LeBron James Crafts Magnificent Performance To Force Game 7

LeBron James was King James Thursday night.For all he has done in his illustrious career, LeBron James Thursday night in Boston eclipsed himself. Already widely regarded as the game’s best and most dynamic player, James was better and more dynamic than ever, saving the Miami Heat season and crushing the Celtics’ all at once.It was a genius performance by James, magnified by the stakes: a loss in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals and the Heat’s season – expected to be so much more – would be over.James would have none of it. He notched 45 breath-taking points, 14 rebounds and five assists, and Miami forced a deciding Game 7 with a dominating 98-79 victory.  Now, the advantage goes back to the Heat, who host the game that will determine who will face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals.This was all made possible by James, the league’s MVP who has been branded by some as a failure in clutch situations. Well, there was not a more important game than Thursday night, facing elimination on the road and a heap of inevitable criticism with failure.In fact, there was talk that coach Eric Spoelstra could be fired with a defeat and that the Big Three of James, Wade and Chris Bosh could be broken up in another disappointing off-season. Pressure? It was immense.But there was no need for a last-second shot. Miami blew out the Celtics with suffocating defense and James’ assault. He was 19-for-26 from the floor, scoring 30 in the first half on 12-for-13 shooting. He scored on a dazzling array of post-ups, fadeaway jump shots and daring forays to the basket. It did not matter that Wade was invisible until late in the game; James was in command.“I just wanted to attack and do whatever it took to lead my team,” James said. “It was a must-win game for us. I’m happy we were able to put together a complete game this series. I just tried to make plays for our team. . . to give ourselves a chance to win. In an environment like this you want to have a good game. This was a gut check for us. It’s good to see we were able to bounce back after that Game 5 loss.”No one bounced higher than James.“He was absolutely fearless, and it was contagious,” Spoelstra said. “The way he approached the last 48 hours. . . nobody likes having dirt thrown on your face before you’re even dead. . . But he was fearless and everybody followed him.”There was a focus and determination on James’ face and in his game. Hardly did he whine to officials about a call. There was not a scowl to his look, but rather a purpose.Meanwhile, Boston looked sick. Paul Pierce was 4-for-18 shooting. Kevin Garnett was 6-for-14. Rajon Rondo had 21 points and 10 assists, but turned the ball over seven times. As a team, the Celtics shot just 42 percent. Overall, they just looked anemic. And they had no answer for James, falling behind by 13 at halftime and never coming closer than eight points the rest of the way.“He brought it to us and we didn’t bring it back to him,” Boston coach Doc Rivers said. read more

Drew Brees Passes Johnny Unitas With Sean Payton Watching

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees broke Johnny Unitas’ long-standing record of 47 consecutive games with a touchdown pass Sunday in front of a raucous crowd at the Mercedes Benz Bowl that included suspended head coach Sean Payton.The history-making play occurred when Brees threw a perfect pass to a streaking Devery Henderson for a 40-yard score with 2:58 left in first quarter. Brees went on to throw three more TD passes as they went on to defeat the San Diego Chargers, 31-24.“The amazing thing about a record like this is it spans over the course of really four seasons and hopefully we can keep it going to for a while,” Brees said. “There are so many people that are a part of this.”Payton and suspended coach Joe Vitt and general manager Mickey Loomis were a part of the occasion, which is way the NFL allowed them to attend the game. The three men sat in a private area of the dome.  All are serving lengthy suspensions in connection with NFL’s bounty investigation this past summer.  Joe Unitas was also on present to see his father’s record broken.Brees eclipsed the record in the spectacular fashion passing for 370 years and four touchdowns, which put him over 30,000 yards in his 100th game as a Saint.“I guess you really couldn’t have written a better script for tonight,” Brees said. “To break the record, to get the win, and the fashion in which we won — really a complete team effort all the way around.”The Who Dat’ nation and Twitter exploded in congratulatory tweets to Brees.  Commissioner Roger Goodell tweeted on his page, “Congrats to (at)drewbrees & his teammates on breaking Unitas’ record. Amazing accomplishment by great QB & leader. We’re proud of you, Drew.”Payton said having the suspended Saints in attendance mattered.“It gave us a good mojo for sure,” Brees said. “I love my coach, so glad he could be here. Mickey and Joe Vitt as well. It is special for our team, special they could be a part of this record.”The Saints move to 1-4 on the season as they head into their bye week.  Brees has the opportunity to move to 49 consecutive games with a touchdown pass when they play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 7. read more

Josh Freeman Lands Back on Top of NFL Depth

Earlier in the year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers released quarterback Josh Freeman, leaving him team-less. Many speculated that the former first round draft pick would end the season on the couch at home, or even by becoming a third string quarterback at best. They were all wrong.Josh Freeman will be the starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings next Monday night. The Vikings signed Freeman on Oct. 8, after the Bucs released him. In just a a week, the organization has decided that they have seen enough to give Freeman another shot at being a starting QB in the NFL.Coach Leslie Frazier said Wednesday that Freeman is a hard worker and he is ready to be at the helm against the New York Giants Monday Night.“I like the things that he’s done in his career, along with what he’s done since he arrived here with our football team,” Frazier said.“The time that he’s put in, how well he’s adapted to our system, and I like his work ethic. He’s done enough for us to say we want to give him this opportunity — which is something we had in mind when we acquired him. We think now is the time.” read more

