Sports Today: Blue Jackets halfway to a breakthrough as Reds’ descent continues

Published: Monday, April 16, 2018 @ 10:02 AM

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 15: Zach Werenski #8 of the Columbus Blue Jackets celebrates after the Blue Jackets won 5-4 in overtime against the Washington Capitals during Game Two of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Capital One Arena on April 15, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 15: Zach Werenski #8 of the Columbus Blue Jackets celebrates after the Blue Jackets won 5-4 in overtime against the Washington Capitals during Game Two of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Capital One Arena on April 15, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

A nightmarish start to the baseball season in Cincinnati continued over the weekend, but let’s start with some good news. 

The Columbus Blue Jackets are making a strong early case to be the story of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

The CBJ went to Washington and won the first two games against the Capitals, who are favored by seeding but seen as vulnerable by just about everyone who follows hockey. 

That is because the Capitals have a tendency to disappoint at this time of the season, but also because the Blue Jackets are really good. 

RELATED: History tells us who will be Ohio State’s starting QB

They have a great goalie in Sergei Bobrovsky, and Artemi Panarin gives them the type of offensive weapon who can carry a team for a while, so they certainly look like a tough out against anyone. 

Their 2-0 series lead can’t help but make one wonder if Columbus could be to the 2018 playoffs what Nashville was in 2017. 

The Predators upset the Blackhawks (in no small part because Panarin was nearly nonexistent for Chicago) in the first round last season then went all the way to the finals, collecting adoring media stories about them and their fans along the way. 

Like Nashville, Columbus is a relatively unknown hockey market since the CBJ have never won a playoff series and they don’t play in Detroit, Chicago or on a coast… 

Sunday saw the St. Louis Cardinals complete the least-surprising four-game sweep in the history of Major League Baseball. 

I cannot really fathom how the Reds could win a game against a good team, so I penciled in losses before the Cardinals got to town. 

That made the weekend less disappointing, I guess. 

On the bright side, the Reds were closer to winning a couple of times over the weekend than they seemed to be at the beginning of this losing streak. 

On the down side, they have Brandon Finnegan saying something ridiculous like, “It seems like everyone is getting lucky against us.” 

Actually, the Reds are in this hole less than three weeks into the season because they have played mostly terrible baseball. 

Nobody thought this was a World Series team, but I was among those who thought they could get close to .500 because they would get good hitting most of the time and good pitching about half the time. 

Hence they could win about half their games. 

Instead, the offense has been absolutely atrocious, the defense has been disappointing and the pitching has been probably what was expected. 

Of course, not having Eugenio Suarez and Scott Schebler in the lineup has hurt the offense. 

The manager has done plenty to cripple the team over the past week, too. 

That would include starting Finnegan, who hasn’t done nearly enough to be given a spot in the rotation when the younger, more talented Amir Garrett is also available… 

Meanwhile, Nick Senzel is still in Triple-A

I thought they might when he started playing third base early last week, but I don’t really mind them not calling him up given what a disaster the major-league club is at the moment.

It stands to reason they are at least discussing firing Price, causing more upheaval in the short term, so leaving The Future (Part 1) in the minors to work out some kinks against a different level of competition than he has previously faced is probably not the worst idea. 

Also Senzel went through a slump early last week, but he seems to have pulled out of it, for what that is worth.... 

Then there is The Future (Part 2). 

Hunter Greene was supposed to make his second Dayton Dragons start over the weekend, but Mother Nature had other plans. 

All three games scheduled against the Great Lakes Loons in Midland, Mich., were postponed by wet winter weather (even though the calendar shows this is April). 

ARCHDEACON: Greene has all the tools -- and plenty of heart, too

That is really good news for Dragons fans because it means Greene’s next start is now scheduled for Wednesday night at Fifth Third Field. 

If everything had gone as planned, Greene wouldn’t have made another home start until the middle of May. 

As of now, Wednesday looks like the best day of the week as far as weather. 

We’ll see if that holds. 

He was awesome in his first appearance in the Gem City

Even if the Reds remain unwatchable, the Cincinnati Bengals should give us plenty to talk about over the next couple of months. 

That starts this week with voluntary workouts at Paul Brown Stadium on Monday and a big group of locals scheduled for a pro day there Tuesday. 

Two Ohio State defensive players -- Jerome Baker and Jalyn Holmes -- are probably the most talented players on that list, but the two most intriguing to me might be quarterbacks J.T. Barrett and Malik Zaire. 

