9

Astros’ Alex Bregman wins All-Star Game MVP after go-ahead HR in 10th

Bregman’s homer was one of a record-breaking 10 in the game, and it put the AL ahead for good, as baseball’s best put on a power exhibition in the late innings. Bregman’s Astros teammate George Springer hit one out immediately after Bregman.nfl cheap jerseys nike

“There’s a great love affair with both results. I mean, to kind of empty your tank and hit homers tonight at this event is probably the best thing imaginable,” AL manager A.J. Hinch of the Astros said. “Just to have that kind of emotion that comes with the home run, especially when the big boys hit it and especially when the Astros hit it.”9

Bregman and Springer homered off losing pitcher Ross Stripling of the Dodgers — that’s kind of how last season ended too, with Houston battering Los Angeles’ pitchers in the World Series.

“I took a cutter down the middle first pitch, then kind of went into battle mode and was just trying to put a line drive in play and it left the yard. It was crazy. A lot of fun,” Bregman said. “Normally when we go back-to-back, I have to hit it after Springer does because he leads off, so it was pretty cool to see them go back-to-back.”nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Bregman smiled all around the bases. He is familiar with this city, his grandfather having been the general counsel for the old Washington Senators.

“My dad grew up on Ted Williams’ lap. So to see Ted Williams Most Valuable Player on this trophy is pretty special,” Bregman said.

The 24-year-old Bregman is a first-time All-Star in his third major league season. He hit 19 homers last season, and he has 20 so far this year.

12

Orioles make progress in Manny Machado trade talks, sources say

The Baltimore Orioles, deep into trade talks regarding All-Star shortstop Manny Machado, have made progress in recent days and have narrowed their focus to a smaller group of teams, sources told ESPN.

The Orioles are said to be “definitely motivated” to get a deal done, according to one official familiar with the conversations.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

They have had extensive conversations with the Philadelphia Phillies, whose front office is loaded with former Orioles officials who were involved in the drafting and developing of Machado in 2010 for Baltimore — including president Andy MacPhail, general manager Matt Klentak and assistant GM Ned Rice.12

Among the Phillies prospects being evaluated by the Orioles are 23-year-old right-handed pitcher Franklyn Kilome, 19-year-old outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz, 20-year-old infielder Arquimedes Gamboa and 21-year-old right-hander Adonis Medina.

Even if the Phillies do not trade for Machado this summer, they would ardently pursue him after he reaches free agency in the fall.

The Orioles also have discussed possible trade combinations for Machado with the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks and Cleveland Indians. He is regarded as the prize of this summer’s trade market, the player with the most potential impact.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

Machado, 26, is off to the best start of his career offensively, tallying several career-high figures for the first half, including home runs (23), RBIs (64), OBP (.384) and OPS (.950).

“It crosses my mind, I’m not going to lie,” Machado said earlier this month of his uncertain future. “You just try to enjoy your moment, try to enjoy the season like I have since day one, since I stepped in here. You try to take it all in. Nobody ever wants to think about that day.”

9

Arizona’s Zack Greinke to replace Cubs’ Jon Lester on All-Star roster

Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke will replace left-hander Jon Lester on the National League All-Star roster.

Lester is due to start for the Chicago Cubs against new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap San Diego on Sunday and would be unavailable for Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Nationals Park in Washington.

This is the fifth All-Star selection for Greinke, who has a 9-5 record with a 3.39 ERA, 117 strikeouts and 23 walks in 114 innings. Since May 9, he has gone 6-3 with a 2.88 ERA in 13 starts.

The 2009 Cy Young winner struggled in spring training, with a fastball that was only in the mid-80s, and at one point said he wondered if he still had what it took to pitch.

For that reason, Greinke, 34, said this All-Star nod is his most meaningful.9

“You guys that saw me pitch in spring training —nfl nike jerseys cheap china¬† I didn’t know if I was going to be able to get any outs this year,” he said Thursday. “To end up doing as good as it’s been so far, it’s pretty exciting.”

9

England must make World Cup run the start of something big, not another false dawn

For England, this was so much better than anyone could have possibly expected. But in the end, it wasn’t enough.

