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NEW YORK — Stephen Strasburg opted out of the final four years of his contract with the Cheap Washington Nationals Jerseys
, three days after the star pitcher was chosen MVP of the World Series.

The move Saturday makes the 31-year-old right-hander a free agent. Strasburg gave up $100 million he had been guaranteed from 2020-23 as part of a $175 million, seven-year contract he agreed to with the Nationals in May 2016.

Strasburg was 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA this season, topping 30 starts for the second time in his career and leading the NL with 209 innings pitched. Then he went 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA in five post-season starts and one relief appearance, including wins in Games 2 and 6 of the World Series against Houston.

Washington also won Game 7 to claim the first championship in franchise history.

Just a few days later, however, the roster has already begun to change.

The club declined its $18 million option for next season on 35-year-old first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, the only player who has been a member of every Nats team since the franchise moved from Montreal to Washington before the 2005 season. Zimmerman gets a $2 million buyout.

Washington also turned down a $9 million option on catcher Yan Gomes, who receives a $1 million buyout, and exercised options on reliever Sean Doolittle ($6.5 million) and outfielder Adam Eaton ($9.5 million).
WASHINGTON — The song “Baby Shark” blared over loudspeakers and a wave of red washed across this politically blue capital Saturday as Nationals fans rejoiced at a parade marking Washington’s first World Series victory since 1924.

“They say good things come to those who wait. Ninety-five years is a pretty long wait,” Nationals owner Ted Lerner, who is 94, told the cheering crowd. “But I’ll tell you, this is worth the wait.”

As buses carrying the players and team officials wended their way along the parade route, pitcher Max Scherzer at one point hoisted the World Series trophy to the cheers of the crowd.

At a rally just blocks from the Capitol, Scherzer said his teammates grinded their hearts out to “stay in the fight.” And then, after backup outfielder Gerardo Parra joined the team, he said, they started dancing and having fun. And they started hitting. “Never in this town have you seen a team compete with so much heart and so much fight,” he said.

And then, after he spoke, the Nats danced.

Team officials, Nationals manager Dave Martinez and several players thanked the fans for their support through the best of times and staying with them even after a dismal 19-31 start to the season. “I created the circle of trust and I trusted these guys,” he said.

The camaraderie among the players was a theme heard throughout the rally. “It took all 25 of us, every single day we were pulling for each other,” said pitcher Stephen Strasburg, the World Series MVP.

Nationals veteran slugger Howie Kendrick, 36, said that when he came to the Nationals in 2017, “I was thinking about retiring. This city taught me to love baseball again.”

Another veteran, first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, choked back tears as he recalled how he and the fans grew up together. He was 20 when he joined the Nationals during their first season, in 2005.

“I got guys that come up to me now that are 30 years old and said I’ve been their favourite player since they were a little kid, which is disturbing — basically like Juan,” he said.

It was a reference to Juan Soto, the left fielder who turned 21 during the series.

Washington had been thirsting for a World Series championship for nearly a century. The Nationals gave them that by winning in seven games over the Houston Astros; the clincher came on the road Wednesday night.

“I just wish they could have won in DC,” said Ronald Saunders of Washington, who came with a Little League team that was marching in the parade.

Nick Hashimoto of Dulles, Virginia, was among those who arrived at 5 a.m. to snag a front-row spot. He brought his own baby shark toy in honour of Parra’s walk-up song, which began as a parental tribute to the musical taste of his 2-year-old daughter and ended up as a rallying cry that united fans at Nationals Park and his teammates.

As “Baby Shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo” played on a crisp morning, early risers joined in with the trademark response — arms extended in a chomping motion. Chants of “Let’s go Nats!” resonated from the crowd hours before the rally.

Kimberly Ballou of Silver Spring, Maryland, said sports “is a unifier” that transcends race, gender and class and brings people together.

The crowd along the route was deeply packed. Cheers went up and fans waved red streamers, hand towels and signs that said “Fight Finished” as the players rode by on the open top of double-decker buses. General Manager Mike Rizzo, a cigar in his mouth, jumped off with the World Series trophy to show the fans lining the barricades and slap high-fives. Manager Martinez also got in on the fun.

“We know what this title means to DC, a true baseball town, from the Senators to the Grays and now the Nationals,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said. “By finishing the fight you have brought a tremendous amount of joy to our town and inspired a new generation of players and Nationals fans.”

Bowser added: “We are deeply proud of you and I think we should do it again next year. What do you think?” Then she started a chant of “Back to back! Back to back!”

Martinez said he liked to hear the mayor pushing for back-to-back championships and said: “I get it. I’m all in. But let me enjoy this one first. I don’t know if my heart can take any more of this right now. I need to just step back and enjoy this.”

Martinez, who had a heart procedure recently, said that during the Series, as things heated up, players and fans shouted at him to watch out for his heart. “All this right here has cured my heart,” he said.

And as the “Baby Shark” theme played once more, team owner Lerner told the team’s veterans, “From now on, you can call me ‘Grandpa Shark.’”

President Donald Trump has invited the Nationals to the White House on Monday, though relief pitcher Sean Doolittle doesn’t plan to attend.

“There’s a lot of things, policies that I disagree with, but at the end of the day, it has more to do with the divisive rhetoric and the enabling of conspiracy theories and widening the divide in this country,” Doolittle told The Washington Post.

Doolittle found support from Larry Stokes of Boyds, Maryland, citing Trump’s stand on immigrants. “They’re playing this game, but he doesn’t like immigrants,” Stokes said.

But to fan Bridget Chapin, who came from Burke, Virginia, with her husband, Mark, “Regardless of how you feel, you go to the Oval Office. I’m really weary of athletes making political statements. I watch sports to get away from all that.”

The president attended Game 5 in Washington and was greeted with loud boos when he was shown on the giant video screen during a tribute to veterans. The boos more than overwhelmed a scattering of cheers.

Delores Smith of Washington, a longtime baseball fan who said she had an uncle who pitched in the Negro Leagues, said the World Series was “a big win” for the city. “This is the first time in a long time that I’ve seen the whole city come together. There’s no fussing about Trump.”

Even with the threat of stars leaving for free agency — as outfielder Bryce Harper did after 2018 — fans hoped the Nationals’ success would continue.

“I don’t think it’s going to be our last time. This team, even when our last superstar left, this team rallied around, they played as a team,” Larry Stokes said.

Fans — and shortstop Trea Turner — urged the Cheap Washington Nationals Jerseys
to re-sign third baseman Anthony Rendon, who was greeted with chants of MVP.
In a career interrupted by Tommy John surgery shortly after his spectacular major league debut in 2010, Strasburg is 112-58 with a 3.17 ERA and 1,695 strikeouts in parts of 10 seasons.

He joins a free agent market that includes several other accomplished starting pitchers, such as Gerrit Cole, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Zack Wheeler, Madison Bumgarner, Rick Porcello, Cole Hamels, Jake Odorizzi and Dallas Keuchel. Cole, like Strasburg represented by agent Scott Boras, is expected to get a record contract for a pitcher, topping David Price’s $217 million, seven-year deal with Boston before the 2016 season and Justin Verlander’s $31.33 million average salary under a three-year deal with the Astros that started in 2019.

Strasburg, two years older than Cole, likely would command a lower price because of age and durability. He was on the disabled list during seven of his 10 seasons, all but 2012, 2014 and this year.

His 10 DL trips were caused by right shoulder inflammation and then a torn elbow ligament in 2010, recovery from Tommy John surgery in 2011, a strained right latissimus dorsi muscle in 2013, neck tightness and then a left oblique strain in 2015, right elbow inflammation in 2016, a right elbow nerve impingement in 2017 and right shoulder inflammation and then a cervical nerve impingement in 2018.

Because Strasburg opted out, the $30 million deferred from his 2019 salary becomes due in three $10 million payments on each July 1 from 2020-22. The deal included a $10 million signing bonus that was payable July 1 this year and salaries of $15 million in both 2017 and 2018.

All-Star third baseman Anthony Rendon, another key component of the Nationals’ title, also is a free agent represented by Boras.

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ASHBURN, Va. — When Dwayne Haskins takes the field for the Washington Redskins’ first offensive snap Sunday at the Buffalo Bills, he’ll be the fourth rookie to start a game in the NFL this season.

Unlike fellow first-round picks Kyle Murray of the Arizona Cardinals and Daniel Jones of the New York Giants, it won’t be because the organization dubbed it Haskins’ time. It’ll be more like Cheap Jacksonville Jaguars Jerseys
sixth-rounder Gardner Minshew, who was thrust into action Week 1 after Nick Foles was injured.

Despite using the 15th overall pick on Haskins in part because he went to high school with owner Dan Snyder’s son, the Redskins — through two coaches now — have been reluctant to hand the keys to him. Journeyman Case Keenum won the starting job out of training camp, when it was obvious Haskins was talented but not ready, and since-fired coach Jay Gruden turned first to longtime backup Colt McCoy.

Keenum’s concussion against Minnesota forced Haskins into his second relief appearance of the season. Interim coach Bill Callahan on Friday named Haskins the starter, but this is certainly not a declaration.

