Nationals

Badgers hold off No. 2 Indiana for 64-59 upset

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Badgers hold off No. 2 Indiana for 64-59 upset

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) Wisconsin played Tuesday night like it always does - defended everything, made big shots and limited the turnovers.

Indiana looked like anything but its usual self.

It was just another chapter in a series filled with strange twists.

Ryan Evans scored 13 points, Traevon Jackson added 11 and the unranked Badgers moved into sole possession of the Big Ten lead with a 64-59 upset at No. 2 Indiana.

``We're feeling good about ourselves right now,'' Badgers forward Jared Berggren said. ``It shows we can beat anyone, anywhere, anytime; so I think it shows what we're capable of.''

Especially if the Badgers (13-4, 4-0) keep playing this way.

Wisconsin has won seven straight and has beaten two top-15 teams in four days. It is the last unbeaten team in Big Ten play.

All the Badgers needed to do against Indiana was hold the nation's highest-scoring team to its fewest points of the season, its worst shooting performance of the season and end its 18-game home winning streak.

Mission accomplished.

Wisconsin became the first team to win 11 straight in a series with Indiana since the Badgers last did it in 1919, and the first team to win five straight in Bloomington since Purdue last did that in 1923. No team has ever won six straight on Indiana's home court and only Purdue, from 1908-14, has won 12 in a row against the Hoosiers.

The Badgers just stuck to the game plan.

``We knew that if they got it going in transition they can score in bunches. All you have to do is look at their game films,'' Bo Ryan said, acknowledging he coached with flu-like symptoms. ``Our goal was not to let that happen, but saying it and doing it, having it as a plan, are two different things. It just so happened to work tonight.''

Indiana (15-2, 3-1) felt ill for another reason.

The Hoosiers scored only three fast-break points and watched the Badgers toss in shot-clock beating 3-pointers. Indiana came into the game averaging a Big Ten-leading 17 assists per game, yet managed only seven against the Badgers.

And instead of pressuring Wisconsin into miscues, the Badgers committed just eight turnovers.

Cody Zeller, who made all eight of his shots and had 18 points in the first half, finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds and made only one basket in the second half. Christian Watford had 11 points, and Victor Oladipo had 10.

``That's their style of play. We just didn't defend the dribble well enough, didn't make enough shots,'' Zeller said. ``That's what it boils down to.''

The Badgers followed the script perfectly. They limited the mistakes, took advantage of seemingly every opportunity they got, especially in the second half as Hoosiers fans moaned and groaned about everything from missed shots to errant passes.

Indiana rallied late in the first half to take a 32-31 halftime lead, then opened the second half with a three-point play to make it 35-31. The home crowd figured it was going to be the start of a big run.

Instead, Wisconsin gave up only six points over the next 6:34, a drought that allowed Wisconsin to retake a 38-37 lead with a 7-0 run. A few minutes later, the Badgers were off on a 9-0 spurt that ended when Mike Bruesewitz's 3 beat the shot-clock buzzer to make it 47-39. It was 51-41 before the Hoosiers finally cranked up the pressure.

``When you get momentum going, it's amazing what can happen,'' coach Tom Crean said. ``They played really hard and they got the momentum.''

Indiana looked like it had swung the momentum back in its direction when it scored four straight and after Evans made 1 of 2 free throws, they answered with a 6-0 spurt - the final basket a 3-pointer from Yogi Ferrell that cut the lead to 52-51 with 4:40 to go.

But that was as close as Indiana got.

Ben Brust made a 17-foot jumper and the Badgers closed it out with a game-ending 12-8 run.

``If you just play the game and have the right attitude about it, you make good things happen,'' Ryan said. ``Players have to play.''

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Wild-card tracker: Nationals thankful for Marlins, Cubs slide back

Wild-card tracker: Nationals thankful for Marlins, Cubs slide back

Back before all this mania, Miami, as putrid as its season would be, loomed as a factor.

Handling the Marlins would be key for any contender. It wasn’t a question of winning, but of how much winning would occur against one of the league’s worst teams.

Following Friday’s 6-4 win in a sparsely attended Marlins Park, the Nationals moved to 14-3 against Miami this season. They are 16 games over. 500 for the year. They are plus-11 against Miami alone.

