Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 12:19am Atmosphere keeps Delaware runners returning to Boston By Sean Greene
VIDEO: Local runners on the atmosphere at the Boston Marathon
Several Delaware runners will be making repeat appearances at Monday's Boston Marathon.
This will be the first Boston Marathon since the bombings near the finish line marred many endings to the 2013 race, but despite that, local running clubs are sponsoring a bus with 53 local runners who be tackling the 26.2 mile course into Boston.
This year's race promises a lot of changes due to increased security, but also will likely have an even more excitable atmosphere thanks to the "Boston Strong" motto picked up by the city shortly after last year's attack. Some estimates have put the potential crowd at one million for the length of the event.
Each runner has already accomplished a great feat, as Boston is one of the few marathons in the world where you need to run a qualifying time in order to be able to enter the field. For this year's race, men 18-34 had to run a different marathon in 3:05 or less, or an average of about 7:03 per mile for the 26.2 miles. The qualifying time varies by age and gender.
The Pike Creek Running Club hosted a send-off party Wednesday at Catherine Rooney's in Trolley Square as a get-together before the big event for those heading to New England.
Lori Culnane of Bear will be running her 5th Boston Marathon Monday, and says the atmosphere in Boston, especially with the added emotion of the last year, should make this race extra special.
"Just looking at the people lining on the course as I'm running, I'm sure there's going to be all kinds of things at the beginning. The end, when I get to that finish line, I don't know, I feel like I'm doing to cry right now, I don't know what I'm going to do on Monday."
Newark High School alum Carissa Beatty, who will be running her second race in Boston this weekend, tells WDEL that the Boston Marathon crowd is unique.
"It's a holiday on the city (Patriot's Day), everyone has the day off. People are cheering along the race course. There's just so much energy in the crowd, it's so exciting to be there and be a part of it. Any marathon is exciting, but Boston is like no other."
Keith Crispin of Bear ran last year's race in 3:09:12, finishing about an hour before the bombs went off. He says the point-to-point nature of the course from Hopkinton into Boston lends itself to the crowd.
"It's probably the only marathon where you have wall-to-wall people from start to finish. It goes through so many towns, and every little town brings out several hundred, maybe a thousand, spectators. You literally can high-five all these little kids from start to finish."
From the "scream tunnels" at Wellesley College, to the famous hills of Newton, to the finish line near Fenway Park where the Orioles and Red Sox will play the same morning, it promises to be a special day for all of the runners, including the ones from Delaware.
Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 12:18am Teheran 3-hits Phillies; Braves win 1-0 By Rob Maaddi/AP
Teheran launches a pitch during his three-hitter. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
The brisk air brought out Julio Teheran's best more so than facing Cliff Lee.
Teheran pitched a three-hitter, Evan Gattis homered among a career-best four hits, and the Atlanta Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 1-0 Wednesday night.
Teheran (3-1) retired his first 12 batters before Ryan Howard led off the bottom of the fifth with an infield single. The 23-year-old righty struck out four and got 14 outs on flyballs in his first complete game in 38 career starts. He became the ninth Braves starter in the first 14 games this year to allow one run or none.
"The cold didn't bother me," Teheran said after breezing through the lineup on a night when it was only 47 degrees at first pitch. "When it's cold, I try to focus even more and not pay attention to the weather."
As for beating a former Cy Young Award winner, Teheran said: "I don't pay attention to who I'm pitching against."
Philadelphia wasted an excellent outing by Lee (2-2). The ace left-hander struck out 13 and pitched around 11 hits in a complete game, throwing a career-high 128 pitches.
Gattis drove an 0-2 pitch into the left-field seats in the fourth. It was his fifth homer in his last three games at Citizens Bank Park.
"I was just trying to put the ball in play," Gattis said.
Lee, a prolific strike-thrower, often gets hurt on 0-2 pitches. He entered the game with five hits allowed, including two doubles, among a dozen 0-2 pitches.
"I'm going to allow hits 0-2 and I'm going to get outs 0-2," Lee said. "I hope I get every hitter in that situation."
