Sean Rodriguez’s triumphant Pirates return means more than a win

The sound was all you needed. Sean Rodriguez had just barreled up a pitch, and the “crack” vibrated through the field microphone at PNC Park. The ball was on its way to the left-field bleachers. Gone. Walkoff.

Rodriguez initially wasn’t expected play baseball this year, let alone win a game in extra innings for the Pirates, after he, his wife and two of his children were injured in a January auto accident. But there he was Sunday, about three weeks after coming off the disabled list and about 24 hours after being reunited with the club in a waiver trade with the Braves. He got two at-bats in his return — one in the ninth inning, one in the 12th.

The at-bat in the 12th will be replayed in the Steel City for a long time.

Gonzalez was trying to toss a complete game for the first time in 2013 and finish what would have been the first no-hitter of his 10-year career.

The Nationals and Expos have a combined seven no-hitters in franchise history. The last one came when Max Scherzer did not allow a hit on Oct. 3, 2015 against the Mets. The last 1-0 no-hitter thrown was in a familiar place when Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann tossed a no-no at Marlins Park on Sept. 28, 2014.

The last MLB no-hitter, and only one this season, was also at Marlins Park when Miami’s Edinson Volquez kept the Diamondbacks hitless on June 3.

Volquez dedicated his no-hitter to former Royals teammate Yordano Ventura, who died in a January car accident, and tossed the no-no on what would have been Ventura’s 26th birthday.

Before the game, Rodriguez acknowledged the support Pittsburgh fans gave him as he rehabbed his banged-up shoulder. During the game, he received an Lebron Cheap Jerseys ovation as he entered the lineup in a double-switch. After the game, he Minnesota Vikings Cheap Jerseys returned the favor.

Cubs beat Nationals, questions still need answering

The Cubs retained a half-game lead over the Brewers in the National League Central Saturday with a 7-4 win over the Nationals to snap a three-game losing streak.

The Dodgers improved to 38-6 in their last 44 games with a 2-1 win against the Giants, thanks to young studs Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger. Seager went 3 for 4 with two runs scored, while Bellinger went 2 for 4 with two RBIs.

Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias has been the subject of a few trade rumors recently, but he didn’t let that distract him while leading the Tigers to a comeback 5-3 win over the Astros. Iglesias went 2 for 3 — both hits were doubles — with a run scored and two RBIs.

Bryce Harper is in the midst of another MVP-caliber season, but he did not showcase that form Saturday in a 4-2 loss against the Rockies. Harper went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts to end his 19-game hit streak. He is still hitting .334 this season.

Astros star Jose Altuve, another MVP candidate, also went 0 for 4, snapping his career-long 19-game hit streak.

In addition to the home runs, Nunez also hit a walk-off ground out in the bottom of the 10th inning to lead the Red Sox to a 9-8 win over the Royals.

Diamondbacks (60-44) at Cardinals (51-53) 2:15 p.m. ET — Zack Greinke was on point Saturday, leading the Diamondbacks to a 7-1 win. Arizona will look to NBA Cheap Jerseys China continue its momentum by sending Taijuan Walker (6-4, 3.47 ERA) to the mound to face off against Lance Lynn (8-6, 3.21 ERA). Lynn has been involved with New York Yankees Cheap Jerseys trade rumors, but it appears he will pitch Sunday.

Marcus Stroman responds to White Sox Tim Anderson on Twitter

It doesn’t take much to clear the benches in a baseball game.

On Tuesday night, the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the White Sox 8-4 behind seven innings from starter Marcus Stroman. He surrendered four runs and struck out five batters, his final punchout almost leading to punches.

Yes, even the Yankees will have names on the back of their pinstripe jerseys, throughout that weekend series against the Mariners. Just imagine if this happened years ago, with the sight of Bambino, Joltin’ Joe and the Mick over their numbers.

While to some this may not seem like a big deal, it actually is pretty historic. No official Yankees uniform has ever had a name on the back of the jersey. Third-party sellers have included names, but nothing from the team itself.

