CENTER STAGE: Elijah Hughes has always been a dangerous contributor. Now, he’s Syracuse’s most important player.

first_imgElijah Hughes strolled into a mostly vacant Carrier Dome around 5 p.m. on Saturday, two hours before Syracuse’s Oct. 26 exhibition against Division II Daemen College. At 7 p.m. Hughes would pull off his warm up shirt, rustle his hair and SU’s star would showcase a remodeled version of himself — one with a three-level game and an unselfishness to get his teammates involved in a 24-point performance that SU head coach Jim Boeheim said “could have (been) 40.”The talk around Hughes’ expanded role picked up in the months following last season. Tyus Battle left for the NBA Draft. Oshae Brissett followed. SU coaches told Hughes he needed to “be that guy,” a leader it can rally around.“I’ve always had a knack for talking,” Hughes said, laughing.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut Hughes doesn’t deny his lack of experience as a primary option — he hasn’t been in this position in almost five years. Three years after the redshirt junior arrived at East Carolina labeled a “steal” in the high school recruiting cycle, Hughes assumes the role of Syracuse’s most formidable offensive threat and a leader thrust into the position.,He didn’t receive a scholarship for prep school, entered the next year as a young role player at a mid-major and two years after that served primarily as an off-ball scoring threat on a Syracuse team that relied heavily on Battle’s isolation play. The soft-spoken guard’s ability to go unnoticed was perhaps his most dangerous skill. Now he’s expected to be the loudest, the center of attention to open up the floor.“It really kind of took me off guard,” Hughes said. “A lot of young guys that come speak to me — they don’t know something in the zone or on a play — they come to me right away … This is my first time being a leader at a high level.”From a young age, Hughes’ calm nature was one of his more defining traits. He blended into the halls at school, his middle school principal Brian Archer said, but remained aware of his image. He wore pink shoes. He cycled through different hairstyles. In the seventh grade, he bragged to his eventual Beacon (New York) High School coach, Tom Powers, that he would play varsity as an eighth grader.In his final year of high school, a few of his teammates joined in on South Kent’s annual “Thriller Dance,” where volunteers don zombie makeup and dance to Michael Jackson’s famous Halloween tune. So Hughes, who South Kent prep school head coach Kelvin Jefferson said didn’t put himself above other students despite his basketball talent, joined his classmates in the dance.“Well, shoot, I haven’t seen (Hughes) shy,” his South Kent and former Syracuse teammate Matthew Moyer said.Despite his seemingly unmatched assurance, his game always exhibited a heightened maturity. He played multiple years above his grade level every season until his junior year of high school. Though his youth often led to sacrificing leading roles, Powers said, Hughes assumed a majority of the responsibility for poor team performances. In the back of his parents’ car after losses, he’d pop in his headphones and go silent.When Hughes was in 10th grade, his team lost in the semifinals of the Boo Williams AAU tournament in Newport, Virginia. Unable to control his own emotions from the loss, he noticed a kid on the bus who wasn’t crying. He seemed not to be upset at all. His father, Wayne, said Hughes didn’t always understand: He assumed everyone was always on the same page. For Hughes, leading became an effort to create a singular focus on winning — to make his teammates want what he wants.“When it comes to pressure situations, (Hughes) is not as up-and-down,” Wayne said. “He has an innate ability to stay at a certain level.”But his three Division I seasons had yet to provide him with that same starring opportunity. He struggled with injuries his freshman year at ECU and was unable to play due to NCAA transfer rules upon arriving at SU. For the Orange last season, he produced a solid 13.7 points per game. His best offered the Orange an offensive and defensive spark, but the game rarely ran through Hughes.,His progression at Syracuse was slower than Boeheim expected. He rarely made moves to take defenders to the rim off the dribble and Boeheim even said in February Hughes “wasn’t ready” to do so. His shot blocking and shooting gave momentum to the Orange at times, but inconsistency, a limited repertoire on drives and the presence of other stars made his performances less integral to each game’s outcome.Though Hughes claimed the preparation for this year’s role required “a different mold,” he crafted a training regimen that highlighted his strengths. “Mommy, I got to go get the buckets,” Hughes quipped to his mother, Penny, when he returned home this summer. Wayne and Penny joked they only saw him for dinner, and much of the time was spent updating Hughes on happenings within the family that he might’ve missed.As he worked back into a practice schedule at Syracuse, Hughes took 200 to 300 shots before and after practice. He spent a large portion of the time expanding his moves from the midrange and working to improve his handle so that he is “more aware.” On the court, where Hughes tries to echo the voice of the leaders that left the team last season, Wayne said he relies on direct, short, “two or three word conversations” with teammates. He’s not “physical” or “poetic” when he speaks on the court, so sometimes it goes unnoticed.“I try to talk to him as much as possible,” freshman Brycen Goodine said. “It’s not visible to everyone else, but he talks a lot.”,This past June, Hughes paced back-and-forth outside the gymnasium at Beacon Middle School. Once someone who needed extra attention from teachers to ensure he filled out his planner and stayed organized, Archer said, Hughes was invited to speak to around 90 students about the importance of school and not wasting opportunities.“I haven’t done this too often,” Archer remembered Hughes said to him. “I’m a little bit nervous.”“The kids just want to hear what you have to say,” Archer responded. “Do your best and it will go fine.”Hughes opened the door and a room of third, fourth and fifth graders erupted. He spoke for about 30 minutes. Sometime early in the speech, Hughes shifted his nervousness to a quiet confidence.Students wanted him there. They wanted to listen. To them, Hughes is a celebrity. As he walked out of the building, Penny noticed Hughes’ familiar strut.“I think I made all the points I wanted to make,” Penny remembered Hughes said to her.Those around Hughes express an unassuming confidence about his ability to lead Syracuse — or any team. Coaches, family and friends are seemingly insulted by the questioning of his ability. The noise, the expectations, the hope — when the ball is tipped against Daemen, it’s all there. But Hughes feels no need to tune any of it out.“Pressure?” Hughes asked when he was questioned about his expanded role. “Nah. I’m just playing basketball.”,Banner photo by Corey Henry | Photo Editor Comments Published on November 2, 2019 at 9:12 pm Contact Michael: mmcclear@syr.edu | @MikeJMcCleary,Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.last_img read more

