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    feel confident in both goalies


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    feel confident in both goalies
    MIAMI — Monday is a day that Shelby Miller has been waiting for since he underwent elbow surgery more than 14 months ago.

    The Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander will make his first major-league appearance since April 23 Josh Sitton Color Rush Jersey , 2017, facing the Miami Marlins and right-hander Dan Straily (2-3, 4.89 ERA).

    The Diamondbacks, who lead the National League West with a 44-33 record, have won four games in a row.

    Now they get back Miller, a 27-year-old former first-round pick who was drafted 19th overall by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2009. He went 15-9 with a 3.06 ERA in 2013, finishing third in the Rookie of the Year voting.

    Since then, however, Miller has been traded twice — by the Cardinals to the Atlanta Braves and then to Arizona before the start of the 2016 season.

    So far, the Diamondbacks haven’t gotten much return on their investment. Miller went 3-12 with a 6.15 ERA in 2016 and 2-2 with a 4.09 ERA before getting hurt a year ago, lasting just four starts.

    “I definitely have some things to prove over here Hector Rondon Houston Astros Jersey ,” Miller, an All-Star with Atlanta in 2015, told azcentral.com. “I feel I was throwing pretty well last year. Unfortunately, I got hurt.”

    Monday represents a fresh start for Miller, who made four starts in extended spring training earlier this year followed by four minor-league rehab appearances.

    “I’m super excited to be here,” Miller said. “For me, it’s a huge accomplishment.

    “Command was the last thing to come back. But I feel it is there now. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t feel I was ready to pitch.”

    Straily, who will be Miller’s counterpart on Monday, faced Arizona earlier this year, allowing one run in 4 1/3 innings of a 6-1 loss to the Diamondbacks on June 3.

    In Straily’s most recent start, he lasted just 1 1/3 innings before he was ejected for the first time in his career Pat Valaika Colorado Rockies Jersey , exiting during a 6-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants.

    Straily was tossed out after he hit Giants star catcher Buster Posey with a pitch.

    “I don’t know,” Posey said when asked by the media if the hit-by-pitch was intentional. “It sure seemed that way.”

    Of much bigger concern for the Marlins (31-47) is the fact that they have lost their past five games when Straily starts. Straily has zero quality starts during that span.

    The Marlins, who are in last place in the NL East, beat the Colorado Rockies 8-5 on Sunday for their second straight win.

    Miami finished 5-4 on its road trip to the Baltimore Orioles, San Francisco Giants and Colorado, taking two of the three series. It is Miami’s first winning road trip of the year.

    The Marlins are 11-11 in June, which has already made this their best month of the season. And they have more road wins (17-26) than home victories (14-21).

    Meanwhile, Arizona has a winning record at home (23-16) and on the road (21-17). They are 16-6 in June after a poor May (8-19). The Diamondbacks are also 3-0 against the Marlins.

    Hot Miami hitters include left fielder Derek Dietrich, who was 4-for-5 on Sunday to raise his batting average to .302, and catcher J.T. Realmuto, who went 1-for-3 and is batting .308.

    Dietrich batted .476 for the week with three homers and three multi-hit games. Realmuto hit .360 this week with five doubles http://www.texansauthorizedshops.com/aut...eid-jersey , one homer, six RBIs and at least one hit in all six games.

    As the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils shifts to the Prudential Center for Game 3 Monday night, one team espouses change while the other is quite fine with the status quo.

    It is not hard to determine which team is which after the Lightning held serve on home ice, winning the first two games. Now it’s up to the Devils to change the narrative as the series shifts to Newark, but that may be easier said than done.

    The Lightning took Game 1 by a 5-2 score and then ran out to a four-goal lead in the second game on Saturday before finishing the Devils off 5-3. Over 120 minutes of playoff hockey, the Lightning have not trailed for a single second.

    “You approach every game at a time, and we’re just focused on the next one right now,” said the Lightning’s Tyler Johnson, who scored a goal in each of the first two games. “We’re not focused on what we did the first two games. It’s what we’re going to do in the next one.”

    That business-like approach is echoed throughout the experienced Lightning dressing room. Not only did this team finish first in the Eastern Conference this season, but the roster swells with players that played in recent Stanley Cup and conference finals games.

    That experience showed in the first two games as the Lightning handled momentum swings in a smoother fashion that far-less experienced Devils. And it could be a big advantage as the Lightning look to put a stranglehold on the series with a win Monday night.

    “Just because you won the first two games at home, that’s not a paved path saying you’re going to win Game 3 http://www.eaglesauthorizedshops.com/aut...eat-jersey ,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “The best we played (Saturday), we’re going to go five percent better to win on the road.”

    While the Devils had surges in the opening two games in Tampa, there is much room for improvement up and down their lineup. In fact, the lineup deployed by Devils coach John Hynes in the first two games, will be shaken up Monday night.

    Hynes told reporters on a conference call Sunday that there will be changes made, though he declined to specify which players might be in or out.

    “There are some guys who just haven’t performed well enough to warrant staying in the lineup,” explained Hynes. “We’re a team, we need to play as a group. We can’t have passengers. We can’t have guys not necessarily playing as hard as they need to in the competitive areas of the game.”

    Veterans Ben Lovejoy and Michael Grabner might be in danger of watching from the press box in Game 3. Both have struggled, and Grabner logged only 8:56 worth of ice time on Saturday.

    Adding some intrigue to who may, or may not, play in Game 3 is that the Devils signed 2016 third-round pick Joey Anderson to an entry-level contract on Sunday. He will skate with the team Monday after recently helping the University of Minnesota-Duluth win the NCAA Championship.

    Another area of question is in goal. Keith Kinkaid went 7-0-1 down the stretch between the pipes http://www.texansauthorizedshops.com/aut...kin-jersey , helping the Devils secure their first playoff berth in six years, after Cory Schneider was sidelined with a hip injury in January and then failed to win any of his starts upon his return more than a month later.

    However, Kinkaid was blitzed by the high-powered Lightning offense in the first two games of this series and was pulled in favor of Schneider after allowing five goals on 15 shots in only 33:12 on Saturday.

    Hynes said Sunday he decided on his starting goalie for Game 3 but was not ready to publicly divulge his choice.

    “I feel confident in both goalies,” Devils alternate captain Taylor Hall told reporters Sunday. “That’s the least of our worries. Keith down the stretch was great and Cory’s had his times this year, as well.”

    No matter who starts in goal, the Devils need to tighten up their overall defensive game and find ways to slow down the potent Lightning power play, which converted on three of its four opportunities in Games 1 and 2.

    Despite the daunting task ahead of his team, Hall is excited for Monday night.

    “It’s going to be really fun to have our fans behind us,” said Hall, who has one goal and one assist in the series. “Home ice is a huge advantage and using the fans can give is the push we need for Game 3.”

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    10.08.2018 10:45
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