Capitals

NFL Capsule: Raiders at Panthers

NFL Capsule: Raiders at Panthers

OAKLAND (4-10) At CAROLINA (5-9)

Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS

OPENING LINE - Panthers by 9 1/2

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Oakland 4-10; Carolina 7-7

SERIES RECORD - Series tied 2-2

AP PRO32 RANKING - Raiders No. 30; Panthers No. 21

LAST MEETING - Panthers beat Raiders 17-6, Nov. 9, 2008

LAST WEEK - Raiders beat Chiefs 15-0; Panthers beat Chargers 31-7

RAIDERS OFFENSE - OVERALL (12), RUSH (29), PASS (7)

RAIDERS DEFENSE - OVERALL (25), RUSH (21), PASS (27)

PANTHERS OFFENSE - OVERALL (14), RUSH (9), PASS (15)

PANTHERS DEFENSE - OVERALL (10), RUSH (20), PASS (10)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Carson Palmer needs 13 yards passing to join Rich Gannon as only Raiders QBs in team history to reach 4,000 in season. ... Palmer 2-0 as starter vs. Carolina. ... RB Darren McFadden averaging 89.6 yards rushing per game in past five games vs. NFC foes. He posted third 100-yard rushing game of season last week against Chiefs. ... RB Mike Goodson, who spent three seasons with Panthers, had season-high 89 yards rushing last week. ... Marcel Reece has 478 yards receiving, most among AFC RBs. ... WR Denarius Moore has career-high six TD catches. ... In past three games, rookie WR Rod Streater averaging 21.5 yards per catch on 12 receptions. ... TE Brandon Myers leads AFC TEs with 72 catches. ... LB Phillip Wheeler has team-best 104 tackles and career-high three sacks. ... In past five games, QB Cam Newton has thrown for 10 TDs and run for three TDs with no turnovers. He has not thrown an INT in 152 straight passes, longest such streak in league. ... RB DeAngelo Williams ran for 140 yards and TD in last meeting with Raiders. ... RB Mike Tolbert coming off first two-TD outing for Panthers, scoring on short runs last week against former team (Chargers). ... Panthers WR Steve Smith has 18 catches for 286 yards (95.3 per game) and two TDs in past three games. He has 1,056 yards in 2012, marking seventh 1,000-yard season. ... TE Greg Olsen has four TDs in past six games. He's also played well recently vs. AFC teams with three TDs in past three games. ... DE Greg Hardy has 11 sacks and DE Charles Johnson has 10 1/2 , giving Panthers first sack tandem with double digit totals since 2002. Hardy particularly hot with nine sacks in past eight games. ... Rookie LB Luke Kuechly leads NFL with 139 tackles.

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Capitals Prospect Report: Travis Boyd makes the most of his time in Hershey

Capitals Prospect Report: Travis Boyd makes the most of his time in Hershey

Players dream of one day making the NHL. Everyone knows how hard it is to get there, but few realize how difficult it can be to stay. Travis Boyd learned that first hand this season. After a full season in the NHL last year in which he played 61 games, Boyd was put on waivers after Evgeny Kuznetsov returned from suspension and sent to Hershey.

Boyd is not the first player to be sent back down to the AHL and he won’t be the last. Some players do not handle this well and their stats plummet. Boyd, however, took the opposite approach.

The best way to show you are an NHL player is by dominating the league below it and that is exactly what Boyd has been doing.

In two games with the Bears, he scored four goals and two assists. That performance earned him AHL Player of the Week honors.

On Wednesday, Richard Panik suffered an injury and was placed on long-term injured reserve. It was no surprise to see Boyd as the first forward to get called up.

The injury leaves Panik out of the lineup for at least 10 games. Head coach Todd Reirden said Friday that Boyd will travel with the team on its upcoming road trip. If he gets into a game, it is now up to him to do what he did in the AHL, prove he belongs.

With a total cap hit of only $800,000, Boyd would be doing the team a favor if he can outplay another player like Chander Stephenson has a larger cap hit. It all depends on what he can do with his opportunity.

Other prospect notes

  • In addition to Boyd, Martin Fehervary was also recalled on Friday with Jonas Siegenthaler being a game-time decision. Siegenthaler is expected to play on Friday, but it is worth keeping an eye on to see if the team tries to get Fehervary a game or two while they have cap flexibility with Panik on LTIR. It is doubtful he will stick around given that Tyler Lewington has a smaller cap hit. The salary cap house of cards likely does not work without Lewington’s $675,000, but this could be an opportunity to get Fehervary another game.
  • Tarik El-Bashir of The Athletic got a chance to speak with Pheonix Copley and Christian Djoos, two other players who did not expect to start the season in the AHL. You can read his story here.
  • Axel Jonsson-Fjallby scored two goals against the Toronto Marlies on Wednesday. His greatest asset is his speed and he used it on both goals. The first was a steal in the neutral zone that he was able to turn into a breakaway when he turned on the jets. The second was a breakout from the defensive zone. His speed put a lot of pressure on the defense and he never stopped going to the front of the net. He started the play and finished it with a tip-in for the goal. You can watch the highlights here: 
  • Defenseman Bobby Nardella has yet to play for Hershey this season. I was asked about this for this week’s Caps Mailbag so I reached out to a team official. There is no injury, the situation is just that there are nine defensemen on the roster and the top four is set with Alex Alexeyev, Erik Burgdoerfer, Djoos, and Fehervary. That leaves Lucas Johansen, Connor Hobbs, Colby Williams, Tobias Geisser and Nardella all fighting for those final two spots in the lineup. Is nine defensemen too many? I don’t know enough about the day-to-day operations of an AHL team to be able to answer that. It seems like it would be beneficial to send one or two of those nine to the ECHL to get more playing time, but that does not seem to be the plan for now. Maybe Fehervary going to Washington can get Nardella a game.
  • Alexeyev saw his chance to make the NHL out of camp evaporate after a hit to the head in the prospects showcase. El-Bashir caught up with him in Hershey to see how he is handling life with the Bears.
  • Connor McMichael has been named to the Team OHL roster for the Canada-Russia series. The series is an annual tournament for junior players from both Canada and Russia. Russia brings a team of junior players to Canada to play all-star rosters from the QMJHL, OHL, and WHL. The OHL team will play Russia on Nov. 7 and 11.
  • Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News expects this to be a big year for McMichael.
  • Eric Florchuk earned First Star honors for his performance on Monday. He led Saskatoon to a 9-3 win over Calgary with a hat-trick performance.

