The Giants are one win away from sweeping the Tigers in the 2012 World Series. And they are off to a quick start in Game 4. Max Scherzer struck out Buster Posey looking to begin the top of the second inning, but Hunter Pence followed with a ground-rule double to the left center field gap.…
As the Caps and Penguins battled into overtime on Wednesday, the key moment came when Caps defenseman Mike Weber could not corral the puck in front of the net and tipped it right to Patric Hornqvist who slipped it between Braden Holtby's legs for the game-winning goal.
It's a moment that will be tough for him to live down in Washington, but not one that was entirely his fault, according to head coach Barry Trotz.
"We lost point coverage and then sort of hell breaks loose little bit," Trotz said, "and everybody's diving around and trying to sort that out and then the puck goes to Webs and it sort of gets in that little triangle that's hard to control. He was just trying to get the puck out of the way so I don't blame that on Weber at all."
On the play, all five Caps were initially caught below the faceoff circle in the defensive zone. That left Trevor Daley open as he came in from the blue line and Sidney Crosby found him with a pass from behind the net. At this point, the Caps are scrambling. A nice sweep check sends the puck back to the blue line where it eventually ends up on the stick of a wide open Conor Sheary. Seeing that he's open, both Tom Wilson and Weber step to him, but Weber begins to back off. Now the left side of the ice is completely open. He blocks Sheary's shot, but loses control of it and tips it in desperation, sending it to the left to an open Hornqvist.
So while Weber ends up looking like the goat, really no one was where they were supposed to be which started the play.
"He’ll bounce back," Jay Beagle said. "There are so many plays that happen that nothing is ever an individual’s fault. It’s never like that. He’s a warrior and a great player for us and little things happen like that."
Weber was playing in only his second game of the postseason and first of the series. He skated in place of Nate Schmidt who was scratched after a poor Game 3.
Once thought to be a strength, the Caps' defensive depth has been put to the test in the playoffs and the results have not been good. Dmitry Orlov was benched in Game 1 against Pittsburgh after a poor defensive play turned into a goal and scratched for Game 2. The suspension to Brooks Orpik forced Orlov back into the lineup along with Taylor Chorney and Trotz mixed things up again for Game 4 by inserting Weber.
When asked on Thursday if he wished there was more consistency from the bottom four defensemen, Trotz answered, "Yeah, you would or we wouldn't be moving them out."
Wednesday's play may have looked like a one-way ticket back to the press box for Weber, but given Trotz's analysis of the play, that may not necessarily be the case. In fact, Trotz remains ademant that inserting Weber into the lineup for Game 4 was the right move.
"We have no doubt that that was the right decision," Trotz said. "It was unfortunate on that play but if you really dissect that play down, Webb's really not the guy."
MORE CAPITALS: CAPS MISS GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY IN GAME 4 LOSS
BALTIMORE – Yovani Gallardo will be eligible to some off the 15-day disabled list this weekend. He’s nowhere ready to be activated, but he remains optimistic.
He was sent to the DL with tendinitis of the right shoulder and biceps.
Gallardo isn’t ready to begin throwing.
“Not really, honestly. Obviously, the main thing right now is getting as strong as I can. No point going out there and throwing and going back to square one. I think the main thing is to get the strength to 100 percent and go from there, but hopefully it’s soon,” Gallardo said.
“I think it’s definitely progressing really well. Really, really well with the exercises that I’ve been doing. It’s right around the corner. I’m anxious. I’m anxious to get back out there and start throwing and work my way back into the rotation.”
Gallardo hasn’t had an arm or shoulder injury before.
“It’s the first time I’ve been on the DL with an arm issue, period. I’ve been on the DL for other things, but I’ve been able to throw. I think the only one is when I pulled my oblique. That’s the only other one. But the shoulder issue is always tough,” Gallardo said.
“You want to go out there and play catch and do all that sort of thing and you can’t. You can’t and it’s a little bit frustrating, but at the same time I know the guys in the training room are doing what’s best for me and the club. They’re trying to get me right and like I said, I’d rather deal with it only once rather than multiple times.”
Gallardo said that he’s going have to change the way he works out.
“I think it’s something I’m going to incorporate from here on out for the rest of my career. I’ve never had any issues with my shoulder before. I felt like I was doing the stuff I had to do to stay in shape and keep it strong, but obviously the more innings you throw, it’s a little bit different. It’s unfortunate that I had to find out this way, but now I know that I have to incorporate it, whether it be a little bit more weight, a little bit different exercises to maintain that and stay strong,” Gallardo said.
BALTIMORE – In Jimmy Paredes’ seven games at Bowie, he’s batting just .192. Paredes, who is on a rehab assignment, trying to return from an injury he suffered to his left wrist more than two months ago. Paredes also played one game for Frederick, where he was 3-for-4.
Manager Buck Showalter was hoping for better things from Paredes, who is halfway through a possible 20-day rehab assignment.
“Jimmy’s playing. He hasn’t been quite as productive as I thought he might be, but I think he’s working out. It’s been a long period of inactivity, so I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. He’s got a pretty good track record of hitting. He’s going to stay with the Bowie club. I know his last day there is the 15th—if we want to carry it that far,” Showalter said.
With the club currently without J.J. Hardy, Showalter said that could change the team’s plans for Paredes.
“It might even enhance them, give us some coverage there. I’d like to see him kind of get it going a little bit [with the] bat. We just know it could go as long as the 15th—or it could be earlier,” Showalter said.
NOTES: Showalter said that Zach Britton, who sprained his left ankle on Friday “had a good day today,” and is nearing a return. … Paul Janish, who could be added shortly as an extra infielder, was not put on paternity leave by Norfolk so that he could join the Orioles quickly if needed. Janish’s wife is expected to deliver on Friday. .