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 Post subject: er midwicket, it was a line of attack that India failed to e
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:14 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:54 am
Posts: 30
CHICAGO -- Javier Baez is putting on quite a show for the Chicago Cubs. Stephen Curry 2 Blue And Yellow . And he just might be turning these playoffs into his personal stage.Whether hes hitting a game-winning home run or making some spectacular defensive play, Baez has been hard to miss in these playoffs. And hes a big reason why the Cubs are in the NL Championship Series for the second straight year.Ive got a job to do, Baez said. Im not surprised. I know what I can do. I know what this team can do. Im just having fun right now and obviously trying to win.It must be fun to be Baez these days.The Cubs came into the postseason with the best record in the majors and their sights set on their first championship since 1908.They knocked out San Francisco in four games in the NL Division Series in no small part because of Baezs play at the plate and at second base. They open the NLCS against the Dodgers at Wrigley Field on Saturday, and if they take out Los Angeles, a franchise defined more by curses and heartbreak will go to the World Series for the first time since 1945.On a team loaded with stars, Baez has been putting on quite a show in the postseason.He hit the winning home run off Johnny Cueto in the opener against the Giants and the go-ahead single in the ninth in Game 4.On defense, playing mostly second base, it was as if the Baez highlight reel was on a nonstop loop with no shortage of diving stops and lightning quick tags.Even when he was chewing gum in the dugout Baez managed to amaze. Take this gem from Game 4 of the NLDS.The gum popped out after Baez put it in his mouth, but what happened next was about as impressive as any play he made in the field. He juggled it a few times, finally snagged it with his right hand. Baez pointed at a trainer as he was about to put it back in his mouth, then looked the camera, and grinned.I saw the camera, Baez said. I didnt know if he got it or not, but I caught it.No surprise.After all, the 23-year-old Baez has been catching just about everything that comes his way this season. And if thats not enough, he also hit .273 with 14 homers and 59 RBI in 142 games.Thats a big jump considering he struck out 95 times in 213 at-bats .169 after he debuted for the Cubs in 2014. But his swing is more compact now. He closed his stance and cut down the big leg kick he had when he first arrived.Now, hes looking like a breakout star.Manager Joe Maddon noticed the potential watching Baez in winter ball in Puerto Rico, right after he was hired two years ago.Everybody was talking about his hitting and the fact that he needed to hit better at the plate and be more selective, he said. And I was, `OK, I get that. I was impressed by everything else that he did. Sometimes we get caught up on somebodys weaknesses and dont glorify their strengths. I mean, his strengths are pretty outstanding.Baez was taken by the Cubs with the ninth pick in the 2011 amateur draft and worked his way through the minors as a shortstop. But with Addison Russell there, he has become a super-utility player.That could change down the line, depending on the moves the Cubs make. But they are relying on him to play multiple positions -- and to play them as well as anyone.Baez just might be the best defensive second baseman, shortstop and third baseman on the team. And considering Russell could win a Gold Glove, thats saying something.When the Cubs believe more balls will be hit to the right side, they put Baez at second. When they think the left side is where the action will be, he might start at third. And when Russell needs a breather, well, who better than Baez to fill in at shortstop?You have to get used to being flexible, not knowing what the lineups gonna look like and just jumping in there and being ready to help and do whatever you can, said Ben Zobrist, who has built his career around playing multiple positions. And hes done a great job of that this year. Theres been days he hasnt played. And theres been days he has. And theres been days hes come in mid-game or late in the game for defensive purposes. Whatever role they put him in this year, hes done really well and hes had a great attitude about it. Under Armour Cheap Shoes . -- There were a lot of firsts for the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night. Under Armour Outlet Stores . Terms of the deal were not immediately available. The 26-year-old finished last season with Clevelands Triple-A affiliate in Columbus after signing with the Indians in August. ... curry.html . On Saturday night, the normally free throw-challenged centre did just that. Howard scored 18 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, including 13 of 19 free throws in a 2 1/2-minute stretch, and the Houston Rockets beat the Denver Nuggets 122-111. If you had taken your seat at Chepauk on Friday morning having never seen Moeen Ali bat, you would have been forgiven for wondering how on earth he found himself batting in the top four.But had you only taken your seat in the afternoon session, you would have been forgiven for wondering how he had ever found himself batting down at No. 8 or 9.For this innings was a microcosm of Moeens Test career with the bat. Like Beauty and the Beast rolled into one, it was, in turns, awful and ugly and brilliant and beautiful. It rarely hinted at permanence, but contained several strokes of rare quality. As he persuaded some balls to the boundary and flirted footlessly at others, he provided a demonstration of all his strengths and all his weaknesses. It was just a little bit Goweresque.He was beaten like a snare drum in the early stages. He was dropped before he had scored - the second match in succession an England centurion had benefited in such fashion - after trying to flick one over midwicket, and then survived a couple of early wafts against Ravi Ashwin that suggested a lack of confidence in his own defensive technique. He also saw an attempted flick into the leg side dart towards point off a leading edge. That he made it to lunch unbeaten (on 7 from 44 balls) was little short of a miracle.At that stage, it seemed safe to conclude that this was Moeens last foray into the top order. This was, after all, his 11th innings in the top four (one at No. 3, four at No. 4 and six as an opener) and they had brought seven scores under 20 and a best of 50. Some of the dismissals - not least hooking a bouncer to the men placed for the shot in the first innings in Mohali, or scooping to mid-on in the second - were just too soft to sustain the experiment.But after the interval he was a different man. Apparently determined to be more aggressive, he slog-swept both left-arm and offspin, he skipped down the track and, even though Ravi Ashwin beat him in the flight and he didnt quite make it to the pitch of the ball, he carried through with the stroke and cleared the field. He played with the uncompromised conviction that is the mantra of Trevor Bayliss and provided a pretty decent advert for the virtues of the approach.He had some fortune. Having a man with the class of Joe Root at the other end for the first portion of his innings ensured there was little scoreboard pressure; Moeen contributed just 13 of the first 50 runs they added together. And, while the only bouncer that Umesh Yadav bowled at him resulted in an attempted pull that spooned just over midwicket, it was a line of attack that India failed to exploit. Ishant Sharma bowled him three more, but it seemed an odd oversight. There were a couple of decent lbw shouts after that but Moeen, learning the lessons from earlier in the series, ensured he had his pad outside the line of the stumps and, once he had reached 40, was hardly troubled. Amit Mishra, whose relative lack of pace allowed Moeen time to skip down the pitch to him, came in for particular punishment, but he also coped with Ashwin admirably after that torturous first hour. He had given England a decent chance of the sort of imposing first-innings total that could end this demanding tour with a consolation victory. Two more sessions of batting may be rrequired, though. Ua Scorpio Chrome. It was Moeens second century of the series - the first was made while batting at No. 5 in Rajkot - and the fourth of a calendar year that has seen him become one of just five men to record 1,000 Test runs in 2016. While the inclusion of four England players in that list underlines the huge amount of Test cricket they have played, that still represents a fine achievement. His average for the year (48.00) is almost six higher than Alastair Cooks (42.10) and less than two fewer than Joe Roots (50.20).Where does it leave him in the future? Back at No. 7 or 8, probably. With Jonny Bairstow pencilled in to stay at No. 5 (he is clearly good enough to bat at No. 4 but the England management are keen to provide him with a break between batting and keeping) and Ben Stokes looking set


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