<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Sports]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com en-us Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:49:26 -0400 Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:49:26 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA["Polite" Librarians Talk World Series Smack]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:59:38 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/lib-th.jpg

You know things are getting intense when public librarians start talking smack about the World Series.

In a series of back-and-forth tweets, the city librarians in San Francisco and Kansas City began taunting each other – with book titles, of course – over which team is going to win Game 1 of the World Series Tuesday, the Giants or the Royals.

"We're polite but fierce!" the San Francisco library tweeted. "Get ready to cry some blue tears for @Royals when @SFGiants take the win tonight."

Michelle Jeffers, the social media guru for the San Francisco library and the mastermind of the tweets, had an obvious answer for why she was dissing the Kansas City library 1,500 miles away.

"Well, they started it," she said with a laugh.

In fact, they did. At 11 a.m., the Kansas City Public Library, tweeted: "Hey @SFPublicLibrary we have a book for you!" The link showed this title: "So, You Think You Know Baseball? A Fan's Guide to the Offical Rules," by Peter E. Meltzer.

"What? They think we don't know the rules?" Jeffers joked.

Liesl Christman, the digital contest specialist at the Kansas City library, happily admitted to "starting it." And she said she chose the baseball rules book while flipping through the catalog, trying decide what bibliophile zinger to fling.

"Yeah, I was hoping to get a response," Christman said from Kansas City by phone. "I just didn't realize it was going to go on so long."

The Twitter tete-a-tete went on for so long, partly, because Jeffers wasn't going to take it lying down.

She shot back: "Thanks, but maybe you should read this." And she sent them a link to Dan Fost's book, "The Giants Baseball Experience: A Year-by-Year Chronicle from New York to San Francisco."

Kansas City took aim again, pointing out that the Giants haven't always been in San Francisco - the team was once a favorite in the Big Apple. Christman tweeted a stack of "fairy tale" books with the hashtag #TaketheCrown.

Jeffers fired off another dig, albeit a courteous one, simply stating that the Giants history has been amazing "coast to coast."

"I didn't want to diss them too bad," Jeffers said. "I was trying to be polite because we're librarians here."


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<![CDATA[Cowboys Waive Michael Sam]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:37:30 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GERRY_MCCARTHY__1409761483_39578161-620x503.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys have waived defensive end Michael Sam, the NFL's first openly-gay player, from the team's practice squad.

Sam, 24, joined the Cowboys on Sept. 3 after being cut from the Rams. He was drafted by St. Louis in the 7th round and totaled nine tackles and three sacks in three preseason games before being cut by the Rams. 

He never played in a game for the Cowboys and the team has not released a statement on his departure.

After the announcement, Sam tweeted thanks to team owner Jerry Jones for the opportunity, as well as friends, family, teammates and fans.  He added he was disappointed, but looked forward to fight for an opportunity to play every Sunday in the NFL.

According to DallasCowboys.com, the release of Sam makes room for linebacker Troy Davis who worked out with the team Monday.

Sam is a Texas native who played high school football at Hitchcock High School before playing for Missouri.  While at Missouri, he was named SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year and had 11 1/2 sacks in the 2013 season.

The 6-1 Cowboys are off to their best start since 2007 when then finished the regular season at 13-3.  Monday night they'll face an NFC East rival, the 2-5 Washington Redskins, in Arlington.



Photo Credit: Gerry McCarthy / Dallas Morning News Staff Photographer
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<![CDATA[Caps Cutting Down Opponents' Shots ]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:44:34 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/457222332.jpg

No one needs to be reminded of the Washington Capitals' porous defense last season (or last season as a whole, really), but among their myriad problems was an inability to limit shots against.

As a refresher, the Capitals allowed 33.5 shots per game, 27th in the NHL, and 31.3 shots per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, 26th. That was seemingly alright by former coach Adam Oates and then-general manager George McPhee, the latter of whom told former colleague Katie Carrera that "We play a system where teams get probably more shots the way we play but most of them are from the outside, we’ll allow those."

Coach Barry Trotz, however, does not subscribe to that particular ideology, which is reflected in his team's statistics through five games:   

Shots Against Per Game

  • 2013-14: 33.5 (27th)
  • 2014-15: 25.0 (5th)

Shots Against Per 60 Minutes 5-on-5

  • 2013-14: 31.3 (26th)
  • 2014-15: 23.8 (5th)

Blocked Shots Per Game

  • 2013-14: 14.7
  • 2014-15: 17.2 

Corsi Percentage 5-on-5

  • 2013-14: 47.7% (24th)
  • 2014-15: 52.4% (11th)

(A proxy for puck possession totaling shots on goal, missed shots and blocked shots)

Limited sample size aside, early returns are encouraging. In three of Trotz's first five games, the Capitals have allowed 25 or fewer shots. In 130 regular-season games under Oates, they did so 12 times. 

There are a few reasons for that significant improvement. Trotz encourages his players to block shots, something Oates dissuaded them from doing. A stabilized defensive corps, made so by the offseason acquisitions of Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik, has also helped.

“Nisky’s better than ever I thought he was defensively," forward Jason Chimera said. "His stick is one of the best sticks I’ve seen for a long time. And Orpi, everyone knows Orpik blocks shots. We’ve been pretty solid right now.”

One in particular that stands out is the Capitals, as Trotz presented Monday, "don’t spend particularly a lot of time in our end." A simple eye test proved that Washington struggled to break out effectively last season, with sloppy execution leading to prolonged shifts chasing the puck in the defensive zone. An emphasis on controlled zone exits has led to smoother transitions up ice. 

"When we get into the zone, we’re communicating better with each other and we’re finding the open lanes and we’re finding a way to get out of the zone as opposed to previous years where we got it, we just tried to rim it up the boards or tried to force plays," said forward Eric Fehr, one of Washington's best skaters at exiting the zone last season. "We do a good job of communicating with each other and finding outlets.”

As a result, less of a burden has been placed upon the goaltenders, who are no longer forced to make several game-preserving saves.  

"How we’re playing is the right way," goaltender Braden Holtby said. "It gives everyone a certain job. We know what the group expects out of us as goaltenders that we’re going to have those two or three saves a game that we need to make and it’s not seven or eight of them. It’s a controlled number because everyone’s doing their role so well that we’re keeping our shot totals down, we’re keeping those chances-against down and developing offense through it. What we’ve done on the defensive end is the reason why our record is what it is.”

In describing what his "five, five, five" on-ice philosophy looks like when working at optimum efficiency, Trotz has offered the visual of five red jerseys playing in all three zones at once. The adjustment is ongoing, but the Capitals are already seeing the benefits. 

“That’s a hard part of the game because it’s simple but very difficult to train your mind to go hard in those areas, especially the wingers to get back that extra five feet, take those extra two strides when you don’t think that they mean anything when they do," Holtby said. "The centers to get low, the D-men to get back quick for their partner when sometimes you let up naturally, it's those parts of the game that are extremely tough and people don’t notice and I think we’ve done an outstanding job of it so far.

"It’s those little things that Barry wants to implement and that’s what’s going to make us successful.”


Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cooley Report: Victory Monday at Redskins Park]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 23:43:38 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000008241890_1200x675_345564739830.jpg Monday, Coach Gruden named Colt McCoy to be the new starting QB next week, unless RGIII is cleared to play by this Wednesday. Chris Cooley thinks this could be the start of something good for Washington.]]> <![CDATA[Caps' Wilson Reassigned To Hershey]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:11:44 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/185770109.jpg

His rehabilitation from offseason ankle surgery apparently nearing an end, the Washington Capitals reassigned forward Tom Wilson to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League with the expectation that he will make his season debut this weekend.

