Hoornstra: In Joe Maddon, Angels pick the best manager for the moment; They’ll need more

first_img Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros To bring Anaheim its next championship, the Angels need more than Joe Maddon. Baseball isn’t basketball. Winning is not predicated on the strength of a team’s stars. It is a “weak-link sport,” where coaxing contributions from the five worst players on the roster is essential. To his credit, Maddon seemed to grasp this before many of his contemporaries.Maddon wasn’t the only early adopter former Rays GM Andrew Friedman hired in Tampa Bay. In a Cubs organization led by Theo Epstein, Maddon was surrounded by other baseball progressives. The Angels are of a different DNA, a franchise too often enchanted by past success. Maddon’s worldview represents a step in the right direction. But he will need more progressive thinkers around him to make the Angels a relevant franchise on the field in 2020.As an organization, the Angels are still playing catch-up within their own division. The Astros and A’s play in smaller markets, but they have been smarter than most teams about taking a bottom-up approach to roster building and player development – an approach that is reflected in the standings.If nothing else, Maddon will be blessed with stars for the duration of his three-year contract. Mike Trout is signed through 2030. Shohei Ohtani is under team control through 2023. Whatever star power Albert Pujols commands in 2020 and 2021, the Angels have that, too.What they lack is depth, a baseball necessity that Maddon regularly enjoyed in Chicago and St. Petersburg. The Angels have a star prospect (Jo Adell) and the financial wherewithal to sign a big-name free agent or two. To compete with the Houstons and Oaklands of the world, the Angels will need more than that. They are one of five teams – the Reds, Padres, Marlins and White Sox are the others – who have yet to finish a season at .500 or better since 2015. The recent headlines surrounding the Angels paint an even bleaker picture off the field.The Drug Enforcement Agency is presently investigating the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs. An Angels public relations employee, Eric Kay, reportedly told the DEA that he supplied Skaggs with oxycodone pills a few days before the Angels left for their trip to Texas on June 30. Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room the next day. An autopsy revealed Skaggs had oxycodone, fentanyl and alcohol in his system at the time. Other current players might have bought drugs from Kay, and it’s possible the team could be held legally liable for Skaggs’ death.Those are turbulent waters for any manager to enter. Many might drown. Maddon’s job, in large part, will be to project that he is keen to every moment. To do that, he’ll need more than a solid analytical base, or a progressive approach to managing. He will need to draw on the kind of the lessons a man learns only through experience.To that end, the Angels could not have picked a better manager for the moment. Yet for everything they are up against, on and off the field, they will need much more. Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield center_img The Angels’ new manager was not among the 679 players chosen in the 1975 amateur draft. A catcher by trade and the son of a plumber, Joe Maddon retired after batting .250 for the Single-A Santa Clara Padres in 1979. He toiled for another 15 seasons in the Angels’ organization as a minor league manager, coach, or scout, before ever wearing a major league uniform. When the Angels needed a manager in 1999, Maddon had already done the job twice on an interim basis, winning 27 games and losing 24. Yet he was not one of the three finalists for a job that ultimately went to Mike Scioscia.Now, 20 years later, Maddon has the job he’s been preparing for most of his professional life.The news of Maddon’s hiring had been anticipated from the moment Brad Ausmus was fired Sept. 30. The Angels’ most predictable offseason transaction was also their first. It is appropriately billed as a “homecoming,” yet the job of a major league manager is not the same now as it was in 2005, Maddon’s final season as Scioscia’s bench coach. Neither is this organization.Maddon is considered a baseball Progressive, an early adopter of managerial practices that have become standard since he helped resurrect the Tampa Bay Rays from oblivion. Freeing players from draconic rules of decorum? Maddon was doing that more than a decade ago. Relying on binders full of data to form the basis of in-game decisions? Maddon helped make that popular, too. Thick, black-rimmed glasses? Maddon didn’t start that exactly, but he wore them as Scioscia’s right-hand man. And that’s central, not tangential, to today’s announcement: to connect fans with a brand of baseball familiar from an era that brought Anaheim its only championship. Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Angels select Louisville pitcher Reid Detmers with 1st-round draft pick

first_img Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter “His curveball is a separator for him,” Swanson said.“His pitches, the way he uses his pitches, they build upon themselves. He has such a natural feel for pitching, the moxie – the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. How much swing and miss he gets on fastballs up and down, in and out, it’s just a lot when you can see it.”Swanson personally scouted Detmers’ final collegiate game at Wake Forest on March 6. The weather was bad, Swanson said – “40 degrees, one of those nights where the flags were standing up” – and he was awed by Detmers’ competitiveness.“There was a sequence where he got hit on a line drive comebacker, stayed in the game, struck out the side to get out of it,” Swanson said.Last year, Detmers pitched for the U.S. National team following his sophomore season at Louisville. In his last full college season, Detmers set the Cardinals’ single-season strikeout record with 167, and tied the program record for wins with 13. Swanson said the Angels scouted Detmers often in 2019, and as a high schooler in Chatham, Illinois.The Angels have been allotted $6.4 million to spend on their five picks in this year’s draft. The assigned bonus value for the number-10 pick is $4,739,900.Detmers had been drafted once before, when the Braves selected him in the 32nd round of the 2017 draft out of high school. His father, Kris, was a minor-league pitcher in the Cardinals’ organization from 1994-99.The younger Detmers called his father a “huge influence” on his career. He wasn’t allowed to throw a curveball until his freshman year of high school, but it quickly became his signature pitch.