BOSTON – This early in the season, managers are typically content with five innings from their starting pitchers. Spring was short, workloads are managed carefully and bullpens are bigger than ever. Anything beyond the sixth inning is a bonus. Expecting eight? Not likely. Nine? Literally hasn’t happened in MLB this year.
Yet on Thursday afternoon at Fenway Park, Kevin Gausman took the mound in the ninth inning to at least try for a complete game. One pitch and one single later, he gave way to closer Jordan Romano, but not before delivering the best pitching performance of the Blue Jays’ season and one of the best starts of his career.
“It’s funny, I was joking with the guys, If you’re still in the game when they’re singing Sweet Caroline in the eighth inning, you’ve done something right,” Gausman said afterwards. “It’s just such a special place with the history. Fenway is just in its own category.”
Gausman attacked Boston’s hitters from start to finish Thursday, allowing only seven singles over the course of eight-plus innings of one-run ball. The result: a 3-2 Blue Jays win that Romano saved despite allowing the potential tying run to reach third.
The Blue Jays were open to the possibility of a complete game, but they didn’t want to ask Romano to come in with two runners on, so Gausman exited after 88 pitches. Ideally, he would have liked to keep pitching, but he understood the decision manager Charlie Montoyo made.
“In my mind, that was my game,” Gausman said. “I was going out there to get three outs. That was my goal … I would have loved to stay in there and that was my mindset, but I also understand we have really good guys in the bullpen that are itching to get the ball in that spot.”
It’s the first of two consecutive starts against the Red Sox for Gausman, who’s certainly no stranger to the AL East after pitching for the Orioles from 2013-18. Yet back then, he was a traditional starter with a good splitter. Now, he’s content to let his breaking pitches take centre stage, as he did on Thursday when exactly half of his pitches were either splitters or sliders.
“He was awesome,” Montoyo said. “That’s an ace for you. It’s a good hitting lineup. His split was nasty and he was locating all of his pitches for strikes.”
The combination was more than the Red Sox could handle. They were off-balance all afternoon, striking out eight times against Gausman without drawing a single walk.
Thanks to Gausman’s strong outing, the Blue Jays secured a series win in their first meeting with the 2022 Red Sox, who will be visiting Toronto next week for a series that will feature Gausman but not Boston’s Tanner Houck, who’s choosing to remain unvaccinated instead of crossing the border with his team.
So far this season, the Blue Jays have three series wins, along with a four-game split with the Yankees. By no means are they playing up to their full potential – who had Zack Collins batting cleanup this early in the season? Or Gosuke Katoh and Bradley Zimmer rounding out the starting nine? But to be 8-5 without Teoscar Hernandez, Danny Jansen and Hyun-Jin Ryu is encouraging.
For a while, the Blue Jays worried they’d be without another one of their stars. George Springer left Wednesday’s game after taking a 94 m.p.h. fastball off of his right forearm, but X-rays confirmed that he had simply suffered a bad bruise and he was able to pinch-hit and play right field Thursday – an encouraging sign considering his importance to the team.
Offensively, the Blue Jays didn’t manage much against the Red Sox despite multi-hit games from Raimel Tapia, Bo Bichette and Matt Chapman. One Toronto run came on an eminently catchable 43-foot pop-up off Chapman’s bat and another came on a Vladimir Guerrero Jr. sacrifice fly.
The Blue Jays’ first run was more noteworthy because of who scored it. Katoh made the most of his first big-league start, drawing a third-inning walk then scoring the first run of his MLB career on a Tapia single.
When Katoh first joined the Blue Jays, he was a little apprehensive about joining a group that already appeared close-knit. But his locker ended up beside Springer’s and the veteran centre fielder has since made a point of easing the rookie’s transition to the majors on and off the field.
“It’s tough being in the role that I am and being a rookie to fit in,” Katoh said. “But he really went out of his way to let me know that I belonged here. Not just in the big-leagues but in this clubhouse.”
“I was one of those (backup) guys, so I know exactly how he feels.” said Montoyo, who got two hits in his five major-league at-bats. “Me personally, that made my life. I got the baseball. Hopefully he gets many more, but at least if he gets that one it’s just going to make his life a lot better. Like, ‘OK, I made it, I got a base hit.’”
