mid-September. He made an exception after his win over the Rockies on Sunday, just to see where things stood.It’s scoreboard-watching season.“We have a beautiful scoreboard out there,” Rockies manager Black cracked. “We have to have that heightened focus we’ve had all season long. I don’t think you ratchet it up any higher. You keep it at a nice level of intensity with the focus but yet loose in your body to perform. I think our guys are in a pretty good spot.”This marks the latest in a season Colorado has been alone in first place since 1995.“It’s what you grew up dreaming about, having a chance to win the division and play important games like this,” Rockies shortstop Trevor Story said. “For me, though, it’s trying not to do too much. Just play within myself and that will be enough.”The Dodgers have 10 NL West titles since Colorado entered the league in 1993, while the Diamondbacks have five since ’98. The Rockies finished just behind Arizona in 2007, when they beat San Diego in a tiebreaker game for a wild-card spot and advanced to their only World Series appearance.Following a 7-3 homestand, Colorado embarks on a nine-game trip, including three in Los Angeles and three more in Arizona. The Rockies finish up with seven in a row at home against Philadelphia (four) and Washington (three).Los Angeles started a four-game set Thursday night in St. Louis with a win against a Cardinals team trying to get into the postseason. Then, the Dodgers play only division opponents the rest of the way.The Diamondbacks have the toughest stretch of the three. They still play a series in Houston against the reigning World Series champions and host a Chicago Cubs team that’s trying to win the NL Central.“Pretty much every game for us Matt Moore Jersey , the Dodgers and the Rockies has been a playoff game in September,” said Goldschmidt, whose Diamondbacks team is 3-9 this month. “You don’t get this opportunity that often. It should be a fun end to the year, for whatever team comes out on top.”Arenado and Goldschmidt have been friends for a while, stemming from their meetings at All-Star Games and playing for Team USA. It’s on the backburner for the moment.“I probably won’t talk to him during this series,” Arenado said. “After it, we’ll talk a little more.”Roberts and Black go way back, too, with Roberts serving as one of Black’s coaches when they were together in San Diego.“He knows a lot of my tendencies. I know his,” Roberts said. “It’s going to be exciting. I know that.“(The tight division race) is great for baseball. It’s great for all three fan bases. It’s great.”The Dodgers have won five straight NL West crowns in mostly comfortable fashion — by 11 games in 2017, four in ’16, eight in ’15, six in ’14 and 11 in ’13.“It’s been a fun September so far http://www.diamondbacksfanproshop.com/authentic-alex-avila-jersey , and a lot of good games from now on,” Dodgers utilityman Enrique Hernandez said. “It’s going down to the final series.”Colorado has 43 comeback wins this season, including five walk-off homers. The Rockies also feature two players who should garner some NL MVP votes in Arenado and Story. Arenado is hitting .301 with 34 homers and 100 RBIs, while Story is batting .292 with 33 homers and 102 RBIs.“We’re very confident we can (win a division title),” Story said. “That’s one of our goals. We’re going to go for it.” Sometimes, in the pressure cooker of a World Series, a manager gets distracted by all those indecipherable charts and the trove of analytics he has at his fingertips.Sometimes, he spends too much time flailing around in search of the perfect matchup instead of just watching what’s occurring right before his eyes.That’s what happened to Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers.In a classic case of over-managing, Roberts helped send his team to an 8-4 loss in Game 1 Tuesday night against the Boston Red Sox by making one move too many in the decisive seventh inning, setting up Eduardo Nunez’s three-run homer.The Dodgers were trailing only 5-4, despite another postseason flop by Clayton Kershaw, when Andrew Benintendi led off with his fourth hit of the game — a blooper down the left-field line that somehow managed to elude Joc Pederson before hopping into the stands for a fluky ground-rule double.Roberts hustled to the mound to lift Julio Urias, summoning hard-throwing right-hander Pedro Baez from the bullpen.Baez was left off the Dodgers’ postseason roster a year ago http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-darwin-barney-jersey , when Los Angeles made it all the way to Game 7 of the World Series before losing to Houston, but he’s been a highly valued member of the relief corps in 2018.He worked 55 games during the regular season, going 4-3 with a 2.88 ERA.He threw a total of 6 2/3 scoreless innings during two playoff rounds, allowing just two hits while striking out 10.Baez kept up his dominance against the Red Sox, striking out Mitch Moreland with three fastballs clocked at 96, 97 and 96 mph — the last one up in the eyes that Moreland flailed at helplessly. J.D. Martinez was wisely walked intentionally, setting up a possible double play, but Baez looked like he wouldn’t need any help from the defense as he kept unleashing a torrent of wicked two- and four-seam fastballs.Xander Bogaerts stared at one, missed another, fouled one off to merely delay the inevitable, and then struck out swinging on yet another 96-mph fastball.At that point, Roberts merely had to let Baez finish the job.Instead, the Dodgers skipper popped out of the dugout again Bartolo Colon Jersey , signaling to the bullpen for left-hander Alex Wood. With left-handed hitter Rafael Devers coming up, Roberts let the matchup game get the best of him.Boston manager Alex Cora countered with a move of his own, sending up the well-traveled Nunez as a pinch-hitter.Roberts defended his hook of Baez.“We talked about it with Petey throwing the ball well right there,” the manager said. “But Devers is really good against the right-hander. To get a guy off the bench in Nunez, I really liked Alex in that spot. I did. Whether they were going to hit Devers with the lead or go to the bench, go with Nunez, I still liked Alex in that spot.”Undoubtedly, that’s what it said on the card prepared by a bunch of guys sitting in front of a computer.But baseball, a game that has always been rooted in numbers and statistics, still comes down to a gut feeling from time to time.A human touch is required.Some common sense goes a long way.Wood delivered an 83-mph breaking ball that Nunez took low for a ball. Wood came back with roughly the same pitch, just a bit closer to the strike zone. Nunez was ready for it, launching a drive over the Green Monster for a three-run homer that essentially locked up the victory.Roberts had no trouble with the pitch from Wood.“It was a breaking ball back foot,” the manager said. “Pretty much got it there. It was a ball. But he put a really good swing on it and kept it fair.”Defying the analytics Jon Niese Jersey , Cora went with a lefty-heavy lineup against Kershaw, including the 22-year-old Devers.Nunez, who usually gets the call against the left-handers, had to settle for a bench role in Game 1.“He probably was a little bit disappointed that he didn’t start because he’s started against every lefty,” Cora said. “But I thought having him on the bench would pay off.”Boy, did it ever.“I told him, ‘Be ready, man. You might have big at-bat tonight. Do your thing,'” Cora related.“And he did.”All Baez could do was watch from the dugout.He should’ve still been on the mound.

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