#1 t anyway.I think the expectations within the group are as von mary123 04.04.2019 08:07

SEATTLE -- The Houston Astros playoff momentum was halted Sunday by a pitcher they had never faced -- and likely will have to face again.Ariel Miranda (5-1), a Cuban defector acquired by the Seattle Mariners in a July 31 trade with Baltimore, held the Astros to just three hits and two runs over his seven innings in Seattles 7-3 victory.Seth Smith powered up a pair of home runs and had four RBI in support as the Mariners moved ahead of the Astros in the congested wild-card race.Houston (78-71) is a half game behind both the Mariners (79-70) and Detroit in the race for the wild card spots.He (Miranda) has a good fastball and a good split finger-change thing that he throws, Astros manager A. J. Hinch said. Our guys hadnt seen a ton of him...he did a good job challenging us, just above the zone and we swung under today and hit a lot of pop-ups in the infield, a few balls to the outfield. A couple balls to the track that could have changed the game a little bit. He kept enticing us with fastballs.That enticement will continue in the final week of the season. The Mariners play another three-game set with he Astros in Houston, Sept. 26-28, and Miranda likely is on schedule to start that series final game.Mirandas seven innings was his longest outing in 10 starts with Seattle. He walked one and struck out eight.Heck of an outing, Mariners manager Scott Servais said. Hes on a heck of a roll. We certainly needed it. Hes gained so much confidence. You can certainly can see it.Miranda has won all four of his starts in September. He said, through an interpreter, its been a dream of mine (to be in a playoff chase) but never been there. Its really great to get there. Im happy with the work Ive been doing and happy to help the team.Smith had a solo shot in the third and a three-run blast in the fourth, both on 3-1 pitches from Doug Fister (12-12), who went just 3 2/3 innings.I was just trying to attack with my sinker; he put a couple good swings on balls -- clearly, Fister said. I just didnt execute today, thats what it comes down to. Balls down, balls up, all over the place. I let my team down.Smith had been 0-for-10 in his career against Fister but the eight-year veteran had a plan.Guys know what theyre doing when they are pitching and able to pitch to the corners, Smith said. You try to take the close ones, try to get into a good hitters count when they come after you.Youre constantly learning, how to approach at-bats, knowing what kind of swing you have going into a game, knowing what the pitcher is trying to do to you, Smith said. Over the course of a career you kind of fit the pieces a little better together.RECORD WHIFFSWith Jandel Gustaves strikeout of Shawn OMalley in the sixth, the Astros staff established a club record for strikeouts with 1,283. Theyve done it without even a 200-strikeout pitcher. For the most part we have a few guys who can spin their breaking balls when they need to, manager A.J. Hinch said. and the changeup is a big component of our pitching staff.SLOW START; FAST FINISHNori Aoki, who was sent to the minors twice this season to work on his offense, has found his batting eye this month. Entering the game, he was hitting .387 in September, fifth best in the American League. He had been hitting .255 overall to start the month. For his career, he is a .324 hitting in September, fourth best among active players. He had two hits Sunday.TRAINERS ROOMMariners: 1B Adam Lind had not played since Sept. 12 with a sprained finger in his right hand but was back in the lineup Sunday, missing five games.UP NEXTAstros: RHP Brad Peacock (0-0, 2.70) will make his third start, seventh appearance, in his effort to win his first game since 2014. Last time ou, Sept. 13, he was solid, going six innings and allowing just three hits and one run in a 3-2 loss to Texas. Now the Astros are counting on him to step up at the most critical stage of the season. He is 1-4 with a 4.97 ERA in nine career appearances against Oakland.Mariners: RHP Taijuan Walker (6-10, 4.28) is coming off his best starting effort of his career (59 starts). He allowed just three hits and no runs -- first career shutout -- in an 8-0 win over the L.A. Angels. He had a no-hitter through 5 2/3 innings. He is 0-2 with a 3.66 ERA in three career starts against the Blue Jays but has not faced them this season. Nike Free Uk Cheap Online. . The CFLs leading rusher kept adding to his gaudy numbers this season and scored the winning touchdown with just over two minutes to play. The New Westminster, B.C., native plowed three yards into the end zone for the last score of