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Mittwoch, 15. August 2018, 09:51

Evolving his game

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Giants will be out to avenge a series
defeat on the road last week when they get a rematch with the Miami Marlins in a
three-game set that begins Monday night.

The Marlins’ Caleb Smith
(5-6 Vita Vea
Buccaneers Jersey
, 3.75 ERA) and the Giants’ Andrew Suarez (2-4, 4.92),
two young left-handers who dueled Wednesday in Miami, will square off again in
the series opener.

Neither pitcher was part of the decision in the Marlins’ 5-4 win on
Wednesday, a game in which the Giants blew 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3 leads en route to a
walk-off defeat.



Brian Anderson’s sacrifice fly off Giants closer Hunter Strickland ended the
game, which was the Marlins’ third straight narrow victory to open the
series.

The Giants salvaged a game in the finale Thursday, prevailing 6-3 in a
16-inning affair started by San Francisco’s Dereck Rodriguez and Miami’s Dan
Straily, who are scheduled to hook up again Tuesday.

Smith allowed three runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings in his outing
against the Giants last week. It was the first time he faced San Francisco in
his career, leaving him with a 0-0 record and 4.26 ERA against them.

The 26-year-old left the team for personal reasons and was placed on the
bereavement list later in the week, but he is expected to be reinstated to the
active roster in time for Monday’s start.

The second-year major-leaguer has struggled on the road in his career, going
3-5 with a 5.68 ERA. He has never pitched in San Francisco.

Among the eight hits he allowed Wednesday was a two-run homer by Andrew
McCutchen, who had quite a series against the
Marlins Anthony
Miller Bears Jersey
, going 7-for-20 with two doubles, two home runs, five
runs scored and five RBIs in the three games.

Nick Hundley and Brandon Belt homered for the Giants in their 4-1 win over
the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, which allowed San Francisco to complete a 4-6
trip.

The Giants have won seven of their last eight home games.

San Francisco played Sunday without third baseman Evan Longoria, who suffered
a broken hand Thursday. The Giants also are expecting to be without shortstop
Brandon Crawford for the series against the Marlins.

Crawford is scheduled to go on paternity leave Monday, with the birth of his
fourth child considered to be imminent.

It’s possible Giants fans will get to see Pablo Sandoval at shortstop in the
series. It’s a move San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy indicated could be in the
cards after Sandoval was pressed into emergency duty at second base when Joe
Panik was injured last month.

“That decision hasn’t been made, until we take a look at Pablo taking a few
ground balls at short.” Bochy said recently with a laugh,

Suarez was in line for his third win of the season when he was pulled from
last week’s game after five innings with a 3-2 lead. He allowed two runs and
five hits in his five innings.

It was the rookie’s first outing against the Marlins. He’s 0-0 with a 3.60
ERA against them.

Smith had two of the Marlins’ five hits off Suarez. He’s now 3-for-20, one of
just 30 pitchers to have three or more hits this season.

The Marlins opened a nine-game trip by winning two of three at Baltimore,
giving them five wins in their last six games They’ll play three at Colorado
later in the week.
Collin Sexton endeared himself to the Cavaliers with his
competitive streak, speed and attitude long before they picked him in the NBA
draft.

His jersey number showed them something else: He’s fearless.

Sexton made quite a first impression by deciding to take No. 2, his college
number but also the one previously worn in Cleveland by All-Star point guard
Kyrie Irving. After showing off his jersey at a news conference Friday, Sexton
said he doesn’t feel pressure to live up to Irving’s high standards.



”Not at
all Cheap
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,” he said. ”Coming in, I’m going to set goals for
myself and then as well there’s going to be team goals set. But I feel like I’m
not going to have to live up to anybody’s shoes, but I’m going to come in and
learn and be the best player I can be on the court as well as off the
court.”

Some Cleveland fans feel No. 2 should be retired. After all, Irving made the
biggest shot in franchise history in Game 7 of the 2016 Finals before asking to
be traded last summer to escape the daunting shadow cast by LeBron James.

Maybe one day No. 2 will hang in the rafters. For now, it belongs to
Sexton.

With an eye toward rebuilding – and maybe persuading James to re-sign this
summer – the Cavs selected Sexton, the lightning-quick Alabama point guard, on
Thursday night with the No. 8 overall pick. As a freshman, the 19-year-old
Sexton carried the Crimson Tide to the NCAA Tournament, for a brief time giving
the school’s rabid football fans a late-winter diversion before coach Nick Saban
blew his whistle in spring practice.

The Cavs believe Sexton, who earned his ”Young Bull” nickname in high school
for his charge-ahead playing style, can help them finally offset the loss of
Irving. Without him, Cleveland lacked a dependable second-scoring option for
James; the club spent the entire season with a virtual revolving door at the
position as coach Tyronn Lue started eight point guards.

Irving’s absence was never felt more than in the Finals as the Golden State
Warriors only had to concentrate on James. The Cavs didn’t have another player
capable of breaking down their defense.

Sexton gives Cleveland a new weapon.

He’s in good hands. At Alabama, Sexton played for former NBA guard Avery
Johnson Will
Hernandez Jersey
, and he’s being passed to Cavs coach Tyronn Lue, a
14-year pro looking forward to developing the youngster.

”I’ve watched him play,” Lue said. ”I understand who he is as a player and as
a person, talked to his parents a lot throughout the course of his college
selection, so I know them very well. I’m just excited, man. To be able to have a
young talent that I can help mold and build and make better and teach him what
suit to wear, what shoes to wear with a suit, how to tie a tie, when you go to
dinner, things like that that Bryan Shaw and Robert Horry and Ron Harper and
those guys taught me, so I’m very excited about that.”

Sexton wowed the Cavs during his personal workout, which came one day after
Cleveland was swept by the Warriors. He attended Game 4, and as he witnessed
James Kolton
Miller Youth Jersey
, Kevin Durant and others competing at the highest
level the game offers, Sexton could imagine one day being part of the
action.

”Like the seats were shaking,” he said. ”Fans were screaming. Just I feel
like I’ll be ready to play in something like that when it’s my time.”

Sexton smiled throughout his introductory news conference, which came
following a nearly sleepless night in New York. And while he came across as
easygoing and affable, there’s a darker side to Sexton.

On the floor, he’s ferocious.

”When you get between those lines, there’s no friends,” he said. ”When you
get between those lines it’s us against them, and we’re trying to win. It’s like
a switch that cuts on. It’s go time when you get on the court.”
.