“Case is our quarterback and that’s where we’re rolling right now,” Callahan said this week. “I really believe at the beginning of the year, Case earned the starting quarterback position. He was voted captain by his teammates, certainly deserving, certainly our starting quarterback. So, we’re not confusing the issue here: Case is our starter and if he’s healthy and ready to play this Sunday, he will be going forward.”

With that and plenty of almost fatherly advice from older teammates, Haskins will try to improve on 12 of 22 passing for 140 yards and four interceptions in games against the Giants and Vikings. Asked the next step in his progression, the Ohio State product said: “First start. We’ll see how it goes from there.”

“Every day is a challenge,” Haskins said. “Every game is a challenge. Every time I put my helmet on it’s a challenge. Looking forward to conquering that challenge every day.”

There were times in camp when Haskins showed the rocket arm that threw for 4,831 yards and 50 touchdowns last season at Ohio State, along with plenty of evidence he’s more of a long-term project.

Redskins players haven’t been shy to challenge Haskins before, during and after his struggles in limited pro action. Even though running back Adrian Peterson took issue with a report he told Haskins to get his nose in the playbook and prove people wrong who think he doesn’t know plays, he agreed with the assertion that one particular throw against Minnesota wasn’t the rookie’s best.
The NFL season moves at a relentless pace.

Thirteen days ago, the Kansas City Chiefs were reminded of just how fragile the window to contend is when MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes suffered what could have been a devastating knee injury.

Fast-forward two weeks later and Mahomes was a limited participant at Chiefs practice on Wednesday.

Mahomes has yet to be officially ruled out for Sunday’s matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.

While it’s still more likely that Matt Moore starts this week, Chiefs fans are praying that Mahomes can return to full strength and help them contend this season.

In order for that to happen, Kansas City needs to be patient with its star quarterback.

With back-to-back games against a pair of top-10 defences over the next two weeks, it will be very interesting to see if Mahomes returns sooner than expected.

Meanwhile, it will be Tom Brady and the New England Patriots against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens in one of the most highly anticipated prime time matchups of the year so far on Sunday Night Football (TSN, CTV2: 7 pm ET / 4 pm PT).

Over the last two weeks, Jackson became the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for 100 yards and a touchdown in back-to-back games.

He also joined Michael Vick and Russell Wilson as the only quarterbacks to register three games with at least 100 rushing yards in a single season all-time.

Remember, he still has nine games to add to that total.

In 25 years as a head coach, Bill Belichick’s defences have never allowed a quarterback to run for 95 yards or more in a single game.

Watching Jackson go up against a Patriots defence that is off to a historically incredible start in prime time will be must-see television.

Not to be lost in the shadow of that Sunday Night Football matchup, or any Week 9 matchup for that matter based on their 9:30 AM ET start, the Houston Texans and Cheap Jacksonville Jaguars Jerseys
will clash in the fourth and final NFL London game of the year.

Deshaun Watson ranks sixth in the NFL in big-time throw percentage this season among quarterbacks with at least 215 total pass attempts, per Pro Football Focus.

Who is the quarterback listed two spots ahead of Watson on the list of the best deep ball throwers this season?

Gardner Minshew III.

Watson and Minshew will go head-to-head for the first time on Sunday.

With a win, Minshew could at least temporarily move the Jaguars ahead of Houston in the AFC Wild Card standings – something that would have seemed unthinkable when he took over for an injured Nick Foles in Week 1.

Then again, the NFL moves at a relentless pace.

We are just trying our best to keep up.

With the first eight weeks of regular season football in the books, it seems like we have a large enough sample size to debut my first set of Power Rankings.

Here is a look at my top five teams in each conference heading into Week 9:

AFC Power Rankings

New England Patriots (8-0)

You were expecting somebody else? Right now in the AFC, it’s the perfect Patriots and then everybody else. New England is 8-0 for the third time in franchise history, which means they are guaranteed to finish .500 or better for the 19th consecutive season. The Patriots defence has held opposing quarterbacks to a lower passer rating than either the 2000 Baltimore Ravens or 1985 Chicago Bears, while allowing fewer points per game and fewer total yards per game than either of those defences through eight games. While it’s easy to point to a relatively weak schedule so far, the Patriots’ win streak is actually technically now at 13 in a row dating back to last year’s Super Bowl-winning run. In fact, dating back to the start of the 2018 season New England is now 6-0 against opponents featured in these Power Rankings.

Indianapolis Colts (5-2)

Indianapolis ranks below the Chiefs, Texans and Ravens in DVOA per Football Outsiders, but has already registered wins over Kansas City and Houston to climb ahead of both of those teams in the AFC standings. Jacoby Brissett ranks just 32nd in positively graded throws per Pro Football Focus, with 53.2 per cent of his total passing yards coming after the catch. Still, the Colts have thrived thanks in large part to coaching and some impressive depth on both sides of the football. Indianapolis has earned the No. 2 spot on this list, even if it’s only temporary.

Houston Texans (5-3)

The Texans are 1-2 against opponents in these Power Rankings and 4-1 against everybody else. Houston already beat the Chiefs in Kansas City. The Texans could very well be 6-2 with wins over a couple of teams in these Power Rankings if it wasn’t for the poor game management that cost them in a Week 1 loss to the New Orleans Saints in which Will Lutz made a 58-yard, game-winning field goal in the final minute. J.J. Watt’s season-ending injury hurts. Still, Houston has already proven it can compete with some of the best in the NFL this season.

Kansas City Chiefs (5-3)

Only New England owns a better DVOA than Kansas City in the AFC this season. Still, the difference between the Patriots and Chiefs is a whopping 17.9 per cent. Looking past the injury to Mahomes, there are legitimate concerns about the Kansas City defence and the team’s inability to run the football. While Mahomes is talented enough to make up for those issues when he’s fully healthy, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the Chiefs are now 0-4 against the other teams in these Power Rankings dating back to last year’s playoff loss to New England.

Baltimore Ravens (5-2)

The Ravens rank third in the AFC in DVOA behind only the Patriots and Chiefs. Still, Baltimore has just one win over a team with a winning record this season. The Ravens lost to Kansas City in Week 3, then suffered a double-digit defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns in Week 4. Baltimore could certainly move up these rankings with a win over New England on Sunday Night Football. We should get a better idea of how good this Ravens team is over the next five weeks. After all, four of their next five opponents are currently listed in these Power Rankings.

NFC Power Rankings

San Francisco 49ers (7-0)

As is the case with the Patriots, San Francisco can only beat the teams they play. The lone remaining undefeated NFC team ranks first in the NFL in DVOA per Football Outsiders, in large part because of a defence that has allowed a league-low 224.4 total yards per game. The 49ers held the defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams to 48 net passing yards in Week 6, then limited the Carolina Panthers to just 100 in Week 8. With four more games against teams in these Power Rankings, San Francisco will get ample opportunities to prove they deserve this ranking.

New Orleans Saints (7-1)

The fact that the Saints are 7-1 despite losing Drew Brees for nearly six full weeks is impressive. Teddy Bridgewater might not have led New Orleans to a Super Bowl win, but he did just enough to keep the Saints in contention for the NFC’s top seed and home field advantage for the playoffs. New Orleans is now 5-0 in one-score games this season. The countdown is on to a Week 14 showdown with the 49ers at the Superdome.

Green Bay Packers (7-1)

It’s been incredible to watch what Aaron Rodgers has done this season in a completely new offence and without his top wide receiver Davante Adams over the past couple of weeks. Still, the Packers have posted only a slightly better DVOA than the Saints have without Brees for the most part this season. Green Bay has only two wins over teams listed in these Power Rankings this season and one of them was last week’s 31-24 victory over the Chiefs without Mahomes. The Packers will travel to San Francisco in Week 12. By the time that game is over, we should have a better idea of where both teams rank in the NFC.

Dallas Cowboys (4-3)

Critics will point to losses to New Orleans, Green Bay and the New York Jets in particular as obvious reasons why Dallas shouldn’t be on this list. However, two of those losses came against teams ranked ahead of the Cowboys in these Power Rankings. When you consider the impact that the return of wide receiver Amari Cooper as well as tackles Tyron Smith and La’El Collins had in last week’s 37-10 win over Philadelphia, it’s a little easier to understand why Dallas struggled without them. The Cowboys still rank second in the NFC in DVOA behind only the 49ers, per Football Outsiders. They are getting healthy just in time for next week’s showdown with the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football.

Minnesota Vikings (6-2)

There was some debate concerning which team deserved the final spot on this list between the Vikings, Seahawks and the Rams. In the end, Minnesota earned this spot based in large part on what it has done over the past four weeks. Following a brutal start to the season that included losses to Green Bay and the Chicago Bears, the Vikings have put together four straight wins, outscoring their opponents by an average of 31.8 to 17.3. Minnesota and Seattle are both 6-2. However, the Seahawks are a missed field goal by Greg Zuerlein away from being 0-3 against opponents listed in these Power Rankings. Plus, four of Seattle’s six wins have been by four points or less, including narrow victories over the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers. Considered by many to be their greatest weakness, Kirk Cousins has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL since Week 5. The Vikings have also produced a slightly better DVOA than the Packers, Saints, Seahawks and Rams in the NFC, which helped solidify their spot as the No. 5 team on this list.
“It don’t take a rocket scientist to see that,” Peterson said. “He’s got it incredible arm. He can throw the ball. All he’s got to do is put a little more zip on it, we got a first down, now we’re going for a touchdown. It’s simple things. It’s nothing major.”