a heated, see-saw battle between the two teams with the best records in the CFL. Cheap Nike Free Uk Sale . Fred Couples, captain of the U.S. side, put it all into perspective. "We know whos in charge," he said. http://www.cheapnikefreeuk.com/ .Y. -- Syracuse has turned up the defence at the right time all season, and when High Point threatened to pull off a monumental upset the second-ranked Orange did what they do best with their quick hands and savvy play. Cheap Nike Free Online . First off, the fans ripped the Cubbies introduction of a fuzzy new kid-friendly mascot named "Clark". Cheap Nike Free Uk . -- Five former Kansas City Chiefs players who were on the team between 1987 and 1993 filed a lawsuit Tuesday claiming the team hid and even lied about the risks of head injuries during that time period when there was no collective bargaining agreement in place in the NFL. Pressure. Expectations. I want our guys to thrive on those two words for the years to come. -- Joe Maddon, manager/philosopher-king of the Chicago CubsCHICAGO -- Suppose you were trying to accomplish something that hasnt been done in your lifetime, and hasnt been done in your parents lifetime, either. And very possibly hasnt even been done in your grandparents lifetime.Ask yourself this: How would you handle that? Would you pretend it was no big deal, nothing worth talking about, nothing worth thinking about?Or would you admit to yourself what you know is true -- that this is huge. Bigger than Yao Ming. Bigger than the Willis (nee Sears) Tower. Bigger, really, and more life-changing than anything you had done in all your time on this planet.Think about what you would do. And if you spend enough time thinking about it, congratulations. Now you know what its like to be the Chicago Cubs.On Saturday night, on the North Side of Chicago, they will kick off a potentially epic National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Except that for the Cubs, this is more than just a baseball series.After all these months and all these games of grinding away, they have put themselves on the precipice of altering the course of millions of lives. And not just their lives -- but the lives of several gazillion Cubs fans who have waited forever for this moment.Four wins away -- four -- from reaching a World Series for the first time in 71 years.Eight wins away -- eight -- from setting all the ghosts free, from ending 108 years of torture and heartbreak.Its all within their grasp now. Its no longer some cool goal lurking over the horizon, but actually right there in plain sight, within their view.And heres the thing: For the first time since, well, when -- 2003? 1984? 1969? -- the world expects them to do this. Pretty much from the moment the starting gates burst open, theyve been the best team in their sport, which means that, theoretically, this is their time. They just have to be strong enough, tough enough, talented enough and lucky enough to meet their moment over the next three weeks.So we ask you again: If you were in their shoes, how would you be looking at those expectations? Would you deflect them? Or would you embrace them?That would be an overwhelming question for some people. But its safe to say Joe Maddon isnt one of those people. Expectations? Pressure? Bring them on. And dont bring one without the other.My original, initial message to the boys was that, Why would you ever want to be in a situation that doesnt require a little bit of pressure added to it, or expectations? the Cubs manager sermonized Friday at Wrigley Field. I would not want to go into a season having zero expectations and zero pressure applied to you because youre going to finish fourth or fifth in a division. I mean, thats a bad way to live. So, I wanted our guys to understand that those words are going to be applied to us on an annual basis, and you need to embrace them.As far back as spring training, Maddon rolled out his mantra for a season to remember: Embrace the Target. Its a fascinating little slogan, isnt it? The target is that title theyre chasing. But the target is also them. If 29 other teams are looking at them as the team to beat, thats not scary. Thats an honor. Embrace it -- and all that goes with it.And so its fuel, man, Maddon continued. Why would you not [use those expectations for fuel]? Thats the baseball fossil fuel right there -- is expectations and pressure. Why would you not want to be affiliated with that or associated with [that]? I dont get it.He makes it sound so cool and so simple, you might think it would be easy to hear those words and jump on board. But humans arent all wired that way. Humans arent all built with that bring-it-on DNA. And