Veteran catcher Carlos Ruiz’s pinch hit home run is a vintage performance

first_imgLOS ANGELES >> Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager was 15 years old when Carlos Ruiz was putting together one of the best Octobers in baseball history.Ruiz batted .385 in the 2009 National League Championship Series against the Dodgers, including a three-run home run in Game 1 against Clayton Kershaw. The Phillies eliminated the Dodgers that year, and Ruiz hit .333 in a six-game World Series against the New York Yankees.Now the Dodgers’ backup catcher, Ruiz delivered a vintage performance Monday with his pinch-hit home run against Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez. The two-run shot pulled the Dodgers within 4-3 and knocked Gonzalez out of the game, which the Nationals eventually won 8-3.“That was a big swing for us, a big AB for us,” Seager said. “It got us back into the game, one run (behind). Unfortunately we couldn’t find the big hit again.” It was the first pinch-hit home run by a Dodger in the postseason since Orlando Hudson in the 2009 NLCS.Ruiz cemented his reputation as a postseason performer in 2009. The following year, he helped Philadelphia reach the NLCS again.But Ruiz’s home run Monday was his first postseason hit of any kind since 2011. At age 37, his October magic was fading further into the rear-view mirror. So was his power. Ruiz had collected 36 singles, seven doubles and no triples since his last home run — against Solis back on April 27.“I always say that I think my job is behind home plate, call a good game, play some good defense and also I know I was not a power hitter,” he said. “I always try to have some good at-bats. Home runs come once in a while, that’s good.”AlsoSeager has exactly one hit in six of his eight career postseason games. He’s batting .231 in the series (3 for 13) but all three hits have been run-scoring extra-base hits — two home runs and a double. … Maeda’s three-inning start is tied for the shortest postseason start ever by a Dodger pitcher not named Odalis Perez. … Perez lasted 2 2/3 innings in Game 1, and 2 1/3 innings in Game 4, of the 2004 NLDS. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Ruiz grounded out as a pinch hitter in Game 2, his only other at-bat in the series. This was the role the Dodgers envisioned for Ruiz when three catchers — he, starter Yasmani Grandal and rookie Austin Barnes — were selected to the division series roster. Barnes had already batted and been replaced by the time Dodgers manager Dave Roberts chose to use Ruiz with the pitcher’s spot due up in the fifth inning. That left Grandal as the Dodgers’ only catcher.“I didn’t think that they were going to (Ruiz) that early,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. “It’s a cat-and-mouse game, and you know, Chooch won that one.”Ruiz had already hit home runs this season against the two pitchers at Baker’s disposal. Nationals reliever Sammy Solis was warming up in the bullpen, and Ruiz homered off both Solis and Gonzalez when the Phillies played the Nationals in April. “Sometimes you face a pitcher like (Gonzalez), you feel good at the plate, and it was a 3-1 count,” Ruiz said. “I was ready for the fastball and I put a good swing.”last_img read more

Pjanic: I am happy and proud, not only for Myself, but also for my Parents

first_imgBosnia and Herzegovina national team player Miralem Pjanić will wear the FC Barcelona jersey from next season.The midfielder signed a four-year contract with the Spanish giant, to which he was transferred from Italian Juventus.“It was my dream that came true. I am happy and proud, not only for myself, but also for my parents and for the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I never forget where I came from. Barcelona is one of the biggest clubs in the world and being a part of this club is also the biggest step in football for every player. Success does not come by itself, but only with hard work, effort and faith that everything in life can be achieved. And this is proof. Now I have to do my job with Juventus, I am focused on that and then, I can’t wait to go out to Camp Nou”, said Miralem Pjanić.In his career so far, he also played for Metz, Lyon and Roma.He played 92 games for the national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina and scored 15 goals.Born on 2 April, 1990 in Tuzla (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Miralem Pjanić is a versatile player who after becoming a key member of the Juventus squad is joining Barça to show his quality in midfield.  He began his career in French football at Metz in 2007. Despite relegation, the midfielder had an excellent season and subsequently made the move to Olympique Lyonnais. Pjanić then began to make a name for himself in the world of football and became an essential member of the French side, helping them reach the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time in their history during the 2009/10 season.After playing 115 games and scoring 16 goals he headed for Italy, where he joined AS Roma in 2011. During 5 seasons and 200 games he scored 30 goals and gave 40 assists before signing for Juventus in 2016.  In Turin he once again showed his maturing talent and became a vital cog in one of the best club side’s in the world, winning Serie A three times, as well as two Coppa Italia and one Italian Super Cup with la Vecchia Signora.Pjanić played for the Luxembourg national side at youth level but at senior level he chose to represent Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is the 3rd most capped player in their history (92 games) and the 6th best goalscorer (15) and played at the 2014 World Cup and could figure in the Euro2020 competition next summer if Bosnia and Herzegovina can make it through the play offs.Pjanic has played in every midfield position, whether that be as an attacking midfielder at Metz or in a slightly deeper role at Olympique Lyonnais and Roma. His ability to join attacks whilst coming from deep as well as his excellent free kick taking abilities have seen him score his fair share of goals. Furthermore, his technical quality, vision of the game and commitment make him one of the best midfielders in football today.last_img read more

West Ham face probe after fans mar Burnley loss

first_imgLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | West Ham face a Football Association probe after the troubled club’s owners David Gold and David Sullivan were forced to flee their seats when furious fans ran riot during shameful scenes at the London Stadium.Several West Ham supporters invaded the pitch during Saturday’s 3-0 Premier League defeat against Burnley, while hundreds of fans gathered beneath the directors’ box to protest against Gold and Sullivan.Fans made throat-slitting gestures while missiles were seen to be thrown in the direction of the executive seats amid chants of “sack the board” and “you killed our club”. “While the official investigation of the incidents will be carried out by the Football Association, we will be asking our own questions of West Ham United about what happened this afternoon, especially to ensure similar events never reoccur.”– ‘Horrible atmosphere’ –West Ham manager David Moyes admitted he understood why tempers had frayed, but the Scot condemned the ugly scenes.“As a supporter you can’t cross the line. You can’t come on the pitch. That’s the rule,” Moyes said.“What we need is the club, supporters, players, everyone, is to pull together.”Noble’s ascent from boyhood West Ham fan to key player for the club had made him a favourite of the Hammers support.But even the east London-born star admitted the situation was out of control.“I’m a West Ham fan and I’ve always protected the club. But if someone approaches me, I’ll protect myself,” he said of his clash with the fan.“It’s been like this for the past two seasons, since we moved to this stadium.“Every time we lose we and the board get a lot of stick. It seemed today that the fans had had enough.“The atmosphere was horrible. We know a lot of it isn’t aimed at the players, but we have to be man enough to play in that atmosphere.”It was an horrific end to a turbulent week which saw a protest march called off as fans’ groups turned on each other during threats of violents by one Hammers supporters’ organisation linked to the club’s notorious Inter City Firm hooligans of the 1970s and 1980s.Burnley manager Sean Dyche was relieved the poisonous atmosphere didn’t end in his players suffering harm.“When we scored the second the atmosphere changed,” he said.“We know people can’t come on the pitch but I can’t imagine it was dangerous for the players.“Hopefully there are better times ahead for West Ham.”Share on: WhatsApp On the pitch, the toxic atmosphere boiled over after West Ham captain Mark Noble grappled one fan to the floor and team-mate James Collins marched two others away.Burnley’s coaching staff let children shelter in their dug-out to avoid being caught in the chaos that left police investigating two allegations of assault.West Ham said an emergency meeting had been called with all London Stadium stakeholders, which includes Gold and Sullivan, whose decision to uproot the club from Upton Park to Stratford has caused resentment.The FA is also set to launch a probe, with a spokesman saying: “The FA strongly condemns the crowd disturbances seen today at West Ham United versus Burnley and will be seeking observations from West Ham as well as awaiting the match referee’s report.”The east London club, currently just three points above the relegation zone, could be hit with a heavy fine or even forced to play matches behind closed doors as punishment for the disturbances.In their own statement the Premier League said: “It is essential that everybody who plays or attends a Premier League football match can do so safely.“There is no place at any level of the game for what happened at the London Stadium.last_img read more

