News und Infos » back into wild-card contention.


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back into wild-card contention.

in News und Infos 13.07.2019 10:04
von elaine95 • 447 Beiträge | 2007 Punkte
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BUFFALO http://www.houstontexansteamonline.com/kahale-warring-jersey , N.Y. (AP) — Calling this his final NFL season, Lorenzo Alexander has additional motivation to ensure it will be a successful one after the Buffalo Bills re-signed the linebacker to a one-year contract Wednesday.“I’ve been on some teams that have been close to winning the championship, so I’ve learned over time that you always have to have a sense of urgency,” Alexander said during a conference call.“I think we have something being built here that’s special,” he added. “I think next year we can really make a run, and at this point, that’s what it’s all about for me.”And yes, the 35-year-old Alexander said in reiterating comments he made in December, he doesn’t foresee playing beyond this year.“I’m going to put the work in. But if you asked me today, yeah, this is my last year,” he said. “At some point http://www.indianapoliscoltsteamonline.com/bobby-okereke-jersey , you’ve got to eventually walk away from the game and start the second half of your life.”Re-signing with Bills was essentially a formality after both Alexander and the Bills openly discussed the likelihood of him returning for a fourth season in Buffalo and 13th in the NFL.For the Bills, they retain a versatile, experienced player, who also helps patch over a leadership void after defensive tackle Kyle Williams’ decision to retire.For Alexander, he gets to continue building on the valuable role he carved out for himself both on and off the field on a team that helped revive his career.“I’m definitely fortunate and blessed to be having this opportunity at the age of 36 now,” he said, referring to how old he’ll be next season, “because many guys don’t get to play this long here in the NFL.”Alexander was an undrafted free agent out of California and split 2005 and ’06 with Carolina and Baltimore before finally landing a roster spot with Washington in 2007, where he played through 2012. He split the next three years with Arizona, where he was sidelined by a season-ending foot injury, and Oakland, before signing with Buffalo in 2016.Initially brought in to fill a special teams role in Buffalo http://www.jacksonvillejaguarsteamonline.com/jawaan-taylor-jersey , Alexander was so productive during the offseason he earned a starting job and finished with a career-best 12½ sacks in Rex Ryan’s final year as coach.Alexander has remained a regular since Sean McDermott took over, and is coming off a season in which he had 6½ sacks and a career-best two interceptions in starting eight of 16 games.Just as important, he’s played a role in grooming Buffalo’s up-and-coming youngsters, including middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds.Alexander sees the Bills moving in the right direction despite a 6-10 finish, following an offseason in which Buffalo continued restocking its roster with youth. The offense showed signs of progress under rookie quarterback Josh Allen, and the defense finished second in the NFL in yards allowed.“I don’t think we’re that far off,” Alexander said.The Bills also re-signed offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles to a one-year contract. The fourth-year player signed with Buffalo in late September, and had five starts in 12 games.
The Tampa Bay Rays finished the second-best homestand in their history, with a much easier path between now and the All-Star Game as they try to claw their way back into wild-card contention.

Tampa Bay (41-40) went 8-1 at Tropicana Field, finishing a grueling stretch of 16 games against the New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Washington Nationals and going 10-6 in those games to rise back above .500.

Now the Rays have a stretch of 16 straight games against teams with losing records, including a three-game series at the Miami Marlins (34-51) starting Monday.

The Rays have dominated with their patchwork pitching staff http://www.jacksonvillejaguarsteamonline.com/gardner-minshew-ii-jersey , allowing a total of seven runs in their last six games, with five wins and a 1-0 loss. They took three of four from Houston to close out the homestand and hope to continue the success to take some positive momentum into the All-Star break.

“The fact that we have been winning and everyone has been coming together at clutch moments has been great,” said outfielder Mallex Smith, who had a late solo home run in Sunday’s 3-2 win over Houston. “We’ve been jelling as a team. We’ve been feeding off one another. It seems like someone new coming through at the right time every day.”

Next for Tampa Bay is Nathan Eovaldi (2-3, 4.08 ERA), who played for the Marlins from 2012 to 2014 and will almost certainly fare better than his only career appearance against his former team. In June 2015, he played there with the Yankees and gave up nine hits and eight earned runs in less than an inning, leaving after two outs with a 108.00 ERA to show for it.

Eovaldi has shown promise since returning from Tommy John surgery — his last start against Washington lasted six innings and he gave up no runs, one and and two walks with nine strikeouts.

The Marlins will answer with Wei-Yin Chen, who knows the Rays from his days with the Baltimore Orioles. He has started 21 career games against Tampa Bay, more than any other opponent, and posted a 5-6 record with a 3.72 ERA.

That’s considerably better than his overall numbers this year — he’s 2-5 with a 6.14 ERA http://www.losangelesramsteamonline.com/darrell-henderson-jersey , though his last start was solid. He limited Arizona to one run and five hits in six innings last week. Against Tampa Bay last year, he pitched well, holding the Rays to two runs and two hits in six innings.

The in-state rivals will meet again right after the All-Star break for three more games, but the extended run against lesser opponents is something the Rays must dominate if they want to get back into wild-card contention.

Even after winning eight of nine games, Tampa Bay is still 11 games behind Seattle for the second AL wild card. Still, being 42-41 after opening the season 1-8 isn’t bad, especially considering the injuries they’ve dealt with and the talent traded away since the end of last season.


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