ponedjeljak, 27.06.2011.

MLB Roundup: Dodgers avoid Freeway sweep

Los Angeles — Clayton Kershaw outlasted Jered Weaver in a matchup of Los Angeles aces and the Dodgers rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Angels 3-2 on Sunday, preventing a Freeway Series sweep.

Pinch-hitter Aaron Miles, batting for Kershaw, drove in the tying run in the ninth on a sacrifice fly and Tony Gwynn Jr. won it with a two-out single off Jordan Walden. The Dodgers ended a three-game skid, though they remain nine games below .500.

Kershaw (8-3) gave up six hits in his second consecutive complete game, tying a season high with 11 strikeouts for the second straight outing. He didn’t walk batter in his 100th career start.

The 23-year-old lefty struck out the side in the fifth and his 128 strikeouts surpassed Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay, who has 123, for the NL lead.

Vernon Wells homered in the top of the ninth to give the Angels a 2-1 lead.

Weaver allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings. He struck out four and walked one.

The Angels had won six straight at Dodger Stadium, including wins in the first two games of the series, when they outscored the Dodgers 14-4.

Phillies 3, Athletics 1

Philadelphia — Roy Halladay pitched his NL-leading fifth complete game and Jimmy Rollins went 4 for 4.

Halladay (10-3) gave up eight hits and walked none in tying for the major league high in victories. He struck out four, raising his NL-leading total to 123 before the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw fanned 11 to pass him later in the day with 128.

The Phillies have won each of Halladay’s last eight starts and the right-hander is 5-0 with a 2.64 ERA during the stretch. He improved to 30-3 in a Philadelphia uniform in the 35 starts in which the Phillies have given him the lead.

Rollins scored twice, Placido Polanco had two hits and Halladay added a single for Philadelphia. Conor Jackson had three hits for the A’s, who have lost four of five.

Josh Outman (3-2), a former Phillies minor leaguer, allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings.

Padres 4, Braves 1

San Diego — Jason Bartlett hit a bases-loaded infield single for the tying run with two outs in the eighth inning and Orlando Hudson followed with a two-run single for the Padres.

Cory Luebke, making his first start of the season for the Padres, combined with four relievers on a two-hitter.

The Braves scored an unearned run in the top of the eighth for a 1-0 lead.

San Diego loaded the bases on a walk, an infield single, a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk off Jonny Venters (4-1) before Will Venable popped a bunt to the pitcher for the second out.

Bartlett's grounder that deflected off Venters' glove and rolled to shortstop for an infield single, allowing Chris Denorfia to score the tying run. Hudson singled up the middle to bring in two more and Chase Headley added an RBI single.

Mike Adams (3-1) pitched the eighth and Heath Bell pitched the ninth for his 20th save in 21 chances.

Giants 3, Indians 1

San Francisco — Madison Bumgarner bounced back from a one-out, eight-run performance with one of his best starts, striking out a career-high 11 batters in seven innings to help the San Francisco Giants beat the Cleveland Indians 3-1 on Sunday night to complete a three-game sweep.

Chris Stewart hit a two-run double for his first RBIs in more than four years and Aubrey Huff added an run-scoring single for the Giants, who have won five straight following a season-worst five-game losing streak.

But the story of the game was Bumgarner (4-9), who showed no lingering effects from his historically bad outing against Minnesota on Tuesday.

Tigers 8, Diamondbacks 3

Detroit — Miguel Cabrera hit a go-ahead single and the Detroit Tigers scored seven runs with two outs in the eighth inning.

The Tigers trailed 2-1 when pinch-hitter Don Kelly singled with one out in the eighth off reliever Aaron Heilman (4-1). After Austin Jackson struck out, Casper Wells drew a walk.David Hernandez then came on and didn't retire any of the four batters he faced. He walked Magglio Ordonez to load the bases, allowed Cabrera's two-run single and gave up RBI singles to Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta.

Brandon Inge hit a two-run single off Bryan Shaw to make it 7-2, and Kelly reached on an error, with another run scoring.

Al Alburquerque (5-1) pitched 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief for Detroit.

Red Sox 4, Pirates 2

Pittsburgh — Andrew Miller got his first win with Boston, scattering five hits over six innings and Boston the Red Sox snapped a four-game losing streak.

Miller (1-0) struck out four and allowed just one earned run. Recently promoted from the minors, he earned his first AL victory since 2007 with Detroit.

