Nationals

Woods 3 back, Matteson leads in Malaysia

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Woods 3 back, Matteson leads in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) It was hot, humid and his putts were lipping out. Tiger Woods felt like he'd been run over halfway through his first round in Malaysia since winning the 1999 World Cup on the same course.

Only one way to fix that: The 14-time major winner rolled in five birdies on the back nine on Thursday and finished with a 5-under 66 to trail first-round leader Troy Matteson by three shots.

Matteson had eight birdies in his 63 to take a one-stroke lead over fellow Americans Jeff Overton, Brian Harman and Robert Garrigus.

Woods, in the last pairing with Australia's Marcus Fraser, knew the numbers to target early in his round. After birdies at the third and fifth holes, Woods missed two short putts for par at the eighth and ninth and seemed frustrated, frequently wiping his face and neck with a white towel and glaring after the balls that didn't drop in the cup.

Knowing it was going to take a total of something like 20 under to win the tournament on the 6,909-yard Mines Resort and Golf Club course, Woods decided the only way back into contention was to be aggressive.

``It's a different type of mindset,'' he said. ``Going out there and shooting even par on that front nine, I just felt like I got run over.''

He said midway through the round he wasn't bothered by the stifling humidity and 91 degree, or narrowly missing two birdie attempts before the two putts for par lipped out.

``What is frustrating is turning at even par and I'm eight back,'' he said.

``Three- or four-under par was my number on the back nine - if I could shoot that, I'm still right in the ballgame. I happened to get one more, which was a bonus.''

Woods knew he could have shot a score that would have put him higher than tied for seventh - he even missed a birdie putt from about 10 feet on the 18th - but he was happy with how he hit his driver and was generally pleased with his game.

``I really started hitting the ball quite well at the end of the front nine. I happened to miss two short putts ... but also the two putts I hit were good putts at 8 and 9.'' he said. ``Realistically it could have been seven or eight (under). But even at the turn, and to still post five (under), it was a nice little comeback.

``It's going to take 20-plus this week to win the tournament, so I've got to be aggressive and we've got to go get it.''

A lightning and thunderstorm started dumping rain on the course less than an hour after play ended and, with the forecast for more rain on Friday, organizers decided to move tee times ahead by 40 minutes in the second round.

Americans held five of the top six spots, with Tom Gilles behind the leading four after a 65. He was tied at 6 under with India's Gaganjeet Bhullar, who made an eagle on the par-5 17th and had the lowest score among the Asian Tour players.

``These are the only few weeks where we get to play with these (PGA Tour) guys,'' Bhullar said. ``It really motivates us, and I think it is very important for Asian Tour players that somebody should go up and make it interesting. You never know, it could be an Asian Tour player's week.''

The group tied with Woods at 5 under included Malaysian qualifier Danny Chia, Australia's Greg Chalmers, South African Jbe' Kruger and Americans J.B Holmes and Ricky Barnes.

Matteson had missed the cut in his last two PGA Tour starts and had failed to break par in any of his last four competitive rounds. But he posted his lowest score since a 61 at the John Deere Classic in July, when he finished second after a playoff in his best result of the season.

He had birdies on Nos. 2, 3, 6 and 11 and finished with four straight, closing his round by holing his third shot from the greenside bunker on the par-4 18th.

``The pin is really tricky on 18. I knew I'd be doing good if I could leave myself seven or eight feet for par, and it bounced and slam-dunked in the hole,'' Matteson said. ``That's the first time all year the ball has managed to hit the pin and stay in the hole.''

Overton, who last year set the tournament record low round with a 62 and finished runner-up here, had a bogey-free 64 that included an eagle on the drivable 292-yard 15th, the shortest par 4 on the course.

``All of a sudden I made about a 20-footer for eagle, basically drove the green, and when that went in it was really exciting,'' he said. ``It was just an all-around fun day.''

The co-sanctioned $6.1 million CIMB Classic doesn't count as an official U.S. PGA tournament this year, but will be added to the schedule in 2013.

Defending champion Bo Van Pelt, with a 70, was coming off a win last week at the Perth International in Australia. Jason Dufner, who was second to Van Pelt last week, was 3 under and in a share of 16th with 2010 CIMB champion Ben Crane.

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Inside Baseball: The Nationals' bullpen is both currently bad and potentially great

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USA TODAY

Inside Baseball: The Nationals' bullpen is both currently bad and potentially great

Welcome to Inside Baseball. Here, we're taking a quick peek at what's going on ... inside ... baseball. 

We're almost a month into the MLB season, and that sweet noise you hear is the sound of sample sizes starting to become reliable! So far, the Red Sox are very good except for the nights they're getting no-hit, Derek Jeter's Marlins and their .227 winning percentage "aren't accepting a losing culture," and Mike Trout is well on his way to another historically-great 3rd place finish in the MVP race. 

AT NATS PARK

As it stands today, the Nationals are sitting in 4th in the NL East. It's early, they haven't been healthy, etc. etc., whatever. It hasn't been great. Their pitching staff features the best rotation in baseball paired alongside one of the worst bullpens in baseball. No bullpen in baseball has a higher homerun/flyball percentage (18%) than the Nationals. Only two teams - the Rockies and the Royals - strand runners on base at a lower clip than the Nationals (64.0 LOB%). If you really want to get into the weeds, their Win Probabilty and Clutch numbers tell a grim story too. 

