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Frankie Lasagna misses Aaron Judge's 61st home run ball | CTV News – CTV News Toronto

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Blue Jays fan Frankie Lasagna grabbed a baseball glove from his garage before heading down to Rogers Centre for Wednesday’s game against the New York Yankees.

With Aaron Judge on the verge of baseball history, Lasagna wanted to be prepared just in case the Yankees slugger hit his 61st homer of the season.

“I would never ever bring a glove other than this situation,” Lasagna said. “I needed a bigger one.”

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The 37-year-old Toronto restaurant owner came agonizingly close to catching the historic ball when Judge went deep in the seventh inning.

Lasagna stretched over the railing but the ball hit the wall just a few feet below and bounced into the Toronto bullpen. A Yankees security official later came by to collect it.

The blast tied Judge with Roger Maris, who set the American League’s single-season home run record in 1961.

Lasagna bought his ticket in the front row of the 100 level thinking it would improve his odds of catching the ball if Judge went deep.

“In the front row I felt like you’ve got the best chance,” he said. “Lo and behold, I was just a few feet away.”

Lasagna said the anticipation built during every Judge at-bat.

“It’s like you’re in the game, you’re fielding and getting ready for the pitch,” he said. “When he hit the ball, it was like ‘Oh my God! Oh my God!’ I think I hit my buddy in his neck (as I stretched out). I almost got it.”

Lasagna could only look down into the bullpen as the ball – which could have been worth big bucks to a collector – bounced a couple times before it was picked up.

“The disbelief comes over you and just the shock and the amazement,” he said. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, I almost had it.”’

One fan seated near Lasagna, still clearly frustrated at just missing the ball, declined to be interviewed.

Lasagna, sporting a baby blue Vladimir Guerrero Jr., jersey, said he would have kept the ball if he had caught it.

“I would have held on to it for as long as I could (to) negotiate,” he said. “Maybe get Judge to try to come to the restaurant.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2022.

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With CBT 'not an obstacle,' Blue Jays can avoid Judge drama with Guerrero and Bichette – Sportsnet.ca

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Matt Murray Mitch Marner Toronto Maple Leafs Dallas Stars – TSN

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DALLAS (AP) — Matt Murray made a season-high 44 saves and Mitch Marner extended his Toronto-record point streak to 20 games with an early assist as the Maple Leafs beat the Dallas Stars 4-0 on Tuesday night.

John Tavares, Auston Matthews, Rasmus Sandin and Alexander Kerfoot scored for the surging Maple Leafs, who are 9-0-3 in their last 12 games. They pulled within three points of first-place Boston in the Atlantic Division.

Dallas went 0 for 7 on the power play despite 17 shots on goal, including a four-minute double minor and a 5-on-3 for 1:38.

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Toronto blocked 27 shots in its first shutout this season, and the Stars missed the net on 22 attempts.

“Big thanks to the guys in front who did a heck of a job defensively tonight against a really dangerous team,” said Murray, who was acquired from Ottawa last summer and shares time in net with fellow newcomer Ilya Samsonov.

Murray is 6-0-2 since missing 15 games with an adductor injury following his initial start of the season.

“He was perfect,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “Came up with huge saves in big moments. Obviously, the number of penalties we took today could have been a big problem.”

The Stars were shut out for the first time this season and are tied with Winnipeg atop the Central Division with 33 points. The Jets have two games in hand.

Jake Oettinger stopped 25 shots.

It was the NHL’s first game featuring two players with point streaks of at least 18 games.

The Stars’ Jason Robertson saw his run end at 18, a Dallas record. Robertson leads the NHL with 23 goals.

Marner got an assist when his wrist shot was stopped but Tavares tapped in the rebound 4:51 in for the first of two first-period Toronto goals.

“Like I’ve been saying, it’s not a one-man effort,” Marner said. “Just trying to go out there and buzz.”

Matthews took possession after his wrist shot was stopped and circled back into the slot to score at 17:36.

Sandin collected a loose puck just outside the crease and scored at 12:19 of the second period for a 3-0 lead.

Kerfoot added an empty-net goal with 3:53 remaining, rolling the puck in from center ice. It was his first goal since a 3-2 overtime win at home over the Stars on Oct. 20.

Toronto played most of the game with only five defensemen. Victor Mete left with a lower-body injury after playing just 3:04 of the first period. Mete is expected to miss at least a few games.

During part of Dallas’ 5-on-3 late in the second, the Maple Leafs were further handcuffed when Marner had to give up a broken stick. He still managed to block a shot.

Maple Leafs forward Semyon Der-Arguchintsev made his NHL debut, playing 7:16.

FAMILY AFFAIR

It was the second and final scheduled meeting this season matching Robertson against his younger brother, Maple Leafs forward Nick Robertson.

