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  • 21 Mar
    导出博客文章SAN FRANCISCO -- If only they could all be like Madison Bumgarner this time of
    year. And by they, you know who we mean.David Price, Max Scherzer, Rick
    Porcello, Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels and Rich Hill are a combined 0-6 in this
    fascinating postseason -- after going 93-35 during the regular season. Clayton
    Kershaw won for just the second time in his past eight postseason starts, but he
    made it through only five ho-hum innings. And were not even going to get into
    Jeff Samardzija and Colby Lewis.Weve always looked at October as that month when
    the aces take over. The way Sanford B. Koufax did. The way P. Robert Gibson did.
    The way John Smoltz and Curt Schilling and Jack Morris did. The way even Josh
    Beckett did.But maybe we dont live in a world where thats as easy to accomplish
    anymore. Maybe theres too much attention, too much pressure, too much
    information. Maybe weve set the bar too high -- because what weve always
    expected of The Aces is not?what theyve been delivering.Now if youve watched
    MadBum work his magic -- and you can watch Bumgarner again Monday night, in a
    riveting National League Division Series Game 3 mano a mano with Jake Arrieta at
    AT&T Park -- you might wonder what the heck were even talking about. But
    look around at the rest of the sport and youll find something incredible.Twelve
    active pitchers have won a Cy Young Award and pitched in the postseason over the
    course of their careers. Just five of them even have a winning postseason
    record. Kershaw is 3-6 with a 4.65 October ERA. Price is 2-8, 5.54 -- and 0-8 as
    a starting pitcher.How can this be possible? It feels like a phenomenon that
    defies explanation. So naturally, we went looking to find one anyway. And heres
    what we learned: Its complicated.Its not a blanket statement, said Smoltz, a man
    who went 15-4 with a 2.67 ERA in his postseason career, with more postseason
    strikeouts (199) than any pitcher in history. There are different reasons.Those
    reasons can be found inside the heads of the men on the mound -- not to mention
    inside their hearts, inside their deliveries, inside their own unique set of
    circumstances. Sometimes, actually, its all of the above. But lets start with a
    fact that holds true for everyone:October baseball is different. Every element
    involved in it is different.Everythings a rally in the postseason, Smoltz said.
    Umpires have every pressure and detail, and all the eyes are on them. Strike
    zones get a little bit interesting. Hitters dont take pitches or at-bats off
    like they do during the regular season. Theres a lot that goes into that bucket.
    But the bottom line is, if youre mentally not ready for that moment, your
    success rate wont be as good.Smoltz was a man who fed off those moments. Even
    now, he misses them so much. He still finds himself saying, I loved it. I wish
    there was more of it. But when he looks at some of the men who take the mound in
    these games nowadays, he says, Some people in our game dont quite grasp that
    like they should.But even if you agree, does it make any sense that pitchers of
    the stature of Kershaw and Price wouldnt be mentally ready for the biggest games
    of their lives? Think of all theyve accomplished. Think of how mentally strong
    theyve had to be just to reach this standing in the game.So can this really all
    be in their heads? One longtime pitching coach doesnt think so.Take a look at
    the deliveries of Kershaw and Price -- versus Bumgarners, he said. Quick jerk
    versus easy, fluid. Most times, that [delivery reflects] their personality as
    well.So what this coach is saying is that both Kershaw and Price have a delivery
    that might not be made to order for this time of year -- because that voice in
    their head, that motor in their veins and that thumping in their heart are
    driving them to rush, to lurch, to go faster in games where nothing is more
    important than the ability to stay slow and under control. In other words, their
    personality just might be overriding their delivery.It makes it harder to
    repeat, this pitching coach said. Adrenaline is the hardest thing to control in
    sport. ... I watch them, and I see them try to go to another gear way more often
    than normal.One American League executive said he believes thats an especially
    big problem in Prices case. Hes so amped up to do something special in these
    moments, he has trouble slowing down the game when he needs to most.Thats what I
    would see from afar, too, Smoltz said, without knowing anything other than hes
    very passionate. Look, hes a slow worker, very methodical, pitches 230 innings.
    Hes your prototypical front-line guy. But come postseason, there is a capacity
    to maybe care too much and want to do too well and not slow the game down.In
    Kershaws case, said an National League exec, it has never been about stuff. It
    has been that he sped up as things got rolling in a bad way. Anyone who has seen
    Kershaw up close knows hes motivated to be great, and to lift up his team. But
    the same people also wonder whether all that caring has taken a toll --
    especially at times like these. And Smoltz wonders himself.Clayton Kershaw has
    basically pitched a playoff game in every single game for the last three years,
    Smoltz said, because every single regular-season game has put him at a level
    where he doesnt give up anything. So imagine being Clayton Kershaw, and if you
    give up three runs in a game, people are like, Whats wrong? So hes put up a
    standard that is unprecedented.Because of that, when he gets to the end of the
    year, I would argue that hes a little more mentally fried than most. So now,
    when that time comes and youre trying to carry your ball club, its not like hes
    just getting crushed. Its one or two innings that have defined him -- against
    one team.That team, of course, is the St. Louis Cardinals, who beat him four
    times in back-to-back Octobers (in 2013 and 14), scoring 19 runs off him in 22 ?
