Cobb: Too hot to handle
Starter says he didn’t feel ready for blazing Boston bats in debut
BOSTON – Alex Cobb knew the Boston Red Sox would present a difficult challenge in his season debut Saturday, but the Orioles right-hander was confident he had done everything he could over the season’s first few weeks to be ready for the American League’s most dangerous lineup.
Cobb had history on his side — a track record of success against the Red Sox and at Fenway Park — but his preparation for the season after signing with the Orioles in the final week of spring training was uncharted territory.
After an ugly Orioles debut in a one-sided 10-3 loss to the Red Sox, Cobb — who TV: Radio: walked off the field with two outs in the fourth inning and was charged with eight runs (seven earned) on 11 base runners — said he felt ill-prepared to face Boston’s lineup. It was a dubious start for Cobb, who faced nothing comparable to a big league lineup in four tune-up outings — three simulated games and an extended spring game — let alone a Red Sox batting order that has allowed few pitching mistakes to go unpunished in the first two games of this four-game series at Fenway Park.
“Not today, I didn’t [feel ready],” Cobb said. “We did all we could. There is no replicating this. This is the best team in the world hitting right now, and you’re never going to get ready for that. We did what we could and … facing a lineup, it’s a battle with
COLLEGE PARK – There was talk after Maryland’s 2017 football season ended that sophomore running back Jake Funk might be moved to defense, where he played quite a bit in high school.
That talk quieted when offensive coordinator Walt Bell left for Florida State in January and Matt Canada, whose offenses have often used a healthy dose of jet sweeps, was hired as Bell’s successor.
As evidenced by what Canada called and Funk did in Saturday’s annual Red-White spring game at Maryland Stadium, that could become a regular staple of the offense this fall.
Funk, who scored four times in 27 carries last season as he developed into something of a goalline specialist for the Terps, scored twice on jet sweeps in helping the White team to a 31-3 victory Saturday.
On both touchdowns, Maryland’s second-team defense was caught going in the wrong direction, allowing Funk to run unscathed into the end zone.
“That’s what the whole offense is based off of — [misdirection],” Funk said. “Getting the defense’s eyes off of what’s actually going on … and ultimately they lose track of the ball.”
Asked if it was reminiscent of his senior year at Damascus High, where he set a Maryland state record with 52 touchdowns, Funk said, “I feel they try to get me all over the field. Jet sweeps, out in the slot, playing running back. I think my role in this offense is increasing and I love it so far.”
Said third-year coach DJ Durkin: “What we do offensively really allows for a guy to create a role for himself. … You have certain strengths and [if ] those show, we can find a way to utilize you and Jake obviously has a nose for the end zone. He’s a terrific running back.”
Not that Funk is going to displace senior Ty Johnson (10 carries for 50 yards Saturday) as Maryland’s top running back, PG9