Opponent preview: What to know about the Colgate Raiders

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ For the second-consecutive year, Syracuse opens its season against Colgate. The No. 5 Orange enter this year’s matchup five spots higher in Inside Lacrosse’s preseason media poll than last year and employ a new-look offense. The Raiders, on the other hand, are coming off a four-win season in which they couldn’t build off the early upset over SU.Here’s what to know about Colgate before Friday’s season opener at 4 p.m.Last time they played: The last time Colgate and Syracuse faced-off ended in one of the most stunning upsets for SU in recent years. Before the 12-9 loss to unranked Colgate, John Desko had won 19 of 20 openers with the Orange. In one of the Orange’s lowest offensive outputs of the 2019 season, Nate Solomon and Brendan Curry tallied three goals apiece. Colgate’s Nicky Petkevich led all scorers with four goals, and Will Blumenberg scored the eventual game-winning goal with 8:06 left in the fourth quarter. The Red Raiders finished with more shots and ground balls than the Orange, but SU did go 3-for-5 on extra man opportunities.All-time series: Syracuse leads, 48-12-1 The Colgate report: Colgate is still a work in progress. Head coach Matt Karweck made strides in his first season, including back-to-back wins to open the year, but also struggled at times, especially over the final 11 games that included nine losses. Griffin Brown returns as the top offensive option at midfield, but Colgate shares the Orange’s most profound weakness: defense. Five defensive players graduated — two close defenders, a starting goalie and a pair of short-stick defensive midfielders.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Raiders opened their season with a loss to No. 10 North Carolina, 19-6, on Feb. 1. Brown had three goals and took eight of Colgate’s 20 shots on goal. How Syracuse beats Colgate: If Syracuse’s offense is what it claims to be, the Orange will win by overpowering the Raiders. When these two teams met last year, Colgate slides forced SU to hold onto the ball too long, midfield Jamie Trimboli said. So this year, the Orange need quick ball movement that gives their playmakers — Trimboli, Tucker Dordevic, Chase Scanlan — space to dodge and shoot. Should Syracuse do that and limit Brown, the Raiders’ best player, SU should coast in its season opener. But that’s what everyone thought would happen last year.State to know: 8 — The number of scorers Colgate returns from its 2019 top 11. Brown and now-graduated Sam Cleveland combined for 32% of the Red Raiders’ goals last year, but the group behind them contributed points at a consistent rate.Player to watch: Griffin Brown, Midfield, No. 11Colgate’s offense the last three seasons has run through Brown. The McLean, Virginia native notched 34 goals in 2018 before following that up with 20 in 2019 — including one goal and three points in the Raiders’ win over Syracuse. Brown has been the leading scorer all three years he’s been in Hamilton. With Colgate losing its second-best offensive player in Cleveland, look for Brown to take on a larger role in cracking Syracuse’s inexperienced close defense. Comments Published on February 6, 2020 at 12:28 am Contact Andrew: arcrane@syr.edu | @CraneAndrewlast_img read more

