Connect with us

Sports

Steelers looks phenomenal in dominant win over Giants

mm

Published

on

Steelers looks phenomenal in dominant win over Giants

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense was so good last season, it almost dragged Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges to the playoffs.

The Steelers defense might be even stronger this season. And their quarterback play is going to be light years better.

Pittsburgh’s defenders seemed to be competing to see who could hit Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley the hardest. The defense was phenomenal in a suffocating 26-16 win over the New York Giants on Monday night. Other than one long touchdown pass, the Giants rarely got anything going. Barkley, a spectacular back, had just 6 rushing yards on 15 carries. According to Pro Football Reference, only three other times in NFL history has a back registered 6 or fewer yards on at least 15 carries in a game.

And while Ben Roethlisberger still looked a little rusty coming off elbow surgery, the Steelers had to be happy to see him back too. Pittsburgh looked very good Monday night. Maybe even Super Bowl good.

Steelers defense takes over

The Steelers started slow. They muffed a punt that led to a Giants field goal. The offense didn’t do a whole lot early on. But T.J. Watt’s fantastic interception, dropping into Jones’ passing lane and leaping to grab his pass, started to change the momentum.

Pittsburgh’s defense looks fast and fierce. Jones rarely had time to throw. Barkley was hit by multiple defenders just about every time he got the ball. Pittsburgh is strong on the line, has speed off the edge and is good in the secondary. The Giants hit a 41-yard touchdown pass to Darius Slayton on a rare Steelers breakdown to take a 10-3 lead, but that was about it. The Steelers scored 23 straight points after that.

New York did go on a slow, methodical 19-play drive in the third quarter when the game was still close, but the defense made the play of the game. Bud Dupree got pressure on Jones, who should have taken the sack or thrown it out of bounds. Instead he tried to throw to the end zone, his arm was hit by Dupree and defensive lineman Cameron Heyward caught the can of corn pop fly for a crucial interception.

The Steelers offense didn’t have to do too much with the defense playing that well, and eventually that unit found its rhythm too.

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) comes down with a touchdown pass against New York Giants cornerback James Bradberry (24). (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Ben Roethlisberger’s return is a success

Roethlisberger started to get rolling in the second half, finding all his receivers. JuJu Smith-Schuster, who struggled with Rudolph and Hodges throwing him the ball, had two touchdown catches from Roethlisberger. Smith-Schuster also had a key fumble recovery when Benny Snell Jr. fumbled right after Heyward’s pick, a huge turning point in a game that was close into the fourth quarter. Other than the fumble Snell looked like a revelation at running back, rushing for more than 100 yards.

The Steelers knew they had a good defense coming into the season. They might have the best defense in football, or very close. Pittsburgh never seemed concerned about Roethlisberger coming back and looking 100 percent, and all of the positive reports on his recovery during training camp looked accurate on Monday night. He made several nice throws.

The Steelers defense looks like it’s good enough to win a title. Pittsburgh’s offense has enough blue-chip talent to be one of the NFL’s best. Put together, the Steelers might be in for a very good season.

More NFL from Sports Grind Entertainment:

mm

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sports

Dodgers must contend with the unhittable ‘Airbender’ pitch of Brewers’ Devin Williams

mm

Published

on

Dodgers must contend with the unhittable 'Airbender' pitch of Brewers' Devin Williams

The pitch defies logic and description. It’s classified as a changeup but acts more like a screwball, the rare offering from a right-hander that fades down and away from a left-handed batter. Rob Friedman, known on Twitter as the Pitching Ninja, may have coined the best moniker for the pitch: the “Airbender.”

Whatever you call it, the Dodgers are going to have to deal with the pitch in their first-round playoff series against the Milwaukee Brewers, who will lean heavily on a deep and versatile bullpen that features a little-known rookie who has been even more dominant this season than left-hander Josh Hader.