Veteran left tackle Donald Penn told Haskins, “try to get in your (play)book.” And linebacker Jon Bostic offered advice along similar lines.

“I’ve talked to him several times,” Bostic said. “I make sure I tell him before every game he should have a notebook on every co-ordinator that he’s playing, regardless if you’re in there or not. Because teams will change, players will change, but co-ordinators won’t. The system is going to be the same. So start learning these guys now. You’re watching and everything. I was like: ‘You should be taking these mental reps on the sidelines and take them seriously. You should be going through every read.’”

Haskins has been getting starting QB snaps at practice since Callahan took over for Gruden, who was criticized for not putting more energy into developing him despite coaching for his job.

After the loss to the Vikings dropped the Redskins to 1-7, Callahan said Haskins could learn some valuable things about game management.

“I think the big thing is situational awareness and knowing where we are at on the field — trajectory of throws, fundamental techniques, those rotations and follow through,” Callahan said. “Getting in and getting out of the huddle, really working the offence at an upbeat tempo where he can have time at the line of scrimmage. Sometimes just not letting the clock run down on him.”

The clock is running down on a lost season in Washington, but Callahan said he’s getting no direction from president Bruce Allen or anyone in the front office about developing players for the future. He has likened Haskins’ situation to Steve Young sitting behind Cheap Jacksonville Jaguars Jerseys
Joe Montana and Aaron Rodgers behind Brett Favre.

Keenum is not a future Hall of Famer, but the Redskins don’t want to hurry Haskins into action before he’s ready, even at the expense of not knowing yet what he can do.

“In all fairness, if we say hey, we are going to put Dwayne in there and see how he does, in some respects, I think he needs a little bit more work,” Callahan said. “I think time is invaluable where he can sit back and learn from quarterbacks like Case and Colt as well as players like (injured QB Alex Smith) who is around the building.

“It is a fine line. We are trying to win games still. Our dynamic is tough and it is challenging. We are doing the best we can in a tough scenario and we are trying to find a way to win a game.”

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As a child, Max Domi remembers filling out a health form and seeing all the boxes for health restrictions. At the time, he took a certain pride in not having to check them off. Now that he has Type 1 diabetes since being diagnosed at age 12 and celiac disease (gluten allergy), requiring him to check those boxes off, Domi jokingly says that “karma is a bitch.”

Having Type 1 diabetes while carving out an NHL career led to Domi publishing a memoir titled No Days Off. A national spokesperson for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a part of the proceeds from the book will go towards JDRF.

It was his desire to share his story that led Domi to writing a full-fledged book about his diabetes.

“You don’t have enough time in a day to talk to everyone out there dealing with Type 1 diabetes,” Domi told TSN.ca. “I figured share my story and put it in print and let kids and their parents and friends, classmates and teachers and coaches, read it and understand what I went through.”

Type 1 diabetes is when the pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin, a hormone that helps the body to control the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. The disease is treated with insulin injections and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. According to Diabetes Canada, approximately 10 per cent of people living with diabetes in Canada have Type 1 diabetes.

Diabetes hasn’t stopped Domi from having a full-fledged NHL career. A first-round pick (12th overall) of the Cheap Arizona Coyotes Jerseys
, the 24-year-old has since moved on to Montreal, where he broke out offensively with 28 goals and 72 points in 82 games last season. He proudly says he’s never missed a shift in the NHL because of low or high blood sugar.

As a diabetic, a lot of Domi’s day revolves around testing his blood, trying to stay in range, counting carbs and eating well. As a Type 1 diabetic, there are a lot of variables that can impact a person’s blood sugar, including being dehydrated, sick, stressed and/or run down. He says that the people close to him can tell when his blood sugar is off.

“Honestly it’s hilarious now. Guys can actually know, more my close buddies can know, when my blood sugar is off. Girlfriends in the past have been able to know when my blood sugar is off. My parents know, my sisters know, just because I’m not myself,” says Domi.

These days, Domi wears a CGM (continuous glucose monitoring) device, which tracks glucose levels throughout the day and gives real-time readings via smartphone. He also has his diabetic alert dog, Orion, who can alert Domi to when he is out of range, including waking him up in the middle of the night. He even has a full-time personal chef, who has him on a whole food, gluten-free diet.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Arizona’s first major road trip was a big success.

It looks as if the Coyotes learned from what happened last season.

Nick Schmaltz scored in the shootout to help the Coyotes beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 on Monday night.

Conor Garland and Carl Soderberg scored for Arizona in regulation. Darcy Kuemper made 24 saves and stopped all three Sabres attempts in the shootout.

The Coyotes (7-3-1) closed out a 3-1 road trip, also beating the Rangers and Devils and losing to the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

“We had a trip like this at the end of the year that kind of cost us the playoff spot so all these trips are going to be important,” Garland said. “They’re hard trips for any team going out east or coming out west so to go 3-1, that’s a big-time road trip.”

Schmaltz scored the game-winner on a low shot to the glove side.

“We knew this was a big trip,” Kuemper said. “You want to separate a little bit early. It’s early in the season but these points are huge and we’ve just got to stick with it.”

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dominated the last part of the game, outshooting the Sabres 30-15 over the final two periods.

Both teams had prime scoring opportunities in overtime.

The Sabres hit the post twice, and Arizona’s Clayton Keller nearly found himself with an empty net after Hutton mishandled the puck. Buffalo’s Casey Mittelstadt also missed an open corner of the net on a late backhand shot when the puck jumped on him at the very last second.

“I think we got a lot of bounces early in the year,” Mittelstadt said. “It’s gonna find a way to even itself out a little bit, but I think for myself I’ve got to put one of those in for sure.”

Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner scored for Buffalo (9-2-2), which had won four of five. Carter Hutton made 41 saves.

“We got off to a good start, things seemed to be ticking well. And then our energy level, we seemed to be digging deep the whole rest of the game,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said. “We fell back on our heels.”

Eichel opened the scoring with his seventh goal 3:31 into the game, ripping a hard power-play shot from the left circle after a Sabres faceoff win.

Skinner made it 2-0 when he finished a terrific give-and-go sequence. Marcus Johansson got the puck back to Skinner, who converted a one-timer for his seventh goal at 11:16.

The Coyotes got on the board just before the end of the first thanks to a bad-angle goal from Garland. Stationed near the Sabres end line, Garland snuck the puck past Hutton on the short side with 1:10 remaining.

After a series of impressive saves by Hutton in the second period, including a stop on Christian Dvorak from point-blank range, Arizona evened the score on the power play with 3:28 remaining. A tipped puck deflected high into the air, fell onto Hutton’s back and went into the net. Soderberg was credited with the goal.

The Sabres missed a chance to match a franchise-best point total in the opening month of a season. Their 19 points is the franchise’s second-highest point total one month into a season.

NOTES: The Sabres had a video tribute in the first period welcoming Coyotes assistant Phil Housley back to Buffalo. Housley had a turbulent stint as head coach of the Sabres from 2017-19, but also spent eight seasons with Buffalo (1982-90) during his Hall of Fame career as a player. … D Marco Scandella, LW Jimmy Vesey and D William Borgen were scratched for Buffalo. Borgen was recalled from the AHL’s Rochester Americans on Sunday. … C Brad Richardson, D Kyle Capobianco and G Eric Comrie were scratched for Phoenix. … The teams don’t meet again until Feb. 29 in Arizona.
While Domi has numerous tools at his disposal to help him manage his diabetes, he admits it can take its toll on mental health.

“There’s so much pressure on yourself, so much going on that you have to be aware of and the responsibility of your health at a young age is something that really wears on people and I think nowadays with social media and all that stuff that it’s also directly leading to mental health, I think when you have a disease like this one, you literally can’t take a day off. It’s wearing on you,” says Domi.

“If you don’t have a team around you and all the tools in your toolbox to kind of handle that stuff, it’s tough. I’ll be the first one to admit that it’s not fun and you got to find ways to deal with that.”

He admits he had some hiccups during his first training camp with the Cheap Arizona Coyotes Jerseys
but credits the team’s then-trainer Jason Serbus for helping him learn how to take control of his diabetes to the next level.

“He [Serbus] is the first one to tell me ‘Man, I didn’t think you’d be able to do it and you proved me wrong and I couldn’t be happier to be wrong,’” says Domi.

As for what the common question he gets from diabetic kids and their parents, Domi says it circles back to one theme.

“The main question I get is ‘What do you do?’ or ‘How do you do it?’” says Domi. “At the end of the day, if you want something bad and you’re willing to put the work in and make the sacrifices and commit to it 100 per cent, you’ll be able to achieve that and I’m living proof of it. I’m a Type 1 diabetic playing in the NHL for the Montreal Canadiens, loving every second of it and that was my dream as a kid, so there’s no reason you can’t do the same thing.”

