Quick to start quarters for USA after game off

 

Jonathan Quick started the first two games for the USA. (Getty Images)
Jonathan Quick began the first two games for the USA. (Getty Images)

 

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In case you needed any extra confirmation, Jonathan Fast is the USA's goalie in these Olympics.

Fast began the first two video games against Slovakia and Russia before getting a sport off towards Slovenia to wrap up pool play. Ryan Miller was simply seconds away from recording a shutout earlier than conceding a aim as the USA won the group.

However that was just one begin and the crease shall be turned back to Fast for the USA's quarterfinal sport against either Slovakia or the Czech Republic on Wednesday.

Coach Dan Bylsma has appeared to favor stability in net in the quick match format, offered no less than that you simply're getting high quality goaltending from your No. 1 guy. Thus far, Quick has given the US just that, giving up three objectives in the two video games he played as well as helping the US to win T.J. Oshie's shootout vs. Russia.

This is Quick's first experience backstopping USA in international competition but as we have seen in Los Angeles, he often is at his greatest when the games are the largest and we all know the Olympics are awfully massive stage.

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Tsuda Earns Quick KO, Nakamura Submits Sakuragi at Deep ‘Cage Impact 2013’

Katsunori Tsuda scored a crushing knockout and, with it, a titleshot. | Dean Marchand/Sherdog.com

 

TOKYO –

KatsunoriTsuda

wanted little time to prove he deserves the subsequent shot at

KazunoriYokota

’s Deep featherweight title, knocking out

TatsunaoNagakura

within the opening round of their important occasion combat at

Deep“Cage Impact 2013”

on Sunday night time.

After mocking Nagakura’s pre-combat haka ritual, the southpaw Tsudastarted the battle seemingly brimming with confidence. Theself-assuredness paid off early as the Tsudanuma Dojo product timeda excellent takedown-feint with an enormous right hook that flattenedNagakura. Tsuda instantly pounced into mount and threw in a fewhard punches earlier than referee MasatoFukuda dove in to cease the battle only one:19 in.

“Lately, everyone is at all times speaking about American MMA, however Iwant to make the Japanese scene robust again,” Tsuda informed the TokyoDome Metropolis Hall crowd. “I would like American fighters to begin cominghere to fight once more.”

The win sets up a future bout with champion Yokota, who joinedTsuda within the cage.

“He’s an excellent fighter, but the guys he’s beaten aren’t just like the guysI’ve crushed,” Yokota remarked. “I’m going to overwhelm him.”

After filling in for an injured YoshikiHarada on two days’ discover, Korean Doo Li Songfound himself in too deep in his non-title match with Yokota. Thechampion used takedowns to wear down the younger fill-in, eventuallymoving to mount in the second spherical and pounding away till a latestoppage from referee Yuji Shimada finally came at the 4-minutemark.

After the win, Yokota admitted he had been nervous main up tothe battle, although not for the battle itself, however because formerPrime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, a noted professional-wrestling and MMA fan,had come to look at the bout.

Photo: D.Marchand/Sherdog.com

Nakamura ragdolled Sakuragi.

In the night’s co-fundamental event, Deep middleweight champion

KazuhiroNakamura

ground by means of karateka-turned-pro-wrestler

YujiSakuragi

en-path to a 3rd spherical submission victory.

The seasoned judoka made 200-pound Sakuragi seem like alightweight, selecting him up for big slams and tossing him to theground on a number of occasions. Sakuragi had no answers for theformer Yoshida Dojo chief’s prime game, eventually succumbing to atight arm-triangle choke 2:forty nine into round three.

After the struggle, Nakamura known as for a champion-versus-championmatch with Pancrase middleweight king RyoKawamura. Pancrase boss Masakazu Sakai quickly entered the cage,saying merely, “I accept.”

In a intently contested bantamweight matchup, former championTakafumiOtsuka outwrestled Paraestra Chiba’s ToshiakiKitada, incomes a unanimous determination victory. Despite beingfought principally from the clinch position, the bout went back andforth, coming right down to little quite a lot of break up-second takedownsfrom the younger Otsuka. With the victory, Otsuka improves hisrecord to 16-12-1 and sets himself up for another shot at hisformer title.