Tipp camogie team to face Galway named

first_imgPhoto © Tipp FM & Denis Vahey Photography Sarah Dervan comes in for Therese Manton at corner back.Tipp camogie PRO Philly Ryan says the key to this clash for Tipp will be to close down the space on Galway.The team in full:1. Orla McEniry2. Julie Ann Bourke3. Gemma Grace4. Ciannait Walsh5. Aoife McGrath6. Caoimhe Maher7. Clodagh Quirke8. Mary Ryan9. Ereena Fryday10. Megan Ryan11. Cáit Devane12. Orla O’Dwyer13. Nicole Walsh14. Róisín Howard15. Ciardha Maher Throw in tomorrow evening is at 7 o clock in Semple Stadium, and Tipp FMs live coverage of the game is brought to you by FOH Financial Limited, Dr. Croke Place, Clonmelcenter_img The Tipperary camogie team to face Galway in the All Ireland Quarter final in Semple stadium has been named.Tipperary show two changes from the team that defeated Offaly last time out with Julie Ann Bourke coming in to replace Emer Loughman at corner back, and Mary Ryan starts ahead of Grace O’Brien at corner forward.Meawhile there is one change to the Galway team that played Clare last time out for the meeting with Tipperary.last_img read more

Ajibola, Fogli Shine at Total Charity Golf Tourney

first_imgShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Twenty-two handicap player, Yemi Ajibola, emerged the overall winner of the 2016 Total Charity Golf Tournament concluded at the weekend in Lagos.Ajibola who recorded a total of 42 stable-ford points at the Lakowe Lakes Golf Club beat Omo Izedonmwen with 38 points to the second place while Uwem Udoh was beaten on count-back to the third place at the one day event.“I am delighted here and I think it all worked out well because of the great course condition and my present form. It is a great privilege to win this charity event sponsored by Total,” Ajibola said.Managing Director/Chief Executive of Total E&P Nigeria, Nicolas Terraz said that the event was set up to benefit charity organisation across the country.According to him “Thanks to so many of you who have identified with this cause through your various donations today…this year two charity homes, which provide care for the abandoned, motherless and vulnerable children in the society will benefit from the special fund. They are Olive Blooms and Friends of Jesus Orphanage homes near Ajah and Badore respectively in Eti-Osa Local Government of Lagos,” he saidIn the ladies category, Nicole Fogli returned 42 stabe-ford point beating Yvette Pape by three points to the runner-up position while Idowu Babalakin with 36 points placed third.Also, Paul Brisbe with 40 stable-ford points picked the best Total Staff prize at the event ahead of Obinna Okoli who returned same score but was edged out on count-back ruling.Admiral O. P. Fingesi and Charles Ngoka were winners and runners-up of the veteran class at the event while Iyiola Ronke and Michael Huisamen were winners of the Nearest to the Pin prize for ladies and men respectively.The Total Annual Charity Golf Tournament is rotated among the major cities where the company has presence with support of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC).In 2014, the Air Assault Golf Course in Port Harcourt played host to the event while the 2015 edition was staged at the IBB International Golf and Country Club, Abuja.last_img read more

