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jj009 Offline

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21.10.2018 11:51
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Jeff Samardzija is going to prepare as if he might pitch a potential wild-card playoff game Monday and stay ready in case he might be needed sooner if San Franciscos season is on the line.The Giants wasted Samardzijas latest stellar start with a chance to grab momentum after a big offensive outburst a night earlier, yet instead the playoff-hopeful Giants ended up with a costly dud in a 2-0 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night.As long as they know Im ready, thats all that counts, Samardzija said. ... This is the time of year, man, this feels great to be out there pitching when the weather turns a little bit and the season comes to an end. I always love being able to see the finish line and it always allows me to go a little harder. I enjoy staring down the tube when its about to be done and just let it all hang out. Hopefully we get a chance to do that here a handful more times.The bats had better be ready the rest of the way, too.Rockies right-hander Tyler Chatwood (12-9) struck out nine in eight innings and outdueled Samardzija (12-11), shutting down San Francisco a day after the Giants pounded 19 hits in a 12-3 win.San Francisco dropped 1 1/2 games behind the Mets for the top wild card and remained a game up on St. Louis for the second spot after the Cardinals lost to Cincinnati.In a game that began with a hovering mist above the field on a cool Bay Area night -- with first-pitch temperature 55 degrees -- Samardzija struck out a season-high 11 in six-plus innings of his final regular season start. He allowed seven hits and two runs, walking one.Pinch-hitter Kelby Tomlinson doubled leading off the ninth against Rockies closer Boone Logan, who then allowed Brandon Belts two-out infield single. Adam Ottavino retired Buster Posey on a groundout to third to end it for his sixth save.The Giants lone runner to reach second before the ninth was Angel Pagan on a wild pitch in the second. What a contrast from San Franciscos free-swinging performance Tuesday, when it produced 10 extra-base hits with three home runs, four triples and three doubles.Two different teams, manager Bruce Bochy said of his club from one night to the next. Chatwoods been tough on us. He was good tonight. We just couldnt figure him out. We had a runner on second base one time through eight innings. Thats going to work. We pitched well, we played well, this offense couldnt get it going, couldnt figure him out.Twice baserunners were caught stealing and the Giants grounded into two double plays. They know they have serious work to do in order to keep alive a streak of World Series championships in even years this decade: 2010, 12 and 14.Samardzija has struck out nine or more in each of his past three starts against the Rockies. With runners on first and third and one out in the sixth, Samardzija induced an inning-ending double play by Nolan Arenado.Chatwood dazzled -- and that has been the norm for him away from Coors Field. He allowed three hits and walked two as the Rockies snapped an eight-game road losing streak.He is 8-1 with a majors-best 1.69 ERA in 13 road starts, and he is 3-1 with a 2.12 ERA in six career outings at AT&T Park. Chatwoods road ERA is the lowest in franchise history for pitchers with at least 80 innings.After allowing Conor Gillaspies leadoff single in the third, Chatwood retired the next 11 batters in order before Belt drew a leadoff walk in the seventh.He can put the ball on the ground with the best of them. He got two huge double plays. To shut that team down for eight innings, that was impressive, manager Walt Weiss said.Arenado and Gerardo Parra hit RBI singles for the Rockies.In Thursday nights series finale, San Francisco will try to win just its second home series since the All-Star break and fourth series overall in 22 over the second half.San Francisco was shut out for the 13th time, nine coming after the All-Star break.TRAINERS ROOMRockies: NL batting leader DJ LeMahieu, hitting .349, had the night off as Weiss went with Daniel Descalso. Weiss will pick his moments when to use LeMahieu over the final week.Giants: While INF Eduardo Nunez still hopes to return from a hamstring injury this weekend for the season-ending series against the NL West champion Dodgers, Bochy considers it questionable. Nunez has a mild right hamstring pull. ... RHP Johnny Cuetos strained left groin felt fine a day after his bullpen session and he is set to start Thursdays series finale.UP NEXTRockies: RHP Jon Gray (10-9, 4.45 ERA) has struck out 26 batters his past two starts, most in a two-game span in club history.Giants: Cueto (17-5, 2.79) is 2-0 with a 0.77 ERA in three starts against the Rockies this season. . The veteran safety was a starter for the Bengals from 2008-2012. He totaled 41 tackles and three interceptions while starting all but four of the 13 games he played last season. . Bradwell was scheduled to become a free agent Tuesday. Born and raised in Toronto, Bradwell is entering his sixth CFL season, with all six played for his hometown Argonauts. . Lack made 20 saves for his third shutout of the season as the Canucks blanked the St. Louis Blues 1-0 in the first post-Olympic game for both teams night. . -- Whether Jeremy Hill deserves a prominent role in LSUs offence this early in the season is a matter for debate. . The home side created most of the chances but struggled to break down Braunschweigs resilient defence, resulting in the Bundesligas 1,000th scoreless draw. September 9, 2005. Second semifinal, Sydney