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. — The New York Islanders have developed a reputation for having a strong defence. With their offensive game starting to click, the team is beginning to build an intimidating identity.

Mathew Barzal had a goal and an assist and the Islanders beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3 Sunday night to extend their winning streak to seven games.

Anders Lee, Derick Brassard, Ross Johnston and Ryan Pulock scored as the Islanders erased an early one-goal deficit. Semyon Varlamov stopped 28 shots in his third straight win.

“We’ve been competing for the last couple of weeks, we play for each other, it’s been a lot of fun,” Brassard said. “Guys are stepping up, we have good goaltending, everything is clicking right now.”

Jakub Voracek, Travis Konecny, Claude Giroux scored for the Flyers, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Carter Hart made nine saves on 14 shots before being replaced by Brian Elliott midway through the second period.

Voracek scored 1:07 into the game, and the Islanders countered with three straight goals.

Lee hustled and scored on a rebound to even the score at 1-1 at 3:17 of the first. The Islanders captain won a battle behind the net which allowed the Islanders to establish possession, then beat defenceman Travis Sanheim to the side of the net to finish the play. Johnny Boychuk and Barzal assisted on the play.

“He’s our leader,” Casey Cizikas said following this third game back after missing the previous five with a lower-body injury. “When you see him and he plays like that, getting to pucks, taking the body, fight in those dirty areas, you want to follow him. That’s what you want in your captain and he has done a tremendous job at leading us.”

Brassard scored his third in as many games after executing a give-and-go with Brock Nelson 65 seconds after Lee’s goal. Brassard, a natural centre, has played left wing the last three games.

Johnston, usually an enforcer, completed the first-period barrage when he finished a feed from Cole Bardeau at 11:46. Bardeau earned his first NHL point on the play and is one of three rookies to make NHL debuts with the Islanders this season, along with Oliver Wahlstrom and Noah Dobson. Wahlstrom, 19, started the play when he forced Sanheim to turn the puck over in the corner alongside the Flyers net.

Before two costly defensive plays from Sanheim, he helped the Flyers take a 1-0 lead when he delivered a cross-ice pass to set up Voracek for his 199th NHL goal.

“It didn’t affect us a lot,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said of the Flyers early goal. “I thought our minds were in the right place. I don’t think it even fazed us. You got 59 minutes to get it back.”
DALLAS — What could have been a bitter end to a dismal road trip turned into an emphatic win for the Cheap Pittsburgh Penguins Jerseys
on Saturday night.

Matt Murray made 25 saves for his first shutout of the season, Dominik Kahun and Bryan Rust scored their first goals in the third period and Pittsburgh beat the Dallas Stars 3-0.

Dallas had dominated the first two periods, outshooting the Penguins 22-11, but neither team scored.

“We had one bad period, the second,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. “I didn’t think we won a lot of puck battles in the second period. We had a discussion about that between periods. Our guys responded really well.”

Really well — the Penguins outshot the Stars 16-3 and scored three goals in the third.

The Penguins had lost three straight games, including the first two in a three-game trip.

Brandon Tanev added an empty-net goal with 1:14 to play.

“We got a little away from our game,” rookie John Marino said. “We got back to it in the third and we were able to capitalize on our opportunities.”

Those opportunities led to two close-in goals against Ben Bishop in a span of 2:12 in the third. Bishop stopped 24 shots.

On the first goal, Bishop whiffed at clearing the puck from behind the net. Kahun passed out to Sam Lafferty, whose shot trickled under the supine Bishop. Kahun knocked the puck in from the right side at 7:29.

“I went to go play it,” Bishop said, “and accidentally kind of hit it backwards while I was trying to hit it forward. The guy made the play up front. I thought I made the save on my side. I somehow pushed it underneath myself right on the guy’s tape.”

Kahun’s first goal came in his 12th NHL game.

“Somehow, (the puck) bounced back to me,” he said. “It’s always good to get that first one.”

Sullivan wasn’t surprised.

“It’s great for Dominik. We felt like he’s been around it the last handful of games.”

The second goal came when sixth-year veteran Rust scored amid a scramble in front. Rust was playing in his first game since being injured in the final preseason game.

The Stars were seeking their fourth win in a row. The Penguins squelched that.

“You saw a team that has won two Stanley Cups and their mindset to start the third,” Dallas coach Jim Montgomery said. “They came out and shoved it right down our throat.”

Murray had kept the game scoreless by stopping 22 shots in the first two periods.

Murray made glove saves to stop Denis Gurianov and Jamie Benn in the first.

Dallas had a flurry with seven minutes left in the second period, but Murray stopped a short-range shot by Alexander Radulov and a wrist shot by Justin Dowling after he had shot wide and retrieved the puck.

NOTES: Penguins captain Sidney Crosby did not come out to begin the third period after being hit by a shot late in the second, but he returned within the first three minutes. “We’re always concerned when someone gets hit by a shot the way he did, but he was able to come back to the game,” Sullivan said. “We’ll continue to evaluate him.”… Dallas Ds Esa Lindell and Taylor Fedun both left the ice for a time after pucks hit them in the face. Lindell had a cut below his nose, and Fedun was struck in the left cheek. … Murray’s 11th career shutout tied him with Les Binkley for the third-most in Cheap Pittsburgh Penguins Jerseys
history. . John Marino assisted on Rust’s goal for his first NHL point.
Konecny cut the Flyers deficit to one, redirecting Justin Braun’s shot from the point past Varlamov at 16:38 of the first. Konecny has recorded at least one point in nine of the Flyers’ 10 games this season after signing a six-year, $33 million contract in mid-September.

The Islanders answered with two goals in the second period. Pulock hammered a slap shot past Hart at 4:13 of the middle frame to extend New York’s lead to 4-2. Cal Clutterbuck and Adam Pelech assisted on the play.

Barzal helped the Islanders seize control when he overwhelmed defenceman Samuel Morin with his speed. Lee chipped the puck out of the defensive zone, Barzal sped past Morin before sending a wrist shot between Hart’s pads 1:25 after Pulock’s goal, giving the Islanders a 5-2 advantage.

Elliott made 19 saves in relief of Hart after entering the game at the 8:46 mark of the second.

At 17:04 of the third period, James van Riemsdyk found Giroux alone in the slot and the Flyers’ captain scored his second of the season.

“We obviously didn’t execute as well as we had the past few games and we paid for it,” Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said. “Their forecheck was obviously good because they forced our D into quite a few turnovers tonight and those turnovers were costly.”

NOTES: Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello announced Sunday morning that forwards Matt Martin and Tom Kuhnhackl will each be sidelined for 4-6 weeks with lower-body injuries. … New York scratched 19-year-old defenceman Noah Dobson for the eighth time this season. … Flyers forward Scott Laughton suffered a broken finger Saturday against the Blue Jackets and will miss the next four weeks. … The Flyers scratched defenceman Robert Hagg.

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Cam Talbot and Michael Stone haven’t played much through the first three weeks of the Cheap Calgary Flames Jerseys
‘ season. They made the most of their opportunities Sunday night.

Talbot made 29 saves and Stone scored the Flames’ first goal as they rallied for a 2-1 victory over the Cheap Anaheim Ducks Jerseys
.

Mikael Backlund broke a tie with 11:03 left, and Calgary snapped a three-game road losing streak, bouncing back from a disappointing 4-1 loss at Los Angeles on Saturday which some called “embarrassing” due to their effort.

“I thought everyone took accountability for last night,” Talbot said. “I liked our work ethic and dedication in our zone to get the pucks out.”

It was Talbot’s second start and first win with the Flames. The seven-year veteran, who was with Edmonton and Philadelphia last season, signed with Calgary as a free agent.

He allowed up an early second-period goal to Jakob Silfverberg but stopped Silfverberg on a breakaway midway through the period before making 11 saves in the third, many on one-timers. Nick Ritchie had a point-blank chance in front of the net but could not convert.

“When they pushed, Talbot was there,” Calgary coach Bill Peters said. “The work he has had with us has been good. We have a lot of confidence in him and as we get busier you will see him more.”

Stone — who was playing in only his third game — tied it at 15:32 of the second with a one-timer from near the blueline for his first point. Anaheim goaltender John Gibson didn’t get a clear look as Calgary’s Sean Monahan and Anaheim’s Michael Del Zotto were battling in front of the net when Stone’s slap shot got through.

“It felt good to contribute, it’s been a while since I’ve done that,” Stone said. “To get in there and get rewarded was nice.”
LOS ANGELES — Todd McLellan was beginning to worry about his Los Angeles Kings doing the right things but not getting the desired results for their hard work. The first-year coach can breathe a little easier now.

The Kings played one of their most complete games of the young season with a 4-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Saturday night to snap a three-game losing streak.

“You eventually get concerned about the guys giving what they have and not getting rewarded. Will they begin to cheat, take shortcuts or wander from the program? They didn’t do that and that’s a good sign,” McLellan said.

