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NEW YORK -- The New York Mets told Wilmer Flores the starting shortstop job is open next year, and the young infielder might jus

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01:04, Nov 28 2016

NEW YORK -- The New York Mets told Wilmer Flores the starting shortstop job is open next year, and the young infielder might just win the job with his bat. Clyde Drexler Rockets Jersey . Flores homered twice and drove in six runs for the second time this year, Ruben Tejada capped a four-run fourth inning with a two-run double, and the Mets routed the Miami Marlins 9-1 on Tuesday night to end a three-game skid. "I think what hes done offensively has helped him defensively," manager Terry Collins said of Flores, who has been knocked for his play in the field. Just hours after Commissioner Bud Selig said he was impressed with the manner in which the Mets were rebuilding, the 23-year-old Flores hit a three-run shot in the fifth and a two-run drive in the seventh -- both off reliever Brad Penny. He also had an RBI double in the fourth as the Mets scored their most runs at home since they tallied 11 against the Phillies on July 30. After slowly developing the power stroke the organization thinks he is capable of providing, Flores is 8 for 15 with three homers and 10 RBIs in his last four games. He has six long balls overall. "Maybe it takes a little more time for some people," Flores said about finding his swing against big leaguers. "Im seeing the ball well right now." Bartolo Colon (14-12) bounced back from his shortest outing of the year to pitch 7 2-3 innings for New York, allowing one run and a season-high 12 hits. The only extra-base hit was a double to Reed Johnson, who had three hits. He struck out seven without a walk. "I was able to execute at the right moment to get out of the big inning," the always smiling Colon said through a translator. The Mets and Marlins each have 73 wins in the competition for third place in the NL East. New York has two more losses with 10 games to play. Miami, which outhit the Mets 13-12, has 12 games remaining. The Mets must go 8-2 to avoid their sixth straight losing season. Curtis Granderson had an RBI single among his three hits, and the Mets handed Nathan Eovaldi (6-12) his sixth straight losing decision over seven starts, dating to Aug. 13. Eovaldi yielded six runs and six hits over 4 1-3 innings. Flores connected off Penny two batters after Eovaldi was pulled in the fifth. Flores also had six RBIs on June 2 at Philadelphia. "Hes in a career record for innings, so maybe he could be running out of gas. I dont know. The ball seems to still be coming out of his hands. Hes just making mistakes," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said of Eovaldi. "Hes making mistakes and theyre making him pay." TRAINERS ROOM Marlins: Giancarlo Stanton was undergoing tests in Miami to determine if he will be able to play again this year. He was hit in the face by a pitch on Thursday and sustained facial fractures, cuts and dental damage. He posted gruesome photos on his Instagram account Tuesday, showing how much he has healed in the five days. The first photo was taken hours after he was beaned. "Well have an official statement tomorrow, but its probably not looking good for him," Redmond said after the game. Mets: CF Juan Lagares left the game because of a hyperextended right elbow before the fifth inning, and he said the elbow was sore. He will be re-evaluated Wednesday. ... RHP Matt Harvey (elbow surgery) felt great a day after his simulated game thrown from the Citi Field mound. "It was a bright, bright spot for us, knowing he is going to be a hundred per cent," Collins said. UP NEXT Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez (10-6) goes for his fifth career win vs. the Mets. New York RHP Dillon Gee (7-7), however is undefeated in five starts against Miami (3-0, 2.30 ERA). NOISY NEW YORK Redmond and Marlins pitcher Jarred Cosart werent too happy with the sounds coming from the street outside the teams midtown hotel. "Thanks New York construction for beginning your jack hammering at 730 am. Im sure everyone appreciates it. .Nofeel .cleanitup," Cosart tweeted. Redmond said he could hear the work from his room on the 40th floor. Custom Rockets Jersey . Spains victory rendered Frances 3-0 win against Finland meaningless as Spain needed just one point to secure passage to Brazil. Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema scored either side of Joona Toivios own-goal as France advanced to the playoff among the eight best second-place finishers. Tracy McGrady Rockets Jersey . -- A 25-year-old freelance journalist from British Columbia was formally charged on Thursday with a felony, five days after she was arrested in the United States over allegations she threatened to kill her hockey player boyfriend. http://www.therocketsofficial.com/Authentic-Clyde-Drexler-Rockets-Jersey/ .J. - Trying to learn and absorb the new West Coast offence being installed by new offensive co-ordinator Ben McAdoo, the New York Giants wrapped their final organized team activity Thursday before a three-day mini-camp next week.CHICAGO – The Blackhawks have captured two Stanley Cups in five years and on Sunday night they showed the suddenly skidding Maple Leafs exactly why. Chicago outclassed their Original Six rivals for the better part of 60 minutes, sending them to a third straight loss and some soul-searching just days after a fiery 10-1-1 stretch came to an end. The Leafs are admittedly trying to chase the Blackhawks model. Head coach Randy Carlyle expressed admiration for Chicagos up-tempo brand, describing it as the type of game his team would like to implement consistently. Players echoed his thoughts. We can learn from playing teams like that when theyre at the top of their game, said Joffrey Lupul after a 4-0 loss, just the second time the Leafs have been shutout this season. Thats the type of team were striving to become. Not only are the Blackhawks a polished offensive powerhouse, but unlike their Toronto counterparts, they lock things down at the other end, standing on top of the league defensively. Lupul observed how well they manage to play collectively – building off years of experience – Daniel Winnik noting just how effective and nifty they are with the puck in all three zones. Theyre so good with the puck when they have it, said Winnik. The Leafs, a sometimes sloppy outfit with the puck themselves, continue to tumble down the league rankings defensively, yielding an unseemly 15 goals during the three-game skid. Only the likes of Dallas, Edmonton, Buffalo, Arizona, Colorado and injury-ravaged Columbus have been worse this season at keeping pucks of the net. Weve allowed the opposition to score too many goals, said Carlyle following the first of seven straight on the road. Weve got to get our defensive side of [the game] back in order and play a tighter game, specifically on the road. You cant come into a building like this and play the Stanley Cup champs in these situations and think that youre going to play loose hockey. Thats not the way its going to work. Superior goaltending and a powerful offence kept such an approach afloat during much of the month-long stretch of winning hockey, but no longer. James Reimer was forced to make a good number of quality saves to keep things tight for two periods – with a handful of odd-man opportunities to contend with – Antti Raanta tested more and more often as the night wore on, but ultimately perfect with 31 saves. The Blackhawks struck twice in a controlling first frame – the second with just seconds left on the clock – adding two more in the final 20 minutes. They flung the puck around with precision, were often first to loose pucks - Patrick Kane snatching control ahead of Tyler Bozak on Chicagos second of the game – and were seemingly just a step ahead. Theyre a pretty good hockey club obviously, said Carlyle. And they executed at a very high level. They moved the puck around us quite a bit in the hockey game and we just didnt have an answer for it. And then when we did have chances I think their goaltender made some big stops. Carlyle continued to shuffle his line combinations around, mixing and matching furiously in hopes of finding a better mix at even-strength. That process Sunday saw David Booth and Richard Panik both move higher in the lineup (replacing David Clarkson) and Phil Kessel bounce between Nazem Kadri and Tyler Bozak. But it was to no effect against the Blackhawks, who held off a third period Leafs rally. The two teams are obviously at different stages in the curve to success with vastly different amounts of talent. Chicago is an annual Cup contender and an organization that generates a healthy amount of envy around the league. Toronto just trying to get into the postseason dance, looking at a team like the Blackhawks admiringly. Theyre a better team than us right now, Lupul said. Were striving to get to their level and its a work in progress. -- Five Points 1. 2015 Its very likely that Leo Komarov doesnt play again for the Leafs until 2015. Komarov, whos missed the past 11 games with a concussion, has been skating recently and steadily improving. But the 27-year-old continues to experience symptoms related to the concussion, according to a source, even if those symptoms are not quite as severe as those in the initial aftermath of the injury. And while he has taken to the ice briefly with the teams strength coach in recent days, Komarov still has yet to practice with the team, has yet to go through any substantial drills, and will miss the final game before the Christmas break in Dallas. The Leafs will have five games in seven days when they return from the holidays with the possibility of one, maybe two practices in that span. Hell need more than that to return given the precarious nature of the injury and length of time missed. And thats assuming those