Registrato: 07/07/18 12:54
Sito web: http://www.dallascowbo...
|NEW YORK — The Los Angeles Dodgers aren’t currently occupying a playoff spot , but manager Dave Roberts spoke confidently Wednesday about playing in the postseason. New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway, on the other hand, is beginning to sound like a skipper who knows his team will be long forgotten by October.
Two teams headed in opposite directions will square off for the first time this season Friday night when the Mets host the Dodgers in the opener of a three-game series at Citi Field.
Right-hander Zack Wheeler (2-5, 4.82 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for the Mets against Dodgers left-hander Alex Wood (2-5, 4.22).
Both teams are coming off series-deciding losses. The Mets suffered their third straight defeat Thursday when they fell to the host Colorado Rockies 6-4 in the finale of a four-game set. The visiting Dodgers were off Thursday after losing to the Chicago Cubs 4-0 in the last game of a three-game series Wednesday afternoon.
The series loss was the first in 10 series for the Dodgers (38-35), who are 21-9 since dropping two of three to the Miami Marlins from May 15 to May 17. The hot streak vaulted them from fourth place in the National League West to second place during the surge and gained 5 1/2 games on the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks, who hold a 2 1/2 game lead heading into Friday’s action.
In addition, Los Angeles has moved two games behind the Washington Nationals in the race for the second NL wild card.
The Dodgers did all this despite getting little to no contributions from stars such as Justin Turner, Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill , all of whom have been on the disabled list for the last five weeks, and Cody Bellinger, who has struggled most of the season. No wonder Roberts sounded so confident after Wednesday’s loss.
“We’re going to be somewhere in October,” Roberts told reporters. “I can’t speak to the opponent, but we’re going to be somewhere.”
It will take a miracle for the Mets (31-41) to be anywhere but a golf course when the playoffs begin. New York, which has lost 40 of 60 since an 11-1 start, is 11 1/2 games out of first place in the NL East and 8 1/2 games back in the wild-card race.
The Mets’ slide has been marked by extreme highs and lows on both sides of the ball. They have scored 42 runs in the last six games, a span in which the pitching staff posted a 5.14 ERA.
New York scored just 42 runs in 17 games from May 28 through June 15, during which its pitchers posted a 4.13 ERA.
“There’s no magic pill or magic wand to make everything sync up at the same time ,” Callaway told reporters Thursday afternoon. “I think that’s been the tale of our season so far. Even when we’re not winning games, we have a part of us that’s going good. We just have trouble getting (everything) to sync up at the same time so we can get on a good run again.”
Wheeler didn’t factor into the decision in his most recent start on Sunday, when he gave up two runs in six innings as the Mets beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3. Wood won the last time he took the mound last Saturday when he allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings in the Dodgers’ 3-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants.
Wheeler lost his lone career start against the Dodgers on June 19, 2017, when he surrendered seven runs in two innings as the Mets fell 10-6. Wood is 0-3 with a 3.94 ERA in eight career starts against the Mets.
Defenseman Derrick Pouliot snapped a 1-1 tie with his third goal of the season early in the third period and the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 Thursday night for their third consecutive win.
Sam Gagner also scored for the Canucks, who have won four of their past five games.
Connor McDavid scored for the Oilers, who have lost two in a row. Edmonton is 3-2-1 in its past six games.
Pouliot gave Vancouver the lead just 2 minutes into the third period. Nikolay Goldobin fed the Canucks defenseman a pass from along the boards. Pouliot skated in on Oilers goalie Cam Talbot, make a deke then scored his first goal in 42 games.
Leon Draisaitl had a chance to tie the game on an Oilers power play late in the third, but his shot hit the post. Ryan Strome’s slap shot also hit the post after a Canucks giveaway with just over two minutes remaining.
McDavid’s goal was his 41st of the season , giving him an NHL-leading 103 points, leaving him six ahead of Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov. McDavid trails Washington’s Alex Ovechkin by four goals in the race for the Rocket Richard Trophy.
Vancouver goaltender Jacob Markstrom stopped 35 shots. He’s 4-0-0 in his past four starts. Talbot made 28 saves for the Oilers.
Markstrom kept the Canucks in the game with some big stops, including getting a pad on Milan Lucic’s shot in the first period.
”For me right now it’s just a carry-over from the feeling I had in the previous games,” Markstrom said. ”I just keep building on it.”
McDavid showed some of his magic on the game’s opening goal at 11:33 of the first period. After defenseman Andrej Sekera flipped a puck down the ice, McDavid showed his speed by skating around Gagner then muscled defenseman Michael Del Zotto off the puck. He scored on a shot that hit Markstrom’s blocker, went off the post, and into the net.
Gagner was also battling the flu Thursday.
”When you get stuck on the ice with him (McDavid) it’s not funny even when you are feeling 100 percent,” Gagner said. ”Obviously he’s special.”
The Oilers captain has 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in his past six games.
Gagner earned some redemption by tying the game at 15:14 of the second. Daniel Sedin took a shot from the faceoff circle that Talbot stopped. Gagner , alone at the side of the net, put in the rebound for his third goal in four games.
”You never want to be a culprit on a goal-against,” Gagner said. ”It was a tough one there. I thought the guys battled back really well. It’s a nice feeling.”
Adam Gaudette, the former Northeastern University Husky who recently signed with Vancouver after leading the NCAA with 30 goals and 60 points, played his first NHL game. On his opening shift, he sent a sizzling shot just wide of the Oilers net.
NOTES: Gaudette is a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as the best player in NCAA hockey. … Henrik Sedin’s opening shift of the game was the 30,000th of his career. … Brendan Gaunce returned to the Canucks lineup after missing 24 games with a foot injury. … With several Canucks down with the flu, Jake Virtanen was a late scratch. … The game’s first penalty came at 12:33 of the second period when Vancouver’s Darren Archibald was called for interference. … Al Montoya dressed as the Oilers backup goaltender after missing two games with an injury.
Oilers: Travel to Calgary on Saturday night.
Canucks: Host Columbus on Saturday.