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TORONTO – Marcus Stroman grinned at the recounting of that aha moment in his last start. It was the fifth inning and his Blue Jays were leading Texas 2-0. Stroman had struck out Rougned Odor and induced a groundout from Robinson Chirinos. Hed gone to a full count with on-base machine Shin-Soo Choo. The 3-2 pitch was a sinking fastball. The opposing reactions told the story. Stroman turned, struck a pose with a glare and retreated to the dugout. Choo looked flummoxed at the plate, staring back at the umpire with confusion. This reporter, from an angled vantage point, wondered if Choo disagreed with the call. He didnt. The pitch had cut the heart of the plate. He was confused. "Just something Ive been working on," said Stroman of the sinker. It must be nice. When Stroman throws fastballs, theyre predominantly four-seamers. He can "spin" the ball with the best of them, as baseball people say in reference to his devastating array of curveballs and sliders. Stromans changeup continues to develop. By the time hes through, Stroman could be a five-pitch guy. More importantly, in the immediate, is Stromans barreling onto the scene not just as a piece of the starting rotation but as a frontline guy. The sample size is small but take a look at four of Stromans last five starts, excusing the hiccup he had on a Wednesday afternoon in Anaheim earlier this month. On June 23 at home against the Yankees: Eight innings, one earned run on three hits, a walk and seven strikeouts. This start was made more impressive by the fact the Yankees were the first team to see Stroman for a second time and the first had been less than a week earlier when he struggled in the Bronx. On June 28 at home against the White Sox: Six and two-thirds innings, two earned runs on two hits, two walks and six strikeouts. Stroman wasnt physically on the mound when a run against crossed. He left the game with a 2-0 lead, two on and two outs in the seventh. Dustin McGowan promptly entered and gave up a three-run home run to Dayan Viciedo, saddling Stroman with a no-decision in a game the Jays would eventually lose 4-3. On July 4 on the road in Oakland: Seven innings of scoreless ball on three hits, three walks and seven strikeouts. The offence didnt score any runs that day and the Jays eventually lost, 1-0. July 19 at home against the Rangers: Seven innings of scoreless ball, four hits allowed and five strikeouts. Do the math and in those four starts, with Stroman still physically in the game, hes allowed one run in 28 2/3 innings. Stroman, whose self confidence has been repeatedly discussed, is willing to admit to some surprise at how well things have gone since he returned to the big leagues and entered the rotation. "Yeah, absolutely," said Stroman. "Its definitely been a ride. Its been extremely fun. Its definitely gone a lot better, because its my first year and I feel really settled in and I feel like I belong." Dont mistake the confidence for arrogance. The 23-year-old knows he has plenty to learn and hes willing to listen. Two veteran teammates in particular have taken Stroman under their wings. One is a pitcher, Mark Buehrle. The other is a hitter, Jose Bautista. Having a guy with 15 straight seasons of 10 or more wins and another with two-time 50-plus home run credentials in your corner doesnt hurt. "Anything from mentality, anything from preparation to, hey, what would you throw in this count, to this hitter or what are you trying to do in this certain situation with guys on base? Just picking their minds like that and theyre more than happy to help out," said Stroman. "Bautista being awesome this year; hell come up to me out of nowhere, even during a game, and say, hey, when Im hitting this is what Im looking for, this is what I see, and this is how Im adjusting in-game and this is how you should attack hitters." Bautista sidled up to Stroman after his commanding performance against the Rangers. The superstar offered some praise. He also suggested areas in which Stroman could improve. Dont leave the kid satisfied. Bautista repeatedly reminds Stroman to be quick with his pace. Fielders appreciate a pitcher who gets the ball back from the catcher and immediately toes the rubber. Stroman has gone from potential trade bait to an irreplaceable member of the staff. Hes making general manager Alex Anthopoulos look good for being hesitant to part with the Duke alumnus. "To be honest, obviously its just rumours and you dont know whats true, whats not," said Stroman. "It wasnt unsettling at all. I was just focused on getting here and dominating and pitching like I know I could. Trades are something thats a part of the game and its not something that can rattle you if you over-think it." Dont worry about Stroman wilting under the brighter lights of important September baseball. If the Blue Jays hang in the division and wild card races, hell be looking forward to getting the ball every fifth day. "Zero intimidation factor. Im pretty confident," said Stroman. "Thats where I want to be. The bigger the moment, I feel like the bigger I get up for the games and the better I play." Cheap Celtics Store . Seager had another triple, a home run and a double in a rare feat not seen in more than 40 years, leading Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners past the New York Yankees 10-2. "It was a weird play," Seager said of the triple in the fourth inning. Womens Celtics Jerseys . Patrice Bergeron and Daniel Paille scored 20 seconds apart a few minutes after Stamkos was taken off the ice on a stretcher with a broken