Pummelling E’Guinea not Falcons’ Priority, Says Oshoala

first_imgAhead of Nigeria’s Super Falcons make or mar final group match against two-time Africa Women Cup of Nations champions Equatorial Guinea, Super Falcons forward Asisat Oshoala has stated that the main goal of the team is to get the maximum three points in the match with less emphasis on the number of goals to be scored.The Dalian Quanjian of China striker believes that aiming for a superior number of goals even before playing the game can be likened to jumping the gun which might be counterproductive. “Our primary aim is to get three points and hopefully we get the goals as much as we can. As a team, we want to score goals but if we start thinking about goals and forget about our primary aim, it won’t be good for us so as a team we just want to go all out.”The former Arsenal and Liverpool of England star insisted that the team’s opponent having lost two games and being automatically out of the championship might want to play for pride which might make life more difficult for the Falcons. “Equatorial Guineahave lost two matches already and this is their last game of the tournament. They know they have nothing to lose and it’s always difficult to play a team like this.” Oshoala insisted that despite the threat that might come with the Guineans trying to play for pride, she believes that the Falcons have all it takes to get the maximum points and still score more goals. “We don’t want to play them and get just one point because that’s not going to be very good for us. We hope to win and with lot of goals.”Equatorial Guinea are currently bottom of Group B at the ongoing AWCON having conceded a total of 12 goals in two games. The hurriedly assembled team lost the first game 5 – 0 to Zambia before suffering a heavy 7 – 1 loss to the Bayana Bayana of South Africa.Nigeria’s Super Falcons will face the Guineans today at 5:30p.m. at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium in Ghana.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Caribbean government Minister worried about US/Mexico border funding plans

first_imgAntigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Charles Fernandez minister says Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries will along with countries in Latin America speak with one voice opposing plans by the United States to target their nationals to help President Donald Trump build the multi-billion dollar US-Mexico border wall.US politicians are seeking to impose a two per cent tax on all remittances sent by nationals of Belize, the Cayman Islands, Haiti, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica, the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana and Suriname to friends and relatives.These Caribbean countries are among a number of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean highlighted by the politicians to help fund the wall, a major campaign promise of Trump and estimated at US$21.6 billion.Fernandez, speaking on the state-owned ABS Television, said the new measures being advocated could result in the remittances system going underground.“Whatever tax you put on it even though it sounds like a little bit, two per cent it could cause a number of people to want to drive this outside of the regulatory banking system and that could be of concern…because you could get into all kinds of monies moving around in actual hard currencies.“As regards to the Caribbean, I think Jamaica probably will be the biggest one affected. In 2015, Jamaica had something like US$1.5 billion sent from America alone to Jamaica in remittances,” he added.Fernandez said that while the Gaston Browne administration has not yet officially discussed the new US measure, it is aware of the situation.The Border Wall Funding Act Introduced to the House of Representatives on March 30, seeks to amend the Electronic Fund Transfer Act to impose a fee for remittance transfers to certain foreign countries, and for other purposes.Last month, the proposed bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, and the House’s Committees on Financial Services, Foreign Affairs and Judiciary.The law is expected to have a five-year life-span during which the monies will be submitted to the US Treasury “to be expended for the purpose of improving border security.”last_img read more

Benteke’s offside goal at Liverpool should not have stood, says Premier League

first_imgLiverpool’s Christian Benteke should not have been awarded the winning goal in the match against Bournemouth on Monday, the Premier League has admitted.The Belgian striker opened his account at Anfield with a goal that would have been perfectly legitimate last season, but this season should have been disallowed for offside. Benteke’s close-range goal was allowed to stand by referee Craig Pawson despite team-mate Philippe Coutinho having been stood in an offside position and attempting to play the ball.And in a highly-unusual move, the League has stated unequivocally that the match officials got the decision wrong. The League is writing to all the clubs to clarify the new ruling – and presumably also to the referees and linesmen who are clearly not yet up to speed with the new regulation.While the goal would have stood last season, a change ratified by the IFAB over the summer amended the offside rule. Players can now be offside even if not directly involved in a move, deemed to be interfering with play via their positioning on the field, by distracting or diverting opponents.HOWE’S HOWLS Speaking before the League’s admission, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was demanding answers.”It is a tough job, we know that. The officials have a split second to make a decision so I respect that and the challenge that their job brings,” he said.”From our perspective we felt we were on the wrong end of not just the two big decisions in the game but there were several other little things that went against us.””[I’m] definitely keen to have a conversation and see their perspective. From my perspective, regarding that law, that is the clearest case of that interpretation that’s been changed that you’ll see.””And the fact that hasn’t been seen is a huge worry. I’m baffled by it and I was baffled by it at the time.” “I had a really poor view at ground level, [but] I just knew there was something not quite right about the goal, and obviously it proved when I saw the replays. I’m just really surprised it was missed.”–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

