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Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh has promoted linebackers coach Don Martindale to defensive coordinator [url=http://www.officialoilers.com/authentic-adidas-olivier-rodrigue-jersey]Authentic Olivier Rodrigue Jersey[/url] , assuring a seamless transition in the wake of Dean Pees’ retirement.
Martindale has been coaching Baltimore linebackers since 2012. The 54-year-old was the defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos in 2010.
After Pees ended his six-year run as the Ravens’ defensive coordinator on Jan. 1, Harbaugh said he wanted to maintain continuity with his new hire.
”I’m a believer in this system,” Harbaugh said last week. ”This system has been something that’s been developed for a long period of time, and we have worked really hard every single year to make it better.”
Martindale has been part of that process. He coached the Ravens inside linebackers from 2012-15 and spent the past two seasons as the team’s linebackers coach.
In announcing the move Tuesday, Harbaugh said Martindale’s ”aggressive mentality will serve to take our defense to new levels.”
Harbaugh said Martindale ”knows the ins and outs of what we have been about on defense and has been an important contributor to our success on that side of the ball.”
Also on Tuesday, Harbaugh promoted Mike Macdonald to linebackers coach and Sterling Lucas to quality control defense.
The 30-year-old Macdonald joined the Ravens in 2014 as a coaching intern on defense. He served as a defensive assistant in 2015 and 2016, and this season was the defensive backs coach. Baltimore led the NFL this season with 22 interceptions and forced a league-best 34 turnovers.
MILWAUKEE — Despite bolstering their lineup by adding Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich over the winter, runs have been hard to come by for the Milwaukee Brewers this season.
Except against the Philadelphia Phillies, that is.
Through the first four meetings between the two teams this season, Milwaukee has scored 40 runs and surpassed the 10-run mark in three of those contests, winning all three including a 13-2 decision Friday night.
The Brewers’ only loss to Philadelphia this season came last Sunday when right-hander Zach Eflin (3-2, 3.63) held them to a pair of runs over six innings as the Phillies avoided a sweep with a 4-3 victory at Citizens Bank Park.
“I go out every outing with the intent for it to be my best [url=http://www.officialoilers.com/authentic-adidas-ryan-mcleod-jersey]Authentic Ryan McLeod Jersey[/url] , but especially when you have a team that beats us twice in a row, you really kind of bear down,” Eflin said afterward. “I wouldn’t say try harder, but you want to make sure you limit your mistakes and put a stop to what’s happening.”
He’ll get another shot at holding Milwaukee’s offense in check Saturday afternoon when the Brewers (42-27) and Phillies (35-32) resume their three-game weekend series at Miller Park.
Eflin’s performance against Milwaukee helped solidify what had been a somewhat tenuous hold on rotation slot. The 24-year-old got off to a good start, posting a 1.56 ERA through his first three outings then scuffled in a pair of five-run efforts against the Blue Jays and Dodgers.
He stabilized himself by holding the Cubs to a run over 7 2/3 innings on June 5 and followed that with his strong showing against the Brewers, striking out nine.
“I think the biggest change is him being responsible for taking that step forward, him deciding how he’s going to get swings and misses,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “It’s explosive fastballs up to left-handed batters and using his four-seam (fastball) instead of the two-seamer, sometimes, to left-handers has made a huge difference.”
Right-hander Junior Guerra (3-4, 2.71) takes the mound for Milwaukee, looking for his first victory since May 14. Guerra has pitched beautifully during that stretch [url=http://www.officialoilers.com/authentic-adidas-evan-bouchard-jersey]Authentic Evan Bouchard Jersey[/url] , though, posting a 2.22 ERA with 23 strikeouts and only five walks in 28 1/3 innings of work.
He is looking much more like the pitcher who had a breakout campaign two years ago as a 31-year-old rookie, than he does the Guerra of last season, who was hindered by injuries, inconsistency and command issues.
“I’ve been working a lot with (pitching coach Derek Johnson),” Guerra said after holding the Cubs to a run over six innings in his last start. “We’ve been working a lot on rhythm, throwing strikes. That’s one of the biggest factors for me in doing this well.
“I just feel like I’m healthy, and that’s the most important thing. When I’m healthy, I feel like I can contribute to this team. That’s the most important thing compared to last year.”
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