Warriors

Cahill floundering; A's fall 7-4 to Royals

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Cahill floundering; A's fall 7-4 to Royals

July 14, 2011BOXSCORE A'SVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD

OAKLAND (AP) Kansas City pitcher Danny Duffy didn't see much need to celebrate his first victory in the major leagues. His teammates thought otherwise and gave the Royals rookie a milk shower.What else would you expect from the youngest team in the big leagues?Duffy pitched six innings, Alcides Escobar had three hits and two RBIs and Kansas City beat Oakland 7-4 on Tuesday night to spoil the home debut of Athletics interim manager Bob Melvin.Pitching before more than 100 friends and family members, Duffy (1-2) gave up two runs and four hits. The left-hander worked out of jams with two runners on and less than two outs in three innings and overcame four walks to win for the first time in six starts."It was awesome. I couldn't pick a better night to get a win," said Duffy, who began the season in the minors. "It's a milestone, but at the same time I'm ready to finish out the season strong. We've got a lot of baseball left and we're trying to get into the playoffs."Mike Moustakas singled twice and scored both times, and Billy Butler added a two-run double while helping the Royals to their fourth victory in five games.Kansas City remains in a deep hole in the AL Central, but things look much better after improving to 3-1 on its road trip following a 4-7 homestand."That was good for us to get away for a bit," said first baseman Eric Hosmer, who had two hits and an RBI. "It was big for us to be able to go down to L.A. and take two of three from a good Angels team. If we can get out of here with a few more victories and head into St. Louis with some momentum, that will be big for us."Kansas City's latest road win didn't come easily.After the Royals scored two runs in the eighth to take a 6-2 lead, the A's scored twice with two outs against reliever Greg Holland in the bottom half. Aaron Crow got the final out of the inning and Joakim Soria pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 15 chances.Hideki Matsui homered and scored twice for the A's.Melvin, who took over when Bob Geren was fired June 9, was greeted warmly by the Coliseum crowd during pregame introductions. But those cheers turned to boos as the A's lost for the 13th time in 14 games and fell a season-high 12 games under .500.The Royals didn't get much going early and scored their first run without a hit, but took advantage of Trevor Cahill's wildness.Cahill had a career-high seven walks and two wild pitches, continuing a troubling trend for A's starters who have not won in 14 consecutive games."That's not what we were looking for our first game home," Melvin said. "Trevor was a little out of sorts. You're not going to see him walk that many. He has to let it go and not try to muscle it. He has to let it work naturally for him."Jeff Francoeur and Butler drew consecutive walks in the second against Cahill and both moved up on a sacrifice. Matt Treanor grounded out, scoring Francoeur.Kansas City failed to score after loading the bases with one out in the third but got to Cahill for another run in the fourth despite hitting only one ball out of the infield. Moustakas singled, took second on first baseman Daric Barton's throwing error and moved to third on a sacrifice before Escobar's RBI groundout made it 2-0.Escobar, who also doubled home a run in the ninth, has nine hits in his last four games. The four straight multihit games are a first for the Royals shortstop.Oakland cut the lead to 2-1 in the fourth on Matsui's fifth home run. It was the 498th homer of his professional career, including Japan.Cahill's command problems cost him again in the fifth. The right-hander issued consecutive one-out walks to Hosmer and Francoeur before Butler doubled over the head of left fielder Josh Willingham. Hosmer and Francoeur both scored, making it 4-1.Cahill (6-5) was done two batters later despite giving up only four hits. He looked like a potential Cy Young Award candidate after starting the year 6-0, but is winless in his last seven starts.Duffy had his own command problems but kept the damage to a minimum. He gave up a triple to rookie Jemile Weeks in the fifth, and Weeks scored on Coco Crisp's sinking single to right. Beyond that, Duffy was solid while pitching his way to his first win in the majors.Afterward, he received a milk shower courtesy of his teammates. Team tradition calls for beer showers, but the Athletics do not provide beer in the Coliseum clubhouses."That was the Duffy I know," Hosmer said. "He was pounding the strike zone all day."NOTES: Oakland RHP Rich Harden (muscle strain) will throw a simulated game Wednesday and hopes to begin a rehab assignment in the minors as early as next week. ... Cahill did not strike out a batter for the first time since July 23, 2010. ... Weeks' triple was his third since being called up from the minors last Tuesday. ... Escobar has a season-high seven-game hitting streak. ... Hosmer's single in the sixth snapped an 0-for-20 skid on the road.