Jeff Carter, who was one of seven Kings to get on the scoresheet, led the way with a goal and assist while Jonathan Quick made 23 saves for his first victory in four starts.

Tyler Toffoli, Anze Kopitar and Ilya Kovalchuk also scored for the Kings, who put the game out of reach with a three-goal second period.

Quick was on track to get a shutout until Mikael Backlund scored on a penalty shot with 2:10 remaining.

“We played great. We did a good job taking away their main threats along with winning faceoffs,” Quick said.

David Rittich, who came in with a 2.55 goals-against-average, allowed four goals on 28 shots in two periods. Cam Talbot came in for the final 20 minutes and made eight saves for the Flames, who have dropped three straight road games.

“I think our first period was ok. It is a tough building and we were down one goal,” Calgary defenceman Travis Hamonic said. “It was probably in the first seven or eight minutes of the second period where the game got away from us. We need a better pushback from the group.”

Toffoli scored 75 seconds into the game to end the goal drought at 136 minutes, 51 seconds. The Kings’ centre got the puck on a pass from Blake Lizotte just outside the Calgary zone, made a nice move past two Flames defenders and put a wrist shot past Rittich for his third goal of the season. It was only second time this season the Kings scored first.

“If we’re going to start a game, that’s the best way to do it,” McLellan said. “You could kind of feel a little bit of relief on the bench and then it was time to go back to work and the guys built off of it. We needed it and finally got rewarded.”

Carter got his first goal of the season 15 seconds into the second when his backhand went off the skate of Calgary defenceman Mark Giordano and found its way into the net.

Kopitar scored the Kings first short-handed goal of the season five minutes later when he beat Rittich on his glove side on a breakaway. Los Angeles came into the game with the league’s second-worst penalty-kill unit but was 5 of 5 against the Flames.

Kovalchuk then added a power-play goal at 8:58 with a slap shot from just beyond the left faceoff circle after a cross-ice pass from Michael Amadio. It was the Kings’ first goal with the man-advantage in six games and snapped skid where they were 0 for 19. It is also the third goal of the season for Kopitar and Kovalchuk.

“For us today the scoring was great, but the checking was better and that allowed us to play with a lead,” McLellan said. “I thought for tonight 52 minutes of our play was good. Then with eight minutes we strayed from it. We still have a lot to learn from it. We still see old habits slip in. There are things that need to be addressed and fixed.”

NOTES: Carter also won 12 of 17 faceoffs. … Kopitar is three points shy of 900 for his career. … Calgary is 0-2 in the first game of back-to-backs after going 9-1 last season. … Flames F Elias Lindholm had a three-game goal streak snapped.
Backlund scored when he got a pass from Matthew Tkachuk on a 2-on-1 rush after a neutral zone turnover and beat Gibson with a snap shot from the right faceoff circle.

“I don’t think Gibson expected an early pass. I was going to catch it and just changed my mind,” said Backlund, who has a goal in two straight games.

Gibson made 27 saves for Anaheim, which lost for the first time in five home games.

Silfverberg opened the scoring 12 seconds into the second when he beat Talbot top shelf from the left faceoff circle after taking the pass from Hampus Lindholm. Silfverberg — who has five goals this season — has scored in three straight games.

“I thought we had numerous chances to not only tie it but go ahead by a couple and we just couldn’t get it in the net,” Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said.

NOTES: The Ducks were 0 for 3 on the power play and have just one goal in 22 chances this season. … Calgary forward Milan Lucic skated in his 900th game. He is in his first season with the Cheap Calgary Flames Jerseys
after previous stints with Boston, Los Angeles and Edmonton. … Anaheim D Josh Manson has three assists in the last three games. … The 16 goals allowed by the Cheap Anaheim Ducks Jerseys
at home are the least they have allowed through five games. The previous mark was 17 in 2006-07.

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Joe Girardi’s return to the Major League Baseball coaching ranks could be close at hand.

USA Baseball announced on Wednesday that Girardi has stepped down as manager of the United States to pursue a managerial opportunity in the MLB.

“We are grateful that Joe was a part of Team USA and we appreciate the time and preparation he dedicated to our endeavor of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” said USA Baseball CEO Paul Seiler in a statement. “On behalf of the organization, we wish him the best of luck as he seeks a manager position in Major League Baseball.

With the hiring of Joe Maddon by the Cheap Los Angeles Angels Jerseys
, there are now seven managerial vacancies in the league.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Joe Maddon is back under the halo.

Maddon agreed to a three-year deal to become the Los Angeles Angels’ manager on Wednesday, reuniting the World Series-winning former manager of the Cheap Chicago Cubs Jerseys
with the organization where he spent the first three decades of his baseball career.

“We are thrilled that Joe is coming back home and bringing an exciting brand of baseball to our fans,” general manager Billy Eppler said. “Every stop he has made throughout his managerial career, he has built a culture that is focused on winning while also allowing his players to thrive. We believe Joe will be a great asset for our club and look forward to him leading the team to another World Series championship.”

The Angels will formally introduce the 65-year-old Maddon at a news conference next week, but he already knows his way around Angel Stadium.

Maddon signed with the Angels as an undrafted catcher in 1975, and he spent the next 31 seasons working at almost every level of the organization as a player, coach and manager. He served as a big league assistant coach under five managers, and he had two stints as the Angels’ interim manager.

He was the Angels’ bench coach alongside manager Mike Scioscia during their championship season in 2002. He left to manage Tampa Bay in 2006 for nine mostly successful seasons, followed by a big-money move to Chicago to make history.

The three-time Manager of the Year left the Cubs by mutual consent last month after they missed the playoffs for the first time in his five-year tenure. He’ll still likely never have to buy a drink in Chicago again because of 2016, when he led the Cubs to their first World Series title in 108 years.

Maddon replaces Brad Ausmus, who was fired after one season when the Angels finished 72-90, their worst record since 1999. Ausmus was abruptly dismissed shortly after Maddon became available, and most observers assumed Angels owner Arte Moreno had his eye on a reunion with Maddon, who was the Angels’ bench coach when Moreno bought the club in 2003.

The Angels also interviewed veteran managers John Farrell and Buck Showalter and Padres hitting coach Johnny Washington for the job, but Maddon was the choice. Maddon was expected to be a valued candidate for other managerial openings around the majors, but he was clearly eager for a reunion.

Maddon kept a home in Long Beach during his 14 seasons away from Anaheim, and he has fond feelings for the organization that gave him his start.

That organization is experiencing hard times: The Angels have endured four straight losing seasons for the first time since the 1970s, and they still haven’t won a playoff game with Mike Trout and Albert Pujols on their roster, making just one three-game post-season appearance after winning the AL West in 2014.

The Angels also were rocked this month by revelations about the role of a team employee in procuring opioids for pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who was found dead in his hotel room July 1.

The problems didn’t deter Maddon from reuniting with the Angels, where he inherits a roster with Trout as its centerpiece. The probable three-time AL MVP is signed to a 12-year, $426.5 million contract that should keep him in Anaheim for the bulk of his career.

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‘ starting pitching was easily their biggest weakness in 2019, but the rotation will benefit next season from the return of Shohei Ohtani, the two-way star who spent this year solely as a designated hitter while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Eppler also will attempt to be active in the free agent market to supplement a roster finally starting to bear fruit from Eppler’s years of rehabilitating a barren farm system.

Maddon’s managerial career away from Anaheim began with two losing seasons in Tampa Bay, but has been impressive ever since. The Rays made a 31-game improvement and won the AL pennant in 2008, leading to the first of Maddon’s three Manager of the Year awards.

He had five 90-win teams in Tampa Bay and four more in Chicago, including the 103-win Cheap Chicago Cubs Jerseys
who went on to that historic World Series victory. Maddon has received praise for his combination of a charismatic, old-school baseball personality and a willingness to adapt to the new world of analytics and statistical decision-making.
Three-time World Series champion and former Girardi teammate Scott Brosius takes over as Team USA manager for Girardi.

“Scott Brosius is respected across the baseball industry for his time as both a player and a coach,” Seiler said. “He possesses a tremendous resume and we are proud to have him step in and lead us in the Premier12 tournament. From top to bottom, the coaching staff we assembled boasts a wealth of international playing and coaching experience, and we are confident in their ability to help us achieve the goals we have collectively set for this team.”

Retiring after a 15-year playing career in 2003, Girardi became manager of the Florida Marlins in 2006, winning National League Manager of the Year in his first season, but was fired after the season.

He became bench boss of the New York Yankees – the team with whom Girardi won three World Series – in 2008.

Girardi would go on to spend a decade in the Bronx, posting an overall mark of 910-710, reaching the postseason on six occasions and winning the 2009 World Series.

The Yankees chose not to renew Girardi’s contract following the 2017 season.

Among the clubs currently looking for a manager are the Chicago Cubs, a team with whom Girardi spent seven seasons as a player over two stints. Girardi is believed to have spoken to the team about the job and is also expected to interview for the Philadelphia Phillies vacancy.

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NEW YORK — Gerrit Cole is making his pitch to own this October.