After the slow-footed Howard reached on a slow roller toward second base that was fielded by shifted third baseman Chris Johnson, Teheran retired the next 11 batters before Carlos Ruiz lined a single to left with two outs in the eighth. Jimmy Rollins hit a single with two outs in the ninth.
Rollins stole second on a 3-0 pitch to Chase Utley. But Utley following with a game-ending groundout.
"Teheran mixed speeds on his fastball, had different movement on his speed and mixed in his other pitches," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said.
Pitchers certainly had the advantage against bundled-up hitters.
"Both pitchers were unbelievable," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Lee was excellent. The homer just got over the fence. Teheran was terrific. He was dominating."
It was the first 1-0 game that featured two complete games since Seattle beat Minnesota 1-0 on Aug. 27, 2012. Felix Hernandez got the win for the Mariners over Liam Hendricks.
The series resumed after Tuesday night's rainout, which will be made up in June. The Braves rallied for a 9-6 win Monday night when Dan Uggla hit a ninth-inning grand slam off fill-in closer Jake Diekman.
NOTES: Braves closer Craig Kimbrel is day to day with shoulder discomfort. ... Utley was 0 for 4, ending his 11-game hitting streak. ... Gattis was 0 for 6 with four strikeouts vs. Lee before his four hits. ... Lee has 29 career double-digit strikeout games. ... The Phillies signed LHP Adam Loewen to a minor league contract and assigned him to extended spring training. Loewen spent the last five seasons playing first base and outfield in the minors. ... Atlanta's starters haven't allowed more than three earned runs in any of the first 14 games. ... LHP Cole Hamels is moving closer to returning to Philadelphia's rotation next week. Hamels was slowed by a shoulder problem in spring training. ... A.J. Burnett (0-1) tries for the fourth time to win his first game with the Phillies in Thursday afternoon's series finale. LHP Alex Wood (2-1) goes for the Braves.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 3:47pm Orioles beat Rays 3-0 for 2-game sweep By David Ginsburg/AP
Miguel Gonzalez and two relievers combined on a six-hitter, and the Baltimore Orioles capitalized on two infield singles by Adam Jones in a 3-0 victory over the punchless Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.
Nick Markakis also had two hits for the Orioles, who outscored the Rays 10-1 in the rain-abbreviated, two-game series. Baltimore has won five of seven to reach .500 (7-7) for the first time since the second game of the season.
Playing at designated hitter instead of center field after returning from an illness, Jones reached on a bunt in a' two-run fourth inning and drove in a run with a 50-foot chop down the third-base line in the fifth.
Gonzalez (1-1) gave up three hits and three walks in five innings after coming in with a 9.64 ERA. Zach Britton permitted two singles over three innings to keep his ERA at 0.00, and Tommy Hunter got three outs for his fourth save.
Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 12:55am Rangers look to make most of home ice vs. Flyers By Ira Podell/AP
It's Broadway vs. Broad Street for the first time in 17 years.
It doesn't matter if these longtime rivals are in the Patrick, Atlantic, or newly formed Metropolitan Division, when the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers clash, it is every bit of a backyard brawl.
The Rangers come into the latest best-of-seven, first-round playoff series with a bit of an edge, having secured home-ice advantage by finishing second in the Metropolitan - two points ahead of the third-place Flyers.
"We've been on a playoff push here for quite some time," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said of his club that went 10-3-1 record in 14 games before the season finale, in which many regulars sat out. "We've been playing under pressure, we've responded real well in the big games. That's why we were able to get in. Now we've got to continue."
New York will try to make the most of its late-season surge to second place right away in Game 1 at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night. It might take a while to figure out how important playing at home is, but these clubs split four games this season in their home rinks, so the Rangers should certainly feel most comfortable if this series goes the distance, and Game 7 is back in Manhattan.
"Game 1 is the most important game we're going to play," Vigneault said. "Both teams want to get off on the right foot. If you look at all the comparisons - power play, penalty-killing, five on five, goaltending - there is so little separating us.
"It's going to come down to good preparation on our part and the players' part. It's going to come down to the players going out and executing. I believe we're going through the right process right now, and I really believe our guys want to win.
