No pain, no gain: Blue Jays’ Hernandez leads team to win over Cubs in return – Sportsnet.ca
TORONTO – The pain for Teoscar Hernandez, just beneath his left ankle bone and into the arch of his foot, is worst when he runs or quickly changes directions. He did both while chasing down Franmil Reyes’ 95.2-m.p.h. drive to the right-field corner, a ball with a 45-per-cent catch probability, making a sliding catch that both ended the fourth inning and saved at least one run. A long, uncomfortable jog followed back to the Toronto Blue Jays dugout, where his teammates mobbed him in appreciation.
At the plate, his discomfort is far less intense, and he avoided that whole running thing a couple of innings later by launching his 19th homer of the season, a decisive three-run drive, which allowed him to take a much less taxing trot around the bases.
In those ways, Hernandez’s impact in his return to the lineup was all over a 5-3 victory Tuesday over the Chicago Cubs, in which the Blue Jays overcame five innings of one-run ball by Marcus Stroman and continued to rebound from a dreadful weekend against the Los Angeles Angels.
The key moments were also somewhat redemptive for Hernandez, who after fouling a ball off his left foot Friday night, having done it Aug. 20 against the New York Yankees as well, looked off during a defensive misplay later that game and on a Sunday baserunning blip.
On Tuesday, with his left foot heavily taped up, he was more like the version of himself the Blue Jays need consistently.
“He’s a good player,” said interim manager John Schneider. “When he’s 100 per cent, that’s the kind of player that he is, whether it’s a three-run homer to right field or making a (defensive) play like that, he has all of the physical skills in the world matching up against anyone in the league. If he’s doing that, it’s great. He’s a really talented dude.”
There’s no debating that.
But amid the physical pain and mental lapses, Hernandez sat during Monday night’s tension-easing, 5-4, 11-inning comeback win. After taking optional batting practice Tuesday, when he and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., each took a few explosive rips with an aluminum bat for fun, he was adamant that he’d find a way to contribute.
“For me, now that I have this issue in my ankle, I’m going to give everything I’ve got and keep playing hard,” Hernandez said before the game. “If I make mistakes, it’s not going to stop me. I’m going to keep going out there and do my best to help the team.”
He did that in a big way on another night that had the makings of a frustrating ending.
Kevin Gausman was his usual dominant self over six innings with nine strikeouts, but was victimized by solo shots from Willson Contreras in the fourth and Christopher Morel in the sixth.
Seiya Suzuki’s two-out single in the fourth preceded the Reyes smash and would have easily made it 2-0 if not for Hernandez covering 57 feet to make the grab, having calculated the risk-reward of going all out rather than trying to contain it.
“It depends how hard he hit the ball and how close it is to the line,” Hernandez said of his decision-making. “I knew if that ball were to drop, it would have ended up in the stands. That’s why I went for it.”
The offence, meanwhile, sputtered after loading the bases with two out in the first and coming up empty on a Hernandez fielder’s choice against Stroman, the first of 10 straight batters he sat down.
Down 1-0, the Blue Jays didn’t find a breakthrough until the fifth, when Danny Jansen reached on a hit by pitch, advanced to second on a passed ball and after a George Springer walk, came around on a Guerrero RBI single up the middle.
Stroman, pitching in Toronto for the first time since his 2019 deadline trade to the New York Mets, got Lourdes Gurriel Jr., on a groundout to limit the damage there and cap a solid night of work.
After the Cubs went up 2-1, the Blue Jays took control in the bottom half, when Bo Bichette reached on a hit by pitch, reliever Brendon Little slipped trying to field Matt Chapman’s little chopper by home for a base hit and then served up Hernandez’s rocket to right.
“That was huge for him,” said Gausman. “It’s been a while since we’ve seen him hit one in that direction of the ballpark, and when he’s going at his best, that’s what he’s capable of doing. Hopefully it’s something that we can see a lot in the future going forward. But he’s been great, transparent and open about everything and that’s really all you can ask from a guy. He hits the ball off his leg and he’s back out there, doesn’t want much time off because he wants to play and help team, so you can respect a guy like that.”
