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Braves limp into playoffs with 11-inning loss to Mets

Braves limp into playoffs with 11-inning loss to Mets

NEW YORK (AP) – Mike Soroka recovered from a shaky start in his playoff tuneup, but the banged-up Atlanta Braves limped into October with a 7-6 loss to the New York Mets in 11 innings Sunday when Dominic Smith hit a game-ending, three-run homer on his first competitive swing in more than two months.

Nine days after clinching their second consecutive NL East title, the Braves finally learned their postseason opponent when St. Louis won the NL Central with a 9-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs. Atlanta will open a best-of-five Division Series at home against the Cardinals on Thursday, with veteran left-hander Dallas Keuchel expected to start for the Braves.

Soroka, an All-Star this year, is lined up for Game 3 on the road – where the 22-year-old rookie is 7-1 with a 1.35 ERA that is by far the lowest in the majors.

Pitching for the first time in 10 days, Soroka was tagged for three runs and four hits in the first inning of the regular-season finale. J.D. Davis socked a two-run homer off the right-hander, who settled down after that and lasted 85 pitches. He gave up three runs and seven hits over five innings, with seven strikeouts and two walks.

Smith was reinstated from the injured list Thursday after being sidelined since July 27 with a stress reaction in his left foot. He hadn’t gotten into a game until he replaced Pete Alonso at first base in the top of the 11th, mainly so the rookie home run king could walk off the field to one last ovation from Mets fans.

But lo and behold, New York put two runners aboard in the bottom half and Smith, batting in Alonso’s spot with two outs, drove a 1-0 pitch from Grant Dayton (0-1) over the right-center fence to give the Mets a three-game sweep and a thrilling finish to their second-half surge that fell short of a playoff berth.

An excited Smith tossed his helmet between third base and home plate, then was swarmed and doused by jubilant teammates as his uniform top was ripped off by Alonso in a wild scene.

Chris Mazza (1-1) got two outs for his first major league win, and the Mets took their jerseys off and gave them to fans after one more comeback win.

New York went 46-26 in the second half and finished third in the NL East at 86-76 – a nine-game improvement over last year. On deck in the coming days in all likelihood, a decision about the future of manager Mickey Callaway, who could be fired after two seasons at the helm without a trip to the postseason.

Alonso received a series of standing ovations from Citi Field fans who also chanted his name, one night after hitting his 53rd home run to break the rookie record set by Yankees star Aaron Judge in 2017.

Alonso doffed his helmet and later tipped his cap to the crowd of 31,523 when he was replaced by Smith. Alonso went 1 for 5 with a single and […]

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Top 10 Interesting Facts About Uganda

Top 10 Interesting Facts About Uganda

Panoramic view of Lake Bunyonyi (Place of many little birds) in south-western Uganda. The Republic of Uganda is a sovereign state in East Africa. It borders Kenya, South Sudan, DRC, Tanzania, and Rwanda. Uganda lies on the Nile River basin, and the southern part includes a portion of Lake Victoria that is shared with Tanzania and Kenya. The state derives its name from the ancient Buganda Kingdom that extended over the southern portion of the country, including the capital city, Kampala. The country became a British Protectorate in 1894 until it gained independence on October 9, 1962. The official languages are Swahili and English, but Luganda, Runyoro, Lusonga, Runyankole, and Luo are also spoken. Uganda is a developing country with poor infrastructure and amenities. Unemployment, illiteracy, and poverty are the biggest challenges facing Ugandans. Here is a list of some interesting facts about Uganda. Despite Its Current Political Stability, Uganda Has A History of Coups

Uganda is generally politically stable under the rule of Yoweri Museveni, but that has not always been the case. As soon as the country became independent, rulers and military generals began competing for power. Milton Obote overthrew Edward Mutesa in April 1966, setting off a series of coups that toppled more than five presidents. Yusef Lule deposed Idi Amin in April 1979 only to be overthrown 68 days later. Paulo Muwanga overthrew Godfrey Binaisa in May 1980 but resigned 10 days later due to fear of being deposed. General Bazilio Olara-Okello served for two days before he was replaced by General Tito Okello. Dictator Idi Amin’s Role Central To Uganda-Tanzania War