Meet Devin Williams, a 26-year-old right-hander who went 4-1 with an 0.33 ERA in 22 games, striking out 53 and walking nine in 27 innings, a 17.67 strikeouts-per-nine innings rate that, in a 60-game season, tied Aroldis Chapman (2014 Reds) for the best single-season mark in baseball history.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Williams, a 2013 second-round pick who transitioned from starter to reliever at double-A Biloxi in 2019, allowed only one run all season, on a solo homer by Pittsburgh’s Colin Moran on July 27.

“I think Devin had a remarkable season, a really historic season, it’s absolutely incredible,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “The strikeout numbers were special. It’s hard to comprehend a little bit, what he did.”

Williams has a lively fastball that averages 96.5 mph according to Fangraphs, a pitch he’s thrown 43.9% of the time, but his out pitch is a changeup that averages 84.1 mph and is thrown 52.7% of the time.

His signature pitch is thrown with a circle-change grip, but the pronation of his wrist as he releases the ball creates both left-to-right and downward movement. The 13-mph difference between the fastball and changeup, which he throws with similar arm action, disrupts the timing of hitters, who often flail at the pitch or take it for a strike.

If the pitch mix and usage sound familiar to Dodgers fans, it’s because Eric Gagne used nearly the exact same repertoire to become one of baseball’s best closers in the early 2000s, when he featured a 96-98 mph fastball and an 82-85 mph changeup with similar fading action.

Counsell, a former infielder who played most of his 16-year career with Arizona and Milwaukee, went hitless in 10 at-bats with three strikeouts against Gagne. Does Williams remind him of the former Dodgers closer who had a major league-leading 55 saves in 2003?

Eric Gagne pitches for the Dodgers in 2001.  (Los Angeles Times)

“I haven’t heard Eric Gagne’s name with him, but I actually think that might be the best comparison as far as the action on the changeup,” Counsell said. “It’s a similar action, with velocity, and that’s what Eric was doing in his prime, throwing a really good changeup but also big velocity [on the fastball].”

Williams held opponents to an .090 batting average and .339 on-base-plus-slugging percentage this season. His changeup made him even more effective against left-handers, who hit .075 against him, than right-handers, who hit .111 against him.

Williams can throw multiple innings in high-leverage spots, and he teams with Hader (1-2, 3.79 ERA, 13 saves in 21 games) to give Milwaukee a dynamic right-left, back-of-the-bullpen duo.

With ace Corbin Burnes (4-1, 2.11 ERA) sidelined by a left-oblique strain and left-hander Brett Anderson questionable because of a blister on the index finger of his pitching hand, the eighth-seeded Brewers (29-31) will need Williams, Hader and the rest of their relievers to cover the bulk of the innings against the top-seeded and heavily favored Dodgers (43-17).

“We’re not afraid to do things unconventionally,” Milwaukee general manager David Stearns said. “What Corbin did this year is the main reason why we’re still playing, so for him to not be able to pitch Game 1 of a playoff series is hard to take. It’s disappointing. But we have other guys who will need to step up.”

Adding bullpen depth are right-handers Eric Yardley (2-0, 1.54 ERA in 24 games), Brent Suter (2-0, 3.13 ERA in 16 games), Justin Topa (0-1, 2.35 ERA in six games) and Drew Rasmussen (1-0, 5.87 ERA in 12 games). Topa and Rasmussen both throw 98-mph fastballs.

“Bullpens tend to be a little more volatile, but I think we found some pieces that are talented and have a chance to be parts of bullpens for multiple years,” Counsell said. “It’s a really good core group, for sure.”

Milwaukee’s best-of-three series against the Dodgers could very well resemble its seven-game National League Championship Series loss to the Dodgers in 2018, when Brewers relievers — mostly Brandon Woodruff, Hader, Corey Knebel and Burnes — threw 45 1/3 of the team’s 65 2/3 innings.

“We’ll piece it together like we usually do,” Milwaukee right fielder and 2018 NL most valuable player Christian Yelich said. “I think this is where the Brewers organization shines, in the postseason, getting creative … we’ve seen it in the past. I think we’ll find a way to have a great series.”

mm

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Continue Reading

Sports

Sanderson Farms Championship, Thursday tee times, TV info

mm

Published

on

Sanderson Farms Championship, Thursday tee times, TV info

The PGA Tour returns to Jackson, Mississippi, for this week’s Sanderson Farms Championship at Country Club of Jackson.