Don't smash that panic button yet, though (maybe just lightly rest your hand on it). There are a few reasons to believe that maybe the bullpen isn't actually as bad as they've been the first month.  They're striking out hitters at an elite level so far - only the Brewers and the Yankees have better K/9 and K% numbers than the Nats.  If you take take a look back at which bullpens led the league in strikeout numbers over the last handful of years, you'll see a *lot* of playoff teams. In the three-true-outcome era, having a bullpen that gets swings-and-misses is inarguably valuable. The Nats have that. 

Taking a look at their individual numbers, it's clear there's an excellent backend hidden somewhere in the bullpen right now. Sammy Solis' ERA is almost four runs higher than his FIP (fielding-independent pitching), a clear sign that Solis has pitched well but been a victim of the Nats' shoddy defense. The same goes for Ryan Madson, whose ERA sits at almost seven despite an FIP under three. Assuming that bullpen roles become more established once the data catches up, the Nats' bullpen could look a lot better in a month or two. 

AROUND BASEBALL

What you should know: Manny Machado's half-season showcase is going swimmingly. He's slashing .360/.447/.708 with eight homers through the first month or so of games. He's posted a 208 wRC+, which is a fancy way of saying he's been 108 percent better than league average at the plate so far. He's been the most valuable hitter this season and the second-most valuable player overall. Meanwhile, the Orioles are 6-17 and already 12 games out of first place in the AL East. It hasn't even been a month yet. Is this the year the the MLB trade deadline is exciting?!

What you should watch: Angels @ Astros (4/24-4/25)

Shohei Ohtani is pitching on Tuesday night, so that's reason enough. But, if you need more, there's also Mike Trout, the defending World Series champs, and Justin Verlander pitching on Wednesday. It also happens to be a battle between the best two teams in the AL West, separated by half a game for first place. If there's such a thing as exciting April baseball, it looks like this. 

Player of the week: I know we already talked about him, but no one's been better than Manny Machado over the last seven days. He's hitting .500/.586/1.208 with five homers during that span. After being bit by historically bad luck during the first half of last season, Machado has been putting up monster numbers ever since:

Random baseball gif: 

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When is the NFL Draft 2018? TIme, TV Channel, Online Stream, Draft Order

When is the NFL Draft 2018? TIme, TV Channel, Online Stream, Draft Order

Draft week is finally here. The predictions and projections, mock drafts and prospect rankings can be put to the side.

On Thursday, April 26, the top college football players will hear their names called and find out their first destination in their professional football careers as the 2018 NFL Draft takes place.

More than 250 players will join the league this weekend, starting with the Cleveland Browns and the No. 1 overall pick.

The 2018 NFL Draft will be televised on six television channels: NFL Network, Fox, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ABC. The first round will starts at 8:00 p.m. ET on Thursday and will air on NFL Network, Fox, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.

Round 2 and Round 3 start at 7:00 p.m. ET on Friday and will air on four networks: NFL Network, Fox, ESPN and ESPN2.

The final day of the 2018 NFL Draft (Round 4 through Round 7), will air on NFL Network and ESPN, with ESPN's coverage simulcasted on ABC for the first time ever.

All seven round of the 2018 NFL Draft will be broadcast on national television for the first time ever.

When is the 2018 NFL Draft?

The 2018 NFL Draft starts Thursday, April 26, and ends Saturday, April 28. The first round will take place at 8 p.m. Thursday night, with the second and third rounds happening Friday night.

The final five rounds will be on Saturday.

This year's draft is being held at the Cowboys' home, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. 

2018 NFL Draft Schedule

  • Round 1: Thursday, April 26, 8 p.m. ET
  • Rounds 2-3: Friday, April 27, 7 p.m. ET
  • Rounds 4-7: Saturday, April 28, 12 p.m. ET
     

How to watch or stream the 2018 NFL Draft:

Live coverage of the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft starts at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 26. The draft continues at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 27 for the second and third rounds, and then again at noon on Saturday, April 28 for the final rounds.

This year's draft will be broadcast by Fox and ABC, along with ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, NFL Network.

For the first time, all seven rounds of the three-day event will air live on broadcast TV.

On Thursday, April 26 at 8 p.m. the draft will air on five channels: NFL Network, Fox, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. 

You can also stream the draft on the WatchESPN app or the NFL Mobile app (or ESPN.com or NFL.com), along with Fox Sports Go. 

When do the Redskins pick in the 2018 NFL Draft?

As of now, these are when the Redskins will pick in the 2018 NFL Draft:

  • First Round, Pick No. 13
  • Second Round, Pick No. 44
  • Fourth Round, Pick No. 109
  • Fifth Round, Pick No. 142
  • Fifth Round, Pick No. 163
  • Sixth Round, Pick No. 188
  • Seventh Round, Pick No. 231
  • Seven Round, Pick No. 241
     

2018 NFL Draft Order:

1. Cleveland Browns
2. New York Giants
3. New York jets (via Colts)
4. Cleveland Browns (via Texans)
5. Denver Broncos
6. Indianapolis Colts (via Jets)
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8. Chicago Bears
9. San Francisco 49ers
10. Oakland Raiders
11.  Miami Dolphins
12. Buffalo Bills (via Bengals)
13. Washington Redskins
14. Green Bay Packers
15. Arizona Cardinals
16. Baltimore Ravens
17. Los Angeles Chargers
18. Seattle Seahawks
19. Dallas Cowboys
20. Detroit Lions
21. Cincinnati Bengals (via Bills)
22. Buffalo Bills (via Chiefs)
23. New England Patriots (via Rams)
24. Carolina Panthers
25. Tennessee Titans
26. Atlanta Falcons
27. New Orleans Saints
28. Pittsburgh Steelers
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
30. Minnesota Vikings
31. New England Patriots
32. Philadelphia Eagles