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I think to myself
24-08-2018 10:15 AM
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I think to myself
chenyan94
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As Boston Red Sox players donned red Kerryon Johnson Color Rush 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 Minkah Fitzpatrick Youth Jersey , 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, 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 Rick Leonard Color Rush Jersey , 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.



Coming off a troubling season, New York Giants cornerback Eli Apple seemingly has grown up.

A bad attitude led to a suspension for the final game of the 2017 season and a couple of benchings earlier in the campaign has been replaced by a business-like approach.

That's rapid progression for a soon-to-be 23-year-old who appeared to have worn out his welcome two years after the Giants drafted him with the 10th pick overall.

The change didn't just come. It's been coming since Pat Shurmur was named coach and Dave Gettleman took as general manager. They met with Apple after a 3-13 season and told him he would be starting with a clean slate.

"It is definitely important for me, first impressions," Apple said. "I just wanted to show that I was a hard worker and just continue to show that even now as we continue to go on with these practices, staying on top of that and trying to get better every day."

Apple is going to be a key piece for the Giants in James Bettcher's 3-4 system. He has the talent to be a lock-down cornerback, which would give the Giants two. Janoris Jenkins is on the other side of the field.

"They have a lot of confidence in me," Apple said of the coaching staff. "They told me that they feel I am a really good player and as long as I listen to them, I can get better and become a Pro Bowl player. I see that as well. With my athleticism, I see myself Authentic Deadrin Senat Jersey , especially in this defense, I see myself as excelling in it and I am looking forward to the season.is"

Apple started 11 of 14 games as a rookie and finished with two interceptions, 49 tackles, and a fumble recovery, playing on a team that went 11-5 and earned a playoff berth. Last year was a horror. He started seven of 11 games, didn't have an interception, and was suspended for the final game of the season for getting into an argument with coaches about playing on a scout team. The Giants called it conduct detrimental to the team.

Safety Landon Collins didn't hesitate to say last season that Apple needed to grow up.

Apple won't say what caused the turnaround, but it's obvious something has changed.

On the field now, Apple is all smiles and ready to work. The former Ohio State product frequently goes over to Jenkins and picks his brain.

"Like when I see Jackrabbit make a play on the other side, I think to myself, 'OK, it's time for me to make a play if the quarterback comes my way,'" Apple said of Jenkins. "But it's always fitting that I'm trying to pick his brain because he was All-Pro Ito Smith Jersey Elite , Pro Bowl corner, so he's definitely one of the best in the game. So, if I can learn as much as I can from him, that'll make me a better player."

Apple also is taking no downs off. Early in Saturday's workout, he hounded first-year receiver Amba Etta-Tawo on a pass over the middle. Later on the Giants' first day in pads, he gave second-overall draft pick Saquon Barkley a good bump on a running back.

Shurmur certainly has been impressed by the new version of Apple.

"With my eyes, just a few months into this, I'm seeing a guy that's all about his business," Shurmur said. "He is very business-like and he is covering really well, which is a good attribute for a corner. I like the way he is working. He's out there challenging but he is also being smart. Based on what I have seen, there are very few mistakes that he is making when we move the coverage around and I like the way he is functioning in the building."

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