Since becoming an annual PGA Tour stop in 2014, the course and event have routinely allowed for low scores and long-shot winners.

The field sees a few big names — like Sungjae Im and Scottie Scheffler — return this week following the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship. Many of the top golfers are preparing for the Masters Tournament in November.

Reigning winner Sebastián Muñoz returns to defend his title. Muñoz is included in one of four featured groups for the first two rounds. He tees off his second round alongside Corey Conners and Ryan Armour at 9 a.m. ET from the 10th tee.

Other featured groups are the groups of Sergio Garcia, Adam Long and Henrik Stenson; Scheffler, Im and Keegan Bradley; and Stewart Cink, Hudson Swafford and Zach Johnson.

All times are listed in Eastern.

Tee times

1st tee

Tee time Players
8:05 a.m. Nick Watney, Sean O’Hair, Patrick Rodgers
8:16 a.m. Scott Brown, Bo Van Pelt, Sam Burns
8:27 a.m. Chesson Hadley, Cameron Tringale, Anirban Lahiri
8:38 a.m Jim Herman, Martin Trainer, Andrew Putnam
8:49 a.m. Pat Perez, Greg Chalmers, Charley Hoffman
9 a.m. Chez Reavie, Jason Dufner, William McGirt
9:11 a.m. Nick Taylor, Keith Mitchell, Russell Knox
9:22 a.m. Aaron Wise, Wesley Bryan, Luke Donald
9:33 a.m. Vaughn Taylor, Scott Harrington, Will Gordon
9:44 a.m. Hunter Mahan, Byeong Hun An, Jamie Lovemark
9:55 a.m. Chase Seiffert, Michael Gligic, Matthias Schwab
10:06 a.m. Kramer Hickok, Zack Fischer, Davis Riley
1 p.m. Peter Malnati, Sam Ryder, Xinjun Zhang
1:11 p.m. Fabián Gómez, Sepp Straka, Matthew NeSmith
1:22 p.m. Robert Streb, Tim Wilkinson, Zac Blair
1:33 p.m. Troy Merritt, Brice Garnett, Grayson Murray
1:44 p.m. Dylan Frittelli, Sung Kang, Ted Potter, Jr.
1:55 p.m. Sebastián Muñoz, Corey Conners, Ryan Armour
2:06 p.m. Adam Long, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia
2:17 p.m. Kyle Stanley, Mark Hubbard, Maverick McNealy
2:28 p.m. Charl Schwartzel, Chris Kirk, J.J. Spaun
2:39 p.m. Brian Gay, Beau Hossler, Cameron Davis
2:50 p.m. Hank Lebioda, Will Zalatoris, Sahith Theegala
3:01 p.m. Brandon Hagy, Sebastian Cappelen, MJ Daffue

