Connect with us

News

NLCS: Dodgers on brink of elimination after Game 4 loss to Braves

Published

on

NLCS: Dodgers on brink of elimination after Game 4 loss to Braves

LOS ANGELES — The bills keep coming due.

Before using Max Scherzer in relief in Game 5 of their National League Division Series win, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts acknowledged there is always a potential “cost” to using a starting pitcher out of the bullpen between his starts.

Pitching for the fourth time in 12 days when he started Game 2 of the NL Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves, Scherzer said his arm was “dead” and he lasted only 4-1/3 innings in a loss.

Julio Urias pitched out of the bullpen in that game and was ineffective, allowing two runs in his inning.

Pitching for the fourth time in 12 days in Game 4 on Wednesday night, Urias gave up three home runs in the first 11 batters he faced (and for just the second time in his career) and the Dodgers never recovered, losing to the Braves, 9-2.

Baseball wisdom says momentum is only as good as your next day’s starting pitcher. Urias wasn’t very good – but the Dodgers’ offense did nothing to build on the momentum of Cody Bellinger’s restorative three-run home run in the eighth inning of Game 3, getting no hits until the fifth inning and only four total.

The Braves’ win (their first at Dodger Stadium since June 2018) gives them a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven NLCS – for the second year in a row against the Dodgers. Facing elimination in Game 5 for the fourth time in 11 games this postseason, the Dodgers need to win Thursday – in a “bullpen game” – just to extend the series back to Atlanta.

They will have to do it without heroes of postseasons past Max Muncy (injured elbow) or Justin Turner now. Turner left Game 4 in the seventh inning with a hamstring injury.

Urias didn’t give up a home run in 35 innings over his final six starts in the regular season and just one in his first 11 innings of the postseason. But Eddie Rosario and Adam Duvall hit back-to-back homers to start the second inning and Freddie Freeman added a third solo homer to start the third inning.

Rosario continued to be the hottest hitter in the postseason not named Kiké, lining a ball into the right field corner later in the third inning and stretching it to a triple when Mookie Betts mishandled it.

After an intentional walk, Joc Pederson lobbed a flare into shallow center field. Gavin Lux ran in but let it fall in front of him for an RBI single rather than risk a diving attempt. Urias seemed to glare out into center field after the Braves’ fourth run scored.

Urias gave up another run in the fifth, throwing 92 pitches in five very difficult innings.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers didn’t have a single hit to call their own and Lux was robbed of a possible home run by center fielder Duvall in the second inning.

The combination of Jesse Chavez and Drew Smyly retired the first 10 Dodgers in order and didn’t give up a hit until Justin Turner’s one-out single in the fifth. Their second hit, a single by Bellinger, followed immediately and Bellinger stole second base without a throw – the Dodgers’ franchise-record 14th stolen base this postseason.

AJ Pollock came off the bench and delivered a two-out, two-run single. But the Dodgers had just one hit over the final four innings – a pinch-hit single by Albert Pujols in the seventh inning. Justin Turner bounced into a double play after that hit and pulled up while running to first base, obviously injured.

The Braves put the game away with four runs in the ninth off Tony Gonsolin, including Rosario’s fourth hit and second home run of the game.

More to come on this story.

google news

News

MBTA to cut back bus routes Dec. 19, citing workforce shortages

Published

on

MBTA to cut back bus routes Dec. 19, citing workforce shortages

Amid a national workforce shortage cutting across industries, the MBTA has not been spared.

The agency announced that, starting Dec. 19, bus service and Mattapan line service will be scaled back to accommodate employee attrition, which is outpacing new hires.

“Like other transit systems across the country, the MBTA is experiencing significant challenges in attracting the workforce needed to meet demands for service,” MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said. “The MBTA is budgeted for a full level of service, and ready to add back services when we have hired and trained new bus and train operators.”

Poftak added in his comments that teams at the MBTA are working to streamline the hiring process and encouraged those interested in applying to head to mbta.com/apply.

