From Comcast SportsNetCINCINNATI (AP) -- Homer Bailey played catch in the sun-splashed outfield at Great American Ball Park, his usual routine the day before a start. Nothing different at all, as far as the Texan let on."You guys," he said afterward, "it's just another game."Uh-uh. Not buying it. Everyone knows the Cincinnati Reds pitcher has a chance to exorcise a lot of bad postseason history -- or add to it -- with his next start.Less than two weeks after he threw the 15th no-hitter in the history of baseball's first professional franchise, the 26-year-old Bailey has a chance to add another career moment. He can complete a division-series sweep of the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night.Up 2-0 in the series, the Reds need one more victory to advance, with as many as three chances left at home. It'll be a breakthrough if they get it.Cincinnati hasn't won a home playoff game in 17 years, a span of futility etched into the franchise's storied history. Everyone remembers the Big Red Machine winning back-to-back World Series in 1975-76. The 1990 Nasty Boys team swept Oakland to win another.Since then? Little more than heartbreak. Got swept by Atlanta in the 1995 NL championship series under manager Davey Johnson. Lost a one-game playoff for the NL wild card to the Mets in 1999 at Riverfront Stadium. Got swept by the Phillies in the first round two years ago.Maybe it's finally their time."I had this one kid give me a sweatshirt that said, The Year of the 12,'" said manager Dusty Baker, who wears the uniform number. "He gave it to me in spring training. I believe in that. I'm only going to see one 12 while I'm living. It's a special year. I just feel that it's our year."Their first shot at it will make major league history.The Giants and Reds both had pitchers throw no-hitters this year -- Matt Cain had a perfect game for San Francisco. When Bailey starts on Tuesday, it'll mark the first time two players that threw no-hitters in the regular season pitch on opposing teams in the same playoff series, according to STATS LLC.The Reds put themselves in position for a sweep by overcoming the loss of ace Johnny Cueto to a bad back in the first inning of the opener, then pulling out a 5-2 win. They won 9-0 on Sunday night behind Bronson Arroyo's seven crisp innings, then tried to get a few hours of sleep on the overnight flight back to Ohio.The plane landed at 6:48 a.m., less than an hour before the sun came up."I slept on the plane, got here, got my stuff, got breakfast (at a restaurant) and went back to bed, slept a couple of hours and made myself get up," outfielder Drew Stubbs said. "Not an ideal amount of rest, but hopefully I get to catch up on it tonight."Stubbs, Bailey and a few other Reds showed up at the ballpark in the afternoon for a light workout. Stubbs ran a few pass patterns as players threw a football on the field.The Giants stayed overnight on the West Coast and flew in during the afternoon, trying to get a little needed sleep in their own beds. Probably wasn't very restful -- only four teams have overcome a 2-0 deficit in the division series.Manager Bruce Bochy couldn't tell by what he heard on the flight to Cincinnati that his team was down to its last loss."I think more than anything, they were relaxing back there, doing what they normally do," Bochy said. "Some guys were playing cards. We did have some family on the trip and they were watching movies. There was really nothing any different than any trip we take. So I can't say I noticed anything different about it."Out of the conversation, but not out of the minds for the 2010 World Series champions."The cliche is to say it's just another game, but I feel just another game' doesn't count when you're talking about the postseason," said right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, who starts on Tuesday. "And when you're talking about being down 0-2 in a series, you can't say it's just another game, either."If Vogelsong and the Giants can extend the series, Bochy said Monday that left-hander Barry Zito would start Game 4. And the Reds were still unsure whether Cueto would be available.It'll be Bailey's first appearance at Great American Ball Park since his no-hitter in Pittsburgh on Sept. 28. He followed the no-hitter with four shutout innings in a 1-0 loss in the final game of the season at St. Louis, an easy outing to save him for the playoffs.Bailey led the NL with a 2.32 earned run average on the road this season, but is only 18-19 with a 5.13 career ERA at Great American.It'll be the first time Reds fans get to recognize him for the no-hitter -- not that he'll notice."I will probably be somewhat oblivious to it, just like any starter on game day," Bailey said. "Unless there is a streaker running across, you don't pay attention, you're just focused on what you're doing."Bailey will be well-rested. He flew home with Cueto on Sunday, got home and watched the last few innings of the Reds' win on television.It'll be Baker's first game back in Cincinnati since Sept. 12. He was hospitalized while the team was in Chicago for an irregular heartbeat and a mini-stroke. He rejoined the team for the final series in St. Louis, then flew to the West Coast and got an ovation when introduced before the first playoff game.Baker was still in a Chicago hospital bed when the Reds clinched at home on Sept. 22 -- players toasted him in the clubhouse before spraying each other. He was in Cincinnati resting when Bailey threw his no-hitter in Pittsburgh.He'll get another ovation when he's introduced on Tuesday night, though it's nothing he's anticipating."I didn't think about getting a reception in San Francisco," the 63-year-old manager said. "I'm just doing my job."