The 20-year-old Wilson, one of three rookies to appear in all 82 of his team's games last season, fractured his left fibula in what the Capitals plainly described as a "fall" this summer. The Capitals bandied about potential rehabilitation routes for Wilson, including starting the process with minimal fourth-line minutes in Washington before handling more substantial ice time in Hershey. 

After practice Monday, coach Barry Trotz predicted that Wilson "probably" would appear at some point during the Capitals' three-game, week-long Canadian road trip. 

Instead, Wilson is expected to play in two of the Bears' three games this weekend: Friday against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Saturday against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in Hershey's home opener. 

“Obviously I want to play,” Wilson said Monday. “It’s really tough watching the guys do battle every night and watching from the press box. But you don’t want to rush it back. Hopefully, I’m going to be here for a long time and help this team win some games down the road. So I just want to make sure that when I come back it’s going to be 100 percent and I’m going to be able to help out as best as I can.” 

When Wilson returns to Washington's lineup, where he will slot in provides ample intrigue. Trotz and general manager Brian MacLellan envision a significantly larger role for Wilson, who was exclusively utilized in a fourth-line role last season. In order to provide him with that opportunity, top-six tinkering will be necessary.

Wilson's assignment is not being considered a conditioning loan, which carries a maximum length of 14 days. As he is signed to an entry-level contract, he will also receive an AHL salary, listed by CapGeek as $70,000.


Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Laich Won't Join Caps On Road Trip]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:23:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/193*120/4628567231.jpg

Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich did not practice Monday with an apparent left-shoulder injury and will not join the team on its upcoming three-game road trip through western Canada. 

"I think we're looking at probably the first game back from the trip [Oct. 29 against the Detroit Red Wings]," coach Barry Trotz said. "Not too serious but serious enough where I don't think he will be quite effective for us in the three games.

"It's not a six-week thing. I think it's a week to 10 days and he should be ready to roll."

Laich exited the Capitals' 2-1 shootout victory against the Florida Panthers on Saturday with roughly five minutes remaining in regulation after a shoulder-to-shoulder collision with Shawn Thornton.

Trotz classified the injury as "upper body" after the game, perhaps a somewhat comforting diagnosis considering Laich has missed 70 regular-season games in the past two seasons with a recurring groin injury. 

Washington will place Laich on short-term injured reserve retroactive to Saturday for the time being. In his place, Jay Beagle, who missed the Capitals' first five games with an upper-body injury sustained during the preseason, will be activated from injured reserve and make his season debut against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday. 

The 29-year-old is expected to serve as the right wing on a line with Marcus Johansson and Andre Burakovsky, Laich's linemates for the past two games. Trotz, however, will shuffle his forward lines if necessary.

"It's sort of ideal where Beags can play a number of positions," he said. "I put him out there [at practice] just to see how that might work and look. I've got Plan B in order if it's not working as well as I thought."

Following the game against the Oilers on Wednesday, the Capitals play their first back-to-back set of the season against the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks on Saturday and Sunday.


Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Skins Defeat Titans, Cousins Benched ]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:51:08 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/457502560.jpg

When Kirk Cousins relieved Robert Griffin III several weeks ago when the latter suffered a dislocated ankle, he threw a touchdown on his first pass and it was believed that he could realistically lead the Redskins to success. Perhaps even better than his predecessor. 

Then the Redskins didn't win with Cousins under center and we all found out that he's pretty terrible. That's why he was mercifully benched at halftime for third-stringer Colt McCoy against the Titans on Sunday. On McCoy's first pass of the season, he also threw a touchdown, a 70-yarder to Pierre Garcon. The Cult of Colt -- albeit a different Colt -- was reborn.

One second-quarter sequence more or less encapsulated Cousins' incomprehensible woes. Bashaud Breeland intercepted Charlie Whitehurst at Washington's 42-yard line. On literally the next play, Cousins' pass intended for Andre Roberts was picked off by Wesley Woodyard. For a change of pace, Cousins threw an interception -- his ninth of the season -- in the first half after the other eight came in the second. He also fumbled. His 11 turnovers lead the NFL.

No matter. McCoy's touchdown gave the Redskins a 13-10 lead. Tennessee took a 17-16 in the fourth quarter on a 38-yard catch by Derek Hagan, who spent last season as a sports talk radio analyst. McCoy then marched Washington up the field, setting up a game-winning field goal from Kai Forbath to end a four-game losing streak in a 19-17 victory. 

(Can't you see that I'm trying to craft a legend here? I haven't even gotten to the part where hysterical Redskins fans attempt to trade McCoy in their minds for a multiple second-round draft picks yet! Also, it's sort of ironic that Cousins' first win as a starter came in a game that he wasn't allowed to finish.)

Anyway, there is sure to be some sort of reinvigorated quarterback controversy this week leading up to next Monday's matchup against the Cowboys. You're shocked, I know. Just enjoy the win while you can.


Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.co



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Caps & Canines Join Forces]]> Sat, 18 Oct 2014 10:05:33 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000008220579_1200x675_344588355765.jpg The Caps are going to the dogs, but it is all for a fantastic cause. ]]> <![CDATA[Best of NFL: Week 7]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 23:38:23 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/457509990.jpg Don't miss the most dramatic images from the seventh week of the 2014 NFL season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA["War Machine" Attempts Suicide: PD]]> Sat, 18 Oct 2014 13:54:24 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/War-Machine-vegas-MMA.jpg

A professional mixed martial arts fighter accused of beating his porn star ex-girlfriend and one of her male friends tried to commit suicide in a Las Vegas jail, authorities said.

Jonathan "War Machine" Koppenhaver, 32, was found Tuesday in a cell at the Clark County Detention Center sitting on the floor with his feet resting on the bunk, Las Vegas Metropolitan police said in a statement.

The officer noticed what appeared to be a torn piece of linen around his neck that was tied to the leg of his bunk, police said.

The officer called to Koppenhaver several times, but he did not respond, according to police. When the officer went inside the cell he noticed that Koppenhaver was struggling to breathe, police said.

The officer cut the ligature from Koppenhaver’s neck and his breathing became less strained and he started to speak, police said.

Koppenhaver was moved to a medical isolation cell, where he was placed on suicide watch.

Police said they found a suicide note inside Koppenhaver’s cell.

Koppenhaver, a former porn actor, was booked into Clark County jail in August.

He's accused of beating adult film actress Christy Mack and her male friend at a Las Vegas home on Aug. 8 before fleeing to the Los Angeles suburb of Simi Valley, where he was arrested a week later.

Koppenhaver faces charges including attempted murder and dozens of assault counts.

Koppenhaver made his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut in 2007 and legally changed his name in 2008. He lost his only pay-per-view bout that same year.

He fought out of San Diego for a variety of promotions and had a 14-5 record as a welterweight. He lost his last fight, in Iowa, last October.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Simi Valley Police/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[The 'Skinny: Week 7 v. Titans]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 07:11:39 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/457119396.jpg

Welcome back to the second season of "The 'Skinny," a weekly preview of the local professional football team's upcoming game and opponent. Every Thursday, you can find any and all information* about the Redskins' next opponent in this space.

(*Sometimes, it may be some or most information.)

Game information: Sun., Oct. 19 at 1 p.m. at FedEx Field. Broadcast on CBS.

Last Week: Stop me if you've heard this one before, but the Redskins lost. Again. To whom doesn't matter. (It was Arizona.) Meanwhile, the Titans actually won a game, defeating the Jaguars 16-14.

What's The Skinny?

Oh, you're still here? I commend you on your resolve. They pay me to be here.

Anyway, the Redskins have lost four straight games, three of which were double-digit defeats. The equally mediocre Titans, who just snapped a four-game losing streak of their own, may provide the Redskins with an actual opportunity to win a football game.

My colleague Rick Snider at Washington Post Express has provided five reasons why you should still watch, which are five more than I can think of. 