“It’s always had that shape,” Reid Detmers said. “I’ve always had a good feel for it.”Coincidentally, Detmers was part of the same Louisville recruiting class as outfielder Jo Adell, who is now the top prospect in the Angels’ organization. While developing outfielders hasn’t been an issue for the Angels recently, developing starting pitching has. That could allow Detmers to stand out in a relatively thin minor league system.Keanan Lamb, the Senior MLB Draft Writer for Baseball Prospectus, said “the command for both (his) fastball and curveball are advanced, just needing a little extra work on the changeup to help his overall starter profile. Assuming the transition from college to the pros goes smoothly, he could move reasonably quickly in the Angels’ system that desperately could use starting pitching.”Related Articles Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone It’s usually a safe bet that any player chosen in the Major League Baseball draft, even a first-round pick, will not make his major league debut until the following season at the earliest.Not so in 2020.The Angels chose Louisville pitcher Reid Detmers with their first-round pick Wednesday. He’s the first pitcher the Angels have chosen with their top draft pick since Sean Newcomb in 2014. The last time they drafted a pitcher higher than 10th overall was 1993, when they chose left-hander Brian Anderson with the number-3 pick.The scouting report on Detmers – and the uncertainty around MLB roster sizes this season – predict he could arrive sooner rather than later. “I think I’m ready, but that’s not up to me,” Detmers said on a conference call from Louisville. “That’s up to the organization. I’m going to follow their guidelines. Hopefully I can get that call soon. I’m going to do everything to the best of my ability.”It’s a good year to be a fast-moving minor leaguer. The coronavirus wiped out the minor league schedule, but commissioner Rob Manfred told MLB Network on Wednesday “we’re going to play baseball in 2020, 100 percent.”Once the season begins, teams might need more players than a 40-man roster allows. That invites the strong possibility that teams will be allowed a “reserve list” of non-roster players who could join the major league club later in the season. Could Detmers be a candidate?“We look at him as someone who could be really close, and have an impact in short order,” said Matt Swanson, the Angels’ director of amateur scouting. “One thing I’ve learned: the player is going to let you know when that is.”Detmers, who turns 21 in July, made four starts in his junior season. He was 3-0 with a 1.23 earned-run average when the NCAA postponed games due to the novel coronavirus. Detmers struck out 48 batters in 22 innings, though he is not a power pitcher in the mold of Newcomb and many other first-round selections. His fastball sits in the low- to mid-90-mph range, and his aptitude for location is considered advanced.last_img read more

Say what?! $2,000,000,000 for the Los Angeles Clippers?

first_imgFormer Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, one of the wealthiest men in the United States, agreed to buy the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday for $2 billion (some legal steps remain). His acquisition of the team comes in the wake of controversy over a racist recording of owner Donald Sterling was published by TMZ and the NBA ordered Donald and Shelly Sterling to sell. It also comes less than a year after he pocketed nearly $1 billion by quitting his job.Following the news, people took to social media to share their opinions on the record-breaking sale price, likening it to Beats Electronics recent sale, lamenting their own missed opportunity at purchasing the team, and taking a hard look at what it all means…Viewing on mobile? Go here: https://storify.com/InsideSoCalSpts/say-what-dollar-2-000-000-000-for-the-clippers Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Clippers step it up again without Griffin, demolish Kings, 126-99

first_imgThe Los Angeles Clippers entered their game Saturday against the Sacramento Kings with a record of 3-1 since star power forward Blake Griffin went down with a staph infection in his right elbow.It was suggested to coach Doc Rivers that perhaps Griffin’s injury is a blessing in disguise because it’s making others step up even more. DeAndre Jordan had three monster games in succession before Saturday, Glen “Big Baby” Davis is getting more minutes off the bench and consequently contributing more.Rivers at first scoffed.“I’m not going there, I can tell you that,” he said before the Clippers made it 4-1 without Griffin with a 126-99 victory over the Kings before a sellout crowd of 19,133 at Staples Center. “I thought our defense was really good tonight, it was able to get me going and get us in transition and we did a good job of moving the ball,” said Rivers, who came over in a trade from Boston via New Orleans. “I was ready to shoot.”Rivers never played a game for Boston after being traded from New Orleans. He said he is stoked the way things are working out.“It has been big for me,” he said. “You go to a situation where there is an opportunity; professional sports are all about opportunity and fit. … I love New Orleans, but I just did not fit in there as well as I do here. I fit in great.”Chris Paul wasn’t shocked at what he saw.“He (Rivers) is just aggressive,” Paul said. “He shot shots when they were there. He played the right way and he shared the ball. He can play. We are not surprised at that.”J.J. Redick scored 24 points for the Clippers and made 4 of 6 from 3-point range. Sixth-man Jamal Crawford scored 23 points, Paul had 10 points and doled out nine assists and Jordan scored 11 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Jordan played only the first couple of minutes of the third quarter because he took his fourth foul at the 9:27 mark and went out. Davis contributed five points, eight rebounds and three assists.The Clippers, who led by as many as 37 points three times in the fourth quarter, made 14 of 35 (40 percent) from 3-point range.DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings (19-35) with 21 points and Rudy Gay scored 15. Omri Casspi had 11 points and 17 rebounds off the bench.Sacramento shot just 34.1 percent (30 of 88) from the field, proving what Austin Rivers said about his team’s defense. Cousins was just 6 of 19. He talked about the 16-0 Clippers onslaught that changed the game.“When they were on their run, we really didn’t know how to bounce back from it,” Cousins said. “I think some fatigue kicked in as well and our energy level went down. We let them gain confidence and they just ran away with the game.”Doc Rivers praised the overall play of the second unit.The Clippers, now in a virtual tie for fourth in the Western Conference with Portland (36-18), next play host to Memphis on Monday. The Grizzlies (39-14) are in second in the West. Rivers said that, “obviously,” it’s never good when your best players get hurt. But he admitted that there is something positive that can come out of it.“Hopefully, your team gets a little tougher mentally because they have to survive without their key guy,” Rivers said. “Hopefully, a couple of guys get their rhythm, start playing better, get their confidence. That’s what you hope when you have an injury to a key guy and I hope that’s what’s happening.”It certainly happened for Austin Rivers, son of Doc, in this one as the younger Rivers scored a career-high 28 points in 26-plus minutes off the bench. He shot 11 of 19 from the field, 5 of 9 from 3-point range. He scored seven of his points during a crucial 16-0 run that saw the Clippers (37-19) go from trailing 29-19 late in the first quarter to leading 35-29 early in the second.“His confidence has grown since he has been with the Clippers and that is good for him,” Doc Rivers said of his 22-year-old son.Austin Rivers afterward talked about his fine effort.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Clippers star Blake Griffin did ‘tedious work’ to get back on court

