Notes: Jenks' new workouts paying dividends


Notes: Jenks' new workouts paying dividends

By MaureenMullen

FORT MYERS, Fla. --- Bobby Jenks spent the offseason workingout with ex-NFL wide receiver Keith Poole, who is now a trainer inChandler, Ariz., and the workouts were much different from what Jenks wasused to doing in the offseason.

These workouts had a football mentality: Cardio and strength work, tire flips, chain pulls. Everything buttwo-a-days.

Obviously, working with someone instead of byyourself ,its a lot different, Jenks said. You got more motivation.At home its easy to say youll get to it later and before you knowits 10:00 at night. This way it gives me the motivation to go everyday and I think being this strong right now early in the spring, itsobviously paid off.

Regardless of whether I was going back tothe White Sox or a new team, it was something I wanted to do formyself, just be in the best shape I could going into the season. Andright now, its definitely paying off.

In two one-inning appearances this spring, Jenks has faced seven batters, giving up one hit with two strikeouts.

The Red Sox lost, 6-5, to the Mets in Port St. Lucie. Right-hander Michael Bowden, starting in place of Jon Lester, who was ill, went two innings, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk. Andrew Miller went two innings, giving up three runs on four hits, including an Ike Davis home run, with a walk and strikeout. Hideki Okajima pitched a scoreless inning and Rich Hill pitched two scoreless innings. Alex Wilson took the loss, giving up one run, a Lucas Duda solo homer, and three hits, with a walk and a strikeout.

Josh Reddick hit a two-run homer, his second of the spring, in the eighth inning, tying the game. Juan Carlos Linares and Tim Federowicz each hit solo homers, the first of the spring for both. Daniel Nava, after driving himself to the game, went 2-for-3. Jed Lowrie also went 2-for-3.

Left-hander Felix Doubront, who had been experiencing tightness in his left elbow began throwing Saturday, making 25 tosses from 60 feet, and said he felt good. On Sunday he made 20 -25 throws from about 90 feet.

Red Sox players are scheduled to meet with executive director Michael Weiner and representatives of the players association Monday morning.

Ryan Kalish successfully defended his Dancing with the New Stars title Saturday night, defeating Luis Exposito, Ryan Lavarnway, and Jason Rice. Jason Varitek, David Ortiz, Tim Wakefield, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Mike Cameron, Darnell McDonald, Lars Anderson, and Michael Bowden served as judges.

Minor-league spring training began Sunday at the player development complex with the first workouts for pitchers and catchers. Position players report on March 11, with the first full-squad workout scheduled for March 13. The first minor-league games are slated for March 16 against Orioles squads.

Pitchers scheduled for Mondays game against the Orioles are John Lackey, Dan Wheeler, Randy Williams, and Kyle Weiland.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945


NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945

CHICAGO -- Cursed by a Billy Goat, bedeviled by Bartman and crushed by decades of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs are at long last headed back to the World Series.

Kyle Hendricks outpitched Clayton KershawAnthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered early and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Saturday night in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

The drought ended when closer Aroldis Chapman got Yasiel Puig to ground into a double play, setting off a wild celebration inside Wrigley Field, outside the ballpark and all over the city.

Seeking their first crown since 1908, manager Joe Maddon's team opens the World Series at Cleveland on Tuesday night. The Indians haven't won it all since 1948 - Cleveland and Cubs have the two longest title waits in the majors.

"This city deserves it so much," Rizzo said. "We got four more big ones to go, but we're going to enjoy this. We're going to the World Series. I can't even believe that."

All-everything Javier Baez and pitcher Jon Lester shared the NLCS MVP. Baez hit .318, drove in five runs and made several sharp plays at second base. Lester, a former World Series champion in Boston, was 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers.

Deemed World Series favorites since opening day, the Cubs topped the majors with 103 wins to win the NL Central, then beat the Giants and Dodgers in the playoffs.

The Cubs overcame a 2-1 deficit against the Dodgers and won their 17th pennant. They had not earned a World Series trip since winning a doubleheader opener 4-3 at Pittsburgh on Sept. 29, 1945, to clinch the pennant on the next-to-last day of the season.

The eternal "wait till next year" is over. No more dwelling on a history of failure - the future is now.

"We're too young. We don't care about it," star slugger Kris Bryant said. "We don't look into it. This is a new team, this is a completely different time of our lives. We're enjoying it and our work's just getting started."

Hendricks pitched two-hit ball for 7 1/3 innings. Chapman took over and closed with hitless relief, then threw both arms in the air as he was mobbed by teammates and coaches.

The crowd joined in, chanting and serenading their team.

"Chicago!" shouted popular backup catcher David Ross.

The Cubs shook off back-to-back shutout losses earlier in this series by pounding the Dodgers for 23 runs to win the final three games.

And they were in no way overwhelmed by the moment on Saturday, putting aside previous frustration.

In 1945, the Billy Goat Curse supposedly began when a tavern owner wasn't allowed to bring his goat to Wrigley. In 2003, the Cubs lost the final three games of the NLCS to Florida, punctuated with a Game 6 defeat when fan Steve Bartman deflected a foul ball.

Even as recently as 2012, the Cubs lost 101 times.

This time, no such ill luck.

Bryant had an RBI single and scored in a two-run first. Dexter Fowler added two hits, drove in a run and scored one.

Contreras led off the fourth with a homer. Rizzo continued his resurgence with a solo drive in the fifth.

That was plenty for Hendricks, the major league ERA leader.

Hendricks left to a standing ovation after Josh Reddick singled with one out in the eighth. The only other hit Hendricks allowed was a single by Andrew Toles on the game's first pitch.

Kershaw, dominant in Game 2 shutout, gave up five runs and seven hits before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth. He fell to 4-7 in the postseason.

The Dodgers haven't been to the World Series since winning in 1988.

Pitching on five days' rest, the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner threw 30 pitches in the first. Fowler led off with a double, and Bryant's single had the crowd shaking the 102-year-old ballpark.

They had more to cheer when left fielder Andrew Toles dropped Rizzo's fly, putting runners on second and third, and Ben Zobrist made it 2-0 a sacrifice fly.

The Cubs added a run in the second when Addison Russell doubled to deep left and scored on a two-out single by Fowler.


Maddon benched slumping right fielder Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.

"Kershaw's pitching, so I wanted to get one more right-handed bat in the lineup, and also with Albert I don't feel like we're losing anything on defense," Maddon said. "I know Jason's a Gold Glover, but I think Albert, given an opportunity to play often enough would be considered a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder, too."

Heyward was 2 for 28 in the playoffs - 1 for 16 in the NLCS.


Kerry Wood, wearing a Ron Santo jersey, threw out the first pitch and actor Jim Belushi delivered the "Play Ball!" call before the game. Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder and actor John Cusack were also in attendance. And Bulls great Scottie Pippen led the seventh-inning stretch.