DAVIE [b][url=http://www.houstontexansteamonline.com/cullen-gillaspia-jersey]Cullen Gillaspia Jersey[/url][/b] , Fla. (AP) — defensive tackle Christian Wilkins nearly sacked Roger Goodell.Wilkins gleefully leaped into the commissioner on the draft stage in Nashville, Tennessee. The Dolphins hope it was the first of many NFL celebrations by Wilkins, a 315-pound lineman from Clemson with an outsize personality to match.“Very charismatic,” Miami general manager Chris Grier said with a chuckle. “He told us it was the best decision we ever made when we picked him.”A rebuilding project has left the Dolphins perceived as the league’s lightweights, and to help change that, they used the 13th overall pick on the bulky Wilkins.The Dolphins went 7-9 in 2018, and after shedding numerous veterans from the roster this offseason, they’re widely expected to be worse this year under new coach Brian Flores. Their odds for winning the Super Bowl are 250 to 1, longest in the NFL.Even so, Wilkins was thrilled to be Miami-bound [b][url=http://www.indianapoliscoltsteamonline.com/rock-ya-sin-jersey]Rock Ya-Sin Jersey[/url][/b] , as Goodell could attest after being targeted with a flying shoulder bump.“He wasn’t too upset about it,” Wilkins said with a laugh. “He wished me good luck. I’m surprised he didn’t hit back or anything. I did get him kind of hard. My shoulder is actually hurting a little bit from how hard I bumped him, but I was just so excited.”Miami passed on Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins, and instead attempted to shore up a defense that last year allowed 6,257 yards, most in franchise history.The draft was deep in defensive linemen, and some projected Wilkins as a top-10 pick. Last year the first-team All-American had 15 tackles for a loss and six sacks.The Dolphins had an extensive scouting report on Wilkins because their new defensive line coach, Marion Hobby, was his position coach at Clemson.“A very smart, versatile player,” Grier said. “Highly productive. I love the size [b][url=http://www.indianapoliscoltsteamonline.com/ben-banogu-jersey]http://www.indianapoliscoltsteamonline.com/ben-banogu-jersey[/url][/b] , the athletic ability. For us it was an easy decision.”Wilkins helped the Tigers win two national titles, and became their first scholarship player to earn a degree in 2 1/2 years. He’s optimistic he can excel with the Dolphins.“I know about the history — guys like Dan Marino and Jason Taylor who put on that uniform,” he said. “I want to work hard so I can get to the point where I can be considered great like those guys.”While Wilkins was in a celebratory mood, he turned reflective when asked about his grandfather, killed in 2011 when a SWAT team rifle accidentally discharged during a raid.“My grandfather meant everything to me,” Wilkins said. “He was the most influential person in my life.”In opting for a lineman, Miami has still used a first-round pick on a quarterback only once since 1983. Well-traveled veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick signed with the Dolphins in March, and they’ve acknowledged he’s merely a caretaker, but the draft wasn’t deep at the position.The Dolphins might pursue Arizona quarterback Josh Rosen, who is on the trade market after the Cardinals used the No. 1 overall pick to take quarterback Kyler Murray of Oklahoma. Arizona took Rosen with the 10th overall pick last year, and the former UCLA star had a rocky rookie season.“We’re investigating all avenues [b][url=http://www.indianapoliscoltsteamonline.com/parris-campbell-jersey]Parris Campbell Jersey[/url][/b] ,” Grier said.With a multitude of needs still to be addressed, the Dolphins have one pick in the second round and another in the third round Friday. They’ll be in the market for an edge rusher and right tackle, among other positions.“Where we are, we’ve got to build the roster up and create depth and competition everywhere,” Grier said. Maybe Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Jake Arrieta will go longer into the Saturday afternoon game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park than he did in his last start.
The former Cy Young Award winner with the Chicago Cubs has double-digit wins in each of the past four seasons, and a career 3.57 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. But he learned in his first season with the Phillies that it is all about the wins.
Philadelphia moved well above .500 by making careful decisions, and that included pulling Arrieta after five strong innings and 70 pitches Sunday against Washington simply because the club was trailing 3-0 with one hit.
“You have to find a way to score runs. You’re running out of outs. You’re down,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said of his decision to pinch-hit Carlos Santana for Arrieta after he had given up two earned runs and four hits.
Philadelphia ended up scoring three runs that inning for a tie and winning 4-3 in 13 innings.
“There was quite a bit of debate, and mostly because of how good Jake was,” Kapler said. “I was confident we could have gotten two, maybe three more innings out of him. However [b][url=http://www.detroitlionsteamonline.com/will-harris-jersey]Will Harris Jersey[/url][/b] , we didn’t know if we were going to have an opportunity to score.
“So there was definitely internal debate, mostly because of how good Jake is and because I knew he could give us length there — and because I knew he wanted to give us length. He’s earned the opportunity to do so. But for the strategy of the Phillies, I didn’t think that was the right move.”
Arrieta (5-6, 3.54 ERA) hasn’t been winning at his customary clip, the no-decision notwithstanding. On Saturday, he’ll face right-hander Jameson Taillon (5-6, 4.05 ERA) and the struggling Pirates (40-47).
Arrieta is 11-6 with a 3.01 ERA in 21 career starts against Pittsburgh. The only time he faced them this season, he struck out 10 while pitching seven one-hit scoreless innings in a 7-0 victory on April 19.
The Phillies opened this series with a 17-5 smackdown Friday and have won five straight and six of seven to gain a share of the National League East lead.
The Pirates have lost four in a row — by a combined 48-13, with 59 hits and 12 homers allowed — and five of six. They continue to shuffle their lineup.
“There’s no sense in keeping it the same, is usually a point I get to, because we’re not getting the results we want to get [b][url=http://www.detroitlionsteamonline.com/austin-bryant-jersey]http://www.detroitlionsteamonline.com/austin-bryant-jersey[/url][/b] ,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said.
In his most recent start, Taillon lasted just 4 2/3 innings Sunday in San Diego. He left with a lead in a game the Pirates won 7-5 but gave up a homer and two singles with two outs in the fourth to prompt the pitching change.
“I’m hunting a lot of good work, and I just need to keep going,” Taillon, who is is 3-6 with a 4.93 ERA in his past 14 starts, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Against the Phillies, Taillon is 1-1 with a 5.68 ERA in three career starts. This is a rematch of the April 19 game that Arrieta won. In that game, Taillon was rocked for five runs in 1 2/3 innings.
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