Statistic Of The Week: Washington currently has a 0.4 percent chance of making the playoffs, so there is little to no hope that a win Sunday will catapult it back into contender status.

What They're Saying 

"I'm losing track."

- Redskins coach Jay Gruden mistakingly stating that the team's record was 1-6 during a press conference this week. The joke writes itself. 


Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Caps' Schmidt Happy to Be Contributing]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 17:06:28 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/454224643.jpg

Nate Schmidt strolls into the locker room after practice, almost bouncing with each step, offering a smile and fist bump to anyone he passes on the way to his stall in the back right corner. 

"Always smiling, that kid," defenseman Mike Green recently remarked, a grin creeping across his face.  

It's an infectious positivity that has characterized the 23-year-old since childhood. That sunny disposition has cheered up countless teammates and once prompted former Hershey Bears coach Mike Haviland to ask him to complement his pleasant off-ice personality with a fiercer attitude on it, something Schmidt is just now getting the hang of. 

“I just enjoy the little things," Schmidt said earlier this week. "Just coming to the rink, being up here, playing in Washington. I enjoy that. But it doesn’t change if I go somewhere else. I just like to have a very positive outlook on everything, so I try to stay positive around the guys. And it’s contagious too.

"When you are positive, it kind of comes full circle, maybe you bring someone else along who maybe brings someone else along. If you bring the right vibes to the rink or you bring the right vibes to your life, it makes a big difference, I think.”

Schmidt, as is his wont, is just happy to be here, but he earned his place on the Capitals' opening-night roster after an impressive preseason. Signed as an undrafted free agent from the University of Minnesota in April 2013, he appeared in 29 games last season as one of four Capitals defensemen to make their NHL debuts, a product of Washington's dubious defensive depth. 

Such an opportunity became significantly less replicable this summer. Displeased with the flimsy blue line, new general manager Brian MacLellan lured veteran defensemen Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik to Washington from the Pittsburgh Penguins on July 1 for a combined cost of nearly $68 million.

With Dmitry Orlov, the presumptive sixth defenseman, recovering from offseason wrist surgery, there was realistically one spot up for grabs come training camp. 

“For me, it actually kind of made me work that much harder," Schmidt said, recalling his initial reaction to the free-agent signings. "I thought to myself like I really need to make an impression. Otherwise, I’ll be just another one of those young guys that are grouped together. With a new staff, they didn’t know much about us because there was such a limited viewing for all of us, so I thought there was something that really needed to step out to try and separate myself from the rest of the young guys."

"I had nothing to lose. The expectation was probably I was supposed to start in Hershey, but if I come in and play well, maybe I get a chance.”

So Schmidt overhauled his offseason training regimen. He began to run less and skate more, honing his signature skating ability and building lower-body strength. He revamped his diet, significantly reducing his body fat percentage. Last month, he arrived in Arlington prepared to impress. 

"The thing that jumps out at you is his ability to skate," said assistant coach Todd Reirden, who was familiar with Schmidt prior to either of them joining the Capitals organization through scouting. "He's an elite skater at all levels of hockey, but you can definitely notice it at the National Hockey League level as well. He clearly made a different commitment in the summer to his off-ice training. He's much stronger in down-low battles and his compete level is at a higher level than the games I watched from last year."

Schmidt skated 13:14 in Washington's season-opening shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens last Thursday, but even more of an affirmation of the Capitals' faith in him came two days later. With Green making his season debut against the Boston Bruins after an upper-body injury held him out of the opener, coach Barry Trotz kept Schmidt in the lineup over veteran Jack Hillen.

“He’s really gotten better and played really well," Trotz said. "He’s turned some really good situations into good offense. His transitional game is really good and he’s such a strong skater.

"I just felt confidence-wise, Nate was in a good place."

Schmidt will tell you the same thing. It no longer unsettles him to be living at the team hotel next door to the practice facility. He doesn't peruse and parse his teammates' statistics looking for proof of some sort of edge anymore. 

With Orlov eligible to return early next month, Schmidt, who is waiver-exempt, may be the most logical corresponding roster move. At the very least, he can make that decision a difficult one.

"I was so nervous about every little thing that happened," Schmidt said. "This year, my experience has showed me that things will happen, you create your own luck and you determine your own destiny with how you play."

He then crosses the street toward his hotel, a spring in his step and a smile on his face.


Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Orioles Lose 2-1 to Royals in Game 3]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 23:28:29 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/457224202.jpg

The Kansas City Royals have embraced the bloop, bunt and sacrifice fly all postseason.

Add in more sparkling defense and that dominant bullpen, and the wild-card Royals are suddenly one win from the World Series.

Billy Butler drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning, and the Royals' steel-curtain bullpen shut down the Baltimore Orioles the rest of the way for a 2-1 win Tuesday night and a commanding 3-0 lead in the AL Championship Series.

Third baseman Mike Moustakas made two marvelous plays as the picture-perfect Royals won their 10th straight postseason game, including all seven this year. Making its first playoff appearance in 29 years, the only thing that's slowed Kansas City so far was a rainout Monday.

Kansas City will send Jason Vargas to the mound for Game 4 on Wednesday, trying to advance to its first World Series since 1985. Miguel Gonzalez will try to help the Orioles stave off elimination.

The Royals' Jeremy Guthrie and Orioles' Wei-Yin Chen hooked up in a tense pitching duel for five innings.

Chen gave up a leadoff single to Nori Aoki in the sixth. Eric Hosmer followed with a one-out single to put runners on the corners, and Orioles manager Buck Showalter brought in hard-throwing reliever Kevin Gausman to face Butler.

The Royals' designated hitter sent a fly ball to left field for the tiebreaking run -- just the latest example of Kansas City doing the little things right.

One of the best bullpens in baseball took care of the rest -- the relievers combined with Guthrie to retire Baltimore's final 16 batters.

After winning pitcher Jason Frasor breezed through the sixth, Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis nailed down the next two innings. All-Star closer Greg Holland worked a perfect ninth for his third save of the series, setting off a wild celebration in the stands.

It was the 13th game to be decided by one run this postseason, matching the record set in 2011 and tied last year. Six games have gone to extra innings, including the Giants' 5-4, 10-inning victory over the Cardinals hours earlier in the NLCS.

After failing to take the lead in the first two games of the series, Baltimore managed to strike first, temporarily silencing a frigid, flag-waving capacity crowd.

It happened in the second inning, when Steve Pearce and J.J. Hardy connected off Guthrie with back-to-back doubles for a 1-0 lead. Ryan Flaherty later drew a walk, but Guthrie retired Nick Hundley and Jonathan Schoop to escape his biggest jam of the night.

Guthrie wound up grinding through five innings against his former team, allowing just one more hit in his first start since Sept. 26 -- a span of nearly three weeks.

Chen matched him pitch-for-pitch until the fourth, when the Royals put together one of their quintessential innings: a pair of bloop singles by Lorenzo Cain and Hosmer, a walk by Butler, and an RBI groundout by Alex Gordon that tied the game.

The Royals played catch up with their gloves, too.

Moustakas made a diving grab to rob Pearce of a single in the fourth.

Then in the sixth, Moustakas tracked a popup by Adam Jones into foul territory, steadied himself at a railing near the dugout, then extended himself to catch the ball and tumbled into the stands.

The blue-clad crowd rose to its feet to give Moustakas a rousing cheer, and many fans were still standing when Butler drove in the go-ahead run in the bottom half of the inning.

By the time the Royals' "Big Three'' of Herrera, Davis and Holland had closed it out, the small-market and perennially downtrodden Royals were on the verge of another postseason sweep.

STATS AND STREAKS

Orioles DH Nelson Cruz had his streak of six straight multihit playoff games end. He was 0 for 4. ... Pearce had been 0 for 9 in the series before his double in the second inning.

