Blackhawks need to push back in Game 2

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Blackhawks need to push back in Game 2

Friday, April 15, 2011
Posted: 10:54 a.m. Updated: 3:08 p.m.By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.comVANCOUVER, British Columbia The Chicago Blackhawks got pushed around to start Game 1 against the Vancouver Canucks. Now they need to push back.

Tomas Kopecky is out and Fernando Pisani is in as the Blackhawks try to even up their Western Conference quarterfinal series with the Canucks tonight at Rogers Arena. Its not unusual for the Blackhawks to be down 1-0 in a series they were in this same spot against this same team last postseason. But if the Blackhawks have another gritless start like they did on Wednesday night, they could be looking at the unusual 0-2 hole.

We all have to take responsibility. Everyone has to be engaged, coach Joel Quenneville said. Everybody has to bring that part of the (physical) game.

Ryan Johnson said a lot was made of physical play being dominated by them and it was because we didnt do a good job of putting ourselves in position to play physical. There were a lot of east-west plays. Its very important for third and fourth lines to establish ourselves.

The Blackhawks were saying all the right things on Friday morning: they need to be more physical, get traffic around Roberto Luongo and earn the split. Theyve done it before. They know what itll take to do it again.

If we had it our way wouldve won game 1 in all those series, Patrick Sharp said. You cant spot a good team games but we cant worry about whats happened. We have to focus on tonights game.

Johnson, who didnt finish Game 1 after taking a knee-to-knee hit with Vancouver left wing Tanner glass, will play tonight. He said his knee is fine and that it doesnt hamper his speed.

Im just thankful it isnt any worse than it is, Johnson said. The first few seconds afterward I wasnt feeling too good, I was a little worried. But I feel good and ready to go.Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Honda Road Ahead: Can Cubs slow down Nationals bats?

Honda Road Ahead: Can Cubs slow down Nationals bats?

CSN's David Kaplan and David DeJesus discuss the upcoming matchups in this edition of the Cubs Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland & NW Indiana Honda Dealers.

Maybe a four-game series with the N.L. East-leading Washington Nationals will help the Cubs take off. 

It did last year. 

The Cubs swept the Nats early last season, boosting themselves into first place in the National League - a position they wouldn't relinquish. More than a sweep, though, a positive series is vital for a team that continues to hover around .500. 

To do so, Joe Maddon's pitchers must somehow slow the Nationals offense, which has managed to push across more runs than any team in the majors. 

After D.C., the Cubs are off to Cincy for a three-game set with the Reds. 

Watch David Kaplan and David DeJesus preview the upcoming matchups in the video above. 

Tough luck for Tommy Kahnle as White Sox blow lead, get swept by A’s

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AP

Tough luck for Tommy Kahnle as White Sox blow lead, get swept by A’s

Tommy Kahnle has been one of the White Sox brightest bright spots, but fell victim to some tough luck that could ding on his under-the-radar All-Star bid.

Kahnle allowed the tying and go-ahead runs in the White Sox 5-3 loss to the Oakland Athletics Sunday in front of 28,089 at Guaranteed Rate Field, marking only the sixth time in 31 games the 27-year-old right-hander has allowed a run in 2017.

In the eighth inning, Kahnle allowed a bloop single to Franklin Barreto, then Ryon Healy reached on a Todd Frazier error. Khris Davis tied the game with a single to left, knocking Kahnle out of the game, and Oakland took the lead when Yonder Alonso blooped a single off David Robertson that plopped into left field out of the reach of Melky Cabrera. Consider the hit probabilities, according to Statcast, of those three hits and the error:

Barreto: 78 percent

Healy: 5 percent

Davis: 62 percent

Alonso: 2 percent

That Kahnle coughed up the lead was surprising given his stealthy success out of the White Sox bullpen his year.

Entering Sunday’s game, Kahnle’s 1.2 WAR was sixth-best American League relievers, behind Boston’s Craig Kimbrel (2.2), Houston’s Chris Devenski (1.6), Cleveland’s Andrew Miller (1.6), Los Angeles’ Blake Parker (1.4) and Toronto’s Roberto Osuna (1.3). His 44.8 strikeout percentage is among the five best in baseball along with Kimbrel, New York’s Dellin Betances, Los Angeles’ Kenley Jansen and Milwaukee’s Corey Knebel.

Kahnle has been undoubtedly spectacular this year even with Sunday’s hiccup, though with Garcia seeming likely to be on the American League All-Star roster, Terry Francona wouldn’t have to take him to fill the game’s requirement. That this year’s All-Star Game doesn’t count — it’s the first since 2002 that won’t dictate home-field advantage in the World Series — could alter Francona’s roster construction to reward more starters and closers, and the Cleveland Indians manager would certainly be justified if he wanted to take his own setup guy in Miller.

The White Sox handed Kahnle the lead on Adam Engel’s first career home run (a solo shot in the third) and Jose Abreu’s dash home on a passed ball in the fourth. Starter Derek Holland was solid, allowing one run on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts over six innings. Melky Cabrera added a solo home run in the ninth inning, his eighth of the season.

Adam Rosales and Matt Joyce homered off Robertson and Chris Beck, respectively, in the ninth inning to give the A’s a comfortable ending to their three-game sweep of the White Sox. Beck was hit by a comebacker after allowing that home run and left the game with a bruised left hamstring, and is considered day-to-day.