'Next time' is now as Anderson faces Tribe in finale

462678.jpg

'Next time' is now as Anderson faces Tribe in finale

May 5, 2011

CLEVELAND (20-9) vs.
A's (16-15)

OAKLAND (AP) -- The Cleveland Indians may be tied for the best record in baseball, but they're just average on the road.

They've been far worse than that for over three weeks now.

The Indians attempt to avoid losing for the fifth time in six road contests when they conclude a three-game series with the Oakland Athletics on Thursday.

Cleveland (20-9) is tied with Philadelphia for the best record in the majors, but the Indians' rise is mostly due to a 13-game home winning streak.

They haven't carried that success onto the road, where they've split 14 games while losing seven of the last 10.

The struggles away from Cleveland continued Wednesday with a 3-1 loss to the A's (16-15) after opening this six-game road trip with a 4-1 victory a night prior.

GUTIERREZ: A's make history...almost

Playing in Oakland has always been troublesome for the Indians, who have lost 25 of their last 34 games there.

Jeanmar Gomez (0-1, 6.23 ERA) takes the mound for Cleveland, looking to prove he's worthy of a spot in the rotation with Carlos Carrasco nearing a return from an elbow injury.

Gomez, though, is 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA in two starts this season, and the right-hander labored through his most recent outing as the Indians beat Detroit 9-5 on Friday. He was lifted with two outs in the sixth after allowing three runs and 10 hits, including a first-inning homer.

"He's battled for us and given us an opportunity," manager Manny Acta told the team's official website. "He competed well for us last year. He's only had two outings here, so we're going to have to see more. If everything works out, (Carrasco) could be in line to pitch the very next week for us."

Oakland has won five of its last seven with much of the credit going to a pitching staff that has compiled a 2.22 ERA to offset the team's .230 batting average. However, the A's hitters have connected for seven homers over the last five games, including David DeJesus' first two of the season Wednesday.

"We're floating around .500 and the offense hasn't even come out of its shoes," said Trevor Cahill, who improved to 5-0 Wednesday. "I think we have a lot to look forward to.

"And once they get going, we can make our run."

In the meantime, the A's could use a better effort from Brett Anderson (2-2, 2.95), who is trying to rebound from his worst performance of the season.

The left-hander was tagged for seven runs and nine hits, including a career high-tying three homers, while walking four and hitting another batter in an 11-2 loss to Texas on Saturday. He was 2-1 with a 1.56 ERA through his first five starts.

"The only thing I can take solace in is that it's going to be better next time," Anderson told the team's official website.

He's dominated the Indians, going 1-0 while yielding one run and seven hits with 15 strikeouts in 12 innings over two home starts.

Fultz a perfect fit, but do Kings have assets required to trade up?

Fultz a perfect fit, but do Kings have assets required to trade up?

It’s lonely at the top, which is where Markelle Fultz sits on almost every 2017 NBA Draft board. The Brooklyn Nets should be set for the next decade with a big time scoring point guard. Instead, it’s the Boston Celtics who have no choice but to take Fultz with the No. 1 overall selection after a savvy trade that sent veterans Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Nets for a stack of picks and players back in 2013.

Fultz can do it all. He’s deadly from the outside, he can take you off the bounce and he has elite passing skills to boot. In a draft packed with star potential, specifically at the point guard position, the freshman from Washington stands out well above the rest.  

It would take a major shake up at the top for Fultz not to have his name called first on draft night, but there are plenty of very talented players sitting on the board behind him. Here is a deeper look at the potential top overall selection.

The Positives:
Fultz has tremendous size, length and athleticism for an NBA point guard. He measured in at 6-foot-5, 195-pounds with a 6-foot-10 wingspan and has a frame built to take on muscle. At just 19-years-old, he is already well defined physically and has plenty of room to grow and get stronger.

A crafty, high-end scorer, Fultz changes speed and direction well and has an advanced Euro-step for a young player. He averaged 23.2 points in 35.7 minutes a night for the Huskies while shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from three. He can score from all three levels, finish well above the rim and play through contact.

