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Mets’ Eduardo Escobar hits for cycle in win vs. Padres

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New York Mets third baseman Eduardo Escobar became the second player to hit for the cycle this season on Monday night, accomplishing the feat in an 11-5 victory against the San Diego Padres (box score).

Escobar singled to right-center in the top of the first inning. He then doubled to left center in the top of the fourth inning. Both of those knocks came against Padres starter Blake Snell, who was out of the game by the time Escobar took his third at-bat of the night. (He popped-up against San Diego reliever Steven Wilson.) Escobar later homered against Craig Stammen in the eighth inning, and then tripled against Tim Hill in the top of the ninth to give the Mets a 9-5 lead.

Here’s a look at Escobar’s cycle-capping triple:

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Escobar, 33 years old, entered the night having batted .227/.300/.374 (93 OPS+) with four home runs and 18 runs batted in across 223 plate appearances this season. The Mets, of course, signed Escobar to a two-year deal over the course of the offseason that will pay him $20 million guaranteed. That pact includes a club option for the 2024 season that includes a buyout worth $500,000. 

Previously, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich had been the only player this Major League Baseball season to record a cycle. He did so on May 11 against the Cincinnati Reds.

The Mets entered the night with a 37-19 record on the season, giving them an 8 1/2 game lead in the National League East. They’ll continue their three-game series against the Padres on Tuesday.

The Padres, meanwhile, came into Monday with a 33-21 record, putting them in second place in the National League West, two games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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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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(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

 

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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Will OBJ sign with Rams, Cowboys, Packers or elsewhere? | SPEAK FOR YOURSELF

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Odell Beckham Jr. is coming off a Super Bowl season and looking to sign to an NFL team as a free agent. Who will he suit up for next season and could he return to the Los Angeles Rams? Emmanuel Acho and David Helman predict where OBJ lands next year.



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