At 3 p.m yesterday, Calabar High were half of a point behind Kingston College in the race for the Mortimer Geddes trophy. An hour later, the defending champions took over and strangled the life out of their rivals’ challenges in a show of confidence and efficiency, as they powered to their fifth straight and 28th hold on the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships title. In a 4x400m finale that many had dreamed to witness, Calabar’s Christopher Taylor underlined the title when he anchored his team to the win in 3:09.77 in a blockbuster showdown with KC’s Akeem Bloomfield, who stormed around to the front only to see Taylor outsprint him in the final 100m. KC was timed at 3:10.26 with JC taking third in 3:15.06. Bloomfield, who had to make up a 30m deficit was unofficially clocked at 44.5 seconds on his leg, with Taylor timed at 45.3 seconds. Calabar closed their account on 287.5 points to KC’s 250 with JC ending on 227.5. St Jago were fourth on 175 points, ahead of fifth placed St Elizabeth Technical (100 points) As expected, Edwin Allen formalised their third straight girls’ title, with a comfortable win to continue the Frankfield machine’s growing dynasty with 329.5. Hydel was second on 263; St Jago (241.5); Holmwood (184); Vere (139); Excelsior (80) round out the top spots. Powered by champion girl Junelle Bromfield, St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) finished with 72 points in seventh. In the Class 2 boys 400m final, Taylor, having already covered the field with 100m to go, looked left; then right before jogging to the line in 47.76, while waving his arms, encouraging his team-mate Brandon Heath, 48.03, to the finish line as Calabar secured a big 16 points. Munro’s Romel Plummer, 48.43 was third. The Calabar titan was again at the front of a one-two finish for his school when he returned to win the 200m title in 22.14 ahead of team-mate Dejour Russell, 21.38 and St Jago’s Gary Gordon, 22.09. In the Class 1 girls 200m final, Holmwood’s Ashley Williams, 24.02 pulled away to win ahead of Green Island’s Kimone Hines, 24.35 and St Jago’s Shanice Reid, 24.42. KC has a special 400m talent of their own and in one of the most predictable results of the day, Akeem Bloomfield manhandled the Class 1 boys 400m field even if his 46.12 was expectedly not as shiny as last year’s 44.93 bomb. St Kago’s Collin Sewell, 47.51 was next best with Calabar’s Aykeeme Francis, 47.66, third. Bromfield, the Class 1 1500m champion, was powerful over the last 100m, as her long legs pushed her to a world junior leading 51.74 win in the Class 1 girls 400m with Holmwood’s Ashley Williams, 52.87, who led up to 250m, coming in second ahead of Petersfield’s Segale Brown, 54.19. She would make it three individual gold medals with an equally impressive win in the 800m, stopping the clock at 2:09.70, with Janiel Moore, 2:15.47 and her Edwin Allen team-mate Asshani Robb, 2:16.73 taking second and third respectively. KC’s Shanthamoi Brown, 50.07 obliged in the Class 3 boys 400m final with a comfortable win over Munro’s Devante Heywood, 50.92, and Daniel Binns (Herbert Morrison), 51.48. The afternoon belonged to Calabar and Seanie Selvin, 14.05 and Tyrone Bryan’s, 14.16, quinella in the Class 1 boys 110m hurdles summed up their mood. JC’s Phillip Lemonios, 14.33 was third. Dejour Russell (Calabar) matched Michael O’Hara’s 13.45 Class 2 boys 110m hurdles record (2013) as he won ahead of Oquendo Bernard (JC), 14.18 and another Calabar man, Orlando Bennett, 14.22. KC’s Davion Williams, 13.62 win the Class 3 boys 100m hurdles event and took his celebration to the KC supporters in the stands. Calabar’s Schavon Carr, 13.89 was second with Warren Henlon (STETHS), 13.94 next best. Janell Fullerton (St Jago) broke the Class 1 girls shot put record (14.27m), dropping a 14.39m mark to win ahead of Tavia Dixon (Excelsior) 13.61m and Sahjay Stevens (STETHS), 13.17m. St Jago’s Keenan Lawrence, 1:54.84, who broke the 1500m record on Friday also won the Class 2 boys 800m title ahead of Anthony Cox, 1:56.60, also of St Jago and JC’s Dugion Blackman, 1:56.65. In a big upset, the little fancied Nathan Brown (Excelsior), 1:55.21, outlasted St Jago’s Leon Clarke, 1:55.43 and STETHS’ Jauavney James, 1:55.44 in a close Class 1 boys 800m. Calabar secured the two top spots in the Class 1 boys shot put with Kyle Mitchell, 19.27m winning ahead of Warren Barrett Jr, 19.08m and Vashon McCarthy (JC), 18.14m.
