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Schneider: 'Everything is on the table' for struggling Kikuchi – TSN

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Toronto Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider said Monday the team is weighing their options when it comes to struggling starter Yusei Kikuchi.

Kikuchi saw his record drop to 4-7 on the season with Monday’s 7-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, in which he allowed six runs – three earned – in 3 1/3 innings of work. The 31-year-old is winless in his past three starts and has a 5.25 ERA through 20 games this season.

“Everything’s on the table right now,” Schneider said, per MLB.com. “We just want him to continue to focus on the things he’s working on. But having options and having other guys that can step into roles is a good thing. And we’ll figure that out in the next couple days.”

Kikuchi spent three weeks on the injured list last month with a neck strain. He delivered a strong outing in his return in July 28 against the Tigers, allowing one run and two hits over five innings, and held the Tampa Bay Rays to two runs in four innings on Aug. 3, but has allowed 11 runs over his past two starts.

“There are a few things that we’ve been working on, trying to figure out what’s good and what’s bad,” Kikuchi said through an interpreter after Monday’s loss. “I feel like we’re just caught in between the ups and downs right now.”

Schneider was non-committal on what changes the team could make to help Kikuchi find his way.

“There’s always a scenario for everything,” Schneider said. “Off-days play into it; performance plays into it. It’s a welcome addition to have (Ross) Stripling back and I love what Mitch White has done as well. You can go a variety of different ways. We’re just going to continue to keep our options open.”

The Blue Jays dropped to 61-53 with Monday’s loss and now sit tied with the Tampa Bay Rays for the second wild-card spot, a game and a half ahead of the Orioles, who they will play again on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Blue Jays make the playoffs | CTV News – CTV News Toronto

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The Toronto Blue Jays locked up a playoff spot Thursday afternoon without taking the field, securing a berth when the Boston Red Sox defeated the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

Canada’s lone big-league team got the good news on an off-day ahead of Friday’s series opener against the visiting Red Sox.

With downtime valuable during the stretch drive, the team was expected to celebrate the accomplishment after the series opener against the Red Sox.

It will be Toronto’s first post-season appearance since the truncated 2020 campaign. With six games left to play, the Blue Jays can now turn their focus to playoff positioning.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home.

“So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

If Toronto maintains its grip on the first of three American League wild-card seeds, then the Blue Jays would play at Rogers Centre for the best-of-three first-round series.

The second- and third-seeded wild-card teams would open on the road.

It’s part of a new Major League Baseball playoff format this year. The top two division winners in each league get byes to the division series.

The third-ranked division winner will host the third wild-card seed (No. 6 seed overall) in one wild-card series and the top wild-card entry (No. 4 seed overall) welcomes the second wild-card seed (No. 5 overall) in the other.

Entering play Thursday, Toronto had a 1 1/2-game lead on the Tampa Bay Rays and a two-game cushion on the Seattle Mariners.

The Rays were scheduled to play the Cleveland Guardians on Thursday night and the Mariners were set to entertain the Texas Rangers.

The Yankees have already clinched the East Division title.

Toronto was swept by the Rays in the wild-card series in 2020. It was the Blue Jays’ first playoff appearance since 2016.

 Toronto won World Series titles in 1992 and 1993.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 29, 2022.

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Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa stretchered off field with head, neck injuries – Sportsnet.ca

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Editor’s Note: We have included the video as a publicly available record of what took place. Though efforts were taken to minimize the presence of graphic footage, the remaining sequences may be distressing for some viewers. Please exercise discretion before watching.

CINCINNATI (AP) — Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa sustained neck and head injuries after being slammed to the ground Thursday night against the Cincinnati Bengals and was stretchered from the field.

The Dolphins said Tagovailoa was conscious, had movement in all his extremities and was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center for further evaluation. The Dolphins said after their 27-15 loss to the Bengals that Tagovailoa was expected to be released from the hospital and fly home with the team.

Tagovailoa was chased down and sacked by 6-foot-3, 340-pound Josh Tupou with about six minutes left in the first half. He was spun around and thrown to the turf. While on the ground, his hands froze in front of his face. He remained down for more than seven minutes before being loaded on a backboard, stabilized and strapped to a stretcher after his facemask was removed.

Dolphins players gathered around as Tagovailoa was rolled off the field and the crowd chanted “Tua! Tua!”

Miami coach Mike McDaniel said Tagovailoa called for him when he went down.

“I could tell it wasn’t the same guy that I was used to seeing,” McDaniel said. “It was a scary moment. He was evaluated for a concussion. He’s in the concussion protocol, but he’s being discharged.

“It’s an emotional moment. It’s not a part of the deal you sign up for. His teammates and myself were very concerned, but he got checked out and it’s nothing more serious than a concussion.”

Teddy Bridgewater, who replaced the injured Tagovailoa, said the Miami sideline went quiet when the starting QB was on the turf.

“Complete silence,” Bridgewater said. “He’s one of us. At the end of the day, it’s only a football game. In that moment, you saw how we feel about Tua. He’s our captain. He’s our leader. It was great to see the doctors handling the situation.”

Bengals coach Zac Taylor had an emotional reaction to Tagovailoa going down, saying: “It’s a heavy moment. You hate to see that happen. It’s a tough moment for everybody.”

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow hoped Tagovailoa makes a quick return.

“It’s always scary when somebody goes out like that,” Burrow said. “It’s a dangerous game and something like that can happen at any time, but it’s always scary when it does. … Hopefully, he has a speedy recovery. I’m gonna text him after a bit and see how he’s doing.”

Reaction came swiftly from around the NFL. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Broncos QB Russell Wilson promptly tweeted with concern for Tagovailoa’s well-being.

“Praying for you Tua,” Wilson wrote.

The 24-year-old Tagovailoa was suffering from a sore back and was listed as questionable for most of the week ahead of the game.

Tagovailoa briefly left Sunday’s 21-19 victory over the Buffalo Bills after appearing to be disoriented by what the team originally said was a head injury after taking a hard hit from Bills linebacker Matt Milano late in the first half. He missed just three snaps and returned after halftime, a decision that prompted a joint review by the NFL and National Football League Players Association of what went into the decision to allow him to return to the game.

The team and Tagovailoa said after Sunday’s game the quarterback had a back injury that caused his awkward stumble and fall after he was slammed into the turf in the second quarter. The team said Monday that Tagovailoa was not in concussion protocol.

He said he “hyper-extended” his back after getting his legs caught under someone on a quarterback sneak.

McDaniel said Thursday that he didn’t think an injury from last week made him fall the same way this week.

After Tagovailoa’s injury Thursday, the NFLPA tweeted: “Player health and safety is at the core of the union’s mission. Our concern tonight is for Tua and we hope for a full and speedy recovery. Our investigation into the potential protocol violation is ongoing.”

Some criticized the decision to play Tagovailoa so soon after his injuries in Sunday’s game.

Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe tweeted: “That’s a serious injury . Tua shouldn’t have been out there with Sunday Thursday turn around. Sometimes players need protecting from themselves. Dolphins failed Tua.”

Before leaving Thursday’s game, Tagovailoa was 8 for 14 for 100 yards and an interception. He was replaced in the game by Teddy Bridgewater, who threw a touchdown pass to Chase Edmonds with 15 seconds left in the half.

The play of Tagovailoa, who won a national championship at Alabama, has been key for the 3-0 Dolphins. He came into the game second in the NFL with 925 passing yards.

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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.”

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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