10th tee

Tee time Players
8:05 a.m. Chris Stroud, Jhonattan Vegas, Branden Grace
8:16 a.m. Jonathan Byrd, Tom Hoge, Tom Lewis
8:27 a.m. Emiliano Grillo, Martin Laird, Doc Redman
8:38 a.m Richy Werenski, J.T. Poston, Kevin Tway
8:49 a.m. C.T. Pan, Brandt Snedeker, Jimmy Walker
9 a.m. Sungjae Im, Keegan Bradley, Scottie Scheffler
9:11 a.m. Hudson Swafford, Stewart Cink, Zach Johnson
9:22 a.m. David Hearn, Cameron Percy, Kyoung-Hoon Lee
9:33 a.m. Rafa Cabrera Bello, Kelly Kraft, Talor Gooch
9:44 a.m. Camilo Villegas, Matt Jones, Tyler McCumber
9:55 a.m. Rob Oppenheim, Mark Anderson, Kyle Ramey
10:06 a.m. Roger Sloan, Chris Baker, Steve Lewton
1 p.m. K.J. Choi, D.J. Trahan, Henrik Norlander
1:11 p.m. Brian Stuard, Carlos Ortiz, Bo Hoag
1:22 p.m. Aaron Baddeley, Bill Haas, Adam Schenk
1:33 p.m. Nate Lashley, Satoshi Kodaira, Si Woo Kim
1:44 p.m. J.B. Holmes, Austin Cook, Kevin Chappell
1:55 p.m. Michael Kim, Patton Kizzire, D.A. Points
2:06 p.m. Scott Piercy, Brian Harman, Kevin Stadler
2:17 p.m. Scott Stallings, Rory Sabbatini, Luke List
2:28 p.m. Lucas Glover, Bud Cauley, Wyndham Clark
2:39 p.m. Bronson Burgoon, Denny McCarthy, Robby Shelton
2:50 p.m. Kristoffer Ventura, Vincent Whaley, Isaiah Jackson (a)
3:01 p.m. Joseph Bramlett, Doug Ghim, Jay McLuen

TV, streaming information

All times are listed in Eastern.

Thursday, Oct. 1

TV

PGA Tour Live: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Twitter: 8-9:10 a.m.
Golf Channel on fuboTV (watch for free): 4-7 p.m.

Radio

PGA Tour Radio on SiriusXM: 1-7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 2

TV

PGA Tour Live: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Twitter: 8-9:10 a.m.
Golf Channel on fuboTV (watch for free): 4-7 p.m.

Radio

PGA Tour Radio on SiriusXM: 1-7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 3

TV

PGA Tour Live: 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Twitter: 9:30-10:55 a.m.
Golf Channel on fuboTV (watch for free): 4-7 p.m.

Radio

PGA Tour Radio on SiriusXM: 2-7 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 4

TV

PGA Tour Live: 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Twitter: 9:30-10:55 a.m.
Golf Channel on fuboTV (watch for free): 4-7 p.m.

Radio

PGA Tour Radio on SiriusXM: 2-7 p.m.

We recommend interesting sports viewing and streaming opportunities. If you sign up to a service by clicking one of the links, we may earn a referral fee.

Related

Fantasy Golf Power Rankings for the Sanderson Farms Championship

Instruction with Steve Scott: Get wide on the drive

Sanderson Farms Championship odds, predictions and PGA Tour best bets

mm

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Continue Reading

Sports

Scottie Pippen slams Bulls hire of Billy Donovan, says he hasn’t proven anything

mm

Published

on

Scottie Pippen slams Bulls hire of Billy Donovan, says he hasn't proven anything

Scottie Pippen slams Bulls hire of Billy Donovan originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

To many, the Chicago Bulls hiring Billy Donovan as head coach seems like a smart move and one that was only made possible by Donovan’s surprising departure from Oklahoma City. He wasn’t fired, he just left and after a successful season with the Thunder.

Bulls legend Scottie Pippen, though, disagrees that it was a good move, and quite strongly. He did an interview with Forbes recently where he did not hold back at all when criticizing the hire.

Pippen: “I like Billy Donovan as a person but I don’t think he’s proved anything in the NBA that proves he’s worth investing in and bringing a team up that needs help like Chicago does. They’re a team that has been struggling for a long time. To me, I don’t see the value he brings to them. He’s going to be a coach but there are a lot of them out there. He didn’t do anything special in OKC that warranted him a second opportunity. That’s just my opinion.”

Well, then. Things may get awkward the next time Pippen shows up at the United Center, as that was a strong take coming from one of the best players in NBA history. He’s saying Donovan hasn’t done anything in the NBA and that’s very debatable, as he kept a Thunder team afloat as they moved on without Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

Really, Chicago is lucky to have him if you consider the rarity of someone with as long of a proven record as he has, which includes two national titles in college. It’s not often a team as bad as the Bulls can land a coach like Donovan.

Maybe he can win Pippen over by developing the Bulls into a winner. It is certainly a take worth revisiting down the road.

mm

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Continue Reading

Trending