Team Canada's roster for the World Cup of Hockey features an incredible trio of goalies with Braden Holtby, Carey Price and Corey Crawford.
Any coach would have trouble picking one of those three goalies to start, but Holtby has an idea who he would go with and it's not who you think.
"All of us want to play, but if Carey's healthy, there's no reason to not go with him," Holtby told Katie Brown of NHL.com. "He has all the experience internationally and the smart choice obviously would be that. I'm going to go there and play hard, [do] what I do, support the team in any way possible, whether it's playing or supporting another guy."
Holtby has a very strong case to start for Team Canada. Price was limited to only 12 games last season due to an MCL sprain and hasn't played in a game since Nov. 25. Holtby, meanwhile, is the reigning Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL's top netminder. No one has been better over the past year.
And yet, it sounds like he would be just fine sitting on the bench behind Price and so probably would many Caps fans.
Holtby has been an absolute work horse the past two seasons playing in 139 regular season games and 25 playoff games in the past two years. Fatigue has to be something head coach Barry Trotz has to be thinking about this season with the World Cup tournament set to take place jsut before the season starts.
Perhaps seeing Holtby sit on the bench wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for the Caps.
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If you're a football fan, chances are you already know that Rex and Rob Ryan are a bit nuts. With the Buffalo Bills in town to play the Redskins in a preseason matchup Friday, it appears the Ryans are doing their best to try and fit in with the locals.
Check out this picture a sharp-eyed fan took Friday afternoon:
Those two guys sure look an awful lot like Rex and Rob Ryan.
According to the Tweet they were at the restaurant MXDC Cocina Mexicana located in Northwest D.C. That would make sense since the Redskins are hosting Buffalo on Friday night and Rex is the head coach of the Bills and Rob is an assistant coach. Plus, if we know anything about the Ryans, it's that they like to eat.
So what's with the Nationals jerseys? Here's my theory:
From appearing in an Adam Sandler movie, to dressing up like each other, to...whatever the heck this is, the Ryan brothers are fun to follow just because you never know what they're going to do next. This is just the latest example.
The Ryans will be on the sidelines tonight, presumably wearing Buffalo gear, as the Redskins host the Bills in their third preseason game. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.
Just when everyone was writing the 2016 Kansas City Royals' obituary, they win 9 in a row and plant themselves in the thick of the playoff race. It's possibly the most Royals thing in the world to do. How did the other teams fare? To the rankings!
30. Atlanta Braves (LW: 30)
Adios, Jeff Francoeur.
29. Minnesota Twins (LW: 29)
It's still weird to think that before this season, people thought they'd be a playoff team.
28. Arizona Diamondbacks (LW: 28)
Matt Wisler looked dominant in his almost-no-hitter of the Diamondbacks.
27. Cincinnati Reds (LW: 25)
The Joey Votto offseason trade rumors are starting to heat up!
26. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (LW: 26)
Are there really rumors that the Angels are the team seriously looking into Tim Tebow?