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in Infinity ocean, the ocean of knowledge. Ocean life. Esoteric Club. Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:51 am
by laiyongcai92 • 15 Posts

TORONTO — Jose Bautista will return to the scene of some of his biggest moments in baseball Tuesday night when the New York Mets visit the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Mets and Blue Jays will play a two-game interleague series at the Rogers Centre Tavon Young Jersey , where Bautista starred for the better part of nine years.

The Mets will start right-hander Zack Wheeler (2-6, 4.47 ERA) against Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada (4-7, 4.53) in the series opener.

While the Blue Jays (39-45) were losing 3-2 in 10 innings on Monday afternoon to the Detroit Tigers at the Rogers Centre, the Mets (33-48) had the day off. It gave Bautista a chance to renew acquaintances in Toronto.

“I have some stuff scheduled, to meet up with people who were part of my life when I was there and visit some of the usual spots,” Bautista told reporters in Miami, where the Mets played last weekend. “It’s definitely a place that I hold dear and close to my heart. It’s going to be a fun time.”

Bautista twice led the American League in home runs with the Blue Jays, hitting 54 in 2010 and 43 in 2011. His most famous home run came in 2015 at the Rogers Centre, a three-run blast with an iconic bat flip that won the American League Division Series in the fifth and deciding game against the Texas Rangers.

He played 1,235 regular-season games for the Blue Jays from 2008 to 2017, hitting 288 homers (second only to Carlos Delgado’s 336) with 776 RBIs (third on the team’s career list).

Bautista also had an influence on his teammates.

“He was a huge help in my development,” Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar said. “There was a time in my first full year when I went from left to center and I was making some plays and I kind of earned his respect and he metaphorically gave me the keys (to the outfield) and told me to go get anything I could. And my voice became the voice in the outfield. That was pretty special to me.”

When the Blue Jays did not pick up the option on his contract for this season, he became a free agent. He did not have a team until the Atlanta Braves signed him on April 18. After a minor-league stint, he struggled with the Braves for 12 games and was released May 20. The Mets signed him May 22.

In 36 games with the Mets, the 37-year-old is batting .250/.418/476 with three homers and 13 RBIs. In his past 14 games, he is hitting .300/.462/.650 with three homers and 10 RBIs.

“I’m not surprised by what he’s doing,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “He probably just needed some at-bats to get going and now we’re seeing the byproduct of him being ready. I’ve always known he’s a really good hitter. He keeps himself in really good shape. He’s probably in the best shape of anybody on our team and is (the oldest player on the team). Great approach, great patience, still has bat speed.”

“Not having a spring training, wanting to swing the bat and some other things might’ve played into me not (reaching base) as much in Atlanta,” Bautista said.

Bautista always has been a versatile player. He played mostly right field with the Blue Jays but also manned third base and occasionally first base. He has played 12 games in left field for the Mets Troy Apke Color Rush Jersey , 10 in right field, two at third base and one at second base.

This will be the second series between the teams. They split two games on May 15-16 at Citi Field.

Wheeler was the losing pitcher on May 16, a 12-1 Blue Jays victory, in his only career outing against Toronto. He allowed six runs, seven hits and three walks and struck out seven in four innings.

Estrada is 0-2 with a 7.27 ERA in seven career games (two starts) against the Mets. He struggled earlier in the season but is 2-1 with a 2.35 ERA in his past five starts.

History is being made again in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

On the heels of the first back-to-back champions in two decades, the NHL will get a new champion in the salary-cap era that began in 2005. Among the Lightning, Capitals, Jets and Golden Knights, only Tampa Bay has won the Stanley Cup, making this the first time the final four teams have combined for one title or fewer.

Tampa Bay is in the Eastern Conference final for the third time in four years, and Washington has made the playoffs 10 out of the past 11 seasons. Yet after one of Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh lifted the Cup every time since 2009, this crop of new blood is refreshing.

”They’re all good stories,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. ”The same old story sometimes can get old. Once in a while a new chapter is written, and it’ll be good. This year there will be a new chapter.”

The next chapter begins with the Capitals visiting the Lightning on Friday night, followed by the Golden Knights at Winnipeg on Saturday night. It’s a full turnover from the final four teams last year: Pittsburgh, Ottawa, Nashville and Anaheim.

The Jets became the fourth and final team to reach the third round when they beat the defending Western Conference-champion Predators on the road in Game 7 on Thursday night. Winnipeg is the final hope for Canada’s first Cup celebration since Montreal in 1993 and is in the conference final for the first time in franchise history.

”Having some diversity amongst the league is great, and I think it just shows the competitive balance throughout the league,” Jets captain Blake Wheeler said. ”Having good young players is a great place to start and you see that the teams that have good young players have gotten good fast. So I think it’s a good thing to have some fan bases have some extended postseason success. It just creates a better vibe.”

The Lightning are trying to create the vibe Hockey Bay hasn’t seen since winning the Cup in 2004. They fell short in a six-game loss to the Blackhawks in the 2015 final with this core Youth Mason Cole Jersey , led by Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman.

Even after missing the playoffs last year when Stamkos was out long term with a knee injury, Tampa Bay has plenty of recent playoff experience from recent runs and the additions of ex-Rangers players Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi and J.T. Miller.

”We’ve been here in this situation before,” Stamkos said. ”There’s no panic or nervousness. We’re excited.”

Vegas hasn’t been in any situation before, building off the best inaugural season in NHL history by beating Los Angeles and San Jose to reach the West final. Among the four good stories remaining, none is as remarkable as the Golden Knights, who pieced together players from around the league to get further than anyone expected.

”I haven’t been around a team like this,” general manager George McPhee said. ”This feels like more of a team than any team I’ve ever been with at the NHL level.”

McPhee’s former team in Washington has the same feeling. The Capitals aren’t as deep or talented as in years past, but they’re in the East final for the first time since 1998, when McPhee was in his first season as their GM.

”I’ve had some teams that have been very, very talented and they weren’t necessarily the best teams,” said Trotz, who is in the third round for the first time in 19 years as an NHL head coach. ”I think the belief in the group, or the chemistry in the group, is the intangible and this group has a good chemistry about it.”

What excites Jets coach Paul Maurice most about the fresh teams in the conference finals is the hope it keeps alive in the remaining cities. And each one can legitimately believe its team has a chance to win it all.

”That’s the great part about competition,” Maurice said. ”So that’s what’s the most exciting thing is you don’t know, right? There’s not a five-time Stanley Cup champion that’s just ran the first two series 4-0. It’s up for grabs. It’s right there.”



AP Sports Writer Teresa M. Walker in Nashville, Tennessee, contributed.

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