Sime Darby Plantations Liberia (SDPL) has about 3.7 million pairs of personal protective hand gloves to help the Liberian Government’s fight against the deadly Ebola virus disease in the country. The hand gloves will help reduce the dire demand for personal protective equipments (PPEs) for frontline healthcare workers and their support staff fighting the Ebola virus. Sime Darby, an investor in Liberia’s oil palm and rubber sectors, made the donation at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Congo Town on Friday, November 7. Professor Boimah Sonii made the donation on behalf of Sime Darby and assured the government of his company’s preparedness to help sustain the fight against Ebola. Liberia’s Vice President Joseph N. Boakai was on hand to receive the hand gloves loaded in three containers on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.The elated Vice President described the Malaysian investors as one of the companies that have made ‘substantial’ investments in Liberia. Sime Darby is investing hundreds of millions of United Sates dollars in Liberia’s oil palm and rubber industries in the post-conflict economy. Vice President Boakai, being aware of the risks taken by the company to invest here particularly in the oil palm sector, lauded the company and noted how it has remained committed and focused in its investment drive in the country despite the enormous challenges. “Sime Darby is one of those companies that have made substantial investments in Liberia– in four of our counties of course they are just in two of those counties for now,” said Vice President Boakai. “We are thankful for the contribution from them [Sime Darby] and of course much more is needed in the fight against Ebola and our [government] commitment to take our health sector to a new level.” Vice President Boakai also thanked the Malaysian government for the partnership and support to the Liberian government. For his part, Liberia’s Health and Social Welfare Minister, Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale, also thanked Sime Darby for the donation and said it is timely for the government and people of Liberia. “These donations are timely and good for us because the demand for PPEs is too high,” said Dr. Gwenigale. Minister Gwenigale immediately turned the containers over to Deputy Health Minister for Administration Mr. Matthew T. K. Flomo who expressed his gratitude to Sime Darby for the kind gesture. “We are now fighting a twin battle,” said Mr. Flomo. “One of the battles is to defeat the Ebola virus and the other is to restore normal healthcare delivery across the country.” According to Minister Flomo, the donation by Sime Darby will help the Ministry supply hand gloves to public hospitals in the 15 counties of Liberia. He, however, noted that more PPEs including hand gloves are needed because health workers are required to immediately dispose of every pair of glove they use as they cater to a patient at a time. “We are more than happy to receive these gloves, but the fight against Ebola is not over yet and so the demand is very high,” Flomo added.Few days ago, Sime Darby Management announced that it was bringing in three containers of hand gloves to help the government fight the Ebola virus.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim is expected to arrive in Liberia today to further strengthen the Bank’s continuing response to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). Dr. Kim, a strong advocate for the global fight against the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, will meet President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and senior officials of the Liberian Government.He will be expected to reassure the government and people of Liberia of the Bank’s commitment to assist Liberia to achieve zero Ebola virus transmission. Dr. Kim, who is also a public health expert, will visit the Ebola Emergency Operation Center (EOC) in Monrovia and meet with the Incident Management System representatives, donor partners involved in the Ebola response, health workers, EVD survivors, contact tracers and burial team members. He will also hold a press conference today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.The World Bank Group is mobilizing nearly US$1 billion in financing for the three countries hardest hit by the Ebola crisis. A total of US$518 million has been disbursed for the emergency response. The funding is helping Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone provide treatment and care, contain and prevent the spread of infections, help communities cope with the economic impact of the crisis, and improve public health systems, a statement from the World Bank said Monday.Additional financing of a US$285 million grant was approved by the World Bank Group’s Board on November 18, 2014, with a US$115 million allocation for Liberia.This money, the Bank observed, will help scale-up community-based care and support for faster identification, triage and care of Ebola