Mikaela Shiffrin ended her six-race winning streak in World Cup slaloms Sunday when she stunned her rivals by skiing off course with a lead of a full second in sight of the finish.
Shiffrin lost rhythm and balance going into a straight combination with six gates left Donte Jackson Jersey , handing victory to Petra Vlhova of Slovakia in the last slalom before the Pyeongchang Olympics.
Originally listed as a ”Did Not Finish” by race organizers, Shiffrin hiked back up the hill, paused and passed through the gate before skiing slowly down.
The American star was given 27th place, almost 14 seconds behind Vlhova, in her final World Cup race before going to South Korea for the Olympics. After Shiffrin started 2018 with five straight wins in World Cup events, her winless streak is now six.
Vlhova looked shocked in the finish area to have her first victory since November, when Shiffrin was runner-up at Levi, Finland, for her only other loss this season.
Vlhova finished 0.10 seconds ahead of Frida Hansdotter of Sweden, and 0.52 clear of third-placed Wendy Holdener of Switzerland.
”I am really sorry for Mikaela,” said Vlhova, who missed the podium in the four previous World Cup slaloms. ”I won and I’m really happy because I needed this. I was in crisis a little bit.”
Still, Shiffrin retained her big leads in the World Cup overall and slalom standings. Holdener is second overall and Vlhova second in the slalom standings.
It was the final World Cup slalom before the Feb. 14 medal race at the Pyeongchang Olympics where Shiffrin will defend her title. She is also the reigning world champion and World Cup season-long champion in the discipline she dominates.
Shiffrin already planned to skip a World Cup parallel slalom event in Stockholm on Tuesday and two downhills next weekend at Garmisch-Partenkirchen DJ Moore Jersey , Germany.
It completed a difficult weekend for Shiffrin at Lenzerheide where she enjoyed one of her greatest career days in 2013. Then, at the World Cup finals, a remarkable and fast second run ensured she edged Tina Maze for her first season-long slalom title at age 18.
On Saturday, Shiffrin placed just seventh in a giant slalom that included an especially steep and twisting start to each run.
Shiffrin said Sunday the previous day’s race left her ”pretty heartbroken” to confront the limits of her technical skills in giant slalom.
“That’s a hard thing to stare at straight in the face,” Shiffrin said, speaking after she took a clear lead in the first slalom run. After another cautious start Sunday morning, she raced down the bottom half to be 0.65 faster than second-placed Holdener.
Another slalom win – a 34th in World Cups for the Olympic and three-time world champion – seemed assured until a rare mistake took Shiffrin off the podium for the first time in more than a year.
CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians, who are in first place in the American League Central Division, are in the midst of a portion of their schedule in which they have an opportunity to lengthen their division lead, or see it evaporate — quickly.
Saturday at Progressive Field the Indians will host the division-rival Minnesota Twins in the second game of a three-game series. Saturday’s game will be the Indians’ ninth game in a 16-game stretch in which they will play only AL Central teams. In the first eight games in that span the Indians are 4-4, including a 6-3 loss to the Twins Friday night.
Overall this season the Indians are 18-12 against AL Central teams, including 11-3 at Progressive Field. The Twins are 15-10 against AL Central teams, and 5-2 against Cleveland.
Both teams made roster moves prior to Friday’s game. The Indians activated outfielder Tyler Naquin off the disabled list and placed first baseman Yonder Alonso on the family medical emergency list. Naquin was in the lineup Friday and played center field. He went 1-for-3 in his first game since being placed on the DL on May 11 with a strained left hamstring.
The Twins on Friday activated first baseman Joe Mauer off the disabled list and recalled infielder Taylor Motter from Triple-A Rochester. Mauer and Motter replace infielder Miguel Sano Youth Harrison Phillips Jersey , who was optioned to Class-A Fort Myers, and outfielder Jake Cave, who was optioned to Rochester.
“It’s really been bothering him that he hasn’t been contributing while we’ve been losing. His biggest goal is to win,” Twins manager Paul Molitor told the Minneapolis Star Tribune regarding Sano. “Some things have knocked him off course from time to time, and it’s time to address them.”
Mauer missed 25 games with a cervical strain/concussion-like symptoms. Motter was claimed off waivers from Seattle on May 28 and hit .167 (7-for-42) at Rochester.
Although the Indians are just 6-7 in June, they are encouraged by the improved work by their bullpen, which was the American League’s worst over the first two months of the season. However, in the month of June, the Indians’ 2.30 bullpen ERA ranks fifth. Two new additions, left-hander Oliver Perez and right-hander Neil Ramirez, have been key contributors in the bullpen’s resurgence.
“We were hoping that with an opportunity to pitch for those guys, good things would happen, and that’s what happened Youth Taron Johnson Jersey ,” said Indians manager Terry Francona. “Perez has helped a lot, and Ramirez has some swing and miss stuff. Things are definitely settling down (in the bullpen).”
The pitching matchup Saturday will be a pair of right-handers: Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco vs. Minnesota’s Fernando Romero.
Carrasco (8-4, 3.90 ERA) is coming off his best start of the season, a 4-0 win over the White Sox on June 11. In that game, Carrasco pitched seven scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and recorded 11 strikeouts with one walk.
Carrasco has started two games against the Twins this season and is 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA. In 19 career appearances (16 starts) against Minnesota, Carrasco is 5-7 with a 3.97 ERA.
The 23-year-old Romero (3-2, 3.92) will be making his ninth major league start and his first against Cleveland. Romero’s last start was a 7-5 win over the Angels on June 10. Romero pitched five innings in that game, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits, with five strikeouts and two walks.
Romero’s rookie season started well but has been bumpy in recent starts. In his first three starts he was 2-0 with a 0.54 ERA. But in his last five starts he is 1-2 with a 6.20 ERA.
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