ENGLEWOOD Justin Layne Jersey , Colo. (AP) — general manager John Elway’s decision to replace quarterback Case Keenum with Joe Flacco.Count Keenum among them.Appearing on the Sports Spectrum Podcast this week with his wife, Kimberly, Keenum said he was caught off guard when he was informed the Broncos and Ravens had the framework in place for a trade that will end Keenum’s stint as the Broncos starting QB after just one season.Neither the Broncos nor the Ravens, or even Flacco, can formally acknowledge the trade until it becomes official when the new league year begins March 13.Keenum is under no such gag order.“Elway called me that morning and we had a great conversation, which he didn’t have to do, and I appreciated that,” Keenum said on the Sports Spectrum Podcast this week.“I was definitely shocked, it was a surprise for us … we’re definitely disappointed, it’s not something we wanted to happen. I know that everybody’s doing their job and John feels like that was a chance for him to help the Broncos out.”A year ago, Keenum was a hot commodity, second only to Kirk Cousins among available veteran quarterbacks. He was coming off a breakout season in Minnesota http://www.steelersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-benny-snell-jr.-jersey , where he went 11-3 and helped the Vikings reach the NFC championship game.When the Vikings signed Cousins, Keenum inked a two-year, $36 million deal with Denver that included $25 million guaranteed. The couple bought a home in Denver and Keenum said he hoped to turn his short-term deal into a long-term situation.He got off to a slow start last season, however, throwing interceptions in Denver’s first eight games on his way to a career-high 15 interceptions, which tied for second-most in the NFL.Preaching patience became a weekly mantra of his with Keenum expressing confidence he and his new teammates and coaches would eventually adjust to each other in time to make a late-season run.By December the Broncos weren’t rolling but staggering, bedeviled by an injury epidemic that had waylaid three O-line starters and the team’s top two tight ends. On Dec. 5, Emmanuel Sanders, who rose to No. 1 receiving threat when Demaryius Thomas was traded to Houston, tore an Achilles at practice.The Broncos lost their final four games, finishing 6-10 for their first back-to-back losing seasons since the Nixon Administration. That led Elway to fire Vance Joseph and replace him with Vic Fangio . Keenum wasn’t among the players who attended Fangio’s introductory news conference because he was on vacation out of the country.As he cleaned out his locker after the final game, Keenum said Zach Gentry Jersey , “I learned a lot this year. I learned what it is to be a franchise quarterback.”Elway clearly didn’t see Keenum in that way.So, he’s moving on to another veteran in Flacco, 34, who will be Denver’s fifth starting quarterback since Peyton Manning retired after winning the Super Bowl three years ago.Keenum is slated to count $21 million against the salary cap next season, which is actually more than Flacco’s $18.5 million salary cap hit.That Broncos are hoping a trade partner emerges or that they can restructure Keenum’s contract to a figure more befitting a backup. Otherwise, releasing him would cost them $7 million but save them $11 million.Keenum seems to believe his time with the Broncos is over.“My time with the Broncos has been really special,” he said on the podcast. “I have enjoyed every second of it. I have absolutely been so proud to wake up every day and to walk into that building to represent the Broncos as their quarterback. … It was an honor.” On May 16, St. Louis Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter stood in the batter’s box at Target Field in Minneapolis. The career .275 hitter was batting an embarrassing .140, and St. Louis fans were calling for his benching.
What a difference six weeks make.
Going into Wednesday night’s series finale with the Cleveland Indians at Busch Stadium, Carpenter is now hitting .259. Since the middle of May, Carpenter has collected 53 hits and batted .349. His 16 doubles and 12 homers in that span rank second in the majors, and no hitter can equal his 1.115 OPS over that period Joey Bosa Jersey , not even Mike Trout.
In Tuesday night’s 11-2 blowout of Cleveland, Carpenter did something no other Cardinal has ever done. He went 5-for-5 with five runs scored and belted a pair of solo homers. That’s a roll call not even Stan Musial or Albert Pujols can answer.
Included in that outburst was a leadoff homer off Indians ace Corey Kluber, a blast that cut a 2-0 deficit in half and restored energy in a dugout that could have gotten down after a quick deficit following a 90-minute rain delay.
“He’s one of the best in the game,” Carpenter said of Kluber. “That’s just an outstanding job by our team. We took a lot of good at-bats. I’m starting to put things together. We play a long, long, long season. I knew I could physically do it.”
A five-run second inning turned flames into an inferno, burning Kluber in the shortest start of his career. It also put the Cardinals (42-36) in position to sweep the American League Central leaders and gave them four straight wins after a stretch of eight losses in 10 games.
St. Louis will send Jack Flaherty (3-2, 2.50 ERA) to the mound in search of a sweep on Wednesday. Flaherty is coming off the best start of his young career, tying his career high with 13 strikeouts Friday night in Milwaukee. He took a no-hitter one out into the seventh inning before Jesus Aguilar golfed a breaking ball over the left-center-field wall.
But Flaherty had to settle for a no-decision that night in his team’s eventual 2-1 loss, although the performance may have made him a candidate for National League Rookie of the Year.
“He prepares beyond his years,” Cardinals pitching coach Mike Maddux told mlb.com. “If you saw him, you would think he’s been around the block.”
Flaherty has never faced Cleveland.
Flaherty’s resume does read like a grizzled veteran compared to Indians right-hander Shane Bieber (2-0 Nick Bosa Jersey , 2.45), who will make his fourth big league start. Bieber blanked Detroit over seven innings Friday night in a 10-0 victory, allowing just four hits and walking one while fanning nine.
“I was saying before the game that I was excited to watch him pitch, and that’s why,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said to mlb.com. “He pounded the zone with three different pitches. He changed speeds. That was fun to watch.”
Nothing about this series has been fun for the Indians, who in two games have managed just 10 hits, none for extra bases. That’s been a dramatic contrast after outscoring opponents by 54 runs during a seven-game winning streak.