Their mother, Mercedes, traveled from Michigan to attend the game. She followed her custom in these brotherly matchups by wearing the home team’s sweater and the visitors’ cap.

Nick Robertson scored his only two goals of the season to date in the teams’ previous meeting — including the overtime winner.

“He wasn’t too happy about that,” Nick said of his brother when they visited after that game.

POWER OUTAGE

Dallas is 0 for 11 on the power play in its past two games after ranking second in the NHL at 30% going into Sunday’s game, a 6-5 shootout loss to Minnesota.

“We had some great looks,” captain Jamie Benn said of Tuesday’s effort. “We’ve got to find a way.”

UP NEXT

Maple Leafs: Host the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.

Stars: Host the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

___

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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No accusing Stars’ Robertson, Maple Leafs’ Marner of cheating

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DALLAS — Peter DeBoer could see the similarities in Jason Robertson and Mitch Marner.

It wasn’t just that the two were on eye-opening streaks heading into the game between the Dallas Stars and Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. 

It was the manner in which Robertson, who was on an 18-game run, and Marner, who was on a 19-game heater, were doing their jobs.

“(Robertson) has done it without cheating (for offence),” DeBoer, the Stars’ coach, said. “He is not floating around.

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“I don’t think Marner and cheating go in the same sentence. He’s as honest a player there is. He blocks shots, kills penalties, defensively is really good.”

Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe knew where DeBoer was coming from.

“Because it’s coming in all areas of the game, Marner gives our group confidence, gives our group life,” Keefe said. “As the season approaches Christmas and even though we have a long way to go, it’s something that you can attach yourself to. 

“Certainly, when you have a player like Mitch who makes a difference in so many areas of the game, it’s another great thing for your team to have.”

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING

The Robertson brothers got together at Jason’s house on Monday night and were joined by their mother, Mercedes. 

Jason Robertson was confident that Nick, younger by two years, can keep a spot in the Leafs lineup.

“It’s staying mentally strong, mentally tough,” Jason said. “That’s something that he has (going) for him. He is mentally tough and definitely the hardest working player probably in that organization, in my opinion. It’s all going to work out for him in the end.” 

Entering Tuesday, Nick had not scored a goal in his previous 12 games. 

What can Nick pick up from his big brother as he tries to ensure he can stay in the National Hockey League?

“We both have good shots, but one thing I can take away from him is his confidence with the puck and shooting it,” Nick said. “That’s one thing I look at, is that he’s shooting a lot, finding ways to get shots at the net, finding ways to score.”

Nick wasn’t surprised that Jason has been running through NHL opponents seemingly at will. In the Ontario Hockey League, Jason had seasons of 42 goals and 41 goals with the Kingston Frontenacs before scoring 48 in 2018-19 with Kingston and Niagara.

“It’s what he does,” Nick said. “I’ve seen it at every level, whether it’s when he was younger, in junior and now. I’m not really shocked by it. I know he can produce, but the one thing is his point streak, which is really amazing, especially at this level.”

Jason Robertson’s 23 goals were in the most in the NHL though games on Monday. Only Edmonton’s Connor McDavid (22) and Vancouver’s Bo Horvat (20) had also scored at least 20.

SDA APPROVED

The Leafs players were happy to see forward Semyon Der-Arguchintsev’s path to the NHL culminate with his first game on Tuesday. 

“I always like seeing guys get rewarded for performing well, no matter what their role is in the organization,” defenceman Justin Holl said. “He is really poised. He does not panic with the puck, makes good plays and has good patience.”

Said captain John Tavares: “He can see the game one or two steps ahead. His ability to find the open man and the ability to pass through seams and through bodies or sticks is really good.”

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Der-Arguchintsev was one of three Leafs in the lineup who were drafted by Toronto in Dallas in 2018. Defenceman Rasmus Sandin was the club’s first-round pick at No. 29, and after Der-Arguchintsev was taken 76th, centre Pontus Holmberg was selected with the 156th pick. Defenceman Mac Hollowell, who was a healthy scratch, was taken 118th by the Leafs that year.

LOOSE LEAFS

The Leafs won’t practise on Wednesday before meeting the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday at Scotiabank Arena to start a three-game home stand … Ilya Samsonov, slated to start in goal against the Kings, would be appearing in his 99th career NHL game and going for his 60th win. Versus the Kings, Samsonov has a 2-1-0 record with a .942 save percentage. One of his six career shutouts came against Los Angeles … When winger Calle Jarnkrok is deemed fit to from a groin injury, his next game will be his 600th in the NHL. Including Tuesday, Jarnkrok has missed the past two games.

tkoshan@postmedia.com

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