That first big-league hit will have to wait a little longer for Katoh, but there’s no doubt he contributed Thursday nonetheless.
From here, the Blue Jays go to Houston, where a matchup with Justin Verlander awaits Friday night. In other words, more challenges are coming for a Blue Jays team that’s already seen – and overcome – its fair share of them.
“We expect to win every day,” Gausman said. “These young guys come to the ballpark with some attitude, some life and a little cockiness. It’s great. We feel confident in any series we go into.”
Oilers on the lookout for Flames' desperation after watching Avs-Blues Game 5 – Sportsnet.ca
CALGARY — Everyone knows how hard it is to eliminate a group of National Hockey League players, or more specifically, to send a Calgary Flames team that won 50 regular season games into its summer.
But just in case any of the Edmonton Oilers needed a refresher, many were watching Wednesday night as the St. Louis Blues forged a heroic comeback on the road in Denver. Down 3-1 in the series and 3-0 in the game, the Blues scored four goals, two in the last five minutes including one after going down 4-3, and won a game in overtime to stay alive.
Game 5 can be seen on Sportsnet, starting at 9:30 a.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. MT.
“Just another thing to see in your head, that you know it’s not going to be easy,” said Edmonton defenceman Brett Kulak, who played for the Montreal Canadiens team that came back from down 3-1 to beat Toronto a year ago. “We’re in a good spot this series (up 3-1), but the job’s not done. We all we all know what needs to get done and we got one more win to go. Now, we’re looking to get it.”
So, how does Edmonton match Calgary’s desperation in Game 5?
“We are desperate to close the series. That’s how,” said Oilers captain Connor McDavid, who was all business Thursday morning. “We want to come out and have a strong performance. play our best game in the series, and close the series out.”
Matthew Tkachuk scored 42 goals in the regular season, and opened this series with a Game 1 hat trick. Since then, he chipped in just a single assist in the next three games, all Flames losses.
There was a time when No. 19 wore the black hat in the Battle of Alberta, and used that antagonistic side of his game to inject himself into the series. Usually offence followed, and when it was all said and done, “Matthew” and “Tkachuk” were the two words trending in both Northern and Southern Alberta.
Thus far in Round 2, Tkachuk has been neither pest nor producer, something that will have to change if the Flames are going to turn this thing around.
What has to change?
“Just the skill set. He’s got to use it more to his advantage,” his coach, Darryl Sutter, said. “It’s got nothing to do with effort, with any of our guys who haven’t been as productive after Game 1 of the series. But you have to give Edmonton credit in that too.
“Maybe our guys are doing all they can. Maybe Edmonton is just a little bit better,” Sutter proposed. “That’s kind of the (sidebar) that nobody’s talked about. It’s always been about the negative. Not the good stuff that’s gone on.”
So far, the best Flames forward in this series has been Mikael Backlund, but he’s a 12-goal guy. If the big boys don’t weigh in — starting with Game 5 — it’s hard to see Calgary winning three straight over Edmonton.
As for Johnny Gaudreau, who is a pending UFA, Thursday night could be his last game at the Saddledome — or for the Flames organization, for that matter. He’s not looking ahead that far, of course.
“I really enjoy playing with all these guys in this locker room,” Gaudreau said. “We have a good group in there. It’s been fun all year long.”
Defenceman Chris Tanev took the morning skate next to Oliver Kylington and looks to be in for the Flames again in Game 5. His suspected shoulder injury cost him four playoff games — from Game 7 of Round 1 through Game 3 of Round 2 — and left him doubled over in pain on the Calgary bench at times upon his return in Game 4.
The Flames like their leader on the ice and in their midst, even if it’s pretty clear they are getting something less than 90 percent of their assistant captain.
“You know, even-strength minutes, he was really good last game,” said Sutter of the 17:12 Tanev played at even-strength (19:24 in total). “He made his partner a better player, and with the experience on our back end — or lack of experience or back end — he was important.”
Plenty of players are playing through the pain here, on both sides. Namely, Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse for Edmonton, who have both gutted their way through these playoffs at something less than 100 per cent.
“He’s such a huge part of our team on and off the ice.” Tkachuk said of Tanev. “So, when you get a guy like that to come in for a big game, that definitely motivates you to be a lot.”