They could not have had more different college careers, but they both look like potential developmental options for a team that like the Bengals has an established starter. 

 

Trending - Most Read Stories

White Sox pitcher in critical condition after suffering brain hemorrhage

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 2:37 PM

The jersey of White Sox pitcher Danny Farquhar hung on the fence of the bullpen during Saturday's game.
Jon Durr/Getty Images
The jersey of White Sox pitcher Danny Farquhar hung on the fence of the bullpen during Saturday's game.(Jon Durr/Getty Images)

Chicago White Sox officials said reliever Danny Farquhar remained in critical condition Sunday after suffering a brain hemorrhage during Friday night’s game, The Chicago Tribune reported.

>> Read more trending news

White Sox manager Rick Renteria said he has kept his players advised of Farquhar’s condition but did not go into too much detail out of respect for the pitcher’s family.

“We made sure they knew that he’s still in critical condition but stable and that the best thing for us to do would be to give them space,” Renteria told the Tribune. “Let the medical staff do what they can do and then at the appropriate time, everybody will let us know when it’s OK to go ahead and reach out and go see him.”

Farquhar, 31, is at Rush University Medical Center. He passed out in the dugout during the sixth inning of Friday’s game against the Houston Astros, ESPN reported. He regained consciousness and was taken to a hospital.

The White Sox said Saturday that additional testing revealed the brain hemorrhage was caused by a ruptured aneurysm, ESPN reported.

“Besides him being a great teammate and part of this brotherhood, I have to be respectful of his family,” pitcher Carson Fulmer told the Tribune. “He’s a brother, he’s one of our teammates and we’re all here for him and his family.”

Renteria said Saturday that Farquhar "had a strong heartbeat, a good pulse and was breathing well'' when he left the stadium, ESPN reported."Nothing really matters baseball-wise when something like that happens," White Sox pitcher James Shields said. “When one of your brothers goes down, it's not very fun to watch. He's such a resilient human being. We are praying for him. We hope everything goes well.

"He's got a long way to go and he's fighting. One thing we know in this clubhouse is Farky is a fighter."

Trending - Most Read Stories

WATCH: Oakland A's Sean Manaea pitches no-hitter against Red Sox

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 1:46 AM

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 21:  Sean Manaea #55 and Jonathan Lucroy #21 of the Oakland Athletics celebrate after Manaea pitched a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum on April 21, 2018 in Oakland, California. The Athletics won the game 3-0.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 21: Sean Manaea #55 and Jonathan Lucroy #21 of the Oakland Athletics celebrate after Manaea pitched a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum on April 21, 2018 in Oakland, California. The Athletics won the game 3-0. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Oakland A's pitcher Sean Manaea threw the first no-hitter of the 2018 season Saturday, leading the Athletics to a 3-0 win over the Boston Red Sox.

>> Watch the final out here

According to The Associated Press, Manaea also made history by becoming "the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter against Boston in almost exactly 25 years." The last one, thrown by Seattle pitcher Chris Bosio, happened April 22, 1993.

>> Read more trending news 

"I didn't even think about it until I looked up in the seventh or eighth, and I was like, 'Oh my God, why is there still a zero on there?'" said Manaea, who struck out 10 batters, the AP reported.

Related

Trending - Most Read Stories

Dunbar runs away with Edwin Moses Relays boys title

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 1:55 PM


            The 68th Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays was held at Welcome Stadium on Friday, April 20, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
            MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
The 68th Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays was held at Welcome Stadium on Friday, April 20, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF(MARC PENDLETON / STAFF)

All Dunbar needs to do is follow Jalani Allen’s lead in its quest to ring up yet another boys state track and field team championship.

That’s the Wolverines’ goal every spring season. The names change over the years, but the goal always remains the same.

“We hope to go for back-to-back (state championships),” said Allen during the 68th annual Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays at Welcome Stadium on Friday. “That’s certainly the goal. It’s very exciting when it gets around to this time of the year. This will be one (team) to watch.”

Allen did his part as a member of four winning relays.

Dunbar (77 points) won six events and captured the boys team title. Thomas Worthington (53) was second and Miamisburg (51) third.

Thomas Worthington edged Lima Senior 65-61 to win the girls team title. Chaminade Julienne (54) was third.

Only the field events – minus the discus – were individually scored. Reconstruction of the adjoining University of Dayton Arena parking lot has eliminated the discus area.