vs. Geelong.Most people remember Nick Davis incredible four-goal last quarter - brilliantly encapsulated by commentator Anthony Hudsons shout of: I see it, but I dont believe it! -- which broke the heart of the Cats.But many people wouldnt realise the significance of the result, which set off a chain of events that lead to the breaking of the longest drought in AFL/ VFL history, and played a key part in sparking an incredible run of premierships for Geelong in 2007, 2009 and 2011.With the two teams again set to lock horns in a cut-throat final, at the MCG on Friday night, it got me thinking again about the lead-up and aftermath of that magic moment.Daviss heroics are not only heritage listed by the Sydney Swans but are etched in my mind forever.Davis, a mercurial but frustrating forward, was banished to the wilderness of the Swans reserves indefinitely during a season and then dug himself an even deeper hole after speaking out in the media, saying he felt he was a scapegoat.While Swans players and fans will always laud Davis for helping us break the clubs long premiership drought, another Swan should share the platitudes, for it was he who helped drive the establishment of the Bloods culture.Former skipper Stuart Maxfield turned around the clubs culture soon after arriving from Richmond. He was a solid player without being a star, but his inner drive and values played a massive role in our eventual premiership win.Ill never forget the brutal player-driven 6am fitness sessions we used to have to perform. We would have to all assemble at the beach under the cover of darkness, with two house bricks in hand. Maxfield would bark at us not to let the bricks touch the sand in a 45-minute workout. Easy at first, but it doesnt take long until the burn begins. The sessions would finish either standing in a circle in crucifix position, staring at your mates holding bricks, or eye-to-eye doing knuckle push-ups on the concrete - trying not to relent, trying not to show weakness. You just couldnt let yourself be be the weak link or let them down.Because of the Bloods culture Maxfield helped instil, players such as Davis were forced to improve their attitude, buy into the team-first ethos and then change behaviour before returning to the fray in the senior side in some seasons.His pivotal moment came in-game during the finals series.We went to Perth for the qualifying final and fell agonisingly short against the Eagles. As a group we felt aggrieved by a late free kick which handed Tyson Stenglein a goal and West Coast the victory. The flight home was horrific. We were beaten, bruised and angry. But the double chance is a thing of beauty - after you get past that initial disappointment, you get to refocus, reset and have another crack.But initially against Geelong on our home deck, that didnt happen. We played flat, bogged-down footty.dddddddddddd Probably the sort of footy then-AFL supremo Andrew Demetriou had publicly criticised us for at the start of the same year.No flair, nothing up forward. It was scrappy football in slippery conditions.Not many were performing anywhere near their best, and then Davis had a moment all footballers hate. He let his man run off him without any real chase or pressure and then watched as he kicked a running, team-lifting goal.I can remember vividly Brett Kirk just giving it to Davis, saying he owed us. He didnt hold back, but fortunately Davis didnt sulk - he used it as motivation. Hed become one of the Bloods.What transpired then was just out of this world.The final quarter was a lift in intensity and a generation of momentum from a near standstill. All on the back of Davis. He kicked four goals, each of them different. All of them incredibly skilful. Each of them just as clutch.So it came down to one final stoppage, in our forward pocket. Wed charged back into the game but were still short. Our season was hanging by a thread.The final goal was a set play we had practised many times. Jason Ball won the hitout, palmed it down to where there was clear space, Davis hit the stoppage at pace, and was skillful enough to thread it through the goals on his left foot.The sound was deafening. Having played many games at the SCG, I cant remember the emotion ever being that raw and unbridled as it was that night. Everyone was jumping around, screaming, hugging, then we realised - there still could be time for the Cats to win the next centre bounce! Get back.Thankfully, the siren was blown almost as soon as the ball was bounced in the centre, and it was over. We were still alive.We were so relieved, so happy, so satisfied, and it reinforced to us the value of everyone playing their role. Winning little moments, executing and coming up big as a team - there is nothing more satisfying. Yes, Davis was the hero, but we wouldnt have been in that position without doing all the little things right, lifting when wed previously been playing so poorly, finding a way to win in literally the final seconds of the match ... it was pure jubilation.History will show that - after a much less nerve-jangling prelim against St Kilda - we endured another heartstopper in the big one against West Coast two weeks later. Davis wasnt our hero that day but again, it was the team-first efforts that got us over the line against the star-studded Eagles.No doubt, Daviss goals and the celebrations afterwards will be replayed regularly in the lead-up to Friday nights preliminary final.Who knows who will win through to the grand final, but it may just be the team that does the little things the best. It also helps if you have a forward who can win it off their own boot! 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