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proving he belongs

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proving he belongs

Postby elaine95 on 21 Sep 2018, 07:13

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

BIG ARMS IN THE BRONX

With slugger Giancarlo Stanton heating up at the plate Brett Favre Jersey , the major league-leading Yankees (49-22) go for a three-game sweep of visiting Seattle. Luis Severino (10-2, 2.09 ERA) pitches for New York against lefty James Paxton (6-1, 3.44), who is 5-0 with a 2.55 ERA since the beginning of May – a nine-start span that includes a no-hitter in Toronto. The Mariners have lost three straight for the first time since April 17-19 against the World Series champion Astros.

STRANGE TO SEE

Three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (10-3, 2.06 ERA) tries to avoid his first three-game losing streak since August 2015 when the Nationals host lowly Baltimore. He’ll hope to get some help on offense from slumping slugger Bryce Harper, who went 0 for 4 in a rain-delayed 3-0 loss Wednesday night, dropping his batting average to .209. Washington manager Dave Martinez said Harper has been working hard with batting coach Kevin Long. ”He’s going to hit. I know he’s going to carry us for a month or two or for whatever,” Martinez said.

DOCTOR’S APPOINTMENT

Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha (8-2, 3.20 ERA) is scheduled for an MRI after exiting Wednesday’s start with a left oblique strain. ”Feeling a little bit better,” he said following the game. ”I’m hoping for the best.” Carlos Martinez (3-3, 2.73) pitches for St. Louis in the opener of a four-game set at Milwaukee. He is 6-4 with a 1.95 ERA against the Brewers. Slumping outfielder Ryan Braun is expected to rejoin the Brewers after the team sent him to Los Angeles on Wednesday for treatment on his achy right thumb. The six-time All-Star is hitting just .236 with eight home runs and 31 RBIs.

SEEKING HIS FIRST WIN

Giants ace Madison Bumgarner (0-2, 4.67 ERA) pitches at home against last-place San Diego Tarell Basham Jersey , which has dropped four straight. Bumgarner missed the first two months of the season with a broken pinkie. He has lost four in a row to the Padres, who counter with Tyson Ross (5-4, 3.51). Meanwhile, San Francisco right-hander Jeff Samardzija (shoulder tightness) is set to make his second rehab start with Triple-A Sacramento.

READY TO GO

White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia (right hamstring strain) could return to the lineup against Oakland in the opener of a four-game series. Garcia was hitting .333 with two home runs and seven RBIs during a six-game rehab stint with Triple-A Charlotte. He batted .330 with 18 homers and 80 RBIs last season, making his first All-Star team.

COMING UP EMPTY

Boston will be looking for a couple of clutch hits against the Minnesota Twins in the finale of its road trip. The Red Sox were 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position Wednesday and are 2 for 22 in the first two games of the series. They stranded 18 runners in those two games and have lost four of five overall. Rick Porcello (8-3, 3.70 ERA) starts against Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson (2-4, 3.27), who has allowed only five runs over his last four starts spanning 26 2/3 innings.



The ball came floating down and James Washington appeared out of position. The back of the end zone was behind him. Green Bay defensive back Demetri Goodson was in front of him. The window Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Josh Dobbs had to fit the ball to the rookie wide receiver didn't really exist.

So Washington created one.

The pass slightly underthrown, Washington reached over Goodson and plucked it out of the air for a 19-yard touchdown in the third quarter. The second-round pick did it again in the fourth period, outmuscling Packers cornerback Herb Waters for a 22-yard score to help Pittsburgh save a little bit of face in an otherwise drab preseason loss.

While some of Washington's teammates erupted on the sideline after each acrobatic grab, one of them did not.

"It wasn't a surprise to me at all, I had seen it for four years Dorance Armstrong Jr. Jersey ," said rookie quarterback Mason Rudolph, who set records throwing the ball all over the field to Washington during their standout college careers at Oklahoma State. "All these guys kind of 'ooohed' and 'ahhhed' at it but ... I think he's just scratching the surface of what he can do."

Washington hopes to take another step forward Saturday when he is expected to get some reps with the first team as the Steelers host Tennessee. The 22-year-old understands it will take time for him to develop a rapport with Ben Roethlisberger after spending so many years catching passes from Rudolph. Washington has tried to absorb as much as he can since the Steelers took him with the 60th overall pick in the draft. His route running remains a work in progress. His grasp of the offense remains in its infancy. Yet the signs he's starting to get it are there. Now it's time to show Roethlisberger he can do it when it counts.

"With Ben, you have to know the defense," Washington said. "You have to be watching while running your routes. With me and Mason you know, we're taught, 'Ok the ball is supposed to go here, it's supposed to go here.' With Ben, he's a Hall of Famer. He knows spots where he can sneak it in and throw you a back shoulder. You have to be ready with him."

And defenses might be wise to be ready for Washington, who figures to be in the third wide receiver slot behind All-Pro Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster when the AFC North champions open the 2018 season in Cleveland on Sept. 9.

"He's raw, but the kid can catch," veteran wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey said. "He has a range that only a few people I've seen have. You throw it up, he's got a great vertical Leonard Floyd Jersey , but it's his ability to go get the ball that's amazing."

Having a frame Rudolph likened to a "bowling ball" helps. Washington is a thick 215 pounds, making it difficult for defensive backs to nudge him off his stride. It gets even harder when Washington unleashes his 39-inch vertical leap. The proof came during training camp at Saint Vincent College, when Washington found himself lining up across from two-time Pro Bowl defensive back Joe Haden.

Haden normally prefers to work against the starters during camp but couldn't turn down a chance to face off against Washington.

"Once I see him making plays on other guys, it's like 'Let me see what you can do,'" Haden said. "In Latrobe he got me in the end zone. Jumped up and got his hands on the ball the whole time and I couldn't get it. So he's just making really good plays. I was like, 'If you can make that on me, I think you're going to be good.'"

Asked if Washington chirped at him after the grab, Haden just laughed.

"No, he never said a thing," Haden said. "I've been around a lot of rookies that don't act like that and aren't as good (as he is)."

Talking has never really been Washington's thing. Consider it a byproduct of having to play with older kids while growing up in Texas. At the park across the street from his parent's house, Washington would find himself running around with cousins five or six years his senior. The only way to gain respect was to go out and earn it.

"I was always I guess pushed to an extent where I had to go hard," Washington said.

He plays with an intensity that helped him win the Biletnikoff Award last year as the top wide receiver in college football. His quiet demeanor fits in well in a wide receiver's room that includes the cerebral Heyward-Bey Derrius Guice Jersey , the relentless Brown, and the ebullient Smith-Schuster. Washington is only too happy to be a sponge, absorbing what he can while proving he belongs.

"I think they've accepted my role and what I do," Washington said. "We joke around every once in a while. Like I told him: Don't expect me to be the guy yelling, just do my job."

NOTES: The Steelers signed inside linebacker Vince Williams to a four-year contract on Thursday that will run through the 2021 season. Williams, a sixth-round pick in the 2013 draft, finished with a career-high eight sacks in 2017. ... Pittsburgh also signed Pro Bowl kicker Chris Boswell to a five-year deal that runs through 2022. ... Coach Mike Tomlin said all healthy starters will see action against the Titans, though Brown, safety Morgan Burnett and linebacker T.J. Watt's status won't be certain until game time.

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