UP NEXT

Orioles: Gonzalez has not started since his final regular-season outing on Sept. 28. "I'm going to try as best as possible to give our team a chance,'' he said.

Royals: Vargas has also had a long stretch without a start, last taking the hill against the Angels in Game 1 of AL Division Series on Oct. 2. "I'll be ready to go,'' he said.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Laich Earns Honest Abe's Beard for Sacrificing Body]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 20:56:20 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/brooks+like+honest+abe+beard.jpg Brooks Laich earned Honest Abe's Beard from his Washington Capitals teammates for sacrificing his body to block a shot in a win over Boston. Jason Pugh reports.]]> <![CDATA[MCM Weekend Events for All ]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 19:33:43 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20141014+Marine+Corps+Marathon+File.jpg

The Marine Corps Marathon invites runners and spectators to attend a variety of events held throughout the Marathon's big weekend later this month.

Events start on Thursday, Oct. 23 with the Health & Fitness Expo, and continue until Oct. 26.

Health & Fitness Expo presented by GE
DC Armory
The MCM Health & Fitness Expo will showcase more than 200 exhibitors and displays from Thursday to Saturday. The Expo will feature running products, access to running industry experts, free massages and food samples. Race packets should also be picked up at the Expo. The event is open to the public. The Expo will be open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. 

First Timers Pep Rally 
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
On Friday, this event celebrates the 10,600 first-time marathon runners taking part in the MCM. The event includes a First Timers Pep Rally, special dinner, free appetizers, and cash bar. Admission is $10 per runner and $15 per guest. The event will also include a MCM Expert Panel Q&A, music, cheerleaders, and giveaways. The event will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

MCM Runners bRUNch 
MCM Finish Line
On Saturday at 9 a.m., MCM staff will lead a 5K warm up run at the Marine Corps Memorial. Brunch will be served adjacent to the MCM and MCM10K finish line, and all participants will receive a commemorative bib and MCM coin.

MCM Kids Run 
Pentagon North Parking Lot
3,000 children from ages 5-12 will take part in the one-mile MCM kids run. Participants will receive a T-shirt, medal, and snacks upon completion. Opening ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. Saturday.

MCM Runners Conference 
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
On Saturday, MCM staff will hold two 60-minute programs that feature local and national running experts as well as guided panel discussions. The sessions are free, but runners must pre-register to attend. The event beings at 1 p.m. 

Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
Prepare mentally and physically at the Carbo Dining in the evening before the race. The event, starting at 6 p.m. Saturday will include world class speakers, Marine Corps style live entertainment, prize giveaways and a perfect buffet for pre-race carb loading. 

MCM10K
National Mall
10,000 people will run 6.2 miles Sunday through the streets of D.C. in the MCM 10k. Runners will complete their race parallel to the MCM, finishing at the Marine Corps War Memorial. The race starts at 7:55 a.m.

MCM Finish Festival
Rosslyn, Virginia
Celebrate the 29th MCM from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the post-race festival as runners make their way to Rosslyn from the finish area. The festival will include a Restaurant Row, live entertainment, giveaways and sponsor displays.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Report Links GoPro to Brain Injury]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 20:12:17 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP886669197394.jpg

The French commentator whose reported remarks had sparked reports that a GoPro camera may have played a role in Formula 1 racing legend Michael Schumacher's brain injury is now urging everyone to "stop all speculation."

Schumacher, 45, has been immobile and unable to speak after he fell and hit a rock in a skiing accident last year while he was wearing a GoPro camera mounted on his helmet.

European news outlets had reported that racing commentator Jean-Louis Moncet told Europe 1 radio that Schumacher's son Mick told him the placement of the camera contributed to the brain injury — but Moncet denied that Tuesday on Twitter.

"The problem for Michael was not the hit, but the mounting of the GoPro camera that he had on his helmet that injured his brain," Eurosport had earlier quoted Moncet as having said.

But Moncet appeared to contradict that suggestion in a tweet Tuesday.
"STOP ALL SPÉCULATION," he tweeted. "Mick could not say something about camera or injury of Michael because we did not speak together."
Following the initial report linking the GoPro to Schumacher's injury, shares of the Bay Area-based company plummeted, losing as much as 10 percent in trading Monday, Business Insider reported.

A GoPro spokesman declined to comment on the report linking the camera to Schumacher's injury but said the company was monitoring the situation closely.

Schumacher emerged from a medically-induced coma in June but remains in serious condition.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[2014 Marine Corps Marathon Route]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 19:34:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20141014+Marine+Corps+Marathon+File2.jpg

The Marine Corps Marathon is nicknamed the “Marathon of the Monuments” for good reason: Runners experience the scenic landscapes and spectacular national monuments of Arlington, Virginia and Washington, D.C. as they make their way through the 26.2 mile marathon course.

Last year, race organizers changed the route to be flatter than it was in the previous six years.

In 2014, runners will start their course at 7:55 a.m. in Arlington and head to D.C. after a few miles. At mile four, NBC4 will be on the Key Bridge to welcome the runners.

Then, as they travel through D.C., runners pass the Kennedy Center, the Lincoln Memorial and the Smithsonian museums.

Along the scenic Potomac, runners will travel through the “Run to Honor” section, where Ohio Drive is decorated with American flags to commemorate fallen service members.

After traveling along the National Mall, the course moves back to Virginia for the last 10K. Runners will witness the energy of the Crystal City Family Festival, travel along Army-Navy Drive and experience a variety of entertainment along Crystal Drive.

The course then takes runners towards the Pentagon on Boundary Channel Drive, and for the first time, runners will remain on that road toward the Pentagon’s North parking lot. As the finish line approaches, the course unfolds along the Arlington National Cemetery.

Runners will face a final uphill battle as they reach the finish at the access road to the Marine Corps War Memorial.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Randle Faces Shoplifting Charge]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 20:31:13 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/joseph-randle-mugshot-inset.jpg

Frisco police say they arrested Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle for allegedly shoplifting $123 in underwear and cologne Monday night at Stonebriar Centre Mall.

According to police, Randle, 22, was stopped by Dillards loss prevention employees and detained at about 8:15 p.m. after they saw him make a purchase at a counter and then walk to another part of the store where he allegedly put a tester bottle of Gucci Guilty Black cologne ($84) and a 2-pack of black Polo underwear ($39.50) into his Dillards bag.

When he left the store and into the parking lot, he was stopped by store employees.

After Frisco police compared the contents of Randle's Dillards bag with his receipt and watched surveillance footage of him in the store, he was placed under arrest on a Class B misdemeanor for theft between $50 and $500 and put into a Frisco police car.

While there, the officer said Randle said if he knew he was going to be arrested he would have just kept walking to his car.

According to the police report, Randle told officers that he didn't pay for the merchandise because he did not want to take the time to do it.

After being booked into jail, Randle posted $350 bond and was released at about 1:20 a.m. Tuesday.

Randle, a second-year player out of Oklahoma State who was drafted by the Cowboys in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, is a backup running back for the team. In six games this season, Randle has carried the ball 16 times for 113 yards. In 2013, the back carried the ball 54 times in 13 games for a total of 164 yards.

According to RotoWorld, in 2013 Randle signed a four-year $2.39 million contract that included a $188,820 signing bonus.  His base salary in 2014 is $495,000. He is set to make $585,000 in 2015, $675,000 in 2016 and is a free agent in 2017.

At this time, there has been no statement from the Dallas Cowboys.

NBC 5's Catherine Ross contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Air Force Captain Proposes to Cheerleader During Game]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 13:05:30 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/212*120/457130192.jpg

The Arizona Cardinals may have defeated the Washington Redskins on Sunday, but Cardinals cheerleader Claire Thorton, 23, was the big winner when her Air Force Captain boyfriend got down on one knee during a break in the game and proposed.