Poole's 2017-18 NBA predictions: It's the Warriors ... and everyone else

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USATSI

Poole's 2017-18 NBA predictions: It's the Warriors ... and everyone else

WESTERN CONFERENCE

1) Warriors: Rave all you want about Steph and KD and Klay and the incredible offense, but the foundation is the hyperactive, highly intelligent defense.

2) Rockets: Behind James and CP, they will score and score often. They will be better on defense. This will push them, for the second time in 20 years, past the Spurs.

3) Thunder: Russ, PG and Melo all together in GM San Presti’s petri dish. There will be fireworks, and it shouldn’t take long to see if they’ll be beautiful or destructive.

4) Spurs: LA is plodding, Kawhi is limping and Tony P is at least two months away from being a ghost of his former self. This is Pop’s biggest challenge.

5) Nuggets: Millsap is going to help this team. A lot. If Joker stays healthy and the point guard play is solid, they could make a run at a top-4 seed.

6) Timberwolves: Thibs has gathered many pieces, some good and some duplicative. Why does this feel like a salad mixing old avocados and tomatoes with fresh lettuce?

7) Clippers: CP3’s absence gives this bunch a strange look, like a room without a roof. Not much to be ‘Happy’ about, though, except what The Logo can do for the future.

8) Trail Blazers: Points are going to come, but can anybody play D? Some team has to earn the 8-seed and I like the work Dame, CJ and Nurk put in late last season.

9) Pelicans: Boogie and The Brow. This could be epic, or epic fail. Only if Jrue stays healthy and Raj plays young (good luck with that) can this squad make some noise.

10) Jazz: Gordy and G-Hill are gone. Exum may miss the season. Coach Quin is solid, yes, but how far he can go if the second-biggest paycheck is going to Aussie Joe?

11) Grizzlies: Gonna miss oldes Zach and Vince and also The Grindfather, the best nickname in the league, in his element. Glory days are gone, so invite the dawn.

12) Mavericks: Someday, maybe 25 years from now, Cubes will let Dirk limp his way to the Hall. Until then, it’s mediocrity and less. How long will they pack the house?

13) Suns: They’re young and tantalizing. They may be good someday, but for now it’s the Desert Day Care center, with Papa Earl trying to keep the peace and survive.

14) Lakers: The Ball family is in the house, and Lonzo brings the promise of joy. They’ll be more half-watchable this year, because you don’t wanna see this D.

15) Kings: Titanic may be rising from the deep. Nice idea, adding old heads to work with youngsters De’Aaron, Skal and Buddy. But the Kangz are in the wrong division.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

1) Celtics: This could take a few weeks. That five-game homer, post-Thanksgiving, should be the time for Kyrie, Gordy & Co. to go to work. What you got, Coach Brad?

2) Cavaliers: This is the year LeBron reaches the dark side of the mountain. That’s trouble for The Land. They could win 55, which is about how many games he’ll play.

3) Wizards: It’s time for John Wall to prove it, to take the Wiz to unfamiliar heights. If Brad Beal can stay on the court (that’s asking a lot), they’ll breathe on the Cavs.

4) Bucks: The D improved when Young Jabari went down, and he’ll be out until February. Hmm. OK. It’s close-up time for the Greek Freak. Can anybody make a J?

5) Raptors: The guards can score but can’t/won’t defend. How much does Serge have left? They’ll have it rough unless the big addition, CJ Miles, has a career year.

6) Heat: Love the Dragon. Love/hate Dion and Hassan. Don’t like much of the rest of the roster, though. Coaching truly matters with this bunch, and they have a fine one.