first_img“I knew I was going to be off, but I wanted to do a better job of taking care of the ball.”Griffin had five of the team’s 20 turnovers.“A big part of our problems was my turnovers,” said Griffin, who turned 26 on Monday. “No, it didn’t go how I wanted it to go, but I wasn’t expecting to come out and have 30 (points) and 15 (rebounds). It’s a rhythm thing.”Griffin had 11 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, two steals and a block.Can infection return? Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error When coach Doc Rivers on Sunday spoke before the game about Griffin’s return, he recalled a staph infection former NFL wide receiver Ahmad Rashad had.“Ahmad Rashad had a staph infection and it came back a year later,” Rivers said. “So I don’t know if this is the same thing.”Griffin addressed that after the game.“They got rid of it all,” he said. “I don’t think I’m more susceptible now than I was before.”Player updatesSwingman Jordan Hamilton sustained a high ankle sprain late in the third quarter Sunday. He was walking around practice Monday, and Rivers said he would likely be signed for the remainder of the season after playing on two 10-day contracts.Rivers said guard Nate Robinson would likely be signed to a second 10-contract. Robinson’s numbers are not good in five games with the Clippers — he’s averaging 4.0 points and shooting just 24.1 percent from the field. But Rivers liked what Robinson did Sunday when he scored seven points on 3-of-5 shooting.“Nate’s energy was great,” Rivers said. That’s what we need from him. He’s not played well so far. But he’s had another game where he didn’t score well, but he played with great energy.” Scouting the HornetsCharlotte had a record of just 29-35 ahead of its game Monday at Utah, but that was good enough for eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings. The Hornets are led by point guard Kemba Walker and center Al Jefferson. Walker is averaging 18.3 points, 5.2 assists and 1.3 steals. Jefferson is averaging 17.2 points and 8.8 rebounds. Walker recently missed 18 games following knee surgery. Standings updateHeading into Monday, the Clippers (42-25), Dallas (42-25) and San Antonio (41-24) were tied for fifth place in the Western Conference standings, though the Spurs (.631) were percentage points ahead of the Clippers (.627) and Mavericks (.627).Of the three, only Dallas was to play Monday, at home against Oklahoma City.center_img Sure, it was a bummer for the Clippers that they couldn’t pull out a victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday, losing 100-98 at Staples Center.But there was still cause for a celebration of sorts because Blake Griffin returned after missing 15 games because of a staph infection in his right elbow.After the game, Griffin talked about what it took for him to get back on the court.“The last two weeks were slow, but I had to put in a lot of tedious work to be able to even dribble a basketball and shoot,” said Griffin, whose team plays host to the Charlotte Hornets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. “As far as going out (to play Sunday), I knew it wasn’t going to be great, not having any contact for a little over five weeks, really.last_img read more

Jerome Robinson, Tyrone Wallace assigned to the Agua Caliente Clippers

first_img Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum The Clippers on Saturday assigned No. 13 pick Jerome Robinson and second-year pro Tyrone Wallace to the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario, their G League affiliate.The guards are expected to be available to play in Agua Caliente’s season opener Sunday against the Oklahoma City Blue at 3 p.m. at Citizens Business Bank Arena.Robinson, a rookie shooting guard who was a prolific scorer for Boston College, has played five games for the 5-4 L.A. Clippers. He’s averaging 2.4 points per game in 4.2 minutes.Wallace’s performance last season on a two-way contract impressed the Clippers so much they matched the New Orleans Pelicans’ two-year, $3 million offer sheet for him this offseason. So far this season, Wallace has appeared in six games for the L.A. Clippers and is averaging 1.7 points per game. Related Articles Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates Last season, Wallace averaged 9.7 points in 30 games for an L.A. team that was substantially thinned by injuries.The current L.A. Clippers are healthy, and deep, which Agua Caliente president Bryan Meadows predicted might mean more members of the NBA team would be assigned to Ontario for extra playing time, as opposed to so many of the team’s G League players being called up to play in L.A., as they were a season ago.Already this season, the Clippers assigned second-year guard Sindarius Thornwell to Agua Caliente. They also have a pair of forwards on two-way contracts, Johnathan Motley and Angel Delgado, playing in Ontario. Along with rookie forward Desi Rodriguez, six of Agua Caliente’s players participated in the L.A. Clippers’ training camp this fall.Motley recently discussed the benefits of playing G League minutes.“You got guys in the League who are not playing,” Motley said. “Here, at least I can come play 30 minutes a game. And then, I go up there and maybe I get in the game, maybe I don’t, I still have a lot of game time experience. And I think you always get better with playing rather than sitting.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 last_img read more

Kawhi Leonard, Clippers hold off Hornets for victory

first_img“The defense won us that game tonight.”@ivicazubac ‘ZuBLOCKA’ set a new career-high tonight with 5️⃣ blocks!#ClipperNation • @LAClippers pic.twitter.com/6Y7qBIbHkj— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) October 29, 2019 PreviousLOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers looks on prior to a game against the Charlotte Hornets at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)The Clippers’ Montrezl Harrell drives to the basket past the Hornets’ PJ Washington during the first half of Monday’s game at Staples Center. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Landry Shamet #20 of the Los Angeles Clippers drives past Devonte’ Graham #4 of the Charlotte Hornets during the first half of a game at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers shoots over Terry Rozier #3 and Miles Bridges #0 of the Charlotte Hornets during the first half of a game at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers shoots over Terry Rozier #3 and Miles Bridges #0 of the Charlotte Hornets during the first half of a game at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Charlotte Hornets guard Devonte’ Graham, right, handles the ball past Landry Shamet during the first half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Head coach Doc Rivers calls plays during the first half of a game against the Charlotte Hornets at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Lou Williams #23 of the Los Angeles Clippers reacts to being fouled by Terry Rozier #3 of the Charlotte Hornets during the first half of a game at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers drives to the basket as Malik Monk #1 and Bismack Biyombo #8 of the Charlotte Hornets defend during the first half of a game at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers drives to the basket as Malik Monk #1 and Bismack Biyombo #8 of the Charlotte Hornets defend during the first half of a game at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)The Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard drives to the basket as the Hornets’ Malik Monk, back, and Bismack Biyombo defend during the first half of Monday’s game at Staples Center. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, front, goes up for a shot in front of Charlotte Hornets center Bismack Biyombo during the first half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Head coach James Borrego of the Charlotte Hornets during the second half of a game at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier, center, drives to the basket between Los Angeles Clippers forward JaMychal Green, left, and guard Patrick Beverley during the first half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Charlotte Hornets forward Cody Zeller, left, and Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley battle for the rebound during the first half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers goes up for a shot against Miles Bridges #0 of the Charlotte Hornets during the first half of a game at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Charlotte Hornets forward Cody Zeller, center, shoots while Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac defends during the first half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, center, loses the ball while Charlotte Hornets forward PJ Washington, left, and Terry Rozier defend during the first half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, front, attempts a shot while Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges defends during the first half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Montrezl Harrell #5 of the Los Angeles Clippers reacts after scoring during the second half of a game against the Charlotte Hornets at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Miles Bridges #0 of the Charlotte Hornets dribbles past Landry Shamet #20 of the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half of a game at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers controls spins past Terry Rozier #3 of the Charlotte Hornets during the second half of a game at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Montrezl Harrell #5 of the Los Angeles Clippers reacts after scoring during the second half of a game against the Charlotte Hornets at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Maurice Harkless #8 of the Los Angeles Clippers battles Bismack Biyombo #8 of the Charlotte Hornets for a rebound during the second half of a game at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers runs upcourt during the first half of a game against the Charlotte Hornets at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers passes the ball past #0 of the Charlotte Hornets during the first half of a game at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Montrezl Harrell #5 of the Los Angeles Clippers dribbles past Malik Monk #1 of the Charlotte Hornets during the first half of a game at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Montrezl Harrell #5 of the Los Angeles Clippers battels Bismack Biyombo #8 of the Charlotte Hornets for position during the first half of a game at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers attempts to steal the ball from PJ Washington #25 of the Charlotte Hornets during the first half of a game at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers dribbles past Miles Bridges #0 of the Charlotte Hornetsduring the first half of a game at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Miles Bridges #0 of the Charlotte Hornets defends against Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half of a game at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier, right, shoots while Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell defends during the second half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Maurice Harkless #8, JaMychal Green #4, and Montrezl Harrell #5 of the Los Angeles Clippers defend against Bismack Biyombo #8 of the Charlotte Hornets during the second half of a game at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, left, drives to the basket past Charlotte Hornets center Bismack Biyombo during the second half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers battles Terry Rozier #3 of the Charlotte Hornets for a loose ball on the floor during the second half of a game at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard stands during a break in play during the first half an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier, left, shoots while Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac defends during the second half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, right, handles the ball while pressured by Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges during the second half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, right, drives to the basket while Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges defends during the second half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley, left, handles the ball while Charlotte Hornets guard Malik Monk defends during the second half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard goes up for a dunk during the second half an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, right, battles for the rebound with Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges, left, and Charlotte Hornets forward Marvin Williams during the second half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell, left, goes up for a shot defended by Charlotte Hornets guard Dwayne Bacon during the second half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams, top, falls to the ground after being fouled by Charlotte Hornets guard Devonte’ Graham during the second half an NBA basketball game as Malik Monk looks on in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers guard Landry Shamet goes up for a shot during the second half an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard in action during the second half an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, right, drives to the basket while Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges defends during the second half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley in action during the second half an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, left, goes up for a shot past Charlotte Hornets forward PJ Washington, right, and forward