Allen ran on the winning 440 shuttle hurdles relay (1:02.91) and also helped Dunbar sweep the 4x100-meter (42.70), 4x200 (1:29.19) and 4x400 (3:28.46) relays.

Dunbar’s boys also were first in the 800 sprint medley relay (1:34.48) and 1,600 sprint medley relay (3:44.17).

Allen was among the Wolverines’ leaders in winning the 2017 outdoor state track title and adding another combined Divisions II-III indoor state title in February. That’s the kind of all-around talent that enabled Allen to sign with Malone University, where he’ll play football and run track.

“It felt like the wait was over,” he said when signing with the Canton-area NCAA Division II program. “All the searching and stressing was over. I’m just ready to graduate and get going.”

Also headed to Malone to play football and run track is Springfield hurdler Dyier Smith, although he’s sitting out this season.

Springfield senior Quincy Scott won the long jump (22 feet, 7.50 inches) in a great showdown against Zamir Youngblood of Dunbar (22-1).

Other area boys firsts were posted by Miamisburg teammates Jason Hubbard and Tyler Johnson in the high jump (6-0), Covington’s Jett Murphy in the pole vault (14-0) and Springfield Isaiah Gibson in the shot put (46-7.50).

Area girls winners were Covington in the 3,200 relay (10:21.74), Dunbar’s 1,600 sprint medley relay (4:31.00), Miamisburg’s RaMya Woodward in the high jump (5-4), Beavercreek’s Eileen Yang in the pole vault (12-0) and Lauren Christian of Covington in the shot put (40-3.25).

• Beavercreek swept the boys (191 points) and girls (175) team titles in Thursday’s Greene County track and field championships at Xenia. Bellbrook was runner-up in both.

• The Bulldog Classic was Saturday at the Milton-Union Track complex at West Milton.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Wildcats junior among state’s best hurdlers

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 1:10 PM
Updated: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 1:44 PM


            Springfield High School junior Austin Tyree. The 68th Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays was held at Welcome Stadium on Friday, April 20, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
            MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Springfield High School junior Austin Tyree. The 68th Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays was held at Welcome Stadium on Friday, April 20, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF(MARC PENDLETON / STAFF)

It didn’t take long for Springfield High School junior Austin Tyree to establish himself among the state’s best hurdlers this spring. His personal best times of 39.04 in the 300-meter hurdles and 15.05 in the 110 highs shot him high on the Division I state leader board.

That kind of breakout season is just what Tyree had envisioned.

“Being a part of such a great team, I wanted to be a part of that special group of great athletes who come from Springfield,” Tyree said during Friday’s 68th annual Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays at Welcome Stadium. “It’s been a pretty exciting season so far.”

Only the field events – minus the discus – were individually scored.

Springfield senior teammate Quincy Scott won the long jump (22 feet, 7.50 inches) in a great showdown against Zamir Youngblood of Dunbar (22-1).

Springfield junior Isaiah Gibson added another first in the shot put (46-7.50) and senior Austin Garza was fourth (40-7).

Tyree and Scott also were on the runner-up boys 4x100-meter relay (43.22), as were Mike Brown and Jacob Yost. The Wildcats’ 4x200 relay was third (1:37.67).

Junior Tiffany Moss paced Springfield’s girls with a third in the long jump (15-11.75). She also ran on the fourth-place shuttle hurdle relay (1:09.91).

Dunbar (77 points) captured the boys team title. Thomas Worthington (53) was second and Miamisburg (51) third. Springfield (41) was sixth.

Thomas Worthington edged Lima Senior 65-61 to win the girls team title. Chaminade Julienne (54) was third. Springfield (19) was 11th.

Tyree has taken over for Springfield hurdler Dyier Smith, who is not running as a senior but intends on playing football and running track at Malone University in Canton.

Tyree excelled for the Dayton Wolverines AAU summer track and field team last year and even ran cross country – with the Springfield Courage – to be better prepared for this track season.

Even the extended winter-like weather couldn’t prevent Tyree from advancing in his specialties. At least four of Springfield’s meets have been canceled.

“Last year I didn’t even get out of district,” he said. “I worked harder this summer and fall with a goal of potentially reaching (37 seconds) in the (300 hurdles). I’m working on that now. Having a successful start is exciting because my goals are up there.”

Another Wildcats junior, Mike Brown, owns a best high jump of 6-4 and cleared 6-6 last season.

“We’ve got some young guys who are really good,” said Springfield coach Michael Davis.

Trending - Most Read Stories