7) Hornets: A 35-win team in the West, which translates to 44 in the East. Malik Monk is OK, but Kemba’s the engine. It’s a low bar for Dwight. Can he reach it?

8) 76ers: Young Ben, aka Fresh Prince, is our pick for Rook of the Year. We like Saric. We believe JJ will help. But this is about The Process. If he plays 50 games, they win 38.

9) Pistons: Avery B will help the D, but until SVG finds a taker for Reggie J, the playoffs are MIA. Stanley J has skills. It’s time for him to show it.

10) Nets: Hello, D-Lo. We see you, Mr. Crabbe. The clowns won’t be so funny this season. Coach Kenny has ’em playing hard and fast. They can go from 20 wins to 30.

11) Magic: Other than AG’s hops, Jonathon Simmons’ grit and Mo Speights’ smile, there is nothing to see here. This club is 20 percent highlights, 80 percent yikes.

12) Pacers: After making the playoffs in six of seven seasons, you flip four of your top six scorers, including PG. What the . . .? It’s Lottery Time in Indy.

13) Knicks: New York works its rump off to make its teams relevant. The Knicks don’t care. KP6 is saddled with a frat-house clothes hamper of an organization.

14) Bulls: They’ve demolished the franchise MJ made famous and slithered into the basement once occupied, seemingly for decades, by the Sixers. We’re thinking 12-70.

15) Hawks: Baze and Schroder are the best Travis Schlenk has on a team that could go 0-for-the-West. We’re thinking 10-72, only because the least of the East is so junky.

--

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

Warriors over Rockets in 5

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

Cavs over Celtics in 6

NBA FINALS

Warriors over Cavs in 4

Shanahan showed patience with Beathard; Will now have to show more

Shanahan showed patience with Beathard; Will now have to show more

Kyle Shanahan is, self admittedly, not a patient person. As he watched quarterback C.J. Beathard run the scout team over the last couple of weeks -- how he visualized an unfamiliar play, went through his progressions and handled the defensive coverages -- the head coach saw rapid improvement every day. But he suppressed any urge to play the rookie before he was ready.

“I tried to wait for the right time for him and the right time for the team,” Shanahan explained.

Down 14-0 to Washington halfway through the second quarter with starter Brian Hoyer struggling, Shanahan knew Beathard’s time had come.

“I felt the team needed it right then,” Shanahan said. “It also made me more confident to do it because I thought he was ready for it, also.”

Moments after the game was over, Shanahan named Beathard the starter. Watching the game tape on the flight home only bolstered his decision.

“By no means was he perfect, missed a couple of things, but that always happens,” Shanahan said. “I thought he came in there, didn’t hesitate, competed. The moment was not too big for him. Made a few plays in rhythm, made a few off schedule plays and was a big reason we got back in that game.”

Beathard led the 49ers on two scoring drives and finished 19-of-36 with 245 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception, though it came on fourth-and-20 on his final pass attempt of the game. On his 45-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson, Beathard extended the play when the fifth year receiver wasn’t where he expected him to be.

“He was supposed to go to the post for a certain coverage, and they had a busted coverage, so he just hung out there which is why C.J. didn’t see it right away,” Shanahan explained. “We had enough protection where he could take a couple more hitches. He drove the pocket and saw where Aldrick was, and he didn’t hesitate. Made that throw with that arm strength.”

Shanahan smirked at his not-so-subtle dig at those who questioned Beathard’s arm strength during the draft process. He sees a quarterback who can make all the throws, and make them from the pocket, and scramble when he needs to. All he needs now, Shanahan contends, is experience.

“It’s about playing in the game and reacting to defenses, reacting to coverages, reacting to adjustments. He’s going to see a lot of things he hasn’t seen before, and that will change each week. It will probably change each quarter.”

Helping Beathard continue to grow through those experiences will require patience, but in this situation, it’s the kind the head coach can handle.

“You’re never going to get a quick answer. You see over time, but he’s got the ability to do it. He’s got the mental toughness to do it. I think he will get better the more he plays.”