In his first fight in Japan in six years, YoshiyukiYoshida utterly dominated Korean striker Received SikPark on the bottom, submitting him with a rear-bare choke four:46into the second spherical.

At bantamweight, heavy-hitter YusakuNakamura earned a pleasant comeback victory, taking out “Iron”HiroshiNakamura with a stroll-off KO after being managed for thefirst two rounds. Iron used his powerful wrestling to manage thepace in rounds one and two, but a beautifully timed knee fromYusaku caught the Bellator veteran right on the chin as he shot infor a takedown, laying him flat at the 53-second mark of roundthree.

In a fairly sludgy welterweight affair, Akihiro Gonoand YukiOkano pushed an awfully gradual pace en route to a cut up draw.

At mild heavyweight, ShunsukeInoue used his judo to toss round Korea’s Nae ChulKim, incomes a cut up choice after three rounds.

At featherweight, former Shooto champion HidekiKadowaki discovered himself on the receiving finish of a rear-nakedchoke from Brazilian expat KleberKoike Erbst, tapping out four:21 into spherical one.

Deep Megaton division mainstay SeigoMizuguchi made quick work of Jong WangKim, putting him down with a right hand and pounding his means toa first round referee stoppage at 1:31 of the super-heavyweightencounter.

In a duel of lanky lightweights, Juri Oharaand YukinariTamura fought to a cut up draw on the end of two rounds.

Earlier, HiroyukiKobayashi bloodied up MasatoKobayashi on his method to a unanimous decision in theirbantamweight match-up.

In women’s motion, ShizukaSugiyama and Ji Yun Kimalso fought to a split draw, with Sugiyama taking the first roundbut gassing in the second.

In one other bantamweight bout, DaisukeEndo put Kintaroout with a rear-naked choke four:36 into round one.

Within the evening’s opening fights, KotaIshibashi completed YumaHoriuchi with a rear-naked choke fifty five seconds into round one,while KennosukeOyama used a triangle choke to submit YusakuFujisawa at the 2:13 mark of spherical two.

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Jonathan Quick aims for U.S. starting role after taste of Olympics in Vancouver

Getty Images

ARLINGTON, VA — 4 years ago, Jonathan Quick was the No. 3 goaltender for Crew USA behind Tim Thomas and starter Ryan Miller. He did not see any motion within the 2010 Olympic Games, nor was he expected to. Coming off his rookie season in the NHL, Quick’s presence in Vancouver was strictly with an eye towards the longer term.

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Four years later, that future is now, and with a Stanley Cup victory under his belt and four seasons of strong play, Fast has discovered himself now combating for the No. 1 job when Crew USA heads for Sochi in February.

As a 24 yr old on the Vancouver Video games, Quick was nonetheless studying his craft, and getting the opportunity to spend two weeks working alongside NHL veterans in Ryan Miller and Tim Thomas was useful.

“I used to be pretty young in the league at that time in my profession,” Fast stated at U.S. Olympic camp on Monday in Arlington, Va.

“I didn’t know many guys, especially guys around the staff. It gave me a possibility to meet a bunch of the guys and likewise watching [Ryan Miller] and how he prepared for games of that magnitude. It’s little issues here and there that you just decide up on.”

Part of the criteria that Team USA’s administration workers will use to judge gamers is their physique of labor and how they’re playing through the primary three months of the 2013-14 NHL season. Making a call on three goaltenders include the largest stress.

“I believe goaltending is the one position that’s extra in order that than the body of work,” said Group USA head coach Dan Bylsma. “How you’re taking part in and your play within the subsequent three-and-a-half months goes to be most essential for on the subject of that position and making choices in that regard.”

No matter who the Group USA staff decide will be the three goalies they take to Sochi, it’ll be a powerful bunch. Fellow gamers like Ryan Kesler and Keith Yandle have already recognized the staff’s biggest strength as goaltender, with Fast and Miller joined by Craig Anderson, Jimmy Howard and teenager John Gibson.

