Redskins

Reds phenom allows 1st earned run since Sept. 10

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Reds phenom allows 1st earned run since Sept. 10

From Comcast SportsNet
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Michael McKenry was prepared for the ultimate fastball. Pittsburgh's reserve catcher caught up with one of Aroldis Chapman's blink-of-an-eye fastballs and ended the reliever's season-long streak of not allowing an earned run, hitting an RBI double in the 10th inning Thursday night for a 5-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Chapman (4-1) hadn't allowed an earned run in a club-record 24 appearances covering 29 innings. He came in to start the 10th with a 0.00 ERA and gave up a leadoff double by Clint Barmes -- only the eighth hit off the left-hander all season. McKenry, batting only .193, knew what was coming next. "He's a special guy with a special arm," McKenry said. "You've got to prepare for the 100 mph fastball. You can't think about anything else." The catcher's double to right field off a 99 mph pitch allowed the Pirates to pull out a game they almost let get away. "McKenry hit a real good pitch," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "If you catch up to Chapman's fastball, you're going to hit it hard somewhere." McKenry also had a sacrifice fly for a 4-3 lead in the seventh, but closer Joel Hanrahan (3-0) blew a save for only the second time this season, giving up a leadoff homer to Ryan Ludwick in the ninth. Chris Resop got his second major league save, allowing the Pirates to take two of three in the series against the NL Central leaders. Resop got Ludwick on a called third strike with two runners aboard, completing Pittsburgh's ninth win in 12 games. This one might have been the best of all. "Probably as satisfying a win as I've had since I've been here for the ballclub," manager Clint Hurdle said. McKenry figured in the Pirates' biggest moments in a back-and-forth game. His sacrifice fly in the seventh took advantage of Gold Glove second baseman Brandon Phillips' blunder. Phillips turned his back to the infield after getting an out at first on a sacrifice, allowing Jose Tabata to go from first to third on the play. McKenry drove him in. Pittsburgh's bullpen ranks second in the NL to Cincinnati's and had blown only three save chances, fewest in the league. Ludwick hit Hanrahan's first pitch into the upper deck to tie it. Hanrahan came into the game 15 of 16 in save chances, having converted 10 in a row since his other missed opportunity on May 8. The Pirates' bench erupted when McKenry came through again in the 10th to regain the lead and end Chapman's streak without allowing an earned run. "We knew his numbers," said reliever Jared Hughes, who escaped a threat in the sixth. "We were really excited on the bench when that happened. "That was awesome -- maybe the best team win all year." Ludwick and Jay Bruce also had solo shots off Kevin Correia. It was Ludwick's 13th career multihomer game. Bruce led off the second inning with his 13th homer. At least one homer has been hit in each of the last 53 games at Great American Ball Park since last July 29, the longest such streak since there were 63 straight games with a homer at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park in 2007-08, according to STATS LLC. Cincinnati's Joey Votto doubled in the first inning, extending his hitting streak to 13 games, one shy of his career high. Tabata threw Votto out at the plate when he tried to score on Phillips' single to right field. Alex Presley doubled, singled and scored a pair of runs batting atop the Pirates' order. Presley, called up at the start of the series to bat leadoff, went 5 of 14 and scored three runs as Pittsburgh won its fifth straight series. Garrett Jones drove in two runs for Pittsburgh with a sacrifice fly and a single. NOTES: The Pirates play their next 15 games against American League teams, starting with three at PNC Park against Kansas City. The Reds host a three-game weekend series against Detroit, making its first trip to Cincinnati since 2001. ... Pittsburgh is 16-10 in one-run games. ... Pirates 3B Pedro Alvarez was back in the lineup after sitting out a few games. He broke an 0-for-18 slump with a pinch-hit single on Wednesday. ... Reds 3B Scott Rolen took batting practice for the second consecutive day. Rolen has been on the DL with an inflamed left shoulder since May 12. There's no timetable for his return. ... Reds CF Drew Stubbs missed his second straight game with pulled muscles in his left side. He said the injury was improving.

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

Every week during the 2017 Redskins season, NBC Sports Washington found two Redskins fans in the crowd and paired them in a head-to-head matchup on Twitter to determine the fan of the game.

And now that the season is over, it's time to take each of those winners, throw them into a NCAA Tournament-style bracket and let Twitter pick the Redskins Fan of the Year.

