Capitals

Detroit stars were no match for Giants in sweep

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Detroit stars were no match for Giants in sweep

DETROIT (AP) They entered the World Series a collection of stars rivaling any team in baseball.

Then one by one, Justin Verlander, Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera fell short in the season's final test.

It ended with Cabrera at the plate, watching the third strike that finished Detroit's season. So close to their first championship since 1984, the Tigers were vanquished in a sweep few saw coming, losing four straight to the San Francisco Giants.

The finale was 4-3 in 10 innings. Cabrera homered in Game 4 on Sunday night, but Fielder's struggles persisted, and Verlander never had another chance to pitch after he was knocked around in Game 1.

``You remember this feeling all winter, and it makes you want to come back and try this again,'' Verlander said. ``I've lost twice, and it doesn't get easier. It gets harder. I don't want to do this a third time.''

Detroit lost in five games to St. Louis in the 2006 World Series. This showing was even worse.

In both years, the Tigers won the AL championship series in a sweep, then looked out of sorts in the Fall Classic. Detroit was shut out by the Giants in Games 2 and 3, and lost Sunday despite Cabrera's two-run homer in the third inning.

It was Cabrera's popup that wasted Detroit's best chance in Game 3 - and the Triple Crown winner made the last out of the series, striking out looking to end the 10th on Sunday.

``We could not find our game in the World Series,'' Cabrera said. ``We were looking in the whole series to get ahead, but they pitched good, they pitched great and they beat us.''

Before Game 3 on Saturday, there was still an old scorecard posted in the Detroit dugout at Comerica Park, left over from practice games the Tigers had played with instructional league players during the layoff between an ALCS sweep of the New York Yankees and the World Series. Those workouts were supposed to prevent rust, and the scorecard actually listed both Fielder and Cabrera as designated hitters in the same lineup - a sign of how informal the games were.

Two DHs? Neither player hit well enough in the World Series to merit that distinction. Cabrera was 3 for 13 and Fielder was 1 for 14.

``It is unfortunate, but we played as hard as we could. Losing to the World Series champions isn't too bad,'' Fielder said. ``We played good baseball, but they just beat us. We had a great season to get to the playoffs, and we played well to get to the World Series. You just don't get to write your own script.''

The Tigers had a chance to take control in Game 1 with Verlander on the mound in San Francisco. But he gave up five runs in four innings in what would be his only appearance of a series that didn't go at all as planned for Detroit.

``I'm a little bit flabbergasted to be honest with you,'' Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. ``In both of those series, I never would have thought that we would have swept the New York Yankees, and I never would have thought that the Giants would have swept us, but it happened. It's a freaky game.''

The Tigers at least mounted one last comeback Sunday. Cabrera's wind-blown, two-run drive put Detroit up 2-1 for its first lead of the series. When Buster Posey gave the Giants a 3-2 lead with a sixth-inning homer, Detroit tied it immediately in the bottom half on a solo shot by Delmon Young.

But that was it.

The Tigers wouldn't score again, and the vaunted middle of their batting order wasn't heard from. After a leadoff walk in the eighth, Cabrera, Fielder and Young struck out in succession, and there was a sense that one more San Francisco run would win it.

Marco Scutaro delivered it, singling home the tiebreaking run in the 10th.

``For us to play like we did against this great club, I couldn't be prouder of these guys,'' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Now Detroit will have to come back next year and try again to reward owner Mike Ilitch with a title after his big spending. It was Ilitch who signed off on the $214 million deal that made Fielder a Tiger in the offseason.

``I'm disappointed for Mr. Ilitch. We wanted this bad for him,'' Leyland said. ``But when you've been in the game a long time, somebody wins and somebody loses.''

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Game 58: Capitals at Blackhawks Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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USA TODAY Sports

Game 58: Capitals at Blackhawks Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Where: United Center, Chicago, Ill.

When: 8:30 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Blackhawks will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Blackhawks game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

You can also stream the game online with no cable TV subscription on fuboTV (try for free!).

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME?

The Capitals (33-17-7) take on the Blackhawks (24-26-8) Saturday, February 17 at 8:30 p.m. ET in Chicago.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME ON?

The Capitals-Blackhawks game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 7:30 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 8:00 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 11:30 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 12:30 a.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

7:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
8:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
8:30 p.m. — Capitals at Blackhawks
11:00 p.m. — Caps Extra
11:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime
12:30 a.m. — Caps in 30

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Blackhawks game:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Alex Chiasson - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Defensemen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Jakub Vrana, Taylor Chorney

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME?

The Capitals-Blackhawks game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

The game is also available to stream, along with all the pregame and postgame shows, on fuboTV (try for free).

CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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2018 NBA All-Star Saturday night: TV and live stream info, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

2018 NBA All-Star Saturday night: TV and live stream info, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

The 2018 NBA All-Star Saturday Night is here with the three-point contest, dunk contest and skills competition set for Los Angeles.

Here is all you need to know: TV and live stream info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

2018 NBA ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

Where: Staples Center
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: TNT
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)

PODCAST: ALL-STAR WEEKEND PREVIEW, WIZARDS AT THE BREAK 

Skills competition

Participants: Lou Williams, Clippers; Jamal Murray, Nuggets; Al Horford, Celtics; Spencer Dinwiddie, Nets; Joel Embiid, Sixers; Buddy Hield, Kings; Lauri Markkanen, Bulls; Andre Drummond, Pistons

What to know: This year's crop has a fascinating mix of guards and big men and don't sleep on the seven-footers. Embiid in particular has a unique skillset for his size. Still, it's tough to beat the guards. Watch out for Dinwiddie, who is the best passer of the bunch.

RELATED: BETTING ODDS FOR DUNK CONTEST, THREE-POINT CONTEST

Three-point contest

Participants: Klay Thompson, Warriors; Eric Gordon, Rockets; Devin Booker, Suns; Paul George, Thunder; Wayne Ellington, Heat; Bradley Beal, Wizards; Kyle Lowry, Raptors; Tobias Harris, Clippers

What to know: Thompson and Gordon enter the contest as past champions, as Thompson won it in 2016 and Gordon took it home last year. Thompson has the best three-point percentage among the group and is the favorite, but watch out for Beal, a past runner-up, and George who has the second best percentage. Also, Booker is one of the game's best young players and has a very smooth stroke from three.

RELATED: WIZARDS/BULLETS HISTORY ON ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

Dunk contest

Participants: Dennis Smith Jr.; Mavericks; Donovan Mitchell, Jazz; Larry Nance Jr., Cavaliers; Victor Oladipo, Pacers

What to know: This is all about the rookies, Smith and Mitchell, who most are predicting to win. Oladipo has been in the contest before, but didn't win. He's also the only All-Star of the bunch. Nance is the only guy who isn't a guard and his father won it back in 1984. It will be interesting to see if he does some sort of nod to his old man, now 34 years later.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS