POOR PERFORMANCE LONDON (AP): The expectation is that the rails will come off Leicester’s title challenge and Manchester United will get back on track. Little goes to the script in this Premier League season. But Manchester United’s problems with scoring at home won’t go away, with boos again ringing out at Old Trafford yesterday after the hosts were stunned 1-0 by Southampton. Leicester went three points clear at the top – for 24 hours at least before Arsenal host Chelsea – by beating Stoke 3-0. And Manchester City slipped further behind the pacesetters by drawing 2-2 at West Ham. Jamie Vardy, having set the record for scoring in 11 consecutive Premier League games earlier in the season, ended a goal drought exceeding 10 hours for Leicester. Danny Drinkwater and Leonardo Ulloa scored either side of Vardy’s 66th-minute goal. A first-ever Champions League qualification for the central England club seems less fanciful by the week. Manchester United went an 11th home game in a row without scoring in the first half and then conceded after the break when Charlie Austin netted on his Southampton debut. “It was a poor performance, of course, because football is not only defending but also creating chances, and we didn’t create,” van Gaal said. United remain fifth, but are now five points behind Tottenham, who came from behind to win 3-1 at Crystal Palace. A moment of individual brilliance saw Tottenham go in front with 10 minutes to go. Dele Alli, one of the breakthrough stars of the season, flicked the ball up and back over his own head before volleying into the bottom corner. The biggest scoring game of the day was on the east coast with a nine-goal thriller, including two in stoppage time. After Norwich threw away a 3-1 lead in the second half to Liverpool, Sebastian Bassong thought he had secured a 4-4 draw, but in the fourth minute of injury time, Adam Lallana scored his first goal of the season to clinch a 5-4 victory for 7th-place Liverpool.
The biggest April-to-May OPS increases since 2002 2Chase AndersonBrewers11878-40 Less than a month into the season, the Toronto Blue Jays seemed as good as dead. Toronto had 17 losses against only six victories (the worst record in baseball), was getting outscored by 1.1 runs per game and found itself threatening franchise records for April offensive futility. The Jays had enjoyed a handful of good seasons in recent years, but with such putrid stats — and the second-oldest roster in baseball — the party appeared to be coming to an ugly, abrupt conclusion.Then, just like that, the Jays started winning ballgames again. It started with two straight victories to close out April, followed by a .500 record in the first week of May. (Baby steps!) Then they got legitimately hot: Seven wins in an eight-game span as the month neared its midway point. And, after another brief mid-month hiccup (losing five of six), eight wins over the final nine games of May. Toronto was hitting again, pitching pretty well and clawing its way back into an absurdly stacked division race.Baseball can be a strange sport in that way, with hot and cold streaks coming and going without warning. So when a team has such a mercurial start to a season, how do we know which version is the genuine article? Toronto is hoping it’s the one from May, and history has good news — that’s more likely than it being the awful edition that showed up in April. But even so, one poor month may have buried the Jays in too deep a hole to escape.It’s hard to be much colder than Toronto’s hitters were in April. Out of the 480 MLB team-seasons since 2002,1The earliest season of monthly splits in FanGraphs’ splits leaderboard tool. the Blue Jays’ .645 April on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) ranked 30th worst; it also represented the seventh-biggest April dip from a team’s previous full-season OPS, down 110 points as it was from Toronto’s .755 OPS showing at the plate in 2016. Although perennial-MVP-candidate third baseman Josh Donaldson was in and out of the lineup with a leg injury, his absence wasn’t the only explanation for Toronto’s struggles. Starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki hit poorly when healthy,2Only adding to his disappointing record since donning a Jays uniform two years ago. aging sluggers Jose Bautista and Kendrys Morales looked well past their primes and second baseman Devon Travis was the worst regular batter in baseball.The Jays’ improvement at the plate in May was even more remarkable than their April slump. Since 2002, only two teams — the 2015 Texas Rangers and 2003 Detroit Tigers — improved their OPS as much from May to April as this year’s Jays did.3For all the good it did those Tigers; they still finished with 43 wins, the second-fewest of any team in the 162-game era. And it was their worst hitters from April who caught fire most when the calendar flipped: Bautista’s OPS leapt from .554 to 1.055, Morales’s from .667 to .930 and, most remarkably, Travis’s from .388 to 1.019 (!). Only the surging Houston Astros had a better month at the plate than Toronto did in May. 14Michael FulmerTigers8869-19 22003Tigers.512.688+.177 52010Reds.713.873+.161 5James PaxtonMariners6734-33 42007Tigers.727.888+.161 The most improved pitchers of 2017 62004Yankees.723.877+.153 82002Angels.684.836+.152 15Ivan NovaPirates✓9678-18 YEARTEAMAPRILMAYDIFFERENCE 102012Phillies.640.776+.136 Source: FanGraphs 12Sonny GrayAthletics11291-21 8Josh TomlinIndians11488-26 ON-BASE PLUS SLUGGING AVERAGE 10Jeff SamardzijaGiants9873-25 9Zack GreinkeDiamondbacks9974-25 32017Blue Jays.645.809+.164 3Taijuan WalkerDiamondbacks✓12081-39 Nelson was awful last season, but he’s striking out more than two extra batters per nine innings this year — and walking two fewer — in part by ditching his lousy sinker. For his part, Anderson was nearly as bad as Nelson last year; his 2017 tonic has been a drastic reduction in homers allowed, from 1.7 per 9 to 0.7.Needless to say, neither is likely to be so lights-out going forward. But of the two, Nelson seems more likely to hold on to his gains (he has the better peripherals and is allowing softer contact). And for now, the Brewers have two of the best pitchers in baseball — completely out of the blue. It’s one of the biggest reasons why the Brew Crew are above .500 and a game up on the Cubs for the top slot in the NL Central, after being projected in preseason for a fourth-place finish. Just call them the anti-Mets.Check out our latest MLB predictions. 