Asdrúbal Cabrera homered again, Trea Turner hit two homers, and Daniel Hudson pitched two innings to earn the save. So, the Nationals, 84-68, hold a one-game lead for the top wild-card spot. Milwaukee won again, joining a long list of teams to beat up on the Pittsburgh Pirates since the post-All-Star-break portion of the schedule began. Pittsburgh may be the league’s worst team, at the moment, and the Brewers host it for two more this weekend.

Trouble is brewing for Chicago. It lost again to St. Louis -- this time a 2-1 mid-day defeat in Wrigley Field. The Cubs have lost four in a row. They are three games behind the Nationals and two behind the Brewers. Their path to 90 wins, which may ultimately be the threshold for postseason entrance, is narrowing.

The Mets won their third consecutive game. They are hanging around, 3 ½ games behind the Brewers with nine remaining on the schedule. Their wild-card elimination number is six.

News for Philadelphia is more dire. The Phillies dropped to 78-74 Friday night following a 5-2 loss in Cleveland. They are now five behind Milwaukee. Their wild-card elimination number is a mere five. 

Which brings us to the more detailed math portion of this program. Here are the postseason chances for each team, according to fivethirtyeight.com:

Nationals, 96 percent

Brewers, 84 percent

Cubs, 15 percent

Mets, 5 percent

Phillies, less than one percent

Coming up Saturday:

St. Louis at Chicago, 2:20 p.m., Hudson (16-7, 3.35 ERA) vs. Quintana (13-8, 4.37)

New York at Cincinnati, 4:10 p.m., Wheeler (11-7, 4.09) vs. DeSclafani (9-9, 3.93)

Washington at Miami, 6:10 p.m., Strasburg (17-6, 3.49) vs. Yamamoto (4-5, 4.87)

Philadelphia at Cleveland, 7:10 p.m., Vargas (6-8, 4.48) vs. Plesac (8-6, 3.64)

Pittsburgh at Milwaukee, 7:10 p.m., Marvel (0-2, 9.00) vs. Davies (10-7, 3.70)

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Baltimore Orioles Roundup: Jonathan Villar steals 37th base of the season

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Baltimore Orioles Roundup: Jonathan Villar steals 37th base of the season

Check out the latest news and notes from the  Baltimore Orioles' clubhouse. 

Player Updates:

2B Jonathan Villar went 1-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base, and a run scored in Friday’s win over the Mariners. Villar singled to lead off the bottom of the first inning and came around to score on Anthony Santander’s three-run homer. He stole his 37th base of the season after walking to lead off the seventh. The speed is great, but he’s also pitched in 23 homers, 69 RBI, and 106 runs scored to go along with a .277/.344/.462 batting line. 

2B Hanser Alberto went 1-for-3 with a solo homer and a walk Friday against Seattle. Alberto is now up to 12 homers on the year, with nine of them coming during the second half. The 26-year-old has faded here in September, but he still finds himself among the league-leaders with a .313 batting average. Nobody would have predicted that in the spring.

OF Anthony Santander finished 1-for-4 with a three-run homer in Friday’s 5-3 win over the Mariners. Santander delivered the big blow in a four-run first inning against Felix Hernandez. He’s now homered twice in his last three games, bringing his total to 20 despite appearing in just 91 games this season. The Orioles are looking for building blocks and the 24-year-old switch-hitter would appear to be one of them.

SP Aaron Brooks threw seven innings of one-run ball for the win against the Mariners on Friday. He came on in relief of opener Richard Bleier, who allowed a two-run shot to Kyle Lewis over his two innings of work. Brooks induced just three swinging strikes in his 83 pitches, but it didn’t really matter, as he Seattle’s lineup to just one hit while walking one and striking out four. 

Injuries

OF Mason Williams, knee, out indefinitely

RP Hunter Harvey, biceps, sidelined, day-to-day

RP Josh Rogers, elbow, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely 

SP Alex Cobb, back, 60-Day IL, 2020

Coming Up:

Saturday, 9/21: Mariners at Orioles, 7:05 p.m., Camden Yards

Sunday, 9/22: Mariners at Orioles, 1:05 p.m., Camden Yards

Monday 9/23: Orioles vs Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. Rogers Centre

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