Your guide to World Series Game 5: Battle of the aces in a pivotal matchup

Welcome to the most important game of the baseball season! They’re all important in the World Series! We’re tied up through four games, we have a great pitching matchup for Game 5, the drama is increasing in intensity and Houston Astros fans are hoping they can cheer their team to one more home victory in this 2017 season. Pull up a seat and enjoy the action.

“We’re really close to being ourselves,” Curry said. “For the most part those little things are keeping us from really opening up the gates in games like tonight where we had a pretty comfortable lead in the third quarter.”

Is this a turnaround for Isaiah Crowell?

Chris Hogan, WR, New England Patriots: Hogan took a hard hit late in the fourth quarter and appeared to injure his shoulder or arm. He has already sustained a rib injury this season and had teeth knocked out in practice. Hogan was declared questionable to return but did not. After the game, Hogan was spotted with his arm in a sling and indicated that he is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday.

Morris Claiborne, CB, New York Jets: The former Cowboy, who had been matched up against Julio Jones for much of the game, left the game in the third quarter because of a foot injury. The Jets designated him as questionable to return. After the game, Claiborne indicated that X-rays on his foot were negative but that an MRI is scheduled for Monday.

Garoppolo struck a similar tone when asked about his prospects for staying with the team beyond 2017.

But she offered a solution: retired Indiana high school coach and free throw savant Virgil Sweet. “A clinic might also be helpful if he conducts them.”
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they get an extra high pick for someone they had no intention of re-signing

As for handling Shanahan’s offense, Garoppolo is a great candidate — and given he’ll turn 26 in three days, he’s three years younger than the indoctrinated Cousins. The intensity and diverse play-calling of Pats offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will help him make a comfortable transition. Garoppolo will get a jump on learning his new offense with a half-season of action.

As for the Patriots, they get an extra high pick for someone they had no intention of re-signing. Could New England have gotten more? Possibly, but based on the Bears’ aggressive move to get Trubisky and the Browns trading out of the pick that became Deshaun Watson to settle on DeShone Kizer in the second round, it didn’t seem as though there were enough true buyers to drive up the market.

In a series with wild swings of emotion on both sides, showing no fear has been key. And that no-fear attitude was represented in many ways. Humbled by the first in-season demotion of his career, Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson turned things around quickly with three home runs in the World Series. He wasn’t even on the Dodgers’ roster for the National League Division Series.

“I don’t think it’s hit me yet, but, yeah, I think you dream about (Game 7) as a kid,” Pederson said. “I think it’s going to be big for me, and I think all of us (must) just remember it’s still a baseball game. You’ve got to slow it down. Still play the same way that we’ve been playing all year that got us to here and try to limit the distractions.”

The Dodgers will have Game 3 starter Yu Darvish on the mound as the right-hander will try to rebound from a sub-par effort at Houston. He gave up four runs on six hits in just 1 2/3 innings.heat_003

Myles Garrett hints he’ll make his NFL debut against the Jets

Cleveland Browns rookie defensive end Myles Garrett will finally make his much-anticipated regular season debut against the Jets in Week 5. Unfortunately, it may be too late for him to affect the Browns’ playoff fortunes.

After the evaluations, the Browns decided that Garrett was not yet ready for regular season action. Instead, Cleveland held their prized prospect out another week.

What does this mean for the Browns? The 0-4 Browns need all the help they can get. This defensive unit has only accumulated nine sacks in four games, all losses of varying embarrassment. Coming out of Texas A&M, Garrett was known as a pass-rushing specialist, totaling 31 sacks and seven forced fumbles during his three-year stint in college. While he’s raw, his ridiculous athletic talent should help him make an immediate impact in the NFL. Cleveland needs his pass-rushing skills and high motor to help this front seven.

Some people in local television who didn’t initially plan to make Buffalo their last career stop have stayed here after having a relationship with someone here. Javad has been dating WIVB-TV anchor Nalina Shapiro for more than a year. It isn’t a secret, but I generally include such personal information only when it is relevant to what people see on TV or to broadcaster’s careers.

Asked if his personal life is in the equation as he considers his options as some people suspect it might, Javad responded: My personal life is not relevant to this decision. My family and friends support me no matter what.

The Switzerland-based Global Association of International Sports Federations earlier this month granted observer status to the International Federation of (Match) Poker, the International Pole Sports Federation and International Table Soccer Federation along with the organizing bodies for four other nontraditional sports — the first step toward joining the Olympic program.steelers_038

Your guide to Monday’s LDS games: Can Red Sox, Yankees and D-backs extend their postseasons?

Is Columbus Day one of those official holidays in which you don’t have to go to work? If you’re a baseball fan, it doesn’t matter: You’re finding a way to skip work or leave early. Quadruple-header, baby!