“We won 55 games this year. We’re pretty good at getting set for the next one.”
Looks like the same lines as Game 4 for both teams, with Tanev still a bit of question mark and Draisaitl and Nurse once again eschewing the skate.
Evander Kane, whose partner gave birth to a newborn son on Wednesday, remained at home in Edmonton. He’ll be down in time for the game. In other Oilers news, the Finnish media continues to report that goalie Mikko Koskinen is headed for Lugano in the Swiss League next season.
Here are Thursday night’s expected lineups.
CFLPA voting on new tentative agreement with CFL on Thursday – TSN
The CFL and CFL Players’ Association have reached another tentative seven-year agreement.
According to a league source, the two sides hammered out a second agreement in principle Thursday, two days after CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie unveiled the league’s final offer to its players.
The source spoke on the condition of anonymity as neither the CFL nor the CFLPA have confirmed the deal.
The new agreement is pending ratification by both the CFL Players’ Association membership and the league’s board of governors. According to two sources, the players will vote on the deal Thursday night.
Players on six of the nine CFL teams must vote to ratify the deal, with the required margin being at least 50 per cent plus one of ballots in favour.
Time is of the essence as the CFL pre-season schedule is slated to kick off Friday night with two games.
On Monday, the players voted against a tentative deal that the union had recommended they accept. The CFLPA is also recommending the ratification of Thursday’s tentative agreement.
According to sources, CFL teams will have seven Canadian starters and 21 in total on rosters this year. In 2023, that number increases to eight with one being a nationalized Canadian — an American who has spent either five years in the CFL or at least three with the same team.
Clubs will also be able to rotate two nationalized Canadians for up to 49 per cent of snaps. Teams can move to three nationalized Canadians in 2024 but the two franchises that play the most Canadians at the end of the season will receive additional second-round draft picks.
And the seven pure Canadian starters per game will remain intact throughout the term of deal, which can be reopened after five years when the CFL’s broadcast agreement with TSN expires.
The CFL will also provide $1.225 million in a ratification pool for players.
The biggest asset the CFL receives in the deal is extended labour piece and the opportunity to really rebuild its business.
Last December, the league announced a partnership with Genius Sports, a data, technology and commercial company that connects sports, betting and media. In August 2021, the CFL signed a multi-year partnership with BetRegal to become its official online sports-gaming partner.
Last month, the single-game sports betting industry opened fully in Ontario.
But Canadian Justin Palardy, a former kicker who spent time with five CFL teams from 2010-15, took to social media to voice his displeasure with the deal.
“Like I said on another tweet, what’s the point of drafting more (Canadians) if we’re getting rid of Canadian starters?” he tweeted. “You may think it’s a terrific idea, doesn’t mean it makes sense.”
The two sides had been at odds regarding the Canadian ratio.
Last Wednesday, the CFL and CFLPA reached a tentative seven-year agreement, ending a four-day strike by seven of the league’s nine teams. At first glance, there seemed to be many positives for the players, including a revenue-sharing model, the ability to reopen the pact in five years once the CFL signed a new broadcast deal, and veteran players having the ability to negotiate partially guaranteed contracts.
But the agreement also called for CFL teams to increase the number of Canadian starters from seven to eight. The extra would’ve also been a nationalized Canadian.
In addition, three other nationalized Canadians could play up to 49 per cent of snaps. And the deal didn’t include a ratification bonus.
On Tuesday, Ambrosie unveiled an amended proposal that included a $1-million ratification pool and the abolition of the three nationalized Canadians playing 49 per cent of snaps. However, it also reduced the number of Canadian starters to seven, including one nationalized Canadian.
Not only did Ambrosie say it was the CFL’s final offer, but it was good until midnight ET on Thursday, given the league’s exhibition schedule was slated to begin Friday night with two games. Ambrosie added if the players rejected the offer and opted to go back on strike, they’d be served notice to vacate their respective training-camp facilities.
It marked the second time Ambrosie had gone public with a final contract offer to the CFLPA. On May 14, he posted a letter to fans on the league’s website detailing the league’s proposal to players hours before the former CBA was set to expire.
The next day, players on seven CFL teams opted against reporting to training camp and went on strike. The Edmonton Elks and Calgary Stampeders both opened camp as schedule because they weren’t in a legal strike position, as per provincial labour laws, at the time.
