Raiders

Wilson takes loss to Mets; Giants implode in 9th

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Wilson takes loss to Mets; Giants implode in 9th

July 8, 2011BOXSCORE GIANTSVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The New York Mets enjoyed nothing more than quieting baseball's most boisterous, bold and, certainly, bearded closer.All it took was one swing.Pinch-hitter Scott Hairston hit a tiebreaking home run off All-Star Brian Wilson in the ninth inning, leading the Mets past the San Francisco Giants 5-2 on Friday night.Hairston admitted he was more concerned with staying focused on the pitch than the closer's bushy, black beard. He even joked that Wilson's off-the-field antics often crack him up and the chance to face him was a moment he relished."When the music comes on and he comes in and the fans get excited, as a player, you're adrenaline kicks in," Hairston said. "I love being in that situation. It's a lot of fun."Hairston opened the ninth by sending a full-count pitch from Wilson (6-2) over the wall in left field for his fourth home run of the season. Carlos Beltran and Nick Evans added RBIs in the inning to help New York to its fifth win in six games.
RATTO: Giants' interest shifts from Reyes to Beltran
Mets manager Terry Collins couldn't recall a more raucous celebration in the dugout this season than after Hairston's homer. With injuries sidelining stars Jose Reyes and David Wright, perhaps they had good reason to run wild."I don't think there's any question we're exceeding expectations," Collins said.Nate Schierholtz tied the score in the sixth with a solo shot into McCovey Cove and drove in San Francisco's only other run with a sacrifice fly.Reliever Pedro Beato (2-1) earned the win, and Francisco Rodriguez pitched a scoreless ninth for his 23rd save.Wilson kept his cool and refrained from tossing a water cooler or smashing it with a baseball bat, as he did when he blew a save at Detroit last week and went into meltdown mode. He was charged with two runs and only recorded one out in his third straight day of work."Sure he gives up the home run and people think he should have had a day (off)," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "If he wasn't on his third day, I would have let him stay out there and try to pitch his way out of it."The victory was a big boost for a Mets team in the midst of what could be a record of facing seven straight All-Star starters.New York knuckleballer R.A. Dickey overcame tightness in his left buttocks and a partial tear of the plantar fascia in his right foot to match Ryan Vogelsong, who was the second All-Star starting pitcher to face the Mets in as many days. Both starters allowed two runs in seven innings.Even the few opportunities were a struggle.After Beltran doubled leading off the fourth, Vogelsong walked the bases loaded with one out. The right-hander rebounded to get Josh Thole to ground into an inning-ending double play, and the Giants didn't waste the momentum.Pablo Sandoval extended his career-best hitting streak to 19 games with a double off the wall in left to start the fourth. He scored from third on Schierholtz's sacrifice fly to center to give San Francisco a 1-0 lead.New York didn't take long to answer.Angel Pagan smacked a 1-0 pitch from Vogelsong over the brick wall in right to put the Mets ahead 2-1 in the fifth. The home run was Pagan's third this season, and only the second Vogelsong has given up at home."I was not happy with the way I threw," Vogelsong said. "I feel fortunate getting out of it having allowed just two runs. I'm a little off right now."San Francisco kept pace with the long ball when Schierholtz hit his first career home run into McCovey Cove to tie the score at 2 in the sixth. The homer was only the second splash shot of the season and 57th ever by a Giants player, with 35 belonging to all-time home run king Barry Bonds.That was enough to keep Vogelsong's unbeaten streak intact.The journeyman turned ace hasn't lost since allowing one earned run in a 3-1 loss to Florida on May 26. He struck out two, walked five and lowered his ERA to 2.17 - fourth-best in the majors - in his final start before his first All-Star appearance.NOTES: Mets 1B Ike Davis exercised on a treadmill the last two days and felt good, Collins said. Davis will decide in the next week or so whether to try to return or have season-ending surgery to repair cartilage damage in his left ankle, which has sidelined him since May 11. .... Announcers Al Michaels and Bob Costas called a portion of the game for the MLB Network and made appearances on the Mets and Giants broadcasts. It was the first time Michaels called a major league game since 1995.

How John Pagano plans to impact Raiders defense: ‘There is always room for change’

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USATSI

How John Pagano plans to impact Raiders defense: ‘There is always room for change’

ALAMEDA – John Pagano can’t implement his scheme in a week. He can’t import his plays and preferences cultivated during five seasons as Chargers defensive coordinator. Full offseason programs and training camps are required for that.

Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. was fired on Tuesday. Pagano will call his first Raiders game five days later against Denver at Oakland Coliseum. The Raiders’ assistant head coach – defense believes he can impact how the Silver and Black does business.

“There’s always room for change and there’s always room for doing things better,” Pagano said Thursday. “Without telling you our game plan, it’s about how we go out and execute the call, bottom line.”

Head coach Jack Del Rio said the Raiders weren’t playing fast enough. They weren’t creating enough turnovers, weren’t doing well enough on third down and weren’t regularly affecting the quarterback due to a lack of both rush and coverage.

That’s why Norton had to go.

Pagano’s first objective, which must get accomplished in a few days, is getting the Raiders to play with confidence. Then he can add some design wrinkles with some of his personality.

“You have to have that ability of going out there, knowing your assignment and playing faster,” Pagano said. “It’s not to say that there have been times where we’ve simplified things, but taking the thinking out of the game and making them react is, I think, most important. Going out there and playing fast and that’s doing the little extra things, the attention to details of studying and getting those things processed. See ball, go get ball.”

That last sentence sums up how Pagano wants his guys to play. He’s a quality play caller and creative blitzer with a knack making simple plays look complex. He can find and exploit opposing weak links. His defenses have always been good creating pressure and turnovers alike. The Raiders need more of both.

To do that Pagano wants to relieve a player’s mental burden and keep them focused on using talent well.

“The one thing I’ve always stressed and always been about is technique, fundamentals and unbelievable effort,” Pagano said. “I think those three things can get you home.”

The Raiders haven’t been home much as a defense. They’re tied for last with 14 sacks. They’re dead last with six turnovers. They’ve gone 10 games without an interception, the longest single-season drought in NFL history.

A lack of big defensive plays has killed the Raiders this season. It obviously increases points allowed. Good field position has been hard to come by. The offense has to earn everything the hard way. That’s a recipe for losing football, a maddening turn after the Raiders finished second with 30 takeaways last year.

Pagano has a chart listing “MOPs,” short for missed opportunities. There have been many, especially in a secondary he oversaw before this week.

“I talked to these guys this week about we need to do simple better,” Pagano said. “What is simple? It’s fundamentals of covering. It’s tackling. It’s communicating. It’s catching the ball when it comes. We’ve had opportunities. It’s not like we’re out there struggling and straining to dive and layout for the thing. It’s hit us in the hands where we’ve had many, many opportunities.”

Missed opportunities have also plagued a pass rush featuring reigning defensive player of the year Khalil Mack. Pagano brought up a moment early in Sunday’s lost to New England, when Treyvon Hester forced a fumble near three teammates that the Patriots somehow recovered.

Pagano’s goal is to improve performance. Players must buy in to do that. Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin headline a large group close to Norton, one with enough pride and professionalism to get behind a new playcaller in Pagano, who could be here long term.

“There is a human element to this,” Pagano said. “We are family. It’s sad any time a member of your family gets dismissed or something. At the end of the day, we have the Broncos coming in here on Sunday and we have to get our minds right to go play this game. That’s something that they’ve done a great job with this week, truly focusing in on what we need to do.”

Jordan Bell: Rookie year with Warriors 'like being a freshman all over again'

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AP

Jordan Bell: Rookie year with Warriors 'like being a freshman all over again'

Warriors rookie Jordan Bell made an instant impact for the team this season. But as of late, his playing time has dwindled. In four of the Warriors' last five games, Bell has been inactive. 

“It's just the life of a rookie,” Bell said to The Athletic. “That's what Steve Kerr always tells me. It's not because I'm playing bad. Just gotta be professional about it and stay ready. It's like being a freshman all over again.”

While Bell wants to be on the court with his teammates, what he appreciates most from Steve Kerr is his communication. Kerr is always honest about when he won't play Bell and he keeps the former Oregon Duck encouraged. 

“He talks to me about it every time he sees me,” Bell said. “Lets me know I'm not going to be active. Keep doing what you're doing, you're doing good. But it still f------ sucks. You're playing well and it doesn't mean anything because you're younger. It sucks, but you got to be professional about it.”

Bell has played in 12 of the Warriors' 18 games this season. The 22-year-old is averaging 3.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game over 8.3 minutes per game. 

The Warriors bought the 38th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft from the Chicago Bulls and selected Bell. On Friday night, the Warriors, and perhaps Bell, play the Bulls for the first time this season.