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 Post subject: apture three consecutive Cups will depend largely on Murray.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:37 am 
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Rhys Hoskins gave the Phillies all the runs Zach Eflin needed to stay perfect in June.

Eflin continued to shine for Philadelphia with just four hits allowed over seven shutout innings Gleyber Torres New York Yankees Jersey , and Hoskins hit a three-run homer to help the Phillies beat the New York Yankees 3-0 on Wednesday night.

Eflin, acquired in the 2014 trade that sent fan favorite and former NL MVP Jimmy Rollins to the Los Angeles Dodgers, won his fifth straight start and kept the surprising Phillies in the thick of the NL East race.

”You can see why they’re kind of excited about him,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. ”I thought he threw the ball really well and really was in command. He kind of shut us down. We were pretty quiet. Even when we’re not scoring runs, we’re mounting things. We really didn’t mount that much against him.”

Eflin (6-2) became the first Phillies pitcher to win five starts in a month (he had a 1.76 ERA in June) since Cole Hamels went 5-0 in May 2012. Eflin has turned into a stopper of sorts for Philly: He won his fourth game this month following a Phillies loss. Eflin walked two, struck out six and helped the Phillies avoid a three-game sweep before beginning a key four-game series against the division rival Washington Nationals. The Phillies trail the Atlanta Braves by 2 1/2 games, and the Nationals are 3 1/2 back.

”Being able to be healthy and to focus on pitching alone is probably the biggest thing,” Eflin said. ”Going in with a great game plan and two catchers who know how to call a great game is extremely beneficial. And doing that and putting the puzzle pieces together has been awesome.”

Eflin, who did not allow a homer over 30 2/3 innings in June, also at last got most of the 42 http://www.saintsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-rick-leonard-jersey ,028 fans at packed Citizens Bank Park to root, root, root for the home team. Yankees fans swarmed the stadium for all three games of the series, and ”Let’s go Yankees!” chants boomed at first pitch.

By the time Searanthony Dominguez struck out Gleyber Torres to wrap up his fifth save, over two scoreless innings, Phillies fans were on their feet as Yankees fans trudged toward the exits.

Manager Gabe Kapler implored Phillies fans to pack CBP for the Nationals series.

”You need exposure to that because we expect to be in the playoffs many times in the coming years,” he said. ”These are young players that are going to be expected to perform under those conditions. It’s nice to have some exposure to that early in their careers.”

The Yankees, who have the best record in baseball at 52-26, sat slugging outfielder Aaron Judge for the series finale. Boone wanted to pair a day of rest with Thursday’s off day to keep Judge fresh when the team returns to the Bronx for a weekend set with Boston. The Yankees and Red Sox have been neck and neck atop the AL East, the only teams with a legitimate shot at the division title.

Luis Cessa (0-1) lasted only three innings in his first start for the Yankees since last Aug. 14 and was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after taking the loss. The Phillies had two runners on and two outs in the second inning when Hoskins connected on an opposite-field shot to left for his 12th homer of the season. He hit his sixth home run in 17 games this June http://www.coltsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-tyquan-lewis-jersey , and he has given the Phillies a lead with 11 of his homers.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka, on the 10-day DL since June 9 with strained left and right hamstrings, is set to throw again on Friday. The Yankees haven’t decided if Tanaka will make a rehab start or throw a simulated game.

Phillies: RHP Pat Neshek, out all season because of an injured right shoulder, is set to make his third rehab appearance on Friday. He’s pitched twice for Double-A Reading. … RHP Jerad Eickhoff (nerve) will throw a bullpen session on Thursday and head to Florida for more work. … RHP Luis Garcia (sore right wrist) will throw a bullpen session on Friday and could possibly be activated on Sunday. … RHP Edubray Ramos (right shoulder) will throw from flat ground on Thursday.

HOSKINS MILESTONES

Hoskins became the fastest Phillie to reach 30 career homers in games played (119), topping Chuck Klein (132) and Ryan Howard (134).

”My first thought was, `Wow.’ Any time you get mentioned in a sentence with either of those guys or anyone of their caliber is pretty humbling,” he said.

RELIEF ACE

Yankees reliever Giovanny Gallegos struck out a career-high six over three innings.

UP NEXT

Yankees: After a day off on Thursday, CC Sabathia (4-3, 3.18 ERA) takes the mound to open the three-game set against the Red Sox. Boone said Luis Severino Michael Gallup Color Rush Jersey , the majors’ first 12-game winner, will start on Sunday.

