October 25, 2014

I questioned Yost’s handling of Herrera in the 6th, and Finnegan in the 7th, but it pays off in Royals win

Brandon Finnegan delivers in the seventh inning for Ned Yost (photo/MLB)

Brandon Finnegan delivers in the seventh inning for Ned Yost (photo/MLB)

The Royals grabbed a 3-0 lead in the sixth inning as Alex Gordon broke out of a mini slump with a run scoring double and then he scored when Eric Hosmer got his first hit of the World Series in a dramatic 11-pitch at-bat.

The Giants came rallying back against winner Jeremy Guthrie and Royals manager Ned Yost went too early to Kelvin Herrera.  Or at least I thought  he did.  However his rookie lefty, Brandon Finnegan bailed him out in the seventh and Wade Davis and Greg Holland finished off the final six outs for a 3-2 win and 2-1 lead in the World Series.

In late September, with an eye on the postseason,Yost stretched out Herrera in back to back games against Detroit to see how he could handle working more than just one inning.

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Vandy has a solid kick returner who is as exciting as Murphy, plus who can block Shane Ray? (Google Hangout)

Earlier this week, Vanderbilt’s first year head coach Derek Mason said he is playing close attention to Missouri defensive end Shane Ray.  At his weekly press conference on Wednesday, he was impressed with Ray’s ability to create havoc.

“Shane Ray is one of the top sack makers in the country. He’s unbelievable in terms of being able to come off the edge and creating havoc. They do it most of the time out of a four-man front so that matchup between him and Andrew Jelks will be a feature matchup this week in terms of what we look to do and how we have to stand up. Our guys have been challenged as to what Missouri is, they have been a better road team than home team, but this is a team that will be fired up to play us and we’ll be fired up to play them. We are looking forward to the matchup.”

The other interesting story is this game will feature two of the SEC’s top return players and both wear the number six.  Marcus Murphy and Vandy’s Darrius Sims.  Both average over 30 yards on kick returns and both have run two back for touchdowns.

Chris Lee of VandySports.com takes us through those two matchups as the Tigers face the Commodores on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Ryan Miller returns to St. Louis and makes 31 saves as Canucks top the Blues (AUDIO)

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller comes up with the puck in his glove hand  after a shot by the St. Louis Blues in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on October 23, 2014.    UPI/BIll Greenblatt

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller comes up with the puck in his glove hand after a shot by the St. Louis Blues in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on October 23, 2014. UPI/BIll Greenblatt

After spending 11 years in Buffalo, goaltender Ryan Miller came over to St. Louis in a trade mid-season last year and didn’t play against the Sabres when the Blues faced them later in the season.  This was Miller’s first start against a former team and he called it interesting.  A matchup he was looking forward to.

“I’ve never done that before. I’ve never had a chance to play against a former team like that,” said Miller.  “A lot of good guys on the [Blues]; it was one that I was actually really looking forward to, especially here in St. Louis. It was fun.”

Miller stopped 31 shots for his new team as the Vancouver Canucks beat the Blues 4-1.

Chris Higgins scored 41 seconds into the game to give Vancouver the early lead, and Kevin Shatterkirk tied it in the second on a powerplay goal.  The game was close and the Blues had a great opportunity to grab the lead early in the third, but Miller came up big.

He got the left pad out on a tough shot from the right circle from Blues center Jori Lehtera. That sent Nick Bonino going the other way on a 3 on 1 and he beat Blues goalie Jake Allen with a wrist shot from the left circle at 4:54 of the third period.

The Canucks scored three third-period goals on four shots. Linden Vey scored from the slot at 11:57 for a 3-1 Vancouver lead, and Jannik Hansen scored an empty-net goal to seal the game for the Canucks.

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock is not happy with the number of turnovers in the neutral zone.

“We’ve made a heck of a run here playing the right way; no odd-man rushes, no forced offense, don’t give the puck away and make hope-for plays offensively. We’ve had a shoot-first mentality that’s allowed us to be top-five in the League in scoring goals, but we don’t want to play the right way. We want to play a different game right now, so until we buy into that, we’re going to have some rough water we’re going to have to go through, and that’s what we’re in right now. We’re in rough water.”

High expectations for Mules as the defending national champs picked number one in MIAA poll

The Central Missouri Mules basketball team celebrates their MIAA championship.

The Central Missouri Mules basketball team celebrates their 2013-14 MIAA championship.

The defending national champion Mules basketball team was picked to finish first in the MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll released by the league office on Thursday morning. The Mules enter the season having won three straight MIAA regular season championships.

Central Missouri received 10 first place votes and totaled 151 points to claim the top spot in the poll while Fort Hays State garnered two first place nods and 145 points to come in second. Washburn received one first place vote and 137 points for third, Northwest Missouri had one top vote and 129 points to come in fourth and Missouri Southern rounded out the top five with 120 points.

The Mules were 30-5 a season ago winning the fourth national championship in program history, the first since 1984, and they captured a share of their third straight MIAA regular season crown. UCM returns eight letterwinners and two starters off of last year’s squad.
2014-15 MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Central Missouri (10) – 151

2. Fort Hays State (2) – 145

3. Washburn (1) – 137

4. Northwest Missouri (1) – 129

5. Missouri Southern – 120

6. Central Oklahoma – 110

7. Nebraska-Kearney – 103

8. Emporia State – 82

9. Lindenwood – 79

10. Pittsburg State – 73

11. Missouri Western – 53

12. Northeastern State – 39

13. Southwest Baptist – 29

14. Lincoln – 15

Pinkel expresses concerns about the Mizzou offense and Mauk dodges media better than the pass rush (Google Hangout)

Listen to coach Pinkel’s brief and rather terse comments about the struggling offense.