Kenley Jansen Is The Model Of A Modern Reliever

Kevin ShackelfordCIN120-0.6 Aaron BummerCHW456-1.2 PITCHER▲▼TEAM▲▼GOOSE EGGS▲▼BROKEN EGGS▲▼MEHS▲▼GWAR▲▼ Hector NerisPHI3174+1.9 After a year of searching, we didn’t our find our new Goose Gossage. But we did get a glimpse of what one might look like in baseball’s just-concluded postseason.This spring, we introduced a new pitching statistic called the goose egg — named in honor of Gossage, the Hall-of-Fame reliever, who had a record 82 goose eggs in 1975. Essentially, a pitcher gets a goose egg for every clutch, scoreless relief inning (see the original article for a more formal definition). Goose eggs have a substantially better correlation with relievers’ win probability added than saves do, especially if paired with their companion statistic, the broken egg.This year’s major leader in goose eggs was the Milwaukee Brewers’ Corey Knebel, who finished with 47 of them. The American League leader was the Seattle Mariners’ Edwin Diaz, who had 40. You can find a complete rundown of this year’s final goose stats in the table below. (A “broken egg” is essentially the blown save of goose stats, and a “meh” is any situation which doesn’t result in either a goose egg or a broken egg.) Nick WittgrenMIA611+0.5 Tyler AndersonCOL100+0.2 Alex ColomeTB3866+3.5 John BrebbiaSTL313+0.1 Adam KolarekTB021-0.7 SOURCE: SEAMHEADS.COM Casey LawrenceSEA/TOR020-0.7 Stu Miller19657973+7.5 Rubby De La RosaARI011-0.4 Chase WhitleyTB641-0.6 Justin NicolinoMIA002+0.0 Austin PruittTB420-0.1 Josh FieldsLAD652-1.0 Brad BrachBAL3182+1.9 Fernando RodneyARI3345+3.5 However, from an efficiency standpoint, the best season came not from Knebel or Diaz but from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen, who finished with a perfect record of 44 goose eggs and no broken eggs. That’s the most-ever goose eggs without a broken egg. The Dodgers used Jansen smartly and lined up his 68.1 innings pitched to coincide with mostly high-leverage situations. He made 15 multi-inning appearances, entered with runners on base 12 times, and often pitched in tied games — all things that closers weren’t doing much of a few years ago. And Jansen generated 6.3 goose wins above replacement (GWAR) in the regular season, the 7th-highest total of all-time. Jacob TurnerWAS520-0.0 Bryan ShawCLE2985+1.8 David PhelpsMIA/SEA1694-1.1 Joakim SoriaKC2982+1.6 Robbie RossBOS100+0.2 Mike PelfreyCHW001+0.0 Nick GoodyCLE012-0.4 Luis GarciaPHI1664+0.1 Arodys VizcainoATL2882+1.1 Domingo GermanNYY020-0.7 Matt AlbersWAS1524+1.4 Chasen BradfordNYM301+0.4 Victor AranoPHI210-0.1 Hunter StricklandSF2661+1.5 Nick VincentSEA2856+2.4 Blaine HardyDET131-1.0 Chris DevenskiHOU26106+0.1 Jared HughesMIL1042-0.0 Tyler ClippardCHW/HOU10117-2.5 Brad PeacockHOU101+0.1 Jerry BlevinsNYM18513+0.7 Kevin SiegristPHI/STL813+0.8 Neftali FelizKC/MIL1060-0.7 Erik GoeddelNYM121-0.6 Kevin QuackenbushSD120-0.6 Pedro StropCHC1935+1.6 Blake ParkerLAA2352+1.6 Paul SewaldNYM1283-1.3 Zach DukeSTL112-0.2 J. C. RamirezLAA020-0.7 Mike MorinLAA101+0.2 Brad GoldbergCHW001+0.0 Juan NicasioPHI/PIT2288+0.2 Jhan MarinezMIL/PIT320-0.3 Aroldis ChapmanNYY1943+1.5 Josh HaderMIL1245+0.3 Mariano Rivera19965462+6.6 Joe SmithCLE/TOR1921+2.2 Parker BridwellLAA001+0.0 Rafael MonteroNYM131-1.0 Luke JacksonATL100+0.1 Brandon MaurerKC/SD19100-1.0 Jim JohnsonATL1993-0.6 Zach BrittonBAL1820+2.1 Caleb SmithNYY110-0.2 Zach McAllisterCLE121-0.6 Jonathan HolderNYY611+0.6 