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|Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:22 pm Post subject: railing after the first period
|The Pittsburgh Pirates will be trying to win three games in a row after a rough month and the Cincinnati Reds will be looking to avoid the start of a skid when the teams play the middle game of a series Saturday at PNC Park.
Pittsburgh (34-35) won the series opener 3-2 Lance Alworth Jersey , posting back-to-back wins for the first time since winning three straight May 15-17 to reach a season-best nine games above .500.
In the interim before Friday’s win, the Pirates were 6-18 and entered the weekend as close to the last-place Reds (eight games) as they were to first-place Milwaukee in the National League Central.
“It’s a long season. There’s going to be times where stuff like that happens,” Pittsburgh third baseman Colin Moran said of the poor stretch. “It’s more important that we bounce back like we did.”
Cincinnati (23-44) had won three in a row before Friday.
Pirates right-hander Ivan Nova (3-5, 4.68 ERA) is scheduled to face Reds right-hander Luis Castillo (4-7, 5.79) on Saturday.
Nova on Sunday returned from the disabled list (sprained right ring finger) without having made any rehab starts. No matter. He struck out eight in 5 2/3 innings, giving up one run and four hits in a 7-1 win over the Cubs in Chicago.
It showed the Pirates that the veteran can still be highly effective. It showed Nova that it is better to be forthcoming about nagging injuries and be willing to step away and heal.
“Just the way that the ball was coming out of my hand, I could tell the difference right away,” Nova said. “To be able to pitch a game like (that) … I think that’s kind of a lesson for you. Don’t force it.”
He had not had any sort of organized outing since his last appearance before May 24 when he went on the DL.
“He was ready to pitch,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “At the end of the day, he showed you he was ready to pitch.”
Nova also impressed the opposition.
“He was hitting the corners all day, keeping the ball down Ed Dickson Jersey ,” Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo told MLB.com. “It’s tough to do anything when he’s on like that.”
Nova is 3-7 with a 4.67 ERA in 10 career starts against Cincinnati.
Castillo’s last start was much more mixed than Nova’s.
In a 6-4 loss to St. Louis, Castillo had a career-high 10 strikeouts but also a career-high two homers allowed as Jose Martinez and Marcell Ozuna smacked back-to-back dingers in the first inning after Castillo struck out the first two hitters on six pitches. He also gave up a first-pitch, bases-loaded triple to Yadier Molina in the third.
“You just have to be strong mentally, more than physically,” Castillo said through an interpreter.
He gave up five runs and four hits in six innings that game. Despite the rocky start and the loss, Castillo, 25, managed an in-game turnaround, allowing just one batter to reach base in his final three innings.
“You saw the talent of Castillo,” Cincinnati manager Jim Riggleman said. “The last three innings that he threw were outstanding, and it’s exciting to know that this guy has got a chance to be around here for a very long time. He’s just going to get better and better once he gets past these growing pains.”
Castillo is 1-2 with a 3.68 ERA in four career starts against Pittsburgh Stephen Hauschka Jersey , with 22 strikeouts in 22 innings.
Nashville forward Filip Forsberg stunned his teammates and the Colorado Avalanche with one dazzling sequence.
Forsberg passed the puck to himself through his own legs and rookie defenseman Samuel Girard’s legs on his way to his second goal of the third period, helping Nashville beat Colorado 5-2 on Thursday night in Game 1 of the first-round Western Conference series.
”That was unbelievable,” Predators forward Austin Watson said. ”I don’t know if you guys panned over to the bench, but all of our jaws dropped. He thinks of doing things out there that wouldn’t even happen in my dreams.”
Pekka Rinne made 25 saves as Nashville put together a strong finish to its playoff opener after winning Presidents’ Trophy for the first time this season. The Predators are hoping to take the next step this year after losing to Pittsburgh in the Stanley Cup Final.
Colorado was looking for a big win on a stage the franchise hasn’t seen since 2014, and the young Avalanche outplayed the defending Western Conference champs early.
Austin Watson had a goal and an assist for Nashville, which has won 11 straight over Colorado. Craig Smith and Colton Sissons also scored, and Ryan Johansen and captain Roman Josi each had two assists.
Nikita Zadorov and Blake Comeau scored for Colorado. Jonathan Bernier made 26 stops.
Forsberg, who had a team-high 64 points in the regular season, gave Nashville its first lead of the game at 3-2 when he redirected a shot by Josi past Bernier 6:08 into the third. Then Forsberg delivered again with a breathtaking move in the middle of Colorado’s zone with 7:50 left.
”It was just one of those that come us up I guess when you skate, and it worked,” Forsberg said.
Nashville coach Peter Laviolette was impressed.
”What I really liked about it Joe Barksdale Jersey , it was a power move,” Laviolette said. ”It was not just a standing-still move, like he really picked up speed and did his best to drive. And I always feel like he’s best when he’s a power forward first and then he brings a skill element into it, and that’s exactly what he did on that goal.”
Game 2 is Saturday afternoon in Nashville.
The series features a team that won 53 games during the regular season and Colorado, which had to win its regular-season finale to squeak into the postseason ahead of St. Louis. The Avalanche came in with only 14 players with playoff experience, and their most seasoned player, Colin Wilson, was on Nashville’s roster a year ago.
”I’m happy with the way we played,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. ”I felt like we did enough to almost earn a better result but now we’re going to have to go and dig in even harder to make sure we do earn a better result. We’re capable.”
Fans filled the arena more than 30 minutes before the puck dropped, waiting for a pregame video that included a giant curtain that dropped down over the ice for a giant videoboard. Rascal Flatts handled the anthem as the Predators continued their tradition of big stars stepping in for the postseason, and two catfish hit the ice almost as soon as the last note ended.
Colorado scored on its first official shot. Rinne didn’t appear to see Zadorov’s wrister Kenyan Drake Jersey , with the puck going over his glove at 6:36.
The Predators were a bit sloppy early.
The team that led the NHL in penalties took two late in the first, giving Colorado 19 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage. Rinne seemed to settle the Predators down with a big save with 20 seconds left in the period, stopping Tyson Jost’s shot from the slot before sticking his right skate to the post with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog trying to pounce on the puck.
In the second, Rinne got help from Matt Irwin clearing J.T. Compher’s shot, and the Predators tied it on a wrist shot from Watson that squeezed over Bernier’s left shoulder at 3:14. The goal was being announced when Comeau got a stick on Carl Soderberg’s shot from the point to give Colorado a 2-1 lead at 4:51.
”It shows us we’re right with them,” Colorado defenseman Tyson Barrie said.
Rinne came up with his best save with 2:24 left in the second with Mikko Rantanen on a breakaway. The goalie spread out and stuck his right leg out, stopping the puck with his pad.
Sissons capped the scoring with an empty-netter with 1:57 left.
NOTES: Forsberg had his third career multigoal game in the postseason. He is averaging more than a point-per-game for his career against Colorado. … Nashville had been 12-14-5 after giving up the first goal and 8-10-2 when trailing after the first period in the regular season. But the Preds were 11-1-2 when tied after two periods. … Watson and Smith each had their fifth career goals of the playoffs.
Game 2 is Saturday in Nashville.
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