why I’m missing those pitches

why I’m missing those pitches

Postautor: chenyan94 » 10 sie 2018, o 08:12

Thon Maker is having his biggest games at the biggest time of the year.

Not bad for a bench guy and someone who Brandon Guyer Cleveland Indians Jersey , as recently as last week, was a roster afterthought.

Maker had never blocked five shots in any NBA game before this postseason began – and now he’s blocked that many in each of the last two playoff contests for the Milwaukee Bucks. There’s an old coaching adage that tells players to stay ready, because they never know when their chance to make an impact has arrived.

Maker is proving that axiom to be correct.

”Just trying to be there for my teammates, playing aggressive,” said Maker, the Bucks’ backup center. ”It’s the playoffs. These are the moments everybody plays for. You’ve got to find a way to win, you’ve got to find a way to impact the game. I try to do that every single time.”

Maker is almost an out-of-nowhere story for the Bucks, who’ve pulled even with the Boston Celtics four games into their Eastern Conference first-round series in large part because of a defensive resurgence by the bench. His offense has helped, too: Maker scored 14 points in a Game 3 victory, his highest total since a 16-point effort on New Year’s Day.

There have been some big games from reserve players in these playoffs already: Miami has gotten games of 28 and 25 points from Dwyane Wade and a 26-point effort from Kelly Olynyk, Philadelphia has seen Marco Belinelli reach 21 points twice so far, and Boston saw Greg Monroe get a double-double against the Bucks in only 23 minutes.

Backups can find themselves in the spotlight quickly if they get hot.

”When we step on the floor Andrei Svechnikov Hurricanes Jersey , we need to be assertive with what we do,” Bucks coach Joe Prunty said. ”We can’t be a step behind.”

Even the greatest players need help.

LeBron James said everyone on the Cavaliers‘ roster – himself included – needed to play better after falling behind Indiana 2-1 in their series. So in Game 4, James was great with 32 points, and Jordan Clarkson had 12 of the bench’s 32 points to help Cleveland tie the series .

”I’m supposed to come and give a spark off the bench,” said Clarkson, who scored just two points in Game 3. ”That’s what I’m supposed to do, change the game in that way.”

Toronto had one of the top bench units in the NBA during the regular season, ranking fifth in the league with a combined 41.8 scoring average. But in the East’s No. 1 seed’s first-round series, the Raptors‘ reserve scoring down to 34.5 points.

They’re tied at 2 in the series with the eighth-seeded Washington Wizards, whose bench scoring is up in the series by about the same margin to 34.3 points. The Wizards were just 16th in bench scoring this season.

A big reason for Toronto’s problems has been the absence of backup point guard Fred VanVleet, who has an injured right shoulder and played just three minutes so far, sitting out three of the four games entirely. Raptors coach Dwane Casey blamed his team’s high turnover totals – 37 over Games 3 and 4 Rashaad Penny Color Rush Jersey , both losses – in large part on his reserves, who he also thought were not as productive with the ball as they could have been.

”The second unit turned down some shots that they normally take,” Casey said. ”I thought that group started the turnovers. The levee broke on those guys. I’ve got to do a better job of putting them in the right situation where they don’t turn it over.”

The Wizards tinkered with their rotations to try to keep the Raptors’ reserves in check.

”Our bench has done a good job and we’ve kind of tried to change things up and throw maybe a starter or two with our bench,” Washington coach Scott Brooks said.

As for the Celtics, they’re back in Boston to get ready to host the Bucks on Tuesday night for Game 5. Their frontcourt reserves of Monroe and Marcus Morris were dominant in the series’ second game last week, when it looked as if Boston might pull off a sweep.

Milwaukee’s reserves have pushed back with active, physical play – matching Boston’s intensity.

”As soon as (we) see that,” Maker said, ”we start to get aggressive as well on the defensive end.”



AP Sports Writers Howard Fendrich and Michael Marot contributed to this story.




