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As if all that’s not enough, the Yanks may find themselves at the epicenter of MLB’s decision to begin cracking down on pitchers who are loading up the baseball with sticky substances to increase spin rates and make their breaking stuff move like whiffle balls.

"Working pitchers is the identity of this club," Tauchman says of a team that has allowed just one opposing pitcher to last through the seventh inning. "Swing at the right pitches, work counts -- I knew right away that was something I could contribute."

“I guess it’s nice to say all these years later that I saw his potential. I can’t explain how he’s throwing 101 at his age, though – he’s a freak of nature. I just know he’s the only guy I make a point to watch on TV. It’s sick what he’s doing. He’s spotting the ball the way Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux used to but he’s doing it at 101 mph. It’s like he’s re-inventing the game.”

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"Zack Scott and his group have done a great job of building that depth. Really it started in the offseason last year, even before Steve Cohen bought the team, but has continued right through the moment. Billy McKinney had two home runs (Wednesday) night. We've only had him for a short time, but he's had a big impact. And there's been many others."Atlanta Braves MLB Design Face Coverings
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The rest — injuries of varying degrees to Luis Robert, Adam Engel, Tim Anderson, Billy Hamilton, Michael Kopech and Nick Madrigal, the last another months-long blow announced Thursday — have affected players' legs, mostly their hamstrings, with the exception of Robert, who's in recovery mode after suffering a torn hip flexor. Three of them, the injuries to Robert, Madrigal and Anderson, have come while the players were hustling down the first-base line trying to beat out infield singles.Los Angeles Dodgers MLB Design Face Coverings

Jordan Lyles has somehow allowed only two home runs in his last five starts after being one of the early-season leaders in that category. However, he has still allowed multiple runs in four of those games and his strikeouts are inconsistent at best. In his last 195 matchups against same-handed hitters he is allowing 2.22 home runs per nine innings. Over his last 259.2 innings, Lyles is allowing 1.66 home runs per nine innings, with a nearly equal split to righties and lefties.San Francisco Giants MLB Design Face Coverings

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"We all saw what happened to Kevin Pillar," Alonso said. "And that's scary. We are lucky he only had a broken nose. It could be a lot worse depending on where it hits the guy."Seattle Mariners MLB Design Face Coverings
Based off this timeline, the Bulls will provide an official update on White’s shoulder following re-evaluation in October. If that is the case, White may very well miss some time at the start of the 2021-22 season.Miami Heat Design Face Coverings

The other NBA game on Monday night has 6a more straightforward betting pattern. People like the favorite and the line is moving toward them. 

Under Stotts, the Blazers were a team that could maybe catch a few breaks and make a deep run like 2019, but not a team that could meet Larry O’Brien.Oklahoma City Thunder Design Face Coverings

The Bucks took a step in the right direction in their effort to turn this into a competitive Eastern Conference semifinal series.Charlotte Hornets Design Face Coverings

In the latest WNBA Shootaround, a look at the surging Dallas Wings, the struggling Chicago Sky, Jewell Loyd flaming, Liz Cambage laughing and more.Minnesota Timberwolves Design Face Coverings

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Gobert, who won the award in 2018 and '19 before Giannis Antetokounmpo won it last year, earned 84 of 100 first-place votes and finished with 464 total points. Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (15 first-place votes, 287 total points) and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (76 total points) finished second and third, respectively.

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Honorable mentions: Tyrone Corbin, Jay Larranaga, Mike D’Antoni, Lloyd Pierce, Chauncey Billups, Sam Cassell, Wes Unseld Jr., Jarron Collins, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson
"One of the pillars of the Cubs organization is to 'be a good neighbor,' " Cubs vice president of marketing Lauren Fritts said Tuesday in a statement. "We’re aware of the impact we have not only on the neighborhood surrounding us, but on all of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods. Cubs fans don’t just reside on the North Side, and the work we do as an organization and through Cubs Charities isn’t specific to just one neighborhood. Rather than simply unveil a new jersey, we wanted to use City Connect as a platform to unite our diverse city and celebrate those doing good in their neighborhood."St. Louis Cardinals MLB Design Face Coverings

If the Yankees are not soul-searching after this home sweep, their season may be too far gone.New York Mets MLB Design Face Coverings

The Pittsburgh Pirates have the No. 1 pick, followed by the Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles. While there is no clear-cut choice for the top pick this year, Vanderbilt aces Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker, high school shortstops Jordan Lawlar and Marcelo Mayer and Louisville catcher Henry Davis are among the draft prospects expected to come off the board first.

