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last updated: Thu, 26 May 2016 01:22:50 -0400

Off the boil Curry is fine, says Kerr

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Oklahoma City Thunder(Reuters) - Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr has played down suggestions that point guard Stephen Curry is nursing an injury that is hampering his performances in the Western Conference Finals. The Warriors, who set an NBA record of 73 wins in the regular season, trail the best-of-seven series 3-1 against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have overpowered the defending champions. Curry injured his right knee last month and website Yahoo Sports, citing an unnamed source, reported early on Wednesday the reigning Most Valuable Player is no more than 70 percent healthy, though Kerr later dismissed the report.


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Wash Post Sports
last updated: Sun, 13 Mar 2011 01:45:03 EST

NCAA basketball: Navy women beat American, earn first NCAA tournament bid
Navy seniors Angela Myers and Cassie Consedine were the first to embrace at center court following a 47-40 victory over American in the Patriot League final Saturday at Alumni Hall. Their improbable journey from the depths of the league standings four seasons ago to champions was complete, and ah...

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Sport | The Guardian
last updated: Wed, 25 May 2016 21:02:58 GMT2016-05-25T21:02:58Z

James and Love run the show as Cavs crush Raptors to take 3-2 series lead

Back on their home court following two straight losses in Canada, the Cavs opened a 34-point lead in the first half on their way to a dominant 116-78 win

LeBron James scored 23 points then grabbed a seat, Kevin Love scored 25, and the Cleveland Cavaliers unleashed tenacious defense on Toronto to regain control of the Eastern Conference finals with a 116-78 rout of the Raptors in Game 5 on Wednesday night.

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CNN.com - Sport
last updated: Wed, 25 May 2016 09:23:27 EDT

Murray goes the distance, again, at French Open
For the second straight day at the French Open, Andy Murray was forced to play a fifth set. He won again, against little known French qualifier Mathias Bourgue.

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Fox Sports Top Stories RSS feed merging with Breaking News
The Fox Sports Top Stories RSS feed is merging with Breaking News. Please use http://feeds.news.com.au/public/rss/2.0/fs_breaking_news_13.xml instead.

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FOXSPORTS.com.au | Breaking News
last updated: Thu, 26 May 2016 07:32:00 GMT

Teams: Blues make shock big-men inclusions
CARLTON has made two shock inclusions for its game with Geelong, naming big men Matthew Kreuzer and Levi Casboult on its extended bench. ROUND 10 TEAMS

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ESPN.com - TOP
last updated: Wed, 25 May 2016 08:46:41 EST

Raptors absorb major beatdown in Game 5
Raptors absorb major beatdown in Game 5

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Concern? Maybe a little…
OK, so things have gotten a little sloppier after that first great series. No need to worry too much, right? It’s still ridiculously early, of course. Maybe not a great start, but certainly not a bad one. That said, every game the Pirates fall behind the Cubs is paining me – already. That’s because from […]

OK, so things have gotten a little sloppier after that first great series. No need to worry too much, right? It’s still ridiculously early, of course. Maybe not a great start, but certainly not a bad one.

That said, every game the Pirates fall behind the Cubs is paining me – already. That’s because from what I’ve seen of the Cubs (and again, still ridiculously early, so this could change) – they are really freaking good. Terrifying lineup. Great front line pitching. Adequate bullpen. Even if the Pirates end up being a very good team again this year, it’s very easy to envision a situation like last year where they get stuck in the wild card anyway, just because they’re paired with a truly dominant team in the division. And that’s not even mentioning the Cardinals, who don’t seem all that scary anymore (for now) but surely won’t go quietly.

Anyway, I certainly don’t want to make too many sweeping generalizations about teams and worry about the standings too much in mid April. But I just don’t want to see the Pirates get in a big early hole. Right now it’s just a couple games, but one bad stretch could balloon it, and that would be trouble.

