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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:05 pm  Post subject:  e start to his temporary spell in charge foll Reply with quoteBottom of PageBack to top

(Sports Network) - A perennial Cy Young Award candidate takes on one of the front-runners in the 2012 National League field when the Philadelphia Phillies visit the New York Mets for the first of a three-game series. Charles Mann Jersey . The Phillies start the set with left-hander Cliff Lee, the 2008 Cy Young winner in the American League and a two-time top-10 finisher for the honor in the AL (2005, 2010) along with a third-place finish in the NL in 2011. New York counters with knuckleballing righty R.A. Dickey, whos already won a career-best 18 games and is considered among the top contenders for the 2012 award along with Washingtons Gio Gonzalez and Cincinnatis Johnny Cueto. Lee is 3-1 in seven career starts against the Mets with a stingy 2.25 earned run average across 48 innings while posting a .233 batting average. He began the season with just one win in his initial seven starts, but has since won four of the last five across nine starts while trimming his ERA from 3.95 to 3.36. In his last game, against Miami on Sept. 12, he tossed seven innings and allowed an unearned run in seven innings of a 3-1 defeat of the Marlins. Hes lasted at least seven innings in eight of his last 10 starts, in which the Phillies have gone 7-3. For the Mets, Dickey, who entered the season with 41 wins in 204 big-league appearances, got win No. 18 of 2012 with a 6-2 victory at St. Louis on Sept. 5. He allowed two runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings of the victory, in which he walked one batter and struck out five. His initial chance at win No. 19 came six days later against Washington and ended in a 5-3 loss after he was touched for three runs on eight hits in seven innings. Dickey is 3-3 in eight career starts against the Phillies with a 2.94 ERA. On Sunday in Houston, Matt Dominguezs two-run single in the seventh inning proved to be difference, as the Astros held on to beat the Phillies, 7-6. Philadelphia arrived at Minute Maid Park on a seven-game winning streak that put the club back into playoff contention. But the Phillies dropped three of four to the MLB-worst Astros and are now four games out in the race for the National Leagues second wild-card spot. In Milwaukee, Ryan Braun hit two homers, Wily Peralta pitched eight shutout innings and John Axford closed it out in the ninth as the Brewers blanked the Mets 3-0 to take the rubber match of a three-game set. The Mets managed only two hits, both off of Peralta (2-0), who made just the third start of his career. He fanned five and walked only one. Chris Young (4-Cool pitched well, but gave up three homers to account for all of the Brewers runs. He lasted 6 2/3 innings, giving up eight hits while striking out two. The Mets won 10 of the first 15 games between the teams in 2012, while the Phillies were an 11-7 winner in the 2011 series against New York. Pirates aim to avoid .500 mark in finale with Cubs Veteran right-hander Kevin Correia can keep the Pittsburgh Pirates above .500 Monday when they visit Wrigley Field for the finale of a four-game series with the host Chicago Cubs. Pittsburgh, which led the National Leagues Central Division earlier this season and was in a close race with St. Louis and Cincinnati through much of the summer, has faded badly in recent weeks and fallen behind Milwaukee into fourth - 14 games in back of the Reds. The Pirates, which trail the NLs second wild card spot by three games, were dropped within a game of .500 in Sundays third game with the Cubs, in which they lost a 13-9 decision. Correia, who was 12-11 in his initial season with the Pirates in 2011, got to 10-8 with a Sept. 5 defeat of Houston before dropping a 5-3 decision to the Reds in Cincinnati on Sept. 11. Hes 3-3 in his last 10 appearances - in which the Pirates are 4-6 - while his earned run average has ticked slightly upward from 4.24 to 4.29. Hes 4-4 in 14 career meetings with the Cubs with a 5.53 ERA in 55 1/3 innings. Correia won a 3-2 decision over the Cubs in their last get-together on July 25 in Pittsburgh, where he allowed two runs on four hits in six innings. Chicago opposes him with lefty Travis Wood, a 25-year-old whos won two straight starts, including one at Pittsburgh. The Arkansas native, whos 3-3 in six career meetings with the Pirates, allowed a single hit in six scoreless innings with five strikeouts while winning a 12-2 decision. He followed it up with a 5-1 decision at Houston five days later, scattering four hits and giving up a single run in 7 2/3 innings with six strikeouts. The two wins signaled the end of a 10-start drought in which Wood had gone 0-8, though hed allowed three earned runs or less six times. On Sunday, Anthony Rizzo smacked two homers, including the go-ahead grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning, as the Cubs downed the Pirates, 13-9. With the bases loaded and none away in the sixth, Jared Hughes (2-2) relieved Rick van den Hurk and allowed an RBI single to Darwin Barney. Rizzo stepped up next and pulverized a grand slam deep into the right-center field bleachers for a 10-9 Cubs lead. Rizzo drove in six and scored three