Cardinals to go with rookie Lindley at QB vs Rams


Cardinals to go with rookie Lindley at QB vs Rams

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley will get his chance to revive the dormant Arizona offense, making his first NFL start when the Cardinals are home against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt announced his decision to go with the sixth-round draft pick from San Diego State after practice Wednesday.

John Skelton, benched in favor of Lindley early in last Sunday's 23-19 loss at Atlanta, said he is ``frustrated'' with the situation.

Meanwhile, quarterback Kevin Kolb, out for four games with a rib injury, was able to participate in part of practice and said he was encouraged by his progress.

Lindley is the third player this year to start at quarterback for the Cardinals, who have lost six straight after starting the season 4-0.

Whisenhunt gave Skelton the hook after the quarterback missed a wide open Larry Fitzgerald in the end zone, one of several errant throws by the quarterback early in the game. Lindley was just 9 o 20 for 64 yards in relief of Skelton, but once the change was made, it seemed obvious the rookie would keep the job, at least until Kolb is healthy enough to play.

``He did a nice job in a hostile environment handling the game, without a lot of practice during the week,'' Whisenhunt said. ``So where we are as a team and as an offense, it gives us a chance to see what he can do, see if he can't get, with a week of practice, if he can get in there and get us going and help us move the ball and score some points.''

Arizona's offense ranks 31st out of 32 NFL teams, 30th in passing and 26th in rushing.

Whisenhunt said he likes how comfortable Lindley seems to be on the field.

``The speed of the game, getting used to that, being able to be comfortable with the offense and make the reads and the throws, he's done a nice job with that since he's been here,'' the coach said. ``A lot of that's because he played a lot in college, but we'll see with a week of practice how he handles that. He got that in the preseason, the last preseason game, so hopefully it's a little more familiar with him.''

Lindley downplayed any chance nerves would bother him when he takes the field Sunday.

``I don't really get nervous,'' he said. ``I think more right now it's just getting the reps in practice is what I want to do. I just want to make sure I'm ready because if I'm prepared, I'm ready to go, come Sunday it's just about getting it done and there's nothing really to it but to just do it when I'm out there. I'm going to be excited. I'm probably going to have to take a deep breath and make sure I'm cool, calm and composed. But that's more excitement, not nervousness.''

It will help that the game is at home.

``I know that not having to deal with the noise, with the guys having the advantage on the edge rushing, that's always something that is better about playing at home,'' Whisenhunt said.

The 6-foot-3, 232-pound Lindley was a four-year starter at San Diego State, finishing with a school record 49 consecutive starts. In the process, he set Mountain West Conference records for completions (961), attempts (1,732), yards passing (12,690) and total offense (12,415).

He was inactive in Arizona's season opener but moved up to the No. 2 quarterback spot when first Skelton, then Kolb, was injured.

``My main goal was to just get better every week,'' Lindley said. ``I knew the chips were going fall where they were. I don't think anybody can predict the future so I didn't spent much time doing that. I just made sure if it ever happened I was ready and I got better every week.''

Kolb was listed as limited, the first time he had practiced at all since he was injured late in the team's overtime loss to Buffalo on Oct. 14. The team's success early came with Kolb at quarterback. He came off the bench to direct the winning touchdown drive when Skelton went down with an ankle injury late in the opener against Seattle. Kolb was at the controls in subsequent wins over New England, Philadelphia and Miami, but was sacked nine times in a loss at St. Louis, then hurt late in the Buffalo game.

``There was some stuff that affected me a little bit, but I think overall it was very positive,'' he said after practice. ``I'm not going to set a time or a date. I checked out good afterward. We'll see how the soreness is tomorrow and then move from there.''

Kolb said that he could feel the ``overall wear and tear'' of throwing the ball so much after such a long time off.

He said he also could feel the soreness when he was ``really trying to come across on one, a reactionary-type throw where he buzzes open late and you've got to turn and make an accurate, athletic throw, you have to be able to do that in the game obviously. The throw was still accurate today the couple of times I did do it, so that's good.''

Skelton, who beat out Kolb for the starting job in the preseason, started losses to Minnesota, San Francisco and Green Bay before being benched last Sunday.

He said he was frustrated with ``the whole situation.''

``Obviously losing six in a row is frustrating,'' Skelton said, ``and then what transpired on Sunday and now the benching. It's frustrating.''


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Orioles make home run history Tuesday night in more ways than one

Orioles make home run history Tuesday night in more ways than one

The Orioles pitching staff has struggled with the long ball all season long, and it culminated in a couple of historic moments at the ballpark.

First, it was Gary Sanchez joining his teammate Gleyber Torres in torturing Orioles pitchers this season, launching his eighth home run of the year against the O’s alone. 

Torres reached that mark earlier in the series, making them the first pair to reach eight home runs in the same season against the Orioles since Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. 

Anytime you’re the first to do something since literally Ruth and Gehrig, two of the greatest home run hitters in the history of the sport, you’re clearly doing something right (or wrong, if you’re an Orioles fan).

What’s especially concerning for the Orioles is how quickly Torres and Sanchez reached this mark, needing less than two months to accomplish what no one else had in an entire season for the last 88 years.

The other piece of history made also came with shocking speed in 2019.

In April, the Orioles became the first franchise to allow at least 50 home runs before May 1. The unfortunate thing for them is they reached the mark with a week and a half to spare.

That trend has continued into May, and the pitching staff now has another claim to fame.

In the sixth inning, the Yankees crushed their third bomb of the evening, bringing the Orioles home runs allowed total to 100 on the season. Per ESPN, the previous fastest team to allow that many was the 2000 Royals, who needed 57 games to make history.

The Orioles did it in just 48. They aren’t just setting records; they’re obliterating them.

With the way the season has gone so far, it’s not hard to imagine the Orioles setting a few more benchmarks for futility in 2019.


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Juan Soto isn't a HR hitter, the Mets broadcast said. Then he immediately went upper deck

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Juan Soto isn't a HR hitter, the Mets broadcast said. Then he immediately went upper deck

Juan Soto did something Tuesday night at Citi Field that made the whole broadcaster's jinx theory come to life. 

During Soto's 2nd inning at-bat, former MLB first baseman, five-time All-Star, 1979 co-NL MVP, two-time World Series champion, and current Mets broadcaster Keith Hernandez went out on a limb to describe the 20-year-old phenom. 

He is not a home run hitter even though he had nice power here last year.

So, in a rather timely fashion, the lefty launched a moonshot, 410-foot solo home run to right field for Washington's first run of the game. 

In fairness, Hernandez was just trying to explain that Soto isn't a home run hitter because of the type of swing he demonstrates, one that typically produces more line drives than long-balls.