Is this man the best pitcher in baseball?

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Is this man the best pitcher in baseball?

From Comcast SportsNet Tuesday, August 23, 2011
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Rays were expecting a tough game against Justin Verlander and that's exactly how it played out. Verlander became the first 19-game winner in the majors, Alex Avila hit his 15th homer and the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers beat the Rays 5-2 on Monday night. "He's just not out there throwing, trying to throw 100 mph," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "He pitches. He has a definite idea of what he's doing. He's blessed with a very good arm, but he's also a pitcher." Verlander (19-5) won his seventh consecutive start, giving up one run and three hits in seven innings. The 19 wins match his career high, set in 2009. "Do I know where I'm at?" Verlander said. "Of course I do, but I've said time and time again, those things, totals, season stats, are meant to be looked at at the end of the season." The Tigers took a 2-1 lead in the second when Avila hit a two-run shot off Jeff Niemann (8-5). The All-Star catcher is 25 for 59 (.424) with five homers and 14 RBIs this month. Niemann, who was 7-0 in his 10 previous start, allowed four runs and six hits over 7 1-3 innings. Tampa Bay center fielder B.J. Upton left with a right shoulder strain. He got injured right before running into the wall on Delmon Young's eighth-inning double. "I think I just kind of overextended the right arm," Upton said. "It mostly went numb and it started to hurt a little bit." Upton's injury is not thought to be serious, but he is expected to sit out Tuesday's game. Jhonny Peralta made it 4-1 in the eighth on a two-out, two-run single off reliever Juan Cruz. The hit came after Jake McGee, who replaced Niemann with the bases loaded and one out, struck out Avila. "We thought runs were going to be stingy and they were," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Tonight, Justin got the better of him (Niemann). He's a real good pitcher on a real good roll right now." Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde, who gave up a solo homer in the ninth to Evan Longoria, both pitched one inning to complete a six-hitter. Leyland is not planning to use either Benoit or Valverde on Tuesday. Don Kelly extended the Tigers' lead to 5-1 on a ninth-inning homer. Matt Joyce, batting leadoff for just the second time this season, homered in the first against Verlander to put the Rays ahead. Joyce entered 5 for 9, including a homer, against the right-hander. Verlander got a no-decision in his other start against the Rays this season, allowing six runs and nine hits over six innings of Detroit's 7-6 win on May 24. This time he struck out eight and walked three, improving to 6-1 overall against the Rays. "There's a reason he was 18-5 coming into the game," Upton said. Tampa Bay designated hitter Johnny Damon had a one-out double in the sixth, tying Rickey Henderson for 46th place all-time with 510. Damon was stranded at second when Longoria hit a grounder and Ben Zobrist struck out. Niemann worked out of a two-on -- both on walks -- and one-out jam during the seventh by getting a foul pop from Kelly and striking out Ramon Santiago. "It was a well-played game," Maddon said. "They just beat us tonight." Avila was briefly shaken up after being hit by Upton's foul ball in the second, but remained in the game. NOTES: Longoria has 60 RBIs in his last 62 games. ... Detroit DH Victor Martinez was a late scratch because of lower back spasms. The catcher has been limited recently to DH duty due to a sore knee. ... Joyce went 1 for 2 with a walk against Verlander. ... Leyland said INF Brandon Inge, who had his contract purchased from Triple-A Toledo on Saturday, will be the emergency catcher. ... Tampa Bay LHP David Price (11-10) enters his start Tuesday 3-0 with a 2.11 ERA in five games, including three starts, against the Tigers. ... Detroit RHP Brad Penny (8-9) will make his 25th start of the season Tuesday.

Report: Ex-Raiders tight end agrees to deal with Jaguars

Report: Ex-Raiders tight end agrees to deal with Jaguars

After four seasons with the Raiders, tight end Mychal Rivera is on the move.

The 2013 sixth-round pick has agreed to a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars, according to ESPN.

Terms of the deal were not immediately known.

After playing a prominent role in Oakland his first two seasons, Rivera saw his numbers decrease in 2015 and 2016. This past season, he caught just 18 passes for 192 yards and one touchdown.

In his time with the Raiders, the Tennessee alum caught a total of 146 passes for 1,413 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The Raiders signed free agent tight end Jared Cook last week to go with incumbents Clive Walford and Lee Smith.

 

Report: W's encouraged by KD's rehab, hopeful for regular season return

Report: W's encouraged by KD's rehab, hopeful for regular season return

When the Warriors announced the severity of Kevin Durant's knee injury, they did not rule out a return before the end of the regular season.

And based on the progress of his rehab, the team is "hopeful" but "cautiously optimistic" that Durant will indeed play before the end of the regular season, according to ESPN.

The Warriors have 11 games remaining on their schedule and their final regular season game is April 12 against the Lakers.

On Tuesday, prior to the Warriors game against Dallas, Durant was seen working out on the court and putting up jump shots.

Just a day earlier, Durant worked up a good sweat while riding a stationary bike in Oklahoma City.

Durant is expected to be re-evaluated by the Warriors' medical staff next week.

After initially struggling without Durant, the Warriors have won five straight games. Durant sat on the bench for the road wins in Oklahoma City and Dallas.

Over the weekend, Warriors PG Stephen Curry and PF Draymond Green addressed Durant's recovery.

“You can tell he’s making improvements and following the game plan,” Curry told the media. “I see him in the weight room doing cardio stuff trying to stay as close to game shape as he can while he’s hurt. You like to see improvements every day. We still don’t know when he’ll be back.”

“When he’s ready, we’ll know,” Green told the media. “But it’s not really our job to try to figure out every day how he’s doing. You can kind of see he’s getting better and you just leave it at that.”