The MBTA’s winter schedule will focus on maintaining service for routes with “durable ridership,” on routes with crowded buses and on supporting those returning to in-person work and school. The routes will also be adapted to new, COVID-induced travel patterns.

Buses will reduce in frequency by about one in every 20 scheduled trips, with many of the changes reducing frequency on weekdays, especially in the morning.

Several other bus changes are going into effect later this month. Route 111, with service to and from Woodlawn, will operate a simplified service pattern this winter, and Routes 62 and 76, which run between Alewife and the Bedford VA Hospital, will resume rush-hour weekday service.

The MBTA will hold a public information session Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. to discuss the changes. People can learn more about the affected routes at mbta.com/servicechanges.

google news
Continue Reading

News

First snowfall of the season for many in Massachusetts could impact evening commute

Published

on

First snowfall of the season for many in Massachusetts could impact evening commute

It’s time to dig out your winter boots and snow brush for your car.

Wednesday will bring the first snowfall of the season for many across the Bay State, as meteorologists predict a widespread 1 to 2 inches of snow, with lower amounts along the coast.

While the light snowfall totals look to be minor, much of the snow will fall during the evening commute, so officials are urging people to plan for extra travel time and slow down on the roads.

“Not only will you be safer on snow if you curb your speed, you’ll have greater ability to stop if you need to,” said Mary Maguire of AAA Northeast. “Allow for more distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you. This will provide you with more stopping distance if you need to brake.”

The best chance for accumulation looks to be between 4 p.m. and midnight, and the best shot for higher snow amounts would be toward the Worcester Hills.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation advised people to clean snow off their vehicle, and to make sure their windshield wipers work and they have windshield washer fluid.

“So ask any Cop who has been on the job for few years which day normally has the most motor vehicle crashes? Answer: First snowfall of the year,” the Hanson Police Department tweeted. “Slow down, be safe, and keep your insurance rates down.”

google news
Continue Reading

News

Biden re-election poll shows dismal 22% support; Harris even worse at 12%

Published

on

Biden re-election poll shows dismal 22% support; Harris even worse at 12%

The numbers are cringeworthy — 22% and 12%.

That’s the support for President Biden and his VP Kamala Harris in an I&I/TIPP poll that asked who would you vote for in the 2024 election. Even if you doubt the veracity of all this polling, these are poor numbers.

The only good news for Biden, the survey adds, is “no favorite has emerged among the large field of potential challengers to run against Biden in the 2024 primaries.”

But the sinking survey results are not out of the norm. A Wall Street Journal poll out Tuesday pegged Biden’s approval rating at a dismal 41%. Rasmussen had it at 42%.

Congress, however, was at 22% in the Journal poll, but that’s another story.

“It’s undeniable. Joe Biden is hurting in the polls right now and it’s due to a number of factors,” said Erin O’Brien, associate professor of political science at UMass Boston.

Those factors, she said, include the nagging pandemic, soaring inflation, lingering doubts about Biden’s foreign policy chops after the botched pullout from Kabul and lingering legislation.

The Journal adds that with Biden flatlining in the polls, he won’t be in a position to help Democrats fighting to keep their jobs in the midterms.

This comes as Democrats hold a slim majority in the House, where the split is 221-213, and in the Senate, at 50-50, but with Harris as the tiebreaker.

Support for former President Donald Trump remains strong among those loyal to him, so that also could be reflected in the polling that shows Biden needs to rebound or it will be too late to get much done in the second half of his tenure.

Now Biden faces a new challenge.

He held a video conference Tuesday with Russia’s Vladimir Putin over Russian troops heading toward the Ukrainian border.

Just hours before the call got underway, the Associated Press reported that Ukrainian officials charged Russia was continuing to escalate the crisis by sending tanks and snipers to war-torn eastern Ukraine to “provoke return fire.”

Republicans are watching to see how Biden fares, considering how poorly his administration handled withdrawal from Afghanistan.

It’s all showing in the polls, with the Journal adding 63% of voters said the country had gone off-track, with just 27% saying the nation was on the right course. Some 61% said the economy was headed in the wrong direction.

google news
Continue Reading

Trending