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Georgia Sports News

  • CINCINNATI (AP) - Closer Raisel Iglesias took the flip from Joey Votto, stepped on first base and raised both arms in triumph. The lights at Great American Ball Park flashed in celebration. The Reds had a win. Finally! Jesse Winker's bases-loaded single provided Cincinnati's first lead in six games, and the Reds - off to the worst start in their history - rallied for their first victory under interim manager Jim Riggleman on Monday night, 10-4 over the Atlanta Braves. 'We've been having a hard time,' said Riggleman, now 1-3. 'We got down again, but we got it going.' The Reds are 4-18, the worst start in the majors since Baltimore opened with an identical mark in 2010. They fired manager Bryan Price on Thursday and got swept in a three-game series at St. Louis under Riggleman. The smallest crowd at Great American Ball Park in nine years - 9,463 - saw the Reds get only their second win at home and match their season high in runs. Cincinnati's offense came in with the fewest runs and homers in the majors, but sent 10 batters to the plate in the sixth inning while scoring five times. Sam Freeman (0-1) loaded the bases with no outs, and Winker's single off Peter Moylan broke a 2-2 tie. Jose Peraza followed with another single, and Scooter Gennett's two-run single completed the rally. 'It seemed like we were in a situation where nothing was going our way,' Gennett said. 'It's about time our offense came around.' Freeman has made 14 appearances, tied for the major league lead. Manager Brian Snitker thinks he needs some time off. 'I'm not concerned other than the fact that we've used him a lot,' Snitker said. 'We've been leaning hard on him.' Sal Romano (1-2) allowed four hits in six innings, including Nick Markakis' homer. Markakis added a two-run single in the eighth, but Iglesias got the last four outs for his third save. Mike Foltynewicz allowed three hits in 4 2/3 innings, including Scott Schebler's homer that tied it at 2 in the fifth. The two-run shot snapped Cincinnati's streak of six games without a homer. The Reds have only 12 homers this season - fewest in the majors - despite playing in one of its most homer-friendly ballparks. Foltynewicz threw 103 pitches. He's lasted six innings only once this season. 'It's a little embarrassing,' he said. WHO'S BATTING FIRST? Schebler batted leadoff for the first time this season and only the second time in two years, with slumping Billy Hamilton dropped to ninth. 'We're 3-and-whatever-we are,' Riggleman said pregame. 'We've got to try anything here a little bit.' PRICE SAYS THANKS Price issued his first public comment since the firing, thanking the team for the opportunity to manage. He also thanked the players, coaches, trainers and clubhouse staff 'that stayed connected, worked tirelessly together, and who collectively faced challenging times head-on.' OUCH Romano made a barehand grab of Ozzie Albies' comeback grounder in the sixth and threw him out. He stayed in after a visit from the trainer. STREAKING Foltynewicz extended his streak to nine straight starts allowing three earned runs or fewer, the longest of his career. GONE The Reds released right-hander Barrett Astin, who was invited to spring training on a non-roster basis. Astin pitched in six games for Cincinnati last season, giving up eight runs in six innings. TRAINER'S ROOM Braves: Jose Bautista has joined Triple-A Gwinnett as he works on his swing. Bautista, 37, signed a one-year deal April 18 and reported to extended spring training. He'll make $1 million if added to the 40-man roster. Snitker said he'll play third base when he joins the club. 'I don't think he'll need that much (time),' Snitker said. 'He's in such great game and game-ready shape.' Reds: RH reliever David Hernandez is throwing 20 to 25 pitches during his rehab appearances for Triple-A Louisville. He started the season on the DL with a sore right shoulder. UP NEXT Braves: Brandon McCarthy (3-0) has allowed only two homers in 21 2/3 innings this season. He's 1-2 career against the Reds in four games with an 8.78 ERA. Reds: Tyler Mahle (1-3) has lost his last three starts, allowing 12 runs and 25 hits in 15 innings. He's making his first career appearance against the Braves. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • A familiar story occurred Monday night in Cincinnati: Another bullpen collapse instigated by a leadoff walk cost the Braves. The Braves fell to the Reds, 10-4, after the sixth inning opened the scoring floodgates. The Reds loaded the bases with none out in the sixth against reliever Sam Freeman, who allowed a single between two walks. The combination of Freeman, Peter Moylan and Jesse Biddle was unable to limit the damage as five Reds crossed home. The Reds broke open a 2-2 tie with the rally.  It was the first time the Reds held a lead since April 16 against the Brewers. After they added three runs in the eighth, their 10 runs matched a season-high set that same night. The Reds entered Monday a franchise-worst 3-18 with MLB's third-worst run differential.  Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz had spotty command again, but managed to avoid getting hit hard until Scott Schebler's two-run homer in the fifth. He went 4-2/3 innings, giving up three hits, walking four and striking out seven. The Braves scored their first run after Ender Inciarte singled and Reds left fielder Adam Duvall's poor throw to third allowed Dansby Swanson to score.  Outfielder Nick Markakis homered for the Braves, his fourth of the year.  Never miss a minute of what’s happening with the Braves. Subscribe to myAJC.com
