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Guillem Balague believes lingering muscle problems could partly explain Lionel Messis dip in form for Barcelona. The Argentina international failed to score for the fifth consecutive game as his side crashed out of the Champions League to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.And Balague, who says Messis recent tendency to drop into midfield is limiting his effectiveness, thinks the Barca star is in pain. Lionel Messi was largely on the periphery as Barcelona were knocked out by Atletico Madrid When asked to explain Messis form on Sky Sports News HQ, Balague said: He has not scored in five games, and Barcelona depend on a very good Messi.Theres two ways to explain this. First, you look at him and hes dropping deeper, hes walking instead of running - although he normally does that - and he doesnt look as sharp. Whats up with Barca? Barcelona out: Reliance on Messi, Neymar and Suarez proves costly When he doesnt feel sharp he doesnt get in the box. As a midfielder, hes good but hes not that great.But you can also explain it in a different way. Minutes after the Atletico Madrid game finished a story came out that he has been struggling with muscle problems. Not an injury as such, but about three weeks ago he went to Venice to see a nutritionist and he was asking him, Why is it I dont feel well at the moment?It could be the training and hes in pain certainly, and all those things have made him perform at a lesser level.Some will say its just excuses, but look back at his last five games and you can see it hasnt been the same Messi. Ive checked with the family and the muscle issues are one of the problems that is worrying him. Antoine Griezmann scored once in each half to send Atletico Madrid into the Champions League semi-finals Barca have lost three of their last four matches in all competitions, but sit three points clear of Atletico in La Liga and remain on course for a league and cup double.And Balague believes La Liga and Copa Del Rey titles will still represent a strong season, even if they failed in their pursuit of back-to-back trebles. This is what were used to seeing from Lionel Messi. They can still win the league and the cup, but nobody is talking about that because it has been a surprising demise in the last month, he added.Winning after winning is so difficult and to keep at that level for so long is almost impossible.Imagine if they do win the league, it means they will have had a good season, but if they also beat Sevilla in the cup, its a very good season. But at this point the Champions League blurs everything else and it looks like something is missing. Luis Enrique took full responsibility for Barcelonas Champions League defeat The main culprit according to the media in Catalonia is Luis Enrique, who hasnt done some of the things that made Barcelona good last season.Enrique has to be the coach and say Neymar you havent scored since mid-March and Messi perhaps you should rest too.But now there are seven games left and its difficult to tell them that because everyone wants to play as soon as possible and bounce back from what has been a hurtful defeat. Win a t-lab Peloton t-shirt We have teamed up with original British mens t-shirt label t-lab in our new giveaway Also See: Whats up with Barca? Griezmann knocks Barca out How Spain reacted to Barca loss Enrique: Im to blame for exit L. P. Ladouceur Jersey . Dane Dobbie and Shawn Evans each had two goals and two assists for the Roughnecks (8-5), who outscored Minnesota 6-2 in the fourth quarter after being tied through 45 minutes. 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While it would be easy to lay this one on the bullpen - Steve Delabar, Brett Cecil, Sergio Santos and Esmil Rogers got tagged for eight runs in the final two innings - this loss, by a final score of 10-7 to the Royals, was a total team effort. So much so, in fact, that manager John Gibbons, Kansas Citys bench coach as recently as 2011, took a veiled shot at his club while praising his old team. “I will say one thing about that team over there, because I was there when they were young,” said Gibbons. “They play nine innings. I dont care, up or down, they compete and they get after your ass and thats why theyre going to end up winning it one day.” Perhaps Gibbons was upset with catcher Dioner Navarro, who put on a clinic of how not to play defence in the second inning. First, with Royals at the corners and one out, Navarro attempted to back hand a Dustin McGowan slider in the dirt. The ball skipped off Navarros shin guard and towards the Royals first base dugout. Billy Butler, the runner on third, scored. Later in the second, again with runners at the corners, Navarro inexplicably attempted to throw out Alcides Escobar trying to steal second. The throw was offline and bounced into centrefield, allowing Alex Gordon, who was on third, to score. Perhaps Gibbons was upset with Edwin Encarnacion who, with two runners on and one out in the seventh, didnt hustle down the first baseline on a ground ball back to pitcher Kelvin Herrera. Usually a routine play, Herreras throw brought first baseman Eric Hosmer off the bas,e but because Encarnacion was only halfway down the line, Hosmer had plenty of time to collect himself and step on the bag for the out. Perhaps Gibbons was