Phillies: RHP Aaron Nola (9-2, 2.58) opens the first of a four-game series against the Nationals.



Matt Murray doesn’t keep track of the numbers, which makes it easier for the Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender to not get caught up in them.

His goals-against average? No clue. Save percentage? Nope. Pittsburgh’s record during an occasionally uneven regular season for the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions? Give Murray a phone and he’ll probably be able to look it up but otherwise he’s just guessing.

”For a goalie, it’s not based on how many goals you let in or how many goals get past you or don’t or how many saves you make,” Murray said. ”It’s not about that. It’s about how you feel.”

And despite a physically and personally draining six months that included multiple extended absences because of injuries and the loss of his father Jim in January, the 23-year-old insists he’ll be ready when the Penguins open the first round of the playoffs against Philadelphia on Wednesday night.

”I still pinch myself every day I get to be a part of something like this,” Murray said. ”It’s so exciting. It’s like Christmas.”

Even if Murray’s first full season as Pittsburgh’s firmly established No. 1 goalie hardly felt like a holiday at times. He missed two weeks in November with a lower-body injury.

A concussion suffered after taking a shot off the mask in practice in February cost him another three weeks. He took a leave to be with his family following his father’s death, but returned eager to get back to the rink that he’s long considered a sanctuary.

Murray ended up starting just 45 games and appearing in only 49, the fewest by the Penguins’ top goaltender in a decade. His goals-against average ticked up (2.92) and his save percentage ticked down (.907) http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/authentic-byron-maxwell-jersey , both the worst marks of his brief three-year career.

Yet the numbers don’t take into account the occasionally iffy play in front of him, particularly a penalty kill that finished a middling 17th in the NHL.

Yet it’s not the missed backcheck or the inability to get a clear that people notice. It’s when the puck goes in the net.

It’s also, however, why Murray declines to get caught up in his stats. Feel free to point them out. Just don’t be offended when he deletes them immediately. The only shot that matters isn’t the last one, but the next one.

”Every single play, every single shift, every single time somebody touches the puck, everything resets,” he said. ”What happened before doesn’t matter unless you allow it to.”

Something Murray rarely does, part of his preternatural maturity that led the Penguins to make the difficult but necessary decision to leave Marc-Andre Fleury – the winningest goaltender in franchise history and a wildly popular figure both in the dressing room and the city – exposed to Vegas last summer in the expansion draft.

Fleury and Murray took a potentially volatile situation in the spring of 2016 and turned it into part of the foundation that helped the Penguins become the first team in nearly 20 years to win back-to-back Cups.

Sending Fleury to the Golden Knights meant Murray entered this season without the specter of Fleury waiting in the wings should he falter. At times over the winter Murray flip-flopped between dazzling and dull http://www.ravensauthorizedshops.com/authentic-kenny-young-jersey , kind of like his team.

Yet Murray just shrugged his shoulders when asked if he’s worried about his play or staying healthy. He has no control over the latter – there are no guarantees when you make a living willfully putting yourself in front of a piece of rubber hurtling at you at various speeds from various angles – and he’s not concerned about the former.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan has long placed value on Murray’s ability to not get overwhelmed by the stakes.

There’s a reason Sullivan turned to Murray at every opportunity in the 2016 playoffs – when the then-21-year-old took over after Fleury was diagnosed with a concussion on the eve of the postseason – and again last spring even though Fleury played brilliantly at times while filling in after Murray sustained a lower-body injury during warmups before Game 1 of Pittsburgh’s first-round series against Columbus.

Murray returned and after a wobble in the middle of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final against Nashville, held the Predators scoreless in Games 5 and 6 . In the giddy aftermath, Fleury passed the Cup to Murray, in many ways a literal passing of the torch from one generation to the next.

There will be no debating this time around for the Penguins as they chase history. While Casey DeSmith picked up his first career shutout in the regular-season finale against Ottawa last Friday, Pittsburgh’s attempt to become the first team since the New York Islanders of the early 1980s to capture three consecutive Cups will depend largely on Murray.

And for all his downplaying of the numbers, Murray is well aware of what having his name on the Cup for a third time in as many years would mean to both himself and the rest of Pittsburgh’s superstar-laden roster.Image

”We know what’s in front of us,” Murray said. ”We know the opportunity is there for the taking. We’re here and now everything resets. For sure obviously we know what’s at stake.”



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