patients, enable a surge of international health workers, laboratory services, and essential supplies, and restart basic health services.The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is also providing commercial financing to enable trade, investment and employment in the three most affected countries, including Liberia. The financing includes a rapid response program which is helping to ensure continued operations of business and supplies of essential goods and services.Majority of the World Bank Group’s financing to the worst affected countries in West Africa is coming through the Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), which was established in 1960 to help the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives.IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.8 billion people living on less than US$2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about US$18 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A 25-year-old is now seeking the public’s assistance in helping him care for his three young children. The man is presently unable to work owing to an accident he encountered almost a month ago in Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).The young man, Travis Jacobis, of Lot 118 Wismar Housing Scheme, Linden, who is currently a patient at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC), said he was attacked by two dogs on May 28, 2018 at about 22:00h while on his way home on his motorcycle.Jacobis said after the dogs rushed at him, he lost control of his bike and fell.“I was riding going home on my motorbike and two dogs approach the front wheel and I mashed the front brakes and the bike slide. I try to save meh injury that ah had on meh lower left foot and I end up breaking my right hip…is wring I wring me body now to try and save this foot from breaking back and end up breaking my hip,” the distraught father said.The young man, who has been hospitalised since the accident, said his father visited the owner of the dogs who was reluctant to offer assistance. “Since I in de hospital, no owner of de dogs never like come to see what happen to me or assist me with anything or assist my family with anything,” he contended.While explaining his situation to Guyana Times, Jacobis said, “I am till from Linden and I am presently admitted to the Georgetown Hospital. I got to wait like only a weekend when my father come fuh bring a change of clothes. Otherwise than that I got to try to maintain myself within the hospital.”Due his immobility, he is seeking help to care for his three young children, especially since he does not know when he will be discharged from the health institution.The man’s youngest child is two years old.He is expected to undergo another operation to rectify his medical situation and is hoping and praying for a speedy recovery to be able to return to his job as a boat captain, so he can care of his children. Jacobis is the sole breadwinner for his family.
Williams cut it to 54-52 with a free throw, and then followed with a steal and fast-break layup to tie the score, 54-54, with 1:09 left. He forced a second turnover and completed the break with a another layup to make it 56-54 with 55 seconds remaining. The Matadores were far from finished. Kyle Risser then forced a third consecutive turnover and fed Robbins for an easy layup and 58-54 lead with 34 seconds to play. Three more stops – one on a Williams block of an Odum short jumper – allowed La Mirada to score the game’s final points. “We didn’t play defense or rebound and turned the ball over in the first half,” Kaupang said. “We (corrected those) in the second half, and that was the difference.” firstname.lastname@example.org (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3061 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “Earlier this season, we would have lost a game like this,” said La Mirada coach Larry Kaupang, whose team received 16 points from Derrick Williams and 13 each from Taylor Siemens and Josh Robbins. “But we’ve learned how to play in the last couple of minutes and close games. “We clamped down on defense and played solid.” The chances of advancing to the school’s first quarterfinal appearance since 1992 looked bleak. St. John Bosco, which received a game-high 24 points from Charles Odum, took a 54-51 lead with just under three minutes to play following two free throws by Duane Brown. La Mirada then went to work. BELLFLOWER – La Mirada High School’s boys basketball team looked as good as done. But when you’re enjoying a magical season, you don’t die easily. The Matadores didn’t and used a 12-0 blitz over the final three minutes to score a 63-54 victory over host St. John Bosco in front of an overflow crowd in a CIF-Southern Section Division I-AA second-round game on Tuesday night. The Matadores, who already have a victory over nationally ranked Artesia, improved to 21-7 and advanced to the divisional quarterfinals, where they will host Compton on Friday. St. John Bosco finished 16-13.