That’s the problem with progress. People will always want more and, having been within 22 minutes of playing in their first World Cup final since 1966, England must now prepare for a third-place playoff against Belgium in Saint Petersburg on Saturday, when they really wanted to be playing in Moscow 23 hours later.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

Croatia, in the end, were simply too good and too streetwise in the semifinal and their 2-1 victory was deserved, despite England’s impressive start to the game.

But defeat still stings for Gareth Southgate and his overachieving players.9

“Did we feel we would be in this position?” Southgate asked after the game. “Realistically, I don’t think any of us did.

“But when you get to this point and play as well as we did in the first half, you want to take those opportunities in life, so the dressing room is a very difficult place at the moment.”

England’s shortcomings, the fault lines that have consumed them long before the semifinal stage in previous tournaments, remain the same as ever. Southgate has done well to mask his team’s flaws and give them a renewed sense of confidence and identity, but the problems that cost them against Croatia were the same that almost handed victory to Colombia in the round of 16.

England don’t have a Modric — few teams do — but they have to learn how to control games better against top-class teams. Had Southgate’s players faced a Brazil, France, Uruguay or Portugal before this stage, they might not have made it so far because the lack of service to Harry Kane would really have told against such high-quality opposition.

Southgate is keen to remind people that England’s squad was the least experienced in Russia. This journey to the semifinal will certainly help his players and make them more confident in the future, but their lack of nous at this level did show against Croatia.nfl replica jerseys cheap

“We played extremely well in the first half, given the size of the game, and I was really pleased with the way we controlled possession,” Southgate said. “But when you’re in charge of the game and have the chances we had, you have to take a second goal at that point.

34

Brighton sign Brazilian defender Bernardo from Leipzig

Brighton & Hove Albion have brought in Brazilian defender Bernardo from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig on a four-year deal, the Premier League club announced on Thursday.

The transfer fee for the 23-year-old full-back, the club’s fourth signing of the close season, was undisclosed but local media said Brighton had paid ¬£9 million.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

“I chose the club because they showed a big interest in me and my goal has always been to play in the Premier League because it’s the biggest league in the world,” Bernardo told the club’s website.

Manager Chris Hughton added: “He is a strong, committed defender who can play on the left or right, and so his versatility gives us good options at the back.”

Brighton finished 15th last term in their first season back in the top flight since 1983, when they were FA Cup runners-up.34

Bernardo joined Salzburg at the start of 2016, playing 13 games as the Austrians retained their league title.

He moved to sister club Leipzig at the end of that campaign and has played 49 times in the last two seasons, including three games in the Champions League and five in the Europa League.

Bernardo’s father, also called Bernardo, played over 300 league games for Sao Paulo, Santos and Corinthians, and featured four times for Bayern Munich. He played 19 games for Brazil.

Brighton had already signed Romania striker Florin Andone (Deportivo La Coruna) and Nigeria international Leon Balogun, who joined on a free transfer after leaving Mainz, plus goalkeeper Jason Steele (Sunderland).nfl nike jerseys cheap china

22

We traded Manny Machado to every team. Here’s who he helps most

If the competitive landscape of the NBA determined the tilt of the North American continent, you might have noticed a bit more of a westward lean Monday morning. If you haven’t heard, LeBron James announced his departure for Los Angeles, where he will try to resurrect the Lakers’ on-hiatus dynasty. Just like that, with a news release, the hierarchy of an entire league was upended.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

There simply is no baseball equivalent. If Mike Trout were suddenly released from his Los Angeles Angels contract and decided he wanted to play for the Baltimore Orioles, the O’s would be better and the Angels would be worse. But the effect would be fractional compared to James’ move. It’s the nature of the sport.

Keep that in mind as we set out to overanalyze the coming MLB trade season. With the non-waiver trade deadline looming at the end of this month, there could be some big names on the move. The biggest prize is Baltimore shortstop Manny Machado, who can become a free agent after the season. With the Orioles on pace to win 47 games (no, really), it seems a cinch that Machado will be playing for another team a month from now. A trade could come down any day.22

Machado is an elite player who is putting up a level of production right on target with his preseason forecast. Nevertheless, the team that ends up with him won’t be ensuring itself of anything. Whereas at this time yesterday, the Lakers seemed like a fringe playoff candidate in the NBA, and today they are considered a surefire postseason entrant and possibly one more big splash from title contention.

