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17.11.2018 07:58
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ATLANTA -- For Ervin Santana, throwing strike after strike was even better than a no-hitter -- especially when his impressive command came in his Atlanta debut. Wholesale Saints Jerseys China . Santana allowed only three hits over eight scoreless innings, Jason Heyward homered and drove in two runs and the Braves held off the New York Mets 4-3 on Wednesday night. Santanas first 20 pitches were strikes. He threw only one ball in his first three innings. "That one was close," he said with a smile before adding "Thats all right." Santana threw a no-hitter with the Angels in 2011. "This is better than a no-hitter," he said. "When you throw strikes all the time, that means youre in control of the game." Mets manager Terry Collins said he could name only one pitcher who threw so many consecutive strikes. "(Roy) Halladays about the only guy Ive seen," Collins said. "We chased some balls out of the zone early, which helped (Santana) a little bit." The Braves bullpen almost blew a 4-0 lead in the ninth. Jordan Walden walked Eric Young Jr. and gave up a one-out single to David Wright. Craig Kimbrel walked Curtis Granderson to load the bases before striking out Lucas Duda. Juan Lagares drove in two runs with a single, and Travis dArnaud added a run-scoring single before Kimbrel fanned Ruben Tejada for his fourth save. "Im more frustrated for giving up somebody elses runs and making it close," Kimbrel said. Santana (1-0) was sharp from the start, throwing 28 strikes in his first 29 pitches. He finished with six strikeouts and no walks. He said he didnt expect to have such strong command. "Honestly, no. In the bullpen I was all over the place," Santana said. "I just stepped over the line and focused and threw strikes." Santana signed a $14.1 million, one-year contract with Atlanta after the Braves lost starters Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy to season-ending elbow injuries last month. He pitched like he belongs near the top of the rotation as he threw only 88 pitches, 65 for strikes. Zack Wheeler (0-2) allowed four runs on eight hits in five innings for the Mets. Heyward took a 0-for-22 slump into the game and was hitting only .107, with three hits in 28 at-bats. He doubled his hits total with the homer and two singles in his first three at-bats. Heyward led off the first inning with an 11-pitch at-bat against Wheeler before pulling a 3-2 fastball over the wall in right-centre for his second homer. "Its a tough way to start the game, going that deep into the count and him hitting a home run, but it was a good at-bat for him," Wheeler said. "He just came out on top on that one." The Braves added three runs off Wheeler in the fifth. Evan Gattis doubled and scored on Heywards single to right field. Santana, who slapped a single to right for his fifth career hit, and Heyward scored on Freddie Freemans single. Each team had defensive highlights early in the game. In the first inning, Lagares raced back to make a leaping catch of Freemans drive at the wall, his cleat leaving a rip in the cushion. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons showed his Gold Glove form in the second. The shortstop went to his right to field a grounder by dArnaud before slipping, hopping up to one knee and throwing out dArnaud at first base, with Freeman stretching for the throw. An excited Santana pumped his fist, shouted and pointed at Simmons. Santana celebrated with another fist-pump after Heyward, sprinting toward the right-centre gap, ended the sixth by catching Wrights drive before falling on the warning track. NOTES: Braves LHP Luis Avilan, who left Tuesday nights game with a hamstring cramp, had no problems throwing in the bullpen before Wednesdays game and said hell be careful to remain hydrated in cooler weather. ... CF Jordan Schafer was 0-for-3 in his first start of the season. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said B.J. Upton, hitting .138, will be back in the lineup on Thursday. ... Braves LHP Mike Minor (sore shoulder) and RHP Gavin Floyd (elbow surgery) are scheduled for their next rehab appearances on Sunday. ... RHP Pedro Beato was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett to clear a roster spot for Santana. ... Braves RHP David Hale will face Mets RHP Jenry Mejia in the final game of the series on Thursday night. P.J. Williams Jersey . 2015 Oscar nomination pending. Here is an open letter from Steven Stamkos to his fans: When I shot this final Moment Zero film last August, it was a fun few days on set with Coke Zero and Jordan Eberle in my hometown of Markham. J.T. Gray Jersey . - Nikita Jevpalovs scored 6:22 into the second overtime as the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada edged the visiting Rimouski Oceanic 2-1 on Tuesday in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoff action. http://www.cheapsaintsjerseysonline.com/?tag=marshon-lattimore-jersey-online . The former Edmonton Oilers defenceman was with the St. Louis Blues in training camp on a professional tryout. Whitney, 30, had four goals and 13 points in 34 games with the Oilers last season.PHILADELPHIA – Like the rest of his teammates, Carl Gunnarsson was doing what he could to remain positive after yet another loss, the seventh straight for the sinking Leafs, but it wasnt easy. The 27-year-old wants to believe that a turnaround is still possible, that his team can salvage the season, dig out from a deepening slide and claim a second straight playoff berth. But as time ticks down and the results continue to linger in the wrong direction, that belief is tested. "Its a struggle," he said in a near-empty visitors dressing room at Wells Fargo Center. "Ill tell you that. We thought we had something going here tonight." Whatever fight they mustered in a 4-2 loss to the Flyers didt matter by the time the night was through. It was just another empty loss, another opportunity to regain ground for not. "Overall, I didnt think that we had that bad of a night," said coach Randy Carlyle afterward, but we were on the wrong side of the score and thats what counts the most." Never more evident than at this late stage in the season, the difference between winning and losing remained painfully thin. And for the Leafs it was just enough for defeat. Two power-play goals against, a few too many odd-man rushes, a bad break or two and a key mistake at the wrong time. Claude Giroux was the benefactor of one such mistake that sealed defeat for the visitors. The Flyers captain picked off former teammate James van Riemsdyks neutral ice pass attempt - the puck ricocheted off the skate of Scott Hartnell - and zipped a bullet beyond the