Instead, his side again looked devoid of ideas and invention to draw a blank and fall two points behind Group H leaders Juventus with two games against the Italian champions to come.A point does at least consolidate United’s position three points ahead of Valencia in second place, with Swiss champions Young Boys looking like the whipping boys of the group after a second 3-0 defeat in two games, this time against Juventus earlier on Tuesday.Kick-off was delayed by five minutes as United were held up by traffic that meant Mourinho’s men didn’t arrive at the stadium until less than 45 minutes ahead of the planned 8pm (1900GMT) start time.However, it took far longer for the game to come alive after a drab first half that summed up both sides’ struggles so far this season.– Sanchez subbed –Alexis Sanchez failed to make an impact on his return to the Manchester United side© AFP Lindsey PARNABYMourinho recalled Alexis Sanchez, who hadn’t even made the bench for Saturday’s defeat, among four changes from the weekend.But it was Marcus Rashford on the opposite flank who was United’s biggest threat as the Chilean again disappointed before being replaced 15 minutes from time.Rashford fired wide from the edge of the area and had another long-range effort comfortably handled by Neto early on.In a recurring theme of United’s decline over the past few months, though, there seemed little cohesive attacking plan other than a series of long balls hurled towards Romelu Lukaku.Valencia registered their first win of the Spanish season at the seventh attempt at Real Sociedad on Saturday, but the Spaniards’ struggles to score goals were also obvious despite enjoying plenty of possession.Goncalo Guedes enjoyed most of Valencia’s openings, but the Portuguese has still yet to score since making his loan move from Paris Saint-Germain permanent in August.Guedes fired off target when well-placed on the edge of the area either side of half-time as Valencia started the second half brightly.That prompted chants of “attack, attack, attack” from a disgruntled home faithful.United duly responded as Paul Pogba’s shot was deflected wide before a free-kick from the Frenchman finally forced Neto into his first serious save.Valencia failed to take advantage of Cristiano Ronaldo’s early red card in losing 2-0 to Juventus on matchday one and could yet regret not cashing in with all three points against a misfiring United side.Michy Batshuayi blasted the visitors’ best chance over from close range, before Guedes miscontrolled when clean through on goal.At the other end Neto did well to turn a Lukaku effort behind before Sanchez’s lack of confidence was laid bare when he took a touch too many inside the Valencia box and was crowded out.That was his last involvement as Mourinho’s decision to replace the former Arsenal forward with Anthony Martial was cheered by the United fans.Rashford came closest to breaking the deadlock with a free-kick from a narrow angle that clipped the crossbar, but a winner would have been more than either side deserved.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Under pressure manager Jose Mourinho grimaces as he watches on as his side struggle against Valencia on Tuesday night. Photo/COURTESYMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Oct 5 – Manchester United failed to relieve the mounting pressure on manager Jose Mourinho with another insipid attacking display in a 0-0 draw at home to Valencia in the Champions League on Tuesday.Already nine points adrift of Premier League leaders Manchester City and Liverpool after three defeats in seven league games, Mourinho was hoping for a reaction from Saturday’s dreadful display in losing 3-1 to West Ham United.
