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lin hong Oct 17 '18

NEW YORK — Omaha’s loss Saturday night will be a big win for anyone who likes watching two of the best pitchers in baseball face off against one another.

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to make a surprising return to the major league rotation Saturday night [url=http://www.billscheapshop.com/...nzo-alexander-jersey]Lorenzo Alexander Jersey[/url] , when the Dodgers visit the New York Mets in the middle game of a three-game series at Citi Field.

The Dodgers won the opener 5-2 on Friday night when Cody Bellinger’s sixth-inning grand slam snapped a scoreless pitcher’s duel between Los Angeles left-hander Alex Wood and Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler.

There will likely be more zeroes on the board Saturday when Kershaw (1-4, 2.76 ERA) may not even be the best pitcher to take the Citi Field mound. The Hall of Fame-bound southpaw, who hasn’t pitched this month because of a lower back strain, will be opposed by the hottest pitcher in baseball, Mets ace Jacob deGrom (5-2, 1.51 ERA).

The Mets finally provided deGrom some run support in his most recent start on Monday when he picked up a long-awaited win after allowing two runs (one earned) in eight innings of a 12-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

DeGrom lowered his major league-leading ERA to 1.51 in the win. Since 2000, only Randy Johnson (1.47 ERA in 2000) has produced a lower ERA through 15 starts.

DeGrom has a 0.90 ERA in his last 11 starts, during which he has only gone 3-2 while the Mets have gone 3-8. New York scored 16 runs while deGrom was on the mound in his 10 starts before Monday.

“I watched (Corey) Kluber have about a 1.40 ERA for like 12 or 13 starts at the end of one season to win a Cy Young,” said Mets manager Mickey Callaway, who was the pitching coach for the Cleveland Indians when Kluber locked up the American League Cy Young Award by posting a 1.42 ERA in his final 12 starts last season.

“But this is pretty special. You don’t see this often.”

Nor do matchups like Kershaw-deGrom happen very often. The clash Saturday night will mark their first regular-season matchup and the second time they’ve opposed one another.

DeGrom picked up the win in the decisive Game 5 of the 2015 National League Division Series when he tossed seven scoreless innings in the Mets’ 3-1 win over the Dodgers and Kershaw, who pitched on three days’ rest and took the loss after giving up all three runs in 6 2/3 innings.

Kershaw was originally scheduled to pitch for Triple-A Oklahoma City against Omaha, but with an uncertain weather forecast in Nebraska, the Dodgers decided to take their chances by having him pitch for the big league team in New York, where scattered thunderstorms are expected.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts hinted the famously competitive Kershaw did his share of talking his way out of the rehab start.

“He did play a little weatherman, so with weather.com and Clayton, we were pretty abreast with the weather in Omaha,” Roberts said with a grin Friday afternoon.

Roberts said the Dodgers will proceed carefully with Kershaw, who has made as many trips to the disabled list as to a big league mound since May. Kershaw was sidelined from May 2 through May 30 because of biceps tendinitis.

Kershaw was activated May 31, when he didn’t factor into the decision after pitching through a tight back while allowing one run in five innings of the Dodgers’ 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. Los Angeles placed Kershaw back on the disabled list the next day.

“We don’t know how much he’s going to pitch,” Roberts said. “I don’t want to put a limit on him. Obviously, there is a limitation with Clayton, and I’ll make that decision.”

Both pitchers will have a unique, opponent-specific streak on the line Saturday

DeGrom is 0-3 with a 3.26 ERA in six career regular-season starts against the Dodgers. He has beaten every other team he has faced more than once.

Kershaw is 8-0 with a 1.84 ERA in 12 regular-season starts against the Mets. He is undefeated against eight other teams but has beaten only one of those squads, the Atlanta Braves, more than twice.

An iron collar that kept slaves in bondage. A branding iron that marked human beings as someone’s property. A photograph of black babies captioned as ”alligator bait.” A fine china plate with gold lettering that says, ”KKK `God Give Us Men.”’