When dictator Idi Amin took power in a coup in 1971, Tanzania offered sanctuary to Milton Obote and over 20,000 people fleeing Amin’s regime. A year later, an armed group of exiles in Tanzania attempted unsuccessfully to depose Idi Amin. In October 1978, dissident soldiers attempted to ambush Amin in Kampala, but he narrowly escaped. Several of Amin’s lieutenants decamped and sought refuge in Tanzania. In the same year, a faction of the Ugandan Military mutinied and headed to Tanzania where they joined the rebels and declared war against Amin. Uganda accused Tanzania of harboring rebels and attempting to overthrow the Ugandan government. Amin sent troops to Tanzania intending to annex the Kagera Region, but rebel Ugandans and the Tanzanian Military pushed back the invaders before eventually capturing Kampala and overthrowing Idi Amin. Uganda Is Known For Its Birds and Gorillas

Uganda is a country with diverse wildlife, mainly because of its forest cover and climate. Half of the world’s mountain gorillas and 11% of the bird species are found in Uganda. Part of the Congo Rainforest extends over to Uganda, but unlike the DRC, Uganda offers better protection to wildlife, especially apes. Small Country, Big Population

Uganda is relatively small compared to Kenya, Ethiopia, and Tanzania. It ranks 33rd in terms of area in Africa and 10th in population. As of 2019, the population was estimated at 44 million, six million less […]

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B/R Football Ranks: The Top 10 European Clubs so Far This Season

B/R Football Ranks: The Top 10 European Clubs so Far This Season

With at least six fixtures played in each of Europe’s top five leagues, plus some domestic cup action and one Champions League matchday in the bag, it feels about the right time to produce the first European Club Rankings of the 2019-20 season.

With a fair sample size in hand, we now have a good feel for each of the top teams: their strengths and weaknesses, how strong they currently are and how good they could potentially be by the time it all clicks into place.

Using what’s transpired over the course of the season so far, B/R Football ranks the top 10 teams on the continent right now, according to performances and results in 2018-19. If you’re a big name and you’re not here—and there are plenty of you—step it up. Fast.

10. Napoli Fifteen goals (joint-most in Serie A) have helped Napoli to four league wins, but the best result by far is the 2-0 victory over Liverpool in the Champions League, carving out a commanding position in the group early on.

If there were an award for the most entertaining team so far this season, the Partenopei might get it; there’s rarely a dull moment where they’re concerned.

The problem for Carlo Ancelotti is that that’s the only award for which they feel feasibly in contention. It’s difficult to see them outside of the guise they’ve held for the last few seasons: strong, but not a true contender for any silverware.

9. Atletico Madrid Already this season, Atletico Madrid have been overestimated (thanks to a good pre-season and start to the campaign) and underrated (after the good start slowed down). That tends to happen when there’s a lot of hype and interest in a team.

That hype came from the transfer work they did over the summer, stocking up their squad with talent after the departure of several club legends and old-timers. There were some headline captures (Joao Felix), some much-needed exciting additions (Marcos Llorente) and some very, very Diego Simeone acquisitions (Hector Herrera).

As a result of the wholesale changes, they’re still very much figuring things out on the fly, so the spot they hold right now—third in La Liga on 14 points—is more than acceptable as a result.

If you can pick up points while revamping your own setup, you’re standing yourself in good stead.

8. Real Madrid Real Madrid are top of La Liga after seven games and stand the only unbeaten side in the division. That’s cause for genuine celebration given the cloud under which they entered the campaign.

Karim Benzema has picked up where he left off last season, scoring five goals in six starts. Gareth Bale has also proved his, while some of the new signings, like Ferland Mendy and Eden Hazard , are beginning to make their marks.

But some of the performances have still felt very dysfunctional. The draws against Real Valladolid and Villarreal weren’t good, and that 3-0 loss to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League was downright embarrassing.There’s work to do for Zinedine Zidane, but […]

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On the nose: KJ Britt’s wound tells the story of Auburn defense

On the nose: KJ Britt’s wound tells the story of Auburn defense

AUBURN, Alabama — Scars tell a story.

For K.J. Britt , the fresh wound on his nose appeared to be from a huge hit against Mississippi State less than 24 hours earlier inside Jordan-Hare Stadium. It had to have come from a massive takedown, right? It wasn’t difficult to miss him pushing through the middle of the Bulldogs’ offensive line, colliding with linemen and running backs.

Maybe it occurred on Britt’s first tackle against the Bulldogs: a big collision resulting in a 4-yard loss for the SEC’s leading rusher, Kylin Hill .

Or maybe it was the sack he recorded in the third quarter of the 56-23 demolition of the Bulldogs?

“A little helmet incident. It’s nothing. Just a little battle wound,” Britt said. “This happened during the week in practice.”

