The Sports Report: Dodgers put Clayton Kershaw on 10-day IL
Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.
Jorge Castillo on the Dodgers: Entering the season, the Dodgers’ starting pitching depth was seemingly the sturdiest strength on a loaded roster, an unmatched surplus other Major League Baseball clubs envied.
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They already boasted one of the best rotations before signing Trevor Bauer, the top free-agent pitcher on the market, in February to raise the payroll to $250 million. They had up-and-comers and established stars. They were poised to ride the arms to another championship. That has changed in a blink.
Three months later, the Dodgers’ rotation is decimated. Dustin May tore his ulnar collateral ligament May 1 and is out for the season. Last week, Bauer was placed on paid seven-day administrative leave after a woman accused him of sexual assault and obtained a temporary restraining order. Chances are he’ll never pitch for the Dodgers again.
And on Wednesday came the latest setback: Clayton Kershaw to the 10-day injured list because of left forearm inflammation.
Kershaw, 33, last pitched Saturday against the Washington Nationals. The left-hander threw four innings before a 1-hour, 44-minute rain delay ended his night. Kershaw gave up three runs on three hits. He has a 3.39 earned-run average in 106 1/3 innings across 18 starts this season.
Kershaw has spent time on the injured list every season since 2016, but this is the first time in his career that he’s out with a forearm or elbow injury.
Kershaw was scheduled to start Friday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Now he won’t pitch until after the All-Star break, leaving the Dodgers scrambling to cover more innings. Roberts said the team would use another bullpen game Friday.
In the interim, the club recalled Mitch White to replace Kershaw on the roster and contribute to Wednesday’s bullpen game, a 9-6 loss to the Marlins.
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Mike DiGiovanna on the Angels: Shohei Ohtani and Jared Walsh put an abrupt halt to an Angels blooper reel Wednesday, mashing three home runs between them in the final four innings of a 5-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox before 20,001 in Angel Stadium.
The Angels had seven hits through four innings, six of them bloop singles with exit velocities ranging from 64.4 mph to 79.9 mph. The other was a groundball infield single with an exit velocity of 34.6 mph.
But Ohtani and Walsh opened up the throttle with back-to-back homers to lead off the fifth inning, snapping a 2-2 tie.
Ohtani, after fouling two pitches off his front leg, crushed a 2-and-2 changeup from starter Eduardo Rodriguez, sending a 114.5-mph laser that traveled 433 feet to right field for his major league-leading 32nd homer of the season.
Walsh followed by rifling a 1-2 cut-fastball from Rodriguez that left his bat at 107.7 mph and traveled 433 feet to center for his 21st homer and a 4-2 lead.
David Wharton on the Olympics: With COVID-19 cases hitting a two-month high in Tokyo, it comes as no surprise the Japanese government is expected to declare a new state of emergency that will run through the upcoming Summer Olympics.
It seems unlikely the new edict would stop the massive international competition from taking place, but it could force a ban on spectators from most venues.
“Infections in Tokyo are trending upward, and we will take every necessary measure to curb the spread of the coronavirus,” Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters.
Tokyo organizers have already barred foreign spectators with a current, quasi-state of emergency set to expire Sunday. The new edict might run through late August, encompassing the span of the Games from July 23 to Aug. 8.
USC MEN’S BASKETBALL
Ryan Kartje on the Trojans: A magical March run as USC’s top tournament scorer led Isaiah Mobley to test the NBA draft waters, but with just a few hours left before the deadline Wednesday he announced he’ll withdraw from the draft pool to return for his junior season at USC.
“Ain’t this what you been waiting for,” Mobley wrote in a post on social media.
His decision marks a major offseason victory for USC, which already was tasked with replacing projected top-three pick Evan Mobley, his younger brother, as well as top guard Tahj Eaddy. After a stellar end to last season in which he came alive during the NCAA tournament, the elder Mobley will be expected to take over as the Trojans’ top offensive threat.
UCLA MEN’S BASKETBALL
Ben Bolch on the Bruins: Johnny Juzang announced Wednesday that he would return to UCLA next season, bolstering a roster that could make the Bruins a consensus top-five team nationally as well as a trendy pick to win their first national championship since 1995.
“Going through the draft process has been an amazing experience,” Juzang said in a statement. “I was blessed to connect with great people, learn and grow, and get a feel for life at the next level. I want to thank everybody who has helped me in this process, including my family, trainers, school and especially my Dad, who helped for countless hours!
“Westwood, I can’t wait to go to war! We’ve got a team full of warriors and there’s nobody I’d rather fight beside. With coach [Mick] Cronin and our staff, I’m very excited for this season. Let’s do something special!”
Meanwhile, for the second time since his arrival at UCLA, Cody Riley sought an evaluation of his NBA draft prospects.
What happened was familiar: The feedback made him decide to return for another season as a Bruin.
Riley will come back for his redshirt senior season after withdrawing his name from consideration for the July 29 NBA draft.
“I’ve enjoyed the process and want to thank the NBA teams for the positive feedback I have received,” Riley said on the same day he worked out for the Lakers. “I am very excited to announce that I am returning to UCLA. My goals of graduating and helping UCLA and my teammates chase a championship have me more motivated than I have ever been. I can’t wait for our first official summer workout soon. Let’s get it!”
