Has Jake Arrieta run out of steam?

October 19, 2015 – 2:11 am by Ryan Phillips
    Jake Arrieta

The Chicago Cubs dropped Game 2 of the 2015 National League Championship Series on Sunday night, falling 4-1 to the New York Mets. The Cubs were relying on ace right-hander Jake Arrieta to secure Game 2 for them, and prevent the Mets from taking a 2-0 lead in the series. That didn’t happen, as New York grabbed a 4-1 win.

Arrieta struggled from the first inning and wound up taking his first loss since July 25. The 29-year-old allowed four earned runs for the second-straight start and only lasted five innings. It was his shortest outing since June 16.

Arrieta finished the regular season with a ridiculous ERA of 1.77 and a 22-6 record. But since his brilliant, five-hit shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Wild Card Game, he has struggled. In 10.2 innings over two starts, he has allowed eight earned runs, giving him an ERA of 6.75.

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Cubs vs. Mets: Let It Be

October 16, 2015 – 1:54 am by Hickey


It was a lesson I learned early.

Oddly enough, at least if you find coincidences odd, it was the last time the Mets and Dodgers met in the postseason — 1988. My dad and I were out playing catch in the vacant lot next to our house when he asked who I was rooting for the the NLCS.

I had no dog in the fight, so I hadn’t put much thought into it. But when put on the spot, I reasoned that Darryl Strawberry had a cool name, was pretty awesome and the inclusion of orange-and-blue in his team’s color scheme made them favorable.

“The Mets.”

My dad actually caught my toss back, then held onto the ball to teach a stern fatherly lesson before resuming.

“No true Cub fan roots for the Mets.”

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Steve Sarkisian tweets support for USC football team

October 15, 2015 – 2:38 am by Ryan Phillips
    Steve Sarkisian

After first being placed on an indefinite leave of absence as the head football coach at USC, Steve Sarkisian was fired by the university on Monday for breach of contract. Since that time, he had made no public statements or issued a response to the firing through his agent.

On Wednesday night, Sarkisian resurfaced to thank his supporters for their concern over his battle with substance abuse and he also wished his former team well this weekend.

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Eddie Vedder keeps score at baseball games; rules at life

October 13, 2015 – 1:23 am by Hickey


You know what’s really rock’n fuckin’ roll? Not destroying hotel rooms or bangin’ groupies or smashing guitars or tripping balls on acid. Nope, that stuff’s all old hat now. The new rock’n’roll move is keeping score at baseball games.

This fact was proven by Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder — a man who was once on the front line of the crowd surfing movement — as he kept score while sitting next to Cubs president Theo Epstein at Game 3 of the National League Division Series.

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Steve Sarkisian’s issues are no laughing matter

October 11, 2015 – 11:37 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Steve Sarkisian

As the world found out on Sunday, USC head football coach Steve Sarkisian has been struggling with personal demons none of us can possibly understand. Whatever is happening in his personal life is nothing to laugh about and the reaction by some on the Internet after news broke was sickening.

After Sarkisian reportedly showed up impaired to a meeting Sunday morning, he left USC’s campus, missed the start of practice and later had a conversation with athletic director Pat Haden. Sarkisian reportedly admitted to Haden that he needed help and the two of them agreed the 41-year-old head coach should take a leave of absence to focus on getting treatment. Offensive coordinator Clay Helton will serve as interim head coach.

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Parise’s hat trick sparks comeback win in Wild’s season opener

October 9, 2015 – 3:09 am by Zach Rastall
    Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 3.07.25 AM

From time to time, Zach Parise will have nights that make you feel like the Minnesota Wild got a bargain by signing him to a 13-year, $98 million deal.

Thursday was one of those nights, as Parise notched his first hat trick with Minnesota and helped spark an incredible third-period comeback as the Wild bested the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 to kick off the regular season.

The first period was nothing short of a train wreck for Minnesota. The Wild looked all out of sorts on defense and looked like they were simply going through the motions out on the ice. Parise did get one breakaway opportunity that could’ve given the Wild a 1-0 lead, but his shot rang off the left post and the game remained scoreless for the time being.

Instead, it was the Avalanche who drew first blood and ended up scoring three goals in the first period, including two on the power play.

The two teams traded goals in the second frame, which included a goal by Parise, leaving the score at 4-1 in favor of Colorado at the second intermission. At this point, not even the most optimistic Minnesota fan could’ve predicted the events that would transpire in the third period.

Parise would put the wheels in motion early in the third frame.

With Minnesota working in the offensive zone, Parise got decked by Gabriel Landeskog. However, Parise would put back almost instantaneously while Landeskog left him open, allowing him to take a feed from Jason Pominville and beat Semyon Varmalov to cut Colorado’s lead to 4-2.

Just two minutes later, Nino Niederreiter scored on a wrister, followed shortly thereafter by a goal from Thomas Vanek that was set up by a neutral zone takeaway courtesy of Charlie Coyle.

Cubs-Cardinals: The playoff series that will kill me

October 8, 2015 – 2:19 pm by Hickey


If you’re going to the Cubs-Cardinals National League Division Series, you’ll probably need to rob a Brinks truck first. If you’re going to get through the Cubs-Cardinals NLDS, you’ll probably need to rob a Xanax truck first.

The first rider of the Apocalypse is here, and we should all be terrified.

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Donovan: Klinsmann should be gone with loss to Mexico

October 6, 2015 – 7:52 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Jurgen Klinsmann Landon Donovan

It’s safe to say former U.S. Soccer star Landon Donovan and current national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann probably don’t exchange Christmas cards. Klinsmann and Donovan have always had a rocky relationship, and it likely got even rockier on Tuesday.

In an interview, Donovan claimed that if the United States loses to Mexico in Saturday’s CONCACAF Cup match, Klinsmann should be relieved of his duties as national team manager. After a difficult summer that included bowing out of the 2015 Gold Cup in the semifinals, losing the third-place game to Panama on penalty kicks and an embarrassing 4-1 friendly loss to Brazil, many agree with Donovan’s assessment.

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