Eric Straub, 26, dressed in his flight suit, completed a successful mission when Thorton said “Yes!” in front of thousands of screaming NFL fans who watched the proposal on the stadium’s Jumbotron.


"It was pretty amazing,'' Thornton told TODAY.com. "I was shaking really bad. He's like 'Put the ring on!' And I'm like, you put it on me!'

Thorton thought that Straub, an F-15 pilot in the Air Force, was getting a special welcome home from the Cardinals during the game since he had just returned from a deployment in the Middle East the night before.

Meanwhile, the airman had already organized with Cardinals officials that he would propose to his cheerleader girlfriend when he came out on the field.


“It was so loud you couldn't hear anything. I had all these things I wanted to say, but once I got down on my knee, I had no idea what to say. I think all I said was, 'I love you marry me!' It was funny.''



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Images From Cardinals 30, Redskins 20]]> Mon, 13 Oct 2014 20:11:01 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/182*120/457132978.jpg Check out some of the images from Sunday's Redskins game.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Cooley Report: RGIII Deserves a Shot]]> Mon, 13 Oct 2014 19:46:34 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/455437016.jpg Chris Cooley says it's clear Robert Griffin III deserves another shot at quarterback when he returns from injury in light of Kirk Cousins' recent play.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[ALCS Game 3 Postponed Because of Rain]]> Mon, 13 Oct 2014 17:09:36 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/royals-AP692508127407.jpg

Game 3 of the AL Championship Series has been postponed because of rain.

The game was pushed back from Monday to Tuesday at 8:07 p.m. EDT. Wei-Yin Chen starts for the Orioles against former Baltimore pitcher Jeremy Guthrie.

Game 4 was rescheduled Wednesday at 4:07 p.m. EDT, and both managers said they could bring back their Game 1 pitchers on regular rest: James Shields for Kansas City and Chris Tillman for Baltimore. They also could remain with the starters who had been slated to pitch Game 4: the Royals' Jason Vargas and the Orioles' Miguel Gonzales.

Kansas City leads the best-of-seven series 2-0. Game 5, if needed, would be Thursday at 4:07 p.m. EDT.

Major League Baseball Senior Vice President Peter Woodfork says: "We want a game we know we can get through nine innings, hopefully play dry baseball, not risk player safety or uncomfortable fans.''



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Cardinals Edge Giants to Tie NLCS ]]> Mon, 13 Oct 2014 09:08:34 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/457139424.jpg

The St. Louis Cardinals have evened the National League Championship Series 1-1 after three late homers fueled St. Louis to a 5-4 walk-off win over the San Francisco Giants.

Cardinals outfielder Kolten Wong delivered a walk-off home run off Sergio Romo in the bottom of the ninth inning to end the night.

With the Giants ahead 3-2 in the seventh inning, Cardinals pinch-hitter Oscar Taveras tied the game with a home run off reliever Jean Machi. Matt Adams followed with another home run off Hunter Strickland in the eighth inning that put the Cardinals ahead 4-3.

The Giants tied the game in top of the ninth after a wild pitch from Trevor Rosenthal scored pinch-runner Matt Duffy, who was running on the pitch, from second base.

The Cardinals won after losing All-Star catcher Yadier Molina to a strained oblique muscle in the sixth. Molina was getting further tests and manager Mike Matheny said it ``didn't look real good.''

"We just knew we had to keep grinding,'' Wong said. "When you lose someone like Yadi, it's definitely tough for us, but we told ourselves we've been going through this all year. Grinding up and down, not getting any easy pass, so we're all so confident.''

It was a rare postseason failure for the reliable San Francisco bullpen, which allowed a home run in each of the final three innings.

"They are the reason we're in this situation, and you give (the Cardinals) credit,'' manager Bruce Bochy said. "They threw out some good at-bats and we made a couple of mistakes and they took advantage of them.''

The best-of-seven series resumes Tuesday night with Game 3 in San Francisco with John Lackey going for St. Louis and Tim Hudson starting for the Giants.

Wong hit an 0-1 pitch from Sergio Romo for his second big home run this postseason. The rookie's seventh-inning drive was the decisive blow in Game 3 of the NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

St. Louis, last in the NL with 105 home runs during the regular season, has hit 11 homers in six playoff games, seven in the seventh inning or later. Earlier, Matt Carpenter connected for the fourth time this postseason.

Seth Maness retired Pablo Sandoval on a comebacker with the bases loaded to end the top of the ninth, and got the win.

Maness came on after closer Trevor Rosenthal couldn't hold a one-run lead. Rosenthal's pitch bounced off the glove off backup catcher Tony Cruz and Duffy, running on a full count, never broke stride and slid home with the tying run.

Molina bent over in pain after a swing and didn't make it out of the batter's box on a double-play ball in the sixth. Wincing, he gingerly walked off the field.

Adams, whose three-run shot off Clayton Kershaw put St. Louis in front for good in their clinching playoff win over Dodgers, homered off Giants reliever Hunter Strickland.

Gregor Blanco's fourth postseason hit in 31 at-bats put the Giants up 3-2 in the seventh, but Taveras re-tied it in the bottom half with a homer off Jean Machi just inside the right-field foul pole.

Carpenter hit a solo home run off Jake Peavy in the third. Randal Grichuk singled with the bases loaded in the fourth to make it 2-0.

The Giants came back against Lance Lynn.

UP NEXT

Giants: Hudson pitched well vs. Washington in Game 2 of the Division Series, allowing a run in 7 1-3 innings.

Cardinals: Lackey has a win each of the last three postseason series and is the active leader with 111 postseason innings.

Click here for full Giants coverage.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Skins Lose Fourth Straight Against Cardinals]]> Mon, 13 Oct 2014 07:00:00 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/174*120/457128090.jpg

The Redskins lost again, but you already knew that.

This time, they did so to the Cardinals by a 30-20 score, their fourth straight loss in a season that most of you probably wish would already end. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it isn't even half over. 

After falling behind 7-0 on a Michael Floyd 20-yard touchdown catch, the Redskins countered when Kirk Cousins threaded a pass to DeSean Jackson, who took off for a 64-yarder. All three of Jackson's touchdowns this season have been at least 60-yard catches, justifying his deep-threat reputation. He may have had another one later if not for Chris Chester, who happens to also play for the Redskins, knocking Jackson over as he charged downfield to block for the wide receiver.

Larry Fitzgerald caught a touchdown late in the second quarter to give Arizona the lead for good. Then there were some field goals, Andre Roberts fumbled and Brian Orakpo dropped a sure interception that people got mad about. Another field goal followed. Oh, and Cousins threw more late-game interceptions, the last of which was returned for a touchdown. That more or less covers it. 

The Redskins will face the Titans at FedEx Field next Sunday.


Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Best of NFL: Week 6]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 11:36:21 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP583404611673.jpg Don't miss the most dramatic images from the sixth week of the 2014 NFL season.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Win Game 1 of NLCS]]> Sun, 12 Oct 2014 00:48:10 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/457083614.jpg

Madison Bumgarner pitched shutout ball into the eighth inning and the San Francisco Giants combined just enough hitting with a couple of defensive flubs by St. Louis to beat the Cardinals 3-0 Saturday night in the NL Championship Series opener.

Bumgarner set a major league postseason record with 26 2-3 consecutive scoreless innings on the road.

The Giants lefty was in complete command while 20-game winner Adam Wainwright failed to last even five innings for the Cardinals.

San Francisco has won 12 of its last 13 in the postseason, including three straight to erase a 3-1 deficit in the 2012 NLCS against St. Louis.

Jake Peavy gets the Game 2 start for the Giants on Sunday night against Lance Lynn.

Bumgarner, who began the playoffs by throwing a shutout at Pittsburgh in the wild-card game, gave up four hits in 7 2-3 innings.

