Denver

Broncos vs. Cardinals live blog: Real-time updates from the Week 7 NFL game

Broncos vs. Cardinals live blog: Real-time updates from the Week 7 NFL game

18/10/2018, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 27921738
Denver Sports Omelette: Broncos’ Vance Joseph may be coaching for his job tonight in Arizona

Denver Sports Omelette: Broncos’ Vance Joseph may be coaching for his job tonight in Arizona

18/10/2018, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 27921739

DenverSportsOmelettelogo

Vance Joseph has one job tonight: Find a way to prevent the Broncos from losing.

No, not find a way to win – though that would be nice. For a team that’s lost four games after opening the season 2-0, Denver could settle for a tie. Just look at how excited Cleveland was for its 21-21 draw with the Steelers to start the year. And don’t dump on the Browns, they have a better winning percentage than the Broncos this year. Know who else does?

Brock Osweiler. Yeah …

It feels as if everyone and their uncle is calling for Joseph’s head already, and if the Broncos lose to a 1-5 Cardinals team tonight in Phoenix, it’s hard to imagine him keeping his job for another week. If you’re in the camp that thinks Joseph has no chance of turning this team around, then perhaps you should consider yourself an Arizona fan tonight.

Should the Broncos lose in the desert, VJ’s end is likely. Here’s what our Ryan O’Halloran had to say following Denver’s 23-20 loss to the Rams on Sunday:

“If they lose Thursday night, it would be tough for John Elway to not do something drastic, like removing the head coach. You’ve lost five straight after a 2-0 start, you’ve lost to a bad Jets team and 1-5 Arizona if you lose to them on a short week. The question for John Elway is, ‘how culpable are you?’ Very. And also, two more things: Who’s the interim, and also, are you doing it to spark the season, or just because you want someone else in charge? I think that gives Vance the chance to hold on a little longer, but if they lose to Arizona and drop to 2-5 going into Kansas City, you have a long week, it’s the ideal time to make that kind of change.”

The only reasonable option for an interim coach is Gary Kubiak, Elway’s longtime friend who led the Broncos to the Super Bowl 50 championship. His health issues have been well-documented and led to him stepping away during the 2016 season. Now Denver’s senior personnel advisor, he’s a viable option to lead the Broncos through the end of the year, but it’s unrealistic to think he’d continue as coach in 2019.

Aside from Kubiak, the only person on the Broncos’ staff with head-coaching experience at a high level is offensive line coach Sean Kugler (UTEP, 2013-17) and there’s no way he’s being thrust into a top NFL job.

Defensive coordinator Joe Woods? He’s part of the problem.

Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, a Grand Junction native, and special teams coach Tom McMahon are two other options, but would they really be an improvement at head coach?

“That’s a flaw in the staff building that there wasn’t a more veteran presence around this staff to help Vance,” O’Halloran said.

That flaw could be Joseph’s saving grace. If Kubiak doesn’t want the job, there might not be a better man available than VJ.

Here’s what you need to know for tonight’s game:

— Matt Stephens, The Denver Post


NEW  If you enjoy The Denver Post’s sports coverage, we have a new subscription offer for you! Try the first month for just 99¢


What’s on Tap?

  • Avalanche: at New Jersey Devils, 5 p.m., ALT | Buy tickets

TV/RADIO: Here’s what sports are airing today

Check out our new and improved stats page.

Scoreboard

NBA: Nuggets 107, Clippers 98
Full story | Box score

MLB: Dodgers 5, Brewers 2
Full story | Box score

MLB: Red Sox 8, Astros 6
Full story | Box score

Must-Read

Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone ...
Joe Amon, The Denver Post
Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone talking to his team late in their over time loss, winner-take-all regular-season finale vs the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis, April 11, 2018.

Michael Malone, Denver Nuggets agree to contract extension

The Denver Nuggets have agreed to a two-year contract extension with head coach Michael Malone. He has been Denver’s head coach since 2015 and has compiled a 119-127 record in three seasons. Read more…

Seunghwan Oh #18 of the Colorado ...
Shaban Athuman, The Denver Post
Seunghwan Oh #18 of the Colorado Rockies pitches in the seventh inning against Pittsburgh Pirates on Aug. 8, 2018 at Coors Field in Denver.

