By Greg Soukup EAGLE, Neb. (Aug. 16) – Chevy Hadan motored to his first Kaplan University IMCA Modified victory of the season at Eagle Raceway on Saturday. He passed Jared Hoefelman for the lead with three laps left, then beat Hoefelman and Mike Densberger to the checkers.“I usually run the bottom. I was trying to be patient and stay there, but when I saw Mike I knew I had to do something else,” he said. “The bottom wasn’t working any more, so I headed up top and moved to the front.” Adam Guillon became a first-time Mud In America Racesaver IMCA Sprint Car feature winner.“I got to thinking before the race started, so I started searching for something special just the right spot to run,” he said. “I tried running high into one on a caution but it was rough. So, the next time I went above the cushion and found my spot. Then, when I got the lead I kind of overdrove the car a little. “So I calmed myself down,” he continued. “I knew if I just hit my marks that I’d be good.” Benji Legg took over the lead with just four laps left to gain his seventh NAPA IMCA Northern SportMod feature win this season at Eagle. John Can also made his move to the front with four circuits to go in topping the Valentino’s IMCA Hobby Stock main. Larry Cronin, Matt Moyer and Cole Krichau ran 1-2-3 in the Sam’s Club IMCA Sport Compact headliner.
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “At first glance,” Turner said, “you’d think ‘this is a big (swing) and he’s just trying to launch.’ Where if you just break down the swing once my foot hits the ground, I feel like it’s a pretty short, efficient swing once you get past the leg kick.”Turner believes that gaining comfort in his swing has helped him cut down on strikeouts. This is his fourth season since his transformative winter in the cage with hitting guru Doug Latta and former teammate Marlon Byrd. But there’s more to it than that.For one thing, Turner is not getting into two-strike counts as often as years past. And when he does, he’s thriving: His .299 batting average with two strikes is the highest in the National League.More than physical comfort, this represents a change in Turner’s mentality.“When you’re at two strikes and trying to battle, and you get a ball in the middle of the plate thigh high and you foul it off, I think the norm is you see guys get frustrated with themselves for missing that,” he said. “I try not to get upset about it because that’s what you’re trying to do with two strikes: you’re trying to battle, trying to foul off tough pitches. All you did was give yourself another opportunity to get a mistake. MIAMI – Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner famously revamped his swing several years ago, incorporating a high leg kick and injecting some lift into a grounder-friendly bat path. The change made Turner a full-time major leaguer, then a household name, then an All-Star.Turner wasn’t focused on his strikeouts when he changed his swing. In his first season in Los Angeles, 2014, Turner struck out a career-high 18 percent of the time. By 2016 he had barely shaved a whisker off that rate, down to 17.2 percent.Flash forward to 2017. Turner batted .377 in the first half and hit 10 home runs. Yet his most impressive feat, however quiet, might be this: Turner is one of only six players who batted more than 200 times before the break and walked (32) more often than he struck out (29).At a time when strikeout rates are rising across baseball, Turner is whiffing less while swinging just as hard. “That’s where on the mental side of hitting I kind of turned a corner. Instead of getting angry about missing a pitch, I look at it as, ‘OK, I’ve got to get another pitch.’ I could’ve easily put that ball in play and grounded out or popped up, but I’ve got a chance to maybe get another mistake.”The other players with more walks than strikeouts before the break are elite hitters: Joey Votto, Mookie Betts, Anthony Rizzo, Adrian Beltre, Dustin Pedroia. Turner’s batting average already placed him in that echelon; now his discipline has too.History lessonThe Dodgers’ 26-4 run leading into the All-Star break rekindled memories of their 42-8 stretch in the summer of 2013.The manager at the time, current Marlins skipper Don Mattingly, was quick to point out one important difference: The Dodgers were a bad team in May 2013 before becoming world beaters in June and July.“They were ready to axe me then, right?” Mattingly said. “Then all of a sudden we catch fire.”Dave Roberts’ job was secure after the Dodgers lost to the Washington Nationals on June 6. Their record was 35-25. In the weeks that followed, Roberts said he did not check the team’s record until the All-Star break arrived.Still, he said, the effects of the Dodgers’ momentum became noticeable at some point. In that regard the similarity to 2013 is striking.“All of a sudden,” Mattingly said, “the total feel of your club is different.”For Roberts, the transformative moment was a four-game series sweep against the New York Mets on June 19-22.“That was a big series,” Roberts said. “We saw some good pitching and really played well. Won a game we probably shouldn’t have won. That was a good one.”Ryu updateDodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu threw a four-inning, 58-pitch simulated game at Marlins Park. Roberts said the left-hander, who’s on the 10-day disabled list with a left foot contusion, probably will not be activated during the Dodgers’ trip to Miami and Chicago.Roberts said he isn’t sure whether Ryu will return as a starter or a reliever.“We want to drop (Ryu) back in as a starter, but if a situation presents itself that we need him out of the bullpen, I know he would be open to helping us in that capacity,” Roberts said. “Ideally, it would be as a starter. But with the starting pitching that we have it’s hard to be exact in our prediction.”Ryu, 3-6 with a 4.21 earned-run average, has started 13 games and relieved one.AlsoThe Dodgers’ rotation is set through the series in Chicago. Alex Wood (Saturday) and Rich Hill (Sunday) will close out the series against the Marlins. Clayton Kershaw (Tuesday) and Kenta Maeda (Wednesday) will face the White Sox.