    innings. In between, all the other teams in baseball beat him three?times in the
    entire regular 2014 season, when he was busy going 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA.A number
    of scouts and executives said theyre convinced that Kershaw tipped pitches out
    of the stretch in those games, especially against left-handed hitters. And the
    Cardinals were all over that. Take away those four losses to St. Louis, and in
    his five other postseason starts since 2013, Kershaw has gone 3-1 with a 2.73
    ERA. His only loss was to the New York Mets last October, in a game in which he
    still struck out 11 and gave up just four hits.Nevertheless, it feels as if
    there is a quality in Bumgarner that no one else in this sport can match right
    now. And even the manager of the team that has to face him Monday cant help but
    admire it. On Sunday, Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon unabashedly compared
    Bumgarner to the likes of Gibson and Koufax. And Maddon wasnt only talking about
    the quality of those pitches exploding out of Bumgarners left arm.Its not just
    purely his stuff, Maddon said. Its his competitive nature. I think thats what
    gets lost in this a lot, with what we do. Everybodys always analyzing numbers
    and pitches and how he does this and spin rotation and whatever. This guy
    competes. Thats what sets him apart. Its not that his stuff is that special. Its
    really good. But how he competes is what sets him apart.Bumgarners postseason
    success is so unique among this generation. He really should start bottling
    cases of MadBums Miracle October Elixir -- hed make more money than Mark
    Zuckerberg. But first, he has another postseason baseball game to pitch, a
    reputation to uphold and one more heart-thumping October evening to remind the
    world of what aces used to look like this time of year.
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    substitute Gerard Deulofeu levelled with a hard shot from a tight angle in the
    84th minute to give Everton a deserved point. Ahead of a crucial fortnight that
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    Chelsea, Arsenal leads by five points ahead of Liverpool and Chelsea.
    PHILADELPHIA -- Odubel Herrera clapped his hands together and yelled toward the
    dugout as he ran to first base after yet another big hit.The speedy center
    fielder is having fun again, and hes helping his team win games, too.Herrera
    kept up his hitting surge with a homer among his three hits and drove in three
    runs as the Philadelphia Phillies held off a late Chicago White Sox rally in a
    7-6 win Tuesday night.Tommy Joseph and Roman Quinn added two hits apiece and
    combined to drive in three runs for the Phillies. Herrera, who hits between
    Quinn and Joseph in the lineup, is 15 for 28 in his last seven games after
    slumping for most of the summer following his trip to the All-Star Game.I was a
    little disappointed because things were not working out the way I wanted them to
    work out, Herrera said through a translator. Thankfully now things are better
    for me and Im putting the work in and the results are showing.Melky Cabrera hit
    a three-run home run for the White Sox, who have lost four straight. Struggling
    veteran James Shields (5-18), winless since July 26, allowed six earned runs and
    nine hits in 5 1/3 innings.Trailing 7-3 in the ninth, the White Sox pulled
    within one on a two-out wild pitch and a two-run double from Adam Eaton.
    However, Michael Mariot came on and got Tim Anderson to ground out to short to
    end the game and pick up his first career save.It wasnt pretty but we hung on to
    win that game, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. That was huge.Jake Thompson
    (3-5) gave up three runs and four hits over five innings. The rookie
    right-hander, who struggled for most of August after first getting called up
    from the minors, has won his last two starts and has a 2.99 ERA over his last
    five appearances.For the second straight game, the Phillies jumped out to a 2-0
    lead in the first inning. After Quinn walked, Herrera hit a 1-1 pitch into the
    Phillies bullpen for his 15th homer of the season.Herrera also started a two-out
    rally in the third, singling and stealing second, before scampering home on
    Josephs two-out double. Joseph then came home when Anderson couldnt handle a
    sharp liner off the bat of Maikel Franco, giving the Phillies a 4-3
    lead.Herreras big night continued in the fifth when he snuck a ground-ball
    through the hole bettween first and second to drive in Quinn and extend
    Philadelphias lead to 5-3.dddddddddddd On the next pitch, the speedy center
    fielder stole his second base of the game and 24th of the season.Hes more
    disciplined at the plate, Mackanin said of Herrera. He looks more like the guy
    we saw early in the season than the guy we did for the last six weeks. For
    whatever reason, he seemed to lose focus but he seems to be getting it back.
    That bodes well for us.Quinns two-run single in the sixth provided enough
    insurance for the Phillies to open their second-to-last home series of the
    season with a win.Before the ninth, Chicagos big inning came in the third. With
    two outs and nobody on, Anderson doubled and Jose Abreu walked before Cabrera
    lined a 1-1 pitch just inside the right-field foul pole for his 12th home run of
    the year, putting the White Sox ahead 3-2.Offensively, we just kept chipping
    away and getting to a point, even in the last inning right there, you bring up
    the tying run, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. Weve got to be able to hold
    them, and thats got to be the biggest thing.FLASHING LEATHERWith two on and one
    out in the fifth, sure-handed Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis made a very nice
    sliding snag of Abreus grounder before starting an impressive inning-ending
    double play.The Phillies also ended the seventh inning with a double
    play.RED-HOT ROOKIELike Herrera, Joseph is also riding a hot streak with 10 hits
    in his last six games. The rookie first baseman has been playing more with
    veteran Ryan Howard hobbled with an injury.MORE ABOUT HERRERAHerrera became the
    first Phillies outfielder with three hits, three RBI and two stolen bases in a
    game since Ben Revere on March 31, 2014. Hes also the first Phillies outfielder
    with at least 15 home runs and 20 stolen bases since Shane Victorino in
    2010.TRAINERS ROOMPhillies: Ryan Howard missed his third straight game because
    of knee soreness. He had his knee drained over the weekend.UP NEXTThe Phillies
    and White Sox close their two-game series Wednesday with Chicago LHP Chris Sale
    (16-8, 3.03) opposing Philadelphia RHP Jerad Eickhoff (10-14, 3.74). ' ' '