Flyers Shutout In Chicago

BlackHawks

The Flyers early season struggles continued Tuesday night in Chicago, as the Flyers fell to the Blackhawks 4-0.

The Flyers are now 1-3-2 for 4 points and in 7th place in he 8-team Metropolitan Division in the NHL’s Easter Conference.

Antti Raanka was the star in this shut-out for the Blackhawks, as the goalie made saves on all 32 shots he faced to get the shut-out and move the ‘Hawks record to 4-0-1 for 9 points.

Patrick Kane scored two power plays, one to make it 2-0 and one to make it 4-0.

Brandon Saad scored the Blackhawks first goal of the game and Bryan Bickell scored to make it 3-0. Both Saad and Bickell each also added an assist.

This game was expected to have some scoring in it. Both the Blackhawks and Flyers are in the top four teams in the entire NHL in shots on goal. In this game, the Blackhawks outshot the Flyers 43-32.

On three of the four Blackhawks goals, goalie Steve Mason had no chance at keeping the puck out of the net.

The Flyers hopped on a plane immediately after the game to fly to Pittsburgh, where they will play Sidney Crosby and the 3-1-0 Penguins on Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m.

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Kansas City. Kansas City Here I come…

Royals VS. SanFranciscoGiants

After what has seemed like a regular season that lasted 284 calendar years and playoff series that lasted about a long as an episode of your nightly news, it is finally time for the 2014 MLB World Series.

Oh, and it only seemed like the season lasted that long because I am a diehard Phillies fan and our team was horrible again. There will be a Phillies season in review blog post later in the week. If I liked a team that was any good, the season wouldn’t have felt like it took so long!

The World Series will feature the Kansas City Royals (89-73) hosting the San Francisco Giants (88-74).
The Royals were in the playoffs this year for the first time since 1985- a span of 29 MLB seasons.

The San Francisco Giants have two World Series Championships in the last four years- 2010 and 2012. Ever since the Philadelphia Phillies represented the NL in its 2009 World Series loss in six games to the New York Yankees, it has either been the Giants or the Cardinals representing the NL in the World Series.
Those two championships are the only two the Giants have won since moving to San Francisco from New York years ago.

They have lost in the World Series as the Giants on three different occasions; in 1962 to the New York Yankees, in 1989 to the Oakland Athletics and in 2002 to the Anaheim Angels.

The last time the Royals made the playoff, in 1985, was also the same year the Royals have won its only World Series title, beating the cross-state rival St. Louis Cardinals. They have lost in the World Series just once as well, losing to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1980.

The Royals have won eight straight games to get to the World Series, first sweeping the Tigers and then sweeping the Orioles. They have been great so far. Not known to be a power-hitting team, they have become a power hitting team in the postseason, hitting 8 home runs in those 8 games. They also have 13 stolen bases in 16 attempts in this playoff year. As a team, they are hitting .259, have a .331 on base percentage and a .390 slugging percentage.

The Royals have not really pitched well. Their ace, James Shields has a 5.63 ERA in his three starts. Jason Vargas is a 2.38 but has only pitched 11 1/3 innings in two starts and has a WHIP of 0.79.

The Giants are 8-2 in this year’s playoffs, beating both the Nationals and the Cardinals 4-games-to-1. They usually have a good hitting team, but they aren’t hitting great in the playoffs. They are hitting .244 as a team, have a .314 on-base percentage, and a .324 slugging percentage, only hitting 5 homers in their ten playoff games.

The Giants are winning because of their pitching. As a team, they have a playoff ERA of only 2.18 in their ten games with a Walks + Hits Per Inning Pitched (WHIP) of 0.95, only giving up 68 his in 90+ innings. Madison Bumgarner has been nearly unhittable, with a 1.42 ERA and a WHIP of only 0.76. Veteran Jake Peavy also has been very good, going 1-0 with a 1.86 in two starts. Tim Hudson is a 3.29 in two starts, but does not have a decision.