Leafs get top marks halfway through KIJHL regular season

first_imgThe Nelson Daily: Is this team back on track after its recent three-game slide?Frank Maida: I don’t think we were really in a slide. We really only lost in those three games, once in regulation. I don’t really call  that a slide.TND: Your last game you had only 14 skaters against Grand Forks. Are you concerned about injuries playing with a short bench?F.M. We are getting our numbers back to where we need to be (defenceman J.J. Beitel and forward Bryce Nielsen are day to day while sniper Travis Wellman is scheduled to be back in the lineup after missing both games against Spokane and Grand Forks). We’ve been playing short staffed for the last 15 games and now were getting healthier and that’s helping.TND: Are you at all worried about players playing too much and getting hurt?F.M: I’m always worried about injuries and when rest is needed the boys get some time off. After the weekend, we take Sunday and Monday off, and Tuesday we’re right back at it.TND: This team has proven it’s never out of games. As evident last weekend needing to rally past Grand ForksF.M: Going back to the beginning of the season, we’ve proven this team is never out of it. We all understand it’s a 60-minute game and you have to play 60 minutes in order to win and that’s our focus going into every game and if we do fall behind we stick to the game plan.TND: Nice to be back home for two games this weekend?F.M: These are two really good teams coming to town in Kelowna (18-6-0-2) and North Okanagan (12-11-0-1). The boys are excited to play at home after a stint away so we’re expecting two real good games. . . .Two very strong teams that play their systems very well so we’ll have to bring our A-game. Half way through the Kootenay International season, the Nelson Leafs own the best record in the league at 20-1-1-3.Ironically, the Green and White suffered through a three-game losing streak earlier in November before reeling off five straight wins to take a 10-point lead over the Beaver Valley Nitehawks in Murdoch Division standings.Much of the success for Nelson has been in the offensive zone as Nelson has racked up 130 goals en route to the best goal differential in the league.The Leafs also sport the top goal scorer in the entire KIJHL in Travis Wellman, tied with Nick Josephs of Kelowna Chiefs with 31 markers.And the Leafs are also getting it done at the defensive end with a league low 73 goals against.Nelson, host club for the 2014 Cyclone Taylor Cup in April, is back on home ice after playing five of six the previous games away from the friendly confines of the NDCC Arena.The Nelson Daily talked with head coach Frank Maida on the team’s recent success.last_img read more

Josh Pierre-Louis expresses intent to transfer

first_imgDuring his only year at Temple, Pierre-Louis averaged 3.8 points per game in 27 games this season while averaging 12.7 minutes per game. Pierre-Louis also made 42.9 percent of his shots from the field while converting 37.8 percent of his three-pointers. Pierre-Louis was rated as a three-star recruit by 247 Sports coming out of Roselle Catholic High School in Roselle, New Jersey. Pierre Louis’ announcement comes just two days after his brother, junior guard Nate Pierre-Louis, declared for the 2020 NBA Draft.  Pierre-Louis is the second Temple player to announce his intention to transfer from the program following this season. Junior forward Justyn Hamilton announced his intent to transfer from the program on March 14. Freshman guard Josh Pierre-Louis intends to transfer from the Temple University men’s basketball program, Verbal Commits announced in a tweet on Wednesday. Freshman guard Josh Pierre-Louis dribbles the ball down the court during the Owls’ game against Saint Joseph’s University at the Liacouras Center on Dec. 10. | NICK DAVIS / THE TEMPLE NEWS Josh Pierre-Louis has not provided a comment as of Wednesday afternoon.last_img read more