Bumgarner bested the mark of 23 straight postseason scoreless innings on the road set by Art Nehf of the New York Giants from 1921-24.

The Cardinals' threatened against him only in the seventh on consecutive one-out singles by Yadier Molina and Jon Jay, but Kolten Wong tapped out and pinch-hitter Tony Cruz fanned.

The Giants' bullpen finished with hitless relief as Sergio Romo got the last out in the eighth and Santiago Casilla closed for a save.

Wainwright failed for the second straight postseason start. And this time, there was no late comeback against a lefty for the Cardinals _ they twice did it against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw in the NL Division Series.

Wainwright was 20-9 during the regular season, including 5-0 with a 1.38 ERA in September with two complete games and a shutout. He's piled up a major league-high 512 2-3 innings the last two years, and perhaps the workload is finally getting to him.

The right-hander admitted before this series that his pitching elbow had bothered him during a start in the division series, but insisted he was fine.

In two October starts this year, Wainwright has permitted eight earned runs in nine innings. He's 0-4 with a 5.14 ERA in his last five postseason appearances _ he lasted 4 2-3 innings against the Giants after going just 4 1-3 innings in the NLDS opener vs. the Dodgers.

Bumgarner and the Giants silenced a sellout crowd of 47,201 in a game that began in 55-degree chill.

The Cardinals twice failed to seal the deal defensively in the Giants' two-run second.

Third baseman Matt Carpenter's fielding error with the bases loaded on Gregor Blanco's soft one-hop liner at his feet was their first error of the postseason.

Pablo Sandoval doubled to start the inning when rookie right fielder Randal Grichuk gloved the ball but couldn't hang on as he ran into the wall. Travis Ishikawa, 0 for 5 with five strikeouts and a walk against Wainwright, had an RBI single on a jam-shot bloop just over Carpenter's head in shallow left.

Wong misplayed a double-play ball at second base in the third, and Brandon Belt's sacrifice fly made it 3-0.

NEXT UP

Giants: Getting reunited with Bruce Bochy helped the 40-year-old Peavy turn back the clock. He worked 5 2-3 scoreless innings and won the division opener against Washington, a continuation on a strong finish _ 6-4 with a 2.17 ERA _ after Boston dealt him to the Giants at the July trading deadline.

Cardinals: Lynn has been a solid No. 2 behind Wainwright, an innings-eater who has better learned to take setbacks in stride. He's won at least 15 games all three years in the rotation, and this year worked three or fewer runs in all but four of his 33 starts, and he's 27-12 career at home. "I'll still say he's probably one of the most underrated pitchers in the game,'' manager Mike Matheny said.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Michael Morse was added to the Giants' roster in place of rookie outfielder Gary Brown, but did not play. Morse had been limited to two at-bats since Aug. 31 with a strained oblique muscle. Brown was on the division roster, but was not used.

 For full Giants coverage, click here.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hernandez's Phone Won't Be Tossed]]> Sun, 12 Oct 2014 15:15:22 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/b5be81e2cbc24dfe9245749f34341294.jpg

Aaron Hernandez's personal cell phone will not be thrown out as evidence in his Bristol County, Massachusetts, murder trial, ruled Judge Susan Garsh on Friday.

The defense had argued that they were misled by the prosecution into believing the search warrant for the phone required that they surrender it. It was ultimately taken by state police at their Boston law office.

The prosecution argued that police had the proper search warrant for it, and that it was seized lawfully from Hernandez's attorneys.

Judge Susan Garsh found that Hernandez's lawyers voluntarily surrendered the phone and weren't duped by the police.

Garsh also ruled today that a rifle found in Hernandez's Toyota, at his North Attleboro home, will not be thrown out.

She however, ruled that a white towel, taken from Hernandez's home, won't be allowed into trial.

Prosecutors argued the towel was important to the case, because a similar towel was found at the Oden Lloyd murder scene.

Garsh further ruled that marijuana, and a bottle of Vitamin Water that was found in Hernandez's home, was properly seized by police and will be admissible into trial.

Prosecutors have alleged that a cigar with marijuana was found at the murder scene.

Prosecutors have also said the Vitamin Water was the same flavor and brand that was allegedly found in the vehicle reportedly rented by Hernandez and used in the murder.

Previously, in another big win for the prosecution, the Judge ruled that Hernandez's own home video surveillance system will be allowed into trial.

Prosecutors say video shows Hernandez allegedly holding a gun both before and after Lloyd's murder.

In a prior win for the defense, Judge Garsh threw out .45 caliber bullet casings seized from Hernandez's Franklin "flop house," along with a .45 caliber magazine found in his Hummer.

Prosecutors have said they never found the murder weapon that killed Llloyd, but that it was a .45 caliber Glock.

Garsh also threw out iPads and cell phones seized from Hernandez's North Attleboro home. It's unclear of the significance of those items to the case.

Hernandez is behind bars, awaiting a January trial in the Lloyd case. He's pleaded not guilty.

He's also pleaded not guilty to two more murders out of Boston.

His fiance, Shayanna Jenkins, will not have her perjury case thrown out either.

According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, there is direct evidence linking Jenkins to 14 separate perjurious statements.

]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Chicago Marathon]]> Sun, 12 Oct 2014 10:59:38 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/maraton+picture+for+website.jpg

Keep it right here to watch all of the action in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

The 26.2-mile course snakes through 29 neighborhoods as diverse as Lincoln Park and Pilsen, and participants will represent all 50 states and more than 100 countries.

All indications are that it's going to be a fast race. 

The elite competition will feature five men with personal records of 2:05 or faster, and four women with the potential to break 2:20, marathon officials have announced. Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele (2:05:04) and Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge (2:04:05) will resume their historic rivalry in the race.

The two have raced more than a dozen times since squaring off for the first time at the 2003 IAAF World Championships in the 5,000m. Also in the mix will be Kenya's Sammy Kitwara (2:05:16), Bernard Koech (2:04:53) and Dickson Chumba (2:05:42).

With all this elite talent, last year's course record of 2:03:45, set by Kenya's Dennis Kimetto, could be in jeopardy. Only five men in history have broken 2:04 on record-eligible courses. The top women include 2013 champion Rita Jeptoo (2:18:57), Kenya's Florence Kiplagat (2:19:44), Jemima Sumgong (2:20:48) and Ethiopia's Birhane Dibaba (2:22:30).

Jeptoo ran her first career sub 2:20 in last year's race, the fifth fastest time in Chicago Marathon history, and she returns this fall after smashing the Boston Marathon course record in April, a blazing 2:18:57.

She could become the third woman in history to run three career sub 2:20s. Jeptoo's training partner, Jemima Sumgong, returns to Chicago in October. The 2013 Rotterdam Marathon champion placed second in Chicago last year with a personal best of 2:20:48.

"This year's field is built for speed and record-breaking performances," said Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. "We have big expectations due to this group of men and women who know how to race, dig deep and win."


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<![CDATA[Caps Well-Equipped to Handle Low-Scoring Games]]> Sat, 11 Oct 2014 14:14:16 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/hockey-AP769275249523.jpg

For all of the widespread change enacted and trumpeted by the Washington Capitals this offseason, a remnant of frustrating seasons past manifested itself in their season opener Thursday. The Capitals, despite a spirited and occasionally dominant performance against the Montreal Canadiens, lost a 2-1 shootout decision. 

"Just couldn't get that second goal," defenseman Brooks Orpik lamented after the game. "Second goal is huge in this league."

Realistically, the Capitals may have needed at least a third. Since the start of the 2011-12 season, Washington is 7-68-13 in games in which it scores two or fewer goals, the fewest such victories in the NHL over that span. Obviously, it was just one game and not necessarily a forewarning, but a lingering issue nonetheless.