How the Giants Will Win:

To win this series, the pitchers will need to continue avoiding walks. The Royals turn walks or singles into a double in a pitch or two, so limiting the walks will keep he Royals from scoring. No matter how much speed the Royals have, they cant score if they aren’t on base. They need to continue playing roles- with each and every player doing exactly what their job is. Knowing their roles, and gladly accepting them, and sticking to them, is the reason the Giants have two World Series in the last four MLB seasons- in 2010 ad 2012. Only the St. Louis Cardinals can match the Giants in role players playing their roles, but the Cardinals got beaten by San Francisco for different reasons this year. Also, the Giants have to get a win early in the series, at least one in Kansas City. The Royals are 8-0 and in not losing, they don’t know what it is like to have to regroup as a team after a loss. Doing so, especially early, may just put enough doubt in their minds to put them back on their heels.

How the Royals Will Win:

I really believe this Royals team is a team of destiny. The baseball gods are clearly looking down on them and giving them some help. They have come back in games, gone extra innings and have kicked, scraped, and dug for every inch of those eight wins. Teams with no power are not supposed to win in the World Series. Even with bad starting pitching so far, the Royals have won, but Shields and company have to pitch better. They are great defensively and they have tons of speed. They need to continue doing exactly as they have- get on base and run, run, run. They need to continue believing in each other and trust that the guy next to them in the dugout will pick them up if they fail. This team believes in everyone in its roster.

Who Will Win:

The only way the Giants will win this series is if they win the first two games in Kansas City, which will let out the gas of the dream machine. If they don’t, the Royals will win this series. The only way to beat a team full of great role players doing their jobs perfectly is a team of destiny; a team that refuses to believe any team can beat them four times in seven games. Somewhere between the first of October, and their eighth straight win, the Royals finally found out exactly who they were and what timing they had. The Royals will win this series in seven games.

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My Apologies…

ShawnStiles

I want to apologize to everyone who reads my blog.

I have medical issues and every few weeks I get sick and don’t feel up to doing anything. When this happens, I do not feel like blogging.

I feel alright now, so I will start blogging again tonight or tomorrow.

Please accept my apology.

Shawn

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To The Trash Talking Giants Players & Fans- Any Questions?

Barwin

All week, the Giants players were saying they were the team to beat. They were saying they were the class of the NFC East. They were saying the Eagles were a flash in the pan. One Giant even went on to ask the New York media if Philadelphia still had a team.

All this sounded kind of funny coming from a 3-2 team. The same team who finished only 7-9 one year ago. Sure, they won a Super Bowl Championship just three years ago, but they are the ones who live in the past.

The Eagles ended all the mouthing off by quietly giving the Giants an old country beat-down, shutting out the Giants 27-0, and moving to 5-1 for the season. The Giants moved to 3-3.

Coach Chip Kelly did not allow his players to respond to the trash-talking and made sure they stayed even-keeled and ready to play the game and made sure their talking would be done on the field instead.

The Eagles got the ball to start the game. They started at their own 20 on a touchback. The Eagles went on a 10-play, 66-yard drive that lasted 4:05 and ended with a 31-yard field-goal, to open the scoring at 3-0. On this drive, with the ball on its own 33, the Eagles moved the ball 30 yards on consecutive plays, two runs from LeSean McCoy, totaling 33 yards, which moved the ball to the Eagles 37.

After a punt, the Eagles started with the ball on their own 19-yard-line. Ten plays and 81 yards later, the Eagles made it a 10-0 lead when Nick Foles hit Zach Ertz with a 15-yard touchdown catch pass. The big plays on this drive was another big run by McCoy, an 18 yarder, and a 23-yard pass from Foles to Ertz. This drive took 4:31 off the clock.

After the Eagles punter Donnie Jones pinned the Giants back in its own end by knocking the punt out of bounds at the 8-yard-line, the Giants went three-and-out while netting just one yard. Giants punter Steve Weatherford hit a 38-yard punt that went out of bounds at their own 47-yard-line.

