Babin: D unfathomably good in short yardage


Babin: D unfathomably good in short yardage

MIAMI Thats the kind of defense Eagles fans are used to seeing. Defense with swagger. Defense, as Brian Dawkins says, with some dawg.

Thats what it takes to record nine sacks and three turnovers. Thats what it takes to stuff teams in short-yardage situations. And thats whats been missing from this defense for most of the season.

If you would have said ahead of time what we would have done on third-and-short and fourth-and-short, I would have said, 'Youre crazy, because Im pretty sure they were close to being perfect this year on third- and fourth-and-short, Jason Babin said after the Eagles defensive tour de force resulted in a 26-10 victory (see story).

The Dolphins entered the game 14 for 22 (63.6 percent) on third-and-two or fewer and were 3 for 5 on fourth-and-one (60 percent). They havent attempted a fourth-and-two.

I dont know how many times we stopped them, Babin said, but it was almost unfathomable. I wouldnt have even guessed we could stop them that much."

Heres how many times (well include second down too):
Second quarter

Third-and-three from the Dolphins 27: Asante Samuel jarred the ball from receiver Davone Bess and recovered the fumble.

Second-and-two from the Eagles 49: Running back Daniel Thomas gained a yard. Darryl Tapp was credited with the stop.

Third-and-one from the Eagles 48: Thomas ran into a wall of green, led by Cullen Jenkins, who was credited with the tackle. No gain.

Fourth-and-one from the Eagles 48: Running back Lex Hilliard leapt into the pile and after a measurement and replay review was ruled short. Trent Cole made the stop.

Third quarter

Third-and-one from the Dolphins 42: Hilliard stopped again for no gain, Jenkins was credited with the stop.

Second-and-goal from the Eagles two: Incompletion.

Third-and-goal from the two: Derek Landri busted through the line and took down Thomas for a loss of two.

Fourth quarter

Second-and-two from the Dolphins 46: Incompletion.

Third-and-two from the Dolphins 46: Brandon Marshall catch for a yard.

Fourth-and-one from the Dolphins 47: J.P. Losman fumbled the snap and, after further review, is ruled short of the first down.

Thats 10 stops on second-, third- or fourth and two or fewer.

We had an attitude down in there we werent going to let them get it, Jenkins said. It wasnt going down there and hoping. We expected to stop them. We know the D-line plays the biggest part in that.

Wheres that attitude been all season?

Just not being consistent enough, Jenkins said. We come into some games and we show fight early and then let up later. We shoot ourselves in the foot with it.

They came into this game with something different (see blog post).

It just came from inside of us. We all have it, linebacker Brian Rolle said. It depends on whether we want to pull it out of us. Trent Cole and those guys said before the game, How bad do we want it. Thats when it comes down to how bad you want it.

They wanted it more than Miami.

"It's unacceptable," Dolphins guard Richie Incognito said. "We get in those situations and that's on the offensive line. That's on nobody else. We have to push them and get push, but we didn't do that today."

Cole said he simply was tired of losing.

Youve got to keep that swagger, Cole said. When you get that swagger going man its a snowball effect.

Everybody chipped in. Cole and Babin each had three sacks. Rolle, Casey Matthews and Phillip Hunt each recorded the first sacks of their careers. Kurt Coleman had an interception, and Asante Samuel forced and recovered a fumble.

Its called having fun having fun as a defense, Cole said. When were having fun out there, we make it a party.

The Eagles capped the party by sacking Losman for a 10-yard loss on fourth-and-19.

That was amazing, Rolle said. I dont think Ive ever seen that many times somebody made a stand on fourth down. We did it three times. Thats just a test for how much we wanted it. It could have been easy to give up a half-yard. But instead we fought hard and were able to hold them.

E-mail Andy Schwartz at

Brian Carroll's goal in 92nd minute gives Union draw with Rapids


Brian Carroll's goal in 92nd minute gives Union draw with Rapids

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- Brian Carroll tied it in 92nd minute and the Union escaped with a 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids in a showdown of the Western and Eastern conference leaders.

Carroll ran underneath Fabian Herbers' high-arching header and slotted the finish under goalkeeper Zac MacMath from close range.

The Union (5-3-5) responded only 5 minutes after the Rapids (8-2-4) opened the scoring on Sam Cronin's header in the 87th minute. Cronin made a deep run to connect with Marlon Hairston's cross from the right flank, redirecting it into the far corner of the goal.

Both Dillon Powers and Luis Solignac had shots crash off the crossbar for the Rapids after the 70th minute.

The Union extended their unbeaten streak to seven while the Rapids stayed unbeaten in their nine home games this season.