A gritty Cole held the Cheap New York Yankees Jerseys
scoreless without his sharpest stuff, Jose Altuve sparked Houston at the plate and the Cheap Houston Astros Jerseys
locked down a 4-1 victory Tuesday to take a 2-1 lead in the AL Championship Series.

Altuve and Josh Reddick homered early off Luis Severino, who laboured into the fifth while keeping the Yankees close. But they never broke through against Cole, who grinded through seven innings to win his 19th straight decision despite walking five batters for the second time in his career.

“Just boiled down to making some good pitches under pressure,” he said.

Cole escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first and stranded nine runners through five, improving to 3-0 with a 0.40 ERA in three playoff outings this year. Poised to become a prized free agent who could command more than $200 million, he’s putting together a dominant run that’s beginning to rival some of baseball’s greatest post-season pitching performances.

The 29-year-old right-hander, unbeaten in 25 starts since late May, allowed four hits and struck out seven. That ended a streak of 11 consecutive games with double-digit strikeouts — the previous big league record was eight. Cole led the majors with 326 Ks this season.

“I think he’s the best pitcher in baseball right now,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said. “Gerrit is locked in. And to see him do it on the big stage in a playoff game with the magnitude of this game, it was pretty awesome.”

Game 4 in the best-of-seven playoff is scheduled for Wednesday night — but that could change. The gloomy weather forecast calls for a substantial rainstorm, potentially forcing a postponement that would likely alter pitching plans for both teams.

Gleyber Torres homered in the eighth off Houston reliever Joe Smith, one batter after replay umpires reversed a call and ruled Edwin Encarnación out at first base. That led to a little trash and a ball being thrown onto the field before public address announcer Paul Olden reminded fans not to toss any objects out of the stands.

Roberto Osuna got three quick outs in the ninth for a save.

“Two more to go,” Osuna said. “I’m excited.”

The bushy-haired Cole grew up in California rooting for the Yankees and was drafted by them 28th overall in 2008. He didn’t sign, choosing instead to attend UCLA before the Pittsburgh Pirates selected him with the top pick in 2011.

Making his second career start at Yankee Stadium, he got away with several pitches in key situations. Other times, Cole flashed the filthy breaking balls and 98-100 mph heat that have made him so unhittable in October — and unbeatable since May.

His winning streak is the longest by a pitcher in one year since Rube Marquard began 19-0 for the 1912 New York Giants.

“He’s exceptional. And he gets better and better and better,” Hinch said. “Once he found his curveball, it was pretty lights out. I think he finished his outing as strong as ever.”

After rolling to a 7-0 victory in the series opener, the Yankees — the highest-scoring team in the majors this season — have totalled three runs on two homers in the last 20 innings.

“It’s obviously a little frustrating we weren’t able to break through with him,” manager Aaron Boone said. “But I think up and down we gave ourselves a chance. And anytime you’re facing a guy like that, you want that kind of traffic. And we had that in several innings. He made big pitches when he had to.”

With two on in the fifth and the Astros clinging to a 2-0 lead, Didi Gregorius lofted a high fly that Reddick caught at the right field fence.

“The emotions kind of followed the flyball, right?” Cole explained. “So it was kind of like low, to freaking out, to not so worried anymore.”

The three-time All-Star finally found his rhythm after that, retiring his last seven batters with three strikeouts.

He called his early fastball command “spotty,” but his ability to pitch out of trouble prevented a lively sellout crowd of 48,998 from really ever letting loose.
NEW YORK — Gerrit Cole walked into a conference room after one of his first spring training workouts with the Houston Astros in February 2018 and was met by about 10 people.

“There was charts, video, matching charts,” Cole recalled. “It was all new then, but it’s pretty straightforward to me now.”

Cole transformed into perhaps the best pitcher in the major leagues after that one-hour presentation, increasing the usage of his four-seam fastball and curveball, pretty much dropping his two-seam sinker and attacking the top of the strike zone far more frequently.

With the Astros and Cheap New York Yankees Jerseys
tied at one game apiece in the AL Championship Series, Cole is 18-0 in his last 24 starts heading into his matchup Tuesday night against New York ace Luis Severino.

“It’s a blast. This is the big stage,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said. “It’s rowdy from the first pitch on. It will bring some adrenaline out of you.”

Houston may be known for oil, but this October it’s been Cole country. He is pitching his way into a post-season elite that includes Christy Mathewson, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Orel Hershiser and Madison Bumgarner.

Once upon a time, the Astros remembered May 22 for hitting into a triple play.

Now it’s notable as the last time Cole lost.

Taken first overall by Pittsburgh in the 2011 amateur draft, Cole was 59-42 with a 3.50 ERA in five major league seasons when he was dealt to Houston in January 2018 for right-handers Joe Musgrove and Michael Feliz, third baseman Colin Moran and outfielder Jason Martin. Since that spring training meeting, his regular season record is 35-10.

Pitching coach Brent Strom did most of the talking during the discussion, joined by bullpen coach Josh Miller, minor league pitching co-ordinator Doug White, manager of major league advance information Tom Koch-Weser and Brandon Taubman, senior director of research and development and a former Ernst & Young derivative valuation expert.

“I just hadn’t dove into that whole realm much before. So I guess that was most surprising, that you could even like forecast what a pitch would project to be like against the rest of the league,” Cole said.

Hinch considers the presentation a trade secret, not surprising for an organization whose analytics team employed former NASA biomathematician Sig Mejdal, now with Baltimore.

“The preparation behind the scenes for what goes into the meetings and the communication with our players is unmatched in my time in the game,” said Hinch, in pro baseball for about a quarter-century. “Selling them is about providing them as much information as you can in an environment that’s a two-way street and applying it onto the field, which is what the player is in charge of. So that’s about as much detail as I’m going to give you about our meetings because it’s something that we consider very important to the development of our players.”

Cole threw just over 8% of his pitches in the upper third of the strike zone during his last season with the Pirates and another 11.5% wide of the upper third or above, according to Brooks Baseball. This year he threw nearly 13% in the upper third plus 21% high and wide.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone marvels at Cole’s “ability to really pitch at the top of the strike zone with his high-end fastball and really command it up there. Throw it at the top or expand just enough to get swings. And then a couple of electric breaking balls.”

Cole has a 1.66 ERA since that loss to the Chicago White Sox, when Jake Marisnak bounced into a 5-4-3 triple play. He reached double-digit strikeouts in 23 of 35 starts this year, including his last 11, and fanned at least one batter in 73 consecutive innings from Aug. 1 to Game 5 of the Division Series, the longest streak since 1961 by 33 innings.

He leaves a breeze at the plate: He induced 33 swings and misses in Game 2 against the Rays, the most in a post-season game since MLB started tracking the stat in 2008. In beating Tampa Bay in Games 2 and 5, he allowed one run and six hits in 15 2/3 innings, striking out 25 and walking three.

Cole’s winning streak is the longest by a pitcher in a year since Rube Marquard began 19-0 for the 1912 New York Giants, winning 18 of 19 starts and getting a victory and save in three relief appearances. Those 19 straight winning decisions matched the record set by the Giants’ Tim Keefe in 1888.

Times were different: Marquard had 16 complete games during that stretch. Cole has two during seven big league seasons, the last a one-hitter at Arizona on May 4 last year. Marquard was nicknamed the $11,000 Peach and $11,000 Beauty, a reference to the price the Giants paid Indianapolis for the right-hander in 1908.

Cole put himself in position for a $200 million-plus contract as a free agent this off-season. Perhaps with the Yankees, the team he rooted for growing up?

New York drafted him 28th overall in 2008 but Cole chose to attend UCLA. At times he wondered what his career would have been like in pinstripes, especially when Pittsburgh was considering trades.

“I don’t want to be dishonest and tell you that it didn’t cross my mind. Obviously I got drafted by them, so I thought about it then,” he said. “And all the rumours going around, it’s kind of hard to control what you hear. But as of late it’s just been not a thought at all.”
“I mean, we just had to work it,” Cole said.

Gregorius also grounded out with the bases loaded to end the first.

“Most of the game was on me,” he said. “I didn’t come through, so I was the one that failed, not the whole team.”

Houston got a rally going in the seventh against scuffling reliever Adam Ottavino. George Springer walked and went to third when Altuve executed a perfect run-and-hit single through the right side.

After savvy baserunning by Springer to stay in a rundown long enough to get runners to second and third, Altuve scored on Zack Britton’s wild pitch. Yuli Gurriel made it 4-0 with a sacrifice fly.

LET’S GET IT STARTED

The 5-foot-6 Altuve connected on Severino’s third pitch for his fourth homer of these playoffs, extending his post-season hitting streak to 12 games dating to last year.

“I think everybody knows I like swinging the bat,” he said. “I don’t like wasting too much time on home plate.”

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Cole has 32 strikeouts in the playoffs while allowing just one run. He joined Cheap Houston Astros Jerseys
teammate Justin Verlander (2013 with Detroit) and Kevin Brown (1998 for San Diego) as the only pitchers to whiff at least 30 and permit no more than one run in a three-game post-season span, according to STATS.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Yankees LF Giancarlo Stanton sat out for the second consecutive game because of a strained right quadriceps. He was replaced in the lineup by CF Aaron Hicks, who batted ninth in his first start since Aug. 3 due to a strained flexor near his right elbow. Brett Gardner shifted from centre to left. Hicks went 0 for 2 with two walks.

