CHICAGO — In Colorado’s 2-1 dramatic playoff win over the Cubs Tuesday night, the Rockies’ bullpen was near perfect. The Cubs did score the tying run in the eighth inning but when it mattered most, the Rockies’ most reliable relievers didn’t blink, putting the Rockies into their first division series since 2009. “These types of games are why you play,” said left-hander Chris Rusin, who tossed a scoreless inning. “It was next-man-up out there. When your name was called, the expectation was you were going to get those guys out. We did.” The first of multiple key bullpen moments came after starter Kyle Freeland owned his October debut with 6 ⅔ innings of shutout baseball. With two outs and a runner on first in the seventh, Rockies manger Bud Black lifted Freeland in favor of right-hander Adam Ottavino. Ottavino proceeded to throw a wild pitch on his first pitch, moving a runner to second. His initial lack of control was … [Read more...] about With the season on the line, Rockies’ bullpen got nicked but didn’t blink in extra-innings NL wild card win
This week of college football is incredibly important for USC. This weekend’s matchups could easily set the Trojans up for a New Year’s Six Bowl. Looking at the remainder of the schedule, USC may find a Rose Bowl berth at the end of the season. Although that sounds ludicrous, especially since this team has shown little to no signs of consistency through the first four games of the season, it is actually very possible. Everyone knows that the Pac-12 South isn’t good at football. Realistically, there are two teams that could win the southern half of the conference: USC and Arizona State. These two teams will go head to head at the end of October, and I have a feeling that game will decide the Pac-12 South’s championship representative. But back to the reason this weekend is so important: First, USC is coming off a very important win over Washington State. A win over Arizona will set USC up for a long winning streak over Colorado and Utah before it plays in the … [Read more...] about Extra Innings: USC could still make a Rose Bowl appearance
CLEVELAND -- Another MVP-caliber performance from Mookie Betts wasn't enough for the Red Sox to set a franchise record with their 106th win Sunday night at Progressive Field. Boston fell to the Indians in extra innings for the second straight night, losing 4-3 on a Greg Allen RBI single in the 11th inning. It was Cleveland's second straight walk-off win in extras against the Sox. Betts led off the game with a double off Tribe starter Adam Plutko and scored later in the inning on a passed ball. He then led off the fifth inning with his 31st home run of the season, a 409-foot shot that tied the game, 3-3. Betts doubled again in the seventh and finished the night 4-for-6 with a homer and two doubles, raising his league-leading average to .343. Boston took an early 2-0 lead in the second thanks to an Rafael Devers RBI groundout. Cleveland stormed back with a three-run rally in the fourth against Hector Velazquez and Steven Wright, with Melky Cabrera hitting a go-ahead, two-run double to … [Read more...] about Mookie Betts’ 4-hit night not enough as Boston Red Sox lose, 4-3, to Indians in extra innings
At the beginning of the football season, I stressed the importance of USC exiting the first three weeks with a 2-1 record. A win over UNLV and either Stanford or Texas would have had multiple benefits. First, and most evident, starting the season with a winning record would do wonders for the team’s morale. Second, it would keep fans interested in the team. That didn’t happen. This past week I spoke to many USC fans and the first thing they would say is always a variation of the following: “Why does USC suck? JT Daniels was really a let down.” Morale is down — morale of the team, of the campus, of alumni and of fans everywhere. They all share a common denominator: They are not used to USC losing. That’s understandable, as USC is historically one of the most dominant football programs in the country. The team hasn’t ended the season with a losing record since the 2000 season (before the Pete Carroll era). Prior to that, their most recent … [Read more...] about Extra Innings: Blowout on paper, but that’s not the whole story
HOUSTON — With 10 games remaining in the 2018 season and yet another year with the Mariners absent from the playoffs, the debates as to what the organization does for next year and beyond have become prevalent. There is a growing sentiment from the Mariners’ fanbase to blow the roster up and start over, similar to what other teams are doing around baseball. It’s become the new social media response to failure. But are the Mariners in a realistic position to do that? Columnist Larry Stone wrote about the Mariners’ being in baseball limbo last week. Beat writer Ryan Divish also discussed it in his recent Twitter mailbag. In this week’s podcast, Divish and Stone discussed that situation with the Mariners. Should they blow it up and do a complete rebuild? Are they even in a position to do that with their roster? How would it work? Also included as part of that is the future of Nelson Cruz with the organization. Cruz is a free agent after the season, but wold … [Read more...] about Extra Innings podcast: Are the Mariners stuck in baseball limbo?