Wakeup call: Cubs beat the buzzer with Dempster deal; is Sept. 15 magic?

818200.jpg

Wakeup call: Cubs beat the buzzer with Dempster deal; is Sept. 15 magic?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, August 1:

BASEBALL
The Cubs were finally able to trade Ryan Dempster, and without much time to spare. (CSN Chicago)

When the dust settled, the Cubs emerged from the deadline with five prospects for two rotation starters, a former Rookie of the Year and a valuable bench player. A little different than feeding the monster, eh, Theo? (CSN Chicago)

They're not feeding the monster any more in Philadelphia, either, though they hope to start doing it again next year . . . and feel that the moves they made at the deadline will help. (CSN Philly)

Psst: That's 9 losses in 12 games for the Yankees. (AP)

And adding insult to injury: A.J. Burnett, once the bane of Yankee fans' existence, nearly pitched a no-hitter last night and is now 13-3 with a 3.27 ERA. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

At least the Yanks have Joba back. (Hardball Talk)

Which is more than the Rays can say about Evan Longoria. (Hardball Talk)

It may only be August 1, but the season's over for John Danks. (CSN Chicago)

BASKETBALL
Retiring? Who's retiring? Certainly not Brandon Roy. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Say what you will about Notre Dame, but it punishes behavior that wouldn't raise an eyebrow elsewhere. (NBC's College Football Talk)

Penn State's loss is USC's gain. (AP) And it could be a big one.

Now that the Penn State case is closed, the NCAA turned its attention to Central Florida. (AP)

HOCKEY
Worried about an NHL lockout? Well, Donald Fehr says there's no reason negotiations can't continue past the Sept. 15 deadline with the players still at work "unless someone wants to make" Sept. 15 "a magic date". (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk) If I know the NHL owners and commissioner Gary Bettman -- men who traditionally never use a feather when a sledgehammer's available -- I think it's magic to them.

Meanwhile, labor negotiations continue. (AP) Click the link if you're interested in expansion of revenue sharing, team financial reports, proposed limitations on contract lengths, and . . . yawn . . . sorry, what was I saying?

If they ever settle this, the Senators' Daniel Alfredsson will be back on the ice. (AP)

Patrick Kaleta is staying in Buffalo. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Nice to see Jerry Jones has made up with Dez Bryant . . . sort of. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

The Bengals have given Marvin Lewis a two-year extension. (AP)

Braylon Edwards has landed in Seattle, the latest stop in his troubled career. (AP)

The NFL suspends the Giants' Tyler Sash. (AP)

And the Packers' Erik Walden. (AP)

You won't be seeing Jeff Otah on the Jets this year. (AP)

Brian Johnson: 'Awesome feeling' after five-hitter vs. Mariners

red_sox_brian_johnson_2_052617.jpg

Brian Johnson: 'Awesome feeling' after five-hitter vs. Mariners

BOSTON - Brian Johnson had quite a turnaround in his second time on Fenway Park's mound.

Johnson pitched a five-hitter in his first big league appearance at Fenway, and the Boston Red Sox stretched their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

The 26-year-old left-hander became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his first Fenway start since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. In Johnson's first start in Fenway - his fourth as a professional - he sustained a season-ending facial fracture when he hit by a line drive while pitching for Class A Lowell in 2012.

"The last time I walked off the mound here was 2012 and I made two pitches," Johnson said. "Today I went nine innings. Today was pretty cool."

Johnson left Triple-A for a little over a month last season to get treatment for an anxiety issue.

"Obviously with some stuff that I've been gone through in my career, it's an awesome feeling" he said.

But despite the stellar outing, Johnson was optioned back to Triple-A after the game.

"That's the reality of the game," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We had a chance to congratulate him and yet option him back to Pawtucket, with David Price coming here Monday."

Brought up from the minors for the start, Johnson (2-0) gave up five singles, struck out eight and walked none. His only previous big league starts were at Houston on July 21, 2015, and at Toronto on April 18 this year.

Johnson was helped by a semi-leaping catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. at the wall in the sixth, Bradley's diving grab of Nelson Cruz's sinking liner in the ninth and Bradley's game-ending running catch of Kyle Seager's drive.

Xander Bogaerts' RBI single triggered a three-run first inning and Bradley hit a two-run homer in the sixth

Shut out for the second straight day, Seattle has lost seven of eight.

"Their guy threw the ball over the plate. He threw strikes," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "I won't take anything away from what he did, but we're not swinging the bat very well."

Rob Whalen (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his Mariners' debut, his first big league start since Aug. 23 for Atlanta. He is Seattle's 12th starting pitcher, the most in the major leagues.

Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also had RBI singles in the first, when the Red Sox had two batters hit by pitches, two walks and two runners thrown out on the bases - Dustin Pedroia at third for the first out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate for the last.

Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win

red_sox_brian_johnson_052617.jpg

Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win

BOSTON - Brian Johnson pitched a five-hitter in his first big league appearance at Fenway Park, and the Boston Red Sox stretched their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

Brought up from Triple-A Pawtucket, Johnson (2-0) gave up five singles, struck out eight and walked none. The 26-year-old left-hander's only previous big league starts were at Houston on July 21, 2015, and at Toronto on April 18 this year.

Johnson became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his first Fenway start since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. In Johnson's first start in Fenway - his fourth as a professional - he sustained a season-ending facial fracture when he hit by a line drive while pitching for Class A Lowell in 2012.

Johnson was helped by a semi-leaping catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. at the wall in the sixth, Bradley's diving grab of Nelson Cruz's sinking liner in the ninth and Bradley's game-ending running catch of Kyle Seager's drive.

Xander Bogaerts' RBI single triggered a three-run first inning and Bradley hit a two-run homer in the sixth

Shut out for the second straight day, Seattle has lost seven of eight.

Rob Whalen (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his Mariners' debut, his first big league start since Aug. 23 for Atlanta. He is Seattle's 12th starting pitcher, the most in the major leagues.

Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also had RBI singles in the first, when the Red Sox had two batters hit by pitches, two walks and two runners thrown out on the bases - Dustin Pedroia at third for the first out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate for the last.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: RHPs Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez, both on the DL with right shoulder inflammation, threw bullpen sessions. Hernandez said he "felt really good."... LHP James Paxton (strained forearm) is set to come off the DL and pitch at home Wednesday.

Red Sox: Pedroia was back at second base after getting Friday off to rest his sore left knee and not play on a wet field. He was hit by a pitch on the right forearm his first time up and went 1 for 3. ... 3B Pablo Sandoval, on the DL with a sprained right knee, was expected to play nine innings Saturday night in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket. Manager John Farrell didn't rule out that he could be activated next week.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Christian Bergman (1-2, 6.30 ERA) gave up 10 runs and 14 hits over four innings in a 10-1 loss Tuesday at Washington.

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (3-4, 4.35) has gone at least six innings in eight of nine starts.