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|Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:10 am Post subject: Dodgers’ four homers tied a season high
|Blake Bortles remembers the first time Jalen Ramsey got under his skin.
Bortles was trying to get through a two-minute drill during the 2016 season. It was a weekly walkthrough routine in which players were supposed to go half-speed while practicing plays. Normally Chris Lindstrom Jersey , there’s no contact and every pass is complete.
At least that had been the case until Ramsey arrived.
Bortles threw several passes in Ramsey’s direction. The rookie intercepted or knocked down each one.
It happened week after week until Bortles finally stopped throwing Ramsey’s way.
”It was so annoying,” Bortles recalled Thursday.
It also set the tone for Ramsey’s career. The trash-talking cornerback has a flair for frustrating quarterbacks and receivers and the ability to essentially shut down one side of the field. After 33 games, Ramsey’s already considered among the best players in franchise history – a 23-year-old rising star who openly aspires to be as good as Hall of Famer Deion Sanders and often looks the part.
”The best I’ve ever seen in person,” Bortles said. ”He’s freakish.”
Ramsey is a major piece of Jacksonville’s defensive turnaround, and he’ll take center stage Sunday when the Jaguars (11-6) play in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs at Pittsburgh (13-3).
Ramsey will shadow Antonio Brown , widely considered the best receiver in the NFL.
All-Pro vs. All-Pro, undoubtedly the most intriguing matchup of the postseason game.
”It’s not many receivers I’m going to come in here in front of y’all and say they’re one of the best in the league,” Ramsey said. ”He is, though. That’s the truth about him.”
Brown caught 10 passes for 157 yards in the first meeting against Jacksonville, which won 30-9 in early October. Ben Roethlisberger targeted Brown a staggering 19 times, with three of those ending up as interceptions.
”He’s an elite player,” Ramsey said. ”Highly regarded by everybody http://www.falconscheapshops.com/cheap-authentic-kaleb-mcgary-jersey , honestly, around the nation or maybe internationally. So, yeah, it’s going to be a challenge. We’re going to have to be on our Ps and Qs and try to execute the game plan as best we can.”
Jacksonville’s game plan has changed slightly since the first meeting.
Ramsey and fellow Pro Bowl cornerback A.J. Bouye played sides to start the season, covering whatever receiver lined up in front of them. But Ramsey has since started following the top wideout for every opponent all over the field, and he’s had rousing success against Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins, Indianapolis’ T.Y. Hilton, Cincinnati’s A.J. Green, Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald, Los Angeles Chargers’ Keenan Allen and San Francisco’s Marquise Goodwin.
Ramsey angered Green so much with his constant verbal jabs that the mild-mannered receiver grabbed the cocky cornerback in a headlock and tossed him to the ground. Both players were ejected.
”He’ll get in a guy’s head now,” linebacker Telvin Smith said.
Added Bouye: ”Everything he’s accomplished, he’s worked for it. He’s capitalized. He’s learned from his mistakes and he keeps getting better week in and week out.”
According to Pro Football Focus Kendall Sheffield Jersey , Ramsey has allowed 47 receptions for 586 yards and three touchdowns this season. He has five interceptions, including one to seal a 10-3 victory against Buffalo in a wild-card game.
It was about what the Jaguars have come to expect from the fifth overall pick in the 2016 draft. He has a rare combination of size, speed, instincts, ball skills and body control. And he’s no longer a rookie.
”You see the maturity in the meetings and you see the maturity on the grass,” defensive coordinator Todd Wash said. ”We always knew he was a freak athlete and we always knew he could play. But that maturity level is getting better and better each day.”
His matchup against Brown will be his next – and maybe his best – challenge.
”It’s going to be an unbelievable thing,” Jaguars safety Barry Church said. ”I’m just glad I’m on the field for it. Those guys, they both like to talk a bit of trash and they’re going to be matched up with each other the whole game. It’s going to be a great one. We’ll see who gets the better of the two, but my money’s on Jalen.”
Already in line to start his third career All-Star Game and first since 2012, Matt Kemp is keeping up a torrid pace.