Moving on to the actual state of the team, some good and bad from the past week or so:

THE GOOD:

OBP

All the talk this spring was about how the Pirates were going to be an on-base-percentage-focused team, and so far that has shown to be true. They are second in the league (behind guess who, the Cubs) entering Thursday with an excellent .375 mark. Last year they finished at .323. Obviously that will likely go down as the season goes on, but the change is evident, and it has mostly been effective. Sure, the power is down, as we expected, but that’s exactly how you can make up for it. And certainly don’t count me among those worried about hitting with RISP. As a high OBP team, you’ll have some maddening games like that where you leave a ton on base. It evens out. You saw a perfect example of that with the awful loss on Sunday and then a great win on Monday.

And maybe my favorite thing about this new OBP trend? Grinding opposing pitchers down. Through nine games, the opposing starter has gone six innings just twice, and both times it was only six, no more. Getting to the bullpen early is a great thing. Even when the offense isn’t totally clicking, they’ve shown an ability to at least stretch innings and at bats out somewhat, and that helps in the long run.

THE BAD:

Pitching depth

The Pirates have a pitching depth problem, and amazingly (so far) the problem isn’t entirely related to Ryan Vogelsong and Jeff Locke. Both have actually pitched well so far (granted, tiny sample). But this rotation is very thin right now, and it’s compounded by a bullpen that isn’t exactly equipped to handle short, subpar starts. The back of the Pirate bullpen is excellent, as it has been for years. Neftali Feliz looks amazing, and Tony Watson and Mark Melancon are their usual selves. But beyond those three…trouble. I’m not sure if we should be super worried about Arquimedes Caminero, because I said that a few times last year and he bounced back, but it hasn’t been a great start for him – Tuesday’s loss is pretty much all on his shoulders. But even if you count him as OK, you surely can’t feel great about Kyle Lobstein and Cory Luebke (and, for now, emergency callup A.J. Schugel). Getting Jared Hughes back will help, but still, at this rate, it’s going to be hard for the Pirates to hold down the fort and get to those big three in the back whenever a starter fails to get them through six, or if they’re trailing at any point and Hurdle doesn’t feel ready to use one of his prized bullets.

And there’s not a ton of sure bets to get through six strong in the rotation right now. Liriano’s injury is hopefully just day to day, but if it’s worse than that…um, then what? Does Vogelsong go in there for good? (He did pitch well on Tuesday, but…) Do they rush up a prospect? (Glasnow and Taillon both had strong AAA debuts, which is encouraging, but we know the Pirates love to be cautious.) And that’s not even mentioning Nicasio, whose second start raised all the concerns I had about him initially (two pitches, maybe not cut out to be a durable starter with his high-effort style). He’ll get more chances and hopefully be OK, but remember, the plan was for him to be one of the key guys bridging the gap in those middle innings. With him and Hughes both out of that role, the Pirates better get six out of their starters most nights or they’re going to have more problems.

Other thoughts

  • Michael Morse was DFA’d. I’m sad I never got to see one of his tape measure homers (he mashed in BP) in a game, but he was expendable. The Pirates brought up the extra arm (Schugel) while Liriano is down, and once Liriano is back, I expect them to give Jason Rogers a shot off the bench. I love Rogers’ bat so I’m good with that.
  • Jung Ho! He’s been cleared for all baseball activity and should be good to start playing full games in extended spring training. No need to unfurl the Korean flags until he starts playing rehab games in Altoona/Indy, but hopefully we’re getting close.
  • Despite a couple of iffy final lines, I do like this from Jon Niese so far: 12 K’s, 2 walks. The ironic thing is that he said he was looking forward to pitching in front of a better defense (the Mets’ D was bad), and the defense behind him has hurt him quite a bit in both his outings.
  • I don’t like David Freese hitting third. How about Cervelli, or even Polanco?
  • I do like what I’ve seen from John Jaso so far, especially on defense. He’s handled it much better than, well, you know. And as advertised, he’s getting on base.
  • Chris Stewart hit a home run. That might be the most incredible thing to happen all season.

Original article: Concern? Maybe a little…

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