some of those humans play baseball. So it sure is a good thing that Joe Maddon is one of the great spinmeisters in America.I always tell him hed be a great used car salesman, one of his favorite bench energizers, Chris Coghlan, said Friday. Hed tell you 14 stories about this one car, and then youd go, Well, I really want that one, but after these 14 stories, Ill take this one.And thats the Cubs. Theyve bought the car. Theyve bought the stories. Theyve bought into Embrrace the Target and all that goes with it.ddddddddddddWhat Ive always enjoyed with Joe, Coghlan said, is how he can articulate it to people, because most people suppress it. They try to do whatever they can to suppress that pressure. And really, I dont think, in a humanistic way, we can do that. Youre just deceiving yourself.When you know somethings truthful and you try to lie to yourself constantly about it, at the end of the day, you know in a deep root of your heart that its truthful. So if its truthful, you cant get rid of it, and you know that.Is there ever really a day that goes by that someone on the Cubs isnt hearing about those 108 years of emptiness? Of course not. Even if every single citizen in the city of Chicago made a pact not to mention it anymore, this team is fortunate to be surrounded by hordes of great media minds who figure out some way to ask about it approximately every 16 seconds this time of year.So the pressure and the expectation is truthful, Coghlan said. You knew that when you came in. You knew that when you signed these guys. You knew that when you went to the NLCS last year, and then you signed [Jason] Heyward, you signed [John] Lackey, and when you got [Jon] Lester and all those guys. So to try to tell a group of individuals that, Hey guys, the target is on us. Theres a lot of pressure here. Youre chasing history -- 108 years. And you know what? Lets just lie to ourselves and pretend thats not really there? It wouldnt work.And so what I think happens, and I totally agree with Joe on this, is that it ends up empowering you because your mindset embraces the truth. And then it goes, You know what? This is true. Everyone expects us to win. And we expect to win. Everybodys coming for us. So lets embrace it. And lets use it for ammunition.This is this teams second straight trip to the National League Championship Series, and a year later, many of the faces are the same. But those expectations? Not even close to the same.Last years Cubs were that team that wasnt supposed to get this far. So if they won, awesome. And if they didnt, hey, what the heck, what a fun year.So even though they wound up getting steamrolled by the Mets, that was one October sweep that didnt throw the entire franchise into a state of depression, for a change. Instead, the manager and the veterans in his clubhouse merely grabbed a hold of that October life lesson and used it to lay the groundwork for a very different journey back to this same place this season.I just think that these guys grew from that moment, catcher David Ross?said, from having a lot of success, and 97 wins. And finally getting over that hurdle of beating St. Louis. ... And then the Mets came in here and shoved it.So I think that they just learned not to take anything for granted and just to stay in the moment, go pitch to pitch. And they learned how fast it can go from all the way at the top to seasons over.Now, 12 months and one NLCS later, the stakes are higher and the pressure is greater. But as the 2016 Cubs peer into whats ahead, there isnt an ounce of fear in the room.Not yet anyway.I think the expectations within the group are as high as anybodys, Ross said. Its just not our way of doing things around here -- is to worry. Were not worriers. Were not going to worry about the negative and focus on the negative. Its all about the process and staying in the moment, and thats all you can control.You cant control 1930 or whenever that goat came here, Ross said, laughing with pride over his sketchy grasp of the Cubs curse history. I mean, I dont even know. And like, I dont care. I mean, who cares? Im worried about the legacy that were going to leave.On Saturday night at super-stoked Wrigley, they head for the stretch in the drive to carve that legacy. Over these next seven games, many things will come hurtling at them. There are losses ahead, ugly plot twists ahead and a Dodgers team ahead with its own legacy to chisel. But the pressure that goes with that? The Cubs couldnt be happier to invite that pressure to the party.Listen, Maddon said. If you hear the word pressure, you got to run toward it. Thats a good thing. ' ' '

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