Matt CainSF100+0.1 Roberto OsunaTOR31101+1.1 Rob ScahillMIL110-0.2 Michael FelizHOU110-0.2 AJ RamosMIA/NYM2244+1.6 Kenyan MiddletonLAA1021+0.8 Oliver DrakeMIL441-0.9 Tommy KahnleCHW/NYY1692-0.9 Carlos EstevezCOL300+0.5 Troy Percival19964731+6.5 Eric O’FlahertyATL211-0.1 Jimmie SherfyARI100+0.2 Ariel HernandezCIN001+0.0 Ben TaylorBOS101+0.2 Sam FreemanATL1226+1.0 Jordan LylesCOL210-0.0 Lucas HarrellTOR001+0.0 Ronald HerreraNYY010-0.4 Chase De JongSEA010-0.4 Sam TuivailalaSTL441-0.9 Wily PeraltaMIL120-0.6 Archie BradleyARI3148+3.2 Anthony SwarzakCHW/MIL2444+2.1 Pedro BaezLAD1478-0.6 Ryan MadsonOAK/WAS2441+2.1 James PazosSEA1345+0.5 Simon CastroOAK221-0.4 Ross StriplingLAD1091-2.0 Justin HaleyMIN110-0.2 Miguel CastroBAL912+1.0 Seung-hwan OhSTL2256+1.3 Travis WoodKC331-0.6 Brad ZieglerMIA1233+0.6 Shane GreeneDET2045+1.6 Hector SantiagoMIN010-0.4 Jose AlvarezLAA555-1.1 Jake BarrettARI203+0.3 Kenley JansenLAD4401+6.3 Jose LeclercTEX733+0.0 Alex WoodLAD301+0.4 Tyler GlasnowPIT010-0.4 Jose TorresSD552-1.2 Brooks PoundersLAA100+0.2 Chad BellDET001+0.0 Reymin GuduanHOU001+0.0 Cory GearrinSF1232+0.6 David HernandezARI/LAA1515+1.9 Juan MinayaCHW1013+1.1 Cam BedrosianLAA1354+0.1 Adam ConleyMIA010-0.4 Craig StammenSD1023+0.7 Gabriel MoyaMIN100+0.2 Chris O’GradyMIA101+0.1 Brad HandSD3866+3.2 Austin Bibens-DirkxTEX001+0.0 Luis SantosTOR210-0.1 Alex ClaudioTEX2648+2.6 Sam DysonSF/TEX27112-0.1 Jean MachiSEA101+0.2 Tyler PillNYM010-0.4 Adam MorganPHI910+0.9 Daniel StumpfDET245-1.2 Joe MusgroveHOU800+1.2 Dominic LeoneTOR946-0.1 Alan BusenitzMIN302+0.5 Ricardo PintoPHI121-0.6 Brian EllingtonMIA530-0.4 Amir GarrettCIN110-0.2 Edubray RamosPHI9111-2.8 Sam MollOAK011-0.4 Derek LawSF1131+0.5 Jandel GustaveHOU010-0.4 Danny FarquharCHW/TB1442+0.6 Brock StewartLAD201+0.3 Hoby MilnerPHI115-0.2 Joe BiaginiTOR932+0.3 Tim MayzaTOR001+0.0 Yovani GallardoSEA100+0.2 Christian BergmanSEA010-0.4 Jimmy YacabonisBAL300+0.5 Joe JimenezDET020-0.7 Drew VerHagenDET312+0.1 Hansel RoblesNYM952-0.6 Randall DelgadoARI500+0.8 Dan OteroCLE200+0.3 Brandon WorkmanBOS722+0.4 Kyle CrickSF100+0.1 Vidal NunoBAL010-0.4 Jason MotteATL212-0.1 Corey Knebel gets the golden eggFinal goose egg stats for 2017 Tony BarnetteTEX731+0.0 Austin BriceCIN400+0.6 Jason GrilliTEX/TOR443-0.8 Logan VerrettBAL400+0.6 Ian KrolATL623+0.1 Liam HendriksOAK1261-0.4 Doug Corbett198068103+6.3 Ryan DullOAK634-0.2 Tony CingraniCIN/LAD724+0.3 Luke GregersonHOU1062-0.8 Ricardo RodriguezTEX221-0.4 Chris RusinCOL1344+0.6 Matt StrahmKC231-0.8 Blake TreinenOAK/WAS22103-0.4 Luis AvilanLAD644-0.7 Andrew MillerCLE3353+3.5 Drew StorenCIN423-0.2 Erasmo RamirezTB712+0.7 Felix PenaCHC100+0.1 Keone KelaTEX1032+0.5 Jarlin GarciaMIA517+0.3 Blaine BoyerBOS611+0.6 Carlos TorresMIL643-0.6 Trevor RosenthalSTL2581+0.6 Alex WilsonDET1377-0.6 Aaron LoupTOR5312-0.3 Cody AllenCLE2985+1.8 Shae SimmonsSEA020-0.7 Josh OsichSF426-0.2 Andrew ChafinARI587-2.2 Michael LorenzenCIN2672+1.2 Ernesto FrieriTEX010-0.4 James HoytHOU110-0.2 Ryne StanekTB013-0.4 Nate JonesCHW410+0.2 Brian DuensingCHC631-0.3 Tyler OlsonCLE204+0.3 Raisel IglesiasCIN3122+3.8 Doug FisterBOS420-0.1 Scott ObergCOL725+0.4 Jeff BeliveauTOR111-0.2 Matt BarnesBOS1884-0.0 Koda GloverWAS822+0.4 Steven OkertSF7412-0.5 Mike BolsingerTOR310+0.1 Bruce RondonDET430-0.5 Jeurys FamiliaNYM822+0.4 Brent SuterMIL001+0.0 Adam WarrenNYY1041+0.1 Albert SuarezSF430-0.6 John AxfordOAK120-0.6 Greg HollandCOL2762+2.1 Kenley Jansen20174401+6.3 Josh CollmenterATL020-0.7 