72005Pirates.650.803+.153 92004Expos.552.691+.139 12015Rangers.611.797+.186 1Jimmy NelsonBrewers11970-49 6Luis PerdomoPadres11891-27 11Dallas KeuchelAstros9271-21 Includes pitchers with a minimum 100 innings per 162 team games in both seasons. Stats for 2017 through June 5.Source: FanGraphs 13Sean ManaeaAthletics9877-21 7Chris ArcherRays9266-26 When a previously solid hitting team (such as the Blue Jays, whose 2016 OPS was 1 percent better than average) suffers a poor April and bounces back in May, they usually deserve the benefit of the doubt. In a regression predicting each team’s rest-of-season performance based on its OPS in the first two months and its OPS the previous year4Again, using data since 2002., April is the least predictive. Performance in May and the previous year combined to carry about three times as much relative importance5According to the “lmg” (Lindeman, Merenda and Gold) function in R’s “relaimpo” package.. Also of particular note for an elderly roster such as the Toronto’s: Age was not significant in the prediction after controlling for a team’s various OPS splits.This isn’t to say a poor April means nothing. The Jays’ projected rest-of-season OPS would be 14 points higher if they’d hit in April like they did in 2016 as a whole. (That’s the difference between having the fifth-best offense in MLB and merely the 10th best.) But in conjunction with the lineup’s May recovery, it was more a blip on the radar than a sign of impending collapse.Now for the bad news, Toronto. A poor April record can sink a team’s playoff chances, even if it doesn’t represent their true talent level. Since MLB added the extra wild card in 2012, the worst April record by an eventual postseason team was 7-14 (.333), by the 2015 Texas Rangers. By comparison, Toronto’s April record was a full game worse, at 8-17 (.320). Of course, some of that is chalked up to the fact that teams with playoff-caliber talent don’t tend to suffer such rough starts, but it also speaks to the challenge posed by falling so far down the standings, so quickly. Even if every game were a coin-flip from May onward, the Jays’ April record dropped their playoff odds from 33 percent in preseason to 10 percent after one month.They’ve since risen to 21 percent under “coin flip mode” — or higher, if you account for the talent on Toronto’s roster. But any way you cut it, a team that boasts one of baseball’s top 10 or so most talented rosters will probably find itself outside the playoffs at season’s end. And if that does happen, they can look back and blame it the extra month of spring training that Toronto decided to take in 2017.Milwaukee’s dynamic duoEarlier this week, we detailed the horror show in Queens, formerly known as the Mets’ pitching staff. The Mets entered the season with several pitchers who they thought were aces, only to see a historic decline in 2017. The Milwaukee Brewers are enjoying the opposite scenario: Several pitchers who looked like liabilities before the season have transformed into elite starters (for now).Specifically, each of the two hurlers who’ve reduced their fielding independent pitching (FIP)6Relative to the league, so using FIP-. most between 2016 and ’17 wear Milwaukee uniforms: Jimmy Nelson and Chase Anderson. (These numbers are through the games of June 5; Nelson and Anderson have both made — and won — starts since.) PITCHERTEAMNEW TEAM?20162017DIFF. FIELDING INDEPENDENT PITCHING MINUS 4Chris SaleRed Sox✓7943-36
Make in India’ campaign launch in Delhi by PM Narendra Modi. [Representational Image]Reuters FileTaking forward the government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign, mobile phone maker Spice Group announced on Tuesday an investment of ₹500 crore to manufacture smartphones in Uttar Pradesh, India.The company also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Uttar Pradesh government for the purpose.Spice claimed the manufacturing unit will strengthen the company’s strategy to introduce affordable smartphones in India through domestic manufacturing, thereby catering to a larger market by offering best technology at affordable prices.The MoU stipulates that the UP government will support Spice Group in establishing the facility in a time bound manner and facilitate the necessary infrastructure, ecosystem and incentives under various schemes announced by the State government and the Central government.Dilip Modi, Chairman, Spice Group, said, “We are delighted to announce our investment plans to set up a mobile manufacturing unit in Uttar Pradesh with the support of the Government of Uttar Pradesh. With a local manufacturing plant, Spice Group can achieve its vision to create affordable and high technology mobile products for a larger audience.” In a survey conducted by The Economic Times Brand Equity in 2014, Spice Group was ranked as the second most trusted Indian mobile brand in the country. Spice Group targets tier II and III markets through its affordable segment of smartphones and featurephones, and unique offerings.