So, why don’t the Yankees have names on their jerseys in the first place? There’s no real clear answer anywhere, but the best guess is that it’s just tradition. When other teams joined the trend of adding names, New York abstained.

Analysis: The A’s finally dealt their ace, in a trade the team announced an hour before the deadline.

Gray, 27, posted a 3.43 ERA in 16 starts (97 innings) for Oakland this season. A series of injuries, including a forearm strain that kept him out for the beginning Troy Polamalu Cheap Jerseys of this season, knocked down his value slightly.

Still, the the A’s received three high-profile prospects in Fowler, Kaprielian and Mateo. Both Fowler (knee) and Kaprielian (elbow) are recovering Wholesale Jerseys All from long-term injuries.

Max Scherzer injury just mild irritation to Nationals

I’ll preface this column by saying Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg are not the 2010s version of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. Dusty Baker shouldn’t need to worry about that comp (or about Steve Bartman, for that matter).

Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy went 3 for 4 with two home runs and three RBIs in a 4-2 win over the Cubs. Murphy is hitting .333 and now has 36 multi-hit games this season.

Justin Upton helped the Tigers to a 5-2 win over Orioles thanks to some late-game heroics in the form of an eighth-inning grand slam. It was Upton’s third grand slam of the season, tying him for the most in MLB.

Yankees starting pitcher Jaime Garcia allowed six runs, five earned, in a 7-2 loss against the Indians. Garcia was sent over to New York just days after being traded to the Twins by the Braves. He is now 1-1 with a 6.35 ERA in the AL this season.

Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton continues to make up for his early Home Run Derby exit. He blasted a 477-foot home run off of a 78-mph knuckleball from Braves pitcher R.A. Dickey in Miami’s 5-3 loss in Atlanta.

After a promising start to the post-All Star game schedule, the Wholesale NHL Jerseys Cubs have Youth NFL Cheap Jerseys now lost three straight games and hold just a half-game lead on the Brewers in the NL Central. Panic hasn’t started creeping back into North Chicago yet, but the inconsistency of the bullpen, rotation and lineup are cause for concern. The Nationals, on the other hand, hold a 13-game lead in the NL East.

Jason Taylor: ‘In 20 years I traveled 20 miles’

Jason Taylor played his college football right up the road from Canton, Ohio.

“Honestly, I never was the guy to really do goals because if I say one thing and it doesn’t happen, people would be (negative),” Gurley told co-host James Laurinaitis and me Wednesday on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “But on my keychain it has 1,500 (rushing yards) and 1,000 receiving.

“Obviously, every running back wants to have 1,000 (rushing). That’s the big goal. The more yards you can have, the better position I can have to help this team out.”

Not even a player as talented as Gurley could help keep the 2016 Rams from having the NFL’s lowest-ranked offense in both yards and points scored. After winning 2015 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, Gurley’s stats dropped significantly in overall yardage (1,106 to 885), average per carry (4.8 to 3.2) and touchdowns (10 to six) despite playing in three more games.

Gurley’s frustration boiled over following a 42-14 loss to the Falcons in Week 13, when he questioned the effort of some teammates and described the offense as being “middle school”-caliber. Coach Jeff Fisher was fired in the aftermath.

Gurley is encouraged by the new system being installed by Fisher’s full-time replacement, Sean McVay, who was Washington’s offensive coordinator the past three seasons.

Tomlinson and former Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor were the only first-ballot Hall of Famers in this year’s seven-man class.

“I advocate we become Team America,” Tomlinson said. “America Kids Basketball Jerseys Cheap is the land of opportunity. Let’s not slam the door on those who may look or sound different Green Bay Packer Cheap Jerseys from us. Rather, let’s open it wide for those who believe in themselves, that anything is possible and take whatever risks necessary to work hard, to succeed.”

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said he hadn’t thought about who will get the start.