Xavier CedenoTB013-0.4 Tony WatsonLAD/PIT2396-0.0 Francisco LirianoHOU221-0.4 Tom WilhelmsenARI112-0.2 Scott AlexanderKC844-0.2 Bryan MorrisSF300+0.4 Kyle RyanDET210-0.1 Chris YoungKC100+0.2 Josh EdginNYM525-0.0 Ken GilesHOU2453+1.7 Phil MatonSD732-0.1 Bud NorrisLAA1871+0.1 Wade LeBlancPIT232-0.8 Joely RodriguezPHI524-0.0 Hector RondonCHC1132+0.4 Trevor HildenbergerMIN933+0.3 Rex BrothersATL331-0.7 Koji UeharaCHC1563-0.1 Greg InfanteCHW327-0.3 Dustin McGowanMIA412+0.2 Carson SmithBOS200+0.3 Addison ReedBOS/NYM3567+3.0 Kelvin HerreraKC2773+1.6 Jayson AquinoBAL010-0.4 Carlos RamirezTOR700+1.1 Ryan GartonSEA/TB031-1.1 Akeel MorrisATL001+0.0 T. J. McFarlandARI622+0.2 Daniel CoulombeOAK456-1.3 Trevor CahillKC200+0.3 Richard BleierBAL422-0.1 Kyle McGrathSD100+0.1 Hector VelazquezBOS500+0.8 Zach PutnamCHW200+0.3 Daniel HudsonPIT864-1.1 Chris HatcherLAD/OAK963-0.9 Jorge De La RosaARI1251-0.0 Casey FienPHI/SEA320-0.3 Ryan SherriffSTL221-0.5 Danny BarnesTOR893-2.1 Brad BoxbergerTB443-0.9 Sammy SolisWAS422-0.2 Jake PetrickaCHW223-0.4 Eduardo ParedesLAA210-0.1 Blake WoodCIN432-0.5 Odrisamer DespaigneMIA100+0.1 Boone LoganCLE104+0.2 Gabriel YnoaBAL001+0.0 Matt GraceWAS212-0.1 Rich Gossage197582118+6.7 Robert GsellmanNYM210-0.1 George KontosPIT/SF1283-1.3 Sparky Lyle197766813+6.1 Jackson StephensCIN100+0.1 Vance WorleyMIA010-0.4 Sean DoolittleOAK/WAS2437+2.4 Robert StephensonCIN220-0.5 Junichi TazawaMIA1470-0.6 Jacob RhameNYM210-0.1 Tom KoehlerTOR312+0.1 Matthew BowmanSTL1977+0.1 Jeremy JeffressMIL/TEX251-1.5 Tommy HunterTB3061+2.3 Jesse ChavezLAA121-0.6 Dan WinklerATL111-0.2 Ty BlachSF201+0.3 David PriceBOS101+0.2 Wandy PeraltaCIN1544+0.7 Brandon MorrowLAD1242+0.2 Mike ClevingerCLE010-0.4 Giovanny GallegosNYY010-0.4 Buddy BoshersMIN020-0.7 Dillon GeeMIN100+0.2 Willie Hernandez19846577+6.4 Chad GreenNYY322-0.3 Francis MartesHOU412+0.2 Carl EdwardsCHC2283+0.1 Matt BelisleMIN2263+1.1 Frankie MontasOAK110-0.2 Shawn KelleyWAS621+0.1 Jamie CallahanNYM201+0.3 Tyler DuffeyMIN1143+0.2 A. J. ColeWAS100+0.1 Josh SmokerNYM823+0.4 Ron Perranoski196979139+6.6 Tanner ScheppersTEX101+0.2 Troy ScribnerLAA001+0.0 Jeanmar GomezPHI721+0.3 Dillon MaplesCHC100+0.1 Jose RamirezATL2066+0.7 Ryan BuchterKC/SD1564-0.1 Joe BlantonWAS430-0.5 Oliver PerezWAS615+0.5 Jake JunisKC200+0.3 Tyler WilsonBAL111-0.2 Robby ScottBOS5212+0.1 Jose AlvaradoTB943-0.1 Mychal GivensBAL1834+1.7 Santiago CasillaOAK1783-0.4 Darren O’DayBAL1332+0.9 Yusmeiro PetitLAA2342+2.0 Marc RzepczynskiSEA11412+0.2 Enny RomeroWAS1446+0.5 Ted Abernathy196751314+6.2 Evan ScribnerSEA020-0.7 A.J. MinterATL110-0.2 Tyler ChatwoodCOL110-0.2 Donnie HartBAL423-0.1 Grant DaytonLAD112-0.2 Javy GuerraMIA112-0.2 Neil RamirezNYM012-0.4 J. P. HowellTOR010-0.4 Al AlburquerqueCHW/KC121-0.6 Mark MelanconSF1550+0.3 Chris RowleyTOR310+0.1 Diego MorenoTB010-0.4 Jen-Ho TsengCHC300+0.4 Tony ZychSEA853-0.6 Taylor RogersMIN1876+0.2 Craig KimbrelBOS3140+3.5 Dellin BetancesNYY2482+0.9 Jacob BarnesMIL2694+0.5 Kirby YatesLAA/SD1462-0.2 Tony SippHOU111-0.2 Andrew RomineDET001+0.0 Justin WilsonCHC/DET2463+1.4 Dovydas NeverauskasPIT530-0.4 Pat NeshekCOL/PHI2848+2.8 Warwick SaupoldDET113-0.2 Fernando AbadBOS511+0.4 Corey KnebelMIL4782+3.9 Will HarrisHOU1830+1.5 Joaquin BenoitPHI/PIT18110-1.5 Miguel DiazSD010-0.4 Mike MinorKC2874+1.8 Bryan MitchellNYY010-0.4 Matt BushTEX1763+0.5 Kevin McCarthyKC100+0.2 A. J. SchugelPIT201+0.3 Mike DunnCOL1503+2.4 Kenley Jansen’s season was Goose-toricHighest