Effect of replacing crops and grasses with high-emitting SRC species in our biofuel cultivation scenario. Credit: Nature Climate Change (2013) doi:10.1038/nclimate1788 Journal information: Nature Climate Change More information: Impacts of biofuel cultivation on mortality and crop yields, Nature Climate Change (2013) doi:10.1038/nclimate1788AbstractGround-level ozone is a priority air pollutant, causing ~ 22,000 excess deaths per year in Europe, significant reductions in crop yields and loss of biodiversity. It is produced in the troposphere through photochemical reactions involving oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The biosphere is the main source of VOCs, with an estimated 1,150 TgC yr−1 (~ 90% of total VOC emissions) released from vegetation globally4. Isoprene (2-methyl-1,3-butadiene) is the most significant biogenic VOC in terms of mass (around 500 TgC yr−1) and chemical reactivity and plays an important role in the mediation of ground-level ozone concentrations5. Concerns about climate change and energy security are driving an aggressive expansion of bioenergy crop production and many of these plant species emit more isoprene than the traditional crops they are replacing. Here we quantify the increases in isoprene emission rates caused by cultivation of 72 Mha of biofuel crops in Europe. We then estimate the resultant changes in ground-level ozone concentrations and the impacts on human mortality and crop yields that these could cause. Our study highlights the need to consider more than simple carbon budgets when considering the cultivation of biofuel feedstock crops for greenhouse-gas mitigation. (Phys.org)—A trio of researchers from the Lancaster Environment Centre, in the UK has found that planting trees for use as a biofuel source, near populated areas, is likely to increase human deaths due to inhalation of ozone. The team, in their paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change, suggests that increased levels of isoprene emitted from such trees, when interacting with other air pollutants can lead to increased levels of ozone in the air which might also lead to lower crop yields. Isoprene research could lead to eco-friendly car tires To reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere due to the burning of fossil fuels, governments and private groups have turned to biofuels as an alternate source. In Europe, fast growing trees such as eucalyptus, willow and poplar, have been planted and are being used to create biofuels which can be burned in engines and generators. Such trees have been seen as an attractive alternative to other edible crops, such as corn, because growing them doesn’t impact the price of food. Now however, this new research suggests that there is a different price to pay when using trees to produce biofuels.The problem, the researchers say, is that the types of trees used to produce biofuels emit high levels of the chemical isoprene into the air. Prior research has shown that when isoprene mixes with other pollutants (such as nitric oxides), ozone is produced. In this new research, the team suggests that using such trees as a biofuel could result in up to 1,400 deaths per year in Europe – per the European Union’s 2020 tree planting goal – attributable to increased amounts of ozone in the air, along with $7.1 billion in additional health care costs and crop losses.Plans for using trees as a biofuel resource generally involve planting near large urban areas to avoid incurring transportation costs. Such plantings, the researchers suggest, would lead to lung problems and deaths for people living in those areas. Conversely, if large numbers of such trees were planted in rural areas, edible crops would be adversely impacted, leading to less production and higher costs.The team also notes that ozone is currently blamed (by the European Environment Agency) for the deaths of 22,000 people in Europe each year. Citation: Research shows isoprene from biofuel plants likely to lead to ozone deaths (2013, January 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-01-isoprene-biofuel-ozone-deaths.html © 2013 Phys.org Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.