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but Joc Pederson took a called third
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but Joc Pederson took a called third
TORONTO – While assessing Brett Lawries season up to this point, its important to consider that the 24-year-old is doing something for his team that few other players, if any, could. One day, hes providing the Blue Jays with Gold Glove-calibre defence at third base. The next, hes more than holding his own at second base. All the while, Lawries posting respectable offensive numbers overall and is providing an elite bat in clutch situations. It would be ignorant to look at Lawries slash line of .224/.275/.412 entering Sundays action and conclude hes having a down year. Consider that Lawrie already has eight home runs, going deep in 4.8 per cent of his at-bats. Thats a marked uptick from last year (2.7 per cent) and 2012 (2.2 per cent). Lawrie also has 26 RBI, which ranks him third on the club behind Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista. His best work has been done with runners in scoring position (RISP). With runners on second, third or both, Lawrie is hitting .366/.400/.732 (1.132 OPS) with four home runs and 21 RBI. All of it, as a reminder, while playing a third base/second base hybrid. Not even Ben Zobrist of the Tampa Bay Rays does that anymore. When Zobrist hasnt been hurt this season, hes predominantly been a second baseman. “I dont see any player in the league doing it, unless youre a utility player, which hes not,” infield coach Luis Rivera told TSN.ca. “Its tough because hes very good at third base. Hes one of the best third baseman and then you have to move to second base. He was at second base before, hes learning the position again and there are a few things he needs to continue to work on and he can be better than what he is right now.” Lawrie goes about his business, taking ground balls during batting practice at the position hes scheduled to play that day. That, in and of itself, would be overwhelming for some players. Yet it isnt for a player, still young, who earned himself a reputation for being hot-headed and immature, two labels which should be dissipating by the day. “Its tough knowing one day youre here, the next day youre there,” said Rivera. “Mentally, you have to prepare. You have to be mentally strong.” The terms “Lawrie” and “mentally strong” didnt used to be used in the same sentence, thanks in large part to incidents like the infamous helmet-throwing incident in May, 2012 and his stare down of Rivera and Adam Lind when Lind didnt score on a Lawrie fly ball 52 Sundays ago. Considering what hes being asked to do and considering the success with which hes accomplishing the request, maybe its time to give Lawrie some credit. “Theres a lot going on, man,” said Lawrie. “Theres always a lot going on, especially now just from having to play all over the park and just Ive got a lot of stuff going on, but for the most part Im just trying not to think about it too much even though there is a lot going on.” Hes a third baseman, hell tell you that repeatedly and Lawries proud hes made himself an elite third bagger at the big league level, which is a testament to his athleticism. Hes all-in on the move because it makes the platoon splits work for manager John Gibbons. Lawrie is at third and Steve Tolleson at second when Toronto faces a left-handed pitcher; Lawries at second and Juan Francisco at third base when the Blue Jays take on a right-hander. “Its just something that I have to do for the team and its what makes the team a little bit better, so for myself, its just what I have to do in order to make this ball club better and to, obviously, win ballgames,” said Lawrie. “The most important thing is that he wanted to do it,” said Rivera. “So if hes willing to do it, hes going to be fine, but when you fight yourself not to go one place and then play another position, play third base, ‘I dont want to play second base, thats going to make it real hard on him, on the coaches and on the team. Right now, hes willing to do both, so thats the easy part.” After Sundays series-sweeping 3-1 win over Oakland, the Jays sixth in a row, 11th in 13 games and 16th out of 21, getting a buy-in from Lawrie is a much easier task. “Its just fun,” said Lawrie. “Its just good to be competing. Thats the biggest thing is just being able to go out everyday and compete and, obviously, have a chance to win a ballgame every single day. Thats the biggest thing, but just competing on an everyday basis as a group is obviously a lot of fun.” Cheap Nike Air Jordan 11 All Gold . Ryu (8-3) allowed a run and three hits in six innings and struck out six in his 13th start. In his first 13 starts last season -- his first in the major leagues -- the left-hander was 8-5 with a 2.85 ERA. This was the ninth time this year that Ryu has allowed fewer than three earned runs, and he is 7-0 in those games. Cheap Jordan 11 Mens .J. -- John Elway says Peyton Manning cannot stamp himself as the greatest quarterback in NFL history even if he wins the Super Bowl on Sunday. http://www.cheapjordan11freeshipping.com...ll-black/. James Jones got his turn Sunday. And the lift he brought, combined with the expected playoff showings from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, have