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Gửi bàigửi bởi hongwei28 » Thứ 6 09/11/18 13:10

As Boston Red Sox players donned red Kyle Williams Jersey , white and blue outfits to celebrate a 3-0 victory on the 4th of July that completed a sweep, the Washington Nationals held a players-only meeting to discuss a fifth consecutive loss and the precarious spot they’re now in beyond the halfway point of the season.

Done in again by small mistakes that get magnified in a stretch such as this, the preseason NL East favorites lost for the 17th time in 22 games Wednesday to fall below .500 for the first time this late in the year since being 60-61 on Aug. 21, 2015.

This time, it was a throwing error by Adam Eaton on a sacrifice fly in foul territory and a wild pitch by Ryan Madson (2-4) in a disastrous seventh inning that dropped the Nationals to 42-43 and kept them from making up ground on the division-leading Atlanta Braves.

”We’re a good team and we’re going to go out there and compete with anybody,” said Bryce Harper, who went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.

”We just have to keep grinding and keep doing our thing and good things will happen. We’ve never been in this position before, and I think it’s an exciting time for us. In years past, we’ve won the division by a lot of games. We’re able to be behind right now and I’m excited to get there and test it.”

Powered by struggling outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr.’s two RBIs on the sac fly and a ninth-inning double and a strong start by Eduardo Rodriguez (10-3), the Red Sox moved 30 games over .500 under rookie manager Alex Cora.

”We know where we’re at, but we still have a long ways to go,” Cora said. ”(The Nationals) have a good team. They’ll figure it out. I’ve seen that before from them. They struggle a little bit and they’ll pick it up. They’ll be in the hunt.”

Bradley, who came into the game hitting .201, worked full counts on each of his at-bats that produced a run. He was hoping the ball Eaton caught deep in foul territory down the third-base line would go out of play so he could see another pitch but will gladly take the RBIs – the second time this season he has had two in a game without a home run.

”Just had to continue to battle and finally get a pitch I could handle,” Bradley said. ”Any time you can help the team win, it’s a positive. It’s good, any way you can do it.”

Rodriguez struck out six in six scoreless innings Sven Andrighetto Jersey , mixing his change-up and slider in more often to keep Nationals hitters off-balance.

The Red Sox now have the first pair of 10-game winners in the majors with Rodriguez and Rick Porcello, whose double off Max Scherzer helped win them the first game of this series.

The Nationals have lost four series in a row. This freefall led to the postgame meeting Wednesday afternoon.

”It’s `Let’s get this thing going,”’ Nationals infielder Trea Turner said. ”We all know we’re capable of playing better baseball. It’s time we do it. It’s do or die now.”

FEDDE HURT

Nationals starter Erick Fedde left the game one batter into the second inning with right shoulder stiffness and gave way to left-hander Matt Grace, who allowed just one hit and struck out four in four innings of relief. Manager Davey Martinez said Fedde was scheduled to have an MRI.

”We watched him throw and his (velocity) was down,” Martinez said. ”He was out there and wanted to keep pitching. I went out there and they told me he was stiff and I said `No, we’re not going to do that to you.”’

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: Manager Alex Cora said LHP Drew Pomeranz (biceps tendinitis) would most likely make a second rehab start early next week. … RHP Tyler Thornburg was activated from the disabled list after rehabbing from shoulder surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome last June.

Nationals: 1B Matt Adams was activated after missing 16 games with a broken left index finger. To clear room, LHP Tim Collins was designated for assignment. … C Matt Wieters (left hamstring strain) is doing some catching, but still hasn’t done enough running to be ready to return.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: After a day off, LHP Chris Sale (8-4, 2.41 ERA) brings a 15-inning scoreless streak into his Friday start at Kansas City, which is expected to start Jason Hammel (2-10, 5.56).

Nationals: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (2-1, 2.63) will look to last at least six innings to spare a heavily used bullpen when Washington faces RHP Pablo Lopez (1-0, 3.00) to open a four-game series against the Miami Marlins.



The dog masks aren’t going anywhere.

The Philadelphia Eagles (14-3) are home underdogs again. Case Keenum and the Minnesota Vikings (14-3) opened the week as 3+-point favorites in the NFC championship game on Sunday.

That’s just fine with the Eagles, who embraced their underdog role against sixth-seed Atlanta. Philadelphia was the first No. 1 seed in league history not favored to win its first playoff game.

After beating the Falcons 15-10, Pro Bowl right tackle Lane Johnson and veteran defensive end Chris Long mocked doubters by wearing German Shepherd dog masks as they walked off the field.

The dog masks have become a popular item in Philly since the players wore them Saturday night. The team announced fans can wear them on Sunday as long as they take them off during security check entering the stadium.

”To have a lot of people not having a lot of confidence in us and yet to find ways to win just makes it that much more special for this group,” coach Doug Pederson said Monday.

Expectations for the Eagles have dropped since Carson Wentz tore his ACL in Week 14. Nick Foles is 3-1 in his place with the only loss coming in Week 17 when the starters only played one quarter.

But the offense clearly isn’t the same without Wentz Tyson Barrie Jersey , who is an MVP candidate after tossing 33 touchdown passes in 13 games.

”Since that point, no one has given us a chance,” Pederson said. ”Nobody has given us a chance. And I understand, Carson’s a great player, but every week, our guys are hearing the same thing; that now we are all of a sudden not good enough. We’re 13-3 and have the best record in football, we’ve got home-field advantage throughout.

”The guys are going to motivate themselves just based on what they have done and heard for the last month of football.

”Listen, it really doesn’t matter what you guys talk about because that locker room in there is united and I’ll go to bat for every one of those guys and I’ll go to war with every one of those guys in that dressing room.”

The Eagles were on the opposite side the previous time they played for a trip to the Super Bowl nine years ago. They were 4-point road favorites in the conference championship game at Arizona, but Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald led the Cardinals to a 32-25 comeback win.

Since 2000, the home team has been an underdog four times in the NFC title game. The underdog Giants beat the Vikings in January 2000 and the Cardinals beat the Eagles in January 2009. The Bears lost to the Packers in Chicago in January 2010 and the Falcons lost to the 49ers in Atlanta in January 2012.

”I’m glad they’re not in charge of my finances,” tight end Zach Ertz said of prognosticators. ”It feels like all of those guys that pick the games are typically wrong. Same with the guys that usually do the draft stuff, the mock draft, kind of the same thing. All these guys that think they know everything typically don’t.”

The Eagles are using critics for extra motivation as they pursue the franchise’s first Super Bowl title and first NFL championship since 1960.

”Just keep on disrespecting and we’re going to keep proving people wrong,” receiver Alshon Jeffery said. ”We just believe in one another, we don’t care what anybody else says. We’re just going to keep believing in one another and just keep fighting.”



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