On the first play after that punt, McCoy ran straight up the middle for a 15-yard run to the Giants 32-yard-line. After a six-yard pass to Riley Cooper, Foles hit tight-end James Casey on a deep-slant and the 26-yard touchdown pass, to give the Eagles a 17-0 lead.

After a short Giants drive, punter Weatherford boomed a very long, but line-drive, punt that Darren Sproles caught at the Eagles 14-yard-line. His return went 43 yards, as Sproles took the ball all the way to the Giants 43-yard-line. This series ended with a 45-yard Parkey field-goal to make it 20-0.

That is how the first half ended.

Midway through the third quarter, Sproles scored with a 15-yard-run to make it 27-0 and the rest of the way, the Eagles were killing the clock.

The offense did score 27 points, but the defense starred in this game, wanting a shut-out and fighting for one, even when the bottom of the bench came into the game. The closest the Giants got was on a pass into the end zone to star receiver Victor Cruz who jumped up for the pass, but didn’t come up with it as he tore his patella tendon when he jumped for the ball. Cruz’ season was over and he knew it. He was very emotional coming off the field.

The defense ended up sacking Giants quarterbacks eight times in this game, including Eli Mannning five times, and Ryan Nassib three times. Connor Barwin had three sacks, Vinny Curry had two and Trent Cole, Brandon Graham and Brandon Bair each had one.

The Eagles got their running game back. McCoy ended up 149 yards on 22 carries. Sproles added 39 yards on 7 carries.

Nick Foles went 21-34 for 248 yards. He also threw two touchdown passes and two interceptions.

The 5-1 Eagles have a bye week this weekend.

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Eagles Defense & Special Teams Again Score As Birds Hold On For Win

Maragos

In what is becoming an alarming trend, the Philadelphia Eagles once again had problems running the ball, but they did beat the St. Louis Rams 34-28 Sunday in Philadelphia to move its record to 4-1.

The Eagles led this game at one point 34-7, the Rams came storming back, scoring three touchdowns in 7:24 between the last :08 in the third quarter until 7:44 left in the game, to get the game to 34-28. This game wasn’t over until Austin Davis overthrew his receiver on 4th down to give the Eagles the ball back with :42 left in the game.

The Eagles scored on a blocked punt return just :16 into the game when special-teams star Chris Maragos picked up a punt blocked by back-up tight end James Casey and ran it back 10 yards for a touchdown.

On the Eagles first possession, they marched down the field 56 yards in 10 plays, which ended with a 26-yard field goal by Cody Parkey to give he Eagles a 10-0 lead.

After a Rams punt, the Eagles moved 37 yards on nine plays and it ended when Parkey hit his second field goal of the game, a 27-yard field goal to give the Eagles a 13-0 lead.

That is how the first quarter would end.

The Rams then went 84 yards in 11 plays, a drive that lasted 6:31. It ended when Brian Quick caught a slant that resulted in touchdown of nine yards. This made the game 13-7.

Nick Foles hit Riley Cooper with a nine-yard fade pass for a touchdown with :34 left in the first half to make it a 20-7 Eagles lead.

Just 2:30 into the third quarter, Trent Cole sacked Rams quarterback Davis in the end zone. As he was going down, he fumbled the ball and Cedric Thornton fell on it for an Eagles touchdown, to make it 27-7.

With 2:20 left in the third quarter, Nick Foles hit Jeremy Maclin with a 24-yard touchdown pass to make it 34-7.

That is when the bottom fell out for the Eagles.

The Rams came back with three unanswered touchdowns from that point through the end of the game. In order came: a Brandon Cunningham 14-yard touchdown run, a 30-yard touchdown pass from Davis to Kenny Britt and a 5-yard touchdown pass from Davis to Quick with 4:44 left.

The Eagles scored two more return touchdowns, giving them seven in the last three games, which has never been done in the history of the NFL. As a matter of fact, in franchise history, the 1950 Eagles had seven return touchdowns in that entire season, which is the most for any Eagles team for an entire season. The Eagles have that many in just three games.