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BOSTON — The Cheap Boston Bruins Jerseys
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David Pastrnak scored a career-high four goals on Monday for his fifth career hat trick, leading the Bruins to a 4-2 victory over the Cheap Anaheim Ducks Jerseys
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“I think the best thing that happened to our group was pretty much staying together,” said winger and Pastrnak’s linemate Brad Marchand, who had two assists. “We didn’t lose or bring in that many guys. It’s allowed us to continue our chemistry and kind of roll in from last year.

“It’s easy to get into the game early in the season when you feel comfortable with one another.”

Jaroslav Halak stopped 30 shots and top centre Patrice Bergeron added an assist for the Bruins, the Cup runner-up off to a 5-1 start.

The Pastrnak-Marchand-Bergeron trio has accounted for 24 points, with Pastrnak collecting 10 and Marchand nine.

“We’ve been together a long time now,” Pastrnak said. “It’s kind of expected from us.”

Rickard Rakell and Adam Henrique scored for the Ducks, and John Gibson made 19 saves. Anaheim has lost two of three after winning its first three games this season.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Anaheim Ducks aren’t scoring many goals. They haven’t needed many in winning four of their first five games.

The Ducks surrendered just one goal in each of the four wins this season and gave up only two in their only setback. Meanwhile, they’re averaging just over two goals per game. But it’s been enough.

Anaheim got assistance from a carom off the skate of an official and a great game from 39-year-old goaltender Ryan Miller in his first start of the season, beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 on Friday night.

Miller was slotted in for regular starter John Gibson on the second night of a back-to-back. That gives Miller a 1.0 goals per game average to go along with Miller’s 1.26.

“He played great, kept us in the hockey game,” said Ducks defenceman Cam Fowler, who scored the goal that counted as the winner. “That’s what you expect out of a guy like him who’s been around a long time. He prepares himself, works, hard, does the little extra things in practice to make sure he’s prepared for the game, and I was happy to see his hard work pay off.”

After a scoreless first period, Anaheim’s Jakob Silverberg got a short-handed goal when he put back a rebound to cap an odd-man rush that was set up by a deflection off a lineman’s skate. Fowler scored two minutes later, taking a drop pass from Ondrej Kase and beating Korpisalo from the right circle.

“The big play is when they score short-handed,” Columbus coach John Tortorella said. “It was an unlucky one. It went off the ref’s skate. They score, then we give up an odd-man rush and they score (again). You just can’t do that.”

Dubois made it a one-goal game late in the second when he tore down the left side and delivered a sharp-angle shot that went in off Miller’s arm. The Blue Jackets hit the post on at least two other occasions.

“I think we could have a little bit more traffic in front of him,” Dubois said. “We got some shots, traffic, none going in.”

Miller shut down Columbus’ best chance to tie the score when he got a stick on Seth Jones’ point-blank shot on a short-handed rush with about 11 minutes left in the game.

“There’s not many situations that you can throw at him that he hasn’t been through,” Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said. “He’s calm back there. He’s almost like a second coach back there sometimes.”

Columbus pulled the goalie with two minutes remaining but managed only two shots with the man advantage.

“Win it any way you can,” Miller said. “We’re still getting comfortable in certain positions with some young guys, guys are slotting into different spots, rotating almost. There’s going to be flow eventually.”

The 4-1 record matches the best start in Cheap Anaheim Ducks Jerseys
history. They’ve done it four other times, most recently in 2014-15.

NOTES: Columbus put F Josh Anderson on injured reserve and recalled Markus Hannikainen from Cleveland of the American Hockey League. … Anaheim F Ryan Getzlaf played in his 989th game, becoming the Ducks’ all-time games-played leader. The 34-year-old passed Corey Perry, who played 988 games in 14 seasons with Anaheim. … Ducks D Brendan Guhle was out with a lower-body injury. … Anaheim has killed 15 of 16 penalties this season, including three against Columbus. … The Ducks have failed to score a goal in 10 power-play chances.
“Those are the kind of nights where the puck kind of finds you,” Anaheim defenceman Hampus Lindholm said of Pastrnak. “He had one of those nights.”

Pastrnak completed his hat trick with an unassisted goal off a faceoff. He stole the puck from defenceman Josh Manson and slipped a wrist shot between John Gibson’s pads 2:20 into the third period to make it 3-1, prompting fans to throw hats on the ice.

The 23-year-old forward scored 2:14 later off a nice feed from Marchand, who sent a pass from the left circle to Pastrnak. He was at the edge of the far post, where he redirected the puck into the net.

Eight seconds into Michael Del Zotto’s penalty for slashing, the Bruins made it 1-0 when Bergeron sent a backhand pass from the slot to Pastrnak, who one-timed a shot past Gibson just 4:18 into the game.

Boston made it 2-0 less than a minute after Halak made the second of two stellar stops midway through the second period. Marchand stole the puck from Lindholm and fed it to Pastrnak, who had just left the bench. The winger beat Gibson with a wrist shot from the right circle at 11:38.

Halak stopped two clean break-ins to keep the Ducks off the scoreboard until late in the period. On the first, Ondrej Kase cut in and the goalie made a blocker save on a backhander. Max Jones skated in alone from the right circle on the second chance, getting off a backhander while being hooked by defenceman Steven Kampfer.

Rakell beat Halak with a wrist shot to the glove side, slicing it to 2-1 with 2:08 left in the second.

NOTES: The last Bruin to score four in a game was Bergeron on Jan. 6, 2018 against Carolina. . Boston C David Krejci left to an undisclosed injury early in the game. . Anaheim D Brendan Guhle was sidelined for the second straight game with a lower body injury. … The Cheap Anaheim Ducks Jerseys
had killed 15 of their first 16 penalties this season before Pastrnak’s power-play goal. … The Cheap Boston Bruins Jerseys
held a “moment of applause and celebration” for longtime defenceman Ted Green, who died over the weekend at 79. . Anaheim D Sam Steel (upper body) was activated from IR before the game and played 14 minutes. “It’s really nice getting back in,” he said. “It was frustrating being out for a bit. It’s good to be back in, but would have been a lot better with a better result. You’re waiting all summer to get going into regular-season play, and to be held out gets a little frustrating.”

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — One year ago, Nate Pearson was showing off his triple-digit heat in front of scouts at the annual Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game, but a certain New York Mets prospect was far from intimidated.

With the game airing on MLB Network, Pete Alonso quickly introduced himself to the mainstream baseball world by sending a 103-mph Pearson fastball into orbit, something he would continue to do against major-league arms in 2019, finishing with a new rookie record for home runs with 53.

That type of freshman impact will be tough to match, but there will be names from Saturday’s 14th annual best-on-best game at Salt River Fields showing up on MLB rosters in 2020, as the AFL is generally viewed as the jumping off point for prospects on the verge of their big-league debuts.

Here are 10 names from the East and West Fall Stars rosters to pay close attention to next summer.

10. OF Julio Rodriguez, Cheap Seattle Mariners Jerseys

Age: 18

Highest 2019 level: High-A

MLB Pipeline top 100 ranking: 25

He’s still a teenager and will be for a while, as Rodriguez won’t turn 20 until next December. Teens don’t usually show up in the majors, but when you’re as naturally gifted as Rodriguez you can’t rule it out. There are some Juan Soto vibes here and the Mariners aggressively pushed Rodriguez to High-A in 2019, where he tore the cover off the baseball in his 17 games, authoring a .462/.514/.738 slash line in 72 trips to the plate. The only thing that could delay his arrival in Seattle is the Mariners’ rebuild and service time considerations.

9. RHP Jackson Rees, Cheap Toronto Blue Jays Jerseys

Age: 25

Highest 2019 level: High-A

MLB Pipeline top 100 ranking: Not ranked

The group the Blue Jays sent to the AFL last year was star studded to say the least. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Cavan Biggio and Pearson were all named to the Fall Stars Game. This year, Rees — pronounced Reece — was the only Jays prospect in the game, and it’s the icing on the cake for the right-hander, after breezing through the season with a sparkling 0.73 ERA across 61.2 innings. Rees has continued that dominance in the AFL, allowing only one hit in his four innings of work. The impact won’t be on the same level as most of the names on this list, but if Rees continues to have success in the upper minors, the pitching-starved Cheap Toronto Blue Jays Jerseys
might want to find out if his deceptive delivery works at the major-league level.

8. OF Greg Deichmann, Oakland Athletics

Age: 24

Highest 2019 level: Double-A

MLB Pipeline top 100 ranking: Not ranked

Deichmann had a tough go of it in Double-A this season, batting just .219 in 340 plate appearances. But he’s the type of player the A’s traditionally get the most out of and the 2017 second-round pick is sporting a 1.118 OPS with four homers in the AFL. If he cuts down on the swing-and-miss, he could be the latest mix-and-match piece in the Oakland outfield.