That said, Machado makes more sense for some teams than others. In an effort to put some numbers to this, I decided to inject his trade candidacy into this month’s Stock Watch. In addition to the usual metrics, each team is listed with its “Machado Bump.” That is: How much would the acquisition of the Orioles’ star infielder boost each team’s win forecast? How would it impact their chances to win it all?cheap nfl nike jerseys china

To calculate this, I “traded” Machado to every team in the majors, one at a time. For each club, I integrated him into its depth chart, moving around other pieces as needed. The assumption in terms of trade return was that Baltimore would be taking back minor league prospects who don’t impact the big league depth chart. This isn’t perfectly realistic. For instance, a Cubs-Orioles trade involving Machado would likely also include Chicago’s starting shortstop, Addison Russell. Why else would Baltimore do it?

321

Jean Segura hasn’t been cleared from concussion protocol

The Seattle Mariners scratched shortstop Jean Segura from the starting lineup for Monday’s game against the Texas Rangers.nfl cheap nike jerseys

Segura had been penciled in as the leadoff hitter but still needed final doctor’s clearance to be removed from the concussion protocol. He left Saturday’s game against the Minnesota in the bottom of the eighth inning after Twins shortstop Gregorio Petit appeared to hit him in the head with his cleat when he leaped over him on a double-play attempt.321

Segura, who leads the Mariners with a .324 batting average, sat out Sunday’s game against the Twins. He has four home runs, 34 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. His .324 average was fifth in the American League entering Monday’s games.

Center fielder Guillermo Heredia replaced Segura in the leadoff spot Monday, while Andrew Romine replaced him at shortstop and is batting ninth. Outfielder Denard Span is set to make his Mariners debut as he is batting second and playing left field.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

The Mariners added Span to the active roster Monday and optioned outfielder John Andreoli to Triple-A.

259

Kevin Durant, Warriors turn page to Game 5 after frustrating finish

Kevin Durant said, “I wish I had that last play back,” referring to the Golden State Warriors’ final transition possession with less than 12 seconds remaining in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals on Tuesday.

The Houston Rockets were up by two points when Draymond Green pulled down a defensive board to initiate the break. He passed it to Durant, who dribbled the ball up the court. Instead of taking a shot, Durant found a cutting Klay Thompson along the baseline.nfl jerseys authentic cheap

Trevor Ariza closed hard on Thompson, forcing Thompson to put the ball on the floor before firing up an ill-advised turnaround air ball. Durant was seen demanding a kickout, and with 5 seconds on the clock, Green was calling for a timeout that went unnoticed by the officials.259

“I raced it down. I was trying to see if I had some options. I saw Klay running along the baseline and maybe should have waited until he set his feet, but I just threw a bounce pass and tried to relocate for it,” he explained. “But, man, that’s not the reason we lost the game. I wish it could have been a better possession at the end, but, you know, we’ve got to live with that and move on and be better next game.”

Stephen Curry (39), Thompson (39), Durant (43) and Green (45) all played 39 or more minutes. Andre Iguodala was sidelined with a left leg contusion. The Warriors outscored the Rockets 34-17 in the third quarter, but due to an even further shortened rotation without Iguodala, Kerr said fatigue played a factor down the stretch.

“It’s the Western Conference finals,” Green said. “When you’re battling getting to the Finals, no one is worried about fatigue. We’re just trying to do what you got to do to win the game.”

Thompson suffered a knee contusion in the second quarter after he banged it on the hardwood. He headed to the locker room for treatment, then re-entered the game soon after. Team officials said his injury is of no concern moving forward.

“It’s sore, but it’s early,” Thompson said. “I’m anticipating feeling much better tomorrow.”

The Warriors dropped a golden opportunity to end the series in Houston on Thursday, but the locker room was surprisingly in good spirits following Tuesday’s contest. Durant told ESPN they “just have to get another one” on the road.nike nfl jerseys for sale

As a team, the Warriors expressed disappointment in not sustaining a high level of play rather than focusing on one possession. Durant said that’s what they need to fix going into Game 5.

