Phillies erase six-run deficit and win sixth straight as club chases down playoff spot

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CBS Sports 02 September, 2021 - 04:58pm 7 views

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Cutch calls it: Phils come back again

MLB.com 03 September, 2021 - 03:00am

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Tyler Adams wore the armband for the U.S., becoming the youngest player in the modern era to do so, while both Christian Pulisic and Zack Steffen were not with the team as they both recovered from setbacks.

The teams traded headed opportunities in the opening 15 minutes with Gold Cup hero Miles Robinson of the U.S. and El Salvador's Ronald Rodriguez both sending efforts from set pieces narrowly over the crossbar.

The U.S. grew into the tail end of the second half with Josh Sargent getting more involved in the Americans' attack, but neither team scored and the teams went to the break locked in a goalless draw.

Goals continued to be impossible to come by for either side, and U.S. manager Gregg Berhalter made a trio of substitutes just past the hour mark, bringing on Jordan Siebatcheu, Antonee Robinson and Kellyn Acosta to try to jumpstart his team's attack.

Weston McKennie flashed a header wide and Acosta's nodded effort came back off the bar and was smothered by El Salvador keeper Mario Gonzalez as the match approached the 80-minute mark.

Neither team could find a winner and had to settle for a point, with the U.S. next in action in Nashville against Canada on Sunday.

Mexico led the way after the first round, picking up three points in a win over Jamaica, while the other three matches finished in draws.

The U.S., trying to rebound from its failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, is ranked 10th, its highest since 2006, after winning the CONCACAF Nations League and Gold Cup, and El Salvador is 64th. Los Cuscatlecos have reached just two World Cups, in 1970 and 1982, and the U.S. has 18 wins, six draws and one loss in the matchup, which includes an 18-game unbeaten streak (15 victories). The U.S. had won the most recent meeting 6-0 in an exhibition in December.

Three of the eight nations in the regional Octagonal finals qualify for next year's World Cup in Qatar and fourth place advances to a playoff.

The United States played out a hard-fought draw against El Salvador in its first match of the Octagonal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

Gregg Berhalter calls on the USMNT to respond to losing Zack Steffen and Christian Pulisic vs. El Salvador.

USMNT star Christian Pulisic did not travel with the team to El Salvador and will miss the Americans' opening World Cup qualifier.

Mexico kicks of its qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup without some key stars and ahead of tough CONCACAF competition.

Hugo Perez was born in El Salvador, but represented the USA as a player. Now, he's coaching the country of his birth in a bid to reach a World Cup.

The USMNT squad is stacked with stars for the first three World Cup qualifiers on the road to Qatar 2022. Here's what to look for over the break.

Aaron Nola is ‘tired’ of hearing about his September struggles, but he hasn’t silenced them yet

The Philadelphia Inquirer 03 September, 2021 - 03:00am

Aaron Nola handed the ball Thursday afternoon to Joe Girardi with no outs in the fifth inning and the bases loaded. The Phillies’ three-run deficit would soon double to six and their eventual comeback felt unlikely. Nola, in his first start of September, recorded just 12 outs.

It was another disappointing start for Nola, who has struggled in recent years when the calendar turned to the season’s final month.

“Honestly, I forgot it was September today,” Nola said after a 7-6 win over the Nationals.

He was charged with six runs, three of which scored after he was lifted at 83 pitches. Since 2019, Nola has a 5.37 ERA in 12 September starts. The afternoon series finale at Nationals Park against a weak lineup was a chance for Nola to show that this September will be different. Instead, it was a dud.

“I don’t really look at the Septembers. I try to pitch as best I can no matter what month it is,” Nola said. “I’ve been hearing it about it from all different angles about September, and honestly, I’m kind of tired of it. Get ready for the next start and it was a good team win today.”

One bad start won’t define a month, but the Phillies need Nola to right himself fast as their path to October becomes much more accessible if Nola is reliable. They’re already without Zach Eflin, so having an ineffective Nola every fifth day would be a heavy burden.

