Bradley makes impressive run at Ryder Cup


Bradley makes impressive run at Ryder Cup

MEDINAH As first Ryder Cup experiences go, Keegan Bradley has had a tremendous one.

The 26-year-old has made a successful tandem with Phil Mickelson, and their collective magic continued on Saturday morning when the two claimed their Ryder Cup match over Lee Westwood and Luke Donald, 7 and 6. That tied the all-time record for largest 18-hole victory in a team match; Paul Azinger and Mark OMeara were the most recent to do it, in 1991.

But for Bradley, the weekends been even sweeter. Saturdays match gave him a 3-0 mark, and he became the first Ryder Cup rookie since Loren Roberts (in 1995) to go 3-0 in his first three team matches.

For Bradley, whos reveled in the Cup atmosphere and shown his emotions throughout, its been special.

Its not very hard to get excited out there when you walk out onto that first tee and that crowd is going crazy, Bradley said. Its just an unbelievable event.

And as far as tempering that crowd and performance-infused emotion, Bradley said he held it in check when necessary.

(Mickelson) wants me to get fired up and get the crowd excited, to get him excited, Bradley said. Theres been a few times where my caddie, Pepsi, and Bones, have reminded us its time to calm down. Thats one thing Im very good at is, I can get very excited, but I realize how important it is after that to really calm down.

The BradleyMickelson domination in the morning was apparently a harbinger of the rest of USAs day. The U.S. team led the Europeans 8-4 through Saturday mornings matches, and as 4 p.m. came and gone, were leading three of the four afternoon matches.

Morning Update: Cubs tie up World Series with Game 2 win; Bulls begin season against Celtics

Morning Update: Cubs tie up World Series with Game 2 win; Bulls begin season against Celtics

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Cubs offense settling into World Series groove

Cubs offense settling into World Series groove

CLEVELAND - It doesn't take long for the 2016 Cubs to rebound.

Their American League-style lineup is just simply too talented to keep down for an extended period of time, especially with Kyle Schwarber now added back into the fold.

They Cubs hitters are so confident, they even left Progressive Field feeling good about themselves despite being shut out in Game 1 of the World Series.

The Cubs got on the board early Wednesday night, plating a run on the third batter of the game as Anthony Rizzo doubled home Kris Bryant.

"Take the momentum away. Take the crowd out of it," Bryant said. "It's nice to score first. Especially when you're the visiting team, to get out there and score within the first three batters is huge."

The early lead helped the lineup settle in and keep their foot on the gas for a 5-1 victory to take the series back to Wrigley Field tied one game apiece.

"Especially with a young lineup, I think when you see a few guys go up there and take some good quality at-bats, one happens after the other and the other guys seem to do the same thing," Ben Zobrist said. "It takes a lot of pressure off. When you see other guys having good, quality at-bats, you don't feel like you have to take pitches and you can be aggressive early on. 

"Oftentimes when you're aggressive in the zone is when you take the tough ones. We did a good job tonight laying off some good pitches. When they made mistakes in the zone, we really hit the ball hard. Even though we scored five runs, obviously we had a lot of baserunners on and we could've scored a lot more."

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Zobrist has a point.

The night after leaving nine runners on base and going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position, the Cubs left 13 runners on base and tallied just three hits in 12 tries with runners in scoring position.

Between nine hits and eight walks, there were Cubs on base all game. Indians pitchers didn't retire Cubs hitters in order in an inning until the seventh.

The Cubs also forced the Indians to throw 196 pitches in nine innings and worked starter Trevor Bauer to 51 pitches through the first two frames.

"That was good for us," Bryant said. "We saw a lot of their bullpen, so we have a lot of information to learn from and hopefully use in the next game."

Anthony Rizzo summed up the lineup's mentality simply:

"Grind out at-bats, work the pitcher's pitch count up and get the next guy up," he said.

That "pass the baton" mentality is what drives this offense and after a brief lull in that regard in Los Angeles when they were shut out in back-to-back games in the NLCS, the Cubs leave Cleveland feeling pretty good.

"When we're able to [get pitch counts up], you can kinda feel it - our offense really feeds off of that," Zobrist said. "We believe that we're going to break through eventually."