Rays player gets hit by pitch, faints on the field

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Rays player gets hit by pitch, faints on the field

From Comcast SportsNet
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- A scary situation involving Tampa Bay second baseman Will Rhymes overshadowed another strong outing by Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson. Rhymes left in the eighth inning of the Rays' 2-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night after being hit by a pitch near his right elbow. While standing at first base he gestured that he wanted to come out of the game, took a couple of steps and collapsed into the arms of first base coach George Hendrick. Trainers worked on Rhymes in the coach's box before he was assisted to a utility cart and left the field. The Rays said Rhymes briefly fainted, but that he is fine, remained at the ballpark for X-rays on his arm and was not taken a hospital. "He got kind of rubber-legged right there," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "That stuff hurts. I know it's in the arm, but that can definitely take your breath away. It was described to me as kind of an adrenalin rush that caused that reaction." X-rays were negative and the team said Rhymes is day to day with a bruised right forearm. Hellickson pitched six solid innings and Luke Scott had a tiebreaking sacrifice fly as Tampa Bay snapped the Red Sox's five-game winning streak. "Hellickson's change up made that fastball look like it's a 100 (mph)," Boston manager Bobby Valentine said. Hellickson (4-0) allowed one run and five hits en route to winning a career-best sixth consecutive decision, dating to Sept. 4. He struck out six and walked two. After Jake McGee and Joel Peralta both threw a scoreless inning, Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 12th save. Clay Buchholz (4-2) gave up two runs and six hits over five-plus innings for Boston. Buchholz, who took a grounder off his foot during the sixth, had allowed four or more runs in all seven of his previous starts this season. "No," said Buchholz when asked if the foot was an issue. "I think it was more after I came out. It's a little sore. It's nothing (to worry about)." Matt Joyce opened the sixth with an infield single that went off Buchholz's leg. He went to third on a single by Carlos Pena. Andrew Miller replaced Buchholz and gave up Scott's sacrifice fly that put Tampa Bay ahead 2-1. Red Sox right fielder Cody Ross appeared to have problems with the roof on Scott's shallow fly. "I wasn't really planning on going until I saw Cody Ross kind of backpedal," Joyce said. "The Trop can be tough sometimes for outfielders. It's hard to see the ball when you're not used to it. He started backpedaling. As an outfielder, I know it's hard to get a lot on your throw and make a really good throw when you're on the heels of your feet and backpedaling. I took a shot and it worked out." The Rays, winners of four straight, loaded the bases with two outs later in the sixth, but Miller struck out Elliot Johnson on a 3-2 pitch. Tampa Bay took a 1-0 lead in the second when Buchholz was called for a balk on a pickoff move to first with runners on the corners and two outs. Pena, who had a leadoff single, scored on the play. "I was going to go third to first, and my cleat sort of got caught," Buchholz said. The Red Sox wound up with three balks overall. "Crazy," Valentine said. Daniel Nava's fourth-inning RBI single got Boston even at 1-all. Valentine said left-hander Felix Doubront, who was hit on the ear by a ball during batting practice Tuesday, was cleared to make his start Thursday. Meanwhile, Boston left-hander Rich Hill left the field after being struck by a ball in batting practice before Wednesday night's game. The team said Hill is OK. NOTES: Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey (right thumb) is set to resume throwing next week. ... Boston 3B Kevin Youkilis (lower back) started a rehab assignment as the DH with Triple-A Pawtucket and could play in the field Friday. ... Valentine doesn't believe RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (right elbow), scheduled to start for Pawtucket Thursday, is close to pitching in the majors. ... Rays 3B Evan Longoria (left hamstring) took batting practice, but has not started running. ... Red Sox LF Carl Crawford (left wrist) could start swinging a bat next week. ... The Rays acquired OF Rich Thompson from Philadelphia for minor league OF Kyle Hudson.

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Major hurdle to clear for Bradley Beal en route to becoming max player

Major hurdle to clear for Bradley Beal en route to becoming max player

A small but significant part of the long-term commitment between the Wizards and Bradley Beal hinges on his ability to create offense when his shot isn't going in.

Beal may have had stress reactions in his lower right leg in each of his four seasons, but they’ve never progressed to fractures or required surgeries. When he is on the court and fully healthy, he still goes through long stretches without trips to the foul line

Beal has never averaged 20 points a game or more. If he can consistently get to the stripe more often, he can raise his average 22-24 range. That puts him along with an elite category of scorers.

