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The strength of a contending club often isn’t determined by who plays every day Nick Perry Jersey , but who plays only every few days. Or every few weeks. Or even every few months.
The Milwaukee Brewers were concerned when they began their Friday night game in Cincinnati with two injured starting outfielders, Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich, then lost the other starter, Ryan Braun, to lower back tightness in the seventh inning.
But manager Craig Counsell plugged in exactly the right pieces, and a spare outfield group that probably should be called “The Replacements” keyed an 8-2 victory over the Reds.
How’s this for a couple of fills-in, who did nothing except fill up the box score: Keon Broxton was 3-for-4 with two homers, four RBIs, a run stolen by some alert baserunning and an exceptional sliding catch.
And Hernan Perez, who came in after Braun was hurt, contributed a two-run double to start a five-run ninth inning.
“They (the Brewers outfield) have been the workhorse of this team, so I’ve got to come in and fill their spot while they’re down. It was a good night,” said Broxton, who played in only his third game this season.
Because their bench came through yet again — on Thursday night, part-time starter Eric Thames hit his third consecutive game-winning homer against the Reds — the Brewers can assure them of winning the four-game series by taking Saturday’s game at Great American Ball Park.
“It speaks to our depth again … we’ve had a couple of games like that where (bench players) make meaningful contributions,” Counsell said. “With Yelich down Morgan Moses Jersey , we’re counting on Keon, so it’s got to be a good feeling for him.”
The last-place Reds had won nine of 10 coming in to the series, but still can’t seem to solve the Brewers, who have won seven of eight games against Cincinnati. Milwaukee owns the National League’s best record at 48-33.
“These guys have been battling all year and they’re in a good spot right now, so I’m trying to do my best to keep them right there,” Broxton said.
Milwaukee will send out right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (6-3), who has lost his last two decisions, on Saturday to face Reds right-hander Tyler Mahle (6-6), who has won his last three decisions during a span of six starts.
“We’ve got to play better. … Their pitching kind of stifled us the last two nights,” Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. “We’ve got to turn it back on … crank it up again with our bats.”
Yelich sat out with a lower back issue. He’s listed as day to day — and so Broxton made his second start since being recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Tuesday.
Broxton had an RBI single in the second against Sal Romano (4-8), then hit the first of his two homers to make the score 2-0 in the fourth. Then, with Milwaukee up 2-1 in the eighth after reliever Michael Lorenzen’s homer for the Reds, Broxton appeared to be caught off third by Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart.
But he eluded a tag by falling down, then scored as Orlando Arcia distracted the Reds by allowing himself to be tagged off second.
Broxton finished quite an evening’s work with a two-run homer in the ninth and a stretched-out catch of Scooter Gennett’s drive into the right-center field gap with two runners on base.
“He’s been up and down (from the minors) a little bit, but he’s very talented,” Riggleman said of Broxton John Miller Jersey , who hit only .220 while spending most of last season with Milwaukee. “He can do a lot of things — he can hit with power, he can run and he plays great defense.”
The Reds didn’t do much against Brewers starter Chase Anderson, who limited them to one other hit besides Lorenzen’s homer in six innings, and relievers Josh Hader, Jeremy Jeffress and Dan Jennings.
Now, the Brewers would like to get Chacin straightened out. His ERA jumped from 3.18 to 3.82 as he gave up eight runs, nine hits and five walks in 4 1/3 innings during an 8-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday. Chacin is 2-3 in nine career games against the Reds. He didn’t get the decision during a 6-5 Brewers win on April 30.
In Mahle’s only previous start against the Brewers, Thames beat him with a two-run homer in a 2-0 Milwaukee win on April 18.
Shaun Livingston and JaVale McGee have been giving the Golden State Warriors a huge lift in these NBA Finals by making every shot they take look easy.
Then again, they all have been easy.
Livingston is a perfect 9 for 9 from the field in this championship series. McGee is 8 for 9, and his lone miss came when he tried a dunk and stuffed the ball into the rim instead. The average distance of their made field goals is a staggeringly close 3 1/2 feet, which is basically gimme range in golf and darn close to gimme range in basketball as well – especially at this level.
For as spectacular as LeBron James has been in the first two games, his Cleveland Cavaliers are down 2-0 largely because the Warriors’ supporting cast members like Livingston and McGee – journeymen of sorts – are soundly outplaying their Cavs‘ counterparts.
Stephen Curry is playing like an NBA Finals MVP, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson have been brilliant, and Draymond Green is quietly averaging a near triple-double. But the Warriors’ motto is ”strength in numbers,” and Livingston and McGee are personifying that.
”It’s just being aggressive, being in the right spot too Clayton Geathers Jersey ,” Livingston said. ”It’s nothing really magical about what I do or how I’ve been playing. I’ve been fortunate enough to, you know, shoot at a high clip. But a lot of those are dunks. Also, just being in the right spot on the court.”
Livingston has taken three jumpers, all of them mid-rangers of about 13 feet, in this series. Everything else has been at the rim. McGee made one shot from about 6 feet; his other eight attempts from the floor have basically been dunks.
McGee was moved into the starting lineup for Game 2. He said Tuesday that he doesn’t know if he’ll stay there for Game 3 in Cleveland on Wednesday night.
”These are some of the greatest teams in the world, ever,” McGee said. ”It’s a beautiful thing to be a part of it and to be a contributor in it.”
It’s a difficult enough spot for the Cavaliers to deal with Curry, particularly when he is coming off an NBA Finals-record nine 3-pointers in Game 2. It’s daunting to deal with Durant, one of the few guys in the league who can post up against James, turn and face the four-time MVP and shoot over him with relative ease. It’s maddening to chase Thompson around and have him get shots off using his super-quick release, even when he’s fairly well covered.
Golden State opponents expect that.
Livingston and McGee shooting 17 for 18, that just doesn’t seem fair.
”I think when you’re locked in and you’re trying to take away K.D., you’re trying to take away Steph and Klay, Livingston, McGee Mike Singletary Jersey , they’re going to get some shots,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. ”We’ve just got to do a better job of taking away the easy dunks and layups around the basket. When you’re focusing on those three guys, other guys are going to get shots. But we’ve got to do a good job of just taking away the easy ones.”
McGee got the Warriors off and running in Game 2 with two easy dunks to open the game. Golden State never trailed.
Livingston said that wound up being a huge energy boost for Golden State, and he knows that the Cavaliers will aim to take the easy ones at the rim away in Game 3. As such, the Warriors might already have a counter in mind for whatever anticipated adjustment Cleveland makes.
”Coaches, I think they have a good game plan moving forward, seeing maybe what kind of adjustments Cleveland can make,” Livingston said. ”We just have to be ready. Steph, Kevin, Klay, our scorers, they take the majority of the load, right? So they get a lot of the attention and the pressure. I think we have to be ready, all us other guys, to relieve some of that pressure.”
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