"Today's NHL, it's not that easy, players are too good," forward Nicklas Backstrom said. "It's going to be low-scoring games. That's the way it is these days. It's not going to be 7-1, 6-1, games like that." 

If one were to seek solace in defeat, however, the Capitals displayed a level of tenacity that has too often been fleeting. They controlled puck possession at an impressive clip, particularly in a first period that featured a 15-2 shot advantage. They forechecked aggressively, no better exemplified by the events that led to rookie Andre Burakovsky's first career NHL goal.

Washington, as coach Barry Trotz had envisioned upon being hired in May, embodied the industrious, hard-to-play-against teams that routinely find success in the NHL. 

"The way you can judge sometimes is when the other team’s flipping the puck out of the zone all the time," defenseman Nate Schmidt said. "Our guys were in their face all night and I thought they did a great job of being able to get on that forecheck, being able to create havoc back there. Their [defensemen] didn’t want to get hit anymore by the end of the game."

The Capitals' loss Thursday may have added another negative low-scoring result to a seemingly ever-growing pile, but they looked more well-equipped to handle that type of game than they have in some time. 

"As i said to our guys, I said, 'There's going to be games where we'll play really well and we'll lose. And there will be games where we don't play very well and we're going to win,'" Trotz said. "And that one was more on the 'we played pretty well and lost the game' [variety], a team survived and survived our onslaught. 

"You've got to be comfortable when it's uncomfortable. I thought we were pretty comfortable. If we did that 10 times in a row, that situation, I bet you we get it 10 times in a row."


Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[The 'Skinny: Week 6 v. Arizona]]> Fri, 10 Oct 2014 11:17:53 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/456701426.jpg

Welcome back to the second season of "The 'Skinny," a weekly preview of the local professional football team's upcoming game and opponent. Every Thursday, you can find any and all information* about the Redskins' next opponent in this space.

(*Sometimes, it may be some or most information. And it was Friday this week.)

Week 6 Opponent: Arizona Cardinals (3-1)

Game Information: Sun., Oct. 12 -- 4:25 p.m. ET -- University of Phoenix Stadium -- FOX

Last Week: What do you know, the Redskins lost in primetime again, this time to the Seattle Seahawks by a 27-17 score. The Cardinals suffered their first loss of the season in a 41-20 blowout against the Denver Broncos. 

What's The Skinny?

The hubbub surrounding the Redskins this week involved their apparently jovial postgame disposition following the loss to the Seahawks, their third in a row. Scathing columns were written, and Twitter fights between media members and the players were had

"Hopefully it was taken out of context or what have you, but I have no idea what it was like," coach Jay Gruden told reporters. "If it was upbeat, it shouldn't be, and that is disappointing that it was because they played their hearts out. They played hard, I thought. We lost the game. No reason to be upbeat, though, whatsoever."

If Washington wants a reason to celebrate, it can find one by defeating Arizona on Sunday. The first-place Cardinals are not offensively potent; their 1,222 yards of total offense so far this season ranks 31st out of 32 teams. Defensively, Arizona allows 302.5 passing yards per game, also second-worst in the NFL.

Third-string quarterback Logan Thomas, a former Virginia Tech Hokie, may start Sunday. Carson Palmer has missed three games with a "dead" nerve in his throwing shoulder and backup Drew Stanton suffered a concussion last week.

Statistic of the Week: The Redskins have defeated the Cardinals in all seven meetings between the teams since 2001. Arizona has not won in the series since 2000.

What They're Saying

"We'll formulate a game plan to beat Washington and then see what quarterback is available to do what he does best."

- Arizona coach Bruce Arians, making perfect sense 


Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[New Head Coach Brings Optimism to Washington Capitals]]> Thu, 09 Oct 2014 18:29:43 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/Barry+Trotz+494046869.JPG News4's Jason Pugh reports on the Caps' new head coach and upcoming season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mayhem Miller Arrested in Standoff]]> Fri, 10 Oct 2014 00:46:35 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/10-9-14_Jason+Miller+Mugshot+MMA+Standoff.jpg

A three-hour SWAT standoff ended Thursday at the Mission Viejo home of Mixed Martial Arts fighter Jason "Mayhem" Miller when police stormed in and took him into custody.

Thursday's incident was unusual as Miller tweeted about the standoff and even encouraged people to go to his address to watch "the absolute waste of resources going on outside of my house right now."

Mike Tierney took him up on the offer.

"It's very voyeuristic," Tierney said. "It's just something to do. I'm off today and I live two miles from here."

It started at 10:30 a.m. when Orange County sheriff's deputies tried to take Miller into custody on
an arrest warrant in a domestic violence and stalking case, but he ran back into his home and refused to come out, Orange County sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock said.

It ended about 2:15 p.m., when SWAT officers placed a device on his door that blew off the locks, prompting Miller to surrender, Hallock said.

Miller defended himself in a tweet, saying "I have not committed any crime, but yet i am forced HERE."

Miller's attorney, Joseph H. Low IV, told City News Service the raid was unnecessary.

"Jason had been under the care of a doctor for an illness," Low said. "He has been waiting for me to come back to town so that we could go back to court to continue to prove his innocence. I wish the police had informed me of their raid. We could have saved the taxpayers a lot of money. There was no
reason at all for them to get all dressed up in their SWAT costumes."

Twitter user @pjuric, who claimed to be a neighbor of Miller, begged him to give himself up, writing, "If not to save himself, please think of your neighbors and our kids!"

Some of his Tweets include:
"I WISH YOU NO HARM. I respect the Police, but this is overkill, for something that would be settled with one piece of paperwork from OCBAIL;

ALL THIS because I wanted to help raise a young boy into a man, and his mama wenr off her meds, and an ambitious DA thinks mayhem is BAD.

i woke up late, and couldn't leave because there is a highly equipment regiment of wanna be soldiers outside my house reminding me that, 'WE WON'T GO AWAY!'

i have the proper paper work, at my office in  HYPERLINK 'https://twitter.com/VaporLabsIrvine/'@VaporLabsIrvine, i was due to go to court this morning, but the LFPD chase me all last night.

if you would like to see this drama unfold, please, come to 26262 Avenida Calidad, Mission Viejo, CA 92691;

Mental health services for one single mother immigrant from the Philipines, who I know was well intentioned, but has a mental condition... now i have to pay a debt for her mistakes.

Just before he surrendered, Miller Tweeted, "They are gearing up like the Bin Laden raid, and I just want to be heard in court, to dispel all of the lies."

He also Tweeted to sheriff's deputies, "They threw a phone box threw a plate glass window. Disrespect. I would like to give up, but not with 50 RAMBOS out there. Not cool."

He also vowed to have the sheriff pay for the damage to his home in one of his Tweets.

Miller is facing two counts of corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant and stalking, all felonies, and a misdemeanor count of violating a protective order, according to court records. He was last due in court Sept. 8 for a pretrial hearing, but he was declared a fugitive and a warrant for his arrest
was issued.

Court records show a $200,000 bond was forfeited on Sept. 8.

This wasn't the first brush with the law for Miller, 33, who had vandalism charges against him dismissed in 2012, but found himself in trouble with the law again for the domestic violence case in August of last year.

A misdemeanor vandalism charge against Miller was dismissed Nov. 21, 2012, after he was accused in August of 2012 of breaking at least one picture frame and damaging a propane tank and other items while spray-painting inside Mission Hills Church, causing at least $400 in damage.

Miller was arrested in August of 2012 when the church's pastor called sheriff's deputies to report he found books and CDs scattered throughout the Alicia Parkway church, along with broken picture frames and fire extinguisher dust on the first and second floors.

Miller, who was an Ultimate Fighting Championship competitor, was found on the second floor nude, although he did have some sort of cloth wrapped around him.

