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wzh123 Apr 28 '19
PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Pirates patiently waited six years for former No. Budda Baker Jersey Cardinals . 2 overall draft pick Jameson Taillon to make the major leagues. So far, hes been worth the wait.The Pirates didnt call up Taillon until two months into the season but, thanks to several reshufflings of their rotation, hes now settled into what effectively is the No. 2 man in their rotation. And its taken Taillon only nine starts in the big leagues to do that.Taillon will make start No. 10 Thursday afternoon against the San Diego Padres after going 2-2 with a 3.29 ERA, 43 strikeouts and only six walks in 52 innings during his first nine starts.Taillon has been in the majors long enough that he doesnt feel like a rookie any longer, even though he clearly is.The 24-year-old Taillons latest start was typical of the way hes pitched to date; he gave up only one run in six innings Friday against the Cincinnati Reds, although he didnt get the decision in a game the Pirates won 3-2.Hes got some tools to work with, and hes learning more each and every time out there, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. It was another night for him to grow.Taillon is quickly growing into an irreplaceable piece of the Pirates pitching puzzle.He has allowed only eight earned runs in 30 innings over his last five starts, walking a single batter. Not surprisingly, the Pirates have won five of his last six starts, even though the right-hander was on the disabled list with right shoulder fatigue from July 5-19.Taillon hasnt won since June 29 at Seattle, or at all in five starts at PNC Park, but the Pirates are 4-1 in those games.Taillon will oppose Padres left-hander Christian Friedrich (4-7, 4.76 ERA), who makes his ninth start on the road of his 16 overall starts. Friedrich pitched a season-high seven innings in his last start Aug. 5 vs. the Philadelphia Phillies, permitting four runs and five hits.Friedrich, like Taillon, is a former first-round draft pick -- and one of 13 starters the Padres have used this season.For the most part, I thought he was really good all day, Padres manager Andy Green said -- with the exceptions being the home run and double he allowed to the Phillies Cameron Rupp.The Padres and Pirates will play for the sixth and final time this season, with the Padres leading the season series 3-2 following their 4-0 win Wednesday behind Edwin Jackson and two relievers, who combined to allow only two singles.San Diego is one of the more aggressive teams in the majors stealing bases -- theyre third in the majors with 99 steals -- and that was evident Wednesday as Travis Jankowski pulled off a rare steal of home in the eighth inning.Jankowski detected that reliever Antonio Bastardo wasnt watching him closely as the left-hander focused on his matchup with Alex Dickerson, so he took off for the plate and scored as catcher Eric Fryer fumbled Bastardos hurried throw home.We run the bases with a ton of aggression and steal a lot of bases -- but we take whats given to us, Green said. That was probably more of a gamble ... but it worked out because Travis has the ability to create anxiety in other people when hes running the bases. He took it upon himself (to go) ... and if youre going to take a chance, thats the time to take one. Josh Rosen Black Jersey . -- New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis is retiring after a 16-year career to become the goalie coach for the Los Angeles Galaxy. Customized Arizona Cardinals Jersey . -- Charline Labonte couldnt have asked for a better homecoming. http:///...ardinals-jersey.html . Its sharpness matched my mind. This was no night to go to sleep. NFL Nation reporters assess the top storylines to watch for every team on Monday.NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West AFC East | AFC North| AFC South | AFC WestNFC EASTDallas CowboysCoach Jason Garrett has not decided whether he will?play Dak Prescott?on Thursday in the preseason finale against the Texans. With Prescott?elevated to the starters role with Tony Romo out, the Cowboys have to balance the risk of him getting hurt with the reward of the rookie getting much-needed playing time. If the starting offensive line is not going to play, it would be wise to let Prescott sit and be ready for the regular-season opener against the Giants. Jameill Showers would start if Prescott sits. The Cowboys are on the lookout for veteran backup help, but they will not be able to get a backup ready to play this week. -- Todd ArcherNew York GiantsThe Giants first-team offense with Eli Manning at quarterback has four first downs and 88 total yards in four preseason quarters. Thats not good enough. Coach Ben McAdoo knows it, and he intends to fix it beginning this week at practice. We need to jump back out there on the practice field, and we need to get better right from jump street, McAdoo said Sunday. It starts with the offensive line, which has struggled. That unit plans to concentrate on fundamentals and finishing. It will help to have starting left guard Justin Pugh (shoulder) back this week. -- Jordan RaananPhiladelphia EaglesQuarterback?Carson