The Pirates tied a season high with four errors, preventing them from moving three games above .500 this late in the season for the first time in 12 years.

Adrian Gonzalez had two hits for Boston and raised his batting average to .361, tops in the majors. Yet the Red Sox won by doing the little things, scoring their four runs on a Pittsburgh error, a pair of sacrifice flies and an RBI groundout.

Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 14th save in 15 chances.

Tim Wood (0-2) lost as Pittsburgh’s normally reliable bullpen showed signs of stress following a busy week.

Orioles 7, Reds 5

Baltimore — Derrek Lee and Mark Reynolds homered in a four-run fourth inning, and Luke Scott added a solo shot in the seventh.

Baltimore totaled nine home runs in taking two of three from the sputtering Reds. The team combined for 16 homers in the series, including 14 in the last two games.

Brandon Phillips and Ramon Hernandez connected for Cincinnati, which fell to 3-9 in interleague play. The Reds stranded 14 and went 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position.

Homer Bailey (3-2) was activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game after being sidelined for a month with a sprained right shoulder. The right-hander gave up five runs and nine hits in five innings.

Jeremy Guthrie (3-8) allowed four runs, six hits and four walks in 5 2-3 shaky innings. The right-hander was 0-3 in his previous six starts.

Yankees 6, Rockies 4

New York — Eduardo Nunez hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning after shortstop Troy Tulowitzki made an error and Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada hit consecutive homers for New York.

Mark Teixeira homered for New York and Alex Rodriguez drove in a run for his sixth straight game.

Ty Wigginton connected twice for his second multihomer game this week and Chris Iannetta also homered for Colorado.

It was New York’s first series win against the Rockies since sweeping a three-game set at the old Yankee Stadium in 2004. New York improved to 22-4 in day games.

Boone Logan (2-2) got three outs in the seventh, Dave Robertson was perfect in the eighth and Mariano Rivera struck out the side in the ninth for his 20th save

Rays 14, Astros 10

Houston — Evan Longoria homered twice and drove in five runs and pinch-hitter Matt Joyce delivered a go-ahead double in the eighth inning to give the Rays a three-game sweep.

B.J. Upton homered for the third straight day and drove in four runs for the Rays, who have won four in a row.

Longoria came within a triple of the cycle and had his first multihomer game since 2009 — one of his homers was initially ruled a single until the call was overturned after a video replay review.

The Astros had taken an 8-7 lead in this wild, back-and-forth game on a solo homer by Jeff Keppinger off J.P. Howell (1-1) in the seventh.

Houston reliever Wilton Lopez (1-4) lost.

Royals 6, Cubs 3

Kansas City, Mo. — Alex Gordon extended his hitting streak to 13 games with an RBI double in a four-run first inning and Luke Hochevar won another afternoon start as the Kansas City Royals beat the Chicago Cubs 6-3 Sunday.

Hochevar is 9-3 with a 4.43 ERA in 14 day starts the past two seasons, compared to 2-11 with a 5.28 ERA in 21 appearances at night. He picked up just his second victory in his last 10 starts, with both coming in afternoon games.
Hochevar (5-8) departed after 5 2-3 innings. He gave up three runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out five. Louis Coleman struck out D.J. LeMahieu to end the sixth with the bases loaded.

Randy Wells (1-2) lasted six -plus innings, allowing six runs and 10 hits.

Brewers 6, Twins 2

Milwaukee — Ryan Braun extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a tiebreaking home run and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Minnesota Twins 6-2 Sunday.

Braun connected for a two-run shot in the fifth inning. Chris Narveson (5-5) helped himself with an RBI double.

The punchless Twins, using a watered-down lineup decimated by injuries, have scored only eight runs in losing five consecutive games.

Jonathan Lucroy had a triple, a double, a walk, scored two runs and had an RBI for Milwaukee, which swept the three-game series and has won four of five.

Carl Pavano (5-6) blanked the Brewers the first four innings, but allowed five runs with two outs over the next two innings to lose for the first time in five June starts.

Narveson allowed two runs in 6 2-3 innings against a Twins starting lineup that had combined for only 22 homers this season, one more than Milwaukee first baseman Prince Fielder.

Nationals 2, White Sox 1

Chicago — Danny Espinosa hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning to send off interim manager John McLaren with a win.