Chase Utley haunts Mets in Dodgers' rout at Citi Field


Chase Utley haunts Mets in Dodgers' rout at Citi Field

NEW YORK -- Chase Utley hit a grand slam and a solo homer after Noah Syndergaard threw a 99 mph fastball behind his back, and the Los Angeles Dodgers went deep a season-high five times in routing the New York Mets 9-1 on Saturday night.

In a scene that seemed inevitable since October, Syndergaard was immediately ejected following the third-inning pitch -- almost certainly his shot at retaliation against Utley for the late takeout slide that broke the right leg of then-Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada in last year's playoffs.

Plate umpire Adam Hamari tossed Syndergaard, sending Mets manager Terry Collins into a rage, but no trouble ensued between the teams. A longtime New York nemesis, Utley raised one hand slightly in the direction of the Dodgers' bench to keep teammates calm -- and later answered by doing all sorts of damage with his bat.

Kenta Maeda (4-3) shook off an early line drive that appeared to hit him in the pitching hand and threw five shutout innings for the win. The right-hander yielded two hits, both in the first, and snapped his three-game losing streak.

Adrian Gonzalez homered and had four hits for the Dodgers, who spoiled the Mets' 30th anniversary celebration of their 1986 World Series championship. Corey Seager and Howie Kendrick also connected, all after Syndergaard was gone.

Pinch-hitter Juan Lagares homered in the eighth for New York, long after the outcome was decided.

The stoic Utley is playing at Citi Field this weekend for the first time since Tejada was injured. The Mets -- and their fans -- were incensed by the aggressive slide, which led to a change in baseball rules this season designed to protect infielders in what some call the Utley Rule.

But the Mets had not tried to retaliate until Saturday night.

With one out and nobody on in the third inning of a scoreless game, Syndergaard's first pitch to Utley sailed behind the second baseman's back by a considerable margin.

Hamari immediately ejected Syndergaard, prompting Collins to come storming out of the dugout. Collins also was ejected after screaming at Hamari and pointing in his face during an animated argument. The manager was finally escorted back toward the New York dugout by another umpire.

After waiting near the mound with teammates for some time, Syndergaard walked calmly to the Mets' dugout without showing any emotion as the crowd cheered him.

Logan Verrett (3-2) entered for the Mets and, with a vocal contingent in the sellout crowd of 42,227 urging him to hit Utley with a pitch, eventually threw a called third strike past him. But then Utley homered on Verrett's first pitch of the sixth to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.

Booed all night, Utley added his sixth career slam off Hansel Robles in the seventh, giving Los Angeles a 6-0 cushion with his 38th career homer against the Mets.

In the series opener Friday night, Utley was greeted with loud jeers and derisive chants. He had four RBIs in a 6-5 loss, including a three-run double that tied the score with two outs in the ninth.

Where are you now?
Tejada was released by the Mets during spring training and signed by the St. Louis Cardinals, who designated him for assignment Saturday.

Trainer's room
Dodgers: RF Trayce Thompson exited in the fifth with lower back soreness. He was replaced by Yasiel Puig, who hit an RBI single off Verrett in the sixth.

Mets: INF Wilmer Flores (hamstring) went 1 for 2 with a sacrifice fly in his fifth rehab game for Double-A Binghamton. Before the game, Collins said it was reasonable to think Flores could come off the disabled list Sunday.

Up next
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (7-1, 1.48 ERA) starts the series finale Sunday night against 43-year-old Bartolo Colon (4-3, 3.44). Kershaw, coming off a two-hit shutout against Cincinnati, is 7-0 with a 1.17 ERA in 10 starts against the Mets. He is 5-0 with a 0.64 ERA in May -- including a three-hit shutout of New York on May 12 at Dodger Stadium. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has struck out 55 and walked two this month.

Soul drop 1st road game of season to Gladiators

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Soul drop 1st road game of season to Gladiators

The Soul fell on the road to the Cleveland Gladiators, 63-49, at Quicken Loans Arena on Saturday night.

The loss was just the second of the season and the first away from the Wells Fargo Center for the Soul. Quarterback Dan Raudabaugh completed 25 of 44 passes for 342 yards and seven touchdownsi in a losing effort.

The Gladiators were led by receiver Quentin Sims, who finished with 10 receptions for 114 yards and three touchdowns, and signal caller Arvell Nelson who completed 22 of 36 passes for 307 yards and seven touchdowns.

Next week, the Soul travel to Jacksonville to take on the Sharks on Saturday, June 4. The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports and 97.5 The Fanatic.  Kick-off is set for 7 p.m.