symptoms disappear – they havent yet – which is obviously far from a guarantee. The likely timelline for Komarovs return, according to the source, is January – perhaps as late as the middle of the month. Swingman Robert Horry Jersey. Leafs general manager Dave Nonis did not respond to a request for comment on the matter. Komarov was among the better Leafs through the first two months this season. He had 16 points in 23 games. -- 2. Embracing Analytics Carlyle likes to jest from time to time about the wave of analytics in the game today, but its evident that hes embracing the movement, even looking to procure a new stat. Frustrated with sloppy play recently, Carlyle wants to create an analytic that tracks how much time the club ends up spending in the defensive zone after a puck is turned over at the offensive blue-line. Its something he intends to present his players with. Its an interesting stat, Carlyle said ahead of the Sunday tilt with Chicago. And were going to be hard and fast with our players to show them whats happening when we do that. As to analytics, Carlyle said, Its just a different way of looking at the game and its a tool. We think that its a valuable tool in some of those situations where we can apply it. -- 3. Improvements Winnik offered one subtle change the Leafs could make to control possession longer, thus giving up fewer opportunities and shots against. Puck support, he said. Sometimes we just get too spread out. Were looking for cross-ice passes as opposed to being close and making short chips or short passes, I think thats kind of an adjustment we might have to make. The Leafs had maybe their three best games of the year after the 9-2 blasting at home by Nashville last month. They played Tampa, Detroit and Pittsburgh, holding all three under 30 shots with a structured brand of hockey rare to this group. Those are games that we really shut, I think, really good offensive teams down, Winnik said. I think the challenge is playing structured every single night. Its not easy and it might not be fun some games because you might feel robotic to what you have to do, but it gets the job done. In the 12 games after that brief three-game window, the Leafs gave up 30 or more in 10 of 12 games. I thought we were a pretty good team defensively for a while there, Winnik continued. Now weve kind of gotten away from it. Maybe weve just got to look back at those games. -- 4. Best Year Yet? It may not look like it, but Phil Kessel is quietly pushing toward what could be the best statistical season of his career. Kessel is on pace for 41 goals, 46 assists and 87 points, all of which would be career-highs. Hes also produced more efficiently than in years past, on pace for less than 270 shots and currently shooting nearly 16 per cent – which would also be a career-high. Now 27, Kessel is producing at about the same rates in even-strength situations as past seasons – though he endured about a month-long cold spell – receiving a big bump from a potent Leafs power-play. Nearly 40 per cent of his offence comes with the man advantage. Kessel, nonetheless, remains a drain on the Leafs in other areas; he is amongst the teams worst possession players and a glaring negative in the subtler points of the game, including in the defensive zone. But the production continues to be there. -- 5. Gardiner With an eye towards Tuesdays game in Dallas, the Leafs took Stephane Robidas out of the lineup against Chicago. Robidas spent the majority of his career with the Stars, Carlyle opting to give him an extra night of rest ahead of what should be an emotional return. In doing so the Leafs flipped Jake Gardiner back into the lineup, a night after scratching him against the Flyers. Gardiner led the Leafs with nearly 23 minutes, on the ice for the Blackhawks final two goals in the third frame. I thought Jake played very well until the third period, Carlyle said, describing Gardiners game as being more determined. I thought the third period was again an area where we just didnt do enough and he got caught in a couple situations, but a young player showed hes got some dynamic abilities out there. -- Stats-Pack 5-2-1 – Leafs record in second half of back-to-back games this season. 22:50 – Ice-time for Jake Gardiner Sunday, leading the Leafs. 41-40 – Possession advantage for Chicago. 13:11 – Ice-time for David Booth Sunday, his second-highest mark of the season. 2.97 – Goals against average for the Leafs this season, 24th overall this season. -- Special Teams Capsule PP: 0-2 Season: 20.3% PK: 1-2 Season: 83.3% -- Quote of the Night Thats the great thing about hockey is we get another crack at it right away in Dallas. Its not like NFL week where youve got to wait a full week before you get back out there again. - Joffrey Lupul, on the nature of a losing streak in the NHL. -- Up Next The Leafs visit the Stars Tuesday before hitting pause for the Christmas break. NFL Jerseys China ' ' '

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