“We talk about it every year, but he has to find a way to get through this and do this job like he’s capable of doing,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We know he can be outstanding. He can just as easily run off five really good starts for us.”

Nola allowed two home runs, both of which came on two-out curveballs. The first homer, by Lane Thomas, was Nola’s 11th homer allowed this season with two strikes, which is tied for the most in the NL. His second homer allowed was his 13th with two outs, the second-highest total in the majors.

Nola’s fifth inning was just as maddening as the rally that sent him to the dugout started with a leadoff single by the opposing pitcher, Paolo Espino. In a chance to silence the buzz about his September history, Nola came up short. But the month is just beginning and the Phillies hope he can change the conversation.

“He’s more than capable,” Girardi said.

Didi Gregorius and Travis Jankowski will return to the Phillies on Friday after spending time this week on the paternity list. Gregorius’ stay was extended by a day as Hurricane Ida did not allow him to leave Curacao after the birth of his child, causing him to be placed Wednesday on the restricted list.

The Phillies will have to subtract two players before Friday’s opener in Miami, with the likely candidates being Nick Maton and Jorge Bonifacio. Matt Vierling replaced Jankowski and had four hits in his first start. He could give the Phillies a good bench bat this month.

The Phillies became the first team in the modern era to overcome a three-run deficit against the same opponent seven times in one season. ... Rockies first baseman C.J. Cron beat out Bryce Harper to win the NL’s player of the month award in August. Cron hit .387 with 11 home runs and a 1.291 OPS. Harper hit .337 with 10 homers and a 1.231 OPS. ... Kyle Gibson will start Friday’s series opener against Marlins left-hander Jesus Luzardo.

Tim Bogar after Thursday's loss to the Phillies

masn Nationals 03 September, 2021 - 03:00am

Martinez has minor foot procedure, Bogar may manage

MASNsports.com 03 September, 2021 - 03:00am

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Byron Kerr: Byron covers the Nats from every angle and on every level.

Davey Martinez underwent a planned, minor foot procedure earlier this morning, and though he’s expected to be at Nationals Park in time for today’s series finale against the Phillies, bench coach Tim Bogar may take over his duties for the game.

Martinez had previously scheduled the procedure, expecting today to be an off-day for the Nationals as originally planned. Wednesday’s rainout, though, pushed the game to this afternoon at 1:05 p.m.

Martinez went ahead and had the procedure this morning, with Bogar handling the manager’s pregame Zoom session with reporters.

“I think we plan for it every day,” Bogar said of the possibility of stepping in temporarily as manager. “Every day that we prepare for a game, I’m ready to help Davey any way I can. Then if something happens during the game and he gets thrown out, I have to manage anyway. This is an easy transition for us, and hopefully it’s just one day and Davey’s back.”

Bogar has gone through his own medical issue recently. He had back surgery in mid-August and only returned to the dugout for the first time Monday. Bullpen coach Henry Blanco had filled in as bench coach in Bogar’s absence.

Bogar, originally Martinez’s first base coach in 2018-19, has managerial experience in his career. As Rangers bench coach in 2014, he took over the season’s final 22 games after Ron Washington stepped down and went 14-8.

* The Ryan Zimmerman bobblehead giveaway planned for Friday’s game against the Mets won’t be available yet, due to what the Nationals said was “a transportation challenge that was beyond our control.”

Fans who attend Friday’s game will now receive a voucher that can be redeemed for the bobblehead on a future date. Those who attend the Oct. 1-3 season-ending series against the Red Sox can pick their bobbleheads up at the bottom of the Budweister escalators from first pitch through the end of the fourth inning. Those who don’t attend that series may redeem their vouchers at the team store from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday starting Oct. 4.

The club announced rotation plans for the weekend series, which includes five games in four days. Sean Nolin starts Friday night, with Erick Fedde on the mound for Saturday’s seven-inning opener. Josiah Gray is scheduled for Sunday’s game, with Patrick Corbin pitching the Labor Day matinee finale.