In his lone season in college, Fultz showed that he is not only a legitimate scoring threat, but he is a willing passer and an unselfish teammate. While Lonzo Ball is considered the true pass first point guard of the draft, Fultz had a higher assist rate (35.5 to 31.5) and lower turnover rate (13.4 to 18.2) than the star guard from UCLA.

Fultz rebounds well for his position, averaging 5.7 rebounds per game at Washington. He also has potential as a defender, posting 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks, although he is a work in progress on that end of the floor.

Known as a high-character kid and tireless worker off the court, Fultz has the entire package. He can also play the lead or shooting guard spot, which will come in handy if the Celtics decide to pair him with All-Star Isaiah Thomas in the backcourt.

The Negatives:
9-16 is a concern. Great college players should be able to will their team to victory, even if the talent around them is suspect. Washington was certainly worse off without Fultz down the stretch, losing their last six while he sat with a knee injury.

Shot selection and sloppy ball handling was also an issue this season. In Fultz’ defense, he played with a group that lacked overall talent and those issues might eventually disappear when he’s added to a roster that made it to the Eastern Conference Finals.  

Fultz is a quality chase down defender, but he fell asleep on plenty of plays or didn’t show a consistent fight on the defensive end. Lack of focus allowed for plenty of back cuts. He also showed an inconsistent effort fighting through screens.

He’s a work in progress on the defensive end, like most young players coming into the league. Most of these issues can easily be coached out of him at the next level.

Projection:
Fultz has an advanced feel and tons of room to expand his game. On the court, he resembles another former Husky in Brandon Roy. Fultz is much further along than Roy was at the same age, but possesses both the ability to score from anywhere on the court, as well as rebound and set up his teammates.  

It’s hard to imagine the Celtics passing on Fultz with the top overall selection, but if they do, teams will scramble trying to move up to select him. He would fit perfectly in the Kings starting backcourt alongside sophomore Buddy Hield, but Sacramento lacks the assets to move from five to one, Fultz’ likely landing spot.

 

Early offense, six strong from Cueto lift Giants past Braves in finale

nunez-scores-braves-usa.jpg
USATSI

Early offense, six strong from Cueto lift Giants past Braves in finale

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Johnny Cueto pitched six strong innings and Brandon Crawford drove in three runs as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Atlanta Braves 7-1 on Sunday.

Cueto (5-4) bounced back from his roughest stretch as a Giant. The two-time All-Star was 0-3 with a 4.33 ERA in his previous four starts.

The Giants won their third straight home series and posted their 11th victory in 18 games overall.

Crawford's two-run single highlighted a four-run second against R.A. Dickey (3-4) that made it 6-0.

The Giants scored their first run in the first inning on a passed ball by Kurt Suzuki, who was handling Dickey's knuckleballs.

Eduardo Nunez and Gorkys Hernandez each had two hits for the Giants. Joe Panik tripled to start the second-inning burst.

Matt Kemp had three hits for Atlanta. But the Braves couldn't get much going against Cueto, who allowed one run on six hits and a walk. Cueto struck out eight, including five in a row at one point.

Dickey allowed a season-high seven runs (six earned) on six hits and five walks.

Giants catcher Buster Posey was 0 for 2 with two walks. He hasn't struck out in 55 consecutive plate appearances.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Braves: 2B Brandon Phillips left the game in the top of the fifth for pinch-hitter Jace Peterson. Phillips fouled a ball off his foot in his last at-bat in the third.

Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner will start his throwing program on Friday, manager Bruce Bochy said. Bumgarner will start out playing catch and make five rehab starts. The 2014 World Series MVP suffered a separated left shoulder in a dirt biking accident. "The progress is happening," Bochy said. "I think he sees light at the end of the tunnel." . Slumping rookie INF Christian Arroyo was out of the lineup on Sunday and his playing status appears uncertain. Arroyo, who turns 22 on Tuesday, is 0 for 19 in his last five games. "I'll talk to him, about what his situation is," Bochy said. "I'm definitely planning on giving him a couple of days" off.

UP NEXT:
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran will make his first career start against the Angels in Anaheim on Monday. Teheran is 3-9 with a 5.63 ERA in 15 career interleague starts.

Giants: LHP Matt Moore will face the Nationals for the second time in his career. He was with Tampa Bay when he gave up two runs in five innings against Washington in 2012.