Fish shows he's all heart


Fish shows he's all heart

Mardy Fish admits there at times on the court his mind can go to bad places. Not for truly pedestrian reasons like losing the opening set of match, as he did Tuesday in his 2012 Citi Open debut. Feeling ones heart is capable of bursting through your chest will indeed mess with your mind.On the mend after undergoing a procedure earlier this year to correct what was diagnosed arrhythmia, the top-seeded Fish also survived a gimpy ankle and a first-round scare en route to defeating Bjorn Phau 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.Fish, a regular participant and recent struggler - on the Rock Creek hard courts is in Washington because he passed on the London Olympics. The decision made by the 2004 silver medalist in Athens came before the medical concerns cropped in April. Feeling off during a tournament in Houston and sleeping felt like something out of an alien movie, the 30-year-old sought help. In May, he underwent a procedure, adjusting his hearts wiring. I feel 100 percent physically and structurally. The most important thing for me right now is getting my confidence back, said Fish.That process began in late June during his first tournament back on tour, on the hallowed grounds at Wimbledon. Playing on his favorite surface and the site of the Olympic tournament Fish reached the round of 16.Candidly, Fish admitted the mental rehab is still a work in progress.Everyone knows the mind can play tricks on you a little bit. When youre out there playing, you can convince yourself that youre not feeling well, that youre going to cramp when its hot. Sometimes I tend too - because my confidence isnt all the way back when I dont feel 100 percent, my mind can go to bad places. Thats the hardest part for me right now.The Minnesota native and Los Angeles resident entered Washington with a slight hitch in his gate after suffering a right ankle injury two weeks ago in a post-Wimbledon tournament. That tour stop in Atlanta ended quickly for Fish. Tweaking the same ankle late in the first set against Phau almost did the same. It also started another round of mind games. This time, all that was required was a major serve.Though a quarterfinalist his first two appearance in Washington, Fishs recent local results have had a rather a swimming upstream quality. Since 2006, he has won only one match in the Nations Capital. Last years early exit came via a heel injury that forced the Minnesota native and now Los Angeles resident out before a striking a single stroke.Diving for an out-of-reach shot, Fish messed with the ankle he later deemed, 75 percent but not hampering me in a bad way. Moments later, the No. 15 ranked player was down a set to Phau and feeling rather down about his game. Struggling with his composure at 1-1 in the second, Fish fought off a service break by smacking two of his 15 aces. I get down a break there, you start questioning thingsstart feeling the ankle a little bit more, Fish said. Youd be surprised how much better it feels up a break than down a break.From there, it was downstream for Fish. He finished off the game, took the next four and the second set, eventually winning 10 of the next 11 games.It was nice to sort of get the momentum there in the second set and keep it throughout the match, said Fish.As for the no Olympics decision, Fish, who also passed on the 2008 Beijing games, said scheduling overrode the chance at another unbelievable experience as he had in Athens.Since the medical procedure, Fish is doing all he can to avoid those things that can bring on the heart issues. He has not had a sip of alcohol since May. He avoids all but a little morning coffee. However, in his line of work, good luck eliminating one other issue."Stress is a factor, but obviously thats hard to do."

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Machado hits 2-run HR in 15th as Orioles beat Braves 10-7


Machado hits 2-run HR in 15th as Orioles beat Braves 10-7

ATLANTA -- For Braves manager Brian Snitker, playing the matchups meant pitching to Manny Machado with first base open and a marathon game on the line.

The Orioles slugger made that strategy look foolish.

Machado hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the 15th inning, lifting Baltimore to a 10-7 win over Atlanta on Friday night after each team staged dramatic ninth-inning rallies.

The Braves surrendered six runs in the ninth, and then scored four times in the bottom of the inning.

Peter Moylan, Atlanta's eighth pitcher, hit Craig Gentry to open the 15th. Gentry moved to second on Austin Wynns' sacrifice.

With first base open, the Braves pitched to Machado and he responded with his 19th homer, a drive into the Orioles' bullpen in left.

Snitker said the right-handed Moylan is tough on right-handed hitters but acknowledged "you hate like hell (Machado) is one of them."