Report: Rockies’ Seunghwan Oh considering returning to native South Korea in 2019

Right-handed reliever Seunghwan Oh, who would play a huge part of the Rockies’ 2019 bullpen, could be headed back to his native South Korea. Read more… 

Colorado Rockies' DJ LeMahieu gestures toward ...
Mark J. Terrill, The Associated Press
Colorado Rockies’ DJ LeMahieu gestures toward his dugout after hitting a grand slam against the Los Angeles Angels, Monday, Aug. 27, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif.

Rockies’ end-of-season infield analysis: DJ LeMahieu’s likely departure takes luster off golden group

Rockies infielders sparkled on the diamond and produced at the plate in 2018 — with one big exception.. Read more…

Quick Hits

+ Peyton Manning joins “Detail,” Kobe Bryant’s ESPN+ sports analysis show.

+ Two of the NHL’s top scorers will be on the ice at the same time when the Avs take on the New Jersey Devils tonight.

+ Colorado Buffaloes receiver Laviska Shenault honors late father with his play and dreadlocks.

+ After struggling against USC, the CU Buffs secondary knows it must do better at Washington.

+ The Colorado State offensive line faces a big challenge in Boise State.

+ CU Buffs sophomore Tyler Bey is eyeing a breakout season for the men’s basketball team.

+ Dallas Walton is out for the 2018-19 Colorado Buffaloes men’s basketball season with knee injury.

+ Denver Nuggets 2018-19 preview: Here are four storylines to watch.

+ Under coach Jon Gruden, the Raiders are disappearing into a statistical black hole.

+ Forget about just Class 4A, the Loveland Indians think they might be one of the best high school football teams in the entire state.

+ The Dodgers’ Manny Machado was fined for kicking Milwaukee first baseman Jesus Aguilar in Game 4 of the NLDS.

+ Tips for the best for hunting and fishing in Colorado this fall.

+ Broncos Mailbag: Have a question about the team? Ask Ryan O’Halloran here.

+ Rockies Mailbag: Have a question about the team? Ask Patrick Saunders here.

By The Numbers

$365,000,000

How much boxer Canelo Alvarez’s 11-fight deal is worth to have his bouts shown on the sports-streaming service DAZN. Read more…

Parting Shot

New England Patriots running back Sony Michel runs up field during the third quarter of the game at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 14, 2018 in Foxboro, Mass.
Nancy Lane, Boston Herald
New England Patriots running back Sony Michel runs up field during the third quarter of the game at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 14, 2018 in Foxboro, Mass.

Fantasy football start/sit tips for Week 7: Patriots’ Sony Michel a smart play against Bears

Your fantasy team will have to do without the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Derek Carr, Ben Roethlisberger and Russell Wilson this week, as all of their respective teams are on a bye. Read more…

Get in Touch

If you see something that’s cause for question or have a comment, thought or suggestion, email me at dboniface@denverpost.com or tweet me @danielboniface.



https://www.denverpost.com/2018/10/18/broncos-cardinals-week-7-preview/
Denver Sports Omelette: Last stand for Vance Joseph? A Broncos loss at Arizona would be prime time f

Denver Sports Omelette: Last stand for Vance Joseph? A Broncos loss at Arizona would be prime time f

18/10/2018, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 27922410

DenverSportsOmelettelogo

Vance Joseph has one job tonight: Find a way to prevent the Broncos from losing.

No, not find a way to win – though that would be nice. For a team that’s lost four games after opening the season 2-0, Denver could settle for a tie. Just look at how excited Cleveland was for its 21-21 draw with the Steelers to start the year. And don’t dump on the Browns, they have a better winning percentage than the Broncos this year. Know who else does?

Brock Osweiler. Yeah 

It feels as if everyone and their uncle is calling for Joseph’s head already, and if the Broncos lose to a 1-5 Cardinals team tonight in Phoenix, it’s hard to imagine him keeping his job for another week. If you’re in the camp that thinks Joseph has no chance of turning this team around, then perhaps you should consider yourself an Arizona fan tonight.

Should the Broncos lose in the desert, VJ’s end is likely. Here’s what our Ryan O’Halloran had to say following Denver’s 23-20 loss to the Rams on Sunday:

“If they lose Thursday night, it would be tough for John Elway to not do something drastic, like removing the head coach. You’ve lost five straight after a 2-0 start, you’ve lost to a bad Jets team and 1-5 Arizona if you lose to them on a short week. The question for John Elway is, ‘how culpable are you?’ Very. And also, two more things: Who’s the interim, and also, are you doing it to spark the season, or just because you want someone else in charge? I think that gives Vance the chance to hold on a little longer, but if they lose to Arizona and drop to 2-5 going into Kansas City, you have a long week, it’s the ideal time to make that kind of change.”