 

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Yankees' season on the brink after 8-3 loss to Astros

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Yankees' season on the brink after 8-3 loss to Astros

NEW YORK (AP) -- CC Sabathia threw a cutter to George Springer and grimaced from the pain in his left shoulder, then covered his face with his glove as he walked to the dugout after what was likely the final pitch of his career.

Three-time Gold Glove winner DJ LeMahieu had the first two-error game of his big league career. Also a pair of miscues by Gleyber Torres .

Gary Sanchez, Torres and Edwin Encarnacion all struck out with the bases loaded, letting Zack Greinke and Ryan Pressly escape.

The Bronx Bombers have gone bust against Houston, and now they're on the brink.

Houston's 8-3 victory over the listless, sloppy Yankees on Thursday night gave the Astros a 3-1 advantage in the best-of-seven AL Championship Series.

And now the Yankees face Justin Verlander in Game 5 on Friday night as they try to avoid what would be their first calendar decade without a World Series appearance since the 1910s.

"We played poorly tonight. There's no other way to explain it," manager Aaron Boone said after addressing the team in a postgame meeting. "We need to flush this immediately."

Sabathia relieved in the eighth inning, knowing the end was near to a 19-season career that included a 251-161 regular-season record with 3,093 strikeouts. After four stints on the injured list this year caused by his balky right knee, the 39-year-old left-hander craved one last October in the limelight, moving to the bullpen.

But his body gave out on his 20th pitch, a metaphor for the entire team against the Astros so far. He walked off the mound toward second, spoke with head athletic trainer Steve Donahue and tried a warmup toss, hoping somehow to push through, but he had to leave.

Even Houston's Gerrit Cole and George Springer joined in the applause as fans gave Sabathia limped off a standing ovation. When he reached the dugout, his face contorted, Sabathia took four steps down toward the clubhouse, then sat near the bottom, his back to the field, as Donahue tried to console him.

"Every single time he went out there, you had to rip the ball or his jersey off to get him off that mound," Yankees slugger Aaron Judge said. "He got everything out of that arm. That's a warrior right there."

Boone said Sabathia could be replaced on the roster Friday, making him ineligible even should the Yankees come back and advance.

"It stinks," reliever Zack Britton said. "It's heartbreaking to watch him leave the field like that. I know how much pain he was in."

Hitting, pitching and fielding all went poof!

New York had not lost consecutive home games to the same opponent since early April, had not made four errors in a postseason game since 1976 -- and never before in the Bronx. Some of the fans who remained in a mostly empty Yankee Stadium applauded sarcastically when shortstop Didi Gregorius caught an infield popup in the ninth.

Earlier, New York also threw a pair of wild pitches.

During the regular season, the Yankees led the major leagues with a .294 batting average with runners in scoring position. In the ALCS, they haven't scored on a hit other than a home run since the opener.

New York was 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position, dropping to 4 for 27 in the four games -- including 1 for 16 in the three straight losses. The Yankees stranded 10 runners, increasing their series total to 33. They struck out 13 times, giving them 43 in the series.

This game started to turn in the first inning, when Sanchez fanned on a low slider from the erratic Greinke as New York failed to build on its 1-0 lead following Brett Gardner's bases-loaded walk. With the Yankees trailing 3-1 in the fifth and the bases full again, Torres struck out on a checked swing on an outside slider in rhe dirt from Pressly, and Encarnacion swung over a fastball , ending the inning.

Win by the homer, lose by the homer.

New York's 306 long balls during the regular season were second to Minnesota's big league record of 307. The Yankees led the majors with 943 runs, and were fourth in percentage of runs scored on homers at 51.1, trailing only Toronto (53.2), Milwaukee (51.5) and Minnesota (51.2).

Boone repeatedly maintained he was unconcerned about the power reliance. New York has plated eight of its 13 runs against the Astros on five homers, two-run drives by Judge and Sanchez, a pair of solo shots by Torres and bases-empty pokes by Giancarlo Stanton and Gio Urshela.

After thriving despite 30 players going on the injured list, the aches have become too onerous, players struggling in their return from late-season injuries.

Encarnacion is 1 for 15 with eight strikeouts, Sanchez 2 for 17 with eight strikeouts, Gregorius 2 for 16, Urshela 2 for 15 and Aaron Hicks 1 for 6 with three strikeouts.

After the best regular season at the plate of his career, Gardner is 2 for 15 with seven strikeouts.

Now time is short.

James Paxton takes the mound Friday after getting just seven outs in Game 2, hoping to avoid what would be just the third four-game losing streak for New York this season. The Yankees' 103 regular-season wins, their most in a decade, may not amount to much.

"I've got to step up," Judge said. "Everybody's got to step up."