A look at what’s happening around the majors Sunday:
Jon Lester has put together some ace-worthy seasons during his 13-year major league career Jason Sanders Color Rush Jersey , including four All-Star appearances and a runner-up finish in the Cy Young voting two years ago. The Chicago Cubs left-hander is in the middle of what might prove to be his finest season so far, and he’ll look to become the National League’s first 12-game winner when he takes the mound against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. Lester is 11-2 with a 2.25 ERA this season, and he’s won his last seven starts – including going 5-0 with a 1.13 ERA during June.
The Oakland A’s downed Cleveland 6-3 in 11 innings on Saturday, winning for the ninth time in their last 11 games and for the 15th time in their last 19. Oakland sits at a season-high nine games over .500 and will try and stay unbeaten for a seventh straight series when it closes out its series with the Indians. Brett Anderson (0-2, 7.63) starts for the A’s, and Shane Bieber (4-0, 2.97) goes for Cleveland.
Arizona starter Zack Greinke has turned around his season since posting a 5.04 ERA in April and is 9-5 with a 3.35 ERA overall, including 112 strikeouts in 109 2/3 innings. The Diamondbacks right-hander will take the mound against the San Diego Padres, and he comes in having allowed only two runs in his last three starts combined – a span of 19 2/3 innings.
Rick Porcello struggled mightily to follow up his 2016 Cy Young award-winning season a year ago Customized Philadelphia Eagles Jerseys , finishing a disappointing 11-17 with a 4.65 ERA. The Boston right-hander has returned to form this year with a 10-3 record and 3.57 ERA, and he’ll be on the mound when the Red Sox close out their season series with the Kansas City Royals.
Since winner the NL’s Player of the Week award last month, St. Louis outfielder Marcell Ozuna has been in a prolonged funk – going 15-for-71 (.211) and failing to hit a home run during that stretch. The Cardinals left fielder was the prized offseason acquisition in a trade from Miami, coming off a season in which he hit .312 with 37 home runs and 124 RBIs. This year, Ozuna is hitting .275 with 10 homers and 46 RBIs in 83 games.
If it were December, the Nashville Predators would not fret much over losing 4-1 to the Winnipeg Jets despite a 48-19 advantage in shots on goal.
Since it is the second round of the Western Conference playoffs and it trails a best-of-seven series 1-0, Nashville faces a critical Game 2 Sunday night at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., and will have to win at least once in Winnipeg if it is to win this matchup of the top two teams in the NHL this season.
“If you give me two choices on where to be Taron Johnson Jersey Bills , our game or their win, I’d take the win,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. “It’s about winning hockey games right now.”
Connor Hellebuyck is why the Jets won Game 1 Friday night. He was the best player on the ice, turning away 47 shots, including 20 in the first period. Kevin Fiala’s tap-in goal 1:23 into the third period of Game 1 snapped a stretch of just over eight consecutive scoreless periods for Hellebuyck.
Winnipeg’s players and coaches weren’t agreeing to the notion that Hellebuyck stole the win.
“There’s no steals in (the) playoffs,” said center Mark Scheifele, who scored two goals for the Jets on Friday night. “If you win, you win. If you lose, you lose. It wasn’t pretty and probably wasn’t how we drew it up Cheap Customized Buffalo Bills Jerseys , but we got the win and that’s the main focus.”
In a matchup of Vezina Trophy finalists, Hellebuyck clearly had the better of Nashville’s Pekka Rinne. Rinne lasted two periods, ceding three goals on 16 shots, before Laviolette opted for backup Juuse Saros.
It was the second time Rinne has been pulled this postseason. He responded to a four-goal, 11-save performance in Game 3 of the first round against Colorado by permitting four markers in the last three games, finishing the series with his fourth career playoff shutout.
“It was just to change it up, to go in a different direction, to send the game in a different direction,” Laviolette said of the goalie change.
Barring injury or an unexpected move from Laviolette Dante Pettis 49ers Jersey , Rinne should be back in net for Game 2. He won three of his four matchups with Winnipeg this season and is 15-4-1 in 21 career games against the Jets with a .916 save percentage and 2.41 goals-against average.
Less of a certainty is the status of forward Austin Watson, who at times in Nashville’s series against Colorado was its best player. Watson didn’t play the last two periods Friday night because of an undisclosed injury. The Predators offered no update Saturday on his status for Game 2.
While Nashville focuses on finding ways to get more than one puck past Hellebuyck, Winnipeg knows it will need more zone time and shots if it is to enjoy further success in this series.
“We have to earn a better game,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said following Game 1. “We’ve got to work a little harder. I think we can skate a little better than we did tonight.”
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