“It’s a deep, deep pool with a whole lot of good players who have good expertise,” stated Bylsma. “They’ve executed a good body of work. They’ve received championships; so it’s a tricky determination not just for the starter, but who are going to be the three goalies on our team.”

Even Fast’s rivals know he could be an asset for the U.S.

“I see [Fast] loads as a result of he’s in the West,” stated Yandle. “He’s normally shutting us out quite a bit, so it’s not a lot of fun playing against him, but it surely’s good to see him here the place he may doubtlessly be on this team.”

Miller was the most effective participant of the 2010 tournament, however his game, along with the Buffalo Sabres has slid. What was as soon as thought of as a lock is now anybody’s guess as to who will get the reigns for Sochi. That’s opened the door for Fast.

He wasn’t on the ice four years in the past, however to Fast, there was a lot to take out of that experience and use this time round.

“We completed quite a bit,” said Fast. “We weren’t anticipated to do much as a staff getting into to that match and the way in which we came together as a group and what we had been capable of accomplish means loads. It’s one thing that we will construct off.”

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Matt Brown gets quick knockout then asks for title shot at Fight Night 26

(Getty) Matt Brown didn’t waste any time at UFC Battle Night time 26 on Saturday evening. He knocked out Mike Pyle in 29 seconds, after which rapidly requested for a welterweight title shot.

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Brown swarmed Pyle with a proper hand and a huge knee, sending him to the canvas, then used fervent floor and pound to knock Pyle out. The struggle was stopped at 29 seconds. Pyle protested the stoppage, however the replay showed he was clearly out.

When speaking to UFC commentator Joe Rogan, Brown complimented Pyle, comparing him to UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. Brown then referred to as out the champion.

“The place ya at, Georges?” Brown asked.

At the moment, Georges is getting ready for his Nov. sixteen bout with Johny Hendricks. After that bout, both fighter might make an intriguing match-up with Brown. He is on a six-fight profitable streak, with the final 5 coming by stoppage.

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The top 10 goalies in the NHL

Getty Images Who’s one of the best goalie on the planet?

The answer, as at all times, is Dominik Hasek, and might be till he takes his final breath on this mortal airplane.

But being that Hasek is 48 and the Nationwide Hockey League is completely ageist, we’re left to ponder which goaltender is the most effective in the NHL.

Y! Sports NHL editor Sam McCaig just lately did his rating of the NHL’s 30 starting goalies, with the standard debates about who is or is just not a starter – personally, I don’t see how Martin Brodeur isn’t the starter till he’s injured – and the general ranking of the netminders. (In the event you’re a Mike Smith fan or a Marc-Andre Fleury basher, this was your record.)

Sportsnet additionally had some bizarre-ass eight-tier ranking system for its beginning goalie countdown, wherein Semyon Varlamov has as “a lot to prove” as Ben Bishop and Jakob Markstrom despite, you already know, being a beginning goalie in the NHL while the others were busing between AHL arenas.

Both lists are nice and all, but I figured I’d share what’s obviously the definitive list of the NHL’s prime 10 goalies, as a result of it sprung forth from my mind bone. Take pleasure in.

Here are the highest 10 goalies within the NHL proper at this very moment, offered in reverse order to really amp up the drama:

10. Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets

I agree with everybody that’s taking a wait-and-see method with Bob, together with Blue Jackets management’s determination to present him a two-year deal. His numbers had been stellar final season, and a case might be made for him as each the Vezina winner and a Hart finalist. That’s ok to get him in the Top 10; whether he remains there is dependent upon whether or not he’s Jim Carey or the subsequent Kiprusoff. Or the next Vokoun: Awesome goalie on a non-playoff group. (Hey, we hope for the best with Columbus, however have you seen the Metrosexual Division?)

9. Jimmy Howard, Detroit Pink Wings

The greatest indication that Howard’s the actual deal is that he pressured the Pink Wings to really make investments actual dollars within the goaltending spot underneath GM Ken Holland. That his numbers didn’t fall off post-Lidstrom was a major test passed for Howard, who frankly made the blueline corps in entrance of him better than it looked on paper. His playoff numbers could be better, but he’s as dependable as they arrive. Plus we’re fond of any goalie with the “-y” nickname, very similar to Timmy Thomas and the various Cor(e)ys. Memo to Mason: Go together with “Stevie.”

8. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks

Winning the Stanley Cup doesn’t make you a better goalie anymore than a crappy contract makes you a worse one. (Extra on that later.) Crawford was every part the Blackhawks wanted throughout their run to the Cup, even when he didn’t begin feeling the love until the Closing. He had Conn Smythe worthy numbers for the postseason, and received some duels with Tuukka Rask. That said, Ray Emery gave us 17 causes last season why playing in again of the Blackhawks’ lineup can flip excellent goalies into all-stars.

7. Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators

The distinction between Anderson and Howard/Crawford is that the Senators goalie will be downright Hasek-ian in his performances. Anderson wins games on his own, and that’s been the case by each stop in his career. Last season, he was the very best goalie in the NHL (1.69 GAA) and would have waltzed away with the Vezina have been it not for his injury. That level of consistency isn’t commonplace for Anderson, but if 2012-13 wasn’t an anomaly he’ll move up this checklist faster than a sweat bead falling off his bald noggin while he ogles an ice girl.

6. Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins

Look, there’s no denying that Rask was incredible last regular season and maybe even higher within the postseason. He erased any lingering desire to take a can opener to Tim Thomas’s bunker door and pry him out. However he’s not the fourth-best goalie within the NHL, by way of McCaig; and I’m unsure how he doesn’t fall into the “show it once more” territory Sportsnet believes Bobrovsky inhabits. He sung for his supper on a present-me contract, and managed to place up Thomas-like numbers while playing behind Zdeno Chara for 28 minutes (as well as Seidenberg, Ference, Boychuk and Bergeron). The system didn’t make him, but let’s not pretend it doesn’t affect his numbers.

5. Antti Niemi, San Jose Sharks

Getty Images Niemi didn’t arrive in 2012-thirteen – it’s extra like he finally acquired the credit he’s deserved. He’s a workhorse that places up superb numbers and offered the Sharks with constantly sturdy efforts, especially on particular groups. Does he have his mushy stretches? Positive, and every goalie does. But a 1.87 GAA within the postseason through 11 begins gave the Sharks an opportunity to advance to the Western Convention Final had it not been for his or her offensive struggles against the Kings. Oh yeah: He has a Cup ring he earned. That too.

4. Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators

Rinne gained 43 video games with a923 save share in 2011-12. He was one recreation under500 with a910 save share in 2012-thirteen, his first with out Ryan Suter on the Predators blueline. I’m inclined to imagine that Rinne sub-2.40 GAA netminder who faces a ton of shots and might single-handedly maintain his staff in competition even when he’s given zippy aim assist. I’m also inclined to imagine he’ll never be worth a $7 million cap hit. But judging a goalie by his contract is fairly foolhardy. Which brings us to …

3. Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks

Sorry, but remind me once more when Luongo out of the blue turned terrible? Was it when the Canucks determined to go the baton? Was it when his contract was deemed un-tradable? I’m keen to chalk up a few of his underwhelming stats to mitigating circumstances, similar to loathing the way one’s employer has handled them. But he’s proven sufficient flashes that I don’t believe his expertise have eroded. For my cash, he’s nonetheless the third finest goalie in the League. For his money, he had better be, for the Canucks’ sake.

2. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers

This can be a ‘1’ and a ‘1-A’ situation between the primary and second goalies on this record. Mix’em up, flip’em round, you’ll get no quarrel from me. Lundqvist is unbeatable when he’s on, can win games on his own and deserves each accolade and dollar he’s given. He covers for mistakes and barely makes one in all his own. The Rangers would have given him a hoop by now if their offense wasn’t so pathetic in the postseason. However that’s Vancouver’s downside now. (OKAY, it’s been their drawback, which is ironic considering their man is now the Rangers guy while the Rangers guy is their … my head hurts.)

1. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

In the final full season they played, Quick was better than Lundqvist. There’s no question Hank was the better of the 2 within the truncated season, and Quick has an extended option to go to match the Rangers goalie’s career accomplishments. However in 50 playoff games, he has a 2.03 GAA and a929 save proportion with seven shutouts. He’s simply as unbeatable when he’s on as Lundqvist is, and his athleticism and reflexes have earned him comparisons to Hasek and Ed Belfour.

Again: ‘1’ and ‘1-A’ between these two. However proper now, I’d nonetheless give Fast the nod. Wonder if they will settle things in Sochi …

The Snubs:

I’d have Carey Value at No. 11 on this listing, and have been it not for Bobrovsky’s emergence he’s Top 10. Proper there with him: Jonas Hiller (one other game-stealer) and Kari Lehtonen, whose only problem is health. Mark me down in the “Mike Smith is a product of the Coyotes’ system” naysayers … however hey, he makes that system work. McCaig had Cam Ward at No. 10 – method too excessive – and Ryan Miller at No 16 – method too low. I’m not completely certain where Martin Brodeur and Cory Schneider slot in a high 30. Ditto Fleury, who’s Prime 12 in the regular season and the worst goalie alive in the postseason.

What’s your prime 10?

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Streaking Adam Jones, prospect talk and a look around the league

Adam Jones excelling despite an ugly K/BB rate (USAT)

After posting a 22:0 K:BB ratio in June, Adam Jones has a 12:6 rate in July and more importantly, a306/.368/.581 line with five homers over 62 ABs. I’m not sure what to make of him, as it’s pretty hard to argue against someone who’s on pace to finish with a294 BA, 33 homers, 111 runs scored, 113 RBI and 15 steals. He’s currently the sixth most valuable fantasy hitter, according to Baseball Monster. He’s somehow done this with an 18.3 K%, 3.3 BB% and a 13.3 SwStr%, but it’s not like he’s a glaring sell-high candidate either. His current322 BABIP is right in line with his career mark (.317), and while the poor plate discipline hurts his OBP, Jones also has 24 doubles to go along with his 20 bombs, leading to a500 slugging percentage. Moreover, playing for a Baltimore team that’s scored the fourth-most runs in major league baseball has really helped his counting stats (he has just 13 fewer RBI this season compared to last in 240 fewer at-bats and with a lower OPS). My guess is Jones hits more in the275-.280 range rather than300 the rest of the season, but his other fantasy goodness should remain mostly the same. He’s going to be a top pick in 2014 fantasy drafts.

Matt Harvey Asks New Yorkers About Matt Harvey.

Here’s Carly Rae Jepsen throwing one of the worst first pitches of all time.

I was skeptical Gio Gonzalez could maintain last year’s extremely high level of pitching in 2013, as it’s tough to post a 2.89 ERA (and even tougher to post a 1.13 WHIP) with shaky control (3.43 BB/9), and after he ended April with a 5.34 ERA and 1.38 WHIP, those concerns looked prescient. However, since then, Gonzalez has posted a 2.04 ERA and 1.07 WHIP with 89 strikeouts over 92.2 innings. After winning 21 games last season, Gonzalez has just seven victories so far in 2013, but that’s a function of Washington’s extremely disappointing offense and obviously can’t be held against him (although this has undoubtedly hurt his fantasy value). His control remains below average (he currently sports a 3.54 BB/9 rate and hasn’t gone a single game this season without issuing a walk), but he’s also impressively posted the same exact ERA as he did last year despite already allowing more homers (a pure regression issue. His HR/FB ratio is a solid 9.9%) in 2013 than he did all of last season. Gonzalez has a 24.4 K%, a 9.4 SwStr% and a 1.37 GB/FB ratio, so he’s clearly established himself as an elite starter even if the walks continue to be on the high side.

Almost no one can drink a gallon of milk in one hour. Here’s Kobayashi doing it in 20 seconds.

Here’s a robot doing a quadruple back flip.

Here’s a car plowing into a motorcycle.