The only reasonable option for an interim coach is Gary Kubiak, Elway’s longtime friend who led the Broncos to the Super Bowl 50 championship. His health issues have been well-documented and led to him stepping away during the 2016 season. Now Denver’s senior personnel advisor, he’s a viable option to lead the Broncos through the end of the year, but it’s unrealistic to think he’d continue as coach in 2019.

Aside from Kubiak, the only person on the Broncos’ staff with head-coaching experience at a high level is offensive line coach Sean Kugler (UTEP, 2013-17) and there’s no way he’s being thrust into a top NFL job.

Defensive coordinator Joe Woods? He’s part of the problem.

Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, a Grand Junction native, and special teams coach Tom McMahon are two other options, but would they really be an improvement at head coach?

“That’s a flaw in the staff building that there wasn’t a more veteran presence around this staff to help Vance,” O’Halloran said.

That flaw could be Joseph’s saving grace. If Kubiak doesn’t want the job, there might not be a better man available than VJ.

Here’s what you need to know for tonight’s game:

— Matt Stephens, The Denver Post


NEW  If you enjoy The Denver Post’s sports coverage, we have a new subscription offer for you! Try the first month for just 99¢


What’s on Tap?

  • Avalanche: at New Jersey Devils, 5 p.m., ALT | Buy tickets

TV/RADIO: Here’s what sports are airing today

Check out our new and improved stats page.

Scoreboard

NBA: Nuggets 107, Clippers 98
Full story | Box score

MLB: Dodgers 5, Brewers 2
Full story | Box score

MLB: Red Sox 8, Astros 6
Full story | Box score

Must-Read

Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone ...
Joe Amon, The Denver Post
Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone talking to his team late in their over time loss, winner-take-all regular-season finale vs the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis, April 11, 2018.

Michael Malone, Denver Nuggets agree to contract extension

The Denver Nuggets have agreed to a two-year contract extension with head coach Michael Malone. He has been Denver’s head coach since 2015 and has compiled a 119-127 record in three seasons. Read more…

Seunghwan Oh #18 of the Colorado ...
Shaban Athuman, The Denver Post
Seunghwan Oh #18 of the Colorado Rockies pitches in the seventh inning against Pittsburgh Pirates on Aug. 8, 2018 at Coors Field in Denver.

Report: Rockies’ Seunghwan Oh considering returning to native South Korea in 2019

Right-handed reliever Seunghwan Oh, who would play a huge part of the Rockies’ 2019 bullpen, could be headed back to his native South Korea. Read more… 

Colorado Rockies' DJ LeMahieu gestures toward ...
Mark J. Terrill, The Associated Press
Colorado Rockies’ DJ LeMahieu gestures toward his dugout after hitting a grand slam against the Los Angeles Angels, Monday, Aug. 27, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif.

Rockies’ end-of-season infield analysis: DJ LeMahieu’s likely departure takes luster off golden group

Rockies infielders sparkled on the diamond and produced at the plate in 2018 — with one big exception.. Read more…

Quick Hits

+ Peyton Manning joins “Detail,” Kobe Bryant’s ESPN+ sports analysis show.

+ Two of the NHL’s top scorers will be on the ice at the same time when the Avs take on the New Jersey Devils tonight.

+ Colorado Buffaloes receiver Laviska Shenault honors late father with his play and dreadlocks.

+ After struggling against USC, the CU Buffs secondary knows it must do better at Washington.

+ The Colorado State offensive line faces a big challenge in Boise State.

+ CU Buffs sophomore Tyler Bey is eyeing a breakout season for the men’s basketball team.

+ Dallas Walton is out for the 2018-19 Colorado Buffaloes men’s basketball season with knee injury.

+ Denver Nuggets 2018-19 preview: Here are four storylines to watch.

+ Under coach Jon Gruden, the Raiders are disappearing into a statistical black hole.

+ Forget about just Class 4A, the Loveland Indians think they might be one of the best high school football teams in the entire state.

+ The Dodgers’ Manny Machado was fined for kicking Milwaukee first baseman Jesus Aguilar in Game 4 of the NLDS.

+ Tips for the best for hunting and fishing in Colorado this fall.

+ Broncos Mailbag: Have a question about the team? Ask Ryan O’Halloran here.

+ Rockies Mailbag: Have a question about the team? Ask Patrick Saunders here.

