Wysłany: Sro Sty 03, 2018 03:39 Temat postu: uld be peaking at the right time. They hav
TORONTO – Minutes after Kevin Pillar played the hero in Monday nights 5-4 Blue Jays walk off win over the Twins, he alluded to a conversation he shared with Jose Bautista earlier in the evening. The two were in the batting cage moments before game time. Bautista was taking final warm up cuts. Pillar was hitting soft toss. The one-time utility player turned All-Star pulled aside the clubs young, fourth outfielder and offered him some advice. Pillar described it as a discussion about hitting. Bautista told him there was nothing wrong with his swing, that he should remain aggressive in the batters box in order that the pitcher doesnt get too comfortable. He reminded Pillar that in Pillars role, he could step to the plate in crucial, late-game situations. Sure enough, Pillar got the game-winning single to snap a 4-4 tie in the ninth inning. Sure enough, he remained aggressive, perhaps too much so early in the at-bat when Pillar swung at the first two pitches down and out of the strike zone. With the count 1-2, Pillar took a pitch on the outer half to right field, Erik Kratz came around to score and the Blue Jays celebrated. Pillar thought enough of the conversation to share it with the assembled media postgame. Bautista seemed surprised to be approached on the topic. "You hope to have an effect on all your teammates, no matter what you talk about or discuss," said Bautista. "Even if its, hey youre opening up a little bit or having a 10-minute talk about being mentally ready, preparation and mindset and all that. You hope that your teammates listen to you. You dont hope that they do exactly what you say and if you say hop on one foot they start doing it, but if you make a comment that you think is going to help you hope they at least listen. Digest it and if it helps and it works then so be it." The type of conversation Bautista had with Pillar is rare this season, according to Bautista, because the Blue Jays are laden with veterans. The need doesnt arise as often. This, too, is the second year the group has been together after being arranged in the flurry of high-profile offseason moves made in November and December, 2012. "I think each person is more knowledgeable of others capabilities, more realistic with the expectations," said Bautista. "I think last year, people didnt know what to expect exactly with other players. Expectations might have been a little unrealistic, sometimes on the higher end and sometimes on the lower end. Sometimes you might have expected more out of somebody and that might have been not right. Sometimes you expected less and the guys surprise you. So now I think everybody is more in tune with each others capabilities." DICKEY THROWING MORE FASTBALLS R.A. Dickey is using his fastball more this season than he did last year. Hes thrown a heater 14.3 per cent of the time in 2014, compared to 11.9 per cent last season. This years number is more reflective of his 2012 Cy Young award season with the Mets, when 14 per cent of his pitches were fastballs. "I think its conscious because Ive had a lot of high-pitch games," said Dickey. "I had a 31-pitch first inning against (the Twins on Monday night), I had like a 30-pitch against the Royals, first inning. I need to get back to trying to induce contact earlier in counts so in that regard it has been something that Ive consciously tried to do. Especially with teams, Minnesota for instance is a team that leads the league in pitches taken so whenever you have a club like that you want to try to get ahead of guys as much as possible." Dickey is also conscious of his walk rate, which has skyrocketed this year. Hes issued a free pass to 10.2 per cent of hitters hes faced, compared to 7.5 per cent last year and 5.8 per cent in 2012. In each of his last two starts, hes allowed home runs off his fastball. On June 4 in Detroit, Miguel Cabrera took him deep on a first pitch fastball in the first inning. On Monday night against the Twins, leadoff hitter Danny Santana hit a home run off a full count fastball. Dickey had been falling behind in that first inning in Detroit and thought he could sneak a heater by Cabrera. "That was just a roll of the dice," said Dickey. "I had gone 2-0 with the first two hitters and felt that he would want to get in a hitters count. I tried to steal a strike the first time through the lineup and his numbers off me, I think hes had like 14 at-bats and two first-pitch swings and so the percentages were in my favour that he was taking and so I tried to play to those and got burned." Half of the home runs Dickeys allowed this season, five of 10, have been off fastballs. Has he become too