Starting on January 8 over on the @NBCSRedskins Twitter account, one matchup a day will be posted at 11 a.m., and fans will have 24 hours to vote for their favorite supporter by retweeting or liking depending on their preference. Week 1's winner will face off with Week 17's, Week 2's will play Week 16's, etc.

The winners will advance, and eventually, one member of the Burgundy and Gold faithful will stand above all the rest, earning the coveted title of Redskins Fan of the Year. 

Check out the results below, which'll be updated every day. To see the tweet that corresponded with each matchup, click the link after the date, but remember, retweets and likes submitted after the 24-hour period won't be counted.

ELITE 8 RESULTS

The Elite 8's first matchup is underway. Vote now:


FIRST ROUND RESULTS

January 8: Round one, matchup one

This was a close one that came down to the last-minute, but at the 24-hour mark, Week 17's winner garnered justtttttttt enough retweets to move on.

January 9: Round one, matchup two

In this tournament, a giant Redskins chain is apparently worth more than a giant football hat.

January 10: Round one, matchup three

In the tournament's third showdown, we have our first winner from the Likes side:

January 11: Round one, matchup four

Was there anyway she wasn't gonna win, especially with the little Hogettes nose?

January 12: Round one, matchup five

Our fifth matchup's winner earned the most retweets of anyone up to this point:

January 15: Round one, matchup six

These three 'Skins fans had to witness Washington's Thursday night flop in Dallas, so it's only fair that they get to advance to the second round:

January 16: Round one, matchup seven

You'd think a turkey hat would be enough to capture a W, but not in this one:

January 17: Round one, matchup eight

The Elite 8 is now set with this showdown going to the retweets side:

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Wizards have had major trouble in revenge games this season

Wizards have had major trouble in revenge games this season

The Wizards have had several games this season where they had every reason to be extra motivated from a previous loss, but have fallen remarkably short in the rematch.

It happened again on Wednesday night. The Wizards travelled into Charlotte to see the 18-25 Hornets who beat them in overtime back on Nov. 22 in the same building. It was an opportunity for the Wizards to right a wrong and buck the narrative of their season. In most years the odds of a team with Charlotte's record beating the Wizards not once but twice are slim, yet here we are. The Wizards didn't just lose to Charlotte, they got blasted by 29 points.

This was the case recently against the Utah Jazz. The Wizards had lost by 47 points in Utah on Dec. 4, a defeat so bad head coach Scott Brooks remarked how wins should be taken off their record as punishment. Before their rematch on Jan. 10 in D.C., the phrase '47 pts' was written on the locker room white board. Clearly someone was motivated from that loss, but not enough to help prevent a letdown in the rematch. Despite missing Rudy Gobert, their best player, the Jazz still beat the Wizards.

PODCAST: JODIE MEEKS ON HIS SHOOTING SLUMP

The worst case of this trend has to be in December when they saw the Brooklyn Nets twice in just over a week. The Nets topped the Wizards on Dec. 12 by five points despite missing several key players due to injury. Just 10 days later the Wizards had a chance to get the Nets back and prove it was an aberration, yet they instead got obliterated by 35 points by the very same team.

Wednesday night's loss to the Hornets showcased the worst traits of their 2017-18 season so far. They lost to a losing team and are now just 12-10 against opponents with sub-.500 records. Those 10 losses match the Hawks and Mavericks for the most in the NBA.

The Wizards' defensive effort was questionable at best and Brooks was rightfully displeased. They allowed 77 points in the first half, a franchise record for the Hornets and the most the Wizards have surrendered in any half since Dec. of 2006.

"They wooped our a--," guard John Wall said.

RELATED: COACH BROOKS SAYS CHANGES WILL BE MADE

The Hornets are a below average team at shooting threes, yet they went off for 15-for-31 (48.4%) against the Wizards. Dwight Howard dominated them in the paint and, as has been the case far too often lately, Otto Porter and Markieff Morris disappeared.

Why the Wizards haven't been able to respond against these teams they are much better than on paper is a real mystery. Even when the Wizards are embarrassed by a team, they aren't able to punch back.

Though we're still months away, this will have to be fixed before the playoffs. A seven-game postseason series is all about making adjustments and issuing counters.

There are still dozens of games left in the regular season and a game in January can only mean so much, as these are the dog days of the 82 game schedule. But the Wizards aren't showing the resolve we're used to seeing from them and it's not easy to explain.

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