By The Numbers

$365,000,000

How much boxer Canelo Alvarez’s 11-fight deal is worth to have his bouts shown on the sports-streaming service DAZN. Read more…

Parting Shot

New England Patriots running back Sony Michel runs up field during the third quarter of the game at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 14, 2018 in Foxboro, Mass.
Nancy Lane, Boston Herald
New England Patriots running back Sony Michel runs up field during the third quarter of the game at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 14, 2018 in Foxboro, Mass.

Fantasy football start/sit tips for Week 7: Patriots’ Sony Michel a smart play against Bears

Your fantasy team will have to do without the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Derek Carr, Ben Roethlisberger and Russell Wilson this week, as all of their respective teams are on a bye. Read more…

Get in Touch

If you see something that’s cause for question or have a comment, thought or suggestion, email me at dboniface@denverpost.com or tweet me @danielboniface.



https://www.denverpost.com/2018/10/18/broncos-cardinals-week-7-preview/
Pressure Points: Focus on several Broncos to pick up their play, starting Thursday

Pressure Points: Focus on several Broncos to pick up their play, starting Thursday

18/10/2018, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 27921740

Last week, Broncos president/CEO Joe Ellis was asked about the organization’s confidence level in coach Vance Joseph and his staff to right the season.

“They know the deal,” Ellis said.

The deal: If the 2-4 Broncos lose Thursday at the 1-5 Arizona Cardinals, it becomes more difficult to justify any faith in Joseph after last year’s 5-11 season.

Also the deal: If the Broncos are to begin a turnaround, the onus is on several players who, if they don’t pick up their play, may be on a different team in 2019.

“We all get it,” Joseph said after Tuesday’s practice of the outside chatter.

The week started with general manager John Elway calling the rush defense “soft,” and saying the team should be “fighting for their lives,” and continued with linebacker Von Miller predicting the Broncos were going to “kick (Arizona’s rear end).”

As the season nears the halfway point, we put the focus on one coach and four players:

Vance Joseph

Denver Broncos head coach Vance Joseph ...
Joe Amon, The Denver Post
Denver Broncos head coach Vance Joseph on the sidelines in the second quarter as the Denver Broncos played the Kansas City Chiefs at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.

Why he’s the focus: Elway isn’t going anywhere so if the losing continues, somebody will take the fall, be it during or after the season. Joseph is 7-15 as the Broncos’ coach, including 4-14 since last year’s 3-1 start. On the road, the Joseph-led Broncos are 1-9.

Joseph has resisted making any staff changes, be it firings or re-delegation of duties.

The Broncos have three games until their bye week. They need two wins so they can enter mid-November with a 4-5 record. A win over Arizona would slightly turn down the heat on Joseph.

“We’ve lost four games in a row, everyone’s frustrated, the city’s on fire,” Joseph said. “But we have to simply ignore the noise so we can move on (and) so we can fix it and win. … We have to ignore it, go back to work and prove that we can win football games. That will stop the noise.”

Demaryius Thomas

Demaryius Thomas (88) of the Denver ...
Andy Cross, The Denver Post
Demaryius Thomas (88) of the Denver Broncos catches a deep pass while defended by Troy Hill (32) of the Los Angeles Rams during the third quarter. The Denver Broncos hosted the Los Angeles Rams at Broncos Stadium at Mile High in Denver, Colorado on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018.

Why he’s the focus: Thomas has six dropped passes. Although he caught a 45-yard pass last week and has a team-high three touchdown receptions, he has been passed by Emmanuel Sanders as the Broncos’ No. 1 receiver.

Thomas’ salary cap number jumps to $17.5 million in 2019 and the Broncos can save $14 million by cutting him.

The drafting of Courtland Sutton (who needs to see the football more) and DaeSean Hamilton (could be ready for a larger role in ’19) triggered thoughts that the Broncos would cut Thomas and Sanders after this year. But Sanders’ solid first six weeks (40 catches for 501 yards) should keep him in the plans.

Thomas could be experiencing his final 10 games of his stellar Broncos career.

Brandon Marshall

Linebacker Brandon Marshall #54 of the ...
Eric Lutzens, The Denver Post
Linebacker Brandon Marshall #54 of the Denver Broncos winces as he walks toward the sideline during the second quarter on Sunday, Oct. 14 at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. The Denver Broncos hosted the Los Angeles Rams in week six.

Why he’s the focus: Marshall, listed at 250 pounds but not even close to that (230-ish), dropped weight to be better in coverage. But has it come at the cost of playing the run?

One play from the Rams’ run-all-day win over the Broncos should raise a concern. On a drive-starting first-and-10, Todd Gurley gained 29 yards when Marshall simply couldn’t get away from right tackle Rob Havenstein’s block. Marshall and linebacker Todd Davis then missed the tackle.

Marshall’s cap number goes from $7 million this year to $9 million in 2019 and the Broncos can save $5 million by cutting him. Rookie Josey Jewell is a part of the inside linebacker rotation with Marshall and Davis.

If Marshall finishes strong and healthy, he will make for a tough decision.

Bradley Roby

Cornerback Bradley Roby #29 of the ...
Eric Lutzens, The Denver Post
Cornerback Bradley Roby #29 of the Denver Broncos runs onto the field prior to the game on Sunday, Oct. 14 at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. The Denver Broncos hosted the Los Angeles Rams in week six.

Why he’s the focus: Handed the No. 2 cornerback spot — and an opportunity to cash in as a free agent in March — Roby has not played like it.

Teams are 21-of-31 passing for 335 yards and three touchdowns against Roby in man coverage. Because Chris Harris moves inside to cover the slot receiver in nickel situations, teams have not hesitated challenging Roby outside.

“He’s a starter for the first time so it takes time to develop the resiliency you need to be an NFL corner,” said Joseph, whose argument is a stretch since Roby is in his fifth year.

Roby is playing for his next contract and it would be shocking if he commands anything close to the $8.5 million he is making this year.

The downside for Roby’s poor start is that it creates another item for the Broncos’ offseason to-do list. Veterans Tramaine Brock and Adam Jones were stop-gap signings and Issac Yiadom needs further developing before he’s ready.

Case Keenum

Denver Broncos Case Keenum #4 walks ...
RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post
Denver Broncos Case Keenum #4 walks onto the field as the Broncos take on the Los Angeles Rams, at Broncos Stadium at Mile High, on Oct. 14, 2018 in Denver. Broncos lost 23-20 to the Rams.

Why he’s the focus: Projected as a player who would bring short-term stability to the Broncos’ quarterback position, Keenum is ranked 29th in the NFL in passer rating (75.5), tied for first in interceptions (eight) and tied for 23rd in touchdowns (eight).

Maybe we expected too much from Keenum after he helped Minnesota to last year’s NFC title game. Maybe our analysis was off-base after Keenum’s drama-free training camp.

Keenum’s cap number in 2019 is $21 million and the Broncos can save $11 million by releasing him. The Broncos are a long way from benching a healthy Keenum in favor of Chad Kelly, so that discussion is moot. But they need Keenum to be more accurate on the underneath throws and also add a scrambling element to his game to help move the offense.

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https://www.denverpost.com/2018/10/18/denver-broncos-focus-week-7/
Nuggets’ Gary Harris on clutch win over Clippers: “There’s a different vibe right now”

Nuggets’ Gary Harris on clutch win over Clippers: “There’s a different vibe right now”

18/10/2018, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 27921741

Gary Harris didn’t know what to call his celebration, but that wasn’t the point.

All that mattered as the Denver Nuggets basked in the glow of their gutsy season-opening win was that they’d won – on the road, no less – against a team they need to beat to realize their goals.

“Sauntering? Whatever y’all want to call it,” Harris said. “I felt good though.”

Harris had reason to after burying a step-back midrange jumper over the outstretched arm of Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell with 44 seconds left to give the Nuggets a cushion.

The Clippers called a timeout but would never recover as the Nuggets hung on for an important 107-98 road victory.

“It’s over,” Harris said, revealing what he was thinking as he skipped up the court toward his jubilant bench. “Game over.”

Harris forced a turnover immediately after his clutch bucket, bookending a sequence that exemplified the win. Unlike last year, when their defense ranked in the bottom third of the league, the Nuggets held the Clippers to just 40 percent shooting, including just 8 of 28 from the 3-point line. The effort, rotations and communication were all evident Wednesday night.

“Last year, I don’t know if we win this game,” Nuggets coach Mike Malone said. “For us to have the poise and the ability to execute down the stretch, even though we’re down, shows the poise and maturity. Let’s be honest, we’re the third youngest team in the NBA.”

Nothing went particularly right for the Nuggets save for the final five minutes. Their shooting was off (38 percent), point guard Jamal Murray had just seven points on 3-of-12 from the field and Paul Millsap couldn’t buy a bucket. But Millsap, who was 1 for 7 from the field and 9 for 12 from the free throw line, dominated on the glass with 16 rebounds and found ways to impact the game on the defensive end.

“I’ve been around for a while,” Millsap said. “I know when things aren’t going well, when shots aren’t falling, I try to do something else.”

The Nuggets needed every big body they could throw at reserve center Boban Marjanovic, who feasted on the Nuggets’ interior in the fourth quarter. He finished with 18 points, 10 in the final period alone. His pummeling dunks were the reason the Clippers were up 92-84 with just over five minutes left.

“He is a very large human being who presents problems for anybody,” Malone quipped.

The takeaway from Wednesday’s season opener was their resiliency. Malone and the players all made note of it, citing a maturity that just wasn’t there during the last two seasons.

“There’s just no panic,” Murray said. “I think we’re a lot calmer compared to other games where we start to rush things or not trust each other in certain situations.”

Part of that trust comes from how dangerous any given starter can be on any particular night. If Millsap is struggling, it might be Nikola Jokic carrying the interior burden. If Murray isn’t scoring, it might be Will Barton, who finished with 19 points and 3 for 5 from the 3-point line in his debut as a full-time starter.

It’s one game, but even Malone cited the pain of last year’s season-ending loss during pregame on Wednesday as motivation.

“We’re all locked in, we’re all focused,” Harris said. “There’s a different vibe right now, and I think we all feel it, and we’re just trying to ride that wave right now.”



https://www.denverpost.com/2018/10/18/denver-nuggets-la-clippers-gary-harris/
Benintendi, Red Sox hold off Astros 8-6 for 3-1 ALCS lead

Benintendi, Red Sox hold off Astros 8-6 for 3-1 ALCS lead

18/10/2018, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 27920348

HOUSTON — Left fielder Andrew Benintendi made a diving catch with the bases loaded for the final out, and the Boston Red Sox held off the Houston Astros 8-6 Wednesday night to take a 3-1 lead in the AL Championship Series.

Boosted by a questionable fan interference call and another home run from Jackie Bradley Jr. in a gripping, back-and-forth game, the Red Sox moved within one victory of their first World Series trip since winning the 2013 title.

Craig Kimbrel earned a shaky six-out save, aided by a rocket throw from right fielder Mookie Betts and Benintendi’s daring grab of Alex Bregman’s sinking liner in left. Had the ball scooted past a charging Benintendi, it easily could have scored three runs and won the game for Houston.

ALCS Game 4 boxscore

Instead, the Red Sox improved to 4-0 on the road in these playoffs and inched closer to eliminating the defending World Series champions.

Game 5 is Thursday night in Houston, where ace Justin Verlander will pitch for the Astros with their season on the line. David Price, who was warming up in the bullpen late in Game 4, will start for Boston on three days’ rest after Chris Sale was ruled out Wednesday while recovering from a stomach illness.

Bradley hit a go-ahead homer in the sixth inning, his latest huge swing for a Red Sox team that was knocked out of the postseason by Houston in the Division Series last year.

Boston has won three straight after a Game 1 loss, and this one came with some controversy after Houston star Jose Altuve was denied a two-run homer in the first inning because of fan interference.

Boston trailed by one with two outs in the sixth when Christian Vazquez doubled to deep right-center. Center fielder George Springer nearly made a leaping catch, but the ball glanced off his glove.

Bradley, who hit a grand slam in Game 3 and a three-run double in Game 2, put the Red Sox on top 6-5 with his soaring shot to right field on the next pitch from rookie Josh James.

Boston got some insurance in the seventh when Lance McCullers walked in a run after taking over for Ryan Pressly with the bases loaded and two outs. J.D. Martinez padded the lead further with an RBI single in the eighth.

Houston cut the lead to two on an RBI groundout by Altuve in the eighth.

Red Sox starter Rick Porcello allowed seven hits and four runs over four innings in a wild game that took 4 hours, 33 minutes. Joe Kelly was the winner after giving up a run in the fifth.

Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts had two RBIs apiece for the Red Sox, who have outscored their opponents 36-12 on the road this postseason.

Houston’s Carlos Correa, who has struggled with back problems for months, had three hits and two RBIs for his first multihit game this postseason. Springer and Tony Kemp each hit a solo homer for the Astros, who left 13 runners on base.

A rusty Charlie Morton gave up three hits, three runs and two walks in just 2 1/3 innings. He also threw two wild pitches in his first outing for the Astros since the regular-season finale on Sept. 30.

James took over and yielded four hits and three runs while striking out five in 3 2/3 innings during his second postseason appearance.

Morton had trouble with control from the start and plunked Betts before a one-out walk to Martinez. A wild pitch allowed both runners to advance before a two-out single by Devers sent them both home to give the Red Sox two runs in the first inning for the third straight game.

The disputed home run call came in the bottom of the inning when umpires ruled at least one fan interfered with Betts’ attempt at a leaping catch above the right-field wall on the ball hit by Altuve.

Crew chief Joe West, working the right-field line, signaled fan interference after Betts was unable to make the grab and the ball ricocheted back onto the field.

The call stood after a replay review that lasted 3 minutes, 13 seconds. Altuve was ruled out and Springer was sent back to first base.

Houston manager AJ Hinch moved Bregman up to the leadoff spot from third after the Red Sox walked him seven times in the first three games. The shake-up didn’t help the Astros, though, as Bregman went 0 for 5 and was hit by a pitch.

Springer got the Astros within a run when he sent Porcello’s first pitch of the third inning into the seats in right field. Unlike Altuve’s, this one was a no-doubter, sailing about seven rows into the stands into a pocket of about four fans wearing Red Sox jerseys.

Altuve followed with a double that clanged off the wall in left field. Last year’s AL MVP, who has been Houston’s designated hitter as he deals with a bruised knee, grimaced as he slid into second on the play and was limping after he got to his feet.

Josh Reddick tied the game at 3 with two outs when he singled to shallow left-center to score Altuve, who still looked uncomfortable as he trotted home.

Kemp gave Houston its first lead when he knocked a slider from Porcello over the wall in the right-field corner in the fourth.

Benintendi’s second double came in the fifth and he scored on a two-out single by Bogaerts to tie it at 4.

Correa’s run-scoring single made it 5-4 in the bottom of the inning.

UP NEXT

Verlander is 6-1 with a 2.44 ERA in eight postseason appearances for the Astros. He allowed two hits and two runs over six innings for the win in Houston’s 7-2 victory in Game 1 at Fenway Park.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports



https://www.denverpost.com/2018/10/17/red-sox-beat-astros-alcs-game-4/
Nuggets rely on defensive effort to pull out season-opening win in Los Angeles

Nuggets rely on defensive effort to pull out season-opening win in Los Angeles

18/10/2018, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 27920233

LOS ANGELES – It wasn’t how the Denver Nuggets were accustomed to winning last year, but it didn’t matter.

It was a win, and they’ll take it. After last year’s glaring 15-26 road record, Wednesday’s 107-98 win over the Los Angeles Clippers will serve as a welcome start to a season with so much potential.

Gary Harris’ fading jumper gave the Nuggets a 99-95 lead with 44 seconds left before he and Paul Millsap put it out of reach from the free-throw line. Franchise centerpiece Nikola Jokic had a game-high 21 points to go along with eight rebounds and five assists. Harris finished with 20 while newly-minted starter Will Barton chipped in 19 on 6-of-12 shooting.

Even though the Nuggets’ offense shined down the stretch – a Jokic 3-pointer, a pivotal Millsap floater – Wednesday’s win was about their defense.

The Nuggets flipped the script on last year’s recipe, locking down the Clippers on the defensive end instead of relying on their high-octane offense as they did so much of last year. The Clippers shot just 40 percent from the field, including 8-of-28 from the 3-point line.

But Clippers’ reserve center Boban Marjanovic nearly spoiled the opener. Marjanovic has a history of plaguing the Nuggets in the post, and Wednesday wasn’t any different. He pummeled his way to 18 points, including several demoralizing dunks as the Clippers made a fourth-quarter run.

Midway through the fourth quarter, arena staff had to re-align the hoop in all likelihood because 7-3 Marjanovic kept dangling from it.

On the same day Nuggets coach Mike Malone celebrated a two-year contract extension, the Nuggets got a chance to embrace a fresh start on a new season. The Nuggets have improved their win total in all three seasons under Malone, and this season there’s an expectation that it will finally yield a playoff berth.

The Clippers’ defense, as Malone had feared, put the clamps on the Nuggets’ offense in the third quarter, limiting them to just 15 points while closing the margin to 74-72. Sloppy sequences on both sides seemed more fitting of last week’s preseason game rather than a regular-season game.

After last year’s disappointment – missing the postseason on the final game of the season – the Nuggets’ coaching staff emphasized an improved 3-point defense, protecting the basketball and hustling in transition defense all while maintaining their offensive identity. The blueprint was never in question. What was unknown – and still is following the season opener – is whether similar personnel can iron out their defensive gaps.

“We were really exciting last year, we were one of the most unselfish teams in the NBA every year, high-powered offense and we missed the playoffs because our defense wasn’t where it needs to be,” Malone said.

The second unit, as it was all preseason, should be a huge advantage for Malone’s squad going forward. Against the Clippers, it took a 27-24 lead and extended it to a 42-31 lead minutes into the second quarter. Super-sub Trey Lyles brought the scoring punch off the bench while backup point guard Monte Morris conducted the offense with efficient poise. He had four assists during the offensive spurt and will continue to provide insurance as Isaiah Thomas rehabs his surgically-repaired hip.

The Clippers, behind their tenacious backcourt, fought back to take a momentary lead before Barton sunk a pull-up 3-pointer with 2:25 left in the second quarter to wrest the lead back. He had a team-high 13 at halftime, and the Nuggets’ defensive effort held the Clippers under 40 percent shooting in the first half.

The first quarter the Nuggets flashed their offensive potential, which came as advertised. It was free-flowing, unselfish and just as they left off last year when it ranked among the NBA’s elite. Barton and Harris each had eight while Jokic, who didn’t attempt his first shot until there were less than four minutes left in the quarter, finished with six. The Nuggets center was a particular irritant to the Clippers in the post, drawing four fouls against three separate players.



https://www.denverpost.com/2018/10/17/denver-nuggets-win-season-opener/
CSU football offensive line faces challenges besides Boise State

CSU football offensive line faces challenges besides Boise State

18/10/2018, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 27920131

FORT COLLINS — The situation went from unfortunate to unwelcome in a matter of a series. It just so happened to be the first of the game, too.

About the time Colorado State felt the offensive line was starting to come together, it started to come apart. Staring guard Tyler Bjorklund injured his ankle during practice. After the first series of the New Mexico game, starting center Colby Meeks was out with an injury, and the promise of the group turned to patchwork.

Starting guard Jeff Taylor was playing center, starting tackle Barry Wesley was at guard and the two main backups — T.J. Roundtree and Salofi Gaoa — were now starters for the remainder of the afternoon.

“It’s a big challenge, especially with the offensive line, because chemistry is a big thing for us,” Taylor said. “We all know who is rotating in and out, but losing two guys, and coming up with three different lineups within a game is difficult. We all know how each other plays, but some lineups, we don’t play with each other. It’s hard to get that game chemistry thing within a game. We managed to pull together and find a way to get a win.”

As Friday’s road game at Boise State (7 p.m.; ESPN2) approaches, the Rams are hopeful Meeks will be able to play. He has practiced this week, in a more limited role, leaving Taylor working as much at center as guard.

Read more at reporterherald.com.



https://www.denverpost.com/2018/10/17/csu-offensive-line-boise-state/
Tyler Bey eyeing breakout season for CU Buffs men’s basketball

Tyler Bey eyeing breakout season for CU Buffs men’s basketball

18/10/2018, Denver, Multi Sports, Denver Post Publication, Article # 27920132

The goals, according to Tyler Bey are simple. And they are numbers any player — from an up-and-coming talent like Bey to a wily old veteran — would take in a heartbeat.

“Twenty and 10,” Bey said with a smile, half-jokingly referring to the double-double he hopes to produce every night this season for the Colorado men’s basketball team.

It is a lofty standard, no doubt, and obviously one Bey is unlikely to reach every game. Yet those figures nonetheless are statistics Bey figures to approach far more frequently as a sophomore in 2018-19. As the Buffaloes met local reporters on Wednesday during the program’s annual media day at the CU Events Center, they did so with an air of confidence as a young team eager, and expecting, to take the next step — even as the players came to grips with the news of Dallas Walton’s season-ending knee injury.

Among the cast of sophomores attempting to make significant improvements over their freshman seasons, the hyper-athletic Bey has perhaps the best opportunity to impact every game for the Buffs at both ends of the floor.

“Whatever I’ve got to do for this team to win, that’s what I’m going to do,” Bey said. “Whether that’s rebounding, playing defense, and that’s without scoring. I don’t need to score to help this team win.”

Read more at buffzone.com.



https://www.denverpost.com/2018/10/17/cu-mens-basketball-tyler-bey/
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