They’re among the artifacts of slavery and segregation collected by NFL Hall of Famer and retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page and his wife, Diane Sims Page. They went on display this month in time for Super Bowl visitors and the thousands of other people expected to flock to downtown Minneapolis for the festivities. The exhibit, ”TESTIFY: Americana from Slavery to Today,” runs through Feb. 6 at the Minneapolis Central Library.

While a sign at the entrance warns that some items inside might be disturbing, there are also messages of hope and promise. There’s a banner that was held by a mourner in 1865, when a funeral train took President Abraham Lincoln’s body home to Illinois. The banner reads, ”Our Country Shall Be One Country!” Page said it moved him to tears when he first saw it.

”For me it transports me back to that time and that place,” Alan Page said.

Signs that once enforced segregation in the South hang from a wall down the center of the gallery. They designated restrooms as ”white” or ”colored,” and marked the ”colored waiting room” at train and bus stations. Just across from it is an assembly of vibrant pictures by black artists [url=http://www.billscheapshop.com/...kyle-williams-jersey]Kyle Williams Jersey[/url] , showing how African-Americans reclaimed control over their own narrative. Diane Page said the contrast between the ”oppressive and expressive” is deliberate.

Alan Page, a feared member of the Vikings’ Purple People Eaters defensive line in the 1970s, played in all four of their Super Bowl appearances. He’s one of only two defensive players ever voted the NFL MVP. He also became the first black justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court, serving 22 years until he hit the mandatory retirement age of 70 in 2015.

The Pages timed the exhibit to coincide with the Super Bowl on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis, but he noted that it also comes ”at this time when white supremacy is raising its ugly head” in ways that he thought he would never see again.

”We hope the exhibit will challenge people by seeing what took place in the past, and challenge them in ways that will cause them to think about taking action, not only to prevent them from happening again, but to end the effects of that past, the effects that still linger today,” he said.

It’s one thing to see a picture of an artifact from that era; it’s another to actually stand in front of it, said Lois Langer Thompson, director of the Hennepin County Library system. She said the library’s location on the Nicollet Mall pedestrian zone, the site of a 10-day fan festival with free concerts and other attractions, makes it convenient for visitors to stop by and see the exhibit – and warm up.

Diane Page started the collection about 30 years ago after a friend pointed out that missing amid the sleek decor and a couple of Andy Warhols on the walls of their home were any pieces of African-American art or cultural items to educate the four Page children about their heritage. Eventually, the couple would visit antique stores and work with dealers to fill their home, and his Supreme Court chambers, with artifacts from slavery and the Jim Crow era.

”These items represent facts,” he said. ”Not somebody’s opinion about what happened. Not somebody’s view about what did or didn’t occur, but actual facts. … They help me understand where we are today. The disparities in education, our criminal justice system. For me the message I get is that we haven’t come to grips with the discrimination that comes, that came with those facts. We haven’t addressed the present effects of that past history, the present effects of that past discrimination.”

Daughter Georgi Page-Smith took the lead in assembling the more than 100 items on display in the exhibit, which includes a ”testification station,” made from her father’s stand-up desk from his chambers, where visitors are invited to write their impressions in a leather-bound book.

”We knew it would be very emotional,” she said. ”So we wanted to create an area where people could just stop for a minute, and do a little processing, and then reflect back to us.”

As part of the exhibit, Alan Page will give a talk Wednesday called ”TESTIFY: It’s Not About the Flag or the Anthem, It’s About Justice.” He said the controversy over players kneeling during the national anthem misses the point.

”That debate about the anthem and the flag is the reddest of red herrings. The point is that we have injustice. And the question is: what are we going to do about that? Protesting draws attention to that injustice, but it’s a tactic. It’s not a program to end injustice. And so one of the things I also hope to do is encourage those who would be inclined to protest to take the next step, and take some concrete actions beyond merely drawing attention to the problem, and being involved in steps to eliminate it.”
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