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McCann, who started the season in a terrible funk, has three homers in his last four games.Kansas City Royals MLB Design Face Coverings

There’s not a contender who wouldn’t want the future Hall of Famer at the front of the rotation, knowing he’s still one of the game’s premier pitchers, winning three Cy Young awards and finishing in the top 5 in Cy Young balloting in each of the last seven full seasons. He may be 37 in July, but he still leads the National League with 104 strikeouts in 77 innings to go along with his 2.22 ERA.Miami Marlins MLB Design Face Coverings

Now, Aaron Boone has remained consistent, saying he still believes in his star-studded lineup to turn things around. And they very well might with so many games left on the regular season schedule.

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In my opinion, Trout is the greatest hitter our game has seen in a long time. And for me to face that guy? More than anything it’s just … fun.
The veteran right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery in 2020 following a 2019 season that saw him pitch only 20.1 innings, including the postseason, due to various other injuries. But Boone is hearing that Sevy is looking pretty impressive at the moment.Colorado Rockies MLB Design Face Coverings

Sandoval is probably the most surprising of the three Giants to make the list. According to Miley though, it's with good reason that Sandoval is one of the toughest hitters in the game to face.

“I don't change my routine,” Pujols said Sunday. “I always maintain the same routine, always try to have confidence, the communication, the scouting report we have. Try to have the same swing, be aggressive and find a good pitch and try to put a good swing.”New York Yankees MLB Design Face Coverings

On just the fifth pitch of the game, Verdugo helped give the Red Sox an early cushion. But as it turns out, that was not enough. In the bottom of the first, the Yankees took a 2-1 lead thanks to a two-run double by catcher Gary Sanchez.

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Mets’ Jacob deGrom leaves with flexor tendinitis in win vs Padres originally appeared on NBCSports.comTexas Rangers MLB Design Face Coverings

Trout echoed Bauer when he told LA Times reporter Jack Harris he thinks the players just want a level playing field.
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What is occurring now with foreign substances has so many parallels with another cheating scandal in the sport's history: performance-enhancing drugs.Milwaukee Brewers MLB Design Face Coverings

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Leonard finished with 28 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists — but he had help. Three Clippers had more than 20 points (Leonard, Paul George with 20 and 9 assists, and Marcus Morris with 23 including seven 3s) and seven players in double-figures. The Clippers assisted on 30 of their 41 made baskets.Memphis Grizzlies Design Face Coverings

Is this run of title-less MVPs a sign that society, or at least NBA writers, have matured beyond conflating rings with personal value? If you’ve ever met society, you know that’s a no. Our most widely accepted metric for determining how great a player is is counting their championships — something won by a group, an absurd, absurdly pervasive illogic. To put it another way: consider Scottie Pippen and Larry Bird.

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Booker has been the star Paul believed he was, with the young guard's 47-point closeout game to knock out the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers being the gem so far. Paul can't believe how effective his teammates are at shooting, with Jae Crowder, Mikal Bridges, Dario Saric, Cameron Johnson and Cameron Payne lighting up the opposition from outside.Chicago Bulls Design Face Coverings

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Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said he's only coached a handful of players who have consistently improved year after year over the course of five or more seasons. Bradley Beal is one of themToronto Raptors Design Face Coverings

Jokic was 10-of-23 for 22 points and nine rebounds in Game 1. It wasn't awful, but Jokic has the burden many recent MVPs don't: He can't afford a semi-off night. The Nuggets aren't good enough around him to win if he struggles. The other time Jokic scored fewer than 30 in a game this postseason, a 16-point night in Game 4 vs. Portland, Denver lost by 20. Golden State Warriors Design Face Coverings