single-season goose wins above replacement (GWAR) Stefan ChrichtonBAL010-0.4 Wade DavisCHC3031+3.2 Mark LeiterPHI010-0.4 Andrew KittredgeTB210-0.1 Dan JenningsCHW/TB259-1.5 Edwin DiazSEA4074+3.4 Sergio RomoLAD/TB630-0.2 Jake DiekmanTEX601+0.9 Craig BreslowCLE/MIN012-0.4 Tyler LyonsSTL1132+0.5 Joe KellyBOS1245+0.5 Heath HembreeBOS1056-0.2 Justin GrimmCHC412+0.2 Kyle BarracloughMIA2261+0.9 Dan AltavillaSEA431-0.5 Brandon KintzlerMIN/WAS3464+2.9 Mike MontgomeryCHC1422+1.3 Buddy BaumannSD311+0.1 Antonio BastardoPIT010-0.4 Johnny BarbatoPIT010-0.4 Drew SteckenriderMIA1111+1.2 Josh RavinLAD110-0.2 Steve CishekSEA/TB1024+0.8 Alec AsherBAL311+0.1 Matt DermodyTOR302+0.5 Jake McGeeCOL1552+0.6 David RobertsonCHW/NYY2862+2.1 Adam OttavinoCOL1373-0.5 Deolis GuerraLAA720+0.3 Asher WojciechowskiCIN200+0.3 Miguel SocolovichSTL101+0.1 Ryan TeperaTOR2531+2.8 Ryan PresslyMIN532-0.3 Fernando SalasLAA/NYM864-1.1 Dan RunzlerPIT001+0.0 Ben HellerNYY101+0.2 Tim AdlemanCIN021-0.7 Brett CecilSTL1543+0.7 Josh SmithOAK210-0.1 Francisco RodriguezDET382-2.5 J. J. HooverARI633-0.2 Chasen ShreveNYY623+0.2 PITCHERYEARGOOSE EGGSBROKEN EGGSMEHSGWAR Felipe RiveroPIT3742+3.9 PITCHER▲▼TEAM▲▼GOOSE EGGS▲▼BROKEN EGGS▲▼MEHS▲▼GWAR▲▼ Jumbo DiazTB653-0.9 Austin MaddoxBOS200+0.3 Chad QuallsCOL210-0.0 Jonathan BroxtonSTL120-0.6 Chris BeckCHW022-0.7 Peter MoylanKC1005+1.6 Dario AlvarezTEX201+0.3 Emilio PaganSEA342-1.0 Sources: Retrosheet, The Baseball GAUGE Jansen’s also the exception that proves the rule, however; it’s hard to provide all that much value when you pitch only 70 innings or so, which is about how much the best relievers pitch nowadays. After Jansen, the next most-valuable season came from Knebel, who finished with 3.9 GWAR — which ranks just 200th among relief pitching seasons all-time.If you want a model for a more Gossage-like usage pattern, you need to look no further than … how Jansen was used in the postseason. Jansen appeared in 13 of the Dodgers’ 15 playoff games and threw 16.2 innings. Extrapolated out to a full, 162-game regular season, that would work out to a Mike Marshall-like total of 180 relief innings.Jansen didn’t keep his perfect streak alive in the playoffs. Instead, he allowed 2 broken eggs to go with 6 goose eggs. He was also used in some situations that we wouldn’t recommend — for instance, to close out an 11-1 lead against the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS. Still, his postseason goose egg pace would extrapolate to 65 goose eggs over a 162-game regular season.What I’m really advocating for is a hybrid between how pitchers like Jansen are currently used in the regular season and the entirely different way that they’re used in the postseason. The extra off-days the playoffs provide help to enable more creative usage patterns that might not be viable in the regular season. And even with those extra rest days, Jansen may have been overused in not-very-clutch situations in the NLCS and NLDS; perhaps as a result, he was not especially sharp in the World Series. At the same time, he went from throwing 4.7 percent of the Dodgers’ regular season innings to 12.3 percent of their postseason innings — almost a threefold increase. Surely there’s a happy median somewhere in between?But congratulations to Jansen and Knebel, and we’ll resume our hunt for goose eggs next year. In the meantime, you can download detailed data on goose eggs and broken eggs for all pitchers since 1930 here. read more