The amiable 18-year-old Swiss center, who the Devils count on to help turn the franchise’s fortunes around after five straight seasons out of the playoffs, already has had a sandwich named after him at a local deli, stepped out onto the field at iconic Yankee Stadium, toured Manhattan and made a visit to the New York Stock Exchange.

After touching down in New Jersey, Hischier spent Saturday touring the Prudential Center, dining in trendy Hoboken and attending a Red Bulls’ soccer match in nearby Harrison.

On Sunday, Hischier met with Yankees manager Joe Girardi and GM Brian Cashman, who is a big-time Devils fan, and had a video board welcome at Yankee Stadium. He dined with the Devils’ all-time leading scorer, Patrick Elias, at the popular Cookshop restaurant, not far from Madison Square Garden, where Hischier soon will begin his rivalry with the hometown Rangers. A tour of NBC studios, including a photo op by the main stage Cheap College Basketball Jerseys where Cheap Basketball Jerseys Saturday Night Live broadcasts, followed, as did an interview with NBC’s Sports Final program.

After the game, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said he hadn’t thought about who will get the start.

“I haven’t even given any consideration to that at this point,” he told reporters. “We give up four goals as quickly as we did, sometimes when you make a change, it’s for more than one reason. … It’s a little bit of a wake-up call, I guess, for the whole group.”

Sullivan is right. The Penguins were sloppy on both ends of the ice.

“We played like [expletive],” Matt Cullen told reporters, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “No excuses. That’s the bottom line. We didn’t battle. We didn’t work as hard as we needed to. It’s the conference finals. To have that kind of effort is pretty tough to stomach.”

Cullen, naturally, wouldn’t throw Fleury under the bus.

Karlsson posed such a unique problem for the Penguins (and every other team

Despite looking exhausted and overmatched at times in the Stanley Cup Final, the Penguins have persevered and made the big play time and again to grab a 3-2 series lead heading into Sunday’s Game 6.

One more win and they become the first team to capture consecutive Cups since the 1997 and 1998 Detroit Red Wings.

“I can’t say enough for this group of players,” said Sullivan. “I’ve said on a number of occasions they are a privilege to coach, and I sincerely mean that. They understand that we haven’t accomplished anything to this point and that there’s one more game that we have to go out and earn, and I believe that this group has the will and the character to do so.”

None measure up individually to Karlsson, the two-time Norris Trophy winner who near single-handedly willed the Senators to within one win of a Final berth against a common opponent in the Penguins. But together there’s no unit in the NHL more formidable, allowing just 1.81 goals and 29.7 shots per game in the postseason.

Among the casualties: Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews (two points apiece); Vladimir Tarasenko (three points); Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler (five points).

Karlsson posed such a unique problem for the Penguins (and every other team, for that matter) because of his skating prowess and ability to change a game.

To Malkin’s point, that’s the greatest strength of the Predators’ stingy, relentless quartet — and a most pressing issue for a Penguins team that’s been reliant on its impressive scoring ability, averaging Knock Off Cheap Jerseys a league-best 3.05 goals per game in the playoffs. The four have been horses, deployed generously by Lebron James Cheap Jerseys coach Peter Laviolette. All are averaging more than 24 minutes per game — a strategy in stark comparison to Pittsburgh, which has resorted to defense by committee in the absence of injured minutes-eater Kris Letang.

The seven-goal deficit was the eighth-largest in NHL playoff history during a shutout.

Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel added to their mounting playoff goal totals (seven apiece) and so did Scott Wilson and Matt Cullen, who entered with four goals between them. Carter Rowney matched Evgeni Malkin’s three-assist performance, the former notching the first playoff points of his NHL career.

Between seven separate goal scorers, the Penguins chased Senators starter Craig Anderson before the first intermission. Anderson allowed four goals on the first 14 shots he faced and failed to finish a start for the first time this postseason. The Sens played the third period without top defensemen Erik Karlsson and Cody Ceci and forward Derick Brassard, who coach Guy Boucher said were resting and could have played if the game were closer.

Pittsburgh’s power play went 3-for-3, while Ottawa is mired in an 0-for-29 drought with the man advantage that extends over its last 10 games.