Wentz (rib) was able to go through a full workout prior to Saturdays game against the Colts. If everything checks out medically this week, he could very well play Thursday in the preseason finale against the Jets. Hes in a position to possibly play next week, coach Doug Pederson said. Hes still a little bit sore, so well monitor that. Well make sure hes rested here in the next couple of days. I dont want to jeopardize him by any stretch of the imagination. But at the same time, if hes ready to go, hell play next Thursday. -- Tim McManusWashington RedskinsOutside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan received good news from the MRI on his groin Saturday, but its uncertain if that means hell be able to practice Monday. Kerrigan left Fridays preseason game against Buffalo in the first quarter, needed X-rays and did not return to the game. With the starters not playing in the preseason finale, theres no need to rush Kerrigan. The Redskins have been cautious with players returning from injuries this summer, so if theres any doubt, hell return next week when regular-season practices begin. The Redskins cant afford to lose another outside linebacker, as they already lost Junior Galette for the season because of an Achilles injury. -- John KeimNFC NORTHChicago BearsCornerback Tracy Porters concussion on Saturday is the latest setback for the banged up Bears secondary. With starter Kyle Fuller (knee) on the sideline following an arthroscopic procedure, Porters situation further tests Chicagos dwindling depth at cornerback. Porter will be monitored closely, with the Bears regular-season opener less than two weeks away. The Bears also remain hopeful that tight end Zach Miller and wide receiver Eddie Royal can officially pass the NFLs concussion protocol. Miller and Royal have missed almost the entire preseason but could, in theory, return for Thursdays exhibition finale in Cleveland. There likely will be an update Monday on guard Kyle Long (shoulder), who spent the weekend rehabbing his injury and doing cardiovascular work. -- Jeff DickersonDetroit LionsEric Ebron (ankle) remains the most interesting question for the Lions on Monday. At some point, Detroit needs to see what he can do in practice heading into the regular season, and this is the last non-preparation week to do so. Although it would be stunning if he played against Buffalo on Thursday, having him practice and get reacquainted with the offense would?be helpful. The other player to watch is tight end Brandon Pettigrew. He has been on PUP recovering from a torn ACL. Its not clear if hell start the season on PUP, but he hasnt done much yet. -- Michael RothsteinGreen Bay PackersWide receiver?Jordy Nelsons preparation for the regular season should ramp up this week. Even though he wont play in Thursdays preseason finale against the Chiefs, the Pro Bowl receiver expects to take part in 11-on-11 drills for the first time since he tore his ACL more than a year ago. Its important for Jordy to get a ton of work this week with Aaron [Rodgers], and thats really the focus, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. Nelson worked only selected individual drills when he returned to practice last week. -- Rob DemovskyMinnesota VikingsGiven the fact that their starters played a full half on Sunday, it seems unlikely that the Vikings will put many of their first-string players back on the field Thursday night against the Rams. As such, the first round of cuts for the Vikings could have plenty to do with which players they want to keep for depth on Thursday. The final week of the preseason could create opportunities at safety, for example, where both Antone Exum and Michael Griffin left with injuries on Sunday. Seventh-round pick?Jayron Kearse, who made his second interception of the preseason Sunday, could get plenty of playing time Thursday in his bid to make the roster. -- Ben GoesslingNFC SOUTHAtlanta FalconsWide?receiver Julio Jones, who suffered an ankle injury in last weeks preseason loss to the Dolphins, wasnt on the practice field Sunday. Even so, coach Dan Quinn wasnt concerned about Jones status. Quinn already said Jones should be fine for the season opener and theres no need to play him in the final preseason game against Jacksonville. He did not participate in anything today, and well see if hes able to do something [Monday], he said following practice. Meanwhile, Quinn said he expects pass-rusher Dwight Freeney?