City News Service contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Orange County Sheriff's Department]]>
<![CDATA[Caps Expect Johansson to Shoot More]]> Wed, 08 Oct 2014 14:53:20 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/185*120/476153363.jpg

Ask Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson about which specific areas of his game that he would like to improve and he will often respond by pointing to his on-ice assertiveness.

Entering his fifth NHL season, which begins Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens, that particular assessment has not changed. 

"I'm thinking I'm going to try to take the puck to the net a little more and shoot a little more," Johansson said Tuesday during the Capitals' annual media luncheon. "I think I've always been a pass-first guy, but sometimes you need to score yourself and shoot and create stuff from shooting. That's something I'm trying to get into my game a little more."

Johansson has established himself as an productive puck distributor. At 5-on-5 last season, he ranked second among his teammates with 19 assists, a team-leading 16 of which were primary. He also led the Capitals in what since-shuttered website ExtraSkater.com referred to as "setup passes," a rough estimate of passes that directly led to a shot attempt

The 24-year-old, though, was historically ineffective in terms of goal-scoring. He became the first player in NHL history to play at least 1,400 minutes and score two or fewer even-strength goals. In all, he has scored five 5-on-5 goals over the past two seasons despite primarily playing with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, two of the NHL's premier offensive catalysts. 

Of course, his two-year average (2012-14) of 4.11 5-on-5 shots per 60 minutes, which ranks 139th out of 141 forwards with at least 1,500 minutes of ice time, may have something to do with that.  

"He's been a little bit of a pass-first player and it shows in his goal totals," coach Barry Trotz said. "I need Marcus to pull the trigger a little bit more than he has. And he will. He's going to get some good looks and I've seen him shoot the puck, so I know he can score some goals for us."

The Capitals expect the fleet-footed Johansson to attain that long sought-after assertiveness by relying on his smooth-skating ability to create scoring chances.

"For me, Marcus is about speed. You should be able to notice his speed every night," general manager Brian MacLellan said. "If he doesn't pop out at you speed-wise, I don't think he's going to be an effective player. We'd like to see him skating and backing off defensemen with opportunities to shoot the puck as a result of that speed."

Throughout his career, Johansson has proven, albeit sporadically, that he is capable of more confident play. To display that style more consistently, he admits that he will have to reprogram his on-ice mindset. 

"Naturally, it comes that I try to find another guy," said Johansson, who will start the season playing on the second line with rookie center Andre Burakovsky and right wing Troy Brouwer. "The game is so quick right now, it's a shoot-first league and you have to take that into your game.

"It's something I'm excited about. It's not bad to score more goals."


Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Nationals Lose to Giants 3-2, Season Ends]]> Wed, 08 Oct 2014 01:27:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/456818046.jpg

The San Francisco Giants are on another October roll in their every-other-year pattern of postseason success.

Joe Panik scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning on Aaron Barrett's bases-loaded wild pitch, and the Giants edged the Washington Nationals 3-2 Tuesday night to return to the NL Championship Series.

The wild-card Giants won 3-1 in the best-of-five Division Series by also scoring on a walk and a groundout. Hunter Pence turned in a defensive gem in right field that helped hold the Nationals at bay as San Francisco won for the 11th time in its last 12 postseason games.

"It's been a remarkable journey. I wouldn't trade it for the world," Pence said.

Santiago Casilla put the potential tying run aboard in the ninth on a two-out walk to Bryce Harper, then retired Wilson Ramos on a grounder to end it. Casilla was mobbed on the mound as fireworks shot off from the center-field scoreboard.

San Francisco travels to St. Louis for Game 1 on Saturday. It's a rematch of the 2012 NLCS, when the Giants rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Cardinals on the way to their second World Series championship in three years.

Harper splashed a tying home run into McCovey Cove in the seventh, but Washington's season ended with a third straight one-run defeat, including that excruciating 2-1 loss in 18 innings Saturday in Game 2.

The Nationals never got on track offensively, lacking the power that carried them to an NL East title and the best record in the league at 96-66.

After his wild pitch snapped a 2-all tie, Barrett got set to intentionally walk Pablo Sandoval. But the right-hander sailed a toss way over the head of Ramos, who quickly retrieved the ball near the backstop. Ramos threw to Barrett covering the plate, where he tagged out a sliding Buster Posey.

The call was upheld after a replay review of 1 minute, 57 seconds, denying San Francisco an insurance run.

"It was just one of those weird plays where they ended up getting me," Posey said.

Just like a night earlier when Giants ace Madison Bumgarner's one miscue cost his team the game, Barrett blew it this time.

San Francisco hit consecutive one-out singles against Barrett in the seventh, and then Pence walked to load the bases for Sandoval.

Pence produced the play of the night when he slammed his back into an archway on the right-field wall to rob Jayson Werth of extra bases in the sixth. Fans enjoying the game from the outside portwalk witnessed the catch from just behind Pence and broke into frenzied cheers.

"That catch he made was unreal. It really brought momentum back in our favor," Posey said.

The very next inning, Pence could only watch as Harper hit a towering drive over the right-field arcade and between two boats among a large group of kayakers in the cove. It was the 104th splash homer at 15-year-old AT&T Park and third in the postseason.

Rick Ankiel did it for the Braves in the 2010 NLDS.

Hunter Strickland, the rookie reliever who gave up Harper's solo home run to the third deck in the seventh inning of Game 1 and then later said he would challenge the slugger again if given the chance, got his opportunity in the seventh and paid for it.

Still, Strickland did enough to earn his first postseason victory. Sergio Romo pitched a perfect eighth and Casilla closed it out before the celebration began.

Bumgarner, hat on backward, took off from the dugout and ran along the left-field fence and all the way around AT&T Park to lead a victory lap of Giants players slapping hands. Sandoval pumped his arms in the air and waved to fans.

"I think anyone that's here tonight sees what type of electric atmosphere this is, and we just love playing in front of these fans," Posey said.

Harper crushed a 3-1 pitch from Strickland, then appeared to give the pitcher a look as he rounded the bases before shouting out toward the field from the dugout.

San Francisco fans cheered when the rival Dodgers were eliminated by St. Louis at Busch Stadium earlier Tuesday, putting the Cardinals in their fourth straight NLCS. They went crazy once their Giants clinched another chance to play for the pennant, and the city is counting on the Giants' every-other-year trend of winning it all.

San Francisco won the World Series in 2010 and again 2012.

Washington rookie manager Matt Williams, groomed in the Giants' system as a player, and his stunned players head home to the nation's capital after a much quicker exit than they envisioned.

Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong didn't allow a hit until Ian Desmond's leadoff single in the fifth, the Nationals' second baserunner. Harper followed with a sharp double down the left-field line to put Washington on the board.

Pinch-hitter Nate Schierholtz walked two outs later and Vogelsong received a mound visit from pitching coach Dave Righetti before retiring Denard Span.

Winless in September, Vogelsong returned to his top postseason form. Pitching for the first time since Sept. 26 after going 0-4 in five September outings, Vogelsong allowed two hits in 5 2-3 solid innings.

The 37-year-old journeyman has not allowed more than one earned run in five postseason starts, winning Games 2 and 6 of the 2012 NLCS and Game 3 in a World Series sweep of the Tigers.

"That's as clutch as it comes," Pence said. "It's not an accident that he has the success he does in the playoffs. He's one of those tough, hard-nosed, gritty guys. He's prepared, works his tail off, he earns it. He deserves it."

Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez found several ways to hurt his own cause in the second. The Giants loaded the bases after Brandon Crawford's one-out single before Gonzalez misplayed Juan Perez's slow dribbler for an error. Vogelsong beat out a bunt single that went untouched and then Blanco drew a four-pitch walk to force home the first run.

Sandoval's 14-game postseason hitting streak was snapped with an 0-for-3 night.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>