The big story of the 2017 postseason has been the dismal starting pitching, at least until Sunday night’s duel between Masahiro Tanaka and Carlos Carrasco. Through 12 games, eight of the 24 starting pitchers failed to finish even three innings and half failed to go at least five. It’s not just that managers are going quickly to the bullpens; starting pitchers have combined for a 5.68 ERA. What will we see Monday?

Lewis set passing records for yardage and touchdowns while at Duke.

Saberhagen and Gagne were among those who helped others staying for the event evacuate their rooms, including at a second hotel to which some were sent after the initial evacuation.

“Eric was yelling, ‘Get up, get up,’ knocking at every door, and when I opened the door, smoke billowed in and I could see areas on fire,” Saberhagen said. “There was a telephone pole on fire, the grounds were on fire, ashes were flying all over the place, and what really scared me was that there was a gas station across the street.”

The wildfires have left at least 10 people dead and 100 others injured, and have destroyed 1,500 residences and buildings. As of late Monday night, firefighters were battling 17 fires across the state, according to authorities.

“I feel terrible for the people who lost loved ones or lost property,” Saberhagen said. “That’s what you think of after something like this. We’re all tired, but we got out with our lives.”
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Things have not yet clicked for the former Redskins receiver, but he expects it will get going soon with his young quarterback.

The 30-year-old Jackson caught two passes for 20 yards in the win, but has just nine catches for 143 yards and a touchdown in three games so far this season. Jackson currently has 100 fewer receiving yards through three games than he did with the Redskins last season. He signed a three-year, $33.5 million deal in the offseason.

“[It’s] definitely hard, feeling like being a veteran in this league 10 years. … But I’m not gonna abort ship,” Jackson said. “I’ll stay on course, stay on plan. Eventually it will come together. We just gotta continue to go out there and keep beating, beating away and [doing] the things you need to do to get better.”

Things have not yet clicked for the former Redskins receiver, but he expects it will get going soon with his young quarterback.

“He’s not afraid to lose. Like really good basketball players who wants the ball in their hand at the end of the game, he’s a guy that wants it and he will do everything he can to try to get that ball into the end zone.

“The other thing is teammates, without question, respond to him because of the way he approaches it – ‘Hey, we’re going to get this thing done.’ They all feel that; it’s kind of a trickle-down effect.”

Stafford, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, set a single-season record last year by leading eight winning drives in the fourth quarter as the Lions went 9-7 and made the playoffs.

Kingsbury: “[The two throws] were as perfect as you could get.”

The Crimson Tide weren’t done, however. McCarron found Cooper for a 54-yard touchdown on the next drive to close to within 29-24, and the defense finally began to corral Manziel. By the time McCarron found Kenny Bell for a 54-yard gain to the Aggies’ 6, there were just more than four minutes to go and only 18 feet separating Alabama from taking the lead.
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Switzer snagged it. And he paid the price.

Switzer says he’s his own player. But he also acknowledges that those guys helped open gates for his NFL shot.

“The last 10 years there have been guys my size or smaller doing incredible things in college and the NFL,” Switzer said. “So I think that they’ve done the work, they’ve paved the way for guys like me to have success.”

Ask Switzer which play best sums up his play, and you won’t get a show-stopping touchdown grab or an electrifying punt return, despite the many he has to choose from.

Instead, it’s a simple first down from a regular-season game in 2014 against Virginia Tech.

Switzer was running across the middle of the field, briefly open. Tar Heels quarterback Marquise Williams saw him and threw across his body. The throw was going to leave Switzer vulnerable.

Switzer snagged it. And he paid the price.

“I took the hardest hit that I have ever taken in my career. It was something, wow, I can still feel it,” Switzer said. “But I completed the catch, I stood back up. I think that just shows the resilience that I have, the toughness.”

Budda Baker, DB, Washington: Baker offers some versatility in the secondary with the ability to cover and tackle. He’s explosive and quick, though undersized at 5-10, 195. He can be a free safety or a nickel corner thanks to a high-motor work ethic, instincts and excellent ball skills that all led to a team-high 71 tackles, 10 for loss, with two interceptions and six passes defensed last year. nike_cardinals_1944

Jim Kiick, member of ’72 Dolphins, reportedly has ‘gaps’ in his brain

Former Dolphins running back Jim Kiick displays medical evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, according to an NFL-approved neurologist (via Sports Illustrated).

Kiick has been suspected of having CTE over the last few years as he displayed gaps in his memory and started to drift into dementia. He was put into assisted living last year after he was found to be “living in squalor, failing to take care of either himself or his apartment and consuming an alarming amount of medications.”

But in the last few days his condition became clear, and it became more clear because of the medical research Dr. David B. Ross did on the two-time Super Bowl champion.

“Jim actually had signs of contusion: bruises,” Ross told Sports Illustrated. “You can see it clearly: It’s called ‘encephalomalacia’ — wasting or hardening; there are areas of the brain where there are gaps, and that’s where a specific brain injury occurred. It’s the stuff you see after significant localized head trauma or stroke. He has holes in his brain.”