Ohio State baseball shows competitive toughness in win against Illinois

The Ohio State baseball team won its rubber match with Illinois, 7-3, after splitting the first two games of the weekend series. OSU wore camouflage uniforms for Sunday’s game to pay tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. They were originally going to wear them for Tuesday night’s game against Akron, but the game was rained out. A bombing took place at the Boston Marathon April 15, which led to three deaths and more than 180 injuries. One suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed and the other, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was captured over the weekend. The Fighting Illini struck first in the top half of the first inning with two RBI singles by redshirt junior left fielder Jordan Parr and senior third baseman Brandon Hohl, giving them an early 2-0 lead. OSU responded with a big inning in the bottom of the second, when it added six runs of its own including a three-run home run by redshirt senior second baseman Ryan Cypret. The three-run shot was Cypret’s third home run of the season. “We stayed confident,” Cypret said. “High fastball first pitch, then just a low curveball that somehow the stars aligned and I hit it out.” In the following inning, Illinois was able to get one run back on an RBI single by senior center fielder Justin Parr, trimming the Buckeyes’ lead to 6-3. The Buckeyes knocked freshman pitcher Ryan Castellanos out of the game in the bottom of the fifth when freshman third baseman Jacob Bosiokovic hit a one-out RBI double, making the score 7-3. Senior right-hander Brett McKinney replaced senior pitcher Brian King in the top of the seventh with two outs. King allowed three runs and eight hits in 6.2 innings. In the top of the ninth, the Buckeyes brought sophomore closer Trace Dempsey into the game in a non-save situation to get some work. Dempsey retired the Illini in order and ended the game with a strikeout to give OSU its 25th win, 7-3. The Buckeyes improve to 25-13 overall and 9-6 in Big Ten play. Illinois falls to 24-12 on the year and 6-6 in conference competition. King was the winning pitcher and improved his record to 6-4 with a 2.50 ERA. Castellanos took the loss and falls to 2-1 with a 5.20 ERA. Although King struggled in the first inning, when the Buckeyes were able to give him a comfortable lead, he knew he was going to be able to settle in. “I could put my fastball where I wanted it,” King said. “They picked me up so I knew I needed to pick them up for the rest of the game.” OSU coach Greg Beals was pleased with the way the Buckeyes have played the last two games, and even happier that they have won two Big Ten series in a row. “We’ve done it two weekends in a row,” Beals said. “This should be a learning experience for them and learning how to win and what it takes to win games. It really speaks a lot in terms of their competitive toughness.” The Buckeyes don’t play again until Friday, when they are set to open a weekend series with Penn State at Bill Davis Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. read more

Blaz Rola wins mens NCAA Singles Championship

Blaz Rola, junior for the Ohio State men’s tennis team, has been crowned the 2013 NCAA singles champion.Rola took down No. 3 Jarmere Jenkins of the University of Virginia 7-6(8), 6-4 on Sunday to complete his run through the tournament to claim the first ever singles championship in program history.Mark Batke / Lantern photographerAfter the Buckeyes fell to No. 1 UCLA last week it looked as though the men’s tennis program would be left without a national championship again this season. Rola was the highest ranked player entering the tournament for the Buckeyes but his No. 12 ranking did not instill much confidence in the OSU faithful.Despite this Rola defeated six ranked opponents, and only lost one set throughout the tournament en route to his championship victory.The championship comes a year after Rola advanced to the semifinals but fell 6-2, 6-1 to Kentucky’s Eric Quigley. It completed a 32-1 season for the Slovenian, his only loss coming at the hands of Jared Hiltzik of Illinois, the Big Ten freshman of the year.A hard fought first set saw Rola win the tiebreak 10-8 despite giving up four-consecutive wins to allow Jenkins to tie the set at 6-6. In the second set Rola broke in the 7th game and held serve for the rest of the match for the 6-4 and the championship.This was not the first national championship Rola has earned in his time at OSU. He was last season’s doubles champion with his partner Chase Buchanan. Rola is also a four-time All-American and a three-time unanimous First Team All-Big Ten pick. read more

Aaron Craft Lenzelle Smith Jr prepare for final home game as Ohio

Senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. (32) takes a shot during a game against Wyoming Nov. 25 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 65-50.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorBeing in the same recruiting class with the likes of Deshaun Thomas and Jared Sullinger, Ohio State senior guards Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. might have been a bit overshadowed initially among Buckeye fans.Thomas and Sullinger — both five-star products out of high school — were big pieces of the OSU squads who made trips to the Final Four and Elite Eight in back-to-back seasons. But they’ve since moved on to play professionally, and even though Craft and Smith Jr. might have been second-tier then — they’ve certainly left their mark on the program.“Both guys, you look at how many games they’ve won here, championships they’ve been a part of, it’s really an amazing four years,” OSU coach Thad Matta said Friday, two days before the Buckeyes are scheduled to take on No. 22 Michigan State in what will be the final home game of the regular season. “I think with that said, both guys have had a major impact on this program in terms of making it better. And that’s what we ask guys to do.”Craft and Smith Jr. were the fastest players in school history to record 100 wins, reaching that milestone in just 119 games after OSU beat North Florida 99-64 Nov. 29.Craft, Smith Jr. and the rest of the Buckeyes have had some tough and exciting contests against the Spartans recently.Last season, the Buckeyes beat Michigan State 61-58 in the Big Ten Tournament, but fell in the two teams previous meeting this season in East Lansing, Mich., 72-68 in overtime in their first lost of the season. With a familiar opponent on the docket for their final home game at OSU, Craft said he wouldn’t rather it be against anyone else.“I honestly don’t think there could be a better way to play our last game here. I’ve loved playing against Michigan State,” Craft said Friday. “Since freshman year we’ve always had great battles with them. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’m excited to see what we can do as a team going into this game.”For Smith Jr., however, the game against the Spartans means something a little differently because of the friendships he’s formed with members of Michigan State’s team.“It’s actually kind of the sweet but not so sweet moment. Just seeing as how I’m so close to some of those guys on the team,” Smith Jr. said Friday. “We’ve hung out in the summer, we went to the Big Ten media days in Chicago … We talked, had fun and it’s different when you see them on the opposite side of the court. It’s like, ‘I’m not here to be your friend, don’t even talk to me.’”Craft enters the game as OSU’s all-time leader in steals and assists with 293 and 623 respectively, and with numbers like those is likely to be remembered fondly in Buckeye lore. But he said he doesn’t think about being in the same breath as former players like David Lighty, Mike Conley Jr., Greg Oden or Scoonie Penn.“I just don’t feel comfortable putting myself in close to the same categories of guys that (have) come before,” Craft said. “I’m just very honored and humbled to continue on what they’ve established here. And to play a very small part of that.”Aside from it being Craft and Smith Jr.’s final go around at the Schottenstein Center, the game against the Spartans (23-7, 12-5, 3rd in the Big Ten) holds implications for next week’s Big Ten Tournament. OSU (22-8, 9-8 tied for fifth in the Big Ten) sits one game behind Nebraska for fourth place in the conference, and would need a victory against the Spartans and some help to finish in that spot and earn a first-round bye in the tournament.OSU has lost two straight games, falling on the road last week to Penn State and Indiana. Matta said no matter where they finish in the standings, a win against Michigan State would certainly be a step in the right direction.“This is our 18th Big Ten game, and 16 of them have been tooth and nail and down to the last couple minutes,” Matta said. “With that said, you’re playing a team that’s obviously a great basketball team. It’s a great opportunity for us to come out and close out the final game of the season.”As OSU searches for any bit of momentum it can get its hands on as the season draws to a close, Smith Jr. agreed with Matta and said a victory Sunday would be key to build that.“We can get a lot of momentum here with a win on Sunday to carry us over into the Big Ten Tournament,” Smith Jr. said. “We can get that going, and if we get hot at the right time, that’s the name of the game. You want to play your best basketball toward this time of the season and I think we can accomplish that.”Matta has gone on record as saying he would get behind putting up a statue commemorating Lighty’s accomplishments and what he’s meant to the program outside the arena. The same would go for Craft and Matta said he would want to “put it right next to David.”When Craft was told his head coach said that about him, though, he naturally spun it back to be more of a team oriented affair.“Legacy and all that stuff, it’s not about me, it’s not about Lenzelle. It’s about this university and the things we’ve been able to do as a team, whether it’s putting a year up on the banners in the gym,” Craft said. “That’s what’s going to be remembered. That’s what should be remembered.”Tipoff between the Buckeyes and Spartans is set for 4:30 p.m. Sunday. read more