(back) to return to practice Monday, though?Freeney is not expected to play against the Jaguars. -- Vaughn McClureCarolina PanthersOn Sunday, the Panthers began putting in their game plan for the Sept. 8 opener at Denver, but they didnt have?punter Mike Scifres, who injured his right knee in Friday nights exhibition loss to New England. Scifres is scheduled to meet with a doctor. If the news isnt good, the Panthers likely will be shopping for a punter. The only other one on the roster is Kasey Redfern, who hasnt kicked in a regular-season game. -- David NewtonNew Orleans SaintsCoach Sean Payton said last month that winning preseason games would be important because the Saints needed to build confidence and a winning culture after back-to-back 7-9 seasons. Well, theyre 0-3. But Payton insisted he isnt concerned about a spiraling effect. This is a good group. Theyre working hard. The key is that we just recognize the things, he said. Weve still got more time here, but weve got to have a sense of urgency about some of these things that have shown up more than just one game. -- Mike TriplettTampa Bay BuccaneersThe Bucs are coming off a big game against the Browns. Among the positives: a punt return for a touchdown, eight sacks and just 13 points allowed on defense, quarterback?Jameis Winston threw two touchdowns, and wide receiver?Mike Evans had 115 receiving yards. Plus, the Bucs had only three penalties all game. Thats some great momentum for the starters heading into the regular season. For players fighting for roster spots, Thursdays game is crucial, and several position groups remain undecided: wide receiver, tight end, running back, offensive line, corner, safety, defensive line and linebacker. -- Jenna LaineNFC WESTArizona CardinalsA common refrain around the Cardinals about their subpar offensive performance this preseason has been that its just the preseason, and when the regular season starts Sept. 11, the offense will be fine. But two more interceptions by quarterback?Carson Palmer, two by Matt Barkley and five turnovers overall dont look good for a team that wont play its?starters again until the regular season begins. -- Josh WeinfussLos Angeles RamsPractice has become crucial for star running back Todd Gurley, who will finish the preseason having taken part in only one drive. Gurley sat out the third preseason game Saturday and will also sit out the fourth one on Thursday. When he takes the field for the Sept. 12 opener against the 49ers on Monday Night Football, Gurley will have gone 23 days without seeing game speed. The Rams need him to simulate that as best as possible during practice -- without getting hurt and probably without even getting tackleed. Christian Kirk Jersey Cardinals. -- Alden GonzalezSan Francisco 49ersQuarterback Colin Kaepernick spoke to the media on Sunday and said he will continue to sit during the national anthem until there is change when it comes to racial oppression in the United States. Asked what that would look like, Kaepernick indicated that he wasnt sure, but hed know it when he sees it. Thats a tough question because theres a lot of things that need to change, a lot of different issues that need to be addressed, he said. Thats something that its really hard to lock down one specific thing that needs to change currently. -- Nick WagonerSeattle SeahawksThird-round pick C.J. Prosise (hamstring) looked the part in his first preseason action, as he rushed four times for 23 yards against the Cowboys. He had a couple nice runs, and were just going to keep going, coach Pete Carroll said. This is a big week for him. Its just a big week to have him in practice again, but the game will be important. Hell play quite a bit this game. The Seahawks are hoping Prosise can emerge as their third-down back for the regular season. -- Sheil KapadiaAFC EASTBuffalo BillsThe Bills added a fourth quarterback to their 90-man roster Sunday, when they signed?Austin Trainor. Why the late addition? The Bills need an extra arm to get through Thursdays preseason finale in Detroit. The team plans to sit Tyrod Taylor and the rest of its starters, and rookie Cardale Jones is still nursing a sore shoulder. -- Mike RodakMiami DolphinsThis is an important week for Dolphins cornerback?Xavien Howard (knee) and running back?Kenyan Drake (hamstring). After they missed most of training camp, Miamis rookie second- and third-round picks will make their debuts in Thursdays preseason finale against the Titans. The next two days of practice are important to prepare for this game. -- James WalkerNew England PatriotsWill veteran defensive tackle Terrance Knighton still have a job at the end of the day? Signed in the offseason to a one-year contract with a maximum value of $4 million, Knighton didnt play a single defensive snap in the teams third preseason game Friday at Carolina. He said after the game that he was leaving Bank of America Stadium with an uncertain feeling about his future with the team. -- Mike ReissNew York JetsThe Jets, who trimmed their roster to 78 on Sunday, still have three moves to make before Tuesday. They have six outside linebackers on the roster, with veteran Trevor Reilly squarely on the bubble. His status could be impacted by Josh Martin, who is on crutches after an ankle injury. Theres a chance rookie Jordan Jenkins (calf) could return this week. -- Rich CiminiAFC NORTHBaltimore RavensQuarterback?Joe Flacco didnt mince words after Benjamin Watson tore his Achilles on Saturday. Thats going to be really tough on us, Flacco said. That leaves the Ravens with one healthy, experienced tight end:?Crockett Gillmore. Baltimore will be fine at tight end as long as Dennis Pitta (fractured finger) and Maxx Williams (undisclosed injury) can stay healthy, but thats a big question mark. Pitta hasnt played in a game since September 2014, and Williams dealt with knee and ankle injuries as well as a concussion as a rookie last season. -- Jamison HensleyCincinnati BengalsThe