Ghana Rugby gets ready for International friendlies

first_imgThe Ghana Rugby national training squad has started preparations for their international friendly encounters against Niger and Togo in September.The international friendlies were initiated by Mr Herbert Mensah, President of the Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) in an attempt to increase the quality and competitiveness of Ghana’s national team, the Eagles.“The only international exposure for Ghana Rugby has been the annual Africa Rugby tournament that is either a sevens or a fifteens tournament which is totally inadequate to prepare us for getting into higher levels,” Mensah said.In 2015 one friendly international was played in Accra against Togo that was won by the Ghana Eagles.The Ghana Eagles managed to win the bronze cup during the Africa Rugby men’s sevens tournament earlier this year in Lome, Togo.According to Mensah he had discussions with various other Rugby Federations from West Africa during last year’s Rugby World Cup and the idea is to establish a West Africa Rugby Series (WARS) was received with great enthusiasm. He continued to say that the idea behind the WARS is to launch a tournament similar to a combination of the Super Rugby and Rugby Championship tournaments between the Southern Hemisphere Rugby greats of New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina.“Such a tournament will include both fifteens and sevens matches and will cater for both men and women. It is also envisaged that a regional schools tournament will eventually become part of WARS,” he said.Mensah added,” The big challenge is always to obtain funding for such a venture and we hope that we will be able to interest a global corporation doing business in the West Africa to make use of this opportunity to build brand goodwill and awareness.”The September friendly internationals are at this stage scheduled to take place in Accra between Ghana and Niger on the 4th of September as a fifteens match, while the encounter between Ghana and Togo on the 10th will be a sevens event.The technical team under guidance of the President has started with gym training and both the fifteens and sevens players will undergo match preparations in Accra and Cape Coast. According to the head of the technical team, Mr Simba Mangena, the international friendlies will help the players to think beyond local Rugby and hopefully inspire them to continue with keeping themselves in shape for greater things to come.Clubs have also in the meantime started with preparations for the 2016/17 Ghana Rugby Club Championship (GRCC) that normally takes place between November and February every year.Internationally Rugby is also in the limelight with its re-admission to the Olympics after an absence of 92 years. The women’s matches are currently being played in Rio de Janeiro and the men’s sevens matches will start on the 9th of August.  The Ghana Rugby national team, the Eagles, preparing for the international friendlies against Niger and Togo in September 2016. Gym work such as squats, deadlifts and bench presses form a large part of the Ghana Rugby Eagles strength programme in preparing for the upcoming friendlies against Niger and Togo in September.last_img read more

Home runs by Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger back Walker Buehler in Dodgers’ win

