Nope, there were not.
Nope, there were not.
Nope, there were not.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Jose Fernandez struck out 12 in seven innings Thursday and won his sixth straight start for the Miami Marlins, a 9-1 decision over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Fernandez (7-2) struck out eight of the last 10 batters he faced and struck out every hitter in the Rays lineup at least once. The 23-year-old right-hander from Tampa gave up six hits in beating his hometown Rays for the first time in three tries. He finished the game with 13.3 strikeouts per nine innings, highest among major league starters.
Adeiny Hechavarria and Chris Johnson homered for the Marlins, who won three of four in their annual series against the Rays.
Hechavarria's third home run drove in the final two runs of a three-run second inning off Rays starter Drew Smyly. Johnson made it 5-0 with his second homer an inning later, Johnson's first hit in 22 interleague at bats (see full recap).
Rockies silence Red Sox, Bradley's hit streak
BOSTON -- Carlos Gonzalez, Trevor Story and Dustin Garneau hit two-run homers and the Colorado Rockies stopped Jackie Bradley Jr.'s 29-game hitting streak with a 8-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night.
The win ended a three-game losing streak by Colorado and it ended a four-game winning streak for the Red Sox. Bradley's major league-best streak was halted when he went 0 for 4 after moving up to the leadoff spot for the first time this season.
Jon Gray (2-2) gave up a two-run home run to David Ortiz in the first, but pitched six scoreless innings before leaving in the eighth.
Clay Buchholz (2-5) took the loss. He pitched three perfect innings before things came apart in the fourth, when he gave up Gonzalez's homer with the other two coming the following inning (see full recap).
Happ leads Blue Jays past Yankees
NEW YORK -- J.A. Happ pitched seven strong innings, Edwin Encarnacion and Devon Travis had two-out RBIs, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Yankees 3-1 on Thursday to win the three-game series.
CC Sabathia was the tough-luck loser for New York, allowing just two unearned runs. Alex Rodriguez went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in his first game since going on the disabled list May 4 with a strained right hamstring.
Happ (6-2) allowed one run on three hits in seven innings with five strikeouts and three walks. He has given up three earned runs or fewer in 19 of his last 20 starts.
Sabathia (3-3) retired the first seven batters before an error by shortstop Didi Gregorius on Travis' grounder with one out in the third (see full recap).
NBA prospects have been testing the waters and putting out feelers to the gauge interest levels of organizations during the pre-draft process. As a result, 57 early entry-candidates have withdrawn from 2016 draft eligibility.
Among those are Villanova’s Josh Hart, who worked out for the Sixers and made his decision close to the deadline (see story), and Kris Jenkins. Clemson’s Jaron Blossomgame also worked out for the Sixers and will return for his senior year.
Below is a complete list of entry entry candidates that have withdrawn:
Abdul-Malik Abu, North Carolina State
BeeJay Anya, North Carolina State
Ian Baker, New Mexico State
V.J. Beachem, Notre Dame
James Blackmon Jr., Indiana
Antonio Blakeney, LSU
Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson
Trevon Bluiett, Xavier
Amida Brimah, Connecticut
Isaiah Briscoe, Kentucky
Dillon Brooks, Oregon
Elijah Brown, New Mexico
Deonte Burton, Iowa State
Antonio Campbell, Ohio
Conor Clifford, Washington State
Charles Cooke III, Dayton
Bakari Copeland, Maryland-Eastern Shore
Moustapha Diagne, Northwest Florida State
Tyler Dorsey, Oregon
D’Andre Downey, Stillman College (AL)
Vince Edwards, Purdue
Jimmy Hall, Kent State
Josh Hart, Villanova
Josh Hawkinson, Washington State
Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin
Ike Iroegbu, Washington State
Justin Jackson, North Carolina
Kris Jenkins, Villanova
Que Johnson, Washington State
Peter Jok, Iowa
Moses Kingsley, Arkansas
Travion Kirkendoll, Centenary College (LA)
Dedric Lawson, Memphis
Marcus Lee, Kentucky
Makai Mason, Yale
Jahmal McMurray, South Florida
Kennedy Meeks, North Carolina
Dallas Moore, North Florida
Jalen Moore, Utah State
Tyrell Nelson, Gardner-Webb
Malik Newman, Mississippi State
Marc-Eddy Norelia, Florida Gulf Coast
Cameron Oliver, Nevada
Alec Peters, Valparaiso
Malik Pope, San Diego State
Rodney Purvis, Connecticut
Corey Sanders Jr., Rutgers
Caleb Swanigan, Purdue
Rakish Taylor, Anderson University (SC)
Ethan Telfair, Idaho State
Trevor Thompson, Ohio State
Melo Trimble, Maryland
Maurice Watson Jr., Creighton
Andrew White III, Nebraska
Alec Wintering, Portland
Zeek Woodley, Northwestern State
Jim Schwartz is famous for his use of the wide-9 alignment and the 4-3 defense in general. That's the scheme he's had success with in the NFL. That's what he brings to the Eagles.
