|Description||Sooner or later [url=http://www.seahawksfootballauthentics.com/dontae-johnson-jersey-authentic]Youth Dontae Johnson Jersey[/url] , the Cincinnati Reds will get the message: Be careful pitching to Eric Thames. Reds right-hander Sal Romano, who opposes Thames and the first-place Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night at Great American Ball Park, already knows the dangers of making a mistake to the power hitter who torments Cincinnati like no other. Thames beat Romano and the Brewers 2-0 with a two-run home run on April 17. Not satisfied with that, Thames beat the Reds — and this time, Tyler Mahle — with yet another two-run home run in a 2-0 decision the very next day on April 18. Flash forward to Thursday night, and the Reds — the NL’s hottest team coming in with nine wins in 10 games — are leading 4-2 with two out and two on in the seventh inning. Amir Garrett, especially tough on left-handed hitters, is on the mound. Yet Garrett gave Thames a too-good pitch to hit, and the result was a decisive three-run home run, and the Brewers went on to win 6-4. “That was a huge hit,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We were down two (runs) there and Garrett’s been really good. It was a good win. We had a lot of guys do a lot. We had big at-bats in big situations.” Jesus Aguilar added a tying two-run homer, his 19th, off Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani in the third inning after Cincinnati had gone ahead 2-0 in the first. For Thames [url=http://www.redskinsfootballauthentics.com/jonathan-allen-jersey-authentic]Youth Jonathan Allen Jersey[/url] , it was his third consecutive game against Cincinnati with a game-winning homer and it also was his 13th homer, to go with 24 RBIs, in only 20 career games against the NL Central rival Reds. The three homers represent his only three hits against the Reds this season; overall, he’s hit only .234. Thames hadn’t homered off a left-hander all season, although he had only 13 prior at-bats against lefties. However, he has handled Garrett, homering off him the last three times he’s faced him. His numbers against the Reds the last two seasons are remarkable: 13 homers, including 10 homers and 17 RBIs in 17 games last season. “Thames has really done damage against us, last year and this year,” Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. “We don’t have an answer for him. He’s really hurt us.” As have the Brewers. They came in with six losses in their previous 10 games, but they’re off to a good start in the four-game series, especially given that the Reds had won 12 of their previous 15 despite being in last place. Milwaukee has won six of seven from Cincinnati this season. The Reds not only haven’t solved how to beat the Brewers, neither has Romano (4-7). He’s pitched well in two of his last three starts overall [url=http://www.redskinsfootballauthentics.com/geron-christian-jersey-authentic]Youth Geron Christian Jersey[/url] , but he’s 0-4 with a 6.27 ERA in four career starts against the Brewers. Ryan Braun gives him trouble, going 5-of-10 (.500) with one homer against him. The Brewers, who lead the Chicago Cubs by 2 1-2 games in the NL Central, will send out right-hander Chase Anderson (5-6), who has had success against the Reds. He’s 3-1 with a 3.19 ERA against them in eight starts, beating them 7-6 on May 1 despite giving up four runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings. One reason for that success is Anderson’s ability to shut down some of the Reds’ top hitters. Eugenio Suarez, who leads the NL with 59 RBIs, is only 2-for-13 (.154) against him, and Scooter Gennett, who leads the league with a .331 average, is 2-for-7 (.286). The Brewers lost center fielder Christian Yelich to lower back tightness in the first inning Thursday, and it’s been a problem he’s had in the past. His status for Friday and the rest of the series is uncertain. “It looks like this one is not as bad,” said Yelich [url=http://www.redskinsfootballauthentics.com/troy-apke-jersey-authentic]Youth Troy Apke Jersey[/url] , who is hitting .289. “It’s frustrating. We’ll know more in a day or so. Hopefully, we can take care of it.” The best formula for success against the New England Patriots is to keep Tom Brady on the sideline and harass him when he’s on the field. That’s not a news flash. But the good news for Eagles fans and everyone rooting against Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots in Sunday’s Super Bowl is that Philadelphia has the ingredients to do it. The Eagles (15-3) have a multidimensional, ball-control offense capable of chewing the clock and forcing No. 12 to be a spectator. Jay Ajayi, former Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount and Corey Clement led the NFL’s third-best rushing offense and the Eagles were first in time of possession. ”You have to stay patient and diligent there,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. ”That’s something we’ve been able to do all season long. It’s something we stay committed to.” This isn’t an old-school, ground-and-pound offense, either. The Eagles have a versatile passing attack with several receivers who create matchup problems. Carson Wentz threw for 3,296 yards and 33 touchdown passes before he tore his ACL in Week 14 and Nick Foles has eight TD passes, including playoffs. Foles proved in the NFC championship game he can make quick-strike plays with three passes of 40-plus yards against the league’s top-ranked defense. Two of those were TD tosses of 53 yards to Alshon Jeffery and 41 yards to Torrey Smith. Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz and slot receiver Nelson Agholor are other options. Tight end Trey Burton, who also lines up at fullback in certain short-yardage situations, had five TD catches this season. ”You can’t just stop one guy,” Patriots safety Devin McCourty said. ”You can’t go out there and say [url=http://www.carolinapanthersteamonline.com/customized]Customized Carolina Panthers Jerseys[/url] , `if we just limit Jeffery or if we just limit Ertz that won’t matter.’ They have a lot of different guys out there that can beat you.” Foles has been adept at making the right calls on run-pass option plays, making it even more difficult for defenses facing Philadelphia. ”It’s hard because you have to defend every inch of the field,” McCourty said. ”Each guy has to do their job on the play. We can’t have guys doing things that don’t fit the defense.” On the opposite side of the ball, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has an aggressive unit. Nobody runs on Philadelphia’s defense. It was No. 1 against the run and didn’t allow a 100-yard rusher until Ezekiel Elliott had 103 in Week 17 against backups and third-stringers. The Patriots (15-3) rely mainly on Brady’s arm, even though Dion Lewis had 896 yards rushing and James White was a Super Bowl hero last year. But Brady can’t throw if he doesn’t have time and the Eagles have a dominant front four led by Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham. The line often generates enough pressure that Schwartz doesn’t have to blitz much and there’s enough depth with Chris Long, Vinny Curry, Tim Jernigan and Beau Allen that guys stay fresh in the fourth quarter. Safety Malcolm Jenkins is a physical presence in the secondary and cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills are solid cover guys. ”They have a great defense,” Brady said. ”It’s as good any we’ve faced all year. They have a great scheme that mixes in well with their coverages.” If the game comes down to a field goal, rookie kicker Jake Elliott has a strong leg. He kicked a 61-yarder at the end of regulation to beat the Giants in Week 3 and is 6 of 7 from beyond 50 yards. The Eagles shouldn’t be tight and they’re not intimidated by the Patriots. They’re a loose, relaxed group that has embraced their underdog role throughout the playoffs and overcame injuries to several key players. ”Greatest quarterback of all time, but that doesn’t mean that he’s unbeatable,” Jenkins said of Brady. ”We’re not worried. We match up well.” — AP NFL website:|
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