predictable, throwing fastballs when in need of a strike? "I would hope not because I try to do a good job of throwing a lot of 2-0, 3-1, 3-2 knuckleballs," said Dickey. "Im not in the habit of routinely throwing a fastball in a fastball count but because I dont feature the same velocity as a lot of guys its a lot easier to put the barrel on the ball if theyve seen multiple fastballs in an at-bat; if theyre not well located in particular." JAYS INK TWO MORE PICKS The Blue Jays locked up their second and fifth round picks from last weeks amateur draft. They are highly-touted right-handed pitcher Sean Reid-Foley (49th overall) out of Sandalwood High School in Jacksonville, Florida and centerfielder Lane Thomas (144th overall) out of Bearden High School in Knoxville, Tennessee. Both players are 18 years old. Dan Skuta Jersey . -- For one night, Nick Calathes provided a big reason to believe the Memphis Grizzlies might be able to withstand the loss of Mike Conley on a short-term basis. William Perry Jersey . 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New York City FC introduced Frank Lampard in Brooklyn on Thursday after signing the 36-year-old former Chelsea midfielder to a two-year contract.Canada is ready to welcome the world for the 2015 Women’s World Cup, but which invited nation should be considered the guest of honour? Catch up with our primer below and learn which nations are forces to be reckoned with as Canada looks for a historic finish and the top prize in women’s soccer is handed out. Homare Sawa - Age: 36 - Previous WC: 5 The Defending Champs: Japan Any discussion of the top competitors has to start with the title-holders. Japan didn’t come into the 2011 tournament as world-beaters, but they got better with every match and walked off with the top prize. The Nadeshiko qualified as Asia’s third-place nation and were drawn in with Mexico and England. They rebounded from a group stage-finale loss to England that forced them to second and proceeded to stun Germany (in extra time), Sweden and the United States (in penalties) to claim the nation’s first World title. They were edged 2-1 by the Americans at the Olympic tournament and suffered a crucial loss to South Korea that handed the 2013 East Asian Cup to the North Koreans. They came into the Asian Cup with a point to prove and did not look back after a tournament-opening draw with Australia. They blanked Vietnam and Jordan before an extra-time victory over China and a shut out of the Aussies to claim the Continental crown. They enter the 2015 tournament as the third-ranked team in the world and have lost just twice in 2014, going 14-3-2 in three competitions and a quartet of friendlies. They boast a pair of dangerous weapons with Asian Cup MVP Aya Miyama and 2011 World Cup Best Player and Golden Boot Homare Sawa anchoring the attack with 30 years’ experience and 116 goals between them. Alex Morgan - Age: 25 - Previous WC: 1 The Golden Girls: United States Believe it or not, the U.S. women’s team is on a pretty serious losing streak when it comes to the World Cup. That sounds a bit funny, since the nation has lost just five games in the six World Cup tournaments and has never walked away without a medal. Added to that is the fact that the four times they’ve lost in the knockout stage it was always to the eventual champions. Here’s the problem. Three of those four crucial losses have come in the last three tournaments. The U.S. watched Germany claim titles from afar in both 2003 and 2007 before Japan’s triumph in 2011. The last time the United States won the top women’s prize was 1999 when Brandi Chastain created one of the most indelible images in the recent history of sport. The Americans got a measure of revenge by taking out Japan at the 2012 Olympics after a controversial semifinal victory over Canada, but they’ve dominated that tournament of late, taking the last three gold medals and four of five in the event’s history. Qualification was no trouble whatsoever as the Americans rolled through the CONCACAF Championship with a 5-0 record outscoring opponents 21-0. The Americans are 15-3-2 in 2014 with their only hiccups coming in a disastrous Algarve Cup campaign. The last time the team conceded a goal was an Aug. 20 friendly against Switzerland. They are currently riding a 650-minute shutout streak. With over 500 caps between them Abby Wambach (34) and Christie Rampone (39) provide the U.S. with experienced and hungry leadership. Rampone was a member of the 1999 squad but watched the entire knockout round as an unused sub. Wambach has never won a World Cup. Is it “now-or-never” time for the pair? Anja Mittag - Age: 29 - Previous WC: 2 The Unsatisfied: Germany Heading into the 2011 World Cup, there