The seven-goal deficit was the eighth-largest in NHL playoff history during a shutout.

It all seems to add up to series over. Yet the Sens, against the odds, have defied all expectations so far and there’s no reason to think they can’t again Tuesday when the series shifts to Ottawa for Game 6.

The latest news on Ilya Kovalchuk is that there is no news. The once-feared Russian scorer is contemplating whether to rejoin the NHL and the Devils, who retain his rights, or remain in the KHL, where he’s spent the last five years. That decision could come sometime this week, according to Devils general manager Ray Shero.

Should Kovalchuk, who has 417 career NHL goals, opt to return, it’s up to agent Jay Grossman Fans Cheap Jerseys to gauge interested teams before Shero can negotiate a trade.

The expansion Golden Knights, Canadiens, who could use an Alexander Radulov replacement, and the Find Cheap Jerseys Online Blue Jackets, who have publicly stated their intention to pursue the 35-year-old winger, all could use an offensive boost and would make for sensible landing spots.

AWOL Derrick Rose’s future with Knicks just got even more fuzzy, report says

Derrick Rose’s future with the Knicks has become increasingly uncertain in the wake of his unexcused — and thus far unexplained — absence from Monday’s game against the Pelicans, Yahoo Sports reported, citing unidentified sources.

Via Yahoo: “Knicks officials didn’t hear from Rose that he was OK until after an embarrassing loss to New Orleans, a confirmation that sources said began the next conversation within the organization: What do they do with Rose now?”

In the short-term, he was fined and has rejoined the team, the Knicks announced Tuesday afternoon, adding that he is expected to be in uniform Wednesday when New York faces the 76ers in Philadelphia.

While James makes some good points (the Cavs do need more depth), it’s a little insulting to the rest of the guys on the team who aren’t Irving or Love. His comments are even a slap in the face to the front office for not going out and acquiring more talent, although he claims to have voiced his opinions to general manager David Griffin already.

Cleveland could use more players, especially when you look at The Big Three’s minutes. James (44 minutes), Irving (42) and Love (38) played most of Monday’s night’s game, and that doesn’t bode well for the future, because these guys will get tired by the NFL Cheap Jerseys time the postseason begins.

James is averaging a league-high 37.5 minutes per game, and NFL Jerseys Paypal Irving (35.1) isn’t too far behind.

Slumping champ Cavaliers talkin’ ‘bout practice?

The Cavaliers have lost three of their last five games and despite a new addition to the team in sharpshooter Kyle Korver, Cleveland hasn’t had enough time to get well acclimated with their new teammate, and it’s costing them.

A second loss in back-to-back games Tuesday in Portland marked two weeks since the Cavs’ last practice on Dec. 28. Unlike Allen Iverson, Cleveland players think a few days of practice can help them get back to their winning ways.

“Not only to get Kyle [Korver] integrated and comfortable, but Real Cheap Jerseys we just need a little touch up,” Kevin Love said, via ESPN.com. “Whether it’s some of our shots or some of our plays, getting out in transition, playing with pace. We’re always a better team when we do that. Practice time would be great for us, but it’s just hard to find right now.”

“Conveniently forget that most of this movie’s runtime is dedicated to Newman trying not to get fired.”

*cut to Wayne Knight* “Get your Hanes on, lace up your Nikes, grab your Oakland Raiders Cheap Jerseys Wheaties and your Gatorade, and we’ll pick up a Big Mac on the way to the ballpark.”
“… that in retrospect only exists to sell Looney Tunes toys and Air Jordans.”

First, Jordan, Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing absolutely were not second-tier NBA stars. Larry Bird shows up, too. And Shawn Bradley, he wasn’t an NBA star on any tier. So yeah, Larry Johnson and Muggsy Bogues qualify, but let’s not act like they didn’t line up one hell of a squad for pickup games (which, by the way, were amazing on the set).

Second, this isn’t the best movie starring an NBA player because “He Got Game” exists.