This defense is much improved

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2 Nov 2018
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Hal Steinbrenner says his New York Yankees may need a starting pitching upgrade if they’re going to reach their first World Series since 2009.



Steinbrenner Colts Cheap Jerseys , the Yankees managing general partner, said Wednesday the club will explore the trade market for an arm, especially considering the recent loss of left-hander Jordan Montgomery, who had season-ending Tommy John surgery on June 7.


The Yankees entered Wednesday with the best record in baseball, narrowly ahead of AL East rival Boston. The club has space to acquire an impact player and still remain under the $197 million luxury-tax threshold, a goal the team has stated several times.


”Clearly starting pitching was always a concern,” Steinbrenner said, speaking to a small group of reporters at an owners’ meeting. ”It’s definitely one of the areas we’re going to be looking at.


”Purposely left a decent amount of money for just this,” he added. ”If we decide to go get a pitcher and if a pitcher’s available, I think we definitely have the flexibility that would allow me to do just that.”


Cole Hamels, Chris Archer and Madison Bumgarner are among the biggest names that could potentially be available at the deadline, but they would likely cost one or more of New York’s blue-chip prospects. Steinbrenner wants to be cautious about moving high-ceiling youngsters to beef up the rotation.


”It depends what the asks are. I mean, I love the young guys,” he said. ”Our fans love the young guys, and I think it’s obvious to all of us. They’ve made a heck of an impact, and to see Gleyber (Torres) and (Miguel) Andujar and others, you know, right off the heels of (Aaron) Judge and (Gary) Sanchez and (Luis) Severino, I mean it’s pretty amazing.”


The team does have internal options, and Steinbrenner said he’s willing to stick by some young, untested pitchers if needed. Jonathan Loaisiga will make his major league debut Friday, rookie Domingo German has held his own in six starts, and prospects Justus Sheffield Jaguars Cheap Jerseys , Chance Adams and Erik Swanson could get looks later this year, too.


”We’ve got some options for August, September, but again, we’re going to look at anything that comes across our desk,” Steinbrenner said.


OFF AND RUNNING


Steinbrenner praised first-year manager Aaron Boone, pleased with his performance thus far despite the rookie manager having no professional coaching experience prior to the season.


”Everything we could ask for. Calm, cool, collected,” Steinbrenner said. ”Players have a lot of respect for him. He’s been great in the clubhouse and he’s been great with his coaching staff, and the coaches he’s brought in have been good so I mean it’s as advertised.”


NO WORRIES


Giancarlo Stanton has been good, but not great, in his first year with the Yankees. He entered Wednesday batting .240 with 14 homers, 34 RBIs and a .797 OPS – compared to a 1.007 OPS when he won the NL MVP Award last season. Steinbrenner believes New York’s marquee offseason acquisition will crank up his production soon, though.


”He’s had ups and downs, but when he gets hot, he’ll carry a team,” Steinbrenner said. ”We’ve all seen that and it will happen. Work ethic is great. Worked his way right into the clubhouse in a great way, teammates like him, so he’s going to be great.”


NOT-SO-FRIENDLY SKIES


New York has had eight games either postponed or suspended by poor weather already this season. If that wasn’t enough of an inconvenience, they’ve also encountered their share of travel snafus- which included having to spend a night at Dulles International Airport in mid-May due to weather and a problem with the plane.


As an experienced pilot himself, Steinbrenner understands that air travel can be an inexact science.


”We all fly commercial and even small jets, even my plane has problems from time to time and I fly a dinky little propeller plane Chiefs Cheap Jerseys ,” he said. ”So you start to get into these airliners, I mean they’re complex from the avionics to the life support systems to the engines to the hydraulics. They’re just complicated machines. … It’s obviously air transportation, very reliable and very safe. But it’s very safe and very reliable because they don’t take a plane up if it’s not close to a hundred percent, right?”





Nick Foles used the bye week to go back to basics.


The Philadelphia Eagles (13-3) are the first No. 1 seed to open the playoffs as an underdog mainly because Foles is the starting quarterback instead of Carson Wentz.


But Foles hasn’t lost confidence despite public perception that he can’t lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl, or even a victory over the Atlanta Falcons (11-6) on Saturday in the divisional round.


”It’s just going out there and playing and staying in the zone and trusting my instincts,” Foles said.


”I’ve played this game a long time. There’s a reason I’ve been able to do what I’ve been able to do. When I play my best and I’m most comfortable, I just go out there and play.”


Foles has had success against defenses similar to Atlanta’s. The Falcons employ a Cover-3 scheme as their base defense. The three deep zones are covered by two cornerbacks and the free safety. The Seahawks have excelled at it for several years. Of course, they have a world-class secondary.


Falcons coach Dan Quinn was Seattle’s defensive coordinator when they won the Super Bowl four years ago.


Foles has never faced Quinn, but he beat the Jaguars in 2014 with the Eagles and in 2016 with the Chiefs. He beat the Seahawks in 2015 with St. Louis. Gus Bradley, who preceded Quinn as Seattle’s defensive coordinator, was Jacksonville’s coach in both games against Foles.


Foles is 65 of 105 (61.9 percent) for 842 yards with five touchdowns passes and one interceptions in those three games against Cover-3 defenses.


”You know where they are going to be. That’s the thing with this defense,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. ”They play with a lot of confidence. It’s an aggressive style. It’s fast flow and they are not going to pull any punches.


”They are not going to try to trick you or do anything to get in your head or anything like that. It’s just line up and try to beat us.”


The Falcons don’t blitz much but still get pressure on quarterbacks. They tied for 13th in the league with 39 sacks. Adrian Clayborn led the way with 9+ sacks, including six in one game against the Cowboys.


Atlanta allowed 17.5 points per game over the final six games and then shut down the league’s highest-scoring offense in a 26-13 win at the Los Angeles Rams in the wild-card game.


”This defense is much improved over the course of the season,” Pederson said. ”You saw it against the Rams. They are fast. They are flying to the football.


”Secondary is aggressive. Guys know how to cover. A lot of single-high. They are going to challenge our receivers and that’s what you’re seeing on tape. It’s a quality defense, but that’s what we expect this time of year.”


Foles played well immediately after Wentz tore his ACL in Week 14. He was 20 of 48 for 279 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in his first five quarters versus 23 of 49 for 202 yards with one TD and two picks in the last five quarters.


”I haven’t executed as well as I wanted to the past couple of weeks, but I go out there and play and having this time to self-scout, go through practice, you realize just go out there and play,” Foles said.


”Maybe I wasn’t doing that as much those last couple of games. It’s as simple as that. Sometimes, the hardest things are the simplest things. Basically, get out of your own head and go play the game you know how to play.”





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