frustrated with Colby Rasmus and Jose Bautista, who converged on Gordons lead-off fly ball to right centrefield in the seventh. Neither took charge - its Rasmus job to do so - and the ball bounced on the warning track for a lead-off double. The Jays had a 5-2 lead at the time. Gordon would score one hitter later when Salvador Perez hit a two-run home run off of Delabar, marking the start of the Kansas City comeback. Perhaps Gibbons was frustrated with Melky Cabrera, who did tack on two more hits for a league-leading 41, but who also had a poor night in left field. Twice Royals runners took an extra base on Cabreras arm. Once because he displayed no urgency in getting the ball back to the infield and Cabrera also missed a cut-off man in the Royals six-run eighth, allowing a second run to score on a single by Omar Infante. The Blue Jays fell to 12-14. Gibbons called it a “crappy game.” Under the cirumstances, he was being polite. McGOWANS STRONG OUTING; STROMAN MAKES STATEMENT As Dustin McGowan took the mound in Tuesday nights series opener against the Royals, Marcus Stroman was wrapping up, perhaps, his most impressive appearance in his brief professional career. The two are linked. The belief is that the Blue Jays are growing weary of McGowans inability to work deep into ballgames; manager John Gibbons has repeatedly offered that he liked McGowans work out of the bullpen last season, thinking hes better suited to a one or two-inning role. McGowan is a type-1 diabetic and, as first reported by TSN.ca, he wore his insulin pump in an attempt to regulate his blood sugar level - it tends to skyrocket during games - and alleviatee the fatigue that overtakes him in the middle innings.dddddddddddd He pitched into the seventh inning for the first time this season, granted it was just one batter and Alex Gordon doubled, but it was a step forward. McGowan allowed three runs, two earned, on three hits, three walks and two strikeouts. He left with a lead, which was coughed up by the bullpen. “Real encouraged,” said McGowan. “I got deep in the game and thats all Ive been wanting to do. Sometimes the results are overshadowed by the innings you pitch, but as long as you get deep in games, good things happen once you get deep in games.” Stroman is among the clubs top pitching prospects and of those prospects, is considered to be the most major league ready. He showed it in Buffalo on Tuesday, hurling six hitless innings, striking out 10 and walking only one in what could be his final Bisons appearance before hes added to the 40-man roster and brought up to pitch in Pittsburgh this weekend. Gibbons has talked about using a six-man rotation through the next turn. The Blue Jays dont have another off day until May 19, which prevents Gibbons from rearranging the order of the rotation to facilitate additional days off for certain pitchers. If the Jays were weighing whether to go with McGowan or J.A. Happ on Monday in Philadelphia, after Stroman starts on Sunday in Pittsburgh, McGowans performance may have bought him at least one more start. GETZ ARRIVES; GOINS TO BUFFALO Chris Getz was shagging fly balls during Triple-A Buffalos batting practice on Monday afternoon when minor league field coordinator Doug Davis waved him in to give him the news he was on his way back to the big leagues. A former Royal who played in Kansas City for four seasons and not immediately aware of the Blue Jays next opponent, Getz was surprised to hear of his first stop destination. “It was pretty funny because I knew they had the off day and then Doug mentioned that, Hey, youve got a flight at 6:30 and youre heading to Kansas City,” said Getz. “Heading to Kansas City? I already played with them. Of course, Im playing against them, but it was cool to come back here and see a lot of familiar faces, teammates, but even the people working at the park. You get to know them over the years and theyre such good people here. I just kind of feel at home.” Getzs contract was selected from the Bisons in time for Tuesday nights opener with the Royals. He replaces Ryan Goins, who was optioned to Buffalo after a slow start at the plate. In 24 games and 66 plate appearances, Goins posted a slash line of .150/.203/.217 (.420 OPS), with one home run. “He was having good at-bats,” said hitting coach Kevin Seitzer. “I think if we were, as a group, doing better top-to-bottom, he would probably still be here. I dont know, thats not my decision, but I felt like his at-bats were getting better and better the last week, week-and-a-half.” This isnt it for Goins. The Blue Jays value his glove. Expect him to be back. “I told him, You go down there, be a good teammate, work hard, keep a good attitude which I know you will and apply the stuff that we worked on,” said Seitzer. “I said, I want you building confidence in everything youve done to this point to where you come back and dont go back.” Getz is a solid defensive second baseman who will bring a little more offence than Goins. For his six-year career with the White Sox and Royals, Getz, 30, is a .251/.310/.309 hitter. Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Discount NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys 2018 Cheap Jerseys 2018 Discount NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys From China Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping ' ' '