Cody Zeller during the second half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, right, drives to the basket while Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges defends during the second half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, front, attempts a shot while Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges defends during the first half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers forward JaMychal Green attempts a three-point shot during the second half an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac, center, dunks the ball during the first half an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams, right, drives to the basket past Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges during the second half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier, center, goes up for a layup on a fast break during the second half an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Head coach Doc Rivers calls timeout during the first half of a game against the Charlotte Hornets at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell, left, goes up for a shot defended by Charlotte Hornets guard Dwayne Bacon during the second half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell, left, goes up for a shot defended by Charlotte Hornets center Bismack Biyombo during the second half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley, left, passes the ball while pressured by Charlotte Hornets forward Marvin Williams during the second half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard goes up for a dunk during the second half an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers forward Patrick Patterson, top, goes up for a shot while Charlotte Hornets forward Cody Zeller defends during the second half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges, left, and Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard battle for the rebound during the second half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams, left, drives to the basket while Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier defends during the second half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, left, goes up for a shot past Charlotte Hornets center Bismack Biyombo during the second half an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The Clippers won 111-96. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, left, speaks with Patrick Beverley during the first half an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers looks on prior to a game against the Charlotte Hornets at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 28: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers looks on prior to a game against the Charlotte Hornets at Staples Center on October 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)The Clippers’ Montrezl Harrell drives to the basket past the Hornets’ PJ Washington during the first half of Monday’s game at Staples Center. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)NextShow Caption1 of 66The Clippers’ Montrezl Harrell drives to the basket past the Hornets’ PJ Washington during the first half of Monday’s game at Staples Center. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)ExpandLOS ANGELES — The schedule served up a second consecutive matchup against a young team of shooters playing the second night of a back-to-back – and this time, the Clippers got it right.Following a disappointing defeat against the spirited Suns in Phoenix on Saturday, the Clippers (3-1) responded like the favorites they are, defeating the Charlotte Hornets 111-96 on Monday.“It was a bounce-back game,” Clippers guard Lou Williams said. “We just played harder and better, and that led to easy opportunities.”The Clippers rebounded to take a step forward in what Coach Doc Rivers calls the “gettin’-better stage,” rewarding their 19,068 fans at what felt like their first full-fledged home game of the season, following last week’s rousing season-opening victory hosting their Staples Center co-tenants. Like the Suns, the Hornets (1-3) gave the Clippers their best shot. They were eager, after letting a game get away against the Lakers on Sunday night, to take advantage of an opportunity to go right back at one of the league’s perceived title contenders.“Two of the best teams in the league, to get their best shot early in the season to get us ready for other teams, it’s gonna be great for us,” Charlotte forward Miles Bridges said.And Rivers acknowledged that his Clippers – themselves having played the part of plucky upstarts a season ago – are getting another level of effort from opponents this season.“The other night we definitely took a great shot from Phoenix, but we weren’t ready either,” Rivers said pregame. “I just think it’s a competition. You should be ready for the competition no matter who you are or where you’re at, but we’ll see how that goes. It definitely is different, and it’s probably good.”The Clippers responded in kind this time, holding an opponent to fewer than 100 points for the first time this season. Doc got jokes for you USC fans 🤣The @LAClippers head coach recaps tonight’s 111-96 W.#ClipperNation pic.twitter.com/5XjR2pkkRa— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) October 29, 2019 Lou Williams on Ivica Zubac’s night – which included a career-high five blocks. pic.twitter.com/9bccE0LKDR— Mirjam Swanson (@MirjamSwanson) October 29, 2019center_img “We’re still growing together… there’s a lot of things that we know we can clean up & fix to make us that much better”Landry Shamet sees plenty of room for improvement following the win over Charlotte ⬇️#ClipperNation • @LAClippers pic.twitter.com/kIA6qX2g2V— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) October 29, 2019 The Clippers were bolstered by Landry Shamet’s early 3-point shooting, by Ivica Zubac’s career-high five blocked shots and by a spate of timely 3-pointers that helped them pull away midway through the second half.And by Kawhi Leonard, who finished with a game-high 30 points, seven rebounds, six assists, three blocked shots, two steals and an extended highlight reel.“It’s amazing,” Rivers said. “They threw a cross-court pass and it’s like he came out and – I didn’t even know where he came from – just saw him jump up and catch the ball.”In the second quarter, he attacked baseline, and just when it seemed he was cut off, hung out midair for an extra split-second before spinning in a reverse layup to cut the Clippers’ deficit to 38-37.He tied the score at 40-40 shortly thereafter when Lou Williams (23 points, four assists) found Leonard on the break. The Hornets caught him, but Leonard evaded them with a behind-the-back dribble and recovered a bobble at the rim to finish.Then Leonard – continuing to build on his growing reputation as an elite passer – hit Shamet (16 points) in stride on the break to put the Clippers in front, 51-50.Just before halftime, he slipped a pass through three defenders to Zubac, who corralled it and muscled up a shot for an and-1 of his own to make it 57-54 heading into the intermission. Leonard doesn’t rejoice, rather reaching behind him to offer his palm to Zubac (seven points, six rebounds) for a low-five – all business.About that recently revealed passing prowess, Leonard said: “(It’s) just a different offense, a different type of team. That last two teams I played on, there was a dominant point guard with Tony Parker and Kyle (Lowry). They did a lot of our playmaking. But I feel like I have to step into that role right now and get our players open shots.”Clippers center Montrezl Harrell (19 points, seven rebounds) said Leonard makes life easy.