Wait. It happened during … practice?

“We can’t just talk about being physical,” Britt said. “We’ve got to go out to practice and make sure we practice physicality. Everything you see on Saturdays is everything we do (at practice). We try to be physical and try to be fast. The main reason is because we don’t practice bad habits. I’m probably more physical during the week than I am in a game. You know how human nature is: you want to go out there and try to be soft. And then you get in the game and you see soft stuff, and we just can’t do that. We’ve got to make sure we practice all our habits on the practice field, then just let it overflow into the game.”

Auburn’s defense has certainly been tough, particularly in the box. Auburn held the SEC’s leading rusher to a season-low 45 yards on 2.6 yards per carry. Their rush defense ranks 20th nationally (95.2 yards per game) despite facing — and defeating — two ranked teams away from home, and facing the SEC’s leading rusher.

“The more you just learn about Auburn coaching, you realize that nothing you do can be soft,” Britt said. “Coming out there when [former Auburn] coach [Pat] Dye watches us practice — I’m sure back when they practiced, they weren’t soft. I don’t even want to be associated with anything being soft. I don’t even want to be around soft people. So everything we do — like I said, just make sure — habits are really true. You go out there and you practice soft, then you’re going to play soft.”

No one will confuse Britt for being “soft.” The man’s nickname doesn’t pop off the page, but it’s earned. “Downhill” Britt is a terror against running backs popping into a hole in the offensive line. He led all of Auburn’s linebackers with five tackles, including a sack and two tackles for loss Saturday against MSU.

Britt leads No. 7 Auburn (5-0, 2-0 SEC) into The Swamp for a showdown with No. 10 Florida (5-0, 2-0) on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS.

Some teams can get complacent when experiencing success. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn knows the Tigers can not afford that, […]

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Real Life Rock Top 10: September 2019

Real Life Rock Top 10: September 2019

LARB PRESENTS the September installment of “Real Life Rock Top 10,” a monthly column by cultural critic Greil Marcus.

1. and 2. Bryan Ferry, Fox Theater, Oakland (August 31) and Bryan Ferry and his Orchestra, Bitter-Sweet (BMG). At the Fox, the music playing between the opening act and Ferry was interesting, and a cue: Little Eva’s “The Loco-Motion,” from 1962, the Shirelles’ “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” 1960, the Chiffons’ “He’s So Fine,” 1963, Betty Everett’s “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss),” 1964 — a series Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People,” 1968, closed perfectly. As the show unfolded, a nine-piece assemblage of musicians and singers and Ferry himself picking up a harmonica or sitting down at a keyboard, with spectacular extravaganzas from Bob Dylan’s “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues,” which seemed to fill 10 minutes without a sense it was even beginning to use itself up, to Wilbert Harrison’s “Let’s Stick Together” as a closing roller-coaster, what came into view — with “Out of the Blue” yielding to “Slave to Love” followed by “While My Heart Is Still Beating,” “Dance Away” moving into “My Only Love,” “More Than This” dissolving into “Avalon” — was the performance of a single romantic ballad, all of it finally revealing itself as a version of “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.” Each part seemed to make every other bigger, richer. Were you to hear them an hour or a day apart, “Slave to Love” is nothing compared to “More Than This” — but here they were discovering the same language, each a note in a song that’s still unfinished. Though his voice could be all silk, Ferry hid nothing of his age — he’ll turn 74 this month — and that added to the authority he brought to the songs, or the song: not someone who’s seen it all, but someone who still knows how much he hasn’t fully understood, which is why the songs remain alive, unsatisfied.

“Bitter-Sweet” takes off from Ferry’s cameos in the series Babylon Berlin — and his absolutely convincing performance at the end of the second season of a German-language version of the 1974 Roxy Music number “Bitter-Sweet” as it would have been done in a 1929 Weimar cabaret by a singer born in about 1858. Here everything that flowed from Roxy Music comes stepping to a Kurt Weill beat, jerky New York jazz you can imagine being played by puppets, and it feels like the tune the songs wanted all along. Especially “Dance Away”: in 1979 it seemed like a mandatory disco number on Roxy Music’s dispirited Manifesto . Now, as an instrumental over far too soon, it’s an unfolding of how many shapes and colors the melody can open up, like Gatsby throwing his shirts in the air.

3. Tom O’Neill with Dan Piepenbring, Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties (Little, Brown). Steve Perry writes in: “After seeing the Tarantino movie I reread Ed Sanders’s book and […]

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