As Turner Sports has dibs to this year’s Eastern Conference Finals, TNT could get a lot of mileage out of a pairing of the top-seeded Nets and Sixers. With the Lakers out of the picture, Brooklyn’s mirthless band of mercenaries is the NBA’s top draw, and a showdown between the nation’s No. 1 and No. 4 media markets would automatically give TNT a leg up. (Together, the two cities account for 9% of all U.S. TV households.) ESPN, for its part, can still hope for a deep run by the No. 2 team from the No. 2 market, although the Clippers will have to get past Utah, the top seed in the West, if they are to advance to the Conference Finals.

"The tough part as a defender, you want to kind of feel the guy and get into his body when you're going over screens," Green said Monday. "When you're not able to get into his body, because he's obviously going to draw contact, draw fouls, stop, jump backwards or whatever he does to get the foul, you have to play off him more. Which allows him to run more freely.
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"It seems like there are games where we score a bunch of runs and then the next game it is pretty quiet," he said. "It's tough being on the bench. You know, there's only so much you can do and you want to be out there."

That didn’t happen. Instead, the Dodgers ended the 22-year-old Graterol’s rehab assignment Friday night by activating him from the injured list and optioning him to Oklahoma City.

"Our kids on the Little League level, even through high school, are literally told when to run, when to stop. They are never left on their own to trust their own instincts, to know when a ball might drop," Bradley said. "It's like, 'I'm not going to run unless the first-base coach tells me to go.' If you are waiting for the coach to tell you, it's too late. I've talked to coaches. We need to trust our kids to make decisions on their own. Find ways in practice. Don't have base coaches in practice. And tell the kids why you don't have base coaches in practice. Play situations where the players can figure it out on their own."

Brandon Dickson, who wasted a ninth-inning lead against Mexico in November 2019 when the U.S. was three outs from qualifying at the Premier12 tournament, escaped a two-on situation in the fifth when Juniel Querecuto grounded to Frazier, then allowed an RBI double in the sixth to Washington Nationals prospect Ramon Flores that cut the lead to 3-2.Milwaukee Brewers MLB Design Face Coverings

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Hinch had to have known that the phrase “To the Yankees—there’s nothing bad going on” wasn’t strictly accurate, unless the only definition of “bad” involved a monitor and a trash can. He also knew that questions about the whistling weren’t “ridiculous.” His team had broken the rules by doing just that.Atlanta Braves MLB Design Face Coverings

He will be 37 next month and has left little doubt he plans to continue pitching into 2022 and beyond.Chicago Cubs MLB Design Face Coverings

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Ortiz was shot in the back at an entertainment center in the Dominican Republic capital on June 9, 2019. He had to undergo emergency surgery in Santo Domingo and Boston. The bullet, which entered through his back and left through his abdomen, affected several organs.Cleveland Indians MLB Design Face Coverings
From that 2012-’13 season to now, the Blazers made the playoffs eight straight seasons, had three 50-win seasons, made it out the first-round three times, and made the 2019 Western Conference Finals.Milwaukee Bucks Design Face Coverings

Combine that with the Nets shooting 52% overall -- and an absurd 50% (21-of-42) from 3-point range -- while Milwaukee shot just 8-for-27 (29.6 percent) from deep, and it's easy to see how Brooklyn ran the Bucks out of Barclays Center so thoroughly.Cleveland Cavaliers Design Face Coverings

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The Bucks lost by 8 points in Game 1 (it wasn't that close) and by 39 in Game 2 (which wasn't that close either). In Game 2, somehow, the Nets were 1-point underdogs. That game, against a good Bucks team, should have removed all doubt over who is winning the championship this season. 

ATLANTA — In retrospect, the contours of this Eastern Conference semifinal series between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Atlanta Hawks probably revealed themselves near the end of Game 1.Toronto Raptors Design Face Coverings

"The Last Dance was really more about Michael Jordan than the Chicago Bulls. It was his story," Pippen said via his Instagram story. "This book is mine."

