GUYANA’S highest-ranked and top senior players, Shemar Britton, Christopher Franklin, Trenace Lowe and 2018 Sports Woman-of-the-Year Chelsea Edghill are currently in Guatemala continuing their quest for Pan American Games singles’ qualification spots. The event is being held May 24-25 at the Teodoro Palacios Flores Gymnasium in Guatemala.Shemar BrittonHaving narrowly missed out on the team qualification event when Guyana hosted the Pan American games and Caribbean table tennis championships in March, the event in Guatemala offers six (6) singles spots for male players and six (6) female spots for countries that didn’t qualify in the team events of the various continental qualification events. The eventual qualifiers will play at the Pan American games scheduled for July-August in Lima, Peru.Two players from each country will be eligible to participate in the team event.The qualification system will see three trials played where the top two players from each qualification final will qualify for the Pan American games then there will be a redraw for the next round.Some 23 male players and 19 female players from the Pan American region are vying for qualification spots.Trenace Lowe and Chelsea Edghill have been seeded 1 and 2 respectively with participating countries in the women’s category coming from Ecuador, El Salvador, Paraguay, Ecuador, Costa Rica Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Barbados, St Kitts and HondurasChristopher Franklin and Shemar Briton have been seeded fifth and sixth in the men’s category in a field of countries comprising Jamaica, Colombia, Bolivia, Panama, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St Kitts, Honduras, Guatemala, Venezuela and Barbados.Up to press time Guyana’s Shemar Britton, Trenace Lowe and Chelsea Edghill had advanced to the quarter-finals of the first trials.
Dodgers shortstop Jimmy Rollins played a tremendous all-around game. Howie Kendrick backed him up in the lineup with two RBIs.But ah, the bullpen.The Pirates loaded the bases twice in the late innings with no outs — in the eighth against Avilan and again in the 10th against Johnson (2-4). Left-hander J.P. Howell took over for Johnson to face Alvarez, a left-handed hitter. Alvarez stroked a line drive over a five-man infield — no fielder was within 100 feet of where the ball landed in right field — to drive in Jung-Ho Kang with the winning run.“I wanted to pick my boy up. It’s brutal,” Howell said. “(Bad) way to end the game. We battled the whole way.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error For his part, Johnson pointed to the unpredictable nature of the sport.“If I execute one pitch a little better we don’t have this conversation,” he said after the game. “It’s just the way this game is, the fractions of inches we deal with.”After walking Kang to lead off the 10th, Johnson allowed a single by Francisco Cervelli through the shortstop hole and a bunt single by Sean Rodriguez.“As far as execution, that (single by Cervelli) was a poorly executed pitch,” Johnson said. “The leadoff walk didn’t help either.”It might be easy to dismiss one inch Friday as an unhappy accident if the Dodgers’ bullpen didn’t have an ERA over 4.00 for the season, ranking among the 10 worst units in the major leagues. They have used 20 different pitchers in relief, so it’s tough to blame just one or two men.Using a small sample size to evaluate the new guys is dangerous. Johnson has faced 12 batters as a Dodger and allowed five hits; two were home runs. Yet before Friday, he hadn’t walked a batter in more than a month or allowed a home run since the second week of the season.In his two appearances since the the trade, Avilan has faced five batters each time. Each time he’s allowed a single, a walk, and recorded three outs. Yet before Tuesday he hadn’t allowed runs in back-to-back appearances all season.Managing a bullpen isn’t an exact science, either. Avilan had been up and down, throwing then resting then throwing again, before he finally entered the game in the eighth inning with a runner on first and nobody out in a 4-4 game. The Pirates loaded the bases on a single and a walk. Then Avilan induced three weak groundouts to escape the jam without allowing a run.Johnson had only recorded more than three outs in a game twice this season. But when manager Don Mattingly asked him how he felt after a scoreless, 12-pitch ninth inning, Johnson said he felt fine. So he went back to the mound, only to load the bases without recording an out.Howell only started throwing in the 10th inning and was warm by the time he was summoned to face Alvarez.“That’s ideal,” Howell said. “It’s like, no problem.”Five pitches later, on a 2-2 changeup, he allowed a solid line drive to end the game.There was no rhyme or reason Friday. Just a familiar sense of dread getting the ball to closer Kenley Jansen, who never got his chance.“I think the guys we have back there are doing a good job,” Kershaw said. “Obviously Avi and J.J. have a proven track record of getting guys out late in games. You saw that tonight. Avi got out a of a big jam, bases loaded and nobody out. That was huge. J.J. had that really good (ninth) inning before the last one. It happens sometimes.”The Dodgers’ bullpen has been charged with 19 losses this season, more than all but seven teams. Last year, the Dodgers’ bullpen was charged with 24 losses. Indeed, it happens sometimes. Friday, it happened again. PITTSBURGH >> The Dodgers acquired two relief pitchers ahead of this year’s trade deadline from the Atlanta Braves, left-hander Luis Avilan and right-hander Jim Johnson. Since the front office hasn’t been given a specific limit to its player payroll — now reportedly at $297 million for luxury-tax purposes, a record — it was fair to expect the Dodgers would shoot for the moon to upgrade what had been an increasingly shaky unit.In losing 5-4 to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 10 innings on Friday, the bullpen looked shakier than it did before the deadline. The two new guys didn’t always look great.The dramatic ending, a walk-off single by Pedro Alvarez over a drawn-in infield, obscured many things on the Dodgers’ part — some good and some bad.Clayton Kershaw suffered through his worst start since May, allowing four runs in six innings and halting his scoreless-innings streak at 37. Pirates ace Gerrit Cole wasn’t much better, allowing three runs in six innings.