Prospect Talk: Henry Urrutia posted a365/.427/.531 line over 260 at-bats in the minors this year, which was his first taste of American baseball. The Cuban defector is 26 years old, so his learning curve may not be as steep as other prospects. There’s not much SB upside, but Urrutia is going to be given an opportunity for regular playing time against right-handers, so he’s an interesting flier in deeper fantasy leagues…Byron Buxton is batting320 with nine home runs, 78 runs scored, 65 RBI and 35 steals in just 359 at-bats. He’s 19 years old. Fantasy owners can go ahead and start salivating…Billy Hamilton has to be one of the more disappointing players in baseball this season, as he’s taken a major step back while transitioning into the outfield. He’s hitting246/.305/.335 over 349 ABs during his first stint in Triple-A, although his 56 steals look even more impressive when you consider the low OBP. And at least his five homers are already a career high. Still, just 22 years old, Hamilton’s speed makes him a potential elite fantasy asset, but it’s discouraging that his bat may never lead to every day playing time in the big leagues…Mike Olt has heated up lately, but with a213/.317/.422 line over 230 at-bats in the hitter-friendly PCL this year, he’s not a must fantasy add, even if the trade to the Cubs leads to a call up soon…Oscar Taveras’ ankle injury is quickly turning 2013 into a lost season. Matt Holliday going to the DL makes it especially frustrating for those who’ve stashed Taveras…Over his past seven games, Wil Myers is batting536 (15-for-28), even contributing three steals. Still, especially considering how Jurickson Profar has performed, this year’s rookie class of hitters has about as much in common to last year’s as these two.

Animal Antics: Cheetah Chases Impala Antelope Into Tourist’s Car on Safari…Otter Dislikes Watermelon But Can’t Stop Eating It…Brazilian Man Killed in His Bed by Falling Cow…Raccoon Eating Popcorn…Seagulls Turn Yobbish After Getting Drunk on Flying Ants.

Dan Straily came somewhat out of nowhere in 2012, striking out 190 batters over 152.0 innings while posting a 2.78 ERA across Double and Triple-A (including 66.2 innings in the PCL as a 23-year-old). He was solid enough during his major league debut last season, somehow recording a 3.89 ERA despite allowing 11 homers and 16 walks over 39.1 innings. He also was much worse with RISP (.317 BAA) than with the bases empty (.207). (Seriously, how did he do that?) Scouts were never overly impressed with Straily’s stuff, which is why he wasn’t considered a top prospect and his sudden K spike in the minors came as such a surprise. And after sitting with a 7.27 ERA over his first five starts this season, the skepticism sure seemed warranted. However, since then, he has a 2.80 ERA and 0.98 WHIP with a 3.1 K:BB ratio over 61.0 innings. Michael Salfino’s latest “Pitching By The Numbers” suggests his ERA should move down from here on out. Straily’s 11.5 SwStr% would be the ninth-best in baseball if he qualified, so he absolutely should be owned in more fantasy leagues than he is right now.

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Quick Hits: Chase Utley remains injury prone, but if you prorated the 34 year old’s stats over 600 at-bats, you’d get this:279-101-30-83-16. In other words, he remains a star when on the field, and that’s before considering him playing such a thin position. Utley also remains terrific defensively, and dating back to 2006, he’s been successful on 95 of his past 103 SB attempts, which is a 92.2% rate…Chad Gaudin entered this season with a career 4.63 ERA and 1.51 WHIP over 739.1 innings. He currently has a 2.15 ERA and 1.07 WHIP, and this has come with him moving into the starting rotation, something he previously hadn’t done since 2009. Gaudin has without question taken advantage of AT&T Park, posting a 0.55 ERA over 33.0 innings at home, but he’s also suddenly become death to right-handed hitters, holding them to a159/.201/.273 line. He’s the new Ryan Vogelsong…Over the first 89 games this season, Brett Gardner had 11 steals. He has six stolen bases over his past seven contests. He’s also on pace to finish with 12 homers and 89 runs scored. He’s already matched his previous career-high for extra-base hits in a season with 34 in just 364 at-bats…There’s little reason not to expect Scott Kazmir to break down soon enough, but as of now, he’s become interesting even in medium-sized mixed leagues. Over his past six starts, he’s recorded a 1.95 ERA and 0.87 WHIP with a 28:10 K:BB ratio over 37.0 innings…The Astros box score Saturday night had to be one of the craziest ever. The team’s pitchers recorded 15 strikeouts, allowed just one hit (Erik Bedard chose to leave with a no-hitter intact), committed zero errors and yet somehow lost 4-2. Crazy.

