NLCS Takeaways: Gutsy pitching performances keep Cubs alive

The Chicago Cubs lived to fight another day Wednesday, riding a terrific outing by Jake Arrieta and some late-game resolve from Wade Davis to a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Chicago’s hopes in this NLCS remain slim, as they’ll have to win three more consecutively against baseball’s best team in order to make history. But they’ve at least gotten a quarter of the way there.

For the Dodgers, Wednesday was their first loss of the post-season. They’ll have Clayton Kershaw on the mound when the series resumes Thursday, which is a pretty good way to try to get over what they hope was a slight speed bump on their way to greater things.

Alex Wood makes a debut

Pitching for the first time in three weeks, and making the first post-season start of his life, Dodgers left-hander Alex Wood presented a bit of a wild card as Los Angeles looked to complete the sweep. He was excellent during the regular season, putting up a 2.72 ERA over 152.1 innings. But he also hadn’t pitched in a game since Sept. 26.

The first inning was a breeze, but the second was not as Chicago put up a pair of runs. The Cubs have scored first in each game this series, and that continued Wednesday when Wilson Contreras took a first-pitch two-seamer for a ride, crushing a solo shot off the scoreboard in left.

Then, a batter later, Javier Baez added on with a solo blast of his own, snapping an 0-for-23 post-season skid in a big way and helping the Cubs surge ahead early.

The ball Baez hit was a curveball right at the bottom of the zone, a pitcher’s pitch that the Cubs second baseman was nonetheless able to drive out of the yard, leaving Wood to only shake his head. You could’ve said it was a fluke, if not for the fact Baez hit an even better pitch over the wall in the fifth inning, going down below the strike zone to get to a perfect Wood change-up and somehow muscle it into the left-field bleachers.

Wood was out of the game shortly after that, throwing only 70 pitches over his 4.2 innings. It wasn’t a perfect outing. But, really, the only pitch Wood can feel bad about is the one to Contreras. The two Baez hit were perfectly placed. As a pitcher, there’s little else you …read more

Source:: – Sports news

At Mississippi school: Goodbye, Confederacy. Hello, Obama

By Emily Wagster Pettus | Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. — A Mississippi school is shedding the name of the Confederacy’s only president and will instead be named for the first African-American president of the United States.

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Davis International Baccalaureate Elementary School in Jackson was named decades ago for Jefferson Davis.

The school with 98 percent African-American enrollment is set to be renamed for Barack Obama in the next academic year, in a move proposed by parents and approved by a majority of students, parents, faculty and staff members.

The PTA president, Janelle Jefferson, announced the planned change at a school board meeting Tuesday.

“The students had overwhelming support for President Obama,” Jefferson told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

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She said a three-week process led to the vote. People at the school offered suggestions for new names. Students in each class, from kindergarten through fifth grade, conducted research and presented it at a school assembly. Fourth- and fifth-graders oversaw an election with students, teachers and staff casting paper ballots at school. Parents could vote on campus or by absentee ballot.

“We wanted to be very inclusive and transparent in the process to be fair, to make sure everybody felt like they had a voice,” Jefferson said.

The magnet school has an admissions process based on testing, and it offers a rigorous curriculum. State rankings released Tuesday show it was the top academic performer of all elementary and middle schools in Mississippi for 2016-17.

About 96 percent of students in Jackson Public Schools are African-American.

Jed Oppenheim, a school board member, said people have been asking for years why three schools in a majority African-American district are still named for Confederate figures. In mid-September, the board authorized the PTA at each of the three schools to set new names. The change from Davis to Obama is the only one approved so far.

George Elementary is named for James Zachariah George, who signed Mississippi’s secession ordinance and drafted the state constitution that denied voting rights to black citizens. Lee Elementary is named for Confederate …read more

Source:: East Bay – National & World

PHOTOS: Baby hospitalized since birth celebrates first birthday at Children’s Hospital

Family and friends created a festive birthday room for Ryker Christensen on his first birthday at Children’s Hospital on October 18, 2017 in Aurora. Ryker, who suffers from pulmonary sequestration, kyphosis and scoliosis and chronic respiratory failure, has spent every single day of his young life inside Children’s Hospital on a ventilator. Today his family and medical team were able to get a portable ventilator to move him from his room to a courtyard outside the hospital for almost an hour to celebrate his first birthday outside. Young Ryker, who is unable to speak or eat, was able to see sunlight and the outdoors for the first time.

…read more

Source:: The Denver Post – News