1 Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has warned Villarreal that Anfield awaits after his side’s 1-0 defeat in their Europa League semi-final first leg.Substitute Adrian Lopez capitalised on a momentary lapse in concentration in the second minute of added time to give the home side the advantage ahead of the return in a week’s time.On Liverpool’s last European appearance at home they staged a dramatic comeback to beat the then-favourites Borussia Dortmund and although the late drama went against them in Spain, Klopp remains confident.However, he cautioned against another similar performance like the one against the German club.“I am pleased with the performance, a lot of parts we did really good. Villarreal are a good side but Liverpool are a good side too,” he said.“After controlling a game like this in most parts of the game a 92nd-minute counter-attack it sounds like it is – not too good and everyone knows it and it should not happen.“I’ve seen some unbelievable mistakes but I don’t think about things like this. It happens.“It was not too smart. There are lot of things we could ask but it makes no sense.“It is not a moment for disappointment. If the players want to be angry for 10 minutes then do it and move on.“To be honest it is the first leg. My first thought was ‘Sorry, but it is not over, you have to come to Anfield too and we will be ready’.“With the help of Anfield we can do it – but please don’t compare with Dortmund.”Midfielder Joe Allen had Liverpool’s best chance in just the fifth minute but when left-back Alberto Moreno, who rifled a late shot into the side-netting with substitute Jordon Ibe better placed in the middle, got caught upfield it left Kolo Toure exposed to the much younger Denis Suarez who squared for Lopez.“We had this great moment with Alberto and a header from Christian (Benteke). Maybe the youth (inexperience) came through. Until then it was really a professional performance,” added the German.“Things are possible with 1-0, it is not the biggest result in the world. Villarreal know a lot more about us and they will respect us.“Now we have to find solutions to a few things but I saw we are in a good way. I saw a lot of things that show we can.” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded cardSo what now? Who steps up to carry the torch now that the sport has lost its glamour names? Consider that in the aforementioned Big Six, racing has lost: Its all-time leading winner in Pincay, forced to retire in April 2003 because of a serious neck injury. Pincay loved his profession so much, he might still be riding today – and effectively – at age 59 if healthy enough, as absurd as it sounds. Bailey, who won a record 15 Breeders’ Cup races – including a record-tying five Classics – and is runner-up to Day on the all-time career-earnings list with more than $295 million. He won a record seven Eclipse Awards as the nation’s top rider. One of its all-around good guys in Delahoussaye, the Louisiana native who thrilled so many local fans with his stirring come-from-behind victories when it appeared down the backstretch that it would take an act of God for him to win. Eddie D., forced to retire in January 2003 because of neck and head injuries, also is one of only four riders to win Kentucky Derbies in consecutive years. Stevens, who won eight Triple Crown races, including three Derbies aboard Winning Colors (1988), Thunder Gulch (1995) and Silver Charm (1997). Stevens, who retired in November and also would most likely still be riding today if 100 percent healthy, won a record nine Santa Anita Derbies, including three consecutive (1993-95). Imagine, if you can, baseball losing such all-time greats as Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson and Stan Musial in less than a four-year period. Now consider the impact if the NFL watched John Unitas, Joe Namath, Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Lawrence Taylor and Lance Alworth announce their retirements during a 3 1/2-year span. Thoroughbred racing has absorbed similar hits in recent years, beginning with Chris McCarron’s retirement in June 2002 and culminating with this week’s announcement by Jerry Bailey that he will call it a career following the Sunshine Millions on Jan. 28. In between, the sport lost Eddie Delahoussaye, Laffit Pincay Jr., Pat Day and Gary Stevens. All Hall of Famers, and all jockeys who could make a huge difference in a horse’s performance just by receiving a leg up. A rider in McCarron who had a penchant for winning the close ones. Tied with Bailey for most Breeders’ Cup Classic wins, the widest margin of victory in those five thrillers was Alysheba’s half-length score in the 1988 edition. Veteran trainer Allen Jerkins once said McCarron was the only jockey that ever lived who could mean 10 extra lengths to a horse. The consummate professional in Day, who retired in August 2005 after a serious hip injury led to fewer quality mounts. If he had remained healthy, there’s a good chance Day could have surpassed Pincay as the all-time leading winner. Bailey mentioned John Velazquez and Rafael Bejarano, currently 1-2 in the Gulfstream Park jockey standings, as two of the young riders he believes could be the Pincay, Bailey or Day of the next decade or two. But there’s little doubt that horse racing has taken a direct hit, particularly in the Southland. Sure, we still have such talented veterans as Patrick Valenzuela, Garrett Gomez, Alex Solis, Corey Nakatani and Kent Desormeaux, but who will be the next great young local rider who will sweep us off our feet much the same way as P-Val in 1979? The most obvious choice is 23-year-old Tyler Baze, a talented young jockey who already has won a Hollywood Park riding title and competes in a sport that is now searching for some riders to step up and take over for a Big Six that has bid us farewell. email@example.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2103 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