Hours after the Nationals hired Davey Johnson as manager, they won their final game with interim skipper McLaren at the helm. The move came three days after Jim Riggleman stunned the team by resigning.

Chicago starter Phil Humber (7-4) carried a no-hit bid into the sixth, but a two-out walk in the seventh was followed by Espinosa's 14th home run, handing Humber his first loss since April 30.

Hernandez (5-8) struck out a season-high nine as he baffled the White Sox for 6 2-3 innings, allowing one run and eight hits to earn his first road victory of the year.

Mets 8, Rangers 5

Arlington, Texas — Jose Reyes had four hits and scored three runs, and rookie Dillon Gee pitched six effective.

Gee (8-1) recovered from a shaky start in the follow-up to his only loss of the season. Making his first appearance against the Rangers, he allowed three runs and eight hits with two walks.

Gee, who walked a career-high six over four innings in his previous outing, has given up only eight earned runs in five June starts. He grew up in north Texas and played college ball at Texas-Arlington.

Daniel Murphy added three hits for the Mets, who have won four of five overall and took two of three from the AL West leaders to open a key stretch of 13 of 16 games on the road by getting back to .500.

The Mets scored a run in the first off Derek Holland (6-3) when Reyes reached on an infield hit, stole second, advanced to third on a flyout and scored on a passed ball.

Blue Jays 5, Cardinals 0

St. Louis — Ricky Romero threw a four-hitter for his second career shutout and helped break it open with the first hit of his career.

J.P. Arencibia homered and Yunel Escobar had two hits and an RBI for the Blue Jays, who had lost four in a row before arriving at Busch Stadium. All three starters worked at least six innings for Toronto, which climbed back to .500 and earned its first series sweep since May 13-15 at Minnesota.

The Cardinals wound up a 3-6 homestand and have lost 12 of 15 overall. They are 1-5 since Albert Pujols was sidelined for an anticipated six weeks with a broken left wrist, and have scored three or fewer runs in four of those games.

Kyle McClellan (6-4) gave up five runs in 5 1-3 innings. Romero got the big hit against him, a two-run single the other way, just inside the first-base line in a four-run sixth.

Romero (7-7) struck out five, walked two and kept going after taking a liner off his leg on Lance Berkman's infield hit with one out in the ninth.

- 11:18 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

ponedjeljak, 20.06.2011.

Germany backs off over deal for Greece

The leaders of Germany and France have agreed that private creditors should participate in a new rescue program for Greece by voluntarily agreeing to roll over their holdings of Greek government bonds.

Details of such an arrangement still have to be finalized by eurozone finance ministers, but the agreement in principle on a rollover - rather than a fully fledged bond exchange including longer maturities, favoured by Germany - was announced in Berlin on Friday by Angela Merkel, German chancellor, and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France.
It amounts to a retreat by the German government, in the face of fierce resistance by the European Central Bank, as well as the French government.

At a press conference in her office in Berlin, Ms. Merkel said that the “Vienna initiative” of 2009 - when banks agreed to maintain their lending exposure in central Europe - was “a good foundation” for a deal.

The news helped revive the euro, which rallied from a session low of $1.4125 (U.S.) to trade up 0.4 per cent at $1.4266. European financial stocks also saw buyers, contributing to a rebound for the FTSE Eurofirst 300 of 0.5 per cent to 1,090.2.

The devil remains in the detail of any such agreement, and Germany is still pushing for the maximum possible participation of private bondholders. Both France and the European Central Bank have resisted any arrangement that would cause Greece to be classified by rating agencies as in default.

Berlin has said any deal must be “substantial, quantifiable, reliable and voluntary,” whereas a simple voluntary rollover would be very difficult to quantify, according to European Commission calculations.

Wolfgang Schäuble, German finance minister, has said he hoped for an effective contribution from private creditors of some €30-billion towards a total package of €120-billion, and Jan Kees de Jager, his Dutch counterpart, has said private creditors should provide one-third of the total relief to Greece.

Mr. Sarkozy set out the four principles of any deal on which he and Ms. Merkel had agreed when they met in Berlin on Friday. He said it should be voluntary, it should not trigger a “credit event” in the financial markets, it should have the backing of the ECB, and it should be agreed rapidly.

Asked if the deal would be identical to the Vienna initiative, or be a more ambitious “Vienna plus” arrangement to provide more extended relief to the Greek government, he said: “To say we are in the spirit of Vienna suits me very well.”