Proving the point, Hernandez added: “I’m going to keep going until it breaks, if I have to. At this point, I’m just trying to do the best that I can to to do good and help the team.”
The clubs traded runs in the seventh – Morel hit an RBI double, Guerrero ripped his 27th homer of the season – and the Blue Jays guaranteed themselves a series victory against an opponent they need to take care of, a task that can be easier said than done.
For a team that’s run hot and cold to an extreme this season, trying to maintain an even keel amid the intensifying stakes can be more challenging, even with the experience from late last summer to draw upon.
“We have to control what we can control,” said Hernandez. “At the end of the day, if we win, it’s good. But if we lose, we just have to throw that one in the trash and come with a better optimism the next day. Better focus. More energy. Try to do things differently. Put that one in the past and keep going.”
2023 Canadian Open: Live stream, watch online, TV schedule, channel, tee times, radio, golf coverage – CBS Sports
One last tune up for the U.S. Open takes place this week at the 2023 Canadian Open at Oakdale Golf and Country Club in Toronto, Ontario. The third-oldest running tournament on the PGA Tour schedule behind just the U.S. Open and The Open, the Canadian Open will feature a stout field as players look to find their footing ahead of the third major championship of the season.
The field is headlined by world No. 3 Rory McIlroy, who looks to pull off a rare three-peat. A seven-stroke winner at the 2019 Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf & Country Club, the Northern Irishman successfully defended his title three years later (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) at St. George’s Golf & Country Club. If he is to win this week, McIlroy will have claimed three Canadian Open titles on three different golf courses spanning five years.
Looking to get in McIlroy’s way is reigning U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick. Set to defend his title next week at Los Angeles Country Club, the Englishman has his sights on claiming his second victory of the season — as does his fellow countryman Justin Rose. The English contingent is rounded out by Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood, both of whom appear keen on breaking a winless drought on the PGA Tour.
Cameron Young hopes to find some form following a pair of missed cuts, as does Sam Burns. Shane Lowry and Sahith Theegala are eager at the prospect of raising the trophy, while Canadians Corey Conners, Nick Taylor, Adam Hadwin and many more look to put together a memorable performance in front of their very own.
All times Eastern; streaming start times approximated
Round 3 – Saturday
Round starts: 9:15 a.m.
PGA Tour Live: 9:15 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. — PGA Tour Live
Early TV coverage: 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. on Golf Channel
Live TV coverage: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. on CBS
Live simulcast: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App
Radio: 2 – 7:30 p.m. — PGA Tour Radio
Round 4 – Sunday
Round starts: 8:15 a.m.
PGA Tour Live: 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. — PGA Tour Live
Early TV coverage: 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. on Golf Channel
Live TV coverage: 2:30 – 6:30 p.m. on CBS
Live simulcast: 2:30 – 6:30 p.m. on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App
Radio: 1 – 6:30 p.m. — PGA Tour Radio
Bobrovsky bounces back, Panthers win Game 3 of Stanley Cup Final – NHL.com
SUNRISE, Fla. — Before Matthew Tkachuk and Carter Verhaeghe were the late-game heroes for the Florida Panthers, Sergei Bobrovsky was back to doing what he did best.
The Panthers goalie rebounded from being pulled in his previous start to make 25 saves in in a 3-2 overtime victory against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final at FLA Live Arena on Thursday.
Florida still trails 2-1 in the best-of-7 series, with Game 4 here Saturday (8 p.m. ET; TNT, TBS, truTV, CBC, SN, TVAS), but has life now after rallying from 2-1 deficit with Tkachuk scoring the tying goal with 2:13 left in the third period and Verhaeghe scoring the winner 4:27 into overtime. But the Panthers wouldn’t have been in position to pull out the first Stanley Cup Final victory in their history without Bobrovsky.
He was at his best in the second period, stopping 12 of the 13 shots he faced to prevent Vegas from building more than a one-goal lead.
“I can’t even count how many huge saves he made tonight,” Verhaeghe said. “Probably at least 10.”