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“You can’t dig yourself a hole like that against a good team,” Lue said. “Then you have to expend all of your energy to get back in the game. Then you don’t have enough to finish.”Philadelphia 76ers Design Face Coverings

At the center of these discussions about the Clippers is Paul George, who has actually played well this postseason but will always be dragged for this team’s shortcomings as “Pandemic P.” He might be at the center of a Lillard trade if the Clippers come up short once again, though it’s unclear how willing Portland would be to build around a 31-year-old wing who’s proven he’s more of a No. 2 in this league, not a No. 1. Ironically, he would’ve been a perfect wing to pair with Lillard, but he’s not necessarily the ideal replacement for him as Rip City’s No. 1 option.
After the win, Cole attempted to downplay both his increased velocity as "sometimes you just bring your best fastball" and the showdowns against Donaldson, saying the outs were big only in the context that Donaldson is an important cog in the Twins' lineup. Still, he threw four of his six fastest pitches of the season -- two of those fastballs of 100.4 mph and 100.2 mph to Donaldson. Cole averaged 98.2 mph on his fastball in this start, above his season average of 97.3 mph. Finally, Cole did acknowledge that perhaps those superheated fastballs to Donaldson were "probably a bit of the moment."San Diego Padres MLB Design Face Coverings

Home plate's size has been unaffected, and the basepaths which connect with home are simply three inches shorter than normal. However, the basepaths from first base to second and second to third are 4.5 inches shorter than in previous seasons.Los Angeles Angels MLB Design Face Coverings

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"It's crazy, you know? The opportunities are pretty few and far between for those," Tauchman said. "Really with any ball I'm just trying to get a good break on it, take a good route, and especially on balls around the wall I'm trying to get there early. I was fortunate to make a play for the team."

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"The biggest concern is MLB manipulates the baseball year in and year out depending on free-agency class, or guys being in an advanced part of their arbitration," Alonso said during a videoconference with reporters.
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Not to mention the top of the NL East (3-0 against the Mets) and NL West (9-4 against the Padres, Dodgers and Giants) — at least so far.Toronto Blue Jays MLB Design Face Coverings

Zaidi doesn't have much to pout about these days with how well the Giants are doing. If things start to fall apart though, Farhan's office door might be closed more and more as the season goes on. 

Over his last four starts (just 12.1 innings), Harvey has a 12.41 ERA, having allowed 23 hits (including five home runs) and an opposing slugging percentage of .746.St. Louis Cardinals MLB Design Face Coverings
Even though one of the borough’s teams is still very much alive in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, everybody knows New York is a Knicks town. While the star-studded Brooklyn Nets might win their first NBA Finals in franchise history, we will always look back on how glorious the James and Lakers street memorial truly was. We may never see something this petty ever again.

NBA fans are letting the Milwaukee Bucks have it after their abysmal start to Game 2 Monday night in Brooklyn.New Orleans Pelicans Design Face Coverings

The good news for Washington is they have two fewer losses than Chicago. The bad news is that they still don’t have Elena Delle Donne back from back surgery, and every game without EDD is another game where they risk falling too far back to make the postseason. On the bright side, Myisha Hines-Allen and Tina Charles have formed a really formidable frontcourt, and Ariel Atkins is having a strong season as well. Delle Donne would make this into a really good team. It’s just…well, when we will see her?

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When Bogdan Bogdanovic shushed 76ers fans in Atlanta’s Game 1 win yesterday, he slid the tip of finger to the side of his nose:Brooklyn Nets Design Face Coverings
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Pros and cons of Bulls pursuing trade for Kemba Walker originally appeared on NBC Sports ChicagoLos Angeles Clippers Design Face Coverings

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Kevin Durant had nothing but amazing things to say about Boston Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum with his most recent comments. Dallas Mavericks Design Face Coverings

Kevin Durant inbounds ball off back of backboard, turns ball over (VIDEO) originally appeared on
“When you can’t train, you get soft-tissue injuries,” the athletic training official said. “It’s a known fact.”