Ms. Merkel also stressed repeatedly that the deal should be “voluntary”, which has long been the official German position. However the financial market rating agencies have argued that a bond-exchange would contain clear elements of coercion, and therefore be classifiable as a default.

“The central principle is voluntary contribution,” she said. “That is an important message to the banks. There are concerns that we want to trigger a credit event. We do not want that. We cannot run such a risk.” She said that everything should be agreed with the ECB, as well as the International Monetary Fund and European Commission involved in designing a new Greek rescue package.

The chancellor spelt out her backing for George Papandreou, the Greek Prime Minister, in his efforts to win parliamentary approval for the new program, and urged the conservative opposition in Athens to support the package.

- 03:03 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

ponedjeljak, 13.06.2011.

The stealth Mavericks

If things break a certain way in Miami this evening, this day will go down as one of the greats in Dallas sports history. If so, credit will be handed around the organization in the days to come. To Dirk Nowitzki, for turning in one of the great playoff runs in NBA history. To Rick Carlisle, for pulling the right strings. To Tyson Chandler, for emerging as the kind of player who can make a band of so-so stoppers into a credible championship defense. And on and on.

Then there are three guys who may or may not deserve to be mentioned next: Coaching consultant Tim Grgurich, director of sports psychology Don Kalkstein and director of basketball analytics Roland Beech.

Are some or all of them vitally important to the team?

Hard to say. I asked to interview all three, and was told quite clearly that it was a no-go on all three counts, in no small part because Mark Cuban likes to keep these guys under wraps.

Grgurich is widely seen as one of the greatest coaches in the game who simply does not have a taste for the bright lights that come with the top spot. He has long written his own ticket as perhaps the most valued assistant in league history. He is serious about not talking to the media at all. (Years ago, decked out in a media credential, I asked him some casual question in the locker room, something like whether the team was going to have shootaround the next day, and he got a terrified look on his face, turned, and walked briskly away.) Grgurich has special influence with players, perhaps because they are sure, with absolute certainty, that he's no glory hound.

Their lives are full of people -- yes, including NBA coaches -- who want to "help" the players mainly in the name of furthering their own careers. Grgurich has perfect defense against that -- he's almost never in the media and he's certainly never taking credit for anything. Combine that with a legendary basketball camp, and by all reports a profound knowledge of the game, and you have a guy who can get in the ears of players like Jason Kidd and Tyson Chandler in the way that most can not.

Kalkstein, meanwhile, makes it his business to talk to all the Mavericks nearly all the time. Jason Terry tells ESPNDallas' Jeff Caplan that Kalstein is so pled in to the mood of the team, that Terry asks Kalkstein how his teammates are feeling, instead of the other way around.

Meanwhile, the Mavericks sweat their team is the pinnacle of healthy off-court relations. And this is a very rare team that shows significant improvement when stress levels are higher -- in the playoffs and in crunch time. Meanwhile, does the fact that they're the only team with a full-time sports psychology coach? Hard to say without being able to talk to the coach. Some of the best insight from Kalkstein comes from his Twitter account, which is thick with advice like this, before Game 6:
And finally, there's Beech. Not too many years ago, he ran his own independent stat-geeky website, 82games.com. He was a fantastic teammate at Train Like a Pro in David Thorpe's gym. And now there he is on the bench with the Mavericks' coaching staff, where he is learning the game in a way no stat geek ever has -- he's the first quantitative analyst to join a coaching staff all season.

Presumably, he is also influencing the decisions the coaching staff makes as well.

In general, statistical analysis has found that replacing one NBA coach with another does not make a lot of difference. However, similar analysis sests that Carlisle is on a short list of coaches who get more than expected out of their players.

Does that have something to do with Beech?

Hard to say, as Beech too is on Cuban's list of people who don't talk to the media.

Grgurich, Kalkstein, Beech ... they're all part of a staff that appears to be working far better than most. If they're weapons in making that happen, they're secret weapons.

- 03:37 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

četvrtak, 02.06.2011.

Jimmer Fredette: Jazz to Draft the BYU Guard With the 12th Pick?

The NBA combines have been featured on the NBA TV and there is one player that has been gaining a lot of attention.

Brigham Young guard Jimmer Fredette has been the source of much speculation as to where he will be drafted, and if he can make the transition from the college to the NBA.
Fredette emerged as the most talked about guard in college basketball after basically carrying his team on his shoulders to the Sweet 16, and the 6'2 senior has a decent chance of becoming a lottery pick.