glove of Jonathan Bernier. "Right now every big scoring chance they get, I think it feels like its going in," said Bernier afterward. "When its not going your way, thats usually what happens." "I thought we played pretty good," he continued. "A few mistakes that end up being goals. From the last game, obviously, I think we played a lot better." But like their harrowing loss to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, one that saw them manhandled for half the game by the top team in the West, Fridays defeat in Philly counted all the same. It was just another loss at a critical point in the season. "We worked hard," Carlyle said. "Did we work smart enough in some areas? No." Any chance the Leafs have at resuscitation starts Saturday night in a massive showdown with the Detroit Red Wings. A victory reignites whatever belief and hope still lingers. They may have no hope of catching either the Montreal Canadiens or Tampa Bay Lightning, but sitting on near-equal ground with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Red Wings and Washington Capitals - all have 80 points, but with games in hand - a wild card position is still in play. "Obviously, this one, its going to be a tough one to swallow," Bernier said. "But, at the same time, we cant feel sorry for ourselves. [Saturday] is a big game and we all know that." Five Points 1. Carlyles Approach Carlyle has tried to push a few different buttons in midst of his teams recent slide. "Some days, it is a little bit more harsh. Some days, its a pat in the back. Some days its a hug," Carlyle said on Friday morning. "Whatever it is, whatever you feel is necessary. Nobody in life feels like coming to work and being ground into the dirt everyday and thats part of the process. Youve got to pick and choose when to apply pressure and when not to." As to his preferred approach of late, Carlyle said, "Its been more reality of the situation. Just showing and trying to get an understanding that were not that far away. But there are some areas that need to be addressed. Thats as simple as I can put it. Our compete level has to go up. We havent won enough one-on-one battles. Weve given up too many odd-man rushes and breakaways. Weve got to play better on the defensive side of the game." 2. Penalty Kill The Flyers scored twice on the power play, marking the 12th time this season that the Leaf penalty kill has given up two goals in a game this season. Vincent Lecavalier fired a laser for the first of two, a five-on-three goal that was not without some controversy. Jay McClement, taking the draw as Torontos lone forward, was thrown out of the face-off ciircle, charged with knocking the puck from the hand of linesman Michel Cormier. Andrus Peat Jersey. Dion Phaneuf promptly stepped in and lost the first (and likely last) face-off of his career, Lecavalier blowing the one-timer by Bernier just three seconds later. "Thats not something that you want to happen," McClement said of the face-off incident. "I dont think [Cormier] wanted to do it either. But he explained to me that its black and white when I knocked it out of his hand." Scott Hartnell would add the second power-play marker, redirecting a Kimmo Timonen point shot just beyond the grasp of Bernier. The Toronto penalty kill remains third-worst in the NHL this season. 3. Bollands Comeback Dave Bolland scored for the third time this season in Philadelphia and the first time since his left ankle was sliced by the skate of Zack Kassian on November 2. The 27-year-old hasnt played more than 13 minutes since he returned from the injury and he was kept right in that region against the Flyers. "I just see that in some of the situations, hes struggled with the mobility," Carlyle said of Bolland before the 4-2 loss. "Its not sore, [but] it just doesnt have the strength there. Wre going to try to find a way to get him some more minutes. We know what kind of player he is." 4. The 18-Wheeler Luke Schenn was there in 2012 when the Leafs collapsed and knows all too well how quickly the pressure rises in Toronto. "Lose a couple in a row and everything magnifies that much more," he said. "You lose three in a row and people tend to get on you a little bit. All the fans and the media think that everythings falling apart. Thats just the way it is over there. "Its obviously a tough market to play in when things arent going the way you want them to, but its a great market when things are going well. Theres always adversity in Toronto. Its never going to change. Im sure those guys are going to get through it." Reflecting back to the infamous 18-wheeler skid two years earlier, Schenn couldnt put his finger on just what wrong. "There is no exact reason why. Its probably a combination of different things. Id have to go back and look. Obviously, youre probably getting off to some tough starts in games. Special teams probably werent as good as they need to be. At the end of the day - when I was there - it probably just came down to being outcompeted some nights. Obviously, you lose a couple in a row, confidence isnt always there. Thats just the way it goes. Youve got to find ways to get out of it." 5. Gardiner Offence Just ahead of a clash with the Flyers three weeks ago, Jake Gardiner revealed his disappointment with the offence hed put together to that point. "I dont think my point production has been that great this year,"he said. "Id like to improve on that." The 23-year-old scored a goal the next night in a 4-3 overtime win, rounding up nine points in the past 11 games, including a helper on Bollands seventh goal this season. "Ive tried to jump in the play a lot more and be an offensive threat from the blue line," he explained of his recent surge prior to the game. Gardiner has 26 points on the year. Stats-Pack 1-8-0 – Leafs record in the past nine games. 9 – Points in the last 11 games for Jake Gardiner. 3 – Goals by Dave Bolland in Philadelphia this season. 24:31 – Ice-time for James van Riemsdyk opposite his former team Friday, tied for the team-lead. 15 – Consecutive games without a point for David Clarkson, who has just 10 this season. 8 – Number of times the Leafs have allowed the first goal in the past nine games.4 – Seconds elapsed in the second period before van Riemsdyk scored the first Leafs goal. It was the fastest goal to start a period for the team this season. Special Teams Capsule PP: 0-4Season: 20.6% (4th) PK: 2-4Season: 78.1% (28th) Quote of the Night "Overall, I didnt think that we had that bad of a night, but we were on the wrong side of the score and thats what counts the most." -Randy Carlyle, following a seventh straight loss in Philadelphia. Up Next The Leafs return home to host to the Red Wings on Saturday night. 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