When comparing Beal to better scorers at his position, such as James Harden (Rockets) and DeMar DeRozan (Raptors), it’s easy to see how striking the differences are when it comes to free throws.

The dividing line is attempting at least seven foul shots in a game with the number of games with double figure free throw attempts over an 82-game regular season in parentheses. Next to that is number of games played with 0 foul shot attempts:  

 

               Beal                             Harden                                  DeRozan

2012-13: 5 times (1); 16               62 times (42); 1                       29 times (9); 6

2013-14: 2 times (1); 19               50 times (32); 0                       50 times (27); 0

2014-15: 5 times (2); 19                55 times (40); 1                      *33 times (19); 0

2015-16: 4 times (0); 9                  65 times (44); 0                       52 times (24); 0

Totals: 16 times (4); 63                232 times (158); 2                    164 times (79); 9

*Missed 22 games

When DeRozan shot seven or more foul shots this most, he averaged a career-high 23.5 points per game. Harden’s best scoring season was this year (29 ppg), too, which not coincidentally was when he got to the foul line the most. The least he has average in the last four seasons is 25.4.

Both players get to the rim, initiate contact to get whistles and are good at selling that contact. This is the next level for Beal, who has a contract worth $128 million pushing him to get there.

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Lutz, Nembot expected to be among four roster cuts Tuesday

Lutz, Nembot expected to be among four roster cuts Tuesday

OWINGS MILLS – Backup kicker Wil Lutz and offensive lineman Stephane Nembot are likely two of the four players the Ravens will release to reach the 75-player limit by Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline. Neither Lutz nor Nembot were at practice Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, the Ravens continued to deal with injuries as they prepared for Thursday’s preseason finale against the Saints in New Orleans. Left guard John Urschel was not at practice, along with running backs Kenneth Dixon and Lorenzo Taliaferro, tight ends Dennis Pitta and Maxx Williams, defensive backs Kendrick Lewis, Shareece Wright, and Jerraud Powers, linebackers Elvis Dumervil and Za’Darius Smith, and defensive tackle Brandon Williams. Wright and Dumervil were new absences.

The Ravens hope to have Pitta (fractured finger) and Maxx Williams (undisclosed injury) back at practice next week, as they prepare for the Sept. 11 regular-season opener against the Bills. The Ravens lost tight end Ben Watson to a season-ending Achilles injury on Saturday, and backup tight ends Darren Waller and Nick Boyle will both begin the regular season on the suspended list.

RELATED: FIFTH-ROUND PICK LOOKS POISED TO HELP RAVENS PASS RUSH

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Kris Dunn over Ben Simmons as NBA Rookie of the Year?

Kris Dunn over Ben Simmons as NBA Rookie of the Year?

NBA.com just released thir annual rookie survey poll, which is great because there really isn't much happening these days worth writing. Training camps will open next month, but until then, snooze.

However, don't sleep on some of the incoming players. In fact, the rookies were asked which members of the 2016 class will rise above the rest and win Rookie of the Year. And the winner is...Minnesota point guard Kris Dunn.

Interesting pick and perhaps the proper one seeing as Dunn enters the NBA with ample playing experience, unlike many of his peers. The two-time Big East Player of the Year received 29 percent of the vote. Lakers forward Brandon Ingram received 25.8% with Philadelphia's Ben Simmons third at 19.4. 

What's interesting here is that Simmons was the No. 1 overall pick, followed by Ingram. The Timberwolves took Dunn fifth.

Dunn is a gifted athlete and passer who is often compared to John Wall coming out of college. Wall finished second in Rookie of the Year voting to Blake Griffin.

I interviewed Dunn during the Las Vegas NBA Summer League about his game and the upcoming challenges.

"I know it's going to be a roller coaster ride throughout the season. I'm going to have some good games and some bad games," Dunn said. "You just have to improve. I understand I'm just a rookie. I still have a lot more to learn about the game." He added, "I think once you learn the game, things start to slow down."

By the way, even though the Wizards didn't make a selection in the 2016 NBA Draft, they'll have at least one eligible rookie thanks to the arrival of 2012 pick Tomas Satoransky.

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