That means someone else has to pitch Saturday night’s seven-inning game. It’s possible the Nats could go with nothing but relievers, depending on how the first two games of the series go. If they choose to promote someone from within their system, top prospect Cade Cavalli would be on schedule, though club officials have wanted him to pitch more at Triple-A Rochester before making his major league debut.

LOLNats: Phillies 7, Nationals 6

The Good Phight 03 September, 2021 - 03:00am

The Nationals made sure the Phillies were able to extend their winning streak

Regardless of why the Phillies faced a deficit, the Nationals - and their bullpen in particular - made sure that it wouldn’t hold up. The Phillies roared back against the Nationals’ relievers, scoring seven unanswered runs to earn a 7-6 win.

Early on, it looked like the story of the game was going to be Aaron Nola. There’s a narrative that Nola pitches poorly every September, and he did nothing to shake that today, giving up six runs in four innings.

But that ignores the fact that Nola hasn’t been great for most of 2021, and today just seemed like more of the same. One of the main reasons for his struggles has been an inability to finish off innings after he records two outs. In the third inning, he got two quick outs, but three batters later, the team was in a three-run hole.

In the fifth inning, Nola didn’t even wait for two outs to get into trouble. He allowed the first three hitters to reach base, and after Bailey Falter entered in relief, all three of those runners scored.

Against most teams, the Phillies would have been done for. But the Nationals are not most teams. Starting pitcher Paolo Espino held them scoreless for the first five innings, but after he allowed a couple of hits in the sixth, Nats manager Dave Martinez decided to trust the rest of his game to his bullpen.

That was not a wise decision. The Nats’ bullpen has shown a persistent inability to get Phillies’ hitters out, and that continued on Thursday.

Someone woke up Andrew McCutchen a few days ago, and he has once again become a dangerous hitter. His bases-loaded double into the gap halved the Nats’ lead.

Cutch clears 'em. pic.twitter.com/hp0gnTggvS

Cutch singled another one home in the eighth, and then they scored a few more thanks to some poor fielding by Nats’ second baseman Luis Garcia. First, he committed an error that led to a couple of runs. Next, indecision on another ground ball allowed the Phillies to score the go-ahead run.

Luis García is gift wrapping runs for the Phillies!!#Phillies #RingtheBell pic.twitter.com/dYUmdHJtoC

It was a slim lead, but the Phillies relievers (scoreless innings from J.D. Hammer, Sam Coonrod, Archie Bradley, and Ian Kennedy) were able to close it out without incident.

The win marks the seventh straight time the Phillies have scored seven or more runs. (And strangely, they’ve scored exactly seven in six of those games). More importantly, it’s their sixth win in a row, and pending the results of the Braves-Rockies game tonight, could be just a game out of first place.

The bad news is that they have no more games against the Nationals left on the schedule. They’ll next head to Miami, which hasn’t always been a hospitable place for the Phillies in recent years. We’ll soon determine if the Phillies are really going to make a push for the playoffs, or if this recent run has mostly been the result of good old incompetence by the Nationals.

Phillies erase six-run deficit and win sixth straight as club chases down playoff spot

MLB 03 September, 2021 - 03:00am

The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Washington Nationals on Thursday by a 7-6 final. In the process, the Phillies extended a pair of streaks that have kept them in the thick of the race for the National League East and the second wild card spot: their winning streak (now up to six in a row) and their streak of consecutive games in which they've plated at least seven runs (now at seven).

The Phillies did not receive the best outing from starter Aaron Nola, who permitted six runs over four innings of work. Philadelphia's bullpen was able to shut down the Nationals lineup the rest of the way, however, with six relievers combining for five shutout innings. 

Offensively, the Phillies were paced by Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen drove in four runs on two hits, including his 16th double of the year. Leadoff hitter Odúbel Herrera drove in a run and reached base three times, and the Phillies also received an RBI from pinch-hitter Nick Maton. (The other run was unearned because of a fielding error.)

The Phillies entered Thursday with a 68-64 record on the year, putting them two games behind the Atlanta Braves in the division and 2 1/2 games back of the Cincinnati Reds for the other spot in the Wild Card Game.

According to the Phillies broadcast, this is their longest stretch of scoring at least seven runs in consecutive games since June of 1933. (That streak was also seven games long.) The 1933 Phillies, it should be noted, weren't a particularly good team. They went 60-92 despite the best efforts of Hall of Famer Chuck Klein, among others. 

These Phillies will now head to Miami to face the Marlins three times over the weekend. The Phillies will then jet off for a three-game set versus the Milwaukee Brewers before returning to Philadelphia to begin a seven-game homestand against the Colorado Rockies and the Chicago Cubs.

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Jim's Caddie Corner: When 27-under was not enough to win

The Philadelphia Inquirer 03 September, 2021 - 03:00am

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Dechambeau had an amazing week at the BMW Championship at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md.: He shot a 60, made 27 birdies, had four eagles and he was No. 1 in driving. But, he became the first golfer ever to shoot a 27-under or less through 72 holes and lose on the PGA Tour.

This match on Sunday between Cantlay and Dechambeau is a perfect example of how important chipping and putting is to shoot a low score on the golf course. These two great golfers went shot for shot down the back nine; what an exciting afternoon that did not end after 72 holes.

They were tied with three holes left to play and on the 16th hole, Dechambeau made a birdie putt to take a one-stroke lead. On the 17th hole, both players made a bogey on the par 3. So it came down to the 18th hole and Cantlay made a 21-foot putt to tie up the match. Dechambeau had a chance to win, but he missed his 12-foot putt. This was the beginning of an intense six-hole playoff.

The playoff began with Dechambeau continuing to hit great tee shots and Cantlay playing very consistent golf with many opportunities to make key putts while under lots of pressure. Cantlay had a very intense look on his face and he was focused while showing no emotions.

On the fifth playoff hole, the par 3 No. 17, both players hit great tee shots, first was Dechambeau leaving his ball six feet from the hole. That put added pressure on Cantlay, who hit his shot just shy of three feet to the cup. After they both made their putts, it was off to the next hole in this exciting match.

On the last playoff hole No. 18, both players hit great drives and second shots to the green. Cantlay continued to make one more clutch putt to birdie the hole — it was outside 17 feet and then Dechambeau missed his putt by inches. The victory went to Patrick Cantlay.

Dechambeau had so many chances to win, he missed five straight putts — the last two holes in regulation and the first three holes in the playoff. All of those putts were inside 20 feet. Any of those putts would have made him the winner.

It all came down to the putting to determine the winner on Sunday. On the back nine, Cantlay gained more strokes with his putter than 80 percent of the field did the rest of the week. Hole after hole, late in the day, Cantlay made the key putts to not only force a playoff. He continued to hang in there for 6 more holes and close it out with a 17-footer when he needed it the most!

This is the third and final week of the FedEx Playoffs with the Tour Championship hosted at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. Cantlay has earned enough points to be ranked No. 1 with a head start of 10-under before he tees off. Tony Finau will start at 8-under; Dechambeau at 7-under; Jon Rahm, 6-under; and Cameron Smith at 5-under. These are the top five players out of 30 who will be competing for a chance to win $15 million and take home the FedEx Cup.

Also this weekend, in the world of the LPGA, the Solheim Cup will be played at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. This competition between the top women professional golfers from Europe and the United States. It is a three-day match play event between teams of 12 players with a similar format to the Ryder Cup.

Here are the weekly results from some of the golf courses in the area that have some avid golfers enjoying the competition of their weekly leagues.

Wentworth Golf Club, Route 16, Jackson, (603) 383-9641: The Ladies League Championship was held on Wednesday. Results will not be available until Sept. 15 when everyone is at the league meeting.

Upcoming events include the Fall 4 Ball scheduled for Sept. 19 and the Cross-Country Tournament slated for Oct. 17. Teams that played in last season’s cross-country tournament have the first option for one of the 14 openings.

The Red Fox League dinner and awards night are scheduled for Monday, Sept. 20. Cocktails at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and awards starting at 6 p.m.

Eagle Mountain Golf Course, Carter Notch Road, Jackson, (603) 383-9090: In last week’s Thursday Night Scramble, the winners were Jane and Bruce Carr along with Adam Mosston. Adam also won closest-to-the-pin honors.

The first week of the Fall Don Ho League saw the team Par Tee capture first place at -6. The Switchback team took second at -4 and the Chislas was third at -3. Erin Jacobs and Kevin Young won the long drive competition while Terry Fitzgerald won the closest-to-the-pin competition.

Hale’s Location Golf Course, West Side Road, North Conway, (603) 356-2140: Men’s League results for Aug. 31, saw first place go to J.J. Green with +8 points, followed by Mike Castonguay at +5 points and there was a four-way tie for fourth between Bill Earle, Denis Lavoie, Brian Gilpatrick and John Rafferty, all with +3 points. Closest-to-the-pin on No. 6 went to Tom Proulx.

Ladies League results for Aug. 30, saw Sandy Wolner take the top spot with +7 points, followed by Rosemary Klaus at +4 and Jeanne Wright with +3 points. Closest-to-the-pin on No. 3 was Jeanne Wright, while the longest putt on No. 3 was sunk by Denise Woodcock.

Lake Kezar Country Club, Route 5, Lovell, Maine, (207) 925-2462: Last Friday, the Professional Logging Contractors “Log A Load for Maine Kids” held their third annual golf tournament. They raised a record $41,696 for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in Maine. The event was a huge success. The volunteers for this event did a great job with fundraising and organizing the tournament. Lake Kezar Country Club is happy to be a small part of the fundraising success.

The club is opening up a 2022 membership special. Join now and get September and October of this year with your membership along with 2022. Sign up online or at the clubhouse. This is an extra two months of golf.

Since the Superintendent’s Revenge was such a success, another one is in the works for Wednesday, Sept. 8. Call to sign up. The entry fee is $20 per person.

Don’t forget to sign up for the 30th annual Fryeburg Rec Tournament. Come out and support this event. This golf tournament was a big part of completing the David and Doris Hastings Community Center. If you haven’t stopped in to see the community center, you will be quite impressed.

North Conway Country Club, Norcross Circle, North Conway, (603) 356-5244: The club hosted the annual Operation Hat Trick tournament on Aug. 19. The winners for the men were Adam Lanzilotti and Rich Vargus. In the mixed division, Julie Rivers and Harold Kazanjian took the top spot, while for the ladies, Alice McElhinney and Anne Rourke finished in first.

NCCC Senior Club Cup was also held last week and the winners were Mary Deveau for the ladies and Dana Russian, after a three-golfer playoff, for the men.

This year’s Ladies Club Cup winner was Nancy Morris, who defeated Donna Wallace for the championship.

Indian Mound Golf Course, Center Ossipee, (603) 539-7733: The Wolfeboro Lions Club’s 16th annual golf tournament will be on Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 8:30 a.m. with a shotgun start. Stop by the pro shop to pick up an application.

Omni Mount Washington, Bretton Woods, (603) 278-4653: The Mount Washington Resort Golf Club offers a variety of lessons and workshops to help golfers of all levels of ability improve their game. All clinic schedules are subject to change due to weather or other factors. Please contact the Pro Shop to book your lesson or for the latest details at (603) 278-GOLF (4653). Please check in at the Pro Shop at least 10 minutes before the start of the lesson.

“As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.” — Ben Hogan

Let us know if you have any great local stories or photos that we can include in an upcoming column. Contact Jim at mcfadyengolf@outlook.com or Lloyd Jones at lloyd@conwaydailysun.com.

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