After a season which saw them reach the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Knicks possess the No. 19 pick in this year’s draft, along with the Mavericks’ pick at No. 21.Toronto Raptors Design Face Coverings

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Bridges has hit 39.1 percent of nearly six catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts per game. When given space, he’s also smartly attacked closeouts, getting solid shots for himself and his teammates. His combination of high-level defense and diverse, mistake-free, complementary offense has really elevated everything else for the Suns. In the playoffs, the Suns have played just seven minutes with Ayton, Booker and Chris Paul on the floor and Mikal Bridges on the bench. With him glued to that core threesome, the team’s point differential has been plus-11.6 points per 100 possessions.Milwaukee Bucks Design Face Coverings

Dan Feldman and Danny Marang of NBC Sports Northwest and the Blazers Edge Podcast discuss on the ProBasketballTalk Podcast:

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The losers of three in a row, the Liberty are suffering from two serious issues. One is fixable, which is that Sabrina Ionescu just isn’t scoring right now. In the past three games, Ionescu hasn’t scored more than six points. But we’ve seen Sabrina score, so don’t be surprised if she pulls out of that slump. A bigger issue is Natasha Howard is out, which has left this team thin upfront. Add in that Kiah Stokes is leaving for EuroBasket and the team is left with just one option at center in Kylee Shook. They’ll add someone on a hardship, but that won’t fix the huge hole at the 5.

MH: Absolutely. There have been a lot of guys that have come out in the draft as upperclassmen and with that, your skills are more fine-tuned and you're more pro-ready. Obviously, you can have guys come in as projects but they may not develop the way that you'd like and they are more of a risk. With the older guys, you know what you're getting. Guys who are more disciplined, who have the work ethic to be better and stay good. They know how to take care of their bodies and take care of themselves off the court. You have more confidence in what you're going to get if that makes sense. Obviously, you've got the elite of the elite and that is a different story but in our situations, what you see is what you're going to get. I think we can change the notion that older is worse. Having guys that are older are more capable of being ready right now and contribute right now.Detroit Pistons Design Face Coverings

Even with the Celtics being shorthanded for its first-round series against the Nets, with Jaylen Brown missing all five games and Kemba Walker and Robert Williams the final two, it came as no surprise that major changes were made in the immediate aftermath. After 26 years in Boston Danny Ainge stepped down as the team's lead executive, and Brad Stevens gave up his head coaching duties to fill that void. Not only will Stevens have to hire his replacement, but he'll also need to find a way to improve the roster.Denver Nuggets Design Face Coverings
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The Tigers called him up Thursday morning to replace Hill, who went to the injured list with a right shoulder sprain, and make his 2021 season debut in center field during an 8-3 win over the Seattle Mariners. He finished 0-for-3 with one walk.

It’s still an awful trade, and Kelenic’s struggles doesn’t justify Brodie Van Wagenen’s bone-headed decision to bring in Robinson Cano. No wonder Van Wagenen is out of a job. Diamondbacks MLB Design Face Coverings

The AL doesn’t have nearly the number of dazzling young stars as the NL these days, but it can boast of having Shohei Ohtani, the most talented player in baseball, considering his two-way ability as a pitcher and a hitter. Hopefully MLB will be smart enough to showcase his unique talent to its fullest that night.

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But the Mets are still waiting on Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Carrasco to make their season debuts. Once they're inserted into the rotation (eventually), the Mets could easily have the best rotation in baseball.Atlanta Braves MLB Design Face Coverings

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Whether the Cubs can actually get that done, “If they want to, absolutely they can,” Rizzo told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune over the weekend.St. Louis Cardinals MLB Design Face Coverings

The Red Sox pitcher is back with the team and throwing the bullpen for the first time in nearly two years as his recovery from Tommy John surgery continues.Chicago Cubs MLB Design Face Coverings

A catcher’s interference in the seventh inning caused Jorge Soler to reach first base, the sixth time he has reached on such a play.
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