was little reason to believe Germany would not once again prove to be the world’s best. The nation had won back-to-back World Cup titles and was hosting the event for the very first time. The club must simply have been salivating at the thought of a third title being theirs to take on the Frankfurt pitch. And then, the unthinkable. After getting through a strong Group that featured Canada, France and Nigeria, the Germans drew the Japanese, who stumbled in the opening round and had never won a medal at the tournament. Karina Maruyama had different iideas, her marker in the second extra-time session bounced the Germans before they could even have a shot at a medal.dddddddddddd Germany’s record is remarkable similar to the Americans’, only without the trio of bronze medals. They’ve lost four knockout games, all to the eventual champs and have only been beaten once in group play, posting a 14-3-1 combined record. While they did not qualify for the 2012 Olympics (qualification was based on the 2011 World Cup, where France and Sweden fared better), they were crowned European Champs in 2013 after a trio of 1-0 knockout victories over Italy, Sweden and Norway. They rolled through qualifying with a perfect 30 points through 10 qualifiers with a ridiculous plus-58 goal-differential. Anja Mittag, Celia Sasic and Dzsenifer Marozsan finished one-two-three in qualification scoring, compiling 28 goals on their own. The Germans have lost only once this year, in an October friendly with France. Cristiane - Age: 29 - Previous WC: 2 The Breakthroughs?: Brazil Brazil has qualified for every Women’s World Cup. Brazil has lost just two games in the history of the South American Women’s Championship, claiming six of seven titles. The all-time women’s World Cup goal-scoring leader is a Brazilian. However, Brazil has never won a Women’s World Cup. The closest they came was 2007, when they were handled 2-0 in the Final by Germany. However, that loss marks their only trip to the Final match. The country holds a modest 15-4-7 all-time record bowing out before the semis in four of six trips. So, why the optimism? With Marta – the aforementioned all-time co-leader – and the dynamic Christiane, who won the Copa Femenina Golden Boot, the Brazilians boast what could very easily be the only one-two punch at the tournament capable of going round for round with the Americans’ Wambach and Alex Morgan. However, entering the tournament ranked sixth in the World, the Brazilians will likely find themselves in the second seeding pot, meaning a tough opening-round match against the likes of Germany, Japan, Sweden, France, the U.S. or (in a best-case scenario for Germany) the host Canadians is likely in the cards. Gaetane Thiney - Age: 29 - Previous WC: 1 The Rising Stars: France Steadily rising since the summer of 2013, the French could be peaking at the right time. They have lost just once in 2014 (on the road, to the Americans) and have stood their ground, earning draws against Brazil and the U.S. A perfect 10-0 in qualifying, outscoring opposition by 51 goals, the French offence is led by 29-year-old Gatane Thiney who topped the qualification scorers’ list with 14 goals. The pairing of Marie-Laure Delie and Eugenie Le Sommer chipped in a combined 16, giving Les Bleues a balanced and lethal attack. The team is something of a new power in the women’s game. They first qualified for the World Cup in 2003 and made their Olympic debut at the 2012 London Games, but they are the reigning fourth-place finishers at both events. A penalty-kick loss to Denmark sent them home from the Women’s Euro in 2013, but the early exit could well stand to make the team even hungrier for a historic result on Canadian soil. Lotta Schelin - Age: 30 - Previous WC: 2 Not to be forgotten: Sweden They took a chunk out of the Americans at the 2011 tournament, earning a 2-1 group-stage victory over the U.S. and forcing them to a tougher route through the knockout stage, beginning with a quarter-final against Brazil. While they fell in the semis to Japan, the Swedes took home the bronze as a consolation prize. The team posted a perfect 10-0 qualifying run, allowing just one goal (on a penalty kick). Captain Lotta Schelin is a force to be reckoned with, and she could easily add to her career total of 73 goals in the tournament proper. The Swedes come into the draw as one of the five top seeds and are one of many teams that will challenge the five contenders listed above. Also to be watched: Former Asian powerhouse China, 1995 Champs Norway, three-time quarter-finalists England, African champs Nigeria. Cheap NFL JerseysWholesale JerseysWholesale NFL JerseysJerseys From ChinaWholesale NFL JerseysCheap NFL JerseysCheap Jerseys ' ' '