Cubs

Bailey carries Raiders to upset victory

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Bailey carries Raiders to upset victory

Friday, Sept. 23, 2011
Posted: 11:33 p.m.
By Mike Clark
YourSeason.com

What looked to be heading toward blowout territory took a U-turn, but the destination was still the desired one for Bolingbrook.The No. 16 Raiders blitzed No. 11 Homewood-Flossmoor with a 27-point first quarter on Friday night and coasted home with a 41-28 SouthWest Suburban Blue win in Flossmoor.Bolingbrook (5-0, 3-0), which plays Lincoln-Way East next weekend, scored a special teams touchdown and picked off Homewood-Flossmoor quarterback Tim Williams on consecutive plays en route to opening leads of 27-0 after one quarter and 41-7 at halftime.Homewood-Flossmoor (3-2, 1-2), which lost to Lincoln-Way East last week, rallied in the second half but couldnt climb back up the mountain.Junior quarterback Aaron Bailey paced the Raiders, running for three first-half touchdowns and finishing with 129 yards on 30 carries.Thats what we wanted to do, Bailey said. We wanted the ball to start the game, to go out there and set the tempo.Bailey scored on a three-yard run with 9:29 left in the first quarter to start the Raiders run. DJ Pruitt then ran back an H-F punt 67 yards for a score with 7:35 left and Tevin Teamers first interception set up Baileys seven-yard scoring run at 5:45. Teamer picked off Williams on the first play of the Vikings next possession and Jaden Huffs five-yard touchdown run in the final minute of the first quarter pushed the lead to 27-0.We had a Lincoln-Way East hangover, H-F coach Craig Buzea said. We knew that was going to happen. I knew we would have it, win or lose last week. ... We as a program have to be able to play big games like that.Williams (14 of 30, 212 yards) hit Sean Jones with a 40-yard touchdown pass with 8:32 left in the second quarter to put H-F on the board. But Huff had a one-yard scoring run and Bailey dashed 66 yards for a score to make it 41-7 with 2:53 left till halftime.We capitalized on their mistakes, Bolingbrook coach John Ivlow said. The fact that we jumped on them early made all the difference in the end.H-F did all the scoring after halftime, getting two more touchdown passes from Williams, a 54-yarder to Jones and an 18-yarder to Kris Porche. Anfernee Roberts picked off Bailey and went 45 yards for the games final score with 10:27 left in the fourth quarter.Thats probably a more realistic score, Ivlow said of the final. Are we a 40-point better team than that team? Probably not.The only thing Im worried about, weve got to finish off the game better than that, Bailey said. This is one game we didnt finish off.Omar Stover ran nine times for 118 yards for Bolingbrook and Huff finished with 58 yards on 14 carries.H-F managed just four net rushing yards on 21 carries.

It might have been just another dinger in homer-happy All-Star Game, but Willson Contreras will remember it forever

It might have been just another dinger in homer-happy All-Star Game, but Willson Contreras will remember it forever

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Willson Contreras’ third-inning home run might not have ended up standing out too much in an All-Star Game featuring a jaw-dropping and record-shattering 10 dingers.

But, obviously, it will always stand out to the guy who hit it.

“I enjoyed every single second that I spent out there.”

Remarkably, Contreras repeated his feat from two seasons ago, when he hit his first big league homer on the first big league pitch he ever saw. Ditto on Tuesday night at Nationals Park, when he launched the first pitch he saw as an All Star out over the wall in left field.

“When I hit the ball and thought it was gone, I went back to 2016, playing in Chicago. It was the same thing, first pitch for a homer,” Contreras, all smiles, said following the American League’s 8-6 victory. “I’m really blessed with these kinds of situations. Those moments, they’re going to be history and they’re going to be in my mind and my heart.”

Contreras’ long ball was the highlight of the evening for fans watching back home in Chicago. Javy Baez got a hit in his first All-Star at-bat but was outdone by his teammate. White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu was hitless in his two trips to the plate.

And while it will be a highlight on this night for Cubs fans, it will be a highlight forever for Contreras, who enjoyed the heck out of his first All-Star experience.