the Heat off and running in these playoffs. Cheap Nike Air Jordan 11 Purple . Not bad for a defenceman. The goal, that is. Although the shuffling dance steps werent bad, either. Barrie scored 55 seconds into overtime, Semyon Varlamov stopped 29 shots, and the Avalanche moved a step closer to their first playoff berth in four years with a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night. Cheap Nike Air Jordan 11 Orange . Every once in awhile, it seems like life lets dreams become real - and that is a gift. LOS ANGELES -- Gio Gonzalez picked a good time to earn his first victory for Washington in the second half, coming against a talented Dodgers lineup the Nationals could see in the post-season. Backed by four homers, including two from Denard Span, Gonzalez snapped his five-game skid with a 6-4 victory on Monday night in a matchup of division leaders. Gonzalez (7-9) allowed three runs and three hits in six-plus innings. The left-hander hadnt won since beating the Cubs on July 5. He had a 4.38 ERA in his previous nine games. He also doubled and scored on Anthony Rendons double off Brandon League in the seventh. "My velocity was where I wanted it to be," Gonzalez said. "I was attacking the strike zone, fastball, curveball, changeup, it was all working. Especially in a game like this with that lineup, its definitely not easy." The East-leading Nationals (78-58) own the NLs best record while the Dodgers (77-61) are atop the West and close behind in pursuit of the top seed, despite losing for the third time in four games. "We need to win games," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. Rafael Soriano pitched a shaky ninth to earn his 31st save. He yielded an RBI single to Juan Uribe, after the ball skipped by the mound and caromed off second base, allowing Yasiel Puig to score. The Dodgers then had runners on the corners with two outs but Joc Pederson took a called third strike in his major league debut. Roberto Hernandez (2-2) gave up five runs and five hits -- including a career-high four homers -- in 4 1-3 innings. The right-hander came in 2-0 against the Nationals, having allowed just an unearned run in 15 1-3 innings in two starts against them while pitching for Philadelphia before being acquired by the Dodgers last month. "It surprised me a lot," Hernandez said through a translator. "I didnt have command of my pitches from the first inning. It was just a matter of things not working for me. It wasnt that I had lost confidence." The Nationals ended August with 40 homers, second-best in the major leagues behind Baltimore. They picked up where they left off to start the final month of the regular season, with Jayson Werth and Asdrubal Cabrera adding solo shots. Spans second homer, a two-run shot on the first pitch he faced in the fifth, extendedd Washingtons lead to 5-2.dddddddddddd That chased Hernandez, who had walked Cabrera to start the inning before striking out Gonzalez. "I really cant explain it, other than home runs come in bulk and Ive been seeing the ball pretty good," Span said. Werth hit his 16th homer with two outs in the first. The Dodgers then got a two-out homer in the bottom half from Matt Kemp to take a 2-1 lead. Asdrubal Cabrera tied it at 2 with a leadoff drive in the third. One batter later, Span hit his first homer of the game. LONG SPAN It was Spans second career multihomer game. His first came on Sept. 13, 2008. His three RBIs were a season high. He is batting .360 in 43 games since the All-Star break. STREAKING KEMP The outfielder was 2 for 4 with two runs scored and the two-run homer, his 17th of the season. He has 10 RBIs in his last nine games, batting .361 since Aug. 22. His 174 career homers are three behind Mike Piazza for fourth on the Dodgers career list. TRAINERS ROOM Nationals: 1B Adam LaRoche left in the fifth after straining his lower back during an at-bat. He is day to day. ... OF Steven Souza Jr. (left shoulder) returned from rehab and was reinstated to the active roster. He was named International League MVP last week, having led the league in nearly every offensive category. Dodgers: RHP Chris Perez (bone spurs, right ankle) was reinstated from the 15-day DL after making five rehab appearances with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. INF Carlos Triunfel was designated for assignment. CALL-UPS Nationals: With rosters expanding Monday, Washington recalled RHP Aaron Barrett, LHP Xavier Cedeno, C Sandy Leon, INF-OF Tyler Moore and RHP Blake Treinen from Triple-A Syracuse. Dodgers: Los Angeles recalled C Tim Federowicz, RHP Yimi Garcia, and INF-OF Alex Guerrero from Triple-A Albuquerque and selected the contract of OF Pederson from Albuquerque. Guerrero struck out as a pinch hitter and Garcia made his major league debut in the eighth, allowing one hit and striking out two in two scoreless innings. UP NEXT Nationals: RHP Doug Fister (12-5, 2.55 ERA) is 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA in his last three starts. Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (16-3, 1.73) starts. Among NL pitchers with at least 15 decisions, Kershaw and Fister (.706) rank first and second in winning percentage. 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01-02-19 3:55
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