NEW YORK — When Bryce Harper went down the ground for the second time after being hit by a pitch Tuesday night, the Washington Nationals feared the worst, especially with how much injuries have impacted them.

It turned out there was not a long-term injury to fear for their superstar, just some initial pain.

After getting hit by pitches in the back of the left elbow and on his left foot Tuesday Durham Smythe Color Rush Jersey , Harper is expected to play Wednesday when the Nationals conclude their two-game series with the New York Yankees.

“Oh yeah, he’s in there,” Martinez said.

Harper reached base four times, but it was his final two appearances that caused the most angst for the Nationals, who mustered five hits and opened the series with a 3-0 loss.

In the fifth, he dropped to the ground after being hit on the left elbow by CC Sabathia’s 90.1 mph sinker. Three innings later, an 88.8 mph slider from Dellin Betances hit him on the foot and off his big toe, creating some numbness.

“I was really worried,” Martinez said. “He started walking off the field. The good news is he’s walking off the field, He came in a few minutes ago and said he was fine.”

Harper’s exit occurred on a night when the Nationals tied a franchise record by getting shut out in consecutive games for the 12th time since moving from Montreal following the 2004 season. Their scoreless drought is at 19 innings and they have eight hits in the last two games.

Harper batted third and played right field Tuesday. He batted two spots ahead of Daniel Murphy, who was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in his season debut after missing the first 63 games recovering from right knee surgery.

Murphy started at designated hitter and will likely do so again Wednesday.

“His timing could have been off,” Martinez said. “I know he’s going to hit.”

The Yankees opened the series by getting two homers from Didi Gregorius Authentic Lamar Jackson Jersey , who has three of their 14 multi-homer games this season. Gregorius homered at home for the first time since April 25 and is hitting .286 (10-for-35) in his last nine games after hitting .151 (14-for-93) in 22 games in May.

While Gregorius is starting to rebound from a tough month, Gary Sanchez is in a massive slump and did not start Tuesday. He is not expected to start Wednesday, giving him three days off.

Sanchez is enduring the first significant struggles of his career and spent time figuring a way out of a prolonged slump that has shrunk his batting average to .190, though the Yankees think he will get rolling again.

“The one thing he never loses is his confidence, because he’s such a gifted hitter,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before the series opener. “He wants to get in there and get it going; he expects to get it going.”

He is hitless in his last 11 at-bats and is 2-for-29 with 10 strikeouts over his last seven games.

Sanchez has yet to heat up in a season when he started 2-for-36 but on May 19-21 he went 4-for-10 in two games, raising his average to a season-high .231. Since those games, Sanchez is 4-for-53.

“Maybe I’m over-thinking this a little too much, that’s why I’m missing those pitches I usually don’t miss,” Sanchez before Tuesday’s game. “I swung at some pitcher’s pitches. Maybe (I’m a) little bit in between.
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“But I feel good. I know if I stay healthy, it won’t reflect what I should be hitting. I’m sure I’ll get through this.”

If Boone started Sanchez Wednesday, it would have been as the designated hitter since Sonny Gray is starting.

During the road trip Patrick Omameh Color Rush Jersey , Gray allowed one run in 14 innings during wins over Baltimore and Toronto. Against teams with losing records, he is 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA but against teams with winning records, he is 1-4 with a 7.61 ERA in five outings.

Last Wednesday, Gray turned in his first scoreless start since becoming a Yankee when he allowed two hits in eight innings during a game that Yankees won in the 13th.

Gray made two starts for Oakland Athletics against the Washington Nationals. In those outings, he allowed six runs on 10 hits in 14 innings.

Since Jeremy Hellickson and Stephen Strasburg are on the disabled list, Washington has an opening in its rotation for Wednesday and it will be filled by Erick Fedde, who will be called up from Triple-A Syracuse for his second start this season.

Fedde allowed three runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings as a fill-in starter against the San Diego Padres on May 23. Fedde is 0-2 with an 8.14 ERA in four career starts for the Nationals.

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