“When it comes to screens, I take pride in that, because I know if I do a great job in getting these guys as open as possible, nine times out of 10, I’m gonna be the one to benefit from that,” Harrell said. “But (Leonard) is one of these elite guys that we have in the game today, so it doesn’t take much to get him open and it doesn’t take much to create his own shot.”Charlotte cut a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit to 98-90 with 4:13 left, but Harrell and Williams combined to score 10 consecutive points to put the game out of reach at 108-94. Three Leonard free throws sealed it.“There’s so many new parts on the floor,” said Rivers, who has yet to incorporate Paul George, the Clippers’ other new All-Star wing, into the fold. “And I just feel like we’re nowhere near what we’re gonna be – like, not even close. And that’s a good thing. But you’ve still got to tick off wins.”The game started as the Shamet Show: the second-year shooting guard buried his first four 3-point attempts, to give his team an early boost.“It just opens everything up, he draws so much attention on the offensive end,” Williams said of Shamet’s early barrage, which helped the Clippers build a 25-11 lead before they were outscored 43-32 to close the half ahead just 57-54.In the second half, they clamped down and held the Hornets to just 44 second-half points on 18-for-40 shooting.“We started closing out, getting rebounds and talking more,” Leonard said.Terry Rozier led six Hornets in double figures with 17 points. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Kershaw back with shutout ball, Dodgers top Nats

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — Clayton Kershaw admitted he was nervous about making his first start in six weeks.Apparently it’s nothing new. He just hides it well.Kershaw pitched seven shutout innings in his first outing since opening day, and Hanley Ramirez and Drew Butera homered to help the Los Angeles Dodgers defeat the Washington Nationals 8-3 Tuesday night.”I’m always nervous, every time I start,” Kershaw said. “You want to do well. Same type of nerves tonight, but after the first inning I was able to settle in OK.”Kershaw (2-0) was stubborn in his return after missing 32 games, allowing nine hits, but striking out nine without a walk, and pitching out of several jams while the game was still close.The two-time NL Cy Young winner had been on the disabled list for the first time in his career, sidelined by a strained back muscle after winning March 22 in the major league opener in Australia.”He shows you right away what you’ve been missing,” said manager Don Mattingly, whose Dodgers began the day third place in the N.L. West. “Just a guy that brings that to the table every five days. It’s a little reminder of who he is and what he means to you.”The Dodgers collected 14 hits despite keeping outfielder Yasiel Puig out for the second straight game since he crashed into an outfield wall in the ninth inning Sunday at Miami.Coming off a pair of minor league rehabilitation starts, Kershaw threw 89 pitches.”I missed pitching in the big leagues,” he said. “It’s a special thing we get to do and I try not to take it for granted, so six weeks felt like a long time.”Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth singled to start the fourth against Kershaw, but Adam LaRoche popped out and Kershaw struck out Scott Hairston and Ian Desmond.In the sixth, Rendon led off with a single, but Kershaw picked him off. Werth and LaRoche followed with singles before Kershaw again fanned Hairston and Desmond.”He was nasty,” Washington’s Jose Lobaton said. “He was right in the zone. He was throwing strikes, aggressive, big curveball.”Werth had four hits and Blake Treinen (0-1), making his first major league start, allowed three unearned runs in five-plus innings.The 25-year-old Treinen was called up from Triple-A Syracuse to make the start and matched Kershaw for five innings. He allowed seven hits and no walks, while striking out two.He was part of his own undoing, however, when the Dodgers loaded the bases in the sixth inning on three balls that didn’t leave the infield.Kershaw’s hustle started the rally. Treinen misplayed his leadoff grounder and Kershaw hustled down the line and just beat the throw.”With Kersh you get a guy that’s going to just be kind of all in every day, in every aspect, from running to hitting to fielding, the whole package,” Mattingly saidDee Gordon’s grounder to first base was bobbled by LaRoche, though the play was ruled a hit.Carl Crawford followed with a dribbler up the first base line for a single and, with the bases loaded, Ramirez singled to right, scoring Kershaw and ending Treinen’s night.After reliever Craig Stammen fanned Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored Gordon, then Juan Uribe’s broken-bat single made it 3-0.The Dodgers added a run in the seventh, and four in the eighth when Ramirez homered leading off and Butera capped the inning with a three-run shot for an 8-0 lead.Chris Perez relieved for the Dodgers to begin the eighth and gave up three runs.NOTES: Puig said before the game he was ready to return. Mattingly said Puig might be used as a pinch hitter or defensive replacement. … Los Angeles 1B Adrian Gonzalez (0 for his last 15) was given the night off. … Nationals OF Nate McLouth had a bandaged right hand following his diving catch in foul territory during Monday night’s game. The cut didn’t require stitches and McLouth said he was available to play. … Washington C Wilson Ramos (hand) took regular batting practice Tuesday and pronounced himself “ready to go.” He could rejoin the team as early as Wednesday. … Nationals manager Matt Williams said the latest X-rays on 3B Ryan Zimmerman (right thumb) “were great, and he’s on path to begin his rehab as soon as possible.” … Former Nationals pitcher Dan Haren (4-0, 2.39) opposes Stephen Strasburg (2-2, 3.60) in Wednesday’s series finale.Caption 1:Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) throws during the third inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)Caption 2:Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)Caption 3:Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) wraps his arm in a towel during the third inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)Caption 4:CORRECTS TO STARTER, NOT RELIEF – Washington Nationals starter pitcher Blake Treinen throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park, Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in Washington. He was promoted from Triple-A Syracuse to start the game. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

How might the Dodgers look next season?