Ohio State football more than all right with JT Barrett at quarterback

OSU redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett scans the field during practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center Aug. 9.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorWhen a team loses its senior Heisman-candidate quarterback, it can typically expect to see a big drop off in its offensive strength.If you ask Ohio State redshirt-junior tight end Nick Vannett, though, he’ll tell you that won’t necessarily be the case as redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett takes the place of the injured Braxton Miller.“I think with the way they (Barrett and redshirt-sophomore quarterback Cardale Jones) have been playing right now, I don’t think we’ll skip a beat,” Vannett said Monday after practice. “I think we’ll be just fine.”While Barrett has yet to take a snap outside of practice for the Scarlet and Gray, he and Jones have been practicing with the first-team offense since the spring. Miller initially injured his shoulder against Clemson in the Orange Bowl to end last season, paving the way for Barrett and Jones to get the only significant reps at quarterback in spring practice.Miller was limited again this fall because his shoulder was sore after an offseason surgery. And then he tore his throwing shoulder labrum in practice Aug. 18.Vannett said practice time will help the offense continue on the same beat going forward, even though the team initially expected Miller to make a full recovery from the first injury.“We did a really (good) job with our quarterbacks, 0having J.T. and Cardale getting reps in the spring as well with (Miller) out,” he said. “It’s not like it’s a last minute thing where we’re just jumping in and kind of rushing stuff.”Senior wide receiver Evan Spencer said there will be changes to the offense, but agreed that Barrett, as well as Jones if he plays any reps, will be ready to go because of the amount of practice time they’ve had since the season ended.“They’ve been throwing the ball so much all throughout camp, and really all throughout the offseason, that it’s not that much of a transition for us just because that’s what we’ve been going through,” Spencer said.While many wrote off OSU as a contender in the National Championship race after Miller went down, Spencer said he’s seen enough in practice to have plenty of confidence heading into the season.“Personally, I think what we’ve been seeing out at practice — and a lot of the other seniors can back me up — is … we’ll be way more than all right this year,” he said. “That’s for sure.”OSU coach Urban Meyer said he believes Barrett and Jones have been up to the challenge since Miller was injured, and the changes at the position will be helped along by a plethora of talented receivers.“J.T. and Cardale responded very well (after Miller’s injury),” Meyer said at a Monday press conference. “The biggest issue I see, or the positive we have right now, is we have a good one and two group of receivers that are just rotating out.”Meyer said there will be six different receivers rotating through the lineup, with the plan being to give Barrett the freshest and most rested targets possible throughout OSU’s season opener.Then-redshirt-freshman quarterback Cardale Jones (12) avoids a defender during a game against Florida A&M Sept. 21 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 76-0.Lantern file photoEven though Meyer announced Barrett as the No. 2 quarterback before Miller went down with his injury, he said there isn’t a big gap between his and Jones’ talent. The third-year OSU coach confirmed, though, that Barrett is the starter heading into the season.Meyer also said it would be possible for Jones to come in for Barrett if the latter doesn’t perform up to expectations in the first weeks of the season.Regardless of his performance on the field, Spencer said the team has confidence in Barrett as a leader, which is a role he has taken on since Miller’s injury.“You could kind of tell from the beginning of camp that (Barrett) was trying to work on his maturity and his leadership as a young player,” Spencer said. “But after Braxton went down in practice, I think he kind of realized pretty quickly, ‘All right, well, time to take a leadership role.’”Spencer said as soon as the team realized Miller would be out, Barrett stepped up to the challenge of filling those shoes.“In the huddle from then on, when (Barrett) was in practice and doing stuff like that he was just making sure that he was keeping people going,” Spencer said. “If we were having a rough day, he was making sure that we’d stay up, that we’d stay motivated.”Meyer said one of the first things he noticed about Barrett was his competitive spirit. He said Barrett isn’t any louder as a leader than Miller, but added the’s “very confident.”Spencer said Miller and Barrett have different leadership qualities, but said both are good at what they do. He added Barrett is a strong motivator and he’s excited to see what happens going forward.OSU’s first game of the season is scheduled for Saturday against Navy at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Kickoff is set for noon. read more

