#1 biggest challenge this season - getting a c von lebaobei123 04.03.2019 03:00

LOS ANGELES -- Josh Beckett and Adam Wainwright were both on their game in a pitching duel that exceeded all expectations. Pinch-hitter Justin Turner delivered an RBI single in the eighth inning off Wainwright, and the Los Angeles Dodgers edged the St. Louis Cardinals 1-0 Thursday night in their first meeting since last years NL championship series. Beckett pitched seven sharp innings in his showdown with the Cardinals ace, who held the Dodgers hitless through five. Left fielder Matt Kemp helped Beckett by throwing out a runner at the plate in the seventh. Beckett scattered four hits, walked two and struck out four. The right-hander has a 1.34 ERA over his last seven starts, a stretch that began with his no-hitter in Philadelphia on May 25. His season ERA is 2.11 in 15 starts. "I knew it was going to be tough, but I dont think I deserve very much of the credit," Beckett said. "My defence really picked me up tonight, and we got a late run off of a pretty tough pitcher." Juan Uribe, just off the disabled list after missing 34 games with a right hamstring strain, led off the eighth with a single and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Drew Butera before rookie Miguel Rojas infield single put runners at the corners. Turner, batting for reliever Brian Wilson, came through with his 20th RBI of the season. "I think hes used to that. Hes gotten some big hits for us this year," Kemp said. "Hes always ready to hit, and tonight he got the big hit. It was a battle today. It was a battle of the pitchers -- two good pitchers going at it, and we had to wait out Wainwright." Wilson (1-2) tossed a perfect inning and Kenley Jansen got three outs for his 24th save. "Thats how playoff games usually are -- 1-0. When we play them, its always two good teams going at it," Kemp said. "I think our pitchers match up with their pitchers, and vice versa. Weve had some battles over the years, and theyve gotten the best of us the last couple of years. But hopefully we can grind it out and see them in the playoffs again this year." The Cardinals won 97 games last season, five more than Los Angeles, and beat the Dodgers in the NLCS. Wainwright won Game 3 at Dodger Stadium. This time, Wainwright (10-4) took a hard-luck loss, giving up five hits while going the distance for the 19th time in 201 regular-season starts. The right-hander was runner-up to Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw in last years NL Cy Young Award voting. "I think one run would have been enough tonight the way he was throwing the ball," said Cardinals second baseman Mark Ellis, a former Dodger. "He was typical Wainwright. He has four above-average pitches and throws them wherever he wants. He knows their lineup and how to throw those guys." Wainwright walked his first batter, Dee Gordon, then retired 15 in a row before Rojas led off the sixth with a clean single to left field. Beckett followed with a Texas Leaguer to right, and Allen Craig made a diving catch with the outfield playing shallow against the pitcher. Gordon followed with a bloop single to left, but Yasiel Puig grounded into a double play. Puig, the NL player of the month for May, is batting .242 with no homers, six RBIs and 25 strikeouts in 25 games since his last home run on May 28 against Cincinnatis Homer Bailey at Dodger Stadium. Craig hit a two-out double in the seventh, just beyond Puigs reach on the right-field warning track, then tried to score on Jon Jays sharp single to left. Kemp charged the ball and threw a perfect strike to Butera in front of the plate for a sweep tag as Beckett thrust both arms over his head in jubilation. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny challenged the call by umpire Vic Carapazza, but a replay review upheld the decision and the game remained scoreless. "I wasnt surprised they sent him. Right there in the late innings, its do or die," Kemp said. "I got a good jump on it, got to the ball quick and threw it. Butera made a good tag and we got the out. Defence is just as important as offence. Defence won us that game today." NOTES: Cardinals RHP Joe Kelly, on the DL with a left hamstring strain thats sidelined him for 66 games, is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Friday with Triple-A Memphis. ... Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez missed his third straight game with a sore right shoulder and had an MRI. ... The Dodgers flight from Kansas City didnt arrive in Los Angeles until about 2 a.m. following their 5-4 win over the Royals, and manager Don Mattingly called off batting practice. ... The Cardinals began a five-game stretch in which they will face all three pitchers who have thrown no-hitters this season, including Kershaw on Sunday and San Franciscos Tim Lincecum on Tuesday. ... The Dodgers were 20-14 in Uribes absence. ... Adrian Gonzalezs RBI streak ended at seven games, one shy of the L.A. Dodgers record shared by Puig, Tommy Davis, Reggie Smith, Adrian Beltre and Shawn Green. Josh Reddick Jersey . Green-Ellis was Cincinnatis leading rusher each of the last two seasons. His role was reduced last year when Giovani Bernard was added to the backfield. Green-Ellis ran for 756 yards and a career-low 3. J.R. Richard Jersey . He will play 10th-seeded Feliciano Lopez in Sundays final, after the Spanish left-hander defeated Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic 7-6 (7), 6-4. http://www.astrosteamproshop.com/Astros-...te-Kids-Jersey/. It was a move of some time in the making. “He hasnt thrown well, clearly some guys are being used more than him right now and the only way to get out of this funk is to pitch,” said general manager Alex Anthopoulos. Mike Scott Jersey . Last year, Matt Kuchar closed with a 4-under 68 to beat Kevin Chappell by two strokes for his second win of the 2013 season and sixth of his career. Roy Oswalt Jersey . Vonn punctuated her near-perfect season in perfect fashion Friday, earning her fourth overall World Cup title with a dominating giant slalom victory.With new head coach Carl Robinson at the helm, the Vancouver Whitecaps will look to get back into the MLS Western Conference playoff picture. TSN soccer analyst Luke Wileman tells you everything you need to know about the 2014 Whitecaps, while TSN soccer analyst Jason deVos tells you how they will succeed or fail during the new campaign. Luke Wileman: After missing out on the playoffs in 2013, Vancouver Whitecaps have re-tooled ahead of the new season. They lost their leading scorer, Camilo, in controversial circumstances, but the Caps will enter the 2014 season with a stronger overall squad. The biggest change of the offseason was the departure of head coach Martin Rennie. After two years with the club, Rennies contract was not renewed, and after a long search, the Whitecaps promoted Carl Robinson from his role as assistant coach to take the top job. I said at the time that Robinson was the perfect choice. He already knew the inner workings of the club from his time on Rennies coaching staff, but has brought a fresh outlook. Robinson is heading into his rookie season as a head coach, and it will be a steep learning curve, but theres little doubt he is ready for the task ahead. The way he handled difficult situations during the offseason was superb, and his leadership and communication with players through preseason has earned him plenty of respect within the locker room. So what can we expect from Robinsons team? The Whitecaps coach has made no secret of the fact that he wants to play an attractive entertaining style of soccer. He has also said he wont be afraid to give youth a chance. Robinsons squad is young, but with experience in key areas throughout the team. In fact there is a strong veteran presence down the spine of the team with David Ousted in goal, Jay DeMerit and Andy OBrien at the back, Nigel Reo Coker in midfield and Kenny Miller up front. The Whitecaps have made some strong additions in the offseason but the biggest question mark is whether they will be able to replace the league-leading 22 goals scored by Camilo. There wont be one person who shoulders the responsibility of filling the void left by the Brazilian, it will need to be a team effort, and the way the squad has been built should help that to happen. Uruguyan duo Sebastian Fernandez and Nicolas Mezquida have shown evidence of their creativity and technical ability during preseason, and the expected arrival of Chilean attacking midfielder Pedro Morales from Spanish side Malaga will be a massive piece of the puzzle. Vancouver already has quality in attack. Keeping Kenny Miller fit is key for the Caps. It will also be interesting to see the development of youngsters Kekuta Manneh, Darren Mattocks, Erik Hurtado, Omar Salgado and Russell Teibert. All five of those players have the ability to contribute significantly to the Whitecaps attacking play. The Whitecaps added former MLS All-Star Steven Beitashour at right back to replace the retired YP Lee and have options in the central defensive positions with DeMerit and OBrien likely to be favoured to open the season, but Carlyle Mitchell, Johnny Leveron and draft pick Christian Dean all capable of stepping in at any time. With Carl Robinson likely to play a 4-2-3-1 formation, the two defensive midfield players will need to protect the back four but also start a lot of the Whitecaps play moving forward. On his day, Nigel Reo-Coker can be one of the top midfielders in the league, but Robinson will want to see more consistency from the Englishman this season dictating the play and getting box to box. One of the Whitecaps big offseason additions was young Argentine midfielder Matias Laba who arrived from Toronto FC. Hes a superb signing who will commplement the qualities of Reo Coker.dddddddddddd Laba is a destroyer. He breaks up the play and gets it going again in an effective manner. The defensive midfield pairing of Reo Coker and Laba could be particularly strong for the Whitecaps this season. Despite my view that the overall squad is better than a year ago, the Whitecaps wont find it easy to achieve their goal of making the playoffs in a Western Conference that is packed with quality. Last year, Vancouver improved on their points total from a year earlier, but didnt make it to the postseason. They improved, but not enough because the other teams around them had made bigger strides. This time around, the Whitecaps have made some significant changes. It might take them time to settle into their new identity, but it should be a fun ride. TSN Soccer analyst Jason deVos weighs in on how the Whitecaps will succeed or fail during the 2014 season. Jason deVos: Vancouver Whitecaps will succeed if… …the young guns come out firing. Rookie head coach Carl Robinson has a squad full of talented youngsters. Russell Teibert, Kekuta Manneh, Gershon Koffie, Omar Salgado, Darren Mattocks, Nicolás Mezquida, Matías Laba, Erik Hurtado, Andre Lewis and Sam Adekugbe are all under the age of 23. With youth comes inconsistency; an amazing performance one week, followed up by a flat one the next. If Robinson can get the young players to find a measure of consistency, the Whitecaps will fare far better than many predict this season. The reason for that is that this team is quick - and I mean, lightning fast. Mattocks, Manneh and Hurtado are whippets, and will win races against virtually every player in MLS. If the experienced players in the squad - Nigel Reo-Coker, Andy OBrien and Jay DeMerit - can shepherd the young players along the right path, the Whitecaps are going to surprise a few people this season. Vancouver Whitecaps will fail if… …they show up one week and not the next. Succeeding in professional soccer is all about finding a level of consistency from week to week. Reliability comes with experience - something that is severely lacking from this squad of players. The onus is on Robinson to set the standards of performance that he expects from all of his players. Experienced campaigners like Reo-Coker, OBrien and DeMerit wont be the issue - they know what they need to do to succeed in the game, and will rarely dip below a 7 out of 10 performance. It is the young players that need to learn this. They need to learn that you cannot turn it on one week, then not bother showing up the next. That will be Robinsons biggest challenge this season - getting a consistent level out of his talented crop of youngsters. If he can do that, this will be an exciting season for Whitecaps fans. If not, the Whitecaps will again fail to make the playoffs. 2013 finish: 13-12-9 (seventh in Western Conference). Did not qualify for MLS Cup playoffs. Whos In?: M Mehdi Ballouchy (Re-Entry Draft), D Steven Beitashour (traded from San Jose), M/F Sebastian Fernandez (loan from Boston River), M Matías Laba (trade from Toronto), M/F Nicolas Mezquida (transfer from Boston River), GK Paolo Tornaghi (signed). Whos Out?: GK Joe Cannon (option declined), M Jun Marques Davidson (option declined), F Tommy Heinemann (option declined), F Corey Hertzog (option declined), D Greg Klazura (option declined), GK Brad Knighton (traded to New England), M Daigo Kobayashi (option declined), D Lee Young-Pyo (retired), D Brad Rusin (option declined), F Camilo Sanvezzo (transfer to Queretaro), GK Simon Thomas (option declined). SuperDraft: D Christian Dean (1-3), MF Andre Lewis (1-7), F Mamadou Diouf (2-30). ' ' '

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