KATMANDU, Nepal – Nepal’s embattled king appeared to defuse weeks of mass protests that have pushed this Himalayan country near anarchy, reinstating the lower house of parliament Monday as his opponents had demanded. With few choices left and hoping to avoid a bloody showdown between demonstrators and his security forces, King Gyanendra’s announcement cleared the way for the creation of a new constitution that could leave him largely powerless, or even eliminate the monarchy. Gyanendra also expressed his sympathies for the 14 demonstrators killed by his security forces in nearly three weeks of protests. “We extend our heartfelt condolences for all those who have lost their lives in the people’s movement,” Gyanendra said in the address, broadcast on state television and radio. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventNepal’s three largest opposition parties welcomed the king’s comments, and the sounds of celebratory shouts and whistles could be heard in the streets of Katmandu minutes after the 11:30 p.m. speech. Gyanendra “has addressed the spirit of the people’s movement” and met the demands of the main opposition seven-party alliance, said Ram Chandra Poudel, general secretary of the Nepali Congress. The king’s address effectively handed power back to elected politicians hours before the largest planned protest yet, with hundreds of thousands of people expected to attend. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Manager Bobby Cox waited until the Braves were traveling home from their final regular-season game before revealing his plans to those involved. He called it a precautionary move, giving the team some flexibility in case Smoltz’s shoulder acts up again. “John is not 100 percent. But if he’s 95 percent, that’s good enough,” Cox said. “He is feeling good. He’s thrown a lot in between this time (since his last start). He doesn’t really ache or anything like that. It’s just a matter of locating his fastball a little bit better.” Still, it was big news when the Braves passed over Smoltz for Game 1 in the best-of-5 series. After all, he’s the winningest pitcher in postseason history with a 14-4 record. He wanted to get back in the rotation to start games such as this, feeling he didn’t have as much impact during the last four postseasons as a closer. But the wear-and-tear of pitching a team-high 229 2/3 innings apparently got to Smoltz late in the season. He pushed back one start a couple of days, then sat out the last nine days of the regular season to rest for the playoffs. Even though Smoltz (14-7) felt better during a bullpen session on Sunday, Cox wanted some assurance that his opening-day pitcher could come back on three days’ rest for Game 4, if necessary. “Everybody’s putting me in a coffin,” Smoltz said. “All I’ve got is a stiff shoulder. It’s not that big a deal.” The Braves made it official Tuesday, announcing that Smoltz will pitch Game 2 of the NL division series against the Houston Astros instead of the opener. Tim Hudson will go in Game 1 today against Andy Pettitte. ATLANTA — John Smoltz slipped out of the Atlanta Braves’ clubhouse through a side door, hoping to avoid reporters camped out by his locker. He knew what was coming and, frankly, he was a little tired of talking about it. Smoltz walked all the way to the parking lot before finally with more than a little reluctance he stopped by his car to chat. Hudson (14-9) was a pretty good backup choice, having pitched in four division series for Oakland. “I’m not exactly chopped liver,” he said. “I don’t feel like they’re settling for me going in the first game. It really doesn’t matter who goes first and who goes second.” While Hudson’s postseason resume 1-2 with a 3.44 ERA in six starts hardly matches up to Smoltz’s numbers, the Braves have plenty of confidence in the 30-year-old right-hander. “To me, it’s just another bullet in our belt,” second baseman Marcus Giles said. “We have just as much confidence in Huddy as we do in John. Huddy has pitched in a lot of big games. I don’t look at this as a bad situation. Well, look who the Astros have going in Game 1. And Game 2. And don’t forget Game 3. Pettitte (17-9) has 13 postseason wins trailing only Smoltz and put up an ERA of 2.39 this season, which was second in the National League to … teammate Roger Clemens (13-8, 1.87), the future Hall of Famer who will oppose Smoltz on Thursday. Houston’s rotation is so strong that Roy Oswalt (20-12, 2.94) won’t go until Saturday, when the series shifts to Texas, despite his second consecutive 20-win season and the NL’s seventh-best ERA. “Coming out with Pettitte, Clemens and Oswalt, you’ve got to feel pretty good about it,” manager Phil Garner said. “If I had one other guy to add to this rotation, it would be Cy Young. It would be hard to get him here now, I guess. But, nonetheless, I feel pretty good about it.” The Astros’ offense is another story. Houston finished 13th in the NL with a .256 batting average and 11th in runs (just under 4.3 per game). 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!