runs, Alfonso Soriano tallied three hits, two RBI and a run scored, Joe Mather hit a solo shot and Barney recorded two hits, scored three runs and drove in an run for Chicago, which has won seven of its last nine games. Jeff Beliveau (1-0) picked up the final two outs in the visitors sixth for the win. Pedro Alvarez cracked a pair of homers and racked up five RBI for the Pirates, who have dropped eight of their last nine contests. The Pirates and Cubs split their first 12 games of the season in 2012, before Chicago won two of three to begin this series. The teams split 16 games in 2011. Robert Griffin III Black Jersey .Y. -- Its lights out for Shawne Merriman in Buffalo after the Bills cut the one-time star pass rusher Monday. Darrell Green Jersey . It turned out to be a winning plan. Heyward stole third base and scored on catcher J.P. Arencibias throwing error in the 10th inning as the Atlanta Braves beat Toronto 4-3 on Friday night for their fifth straight victory. http://www.fansredskinsroom.com/kirk-cousins-jersey . -- New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma hopes to play a bigger role on the Saints defence in his second game of the season. Tyler Polumbus Jersey . He was definitely thinking about the perfect game Phil Humber pitched last weekend. "Absolutely. Chris Chester Jersey . The big winger vaulted into the Top 30 - from 54th to 29th - with an impressive playoff run for the final TSN. LONDON -- Real Madrid gave APOEL Nicosia a reality check in the biggest match of the unheralded Cypriot clubs history when they met Tuesday in the Champions League. Looking to cause one of the greatest shocks in the history of the competition, APOEL came up short against the millionaires from Madrid, losing 3-0 at home to the nine-time European champions in the first leg of the quarterfinals. All of Madrids goals came in the final 16 minutes at a rocking GSP Stadium in Nicosia, with France striker Karim Benzema scoring twice to take his Champions League haul to 25 goals in 41 matches and Brazilian playmaker Kaka scoring the other after coming off the bench. "Real has advanced to the next phase of the Champions League, thats for sure," APOEL coach Ivan Jovanovic said. Chelsea also took a giant step toward the semifinals, beating Portuguese side Benfica 1-0 away courtesy of Salomon Kalous 75th-minute goal. "Its terrific, you couldnt have hoped for a better result," interim Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo said. "Nothing is over -- there is still another 90 minutes to play. But we will have home advantage." After producing one of the most diverse quarterfinal lineups in recent memory, the Champions League could easily end up having four of its usual contenders in the semifinals. The two other last-eight first legs are played on Wednesday, with reigning champion Barcelona visiting AC Milan and Marseille at home to Bayern Munich, which hosts the final at the Allianz Arena on May 19. Either Marseille or Bayern will surely be facing Madrid, which gave a confident, assured display on the tiny Mediterranean island. After beating Lyon in the last 16, the first Cypriot team to reach the Champions Leagues knockout stages was looking to add an even more famous scalp on its historic run. But in the end the margin of victory could easily have been wider. "The dream of the Champions League lookss like its over. Ryan Kerrigan Red Jersey. It looks very, very, very difficult for APOEL to beat us 4-0 or 4-1 in the Bernabeu," Madrid coach Jose Mourinho said. "But I think the next dream is to be in the Champions League again." Benzema had somehow contrived to miss an open goal from five yards (meters) out before finally opening the scoring in the 74th, diving to meet Kakas cross from the left with a glancing header. Kaka gave Madrid more of a cutting edge after coming on as a second-half substitute and he neatly finished off good work on the left wing by fellow substitute and compatriot Marcelo to end APOELs hopes of a comeback in the 82nd. Mourinho, bidding to become the first coach to win the competition with three clubs, was able to celebrate a third goal approaching injury time when Benzema connected with a perfect pass from Mesut Oezil. "This draw with Real was perhaps the last gift weve received from football this year because for us, it was a real honour to play this team," Jovanovic said. Di Matteo has made an impressive start to his temporary spell in charge following the firing of Andre Villas-Boas but would have faced heavy criticism had a much-changed lineup, missing stalwarts Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and Michael Essien, lost against Benfica. As it was, his selection gamble paid off, with Fernando Torres -- starting in place of Drogba up front -- crossing for Kalou to guide home a side-footed finish to mark a rare start for the Ivory Coast forward. "Hes come into the team after a long spell out, he got the goal and had a great game," Di Matteo said of Kalou. "I didnt think it was a gamble but sometimes in life you have to take a little risk." Benfica created double the amount of chances as Chelsea, Englands sole remaining representative, but lacked composure in front of goal, with Oscar Cardozo, Bruno Cesar and Jardel all wasting good opportunities. ' ' '

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