Kings

Clash of unbeatens as Cahill faces Tomlin

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Clash of unbeatens as Cahill faces Tomlin

May 4, 2011

CLEVELAND (20-8) vs.
A's (15-15)

Coverage begins at 6:30 P.M. on CSN Plus

OAKLAND (AP) -- After a stellar 2010 season for the Oakland Athletics, Trevor Cahill's strong start in 2011 should be no surprise.

The same can't be said of the early success Cleveland's Josh Tomlin has enjoyed in his first full major league season.

Both Cahill and Tomlin look to improve to 5-0 when the Indians try to match a season high with their eighth consecutive victory Wednesday night in Oakland.

Cahill (4-0, 1.88 ERA) has not missed a step after going 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA in 2010, his second major league season. The right-hander has allowed more than one run once in six starts. He overcame four walks and seven hits to pitch seven scoreless innings Friday in a 3-1 win over Texas.

"He throws the ball well," Rangers outfielder David Murphy told the Athletics' official website.

Cahill is 1-1 with a 4.22 ERA against the Indians, but is facing them for the first time in Oakland. He allowed one run in seven innings of a 6-1 victory at Cleveland on Aug. 25.

Tomlin (4-0, 2.45), who went 6-4 with a 4.56 ERA in 12 starts last year, has never faced the A's.

The right-hander has allowed two runs or fewer in four of five starts. He gave up a pair of homers in six innings of a 7-2 win over Kansas City last Wednesday.

"That's my job," Tomlin told the Indians' official website. "I'm supposed to go out there and give six, seven innings every time."

Tomlin has played a significant role in the stellar start the Indians (20-8) are enjoying. Major league-best Cleveland followed a 6-0 homestand by scoring three times in the ninth inning Tuesday to beat Oakland 4-1.

"They're playing well and their record reflects that," said A's reliever Brian Fuentes, who took the loss. "They're just clicking on all cylinders."

REWIND: Fuentes falters as Indians rally late over A's

Orlando Cabrera hit a tiebreaking single and Asdrubal Cabrera added two RBIs in the ninth as Cleveland snapped a three-game road skid overall and improved to 9-23 at Oakland since last winning a series there July 29-31, 2002.

"We wanted to play good at home and we did, because the West Coast is always tough," said Indians manager Manny Acta, whose team is 7-6 away from home.

After a three-hit effort in the series opener, Asdrubal Cabrera is batting .345 with five RBIs in his last seven games. He is 2 for 6 with a double against Cahill.

Shin-Soo Choo went 0 for 4 with a walk, one day after he was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving when a breathalyzer test showed he had a blood-alcohol level of .20 - more than double Ohio's legal limit of .08.

"I am hopeful that this incident will not be a distraction to the Indians organization while we remain focused on continuing to play winning baseball," Choo said in a statement.

Choo is hitting .241 this season, but is 4 for 5 lifetime versus Cahill.

Hideki Matsui had two of the five hits Tuesday for the A's (15-15), who lost for the second time in six games. Matsui, who hit a walkoff homer in Monday's 5-4, 10-inning win over Texas, is 10 for 23 in his last seven games versus Cleveland.

After loss to Nuggets, it's clear Kings need to fix problem on the glass

After loss to Nuggets, it's clear Kings need to fix problem on the glass

SACRAMENTO -- Light in the rear. It’s a term the Sacramento Kings coaching staff has used since the beginning of training camp to describe the bigs on the roster. On Monday night at Golden 1 Center, the team’s lack of strength inside was on full display as the Denver Nuggets crushed them on the glass.

“I think we’re 29th in the league for rebounding, so that’s a little bit of our makeup of how our team is made,” Dave Joerger said following the Kings’ 114-98 loss.

Joerger is close in his assessment, but off by a few spots. His roster ranks 26th in the league in rebounding overall and 28th on the defensive side of the ball. It’s become an achilles heel for a team that has a few glaring weaknesses.

“When Willie (Cauley-Stein) and Kosta (Koufos) aren’t in there to snag every rebound, we have to get in there and help Zach (Randolph) and help Skal (Labissiere),” veteran Garrett Temple said. “Skal’s a little undersized in terms of weight and Z-Bo will put his body on people, but some people might be able to out jump him.”

On a normal night, Temple is right. Randolph and Labissiere struggle to put up big numbers on the glass. But against the Nuggets, it was Koufos and Cauley-Stein that combined to grab nine rebounds in 51 total minutes of action.

Randolph and Labissiere didn’t fair much better, finishing with 10 boards between the two of them in 38 minutes with the starters. Between the Kings’ four bigs, they were out rebounded by the Nuggets bigs by a final of 34-19.

The Nuggets came into the night a top 10 rebounding team overall and the second best offensive rebounding team in the NBA at 11.8 per game.

It’s not just the bigs that struggled to grab boards for Sacramento. Without Buddy Hield, the club’s best rebounding wing, the Kings’ were dominated 49-34 overall in rebounding, including 14-5 on the offensive glass.

“The first shot, it’s a good contest, we did everything right, except get the rebound,” rookie point guard De’Aaron Fox said. “And then they get an open shot off a second chance shot. If we can complete a lot of plays with the rebound, we’ll be okay.”

To Fox’s point, the defensive possession doesn’t end until the rebound is secured. Sacramento was outscored 19-6 on second chance points. In a 16-point game, those numbers loom large.

“Us guards, we know we have to help our bigs,” Fox said. “We know our bigs are athletic. We know they do what they do, at the end of the day, other team’s guards are helping their bigs rebound and their bigs aren’t alone.”

Outside of the four bigs, none of the other seven players to see action had more than three rebounds. It’s an issue that has to be addressed as the Kings move forward.

“There are some instances that really bothered me,” Joerger said. “We had some guys leaking out, standing at half court and that I won’t have.”

The Kings have a day of practice on Tuesday to try and sure up some of their issues. Some of the problems stem from inexperience, but some of the issue comes down to energy and effort.

It doesn’t even get easier on Wednesday. The Los Angeles Lakers rank second in the league in rebounding at 47.5 boards per game. On the plus side, they also give up the 28th most rebounds in the league.

Klay Thompson randomly interviewed on local NYC news about scaffolding

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AP

Klay Thompson randomly interviewed on local NYC news about scaffolding

With a big break until their next game, the Warriors spent a couple days in New York City.

Klay Thompson spent part of his Monday walking around the city.

And as only Thompson could, he wound up appearing on a local news report. But he wasn't talking about basketball. Not even close.

Courtesy of Twitter user @MP_Trey, Thompson was interviewed on Fox 5 NY to talk about ... scaffolding.

"I usually observe if the piping and stuff is new. Sometimes, you know, something looks like it's been there a while, I try to avoid that," Thompson said in the report.

You can watch the odd video here: