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Dodgers Provide Definitive Clayton Kershaw Update

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(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

 

Los Angeles Dodgers‘ ace Clayton Kershaw has been out for almost a month with right SI joint inflammation.

But it appears that his rehab assignment has gone quite well.

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On Sunday, he threw four innings of one-run ball with Low-A Rancho Cucamonga, striking out seven batters on 59 pitches, with 44 of them being strikes.

After returning to the Dodgers on a one-year, $17 million contract, Kershaw is 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five starts.

Dodgers beat writer Fabian Ardaya shared some positive news about Kershaw and his rehab, having had a chance to speak with manager Dave Roberts, who says that the rehab start went well, and that Kershaw is set to return for the Dodgers’ upcoming weekend series against the San Francisco Giants.

 

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Kershaw Set To Return

This is good news for the Dodgers, who have continued to play well in Kershaw’s absence.

But having Kershaw back will only boost the rotation, one which already features Walker Buehler, Julio Urias, and Tony Gonsolin.

With the way Kershaw pitched in his first five starts, this will give the Dodgers a better chance to get back on top in the National League.

They trail the New York Mets by a single game for the best record.

They also lead the National League West division by two games over the San Diego Padres and 5.5 games over the San Francisco Giants.

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Getting Kershaw back during the Giants series is perfect timing for the Dodgers too, as this will be a crucial set for them.

We’ll see if Kershaw can continue his early season dominance upon his return and help fortify an already strong Dodgers starting rotation.

The series with the Giants will be a pivotal set.

The post Dodgers Provide Definitive Clayton Kershaw Update appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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The Mets Continue To Celebrate Their Elite Duo

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The New York Mets and their fans should consider themselves lucky.

We have said it many times in this space, but the fact they were able to pair Max Scherzer with Jacob deGrom in the same rotation is incredibly impressive, and should be celebrated.

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The two pitchers have five Cy Young awards between them, and lots and lots of pitching knowledge and expertise to share.

When they are both healthy, there is little doubt they are the best one-two punch in MLB.

They have both been hurt a lot in 2022, particularly deGrom, but they are both healthy now and ready to make sure the Mets can return to the postseason.

New York is one of the best organizations in MLB, with a 73-39 record that only the Los Angeles Dodgers have been able to surpass.

 

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The Mets Aces Are Healthy And Dominating

Now that both Scherzer and deGrom are healthy and in a groove, they are in a position to challenge the Dodgers for the “best team in MLB” unofficial crown.

In fact, both teams are extremely likely to face each other in the playoffs, perhaps even the National League Championship Series.

Having deGrom and Scherzer pitch in three or four of those games would be huge.

The Mets posted a cool picture of the two aces having a chat.

They look like they are enjoying their conversation.

Hopefully, both can stay healthy for the remainder of the season and gift fans some of the most impressive stretch run and playoff performance we have seen in recent memory.

Mets fans are in for a real treat watching those two guys starting consecutive postseason games.

They hope they can deliver their first World Series title since 1986.

The post The Mets Continue To Celebrate Their Elite Duo appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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Steelers defense focused on getting back to team’s ‘standard’ after disappointing season

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are known for having exceptional defenses. Players like Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, Joe Greene and more have been shaking up offenses throughout the franchise’s history.

With each new generation of Steelers players, they strive to reach the level of those before them. Now it is guys like T.J. Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Terrell Edmunds and Cameron Heyward who hope to be feared by offenses around the league.

Last season, the Steelers were 20th in points allowed and surrendered the most rushing yards in the league. For the first time since 2017, the Steelers were not in the top six for yards allowed, finding themselves in the 24th spot.

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It was not exactly the year the defense wanted to have, and this year the unit is focused on getting back to being a classic Steelers defense.

Defending Defensive Player of the Year Watt spoke about the expectations in Pittsburgh. 

“As a Pittsburgh Steeler defender, it’s just that much more important for us to take pride in everyone that came before us and uphold the fact that the standard is the standard. At the end of the day, when the back is against the wall, when it’s a two-minute drill, when the game is on the line, we want to be on the field,” Watt said (via NFL.com). “That’s the mentality we have to have to be a hard-nosed defense, and that’s why we’re here to build that type of tradition, that type of standard for the season.”

The defense last year was not where they wanted it to be, with Watt commenting on the “unacceptable” number of 100-yard rushers they allowed in 2021.

With such legends coming before them, there could be pressure on the players that could backfire. Heyward says he does not look at it as pressure, but what the team standard is.

“When you come to the Pittsburgh Steelers, you’re known for your defense. That wasn’t the case last year, so going forward it’s put up or shut up. If we’re going to win these games, it’s got to come down to us,” he said. “But that comes with the standard we are charged with upholding. It’s not pressure. It’s what’s expected.”

The Steelers are “based on defense,” new senior defensive assistant/linebackers coach Brian Flores said. 

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“Its roots and foundation is defense,” Flores said. “It’s stopping the run and rushing the passer and keeping the score down. Any outsider can look at that and, if you peel back the layers, that’s who the Steelers are and that’s who we want to be and what we want to be. But there’s a process to doing that.”

Teryl Austin, who was promoted coordinator after three seasons serving as senior defensive assistant/secondary coach, said he appreciates Flores giving an outsiders view as someone just getting to Pittsburgh.

The Steelers’ season was cut short after a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the wild-card round.



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Stat Proves What The White Sox Offense Is Lacking

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The Chicago White Sox, against all odds, are playing .500 ball at the time.

They are 56-56, which is highly disappointing since they were widely expected to comfortably take the AL Central division like they did last year.

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Of course, unexpected circumstances have gotten in the way: injuries, slumps, demotions, a lack of action at the deadline, and other scenarios have undoubtedly affected the Sox.

The most interesting part is that they are still very much alive in the playoff race.

Before Friday, they are 3.5 games behind the division leaders, the Cleveland Guardians.

That is definitely not an insurmountable difference.

They will need to show some thump with the bat, though.

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“705 of the White Sox’s first 1,000 hits this year were singles. Most recent teams to finish a season with at least 70% of their hits being singles: 2018 Marlins (63-98), 2016 Marlins (79-82), 2015 Marlins (71-91), 2015 Braves (67-95). The Tigers also are on pace to join this list,” stats guru Jeremy Frank tweeted on Friday.

 

The White Sox Lineup Lacks Punch

As you can see, hitting mostly singles doesn’t exactly correlate with a lot of wins: all of the aforementioned teams were under .500.

The White Sox are currently at .500, but they won’t make the playoffs if they can’t show some slug.

At the moment, they rank 18th in MLB in slugging percentage, with a disappointing .386.

The almighty Sox, lauded as one of the best lineups of the last few years, are 25th in homers with just 98 so far.

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That’s definitely something they will need to change if they want to repeat as AL Central champs.

The Guardians and the Minnesota Twins, Chicago’s main competitors for a place in the postseason, are prepared to fight until the very end to be in October.

The post Stat Proves What The White Sox Offense Is Lacking appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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