“It’s the whole game that we’ve got to get better at, especially in the fourth,” he said. “I think going up 10 going into the fourth, it was a good opportunity for us to kind of take control, and we didn’t. So I definitely wish I had that last play back. So I’m going to watch film and see what my options were and just hopefully if I’m in that position again I’ll be better.”

212

Rockets defy critics and stick to the plan in Game 2 win

The call came in a little after 1 a.m. early Tuesday morning. PJ Tucker saw the caller ID and shook his head. James Harden was calling to talk about the Houston Rockets’ demoralizing loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Monday. Tucker wasn’t sure if the MVP front-runner was calling to vent or cheer him up. Either way, he was in no mood.

“I was so mad I didn’t answer the phone,” Tucker told ESPN on Wednesday night after the Rockets righted the ship to win Game 2 127-105 and salvage a split on their home court. “James was mad I didn’t answer. But it wasn’t one of those where we had to talk it out. We all knew what happened.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

“We played like the Rockets tonight. The first game, I don’t know who that was.”212

To a man, the Rockets insisted they didn’t change their approach in Game 2 after being criticized for playing such an isolation-heavy game Monday night. If anything, they seemed to double down on that approach and way of being Wednesday night. They just did it a whole lot better.

Houston’s passing in Game 2 led to much better shots than it did in Game 1. On Wednesday, for example, the Rockets created 12 uncontested 3-point shots off assists and made six of them. In Monday’s loss they created only five uncontested 3-pointers off assists and made two of them.

“I had better opportunities. We moved the ball better. Everybody was knocking down shots. Once we do that, how can you stop us?” said Rockets guard Eric Gordon, who scored 27 points including six 3-pointers Wednesday.

“I think this game was a matter of the Rockets bringing the force that’s necessary to win a game and we didn’t,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “We had seven turnovers in the first quarter. We set the tone early with our own play, and allowed them to get some confidence and some easy buckets in transition. We let guys get going.

“We got what we deserved. They kicked our butts. No other way to say it.”cheap nfl jerseys nike china

The only Warrior who seemed to be sharp Wednesday was Kevin Durant, who basically carried his team when nobody else could hit a shot or find a rhythm. Durant had a game-high 38 points on 13-of-22 shooting, but noticeably no assists as the Rockets forced him into isolation situations and decided to live with the results so long as he didn’t get anyone else involved.

211

Stephen Curry: Warriors need more aggressiveness, discipline on D

The Rockets targeted Curry on 23 possessions in Game 2, the most he has been targeted in a game this postseason, as they routed the Golden State Warriors 127-105 on Wednesday night to even the series at one game apiece. He was the primary defender on 20 plays in Game 1.

According to Second Spectrum, Curry defended 15 isolation plays in Game 1 and 13 in Game 2. nfl replica jerseys cheap Both were more than he had defended in the past four seasons, regular season and playoffs.

“They made shots,” Curry said about the Rockets’ high point total. “We were just a step slow on our rotations and our switches. Guys got into the paint. We know their M.O. is isolation, trying to get dribble drives, get the ball in the paint. … We’ve got to respond with some more aggressiveness and more discipline on the defensive end.”

Asked about how relentlessly the Rockets are zeroing in on Curry, coach Mike D’Antoni said, “It’s obviously one of our things we like to do.”

In the series, James Harden and Chris Paul are consistently calling for screens from the teammate Curry is guarding to get the two-time MVP to switch onto them. Once Curry switches to the primary ball handler, the Rockets attempt to penetrate to the basket.211

Houston shot 7-of-15 from the field on those 23 possessions Curry was the primary defender. Curry was beat off the dribble frequently and too often allowed Harden to drive to his stronger left side.

“We were trying to be too cute with our [defensive] exchanges and our switches and all that stuff instead of just manning up and playing one-on-one defense,” Curry said. “Whether they score or not, as hard as we’re working on the defensive end, they’re working as hard on the offensive end to get shots up. That was the difference between Game 1 and Game 2. They made a concerted effort to turn those one-on-one situations into a little bit more ball movement, and we were just a step slow, myself included.”

Many are questioning whether Curry is fully healed from his left knee injury that forced him to miss five weeks.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

“I physically feel fine,” he told ESPN. “I’m playing without really any limitations so I can just go play basketball.”