Cubs

Warren too much for Mundelein

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Warren too much for Mundelein

By Mike Madigan
YourSeason.com
By about 9 oclock on Friday night, Brandon Paul Mr. Illinois in basketball in 2009 probably was wishing his brother was joining him on the University of Illinois hoops squad next fall instead of going to Western Michigan University.Thats because, with Brandon in the house, Darius Paul put on a Mr. Illinois-type show in leading his current team and Brandons former team, the Warren Blue Devils, to an 87-52 romp past overmatched Mundelein.The win gave Warren (26-3) the title of the Class 4A Barrington Sectional for the second straight year and earned it a shot at Rockford Auburn next Tuesday at NIU in DeKalb.Paul poured in 30 points and grabbed 19 rebounds. The 6-8 forward had a double-double by halftime, which ended with Warren up 38-22. That was as close as Mundelein (26-8, three losses to Warren) got the rest of the way. We got out fast and didnt give them any chances to make any serious runs, said Paul. We had the height advantage and we used it. The game was out of hand right from the start. Mundeleins Robert Knar (32 points on 11-of-20 shooting) hit the first three-ball, but Warren scored the next 18 points and it was game over. Its the best weve played all year, said Devils coach Chuck Ramsey. We really played well at both ends of the court.For the game, Warren hit 31-of-75 shots from the field and 19-of-30 from the line.JoVaughn Gaines added 19 points, three steals and seven rebounds for the winners.They kept throwing lazy passes and Im one of the best players at picking off lazy passes, Gaines said. We wanted to send them a message.Coach told us not to play in spurts, so we were fired up the whole game.Warren also got 13 points from Mr. Blue Collar, Mitch Munda, who shadowed Mundelein star Sean OBrien all night.OBrien wound up with five points on 2-of-10 shooting.Mundelein was 19-of-60 from the field, and Warren owned the glass with a 47-28 edge.

Joe Maddon on MLB's absurd home run rate: 'The wind’s being broken here. It’s really weird'

Joe Maddon on MLB's absurd home run rate: 'The wind’s being broken here. It’s really weird'

Cubs manager Joe Maddon usually isn’t one for conspiracy theories, but even he’s wondering what’s going on. MLB teams are hitting home runs at an absurd rate, including the Cubs, who are hitting them at a historic rate for the franchise’s standards.

Entering Saturday, here’s where MLB teams stand in average home run rate and total home runs in 2019 compared to recent seasons:

2017: 1.26/game, 6,105 total
2018: 1.15/game, 5,585 total
2019: 1.33/game, 2,009 total

While the MLB season is just over 30 percent finished, teams are on pace to hit a combined 6,483 long balls in 2019. This would absolutely obliterate the 2017 total, which, like the 1.33 home runs per game figure, would be an MLB record.

The Cubs are no exception to this home run wave. Including Saturday (game No. 50 of the season), the team has hit 80 home runs (and counting) in 2019. Only the 2000 Cubs (83) hit more home runs in their first 50 games in franchise history.

“We’re having home runs hit here into some firm breezes, which has not happened before,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said to reporters before Saturday’s game against the Reds. “That’s the thing that stands out to me. It’s been crazy.

“Even [Kyle] Schwarber’s home run, I know that was hit well, but dang, that wind was blowing pretty firmly across at that point.”

Schwarber absolutely crushed his home run yesterday, a 449-foot blast that needed little help getting into the bleachers. However, Maddon has a valid point regarding home runs being hit despite the wind. Entering Saturday, 54 total home runs have been hit at Wrigley Field this season, 29 of which have come with the wind blowing in.

By the eighth inning of Saturday’s game, the Cubs and Reds had hit a combined six home runs, one of which appeared to be a routine fly ball hit by Jason Heyward that wound up in the left field basket thanks to the wind. At the same time, Yasiel Puig hit one 416 feet onto Waveland Ave. that had a 109 mph exit velocity. The wind blowing out at Wrigley Field helps, but it isn’t everything.

MLB players have questioned time and time again if baseballs are “juiced,” including Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester. And while Maddon didn’t flat out say that he thinks the baseballs are juiced, he notices a difference in how they're flying off the bat.

“I don’t know, I’m normally not into the subplot component of all of this and the conspiracy theorists, but I’m telling you right now, it’s jumping,” he said. “It’s absolutely jumping.

“Nobody is ever going to admit to it. The wind’s being broken here. It’s really weird.”

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97 Days to Kickoff: Elmwood Park

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

97 Days to Kickoff: Elmwood Park

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Elmwood Park

Head coach: Dylan Mack

Assistant coaches: Gabe Ostrander, Mario Fiorito, Chad Nardi, Tony Sylvester, Eric Lewis and Dwayne French

How they fared in 2018: 8-3 (4-1 Metro Suburban Red). Elmwood Park made the Class 4A state playoff field and beat Back of the Yards. In the second round, they lost to Evergreen Park.

2019 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 30 vs St. Joseph

Sept. 6 vs Lisle

Sept. 13 @ Ridgewood

Sept. 20 vs St. Edward

Sept. 27 vs Westmont

Oct. 4 @ Christ the King

Oct. 11 vs Guerin Prep

Oct. 18 @ Chicago Christian

Oct. 25 @ Bishop McNamara

Biggest storyline: Last year, the Tigers had their best season on the gridiron since 1985’s 12-1 state semifinal team. What will this team do for an encore? Can they go deeper into the state playoffs?

Names to watch this season: Senior quarterback Mike Stranski and wide receiver Keon Grimes

Biggest holes to fill: The Tigers will need to find some new faces to bolster the defensive line and at the linebacker positions.

EDGY's Early Take: It was a banner year in 2018, as Elmwood Park advanced to the their playoffs in consecutive years for the first time in school history. Coach Dylan Mack’s program has some momentum will have a very good chance to make it three state playoff appearances in a row later this fall.