right leg, and the Bruins beat the Lightning 3-0 on Monday afternoon. .C. -- Al Jefferson knows few people will be giving the Charlotte Bobcats a chance to upset the Miami Heat in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Cheap Celtics Jerseys . The Professional Referee Organization, which manages game officials for the U.S. Soccer Federation and MLS, notified the Professional Soccer Referee Association of the lockout and said replacement officials will be used. Authentic Celtics Jerseys . The 25-year-old Brazilian player has only made four Premier League appearances for United this season and underwent a medical test in Italy on Friday.MONTREAL — Defenceman Madison Bowey is doing whatever he can to help Canada at both ends of the ice rink. Bowey has been a reliable player both offensively and defensively for the Canadians through three games of the world junior championship. The 19-year-old hopes that trend continues when Canada takes on the United States in the final preliminary game for both teams on Wednesday night at the Bell Cent re. First and foremost, I want to be solid in the defensive end, said Bowey after practice on Tuesday. Thats the main goal. But if I can chip in offensively, Ill try to do that the best I can. If I get a lucky bounce, and get a few points, thats awesome, and Im just going to try to keep doing what Im doing. Bowey is a big-bodied defenceman — hes six-foot-one and weighs 195 pounds — who was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the second round of last years entry draft. He makes good decisions with the puck, isnt afraid to finish a hit and is fast on his skates. The two-way defenceman plays his junior hockey with the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League. In 259 regular-season and playoff games with Kelowna, Bowey has amassed 55 goals and 164 points. And three games into Canadas current quest for gold, he has a tournament-high plus-7 rating, and he leads all Canadian defencemen with three points, including a pretty goal against Germany on Saturday. With the Canadians on the power play up 3-0 late in that game, Bowey crept from the blue-line towards the German net, waited patiently for the puck and fired home the insurance goal. It felt really good, Bowey said. Its a pretty high-end tournament, and to score a goal in it is pretty special for myself. If I can help the team win in any way I can, thats my main goal and thats what Im going to try to stick to. This isnt the first time the Winnipeg-born blue-liner is on the hunt for silverware while wearing Canadas sweater. Bowey helped Canada to hockey gold at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament in Slovakia in 2012, and again at the U18 world championship in Russia in 2013, where he scored the game-tying goal in the final against the Americans. Bowey is making his mark on this years world juniors after narrowly missing out in 2013. He took part in Canadas selection camp last yyear, but was sent home after missing the cut.dddddddddddd He says the last 12 months have been paramount in his development as a player. Ive improved a lot at both ends of the ice, he said. Im really calm with the puck now, and Ive had a lot of confidence with it. Playing defensively, I can really compete against other teams top lines and other teams top players. Thats what Im trying to do right now, and its going well. Boweys biggest test to date will likely come on Wednesday when he and defensive pairing Josh Morrissey — also a Kelowna Rocket — will try to shut down Jack Eichel and the Americans. Canada leads Group A with a perfect nine points through three games. The Americans are just one point back as they needed a shootout for one of their victories. The winner of Wednesdays contest will finish top of the group. That game is going to be huge, said Bowey, the only right-handed shot on Canadas defence. Thats what we all circled on our calendars for a while now. Bowey and Morrissey, a prospect for the Winnipeg Jets, have formed Canadas second defensive pairing since the start of the tournament, and they have been solid from the get-go. Madison and I have become pretty good friends over the last few years, said Morrissey, who was traded to Kelowna earlier this month. Hes a great player. He has a bit of everything - hes fast, he can skate, he has a great one-timer. Its a lot of fun playing together. Weve only been getting better as a pair. Added Bowey: Our chemistry is growing every day. Him and I are really good buddies off the ice, which goes a long way on the ice. We keep improving every day and thats awesome to see. We try to help each other out as much as we can. Bowey and Morrissey are expected to see a lot of draft phenom Eichel, who leads the United States with 14 shots on target through three games, though he has scored just once. The Canadian defencemen are well aware of just how dangerous the 18-year-old can be. Every top line, we have to know who were going up against, said Bowey. Being defencemen, we have to know what their weakness is and what their strengths are. Obviously, Eichel is a guy who has a lot of strengths, so we have to make sure we contain him well. Hes a big part of their team. Cheap Panthers Jerseys Cheap Bills Jerseys Cheap Dolphins Jerseys Cheap Patriots Jerseys Cheap Saints Jerseys Cheap Buccaneers Jerseys Cheap Cardinals Jerseys Cheap 49ers Jerseys Cheap Seahawks Jerseys Cheap Rams Jerseys Cheap Bears Jerseys Cheap Lions Jerseys Cheap Packers Jerseys Cheap Vikings Jerseys Cheap Bengals Jerseys Cheap Browns Jerseys ' ' '

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