first_imgAustin Barnes (27): $540,000In his first full season in the big leagues, Barnes earned the trust of Manager Dave Roberts for his handling of the pitching staff and consistent quality of his at-bats. By playoff time, he was the Dodgers’ primary catcher.Kyle Farmer (27): $535,000Farmer made himself a viable third catcher by learning to play other positions in Triple-A (second, first and third base).Yasmani Grandal (28): $5.5 million (arbitration eligible)Grandal is in his final arbitration year and was looking forward to the riches of free agency after 2018. But his status tumbled badly with a second-half slump and his MLB-high passed ball total. Video: What went wrong for the Dodgers in Game 7?INFIELDERSCody Bellinger (22): $535,000Bellinger arrived sooner than expected and now ranks as one of the top young sluggers in baseball with a bright future.Charlie Culberson (28): $550,000Culberson spent most of the 2017 season as a popular teammate and solid influence at Triple-A. He has value as a versatile bench player.Logan Forsythe (30): $5.75 millionThe Dodgers hold a $9 million option that they will almost certainly exercise. After an injury-riddled season, he emerged as a plus-defender and difficult out in the postseason – just what they expected when they traded for him last winter.Adrian Gonzalez (35): $21.5 millionThe expensive veteran is the Dodgers’ biggest offseason dilemma. His recurring back problems and Bellinger’s emergence have left the Dodgers with no use for Gonzalez going forward. But those back problems and his contract mean they are stuck with him for 2018.Corey Seager (23): $575,000The 2016 NL Rookie of the Year avoided any sophomore slump. But his nagging late-season injuries – to his elbow and back – are reason for concern. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Seager might not be too big to play shortstop. But the position’s physical demands might be a problem.Justin Turner (32): $12 millionThe best $1 million investment of the Guggenheim ownership, Turner is a leader in the clubhouse and an All-Star on the field. Re-signing him to a four-year, $64 million deal was one of the critical moves last winter that led to this year’s World Series.Chase Utley (38): $2 millionThe Dodgers bought a clubhouse culture when they re-signed Utley each of the past two winters. With that established, Utley (who will turn 39 in December) might have to choose between retirement or a low-money minor-league deal to make another team’s roster next spring.OUTFIELDERSAndre Ethier (35): $17.5 millionAfter two seasons gutted by injury, Ethier might have played his last game in a Dodgers uniform. The Dodgers will use the $2.5 million buyout to avoid a $17.5 million salary in 2018 – though they could re-sign him at a lower salary.Curtis Granderson (36): $15 millionThe August trade acquisition from the Mets is best forgotten. Granderson will be a free agent.Franklin Gutierrez (34): $2.6 millionThe Dodgers gambled a one-year $2.6 million contract that Gutierrez would be a lefty-killing option in left field. It was a bad gamble.Joc Pederson (25): $555,000 (arbitration eligible)Pederson regressed offensively and defensively so badly that he had dropped completely out of the Dodgers’ plans – until he burst back to life with three home runs in the World Series.Yasiel Puig (26): $6.5 millionA year ago, Puig’s future with the Dodgers was very much in doubt. But he surged back to relevance in 2017 with Gold Glove-caliber defense and career-highs in home runs (28) and RBIs (74) while showing more plate discipline than anyone thought possible. Puig is sure to be motivated in 2018, the final year of his original seven-year, $42 million contract.Trayce Thompson (26): $535,000Thompson lost his place in the Dodgers’ outfield mix this year and has a long way to go to get back into it for 2018.Andrew Toles (25): $540,000The Dodgers remain very high on Toles. But the 2017 season was lost to a torn ACL and he might not return until well into 2018.Alex Verdugo (21): $535,000The Dodgers’ top position-player prospect, Verdugo made an underwhelming first impression as a September call-up.Chris Taylor (27): $535,000One of the most surprising stories of the 2017 season, Taylor went from “a fringy 4-A player” – Roberts’ description – to a crucial piece of the Dodgers’ core group, remaking his swing and learning to play center field.Kiké Hernandez (26): $555,000 (arbitration eligible)The kind of multi-position player craved by new-age roster-builders, Hernandez has niche value as a right-handed offensive weapon against left-handed pitching.LEFT-HANDED PITCHERSLuis Avilan (28): $1.5 million (arbitration eligible)Serviceable lefty reliever came down with a bad shoulder on the eve of the postseason but still figures into next year’s bullpen.Tony Cingrani (28): $1.825 million (arbitration eligible)The lowest-profiled of the Dodgers’ three trade-deadline acquisitions, Cingrani pitched well as a lefty specialist down the stretch.Grant Dayton (29): $540,000 (arbitration eligible)Tommy John surgery will likely sideline