Yet somewhere in an alternate universe, Schwartz is coaching a 3-4 defense right now, all because the Tennessee Titans never drafted Jevon Kearse.
OK, that might be a stretch considering Schwartz learned under coaches such as Marvin Jones and Gregg Williams, who are also known for the 4-3. Then again, the Eagles' defensive coordinator revealed when he was hired by the Titans as an assistant in 1999, the defense was actually using quite a bit of 3-4. Kearse changed everything, and is in part responsible for Schwartz's preference in scheme to this day.
"When I first went to Tennessee, we based out of a lot of 3-4, but it probably came from just the personnel we had," Schwartz recalled.
"We drafted Jevon Kearse. There was a line of thought that Jevon Kearse was gonna be a 3-4 outside linebacker or he was gonna be a defensive end. We decided to try to make it as simple as we could for him, put him at one spot and just let him attack and rush the passer and let him play the edge.
"We had some success with that, then found other guys in the scheme that fit."
Some success is putting it mildly.
Eagles fans might best remember Kearse for four injury-prone seasons between 2004-07 when he failed to live up to a massive free-agent contract, totaling just 22 sacks. As a first-round pick in 1999, however, "The Freak" burst on to the scene with 14½ sacks, earning Defensive Rookie and Player of the Year honors en route to the first of three consecutive invitations to the Pro Bowl. Kearse had accumulated 47½ sacks after five seasons in Tennessee.
Kearse's final trip to the Pro Bowl came under Schwartz, who ascended to defensive coordinator in 2001, a post he held until being named head coach of the Detroit Lions in '09. Afterward, he served one year as defensive coordinator for the Bills. In 14 NFL seasons, Schwartz has coached eight different linemen to double-digit sack seasons.
Some of that production is the result of a system that allows linemen like Kearse to play fast and attack.
"Philosophically, the thing that's guiding that has been try to make it as simple as we can," Schwartz said.
"It's a coach's job to make a complex scheme simple for the players. It's our job to make it so that they can digest it. There's a lot of things that are going on, on the field — offensive tempo, different personnel groups and formations — there's a million different things going on and they have to process all that stuff. Our job is to streamline the information and allow them to play fast, give them confidence."
Through his experiences, Schwartz has come to believe the 4-3 defense — when equipped with the right personnel up front — is the best method to attack offenses in today's NFL.
"I think that the other part of the 4-3 is when you can affect the passer with four guys, you're not forced to blitz to get pressure on the quarterback, you're in a very good position," he said. "I've been there before when you can't get pressure and you have to blitz — it's not a great feeling. You want to blitz on your terms. You want to be able to blitz when you want to, when the situation is right, not, 'We can't get any pass rush unless we do it.'
"So allowing those guys to keep it simple, to be able to pressure with four and not make yourself skinnier so to speak in coverage can also take some big plays away from offenses."
It's difficult to argue with the results. Schwartz has three previous stints as either a defensive coordinator or head coach in the NFL, during which his units have four top-10 finishes in yards allowed as well as a pair of top-five rankings in points surrendered. Perhaps most impressive of all are the three occasions in which Schwartz's defense finished third the league in takeaways.
Schwartz inherits plenty of talent on the Eagles' defense, particularly along the defensive line. Connor Barwin has twice attained doubled-digit sacks in a season, while Fletcher Cox and Vinny Curry have both eclipsed nine. Brandon Graham and Marcus Smith are former first-round picks, too.
Don't expect this defense to look identical to what Schwartz has done at previous stops, though. While he may be known for a particular approach or brand of football, Schwartz plans to tailor the Eagles' defense to the personnel he has, just like the Titans did with Kearse in Tennessee all those years ago.
"Every year will be a little bit different," Schwartz said. "Our terminology is a little bit different, cast of characters is a little different, and if we're on the right track, we'll put the players in the best position to best use their talents.
"What we did in Buffalo was a little different than what we did in Detroit, which was a little different from what we did in Tennessee, but it's all designed to try to make the most of what you have."