A major question mark dogging Fredette is what position he will play. There are also questions about his athleticism, and so far, Fredette appears to have the same physique from his BYU playing days.

His athleticism doesn't seem to be a huge problem, though, and it hasn't seemed to lower his stock.

By the nature of his game, he seems best suited for a shooting guard role, but he lacks the size for that position. That leaves him as a probable point guard, which would create defensive problems, and would call into question his ability to create as a playmaker.
But teams need shooters, and Fredette can certainly shoot. Also, like many amateur athletes making the jump to the NBA, Fredette is likely aware of his shortcomings, and is currently spending time to overcome them.

It's probably little secret that Fredette would like to play for the Utah Jazz, and general manager Kevin O'Connor likely has his eye on him.

Fredette even said that he grew up watching and following John Stockton and Deron Williams. If that isn't a clue to what team he favors, I don't know what is.

Utah has two lottery picks, (No. 3, and No. 12) and it seems that Fredette would be an ideal selection for the organization should they choose they keep the 12th pick and draft a player who made a name for himself in nearby Provo.

The Jazz have two small guards in Ronnie Price and Earl Watson that will test the free agent market this summer, as well as swing man C.J. Miles.

Teams usually draft on talent instead of need, so Utah won't necessarily target a guard with their two selections. Since the Jazz may lose free agent forward Andrei Kirilenko, O'Connor may want to compensate for Kirilenko's possible departure by drafting a scoring wing player.

What also doesn't help Fredette's chances of playing for Utah is the role of Devin Harris. With the departure of Deron Williams, Harris has stepped into the starting role, and is the same height as Fredette and is also a very good shooter. At 28, Harris has experience on his side, and owns more of an NBA-style game than Fredette. It might make little sense to use a pick on a player that shares similarities with a current starter.

What is interesting about Fredette's situation, in relation to the Jazz's two picks, is where he's expected to be chosen on June 23rd.

NBADraft.net currently has Fredette slotted to Utah with the 12th pick. At one point, the Web site had Fredette as the seventh pick in their mock draft.

DraftExpress.com has Fredette falling to the 15th pick, but that a raise from the 20th pick, where the Web Site had him a few weeks ago.

It's possible a team ahead of Utah in the draft, picking between the fourth pick and the 11th pick, would draft Fredette and try to work a trade with Utah for their 12th pick and additional compensation.

More than likely, the Jazz would make the deal. Fredette's presence at Energy Solutions Arena would be a major public relations boost, and the Jazz may very well need a guard who can consistently hit outside shots, even if it means Fredette coming off the bench and Harris remaining the starter.

It also wouldn't be surprising if O'Connor pulls off a draft-day trade to land Fredette and still hold the two lottery picks. The Jazz might be on the cusp of a major youth movement, so Fredette's presence could be a key player next season.

With the departure of Jerry Sloan and missing out on the playoffs, the Jazz have reason to make changes and going with young players is probably a smart approach. Fredette wearing a Jazz uniform next season is a distinct possibility should Utah not retain their free-agent guards, and need another outside shooter.

There's no denying that Fredette has talent. He averaged 28.9 points per game at BYU, and had some fantastic collegiate performances. He had four games where he scored 42 points or more. Fredette also shot 45.2 percent from the field -- great numbers for a perimeter player.

A major asset for Fredette going into the draft was his noticeable improvement over last season. He raised his scoring average from 21.6 points per games, and played more minutes. Fatigue didn't set in for the senior, and that's a big deal in the NBA where players are expected to last a grueling 82-game schedule.

Players are judged by their potential, and Fredette has plenty of that.

- 03:21 - Komentari (0) - Isprintaj - #

<< Prethodni mjesec | Sljedeći mjesec >>

Creative Commons License
Ovaj blog je ustupljen pod Creative Commons licencom Imenovanje-Dijeli pod istim uvjetima.

Blog.hr koristi kolačiće za pružanje boljeg korisničkog iskustva. Postavke kolačića mogu se kontrolirati i konfigurirati u vašem web pregledniku. Više o kolačićima možete pročitati ovdje. Nastavkom pregleda web stranice Blog.hr slažete se s korištenjem kolačića. Za nastavak pregleda i korištenja web stranice Blog.hr kliknite na gumb "Slažem se".Slažem se