It marked just the second work stoppage in league history and first since 1974.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 26, 2022.
Rocket advance with win in 3OT thriller | TheAHL.com – American Hockey League
The Laval Rocket are off to the Eastern Conference Finals after a wild 6-5 triple-overtime victory over the Rochester Americans on Wednesday night.
The Rocket completed a three-game sweep of the Amerks and will face either Charlotte or Springfield in the next round.
Working on a power play following a delay of game penalty against Rochester, former Amerk Jean-Sébastien Dea wristed a shot that beat Aaron Dell at 1:51 of the third OT period to give the Rocket the victory. It was the second goal of the night for Dea, and came on Laval’s 60th shot of the evening.
Rochester nearly escaped with a Game 3 victory, scoring three times in the third period to take a 5-4 lead before Jesse Ylönen netted the equalizer for the Rocket with 1:07 remaining in regulation.
Back home in front of an energetic crowd of 10,662 fans at Blue Cross Arena, the Amerks struck quickly when Mark Jankowski pounced on a loose puck and scored his sixth goal of the playoffs just 1:04 into the contest.
JJ Peterka made it 2-0 in favor of Rochester with a power-play goal at 8:05, and that lead held until late in the second period, when Laval scored four goals in a span of 3:56 to swing the game in their favor.
Brandon Gignac started the comeback with 6:08 to go in the second period with a nifty deflection of a Corey Schueneman shot from the point. Danick Martel tied things up 55 seconds later, taking Gabriel Bourque’s pass from behind the net and snapping home his fifth goal of the series.
Just 76 seconds after that, the Rocket took their first lead of the night as Xavier Ouellet floated a shot from the left point through traffic that found the top corner over the glove of Aaron Dell.
And with 2:12 to go before intermission, Dea put Laval in front by two, hitting an open cage with Dell out of position following a collision with a teammate in front.
Rochester regrouped during the break and needed just 1:32 to tie things back up. Brett Murray scored 13 seconds into the third period to pull the Amerks to within 4-3, and Peterka got his second of the night 1:19 later off a slick feed from Peyton Krebs.
Murray then scored his second of the period at 8:35, getting a piece of Ethan Prow’s shot from the point and deflecting it home to put Rochester back in front.
Laval outshot Rochester 24-12 during sudden death and killed off two Amerks power plays before converting on their own for the winner.
Cayden Primeau (6-1) made 34 saves and earned his fourth consecutive victory in net for the Rocket. Dell (5-5) stopped a career-high 54 shots for Rochester.
North Division Finals (best-of-5)
N3-Laval Rocket vs. N5-Rochester Americans
Game 1 – Sun., May 22 – LAVAL 6, Rochester 1
Game 2 – Mon., May 23 – LAVAL 3, Rochester 1
Game 3 – Wed., May 25 – Laval 6, ROCHESTER 5 (3OT)
How to protect yourself against monkeypox and what to do if you catch it – CNBC
TD holds off on dividend hike; Beats Q2 profit estimates – BNN
Trump's obsession with 2020 weighs on his political power — and his political future – CNN
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Europe kicks off vaccination programs | All media content | DW | 27.12.2020 – Deutsche Welle
Global Media Markets, 2015-2020, 2020-2025F, 2030F – TV and Radio Broadcasting, Film and Music, Information Services, Web Content, Search Portals And Social Media, Print Media, & Cable – GlobeNewswire
News15 hours ago
The Gender War amongst Us
News3 hours ago
Monkeypox: 26 cases now confirmed in Canada – CTV News
News15 hours ago
Journalists in Canada face 'alarming' levels of stress, trauma and harassment, report suggests – CBC.ca
Politics15 hours ago
Your Promises Are empty and Similar
News16 hours ago
Feeling poorer? Inverse wealth effect may add to Canadians' spending gloom – CBC News
Business16 hours ago
CIBC profit slips as weaker retail banking, bigger loan-loss provisions hit results – The Globe and Mail
Health16 hours ago
Monkeypox Warnings Ignored; Dominant COVID Strain Emerges; Better Paxlovid Access – Medpage Today
Sports16 hours ago
Canada Soccer cancels men’s national team friendly vs. Iran in Vancouver – Sportsnet.ca