Brewers rookie flirts with a perfect game

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Brewers rookie flirts with a perfect game

From Comcast SportsNet
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke has seen enough of what pitcher Mike Fiers has done for his team this season that he is ready to start promoting him for NL Rookie of the Year. Fiers was very impressive again Tuesday night as he took a perfect game into the seventh inning and led the Brewers to a 3-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Fiers (6-4) retired the first 18 batters before Zack Cozart doubled to left-center leading off the seventh. He advanced to third on a fly ball and scored on Brandon Phillips' sacrifice fly. The only other hits Fiers gave up were eighth-inning singles to Xavier Paul and Ryan Hanigan. The right-hander struck out pinch-hitter Ryan Ludwick to get out of the inning and left the field to a standing ovation. "He pitched an outstanding ball game," Roenicke said. "Absolutely, he has to be put in that conversation (for Rookie of the Year). He's been baffling hitters. And not just average hitters, he's been doing it against some very strong lineups." Fiers said he was aware he was throwing a no-hitter, but stayed focus as his team was only leading by two runs at the time. "Every start I go out there I don't want to give up a hit, but when it got into the sixth and seventh inning, thoughts came into my mind even more," he said. "I'm just trying to put zeroes on the board, no matter if they get 10 hits or zero hits. I just tried to keep my cool and not think about it." Fiers said he thought he threw a good pitch to Cozart, but the Reds shortstop went out and got the pitch. "He got the barrel on it and he hit it in a good spot," he said. "I felt great out there." Fiers has been terrific since he was called up from Triple-A Nashville on May 29. He hasn't allowed more than two runs in any of his last nine starts, going 5-2 with a 1.03 ERA and racking up 61 strikeouts in 61 innings. Roenicke said it was time for everyone to realize that Fiers could pitch in the major leagues. "I think he's shown he can pitch," he said. "He's a battler. He baffles guys with all the different stuff he throws." Jim Henderson pitched a scoreless ninth for his first career save. It was Milwaukee's second consecutive win over the NL Central leaders and its fifth straight victory at home. The Reds have lost three straight for the first time since July 2-5. They remained 3 1-2 games ahead of second-place Pittsburgh. Reds manager Dusty Baker said the problem for Cincinnati was Fiers. "That's one of the best games pitched against us in a long time," Baker said. "There's not a lot we could do. He's very deceptive with that Tim Lincecum-like delivery." Johnny Cueto (14-6) pitched seven innings for the Reds, giving up three runs and six hits while striking out nine. He was trying to become the first NL pitcher to reach 15 wins this season. The Brewers grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning on Aramis Ramirez's 15th home run, a 425-foot shot to the Milwaukee bullpen in left-center. It was the second consecutive game in which Ramirez homered against the Reds. Jean Segura's RBI groundout in the seventh increased the lead to 3-1. It was Segura's first career RBI. NOTES: Baker said 1B Joey Votto would not be activated from the DL on the team's current seven-game road trip, which ends Sunday in Chicago. Votto had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on July 17. ... Brewers RHP Shaun Marcum, on the DL since June 15 with right elbow tightness, will make a rehabilitation start Thursday with Class-A Wisconsin. ... The series concludes Wednesday when the Reds send Mat Latos (10-3) to the mound against Randy Wolf (3-8).

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Jonathan Allen pick allows the Redskins more freedom the rest of the draft

Jonathan Allen pick allows the Redskins more freedom the rest of the draft

After taking Jonathan Allen in the first-round of the NFL draft, the Redskins not only found themselves with one of the top players in the draft. They found themselves with some freedom as they navigate their final nine picks of this draft.

Regardless of how much the Redskins may talk openly about just letting the draft come to them and taking the best available player regardless of need, they needed to come out of this draft with serious help on the defensive line they would be in trouble. A line that hasn’t been very good for a while lost its two best players in Chris Baker (free agency) and Ricky Jean Francois (released). Although they did bring in free agents Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain they still wouldn’t have felt comfortable going into the season with the linemen they had.

RELATED: Redskins land Jonathan Allen with top pick

They also came in looking for an edge rusher. That's still a need but Allen's ability to get after the quarterback from the inside will help if they can't land a player who can rush from the outside.

And Allen was their only real shot at getting that D-line upgrade in the first round. After they took him off the board with the 17th pick there were edge players taken during the remainder of the first round but no player who can play inside in a 3-4 defense and be effective against the run and rushing the passer.

What this does for the Redskins later today and tomorrow is allow them to do what they said they would do in the first place—take the best available player. They can go for a “luxury” pick like a running back if one is there. They don’t have to be concerned about the line if they look at getting an inside linebacker with an eye towards 2018, when Will Compton, Mason Foster, and Zach Brown. With a deep draft in the defensive backfield, if there is a safety or cornerback they want they can grab him, knowing that they line has not been neglected. If a wide receiver represents an upgrade over the depth that they have they can turn in the card on him.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins not concerned about Allen's shoulders 

It also should be noted that there still is plenty of room to add another D-lineman or two. Besides losing Baker and Francois they have not re-signed Cullen Jenkins or Kedric Golston. More youth and energy added to the line would be welcome. One of those linemen should be a nose tackle, although with Allen in the house they now can slide McGee into the middle if they don't get a nose in the draft.

In short, the pressure is off. They can use their last nine picks to try to add some good players at any position or they can earmark some to move up the draft board to try to land some targeted players.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Report: The Redskins are looking to trade RB Matt Jones

Report: The Redskins are looking to trade RB Matt Jones

The Redskins may be looking to add a running back in the final six rounds of the draft. And they may be looking to subtract one who has been around for a couple of years.

According to an NFL Media report, Washington is shopping running back Matt Jones, who was a third-round pick in the 2015 draft. Jones came into last season as the starter and in the first seven games he had two 100-yard games, rushed for 460 yards, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. But then the fumbling issues that haunted him as a rookie started up again. He was benched in Week 8 and he was inactive for the rest of the season.

RELATED: Redskins land Jonathan Allen with top pick

As a rookie, he split time with Alfred Morris and rushed for 490 yards and three touchdowns and caught 19 passes for 304 yards and a TD. When Morris left as a free agent the Redskins anointed Jones as the unquestioned starter. He was given every opportunity to grab on to the job but he could not.

Although he was a third-round pick, Jones likely has very little value in the trade market. He does have good size at 6-1, 235 and he just turned 24 years old. But his fumbling issues severely limit his market value. The Redskins likely would have to settle for a late conditional pick in the 2018 draft if they want to get anything in return for Jones.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins not concerned about Allen's shoulders 

If they can’t trade him they likely will keep him through training camp even if they do add another running back to a corps that already includes Jones, starter Rob Kelley, third-down back Chris Thompson, and Mack Brown.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.