This will be the 11th time these rivals meet in the postseason, and Philadelphia has won six of the first 10 meetings - including the last three, most recently a five-game triumph in the 1997 Eastern Conference finals.
The Rangers haven't come out on top since a 3-2 series win in the 1986 Patrick Division semifinals, eight years before New York broke its 54-year Stanley Cup title drought.
"Playing against Washington all these years in the playoffs was just fun," Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist said. "We definitely built a playoff rivalry. When it comes to New York-Philly, the rivalry is always there. It will be special for us and for the fans."
Despite not winning in two tries this season in Philadelphia, the Rangers were 25-14-2 on the road, and 20-17-4 at home.
"It's big," New York defenseman Marc Staal said of home-ice advantage. "It's something that we were looking at near the end of the season. Especially in the playoffs, your home rink needs to be a place where you're tough to play against, and we will be that way.
"You're always excited to play in the playoffs, it doesn't matter who you're playing. But it's exciting that that's the matchup. It's going to be tough, but we're looking forward to it."
The Flyers have won three straight from the Rangers in Philadelphia and dropped eight in a row at the Garden. Philadelphia's last win in Manhattan was Feb. 20, 2011.
"We are due in Madison Square Garden," Flyers forward Jakub Voracek said. "It's a tough building to play in. We are due to win some game there. You hope this is the right timing."
Game 2 is Sunday in New York before the series shifts to Philadelphia for games on Tuesday and Friday.
Here are five things to look for in the latest installment of this close-quarters rivalry:
MINDING THE NETS: The Rangers have no concerns in goal with Lundqvist, who set club records this season for career wins and shutouts. The Flyers already have issues as No. 1 netminder Steve Mason hasn't recovered yet from an upper-body injury sustained last weekend in a collision against Pittsburgh, and will miss at least the series opener, coach Craig Berube said Wednesday. So Ray Emery will be the first to face the Rangers on Thursday. Emery was 9-12-2 with a 2.96 goals-against average in 28 games. He is 7-2 with a 1.87 GAA and .936 save percentage in 10 career games against the Rangers, but lost 4-1 to them on Jan. 12. Mason was 2-1 with a 2.01 GAA and .937 save percentage in three starts against New York.
"They have two very good goaltenders. We're prepared for both," Vigneault said Wednesday.
COACHING COMPARISON: Vigneault is in his first season with the Rangers, but is no stranger to the postseason following earlier head coaching stints with Montreal and Vancouver. He has reached the playoffs eight times in 12 seasons, advancing to the Stanley Cup finals with Vancouver in 2011. Berube is new to all of this, becoming an NHL head coach for the first time this season when he took over for the fired Peter Laviolette just three games in (0-3). With a club that few thought would reach the playoffs, Berube went 42-27-10 behind the bench the rest of the way and vaulted into the conversation among NHL coach of the year contenders.
SPURRING THE OFFENSE: The Flyers rely on captain Claude Giroux, their leading point-getter with 86, to power the club. Philadelphia was 21-2-1 this season when Giroux netted a goal and 33-15-4 when he recorded at least one point. Rick Nash tied the Rangers record by scoring nine game-winning goals this season. Nash, who had a team-high 26 goals, tied for third in the NHL in winners.
GETTING HEALTHY: Star defenseman Ryan McDonagh is expected to be back in the New York lineup for Game 1 after he missed the final five games of the regular season because of a shoulder injury. Derick Brassard left practice early on Tuesday with a back ailment but was back on the ice Wednesday and should be in the opening lineup. Derek Dorsett is a question mark for Thursday. Outside of Mason, the Flyers have a full complement, including seven who were in all 82 regular-season games. That was the club's most since the 1974-75 squad had six suit up for the full 80-game campaign.
STIFLING DEFENSE: During their home winning streak against the Philadelphia, the Rangers have outscored the Flyers 31-9. New York has allowed two goals or fewer in each of the last eight home games and 14 of 17 overall versus the Flyers. Lundqvist is 8-0 with a 1.13 GAA, a .960 save percentage and two shutouts in his past eight home meetings with Philadelphia.
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