Dayton for all of 2018.Rich Hill (37): $12 millionThe Dodgers’ recent pitching investments have not paid great dividends (Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy). Hill’s three-year, $48 million contract signed last winter is looking good so far.Scott Kazmir (33): $16 millionKazmir didn’t throw a pitch for the Dodgers in 2017 and probably won’t in 2018 either, the final year of his three-year, $48 million contract.Clayton Kershaw (29): $33 millionThe 2018 season could be a pivotal one for the Dodgers’ ace. His seven-year, $215 million contract has three years and $98 million remaining but he can opt out after 2018. What would a third consecutive year with back problems do to that plan?Adam Liberatore (30): $535,000Elbow injuries have plagued Liberatore since the middle of 2016.Edward Paredes (31): $535,000Paredes, who was first signed to a pro contract by Seattle in 2005, made his MLB debut with the Dodgers in September.Hyun-Jin Ryu (30): $7 millionThe left-hander returned after two years lost to shoulder and elbow surgeries and pitched well at times in 2017. He is owed $7 million in 2018, the final year of his six-year, $36 million deal.Tony Watson (32): $5.6 millionAcquired from Pittsburgh at the trade deadline, Watson became an important part of the Dodgers’ bullpen. He is a free agent.Julio Urias (21): $535,000One of the top pitching prospects in baseball, Urias had shoulder surgery in June and will likely miss most, if not all, of the 2018 season.Alex Wood (26): $2.8 million (arbitration eligible)Can we stop asking about moving him to the bullpen? The young left-hander was outstanding for most of 2017 and was the Dodgers’ best pitcher in the World Series (one run, one hit in 7-2/3 innings). Write him into the 2018 rotation – in ink.RIGHT-HANDED PITCHERSPedro Baez (29): $550,000 (arbitration eligible)Roberts’ most reliable setup man for the first four months of the season, Baez pitched his way into oblivion down the stretch. His confidence took a big hit and Baez will head into spring training needing to re-establish himself.Walker Buehler (23): $535,000One of the most exciting pitching prospects in baseball, the 2015 first-round pick will have a chance to pitch his way into the Dodgers’ 2018 rotation.Yu Darvish (31): $11 millionEven before his costly flop in the World Series, the Dodgers were unlikely to enter the bidding to retain Darvish, whose asking price on the free-agent market will be well north of $100 million. Now? It’s goodbye to Yu.Josh Fields (32): $1.105 million (arbitration eligible)Roberts’ circle of trust narrowed as the postseason progressed and Fields was not in it. He will have to re-establish himself next spring.Yimi Garcia (27): $555,000 (arbitration eligible)Garcia spent 2017 recovering from Tommy John surgery. He could be a wild card in the bullpen sweepstakes next spring.Kenley Jansen (30): $10 millionJansen proved vulnerable in the World Series but still ranks as the best closer in the National League and a rock around which the Dodgers’ bullpen will be built for the duration of the five-year, $80 million deal he signed last winter.Kenta Maeda (31): $3 millionMaeda was a revelation as a righty-killing reliever in the postseason. But the Dodgers still see him as a starter.Brandon McCarthy (34): $10 millionThe oft-injured veteran starter enters the final year of his contract with no clear place in the Dodgers’ starting rotation.Brandon Morrow (33): $1.25 millionThe best $100,000 the Dodgers spent last season was the retention bonus they gave Morrow to stay in Triple-A awaiting his early-season call-up. They will have to spend more to keep him now that he’s a free agent.Brock Stewart (26): $537,500A talented but still developing starter, Stewart could be ready to break out – of course, the same could have been said last spring as well.Ross Stripling (27): $540,000A top starting prospect in the Dodgers’ depleted system a few years ago, Stripling now seems to have found a place in the bullpen. One day after coming up a game short in the World Series, is it too soon to turn our attention to how the Dodgers will look next season?Who’s a free agent, who has a contract option and who is eligible for arbitration? Here’s a position-by-position look at the status of the players who made up the 2017 roster.Ages in parentheses, followed by their 2017 salaries (not pro-rated):CATCHERScenter_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Live updates: NLCS Game 2 between the Dodgers and Brewers

first_imgThe Milwaukee Brewers are on a 12-game win streak and leading the National League Championship Series 1-0 after a win at Miller Park Friday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.Preview | Scouting report | Matchup breakdown | In-game box score | Photo gallery |Follow along for live updates of Game 2 in the National League Championship Series between the Dodgers and the Brewers. SCNG’s Bill Plunkett, J.P. Hoornstra and Mark Whicker are reporting from Milwaukee.Viewing on a mobile device? Click here. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more