7. OF Victor Victor Mesa, Miami Marlins

Age: 23

Highest 2019 level: Double-A

MLB Pipeline top 100 ranking: Not ranked

Victor Victor got rich rich when he defected from Cuba in May of 2018, signing with the Marlins for $5.25 million. The early returns, however, have not been great, as the fleet-footed outfielder with a cannon for an arm really struggled with the bat, finishing with a .235/.274/.263 slash line and zero home runs. The glove will make him a major leaguer, but the bat needs to catch up quickly for that to happen in 2020.

6. OF Josh Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays

Age: 21

Highest 2019 level: Double-A

MLB Pipeline top 100 ranking: Not ranked

Competing with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox in the AL East is tough enough for the Blue Jays, but the Rays have become a developmental machine, and there’s more talent on the way. Lowe’s brother, Nate, beat him to the big leagues, but Josh’s 18 homer, 30-steal season in Double-A has him a step or two away and his speed in the outfield will make him a valuable all-around contributor when he does arrive.

5. 2B Vidal Brujan, Tampa Bay Rays

Age: 21

Highest 2019 level: Double-A

MLB Pipeline top 100 ranking: 39

Signed for just $15,000 back in 2014, Brujan’s best weapon is his speed, helping him swipe 48 bags in 2019. The Dominican switch-hitter is also adept at controlling the strike zone and there’s some pop in his bat, evidenced by the seven extra-base hits, including a pair of homers, that he’s piled up in 12 AFL games so far. He’s one of the best prospects in a system that’s loaded with talent.

4. RHP Spencer Howard, Philadelphia Phillies

Age: 23

Highest 2019 level: Double-A

MLB Pipeline top 100 ranking: 88

Despite dealing with a shoulder issue, Howard broke out in a big way in 2019, registering a 2.03 ERA in 15 starts and reaching Double-A. With the Phillies clearly in win-now mode and chasing the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals in a tough division, Howard could be viewed as a great internal option if he keeps dealing like he did this season. If he doesn’t find his way to the big leagues, he’ll be one of the top-five pitching prospects in baseball this time next year.

3. RHP Nick Neidert, Miami Marlins

Age: 22

Highest 2019 level: Triple-A

MLB Pipeline top 100 ranking: Not ranked

Sent to the Marlins in the trade that shipped Dee Gordon to the Cheap Seattle Mariners Jerseys
two years ago, Neidert started the game for the East squad Saturday and is viewed as one of the more polished arms in the Miami system. Neidert’s stuff isn’t flashy and he struggled to a 5.05 ERA in nine starts in Triple-A this summer, but the rebuilding Marlins will need a rotation arm at some point in 2020 and the 2015 second-round pick will be one of the first in line.

2. RHP Forrest Whitley, Houston Astros

Age: 22

Highest 2019 level: Triple-A

MLB Pipeline top 100 ranking: 16

Many thought Whitley would be a rotation option for the Astros this season, but injury issues got in the way and he somehow pitched to an ugly 7.99 ERA this season. This is exactly what the AFL is made for, though, and Whitley has turned his season around in the desert, looking sharp across three starts against some of the best bats in the minors. With Gerrit Cole in line for a massive payday, there could be room for Whitley in Houston next summer.

1. OF Jo Adell, Los Angeles Angels

Age: 20

Highest 2019 level: Triple-A

MLB Pipeline top 100 ranking: 5

You can lock this one in. Adell will be in the big leagues next year, perhaps after a service-time-induced wait to begin the season. Adell struggled a bit in his first taste of Triple-A, slashing just .264/.321/.355 in 27 games, but the 20-year-old has all the tools needed to be a superstar and will eventually patrol right field for the Halos. With Mike Trout just entering his prime years, the Angels will have one of the best outfields in baseball once Adell hits his stride.​

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A curse-filled clubhouse victory speech by St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt that went viral after a player posted it on social media showed a different side to the usually mild-mannered skipper — and while he was sorry Thursday that his colorful language got leaked, he did not feel bad about the gist of his message.

“It’s regretful that that was able to get out,” Shildt said, speaking to reporters a day before the NL Central champion Cardinals host the wild-card Washington Nationals for Game 1 of the best-of-seven NL Championship Series. “I will not apologize for having passion about how I feel about our team and the accomplishments of our team.”

Shildt called the clubhouse “a sanctuary that is very sacred” and said the pep talk to his players after they beat the Atlanta Braves 13-1 on Wednesday to win their NL Division Series “should have been private.”

But the bleepable rant — “That’s how we roll” was just about the lone phrase suitable for publication — was shown to the world by Randy Arozarena, a rookie outfielder for St. Louis who had three at-bats in the NLDS.

“As far as Randy goes,” Shildt said Thursday, “I completely give Randy grace. He was just excited. He’s a great kid with a great heart.”

Cardinals catcher Matt Wieters referred to the episode as an example of “when you get conversations out of the clubhouse that shouldn’t be out of the clubhouse.”

“Everybody in that clubhouse knows how much he cares for them,” Wieters said.

Miles Mikolas, the Cardinals right-hander who will start Friday night against Nationals righty Aníbal Sánchez, spoke about how Shildt’s words could help his club.
LOS ANGELES — It’s back to the drawing board — again — for the Los Cheap Minnesota Twins Jerseys
, whose World Series title drought now extends to 31 years.

This time, they didn’t even make it that far.

The Dodgers’ post-season fell apart in the NL Division Series with a 7-3 defeat to the Washington Nationals in Game 5, an inglorious ending for a team coming off back-to-back World Series appearances.

“This is not anything we were prepared for,” said reliever Joe Kelly, who gave up the tiebreaking grand slam to former Dodger Howie Kendrick in the 10th inning Wednesday night.

Indeed, the Dodgers made no secret that winning a record seventh straight NL West title while piling up 106 victories — second-most in the majors — was just a prelude to fulfilling their ultimate goal of earning the franchise’s first World Series title since 1988.

“We all knew we were better than what we showed out there,” said Max Muncy, whose two-run homer in the first provided an early lead. “Sometimes it’s not meant to be.”

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now have all winter to contemplate what went wrong and how to fix it.

There are off-season decisions looming, starting with president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. His contract expires at the end of this month.

Friedman has overseen the redevelopment of the farm system and it’s paid off with a pipeline full of prospects that have succeeded once they’ve reached the big-league level.

Rookie infielders Matt Beaty and Gavin Lux and catcher Will Smith all made starts this post-season. In his second season, right-hander Walker Buehler continued to show he’s a worthy successor to Clayton Kershaw as the team’s ace.

“We will have a lot more chances at it,” Buehler said of post-season success. “We are built to keep putting ourselves in this situation.”

The pitching corps could see some changes.

Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who led the majors in ERA, and 39-year-old lefty Rich Hill can become free agents. Closer Kenley Jansen, whose ERA was the worst of his career, can opt out of his contract.

Kershaw is heading into the second year of a $93 million, three-year deal he signed last November. The three-time Cy Young Award winner had a blown save in the decisive Game 5, giving up home runs on consecutive pitches that allowed Washington to tie the game.

“I’m not going to hang my head,” Kershaw said. “I will be here next year and try to do the same thing and try to do it every single year.”

Manager Dave Roberts signed a four-year contract extension in December. His in-game tactics came into question again in Game 5, similar to the way his pitching decisions were criticized in last year’s World Series — even by President Donald Trump.

Roberts tossed analytics out the window when he allowed Kershaw to return for the eighth inning after getting the final out of the seventh.

“I felt really good about that,” he said. “It’s a guy that I believe in, and I trust and it didn’t work out.”

Anthony Rendon homered leading off and Juan Soto followed with a game-tying solo shot.

“My job is to put guys in the best position to have success and if it doesn’t work out, there’s always going to be second-guessing,” Roberts said. “I got no problem bearing the brunt of that.”
“When you see your manager getting that excited and that fired up, it feeds into what everyone else is doing,” Mikolas said. “It’s hard not to get amped up when you got the guy who is kind of leading your team getting super amped up. It’s contagious.”

Mikolas, an All-Star in 2018, went 9-4 with a 4.16 ERA this season. He appeared in two games of the NLDS against the Braves, allowing one run in six innings, once as a starter and once in relief. Sánchez, less heralded than rotation mates Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg or Patrick Corbin, was 11-8 with a 3.85 ERA in 2019, then gave up one run in five innings in his lone appearance of the NLDS against the Cheap Minnesota Twins Jerseys
.

Nationals manager Dave Martinez said he had not yet decided how he would line up the rest of his starting staff after Sánchez.

Shildt said Adam Wainwright will start Game 2, followed by Jack Flaherty, then Dakota Hudson, who will be available out of the bullpen at the beginning of the series.

Notes: Martinez said X-rays showed nothing broken on the hand of C Kurt Suzuki, who was hit by a pitch in Washington’s 7-3 victory in 10 innings at LA in Game 5 on Wednesday night. Suzuki was going to go through concussion protocol once the Nationals arrived in St. Louis. … CF Victor Robles, who missed the last two games of the series against the Dodgers with a strained right hamstring, will be checked out Friday before the game to determine his status.