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Kushner: Adjust Pitching To Continue Nats Success

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Kushner: Adjust Pitching To Continue Nats Success

Thursday, May 13, 2010 8:56 pm

By Holden Kushner
CSNwashington.com

Im really enjoying this team. This Nationals team thats been pitching well from start to finish. This Nationals team that plays tremendous defense. This ball club that can beat you with small ball and the long ball. One problem: This cant last too much longer unless some adjustments to the pitching rotation and the bullpen are made and made soon.

Go ahead, tell me to pipe down and just enjoy the ride this team is giving us. No way. Its time for a reality check. Livan Hernandez cant be the ace of this staff if you expect them to contend. Scott Olsen has been good but Luis Atilano, with fifth-starter stuff, cant be counted on as a middle of the rotation starter. At (3-0) and a 3.57 E.R.A, thats what Atilano has been so far. The Nationals third-best starter. Hall of Fame writer Peter Gammons joined myself and Mike Wise on the radio show and said, The Nationals need to get more starters back. I agree. Problem is, Jason Marquis is out for the next 8-10 weeks with elbow issues, the ineffective Garrett Mock is battling a spinal injury and his timetable to return is up in the air and Chien Ming Wang isnt due to make his Nats debut until the All Start break. Its questionable as to how effective Wang can be when he arrives given the severity of his foot and pitching shoulder issues.Livan, Olsen, Atilano, Stammen and Lannan isnt a rotation with staying power. Only Olsen is more than a number four starter on a contending club. Strasburg should be ready to help the staff in a month but Im not sure the current rotation of mediocrity can hold on for much longer than that. Also, one mega-prospect can only help so much. Especially when that player is on the field only once every five games.Time for some more reality. Gammons says hes, Worried that three Nationals relievers are on pace for 80 appearances. Im a little worried as well. Washingtons bullpen has thrown the fourth-most innings in baseball. Relievers do wear down as the season progresses. Matt Capps, Tyler Clippard and Sean Burnett need less of a workload. The starters need to go deeper into ballgames (A problem Ive already addressed) and Brian Bruney, Tyler Walker and Miguel Batista must improve their bottom lines. The one solution that could help immediately is to call up RHP Drew Storen. Storen could immediately share the 7th inning duties and take the job over by mid-season. Can this ban of overachievers hang on until reinforcements arrive?

The Nationals have captured the attention of the baseball world with their hot start. To sustain success, their starters need to continue to overachieve for at least another month and hope that Strasburg makes an immediate positive impact. The bullpen needs Drew Storen now.

Enjoy this team NOW Nats fans. Their hot start can only last so long with the current pieces in place.

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Ravens' Justin Tucker had the perfect reaction to his Pro Bowl snub

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Ravens' Justin Tucker had the perfect reaction to his Pro Bowl snub

The NFL announced Pro Bowl rosters for the 2018 season Tuesday night, and to the surprise of many Ravens kicker Justin Tucker was voted a first alternate for the second year in a row.

Named the backup to New York Jets kicker Jason Myers, not only were fans surprised but Tucker himself had the perfect reaction to the snub.

That GIF is from his shocking Week 7 missed field goal attempt against the New Orleans Saints, but so far in 2018 the most accurate kicker in NFL history has made 28 of 30 field goal attempts (93.33) and 33 of 34 extra point attempts (97.06). He was also named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for September and November.

In comparison, Myers has made the most field goals in the NFL this season at 31, and his 93.9 success rate is ever so slightly higher than Tucker's. He's also made more from longer so far this season.

Tucker did earn Pro Bowl nominations back in 2013 and 2016. He owns an NFL-record seven-career games with multiple 50-plus-yard field goals and became the only kicker in league history to kick field goals from the 20-, 30-, 40-, 50- and 60-yard ranges in a single game. Week 12 against the Oakland Raiders, Tucker became the fastest pure kicker in NFL history to reach 900 career points in his 107th career game. The only overall player to hit this milestone faster was Gino Cappalletti in 106 games. 

Three Ravens did make this year's roster. Guard Marshal Yanda earned his seventh nomination after missing 14 games during the 2017 season with a fractured ankle. Safety Eric Weddle was named to his sixth Pro Bowl and his third straight with the Ravens, and linebacker C.J. Mosley earned his fourth nomination in five seasons. 

Left tackle Ronnie Stanley was named a second alternate. 

The Pro Bowl takes place Sunday, Jan. 27 in Orlando, Fl. 

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Penguins at Capitals: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Penguins at Capitals: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Capitals take their five-game winning streak into Wednesday night's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. With 43 points, the Caps currently have a four-point lead over the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Metropolitian Division. This season, the Caps are 1-0-1 against the Pens. Winning their last game, 2-1, back on Nov. 8.

Alex Ovechkin enters riding a career-high 14 game point streak. Ovi has also scored a goal in six straight games. He currently leads the NHL with 29 goals on the season.

Pittsburgh, who lost to the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday, are tied for third in the Metropolitian Division with 36 points.

Here is everything you need to know about Wednesday's game.

Penguins at Capitals How to Watch

What: Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals, Game 33 of the 2018-19 NHL Regular Season
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C. 
When: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: NBC Sports Network
Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals host the Sabres on the new MyTeams by NBC Sports App.
Radio: Caps 24/7 Radio, 106.7 The Fan FM 

Penguins at Capitals TV Schedule

7:00 PM: Caps Faceoff Live (NBC Sports Washington Plus)
7:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live (NBC Sports Washington Plus)
8:00 PM: Penguins at Caps (NBC Sports Network)
10:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live (NBC Sports Washington Plus)
11:00 PM: Caps Overtime Live (NBC Sports Washington Plus)

Penguins at Capitals Injury Report

Capitals: Defenseman Christian Djoos (thigh) OUT

Penguins: RW Patric Hornqvist (upper body) OUT

Penguins at Capitals Players to Watch

Alex Ovechkin, LW, Capitals (29G, 14A): Named the NHL's first star of the week, Ovi continues to roll. He has scored seven goals over the last three games. His career-best scoring streak is at 14 games.

Nicklas Backstrom, C, Capitals (10G, 30A): Like Ovechkin, Backstrom has been on a roll over the last three games. He has six assists over that stretch included four assists against the Detroit.

Evgeni Malkin, C, Penguins (11G, 25A): Malkin snapped a six-game goalless streak with a first period tally against the Ducks on Monday. 

Penguins at Capitals Series History

Number of all-time Meetings: 291 (68 postseason)
All-Time Series Record: Penguins lead 149-126-16
Regular Season Record: Penguins lead 109-98-16
Playoff Record: Penguins lead 40-28
Last Meeting: Caps win 2-1 (Nov. 7, 2018)
Last 10: Caps lead 6-4

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