Kemp tied a career high with five hits, Joc Pederson and Max Muncy hit back-to-back homers to highlight a six-run fourth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers routed the Pittsburgh Pirates 17-1 on Monday night in the series opener.
Kemp hit a three-run homer in the sixth and drove in four runs for the second straight game. He came up a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
He’s notched eight straight hits since Sunday against Colorado; the franchise record is 10.
”It’s been pretty good http://www.falconscheapshops.com/cheap-authentic-john-cominsky-jersey ,” Kemp said. ”As a team, we did a pretty good job.”
Fans chanted ”MVP! MVP!” as Kemp crossed the plate after his 15th homer of the season. The veteran slugger is the second-leading vote getter among National League outfielders for the July 17 All-Star Game. Kemp also scored four runs.
”It was a clinic tonight, and everyone sort of fed off what he was doing at the plate,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Cody Bellinger homered in the third, leaving the Dodgers with 116 homers this season after they slugged a major league-leading and franchise-record 55 in June. They already have five long balls two days into July.
The Dodgers recorded season highs in hits (21) and runs. They batted around in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, tacking on three runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth for a 17-1 lead.
”You never like when these games happen, but they seem to find a way to happen every now and then,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
Alex Wood (5-5) allowed one run and six hits in six innings. The left-hander struck out three and didn’t walk anyone in recording a win for his fourth straight start. The Dodgers’ defense backed him with double plays in the first and sixth.
Wood was sitting for long stretches while the Dodgers batted around, although he also was busy with four at-bats, getting a hit.
Caleb Ferguson pitched three innings to earn his first major league save on his 22nd birthday.
”A 16-run save,” joked Wood.
Ferguson said Qadree Ollison Jersey , ”I didn’t realize it until after the game. It’s awesome, especially on my birthday.”
Yasiel Puig had three hits and drove in four runs in the Dodgers’ second straight win.
The Pirates stumbled from the start.
In the first inning alone, David Freese dropped a throw at first base, starter Nick Kingham balked a runner to third and catcher Elias Diaz missed the target on a throw to the mound for an error by Kingham that allowed Bellinger to score the Dodgers’ second run of the inning.
”It just missed my glove and bounced away,” Kingham said. ”No one else was expecting it but the runner on third saw it and he went home.”
Pittsburgh’s third error – by center fielder Austin Meadows – led to the Dodgers scoring their 10th run in the fourth.
The Pirates’ lone run came on Diaz’s homer in the second.
Kingham (3-3) gave up seven runs – five earned – and eight hits in three-plus innings, the rookie’s shortest outing of the season. The right-hander struck out two and walked three making a spot start in place of Chad Kuhl, who is on the disabled list with a forearm strain.
The Dodgers were no kinder to reliever Tanner Anderson, who got tagged for six runs – five earned – and eight hits in two innings of his major league debut.
”First pitch, I was really nervous,” the 2015 Harvard graduate said.
Pirates: INF-OF Sean Rodriguez (right quad strain) began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Indianapolis. … LHP Enny Romero (left shoulder impingement) was reinstated from the DL and designated for assignment.
Dodgers: RHP Walker Buehler will pitch at Class A-Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday. If it goes well, he will toss a bullpen session on Friday. … LHP Tony Cingrani (left shoulder inflammation) will have a rehab assignment before he returns.
With a 17-1 lead, Puig wasn’t loafing on defense. Jordy Mercer lined a double into the right-field corner in the seventh and Corey Dickerson took off from second while Puig chased the ball into the corner. If Dickerson was thinking about trying to score Rashan Gary Jersey , Puig wouldn’t have it. The Cuban threw a flat-footed strike from foul territory that held up Dickerson.
It was the Pirates’ worst loss since falling 20-0 to the Brewers on April 22, 2010, at home. The Bucs allowed season highs in runs and hits, while the Dodgers’ four homers tied a season high.
Pirates RHP Ivan Nova (4-5, 4.02 ERA) starts on Tuesday. He is 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA in two career starts against the Dodgers. LHP Clayton Kershaw (1-4, 2.84) makes his third start for Los Angeles since coming off the DL. He is 2-3 with a 3.18 ERA in 11 career starts against the Pirates, with 69 strikeouts and 12 walks while holding their batters to a .221 average.