first_imgThat would be May 16 in Miami. Take away that forgettable five-inning start, and Buehler would have a 1.50 ERA to begin his first full season.As it stands, Buehler (3-1) has struck out 48 hitters and issued merely nine bases on balls in 41 innings. After allowing one run in seven innings Sunday against the Padres, his ERA fell to 2.20.The Dodgers recalled Buehler from Triple-A somewhat reluctantly in April, and he remained in the rotation as injuries continued to deplete the starting rotation. Whether Buehler’s right arm has enough innings to stay in the major leagues for the remainder of the season is another question.Roberts has been careful so far not to let Buehler exceed 100 pitches in a start, but he’s never lasted fewer than five innings. Buehler’s efficiency is a boon for a bullpen that has performed inconsistently at best. Could it also help him remain in the major league rotation longer than originally planned?“That’s a conversation,” Roberts said. “A lot of it is on how he feels … how he’s doing, how his body’s responding to the long season. As we get deeper into the summer we’ll keep an eye on Walker. There’s really no hard number for Walker as far as innings. It’s just kind of how he’s feeling.” PreviousLos Angeles Dodgers left fielder Matt Kemp leaps for but cannot catch a ball hit for a double by San Diego Padres’ Jose Pirela during the first inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)San Diego Padres relief pitcher Adam Cimber cannot catch a ball thrown from first baseman Eric Hosmer during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, right, throws over starting pitcher Walker Buehler but not in time to get out San Diego Padres’ Jose Pirela on an infield single during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Dodgers’ Walker Buehler, left, is congratulated by manager Dave Roberts after scoring on a single by Enrique Hernandez against the San Diego Padres during the third inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler throws to the plate against the San Diego Padres during the first inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)San Diego Padres relief pitcher Adam Cimber throws to the plate against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the third inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Walker Buehler, right, scores near San Diego Padres catcher Raffy Lopez on a single by Enrique Hernandez during the third inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)San Diego Padres starting pitcher Matt Strahm throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)Los Angeles Dodgers leftfielder Matt Kemp bobbles the ball, but cannot catch a ball hit for a double by San Diego Padres’ Jose Pirela, during the first inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Matt Kemp leaps for but cannot catch a ball hit for a double by San Diego Padres’ Jose Pirela during the first inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)San Diego Padres relief pitcher Adam Cimber cannot catch a ball thrown from first baseman Eric Hosmer during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)NextShow Caption1 of 9San Diego Padres relief pitcher Adam Cimber cannot catch a ball thrown from first baseman Eric Hosmer during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)ExpandLOS ANGELES – At 23 years old, Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler is young enough to have played Little League Baseball under an iron-fisted pitch count restriction. He never pitched more than two innings at a time in 2016, one year removed from Tommy John surgery. He wasn’t allowed to throw more than five innings in a minor league game until the following May, thrice being removed from a shutout in progress. All of it was a frustrating but perhaps necessary lesson in the value of efficiency.Now, the lesson is paying off.Buehler cruised through seven innings Sunday in a 6-1 win over the San Diego Padres. He left with a one-run lead, but home runs by Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger in the eighth inning turned a close game into a fairly convincing victory.Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.“I don’t think (Buehler) has walked a guy in, in” – Manager Dave Roberts stopped, pausing to recall the last time it happened – “I can’t remember the last start he’s walked a guy.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img How is he feeling?“He’s feeling great,” Roberts said.Buehler said he threw “three or four” changeups among his 93 pitches Sunday. The rest were fastballs, sliders and curveballs. The only run he allowed resulted from a double by Freddy Galvis, a wild pitch that eluded catcher Yasmani Grandal, and a sacrifice fly. By that point in the fifth inning the Dodgers led 2-1, and San Diego never got another runner past second base.The announced crowd of 46,650 was treated to a quick-paced game that ended in a snappy 2 hours, 26 minutes. The Dodger hitters appreciated Buehler’s efficiency, too.“It kind of reminds me of (Clayton) Kershaw how he attacks hitters,” Cody Bellinger said. “He gets the ball, he gets right back on the mound, he’s attacking. It’s a huge blessing. It kind of keeps us on our toes on defense, and that’s always a plus.”Buehler said the Little League rules – he never could have thrown more than 75 pitches in a game until age 11 – forced him to keep count in the back of his mind. As he grew up, he never quite outgrew the counter. Buehler said it’s still helping him maximize his efficiency into his 20s.“I don’t know how it can’t,” he said. “If you’ve got 45 pitches or 60 pitches to work with and you want to go out and win games, you’ve got to get through five (innings). I think that I’ve always tried to be that way.“It’s a positive that I’m able to do it here now. The past couple outings, I feel like I’ve been more efficient.”Short on starters, the Padres traded for veteran pitcher Phil Hughes prior to the game. It happened too late for Hughes to pitch Sunday, so Manager Andy Green tried to sneak a bullpen game past Buehler and the Dodgers. It almost worked.Left-hander Matt Strahm started and tossed two scoreless innings. Submariner Adam Cimber pitched the next two, Kax Makita pitched the next three, and Tyler Webb pitched the eighth.Cimber (2-2) allowed a pair of runs in a 0-0 game and was tagged with the loss. Buehler led off the third inning by punching line-drive single into right field, just his second major league hit. Chris Taylor (2-for-3) followed with a double down the right-field line, and Buehler stopped at third base.The Padres then drew in the right side of the infield with Kiké Hernandez, a right-handed hitter, at the plate. The left side of the infield stayed at normal depth, but the strategy did nothing to stop Hernandez from poking a ground ball into left field, scoring Buehler.The next batter, Justin Turner, hit a hot grounder to Padres third baseman Christian Villanueva, kick-starting a double play. Taylor sprinted home safely with a head-first slide, barely beating the relay from first baseman Eric Hosmer to catcher Raffy Lopez.The score was 2-1 when Webb took over in the eighth inning and allowed a leadoff single to Taylor. Max Muncy followed with his sixth home run of the season, a no-doubter to right field that extended the Dodgers’ lead to 4-1.With one out, Webb walkedi Grandal. With two outs, Bellinger crushed a ball to the deepest part of center field to provide the final score.The win kept the Dodgers (24-28) within 3 1/2 games of the first-place Colorado Rockies (28-25). The Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants are also ahead of them in the crowded National League West standings.last_img read more