  • Greg McElroy has a big prediction for Georgia freshman quarterback Justin Fields. On Monday, the SEC Network analyst appeared on The Paul Finebaum Show and said that Fields will take many meaningful snaps in 2018, even more than Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts, who finds himself in a competition with Tua Tagovailoa. McElroy’s statement came after he was asked which player between Fields, Hurts and Mississippi State quarterback Keytaon Thompson would receive the most meaningful snaps this year. “I’m going to go with Justin Fields at Georgia,” McElroy said on the show. “And it’s because I think Justin Fields, albeit maybe not as the starting quarterback — I just think it’s going to be very difficult to unseat Jake Fromm — but I would be shocked, absolutely shocked, if Justin Fields, given his skill set, wasn’t used in that offense as a short-yardage back or as a guy that’s in there for the quarterback run game if they have both quarterbacks on the field at the same time.” That’s an interesting thought from McEloy, and it will be fascinating to see if Georgia coach Kirby Smart finds a way for Fields to see significant time as part of the Bulldogs’ offense this season. It might be wise for him to do so. The first impression from Fields during Georgia’s spring game was solid. On Saturday, he completed 18 of 33 passes for 207 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. He’s only going to improve with more repetitions and experience. We’ll find out soon enough if Smart will find a creative way to use Fields this season. Which QB will play the most meaningful snaps in 2018? @GregMcElroy says Justin Fields — Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) April 23, 2018 The post Greg McElroy makes strong prediction about Georgia QB Justin Fields for 2018 appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — And now, we wait. G-Day and spring practice is in the books for the Georgia Bulldogs. And while that’s probably a good thing for those 100-plus players and coaches who have been going at it pretty hard the last five weeks, that’s not necessarily a great thing for the Bulldog Nation, who based on what I’ve gathered, can’t see and hear enough about coach Kirby Smart’s program. As of Monday, it is exactly 100 days until Georgia’s opens preseason camp. It will be 131 days before Georgia kicks off the 2018 season against Austin Peay. That may seem like a long time, but it really will be here before you know it. Do not fear, for we here at DawgNation have lots of plans to keep your football appetites sated as we entire football purgatory. And SEC Football Media Days will be here before you know it, too. In the meantime, I wanted to put a bow on spring football and G-Day with some final observations. Post your comments and questions below and I’ll be sure to reply just as soon as I can. Justin Fields and the quarterbacks I’m going to go out on a limb here. I don’t think we’ll ever see Justin Fields get sacked 7 times in a game in his career, not at Georgia and not when he’s playing in the NFL in a few years. That’s what they had down for him on the stat sheet Saturday from G-Day. The Red defense was credited for bringing down Fields 7 times for minus-41 yards. Of course, the scrimmage was conducted under non-contact rules for the quarterbacks, and referees were instructed to be quick on their whistles. And they were, as the 11 combined sacks of the quarterbacks will attest. I went through a replay of the game, and if I had to guess how many of those plays would have resulted in actual sacks of Fields, I’d put it at one, maybe two. Fields was never blindsided and anticipated all the pressure he incurred. A couple of the sacks were basically one-handed touches and, at 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, I don’t see Fields going down with many one-handed grasps. One time he got swallowed up inside the tackles with nowhere to go, another time he ran out of bounds for a short loss, which counts as a sack. Conversely, Fields had a long run of 22 yards and might’ve gone a while longer on that run and one other. Here’s another observation I made: Georgia didn’t exactly turn Fields loose. I’m not sure what the motivation was, but coaches just didn’t call