Field goals a problem on two fronts for Notre Dame

921083.png

Field goals a problem on two fronts for Notre Dame

Kyle Brindza hadnt missed multiple field goals in a game through the first six contests of his college career. But on Saturday, the sophomore kicker missed on his first two tries from 28 and 40 yards, leaving six points on the board in a game that wound up being decided by three.

Notre Dame was able to withstand those two misses, which were uncharacteristic for someone who has been pretty good in his first year aiming between the uprights. Coach Brian Kelly said Sunday, though, that he isnt concerned about the two misses turning into a trend.

He was just off on his line a little bit, Kelly explained. It's such a skill that you have to be right on. He's got a great makeup, mentally he's a tough kid. He's not afraid of the big moment. And those are all the things that I'm concerned with the most. I never saw a crack there at all.

He was a little off on his technique, and he knew it, and he'll work hard on it in terms of correcting it this week. He's got the makeup to be a guy that you can keep rolling out there.

Under the circumstances, though, Kelly wouldve preferred Brindza didnt even attempt those two misses. Obviously, any coach would rather see a drive finish in the end zone than with a field goal, but for Notre Dame, reliance on field goals has developed into a larger issue in the last few weeks.

Two missed field goals, those conversions -- those have to be touchdowns on those drives, Kelly said. We can't settle for field goals. I look at it and make assessments as to what we did on those drives. We had a snap infraction that put us in a third and nine situation, and then we come back and miss the field goal. Then we come back again with a great drive and a big run and we can't convert a couple of runs.

As we go through it, what we're looking for is how we can put more points on the board. Settling for field goals has really been my focus here the last hour (on Sunday) because, again, we just finished up with all of our breakdowns ... I'll go back and say we left too many points out there. We've got to put more points on the board.

Cubs down to only one All-Star starter in voting update

Cubs down to only one All-Star starter in voting update

The Cubs are down to only one starter in next month's All-Star Game in Miami: reigning MVP Kris Bryant.

Jason Heyward lost his grip on the final starting outfielder spot to Marlins star Marcell Ozuna in the latest All-Star balloting update released by the MLB:

That may be for the best, as the Cubs are currently banged up (Heyward. Ben Zobrist and Kyle Hendricks are on the disabled list) and slogging through a season where they've hovered around .500. So maybe four days off in a row would be beneficial for the defending champs.

Heyward is 29,270 votes behind Ozuna and Zobrist is 118,248 votes behind Heyward. It appears as if Washington's Bryce Harper and Colorado's Charlie Blackmon are sure things for the top two outfielder spots in the NL.

Bryant is only 58,082 votes ahead of Nolan Arenado at third base. Anthony Rizzo trails Ryan Zimmerman at first base, Javy Baez comes in well behind Daniel Murphy at second base and Buster Posey has more than twice as many votes as runner-up Willson Contreras at catcher.

Addison Russell is third among shortstops. Kyle Schwarber — despite being demoted to the minors last week — is eighth among NL outfielders.

It's a far cry from 2016, when the Cubs made up all four infield spots in the NL starting lineup.

Voting ends in four days. Fans can head to MLB.com to vote.

Avisail Garcia moves up in final days of All-Star Game voting

Avisail Garcia moves up in final days of All-Star Game voting

Major League Baseball released the latest American League All-Star voting update Monday and Avisail Garcia has jumped back into fifth place among outfielders.

The White Sox right fielder jumped past Boston's Mookie Betts since the last returns were announced on June 13.

Since then Garcia has slashed .319/.447/.819 with a homer, 5 RBIs and three doubles in 12 games.

Aaron Judge, Mike Trout and George Springer remain the top vote-getters in the outfield, though Trout won't play in the Midsumemr Classic because of a thumb injury.

On the year Garcia is batting .331 with a .904 OPS, 11 homers and 51 RBIs; the RBIs are the same number Garcia had all of last year.

Garcia is the only White sox player among the top AL vote-getters at any position.

Voting ends June 30.