The Writers Cup: A weekend of golf and all the best of Vegas

first_imgLAS VEGAS — The green jacket may be golf’s most glittering prize, but for those of us who will never get inside the ropes at the Masters, there’s another jacket that glitters even more greenly.The Writers Cup is a three-round golf tournament played amid the best Vegas has to offer. And for the lucky media invitee who prevails, the prize is the kind of fabulous, flamboyant sequined green jacket that Liberace would have chosen if he ran Augusta National Golf Club. After the show, one of the performers looked Rafael up and down.“Oh my god,” he said, “Where can I get a jacket like that?”I told him to work on his short game. The green theme continued as we arrived from all corners of the world at the host property, the MGM-Grand, which is not only the single largest hotel in the United States with 6,852 rooms but also has the most casino floor space on the Strip.First priority, though, was dinner. Ferraro’s is in a non-descript strip mall, but don’t let the setting fool you. Gino Ferraro and his wife, Rosalba, opened the restaurant in 1985, and there’s a reason it’s packed every night.Gino’s family is from the south of Italy, and he brought with him all the old family recipes. The home-made bucatini — my favorite noodle — in a Roman tomato sauce with pecorino cheese and guanciale was as good as it gets, with the spaghetti aglio e olio not far behind.After dinner it was off to Juniper, the high-end gin joint at the neighboring Park MGM, for a nightcap before the morning’s first round.Casablanca is a championship golf course in Mesquite and worth the 70-minute drive. The host venue for the Nevada Open is an excellent test of golf and also won’t burn a hole in your wallet. I began the tournament brightly, though a back nine stumble left me a few shots behind the leaders.On the way back to the MGM-Grand, we stopped at Dig This Las Vegas, an ingenious idea from New Zealander Ed Mumm, who realized how much fun he had clearing trees and scrub while building his home in Colorado.The “heavy equipment playground” has quickly become one of the most popular attractions in Las Vegas because, let’s face it, who doesn’t want to operate excavators and bulldozers? For the very dedicated, there’s also an option to crush a car.Dinner that night was at Buddy V’s at the Venetian. Buddy Valastro brought his home made Jersey style, and let’s just say you won’t be leaving hungry. Buddy’s Sunday Gravy — meatballs, sausage, lamb, pork in a bowl of rigatoni — is so authentic, the only thing missing is the cast of The Sopranos.After dinner, we visited Top Golf, which has become one of the great success stories bringing golf to the masses. Part nightclub, part driving range, it’s a guaranteed good time among friends.The tournament’s second round was held at Bear’s Best, a collection of Jack Nicklaus’ best golf holes. The course was in great shape, which is more than could be said about my game. I bladed a bunker shot on the first hole into someone’s swimming pool, and it didn’t get a lot better after that.As we lunched after at gastro pub Public School 702 — get the fish and chips with the sriracha ketchup or the Colorado lamb burger with tzatziki — I calculated that I’d need, oh, something in the low 60s to win.Then I ordered another drink to calm my nerves for the zip lining I was about to do over the Vegas Strip. LINQ is simply the best $25 you will spend in Vegas; the adrenalin flows as pedestrians below look up at you soaring above them.To get ready for the final round, we went to M Resort, a casino away from the frantic pace of the Strip. M Resort has a Top Golf Swing Suite which lets players not just play simulated golf but other sports, including hockey and baseball.M Resort’s rooftop bar offers amazing views of Vegas as well as excellent cocktails, and the wagyu beef, grilled tableside on a hot lava stone, is a must.The final round was at the Nicklaus designed Reflection Bay at Lake Las Vegas — former home to the Wendy’s Three Tour Challenge — and despite the inspiring views (and a birdie to finish) there would be no miracle on the lake for me.And so the green jacket went to Rafael Quiroz, of Golf Digest Mexico — and a former two-time Mexican amateur champion — but my disappointment didn’t last long as our farewell dinner was held at Momofuku, which might just be my new favorite restaurant.David Chang’s first West Coast restaurant is simply spectacular. I thought the whole Branzino with kimchi was amazing, and then they brought out the whole rotisserie duck.After dinner, we stayed at the Cosmopolitan and hit the new variety stage show from the producers of Absinthe called Opium: It’s both outrageous and adults-only.last_img read more