any deep balls for him. He had 18 completions in the game (on 33 attempts) and they came primarily on checkdowns, slants, wide-receiver screens, quick outs, and dig routes. Retrospectively, that’s kind of disappointing because we’ve heard so much about Fields’ “cannon” arm. But he did show some nice touch, pocket awareness and instincts. I may be wrong, but I think I saw him under center only twice. The rest of the time he operated out of the shotgun. But he did make the 15-yard touchdown pass to Matt Landers from under center and it was a well-placed ball on a deep fade. Great catch by Landers, too. As for Fromm, it did look like he simply had a bit of an off day throwing the ball. The pick-6 by Deandre Baker was simply an overthrown ball on a short route to Mecole Hardman. His other interception, made by William Poole II, was a misread and shouldn’t have been thrown. But Poole made a nice play on the ball. Wide receivers will be just fine My cohort Brandon Adams and I differ a little bit on this observation, but I think Georgia’s wide receivers will be just fine. Yes, there were more drops than you’d like to see in any contest, but that’s really not that unusual for the spring. I expect this unit to be considerably more sharp come the fall. Also, the Bulldogs were economical in the use of their primary targets. Understandably, Terry Godwin spent most of the day on the sideline nursing what we’re told are minor groin and knee injuries. But Godwin should be 100 percent in short order, and when he is, he has proven to be one of the most reliable receivers in the SEC. Meanwhile, Georgia didn’t target its other primary receivers very often on Saturday, either. Hardman had just 1 catch and Riley Ridley had 2. One of Ridley’s, you might note, was a 57-yard touchdown from Fromm. Ridley would’ve been credited with another 44-yard score — and thus 116 yards receiving overall — if he could have held on when his head slammed into the Sanford Stadium turf. No, Saturday was mainly for Georgia’s offensive coaches to get a look at the less tried-and-true receivers. Ahkil Crumpton, the second-year transfer from California, led all receivers with 5 catches for 60 yards, and looked remarkably like Isaiah McKenzie with a 34-yard catch and run of Fields pass over the middle. Jeremiah Holloman also showed some flashes, finishing with 59 yards on 3 catches showing a knack for making tough catches in traffic. Freshman early enrollee Kearis Jackson had just 1 catch for 5 yards but created a lot of buzz in camp this spring and drew some oohs and aahs on a punt return he ran about 2o yards up the field to catch. Senior Jayson Stanley was unable to run down a deep ball from Fromm on the first series but, unbeknownst to many, he’s actually one of the Bulldogs’ fastest players and, with some confidence, could prove to be a real threat this season. He had 4 catches for 30 yards. Meanwhile, the No. 1 offense threw the ball to backs Brian Herrien and Elijah Holyfield a lot. That’s something we can expect to see with D’Andre Swift in the fall. The sophomore tailback didn’t play because a groin pull. Defense might surprise us Lastly, I came away fairly impressed with Georgia’s defense. For the game, the Black team was considered the No. 1 defense. But one must keep in mind that these forces will be joined in the fall, and the combination therein looks like a pretty good defense to me. Most of Smart’s concern coming in was with the secondary and the defensive line. It was hard to tell much about the play of the defensive front, as there were very few straight rushing attempts. But the defensive backs overall played surprisingly well. Poole’s interception came while playing the star position, and he actually switched sides to play for both teams. Added together, he finished with 3 tackles and a pass breakup in addition to the pick. Tyrique McGhee led the Black defense with 6 tackles. Eric Stokes, despite giving up the TD to Landers (he actually had good coverage) was impressive in man coverage and was credited with 2 pass breakups. Considering as much as Georgia was putting up the ball — 81 times between the two teams Saturday — the defensive backs held up pretty well. They had 13 pass breakups and 4 interceptions. The thing to remember about the 2018 Bulldogs is they remain a work in progress. Seventeen more freshmen from the No. 1-ranked recruiting class in America will join the team for summer workouts the first of June. There are a lot of players Georgia’s coaches are eager to see out of that group, including cornerback Tyson Campbell, guard Jamaree Salyer, linebacker Quay Walker and punter Jake Camarda. You can bet some of those guys will figure prominently into Georgia’s fall plans. For now, we’re left to speculate about all that — for a while. We’ll just have to enjoy doing that over the next 100 days. The post Latest glimpse of Bulldogs at G-Day leaves us longing for more this fall appeared first on DawgNation.