Ross went on to explain that this is not dementia, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s but a clear sign of brain trauma.

While Kiick is often the forgotten member of the ’72 Dolphins’ backfield alongside Larry Csonka and Mercury Morris, the impact he had on the game was enormous. Kiick was one of the first running backs to truly be a dual-threat in the running and receiving games.

In a nine-year career, Kiick finished with 3,759 rushing yards in addition to 2,302 receiving yards. But in a time when the equipment was not nearly as safe as it is today, Kiick took plenty of shots to the head as did teammate Nick Buoniconti and is now suffering the consequences.

“There’s no question that he suffered significant brain trauma,” Ross said.
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Arizona’s season ended with an upset loss to 11th-seeded Xavier in the Sweet 16.

Trier immediately became Arizona’s primary offensive option upon his return. He was brilliant during the Wildcats’ run to the Pac-12 tournament championship, scoring 20 points to beat No. 3 UCLA in the semifinals and 23 points to defeat No. 5 Oregon in the tournament title game.

Arizona’s season ended with an upset loss to 11th-seeded Xavier in the Sweet 16. The future of the roster was very much in question. Lauri Markkanen had an easy decision to declare for the NBA draft, and fellow freshman Kobi Simmons followed him out the door. Rawle Alkins, Miller’s third freshman star, has also declared for the draft but elected not to sign with an agent, leaving the door open for his return.

Trier was the biggest question mark. He was projected as a second-round pick, but has decided to return to school without even testing the NBA waters. He’ll hope to be next season’s Buddy Hield or Justin Jackson: A veteran college player who boosts his NBA stock by returning to school and having a monster season.

The Pacers lost Game 1 against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, but it was close — a 109-108 loss that came down to a final missed shot at the buzzer. For a minute, though, it looked like Cleveland was pulling away. At the end of the third quarter, the Cavaliers led by eight, and they immediately expanded that lead to 10 points by making the first shot of the fourth quarter.

Instead, Stephenson happened. From the moment he checked into the game with 2:11 left in the third quarter to the time he left late in the fourth, he scored 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting with an assist. They were classic, quintessential Stephenson shots — aggressive pull-up jumpers with no regard for the consequences. Sure, they might not go in. But they probably were, and in that 12-minute stretch, they did.
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Colts sign RB Chris Rainey

The Steelers selected Rainey with the fifth pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, but released him over the offseason in the wake of multiple run-ins with the law. The final straw was an incident in which Rainey was arrested for allegedly slapping his girlfriend. The girlfriend has since denied that she was assaulted.

Ian Rapoport reports that he expects the sides to reach a “reasonable extension,” but there is no indication on what potential terms would be at this time. Deciding on terms will be complicated by the cash-strapped Falcons, who are expected to have salary cap issues in 2017. White held out the last time they tried to work on an extension, finally settling for a 6-year deal that made him the league’s fifth-highest paid wide receiver.

White is on pace for the worst season of his career. Offensive struggles paired with a series of injuries have created a scenario where it’s unlikely he’ll pass 400 yards receiving this season — a career first. His best game came in a Week 5 matchup against the New York Jets where he caught four passes for 45 yards, but fumbled the ball.

Discussion of extending White could be influenced by the season-ending injury to Julio Jones. Atlanta is in dire need of offensive consistency entering an offseason where Jones will be recovering and tight end Tony Gonzalez is almost certainly retiring.

There’s more to generating pressure than finishing sacks, but against a veteran quarterback it was important for the defense to hit him early and often — ultimately Manning was hit twice on Sunday night, and was not sacked once. Not completing this task is the biggest reason the team lost.
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NFL executives no longer deserve the benefit of the doubt that their decisions are football-related.

Williams did have a scare with a neck injury in 2015, but he rebounded well in 2016. Ross has more durability concerns, though, and Davis is unable to work out at the moment because of an ankle injury.

Now that Williams has run and run well, there is no doubt he has reemerged as the best NFL prospect of the three, with only a little more than a month left the draft process.

So, how does he compare to those other Mike Williamses?

The Mike Williams from USC, who went No. 10 overall to the Lions in 2005, was monstrous at 6-5, 245 pounds, but not much else. The Mike Williams from Syracuse, who went in the fourth round to the Buccaneers in 2010, flashed early as a big playmaker with a nose for the end zone but couldn’t be consistent.

Of course this isn’t about football. It is about maintaining the status quo, or what NFL teams believe that to be. It is about not ruffling feathers, or at least the feathers NFL teams care about ruffling.

Still, it is a long offseason. It only takes one team rowing against the tide. And, again, even the Jay Cutlers were still looking for work, never mind a part-time starter fighting against a scarlet letter.

Now, the Bleacher Report explanation is much more plausible — and NFL executives no longer deserve the benefit of the doubt that their decisions are football-related.

They might be able to get away with them being money-related, except that there is nothing definitive about what Kaepernick wants to get paid. Then again … $18.5 million for Mike Glennon. To be a starter.

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