Bengals came out of Sunday nights game against the Jaguars with injuries to wide receiver A.J. Green (knee), cornerback Adam Jones (calf) and running back Cedric Peerman (arm). Thats not a good sign with the regular season approaching. They will play again Thursday against the Colts, with most of the starters unlikely to see a snap. -- Katherine TerrellCleveland BrownsCornerback Justin Gilberts effort to make the roster will be slowed. The top-10 pick in the 2014 draft?was diagnosed with a concussion Friday in Tampa and is in the leagues protocol. -- Pat McManamonPittsburgh SteelersTwo key linemen are setting a toughness tone for the Steelers. Defensive end Cam Heyward (high ankle sprain) and offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert (hyperextended elbow) both have significant injuries but are saying theres no way they miss Week 1 at Washington. The Steelers dealt with injuries all of last season, and Gilbert and Heyward are well-respected veterans who wont take no for an answer. No way Im missing that first game, Gilbert said. Dont expect these two to practice in the next two weeks, but they promise to rehab vigorously. -- Jeremy FowlerAFC SOUTHHouston TexansAlthough quarterback?Brock Osweiler and the Texans offense had a great day against the Cardinals, the defense struggled in several areas. Without J.J. Watt, the defensive line got pushed around, and the defense as a whole missed several tackles. The Texans also struggled with tackling in the first preseason game against the 49ers, but they improved last week against the Saints. As it was after the preseason opener, expect tackling to be a focus during practice this week ahead of the teams final preseason game. -- Sarah BarshopIndianapolis ColtsRunning back Stevan Ridley will have his first practice with the Colts on Monday after he signed with the team over the weekend. The Colts are looking for solid backup behind starter Frank Gore. The backups behind Gore have combined to rush for only 91 yards on 49 carries in three preseason games. Ridley has rushed for 1,203 yards total in the past three seasons after rushing for 1,263 yards in his second season with the Patriots. -- Mike WellsJacksonville JaguarsThe Jaguars really felt the loss of nose tackle Roy Miller against the Bengals on Sunday. He suffered a quad injury last week and likely wont play in the preseason finale. The Bengals ran for 49 yards in the first quarter against the Jaguars first-team defense with Abry Jones and Richard Ash playing in his place. Miller is the key to the Jaguars rush defense. -- Mike DiRoccoTennessee TitansThe Titans will open the season with Quinton Spain as their left guard. The open spot never really got competitive, and Spain and the starting line were very solid against the Raiders in the third preseason game. Coach Mike Mularkey said he wants to see Spain progress with experience but was pleased with the way the former undrafted free agent?came back from an average effort in Week 2. -- Paul KuharskyAFC WESTDenver BroncosAt every opportunity, coach Gary Kubiak has tried to tell folks that he has more decisions to make than the one at quarterback. Although the collective response outside the team might seem like, yeah, whatever, to Kubiak, he is right. As roster cuts come, the Broncos have tough decisions at running back, wide receiver and particularly at linebacker where Dekoda Watson, with 2.5 sacks against the Rams on Saturday, and Zaire Anderson, who had two forced fumbles against the San Francisco 49ers last week, made cases to make the roster. Watson leads the team in sacks in the preseason?with 4.0. -- Jeff LegwoldKansas City ChiefsThe challenge for the Chiefs now that safety Eric Berry has signed and will join them at practice on Monday is to prepare him for the regular season. That preparation probably wont include any playing time in Thursdays final preseason game against the Packers. Otherwise, the Chiefs wont waste any time. Hell be in the starting lineup in practice. Well get him back in there and get him into football shape now, coach Andy Reid said. Hes in great shape. Its just [a matter of] getting him back into football shape. -- Adam TeicherOakland RaidersRaiders coach Jack Del Rio is still a linebacker at heart, so yeah, he felt a bit shaken at the lack of quality tackling by his team against the Titans on Saturday. I take it real personal, he said. I dont know what to tell you. I dont have a good alibi -- it bothers me. You cant be a great defense doing that ... its got to be a whole hell of a lot better than what I saw out there tonight. -- Paul GutierrezSan Diego ChargersThe Chargers lost a playmaker on offense, and the teams top returner when Branden Oliver went down with an Achilles tendon tear. Coach Mike McCoy confirmed after the game that Oliver was done for the year. Its a tough blow for Oliver, who finished last year on the injured reserve with turf toe. You see what he went through to get back and its a shame, McCoy said about Oliver. The Chargers have backups such as?Dreamius Smith or Kenneth Farrow?on the roster who could help fill the void left by Olivers absence, but they could also add a player after final roster cuts. -- Eric D. Williams ' ' '