British teenager achieves incredibly rare perfect International Baccalaureate score

first_imgIt is a superb achievement to get full marks on the IB, something incredibly rare across the whole global cohortDavid Walrond, School Principal Miss Ovens said her career plans included looking into working at the Foreign Office or for a charity.When this year’s results came out, Dr Siva Kumari, IB director general, said: “I’d like to congratulate all the students who are receiving their results, a fitting return for all the hard work and commitment they’ve shown in completing their learning.”This year IB exams were taken in 76 languages.  A British teenager is being hailed as one of the world’s brightest students after getting a rare perfect score in the International Baccalaureate (IB). Lowenna Ovens is now studying philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University having scored 45 out of 45 in the tests, cementing her place among the very best students across the globe.The 18-year-old sat her exams in the summer at Truro and Penwith College. Her results are equivalent to more than four A*s or more than five A grades at A Level. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Of the 150,000 IB students around the world this year, only 146 received the perfect score of 45. The average score was 30.07. Miss Oven said: “I chose the IB Diploma because of the breadth of study and the fact I didn’t want to narrow down my GCSE subjects too much. I would definitely recommend the course.”The IB diploma offers a broader programme of study than A levels. Students take six subjects including three at “higher level”.These can include a second language, biology, chemistry, physics, history, theatre studies and psychology. 1.3million DP graduates in over 140 countries #stats #IBBCN16 #IBresearch pic.twitter.com/YBtdMt5OI3— IB official (@iborganization) October 7, 2016 David Walrond, principal at Truro and Penwit, said the college was incredibly proud of Miss Oven’s achievements.He said: “It is a superb achievement to get full marks on the IB, something incredibly rare across the whole global cohort.”This mark puts Lowenna at the very top not just of national, but world performance in the International Baccalaureate… even with her remarkable ability you need real organisation and stamina to do what she has done.”last_img read more

Mother claims Sainsburys cashier gendershamed her son for choosing pink Kinder egg

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Sainsbury’s is caught up in a gender-shaming row as the supermarket investigates allegations that a cashier asked a boy why he had chosen a chocolate snack in pink wrapping rather than blue.Mason Houghton, three, was allowed to choose a Kinder Surprise egg from the store as a reward for doing well in his potty training.He took one with characters from the film Frozen rather than one with Marvel superheroes at the Sainsbury’s Local store in Anlaby near Hull.His mother Charlotte Houghton said she was left embarrassed when the cashier told the youngster: “You’ve got a girls one.” Mrs Houghton said: “I’ve heard of comments being made to parents before but this was the first time I’ve personally experienced gender shaming.”I was really taken aback by it. I then found myself explaining to her – while she was beeping the other items through – that he likes the Frozen one and he always chooses it because of the figures, so that is what he is getting.”I was mumbling on because I felt guilty, like I was doing something wrong, then I thought, ‘What am I doing? Why am I trying to explain? It’s got nothing to do with her’.”She added: “I’m sure she meant no harm by her comments but I can’t understand this divide of boys and girls toys.”Personally I think we should encourage our children to play with any toys that they want, as long as they’re safe.”The pink Frozen Kinder Surprise Egg contains the characters from the popular film, Anna, Elsa and Olaf.Mrs Houghton, a location agent from Hull, said she always encourages children Oliver, 10, and Mason to play with toys of their choice.She said: “If he had wanted a pram I would have let him have one, it wouldn’t make him any less of a boy. We’ve got a kitchen at home and they like playing with the trolleys.”I just found it really bizarre that she thought it was OK to comment and say that to my son – it has nothing to do with her.”If it had been a new mum who was upset by it, it could have really knocked their confidence and made them question themselves.”Mrs Houghton posted the incident in the Hull Mummy Friends group on Facebook.Ferrero, the Italian company that produces the Kinder eggs, said they were not meant to be gender-specific.A spokeswoman said: “The Frozen Kinder Surprise egg is part of the Pink and Blue range, which offers different branded toy ranges in pink or blue-coloured eggs.”The Frozen egg is pink. However, Ferrero doesn’t advocate or promote Kinder Pink and Blue as a gender-specific product and they are not labelled for girls or boys.”Kinder Surprise pink and blue eggs help parents navigate the toy ranges on offer and make purchasing decisions based on what is most relevant for their child, as an individual. Feedback from parents shows that they welcome this approach.”Sainsbury’s said it was investigating the incident but needed more information before it could comment properly.A spokeswoman said: “We would encourage Charlotte to contact us directly so we can get to the bottom of what happened.”center_img I was mumbling on because I felt guilty, like I was doing something wrong, then I thought, ‘What am I doing? Why am I trying to explain? It’s got nothing to do with her’Charlotte Houghtonlast_img read more