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 Barnes had already batted and been replaced by the time Dodgers manager Dave Roberts chose to use Ruiz with the pitcher’s spot due up in the fifth inning.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

Injury woes striking a familiar tune with Los Angeles Lakers

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “With all the guys we have hurt, you know Kobe. He’ll try to take it upon himself as much as possible,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “We want to try to keep it as little as possible and not have all the scoring load be on his back.”It appeared that would be a tough task before Sunday’s game. Lakers forward Ryan Kelly experienced soreness in his right hamstring on the final drill of Sunday’s morning shootaround, the same day he hoped to return from a strained left hamstring that kept him out of the Lakers’ four previous exhibitions. After having offseason surgery on his right knee, Lakers forward Xavier Henry will travel to New York City for a second opinion and then to Dusseldorf, Germany to undergo Regenokine treatment. Nick Young will stay sidelined for at least another month while healing his surgically repaired right thumb. No one ever knows how Steve Nash’s chronically hurt back will shape up. And perhaps Jordan Clarkson (strained left calf muscle) and Jeremy Lin (sprained left ankle) will return soon. So what can the Lakers do?“It’s got to be by committee,” Scott said. “I can’t necessarily look at one guy and say, ‘We need you to go out there and do this for us.’” A fluctuating roster and a coaching change have not removed an odor that has left the Lakers with an unpleasant residue.The Lakers are already dealing with a revolving door of injuries that spark reminders of last season’s nightmare that ended with the team’s worst record in L.A. franchise history. During that stretch, players missed a combined 319 games because of health. It seems hard to make this up, but the Lakers’ injury bug has already bitten six players and left them with uncertain return dates. Yet, somehow it did not matter in the Lakers’ 98-91 preseason victory on Sunday against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center, improving the team’s preseason record to 2-3 and snapping the team’s three consecutive losses in exhibition play. The Lakers, of course, depended on Kobe Bryant, his 26 points on 7-of-22 shooting and 9-of-11 clip from the foul line in 31 minutes marking his latest progression after playing in only six games last season because of overlapping injuries to his left Achilles tendon and left knee. This happened a day after Bryant threw down a one-handed dunk in practice. But the Lakers also fueled a third-quarter rally, outscoring Utah’s second unit 31-18, with a heavy dose of contributions from veteran forward Carlos Boozer (19 points), training camp invitee Wayne Ellington (nine points), rookie forward Julius Randle (eight points) and versatile swingman Wesley Johnson (eight points). For only the second time in five exhibitions, the Lakers also held an opponent under 100 points.center_img Scott plans to play Bryant in the Lakers’ three remaining preseason games this week to build rhythm heading into the 2014-15 season opener Oct. 28. Scott believes Clarkson will return either Tuesday against Phoenix at Staples Center or Wednesday against Portland in Ontario. Scott added Lin’s possible return on Tuesday hinges on if he can participate in a full-contact scrimmage Monday that includes cutting and changing direction without having additional strain on his left ankle.The Lakers have also delayed making the first round of cuts to their training camp roster, the lone exception to Jeremy Tyler so he could sign a contract to play in China. “You got to be a little concerned, especially with the guys we have out,” Scott said. “We expected them to be players we could depend on. It’s a little concerning.”But not concerning enough for the Lakers to prove they can absorb some of those absences. last_img read more

Skating sports Federation of BiH assembled a team for Junior World Cup

first_imgSkating Sports Federation of BiH assembled a team that will participate on the Junior World Cup in speed skating which will be held in Poland from 22-25 February.In men’s single category, Ademir Babaić, Tarik Omeragić and Kerim Balić will compete, and in relay race Mirza Karić will join them, said the Skating Sports Federation of BiHIn women’s category, Samra Selimbegović and Fatima Omerhodžić will compete.Coach of BiH team in Poland will be Aleksandra Đanešić.On the European Tournament in speed skating that will be held in Sweden on 18-20 January, Nihad Bašić will represent BiH.Skating Sports Federation of BiH did everything, with significant financial aid of BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs and KS Ministry of Sport to ensure that BiH skaters have good training, new jerseys and other sports equipment.last_img read more