“‘I did it, I did it,’” he said when asked what was going through his head. “I knew it was something special. And I wasn’t trying to do too much because these guys are nasty, throwing 98 in the first inning. I just tried to get the hit out.”

The nasty guy he went deep against was Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell, whose 2.27 ERA on the season made him a very worthy inclusion on the AL roster. But Contreras was more impressed with the guy who started the game for the National League, raving about Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer after the game.

“He was great, man. Great stuff, he gets so into the game,” Contreras said. “I would like to have him one day on my team or play with him for a few years. That guy is amazing.”

That’s not the current Nationals star Cubs fans are dreaming about, Willy, but point taken.

But it wasn’t Snell or Scherzer or even Baez or Jon Lester, also in the NL dugout, who Contreras was thinking about the most during his home run trot. Instead, Contreras was thinking about his grandfather, Ernesto, who passed away a few years ago.

“My grandpa, he died in 2015,” Contreras said. “I grew up with him.

“He didn’t play ball. But I feel like every time I go out there and step into the box, he’s at my back. It just feels amazing when you hit a homer or do something special, look at the sky and you know that he’s there smiling somewhere.”

It all made for a pretty incredible night for Contreras, who has officially and loudly taken his place among baseball’s best on the game’s biggest stage.

The only thing that was missing? The ball.

Yeah, Contreras didn’t get the ball, not that he really expected to. But if you’ve got it, he wants it.

“I don’t think they’re giving it back,” he said with a grin.

We’ll see. Social media’s a powerful tool. So reach out.

Manny Machado as a Dodger creates a formidable foe out west for the Cubs

Manny Machado as a Dodger creates a formidable foe out west for the Cubs

Well, it's finally happening, or at least it's going to happen. The Athletics' Ken Rosenthal reported during the MLB All-Star game that the Baltimore Orioles had agreed to officially move their franchise player Manny Machado. Neither team has confirmed anything at this time, but the deal has reportedly been as close to a done deal for the last day or so, and it would seem Machado is destined for finish his 2018 campaign in Hollywood. 

Of course, with this addition, the reigning National League champions look primed for another deep postseason run. Though, the club is clinging to a half-game lead in the NL West, with Machado in tow the Dodgers are right with the Cubs and Brewers as the elite squads in the National League. It could be argued the Dodgers didn't necessarily 'need' Machado, with an offense that was already in the top 10 in runs scored, but Machado might be the perfect addition for the Dodgers. 

After losing their young star shortstop Corey Seager for the season with an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery, the Dodgers were in need of a more permanent solution at shortstop. And despite Machado's defensive metrics showing a steep decline in his glove at shortstop, the Dodgers will welcome his robust slash line of .315/.387/.575 while ignoring any shortcomings on defense. 

But what this means for the Cubs, who are only two games off the 2016 World Series club pace, is the path to another championship will likely require another run-in with the Dodgers. The club's biggest threat has been at this point the Brewers, but it's not hard to envision the Dodgers distancing themselves as the clear favorites in the National League with Machado in the heart of the order.

The good news for the Chicago is at least Machado didn't end up in Milwaukee, but that also could mean the Brewers make a more concerted effort to acquire pitching before the July 30th deadline. The Cubs will also see the return of Yu Darvish, who despite only managing to win one game this season in a Cubs uniform, will be a massive upgrade over the scuffling Tyler Chatwood. If the Cubs pitching can start producing like many expected them to before the start of 2018, and guys like Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant start to hit alongside All-Stars Javier Baez and Willson Contreras, it's not hard to imagine the Cubs separating themselves from the pack in the 2nd half of season. 

The Dodgers are no strangers to blockbuster deadline deals, acquiring Yu Darvish in a similar three-month rental situation, but the Cubs getting a bat like Rizzo right and an arm like Darvish healthy would be better than any deal Theo Epstein could make to improve this team. And if it's not enough, the Cubs have a solid track record of grabbing former Dodger rentals in the off-season. The push for the playoffs starts Thursday for the north-siders.