Machado said an intentional walk "crossed my mind at first. I thought they were. In that situation they probably had faith in Moylan out there that he could get some ground balls to the left side of the infield."

Machado hit a 0-2 slider Moylan said was "supposed to be middle in." Moylan said the pitch "slipped out of my hand and ended up middle middle."

Moylan (0-1) gave up another run on singles by Colby Rasmus and Jonathan Schoop.

Mike Wright Jr. (1-0), Baltimore's seventh pitcher, threw two scoreless innings.

The game lasted 5 hours, 21 minutes.

The Orioles trailed 3-1 heading into the ninth, and the Braves rallied against closer Zach Britton in the bottom of the inning. Braves closer Arodys Vizcaino was not used while Dan Winkler allowed four runs while recording only one out.

Snitker said he rested Vizcaino because of shoulder soreness and he might be available on Saturday.

Chris Davis hit a drought-breaking homer and drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly as Baltimore opened a 7-3 lead.

Britton got one out and was charged with four runs and five hits. He gave up a single to Johan Camargo and a double to Danny Santana before hitting Ender Inciarte to load the bases.

Ozzie Albies' bases-loaded single drove in Camargo. Freddie Freeman's two-run single cut the lead to one before Nick Markakis tied the game with a double to right field.

Atlanta had jumped in front on Charlie Culberson's tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth.

Davis, making his first start since June 11, hit his first homer since May 9 in the fifth. Camargo tied the game with his run-scoring double in the seventh.

Braves left-hander Sean Newcomb allowed five hits in seven innings.

Orioles right-hander Alex Cobb permitted four hits in seven innings

The start of the game was delayed 11 minutes by rain.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Roster competition, Brown vs. Pryor

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Roster competition, Brown vs. Pryor

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, June 23, 33 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins  and NBC Sports Washington.

Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Defense—NFL coaches and others like to tell you that competition determines who wins roster spots in the league. And that may be true to an extent. But many roster spots are predetermined by a player’s contract situation and/or draft status. It is unlikely that an undrafted player like Fish Smithson will win a roster spot over Troy Apke even if the former outperforms the latter in every way during training camp. Apke was a fourth-round pick and they aren’t going to give up on him in favor of an undrafted player. It would cost $3.2 million in dead cap to cut Stacy McGee and only $150,000 to move on from Ziggy Hood so McGee will win a “competition” that is even remotely close. (Offensive projection here)

Redskins will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor at training camp—While this is something that could add a little spice to the Jets’ visit to Richmond, don’t look for much of anything to happen. Zach Brown might give a little extra shove to Pryor here and there but he’s not going to do anything that will draw blood or even cause a deep bruise. If nothing else, a big hit on Pryor would invite retaliation by the Jets on Josh Doctson or Paul Richardson. And that might lead to more retaliation and you end up with a brawl like the Redskins and Texans had a couple of years ago.

Trent Williams very much of approves of Smith and Guice—Williams is going into his ninth NFL season and he has yet to be on the winning side of a playoff game. He thinks that Alex Smith and Derrius Guice can help change that. 

The curious case of Alex Smith and the NFL Top 100 list—I normally greet this list with a big yawn and this year was no exception. But I do find the omission of Smith, who led the NFL in passer rating and was third in adjusted net yards per attempt, odd. In an update to this post, the NFL released the names of the top 10 players and Smith is not on it. He shouldn’t be, but he should be somewhere on the 100, perhaps in the middle of the pack. The only Redskins player to appear on the list was Trent Williams at No. 57.

The Redskins' best players who are 25 or younger—It’s likely that nine players who are 25 or younger will line up as starters for the Redskins this year. I don’t have a rundown of how that compares to the rest of the league but it’s notable that in the last two years six of them have replaced players who were either approaching age 30 or over it. I’ll engage in some speculation here and say that five of the young players—Daron Payne, Derrius Guice, Preston Smith, Jonathan Allen, and Montae Nicholson—are good enough to potentially make a Pro Bowl at some point in their careers. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Former Redskins defensive tackle Dave Butz was born on this date in 1950. 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 33
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 47
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 70

The Redskins last played a game 174 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 78 days. 

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