The 4-1 Eagles will host the 3-2 Giants Sunday night at 8:30 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

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No More Extras Needed- Royals Advance to Face Orioles After Sweep Of Angelsl

Shields

The Royals will have to give its fans a discount for not playing the usual extra innings Sunday afternoon in Kansas City.

None of their fans would complain about the Royals hammering the Angels 8-3 in the third game of the best-of-five American League Divisional Series. The Royals swept this series three-games-to-none.

The Angels got off to a 1-0 lead when Mike Trout hit a solo home-run.

The Royals came back with three of its own in the bottom of the first inning off of Angels starter CJ Wilson, who only pitched 2/3 of an inning, giving up three hits and one walk and all three runs. With one out, Nor Aoki and Lorenzo Cain singled to put runners on first and second. After Eric Hosmer was called out on strikes for the second out, Billy Butler walked to load the bases. Alex Gordon then doubled, clearing the bases to give the Royals a 3-1 lead.

They added to the lead in the third inning. Aoki walked to lead off the inning. After Cain popped out for the first out, Hosmer came up and hit a two-run homer to right, to give the Royals a 5-1 lead.

The Angels made it a 5-2 deficit when Albert Pujols lead off the fourth inning with a home-run.

Mike Moustakas hit a one-out, solo home-run, in the bottom of the fourth inning to make it 6-2. Alcides Escobar and Aoki then hit back-to-back singles, with Escobar moving to third. Cain then scored Escobar with a sacrifice fly, to make it 7-2.

The Royals scored one more run in the bottom of the sixth and the Angels scored one more run in the top of the eighth inning.

Royals ace James Shields got the win for the Royals in the last game of the first-round sweep. He pitched six innings, giving up six hits and two runs. He walked two and struck out six.

Wilson took the loss for the Angels.

The Royals will now travel to start the American League Championship Series (ALCS). The first game will be on Friday in Baltimore. The pitching match-up will be determined later.

Baltimore Orioles Sweep Tigers With Win

NelsonCruz

Nelson Cruz hit a two-run homer in the top of the sixth off of Tigers starter David Price, and the lead held up, as the Orioles beat the Detroit Tigers 2-1 Sunday afternoon in Detroit.

The Tigers scored a run in the bottom of the ninth, but Orioles closer Zach Britton finished closing the door, giving up one hit and one walk, while striking out one.

Price took the loss for the Tigers and went eight innings, giving up five hits, two earned runs, and two walks, while striking out six.

Bud Norris got the win for the Orioles. He pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up two hits, no runs, two walks and he struck out six.

The Orioles will host the Royals in Game #1 of the ALCS Friday night in Baltimore. The pitching match-ups will be determined.

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Masters of Extra Innings Wins In It Again

EricHosmer

Eric Hosmer’s two-run, 11th inning home-run gave the Kansas City Royals a 3-1 lead and they went on to beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-1 Friday night in Los Angeles.

Greg Holland’s strikeout of Mike Trout with the last out gave the wild-card winning Royals a two games-to-none lead over the Angels, who had the best record in all of baseball this year.

It was the third extra inning game, and third straight victory, for the Royals. Two of the three wins were against the Angels. The first one came against the Oakland Athletics in the special one game playoff.

Yordano Ventura, who got hit around in his wild-card appearance, was great for the Royals in this game. He pitched seven innings, giving up five hits and a single earned run, while striking out five and walking one.

Matt Shoemaker pitched even better than Ventura, giving up five hits and one unearned run, while striking out six, in seven innings. He did not walk any batters.

Kevin Jepson took the loss for the Angels, giving up two hits and three runs (two earned), while walking one batter, in the 11th inning.

Brandon Finnegan got the win for the Royals. The rookie pitched one inning and gave up just one walk.

Greg Holland picked up his second save of the series.

Game 3 will be played Sunday at 3:30 in Kansas City. The Angels will send out veteran hurler CJ Wilson (13-10 4.51) to face the Royals James Shields (14-8 3.21).

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