[RELATED: Complete Stanley Cup Final coverage]
Panthers coach Paul Maurice scoffed Wednesday at the suggestion that Bobrovsky might not start Game 3 after he was pulled in the second period of a 7-2 loss in Game 2 on Monday after allowing four goals on 13 shots. So, Maurice couldn’t resist asking the media postgame Thursday, “You want to ask who’s starting next game?”
Bobrovsky didn’t seem bothered that he was pulled in Game 2, saying, “It is what it is.”
“I only can control the things that I can control,” Bobrovsky said. “You try to give your best and sometimes it’s happening, so it’s OK. As long as you stay mentally [focused] and the series goes on, and tonight is a big win for us.”
Video: VGK@FLA, Gm3: Bobrovsky stops Theodore and Howden
Still, Bobrovsky wasn’t the same goalie in the first two games against Vegas as he had been in the second and third rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes, when he was 8-1 with a 1.51 goals-against average, .954 save percentage and one shutout.
Vegas utilized screens in front and took advantage of Florida’s defensive breakdowns on rush chances to score eight times on 46 shots on Bobrovsky in the first two games. It helped that Florida played with better defensive structure in front of Bobrovsky on Thursday, but he also elevated his play to make big saves at key moments.
Among them was a glove save on defenseman Nicolas Hague‘s open shot from the left circle at 4:05 of the second period and a right pad stop on Jonathan Marchessault‘s shot from the left circle at 5:49 of the second to keep the score tied 1-1.
“He’s been doing it for us all year and especially the last couple weeks,” Panthers forward Sam Reinhart said. “When we’re in lanes, we’re kind of back defensively collapsing, it makes it a little bit easier on him and he’s been making the spectacular saves at the right time, and that’s what you need at this time of year.”
“Every game he’s giving us a chance to win the game,” Panthers center Aleksander Barkov said. “And today, no different. He was incredible for us. Made some unreal saves in literally every period. He gave us the chance to win, and we used that chance.”
Video: Panthers earn comeback OT victory in Game 3 of SCF
Bobrovsky said he didn’t feel that different than he did in Game 2.
“I felt pretty comfortable last game too, but I feel good tonight as well,” he said.
Instead, he credited his teammates for the way they played in front of him.
“This game, the coaches gave us a pretty clear plan, and I thought the guys were executing it unbelievably tonight,” Bobrovsky said. “We defended very well. We didn’t give much space or room for them, or time, so that’s a big win for us.”
Blue Jays cut ties with pitcher Anthony Bass amid backlash over anti-LGBTQ social media post
Reliever Anthony Bass has been designated for assignment by the Toronto Blue Jays.
It’s the latest development in a controversy that began last week when Bass shared a social media post that supported anti-LGBTQ boycotts.
Bass, who made a public apology last week for the post, had been scheduled to catch the ceremonial first pitch by LGBTQ advocate leZlie Lee Kam when the Jays hosted Minnesota on Friday night to kick off their Pride Weekend.
The Blue Jays said pitcher Kevin Gausman would catch the first pitch instead.
The decision to include Bass was met with criticism by some on social media.
Bass has a 0-0 record and 4.95 earned-run average over 22 appearances this season.
Toronto called up right-hander Mitch White in a corresponding roster move.
Bass had shared a since-deleted video post urging others to spurn Target and Bud Light over the support they showed for the LGBTQ community.
He said in a scrum that he initially did not think the video post — which described the selling of Pride-themed merchandise as “evil” and “demonic” — was hateful.
“That’s why I posted it originally,” he said. “When I look back at it, I can see how people can view it that way and that’s why I was apologetic.”
Before Friday’s game, Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said the decision to cut Bass was primarily motivated by performance and not by the pitcher’s off-the-field circumstances.
“There’s a myriad of variables,” Atkins said. “Performance is usually the driving one and performance was a large aspect of this decision. Distraction was a small part of it and something we had to factor in.”
Atkins refused to say whether Bass would still be on the team if his performance had been better.
“We’re trying to build the best possible team we can build,” Atkins said. “This was a baseball decision to make our team better.”
Atkins also said it was not “a realistic option” for Bass to land in Toronto’s minor league system.
“We won’t stand in his way to be with another organization,” Atkins said.
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