Police Blotter: Ohio Man Again Busted For Sex With Pool Float…Police Called to Investigate Fight About Flatulence…Man Applying For Job Robs Gas Station…Man Robbed While Naked Swimming Neighbor Distracts Him…Florida Man Rearrested After Punching Deputy in Jail Lobby…“I Had Sex With My Cat And Everyone Knows,” Aggrieved Woman Explains to Arresting Officer…96-Year-Old-Woman Resists Would-Be Robber…Man Punched Self, Tried to Blame Neighbor…FDNY Firefighter Made Fake 911 Calls So He Could Rob Firehouses.

Quick Hits Part Deux: After averaging 51.4 steals over the past five seasons, Michael Bourn is on pace to finish with just 21.5 stolen bases in 2013. He’s had a DL trip, but that’s hardly been uncommon in the past, and his current332 OBP is right in line with his career rate (.338). To make matters worse, the Indians have the sixth most stolen bases among all teams in baseball this season. Before the end of August last year, Bourn had a career SB success rate of 82.1%. Since then, it’s been 62.1%…Kris Medlen has been pounded for 10 runs over his last 9.1 innings during his last two starts (he allowed fewer runs during the 12 games he started all of last season!), but this is someone who has a 2.48 ERA and 1.11 WHIP with a 3.8 K:BB ratio over his past 254.0 innings who might very well get bumped from Atlanta’s starting rotation. That’s a team with a “problem” no other has in baseball (Paul Maholm’s trip to the DL may prevent this)…Forget Cole Hamels’ poor luck when it comes to win/loss record, look at A.J. Burnett. Hamels’ peripherals may be better, but he’s allowed 67 runs this season compared to 41 by Burnett, who has a 3.07 ERA while pitching for a team with the third highest winning percentage in all of baseball. Burnett sits with just four wins on the season and has won one game since May 3. It’s almost as if the statistic isn’t telling…Justin Smoak has been playing a lot better recently, and his massive righty/lefty splits (.306/.409/.520 vs.183/.275/.225) is actually a good thing for those who play in daily leagues…If I were in a draft today, I’d make Hanley Ramirez a top-10 pick.

Longreads of the Week: Here’s an epic Sex Advice Answer from “Ask Polly.”

With his new highly acclaimed book coming out, let me again point you to this story: A Serial Killer in Common. It’s pretty crazy this guy has yet to be caught.

Quick Hits Part Tres: I’m a Yasiel Puig believer, but he’s batting254/.286/.356 with a 21:3 K:BB ratio over 59 at-bats in June. Put differently, his 33.3 K% this month would rank third worst among all hitters this season. One other underrated aspect about the phenom’s scorching start to his career – he has a not-so-impressive 2.0 GB/FB ratio…Over his past six starts, Felix Doubront has a 1.83 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. He hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in a start since May 8 (although to be fair, there was a stinker mixed in). The recent improvement has coincided with an uptick in velocity. Doubront should also continue to benefit from strong run support, as the Red Sox have scored the most runs in baseball this season by a wide margin…Mike Moustakas is hitting059/.165/.059 in 68 at-bats with RISP this season. With RISP and two outs, he’s hitless over 29 ABs. Wow…Albert Pujols has grounded into more double plays this year (18) than he’s hit home runs (16). Among active players, only Miguel Tejada has hit into more DPs…I’m beginning to think there might be causation between Pablo Sandoval’s weight and performance…I’m not convinced it means anything moving forward, but it’s interesting to note the huge discrepancy in the average true distance of home runs hit by Justin Upton and Dominic Brown this season…I must admit, I’m pretty surprised by the Ryan Braun sudden suspension, but I guess it makes sense for him to cut a deal and minimize the length of the suspension in a year in which he’s dealing with an injury and with the Brewers having nothing to play for. Of course, that gives his fantasy owners no solace.