Iliana Limón Romero on ESPN: Top Black voices keep leaving ESPN for a reason.
The latest symptom of a deeply rooted problem was thrust into the national spotlight when the New York Times reported Sunday that Rachel Nichols, who is white, was caught on camera suggesting ESPN should not have selected Maria Taylor, who is Black, over her to host a prestigious NBA playoffs pregame show.
“If you need to give [Maria] more things to do because you are feeling pressure about your crappy longtime record on diversity — which, by the way, I know personally from the female side of it — like, go for it,” Nichols said during a phone conversation, according to a video recording obtained by the New York Times.
The call was captured by an ESPN camera in July 2020 while Nichols was in quarantine in her hotel room in the NBA bubble. Video of the conversation was stored on ESPN servers and soon shared by company employees who were upset by the suggestion Taylor had not earned her role.
Nichols has apologized multiple times for the conversation, most recently on Monday at the start of “The Jump,” the daily NBA show she hosts. On Tuesday, ESPN announced that Malika Andrews would replace Nichols as its sideline reporter to “keep the focus on the NBA Finals.”
Nichols was not previously sanctioned by ESPN for her remarks. Taylor asked that she not be forced to work with Nichols on camera according to the New York Times report. The request was granted, but it was frequently revisited and Taylor was left to defend her position.
It’s a familiar pattern at the network.
“ESPN has a consistent history of undervaluing Black talent,” former ESPN anchor Jemele Hill told the Los Angeles Times in a Monday interview. “This isn’t a Rachel versus Maria story. This is a story about why they didn’t value Maria enough to allow her to take full ownership of the job.
“ESPN collects Black faces, but it seems like that when those Black faces become Black voices, it’s a problem.”
Dan Woike on the NBA: Devin Booker’s social media mentions buzzed with activity Tuesday after the Phoenix Suns took a 1-0 lead in the NBA Finals.
One account mentioned how the entire state of Arizona was counting on him, another praised the way he attacked Brook Lopez on switches and hundreds of others simply sent gifs predicting his team would win. Even TV host Roland Martin said the Houston Rockets could use a player like him.
When this happens, all Booker can do is shake his head and laugh. Because all these fans, all these admirers, they’ve got the wrong guy.
Devin Booker had just put his four kids to sleep before he started to watch Game 1 on his couch in Greenville, S.C. And even though he loves the way this Suns team plays, he’d rather see his former AAU teammate from back home, Khris Middleton, get the ring.
Reached by phone Tuesday, Booker laughed when talking about how so many people could get this wrong. Yes, he shares a name with the 24-year-old Suns guard. And yes, they even share a profession — he made his living grabbing rebounds and fighting for space in the paint in a number of European leagues.
If it’s the Suns’ Devin Booker, you’re talking to someone with more than 4.1 million followers on Instagram and another 968,000 on Twitter. If it’s the one who wants to see the Bucks outlast the Suns because of his old friend, it’s a more modest 41,500 on Instagram and 10,700 on Twitter.
“I’m trying not to take advantage of the moment,” Booker said. “But it’s just like consistently tags and mentions, especially after the games that he does well.
Roger Federer has been feted by plenty of ovations at Wimbledon’s Centre Court. None quite like this one, though. This was not a celebration and didn’t come at the end of the match.
Instead, it delayed the beginning of what turned out to be the last game of his quarterfinal loss and felt more like a “thank you” or — just in case — a “goodbye.” And Federer acknowledged afterward he isn’t sure whether he’ll be back.
The eight-time champion at the All England Club bowed out 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-0 against 14th-seeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland on Wednesday, a surprisingly lopsided finish to Federer’s 22nd appearance in the tournament.
Asked whether it also might have been his last appearance here, he replied: “I don’t know. I really don’t know. I’ve got to regroup.”
As for whether retirement is an immediate possibility, he offered this: “No, I hope not. ... The goal is to play, of course.”
TOUR DE FRANCE
Winning the Ventoux stage at cycling’s biggest race is a rare and celebrated feat.
No wonder a champion like Wout Van Aert, with multiple titles across the sport’s most prestigious events, felt like he posted his best victory ever after mastering the daunting and grueling mountain twice in the same day at the Tour de France on Wednesday.
The lively stage also gave a glimmer of hope to the rivals of race leader Tadej Pogacar that he can be taken off his perch, after the defending champion briefly got dropped on the second ascent but erased the deficit on the downhill to keep his yellow jersey.
Van Aert was part of a breakaway that formed in the early stages of the nearly 200-kilometers Stage 11 in southern France. The one-day classic specialist and multiple cyclo-cross world champion made his decisive move on the final ascent to drop his breakaway companions, then kept his advantage on the descent leading to the town of Malaucene.
“I know I’m not the best climber, but when I pick my day I know I have my chances,” said van Aert. “The first time I climbed the Ventoux I was 10. It was my first big one. I was very motivated to try something today, this region is really famous in Belgium, and it’s a mythical Tour climb.”
Pogacar was fourth, one minute and 38 seconds behind. He did not lose ground on his main rivals, even increasing his overall lead after his closest opponent at the start of the stage, Ben O’Connor, suffered a hard day and dropped to fifth overall.
But for the first time since the start of the race, Pogacar showed weaknesses when he lost ground to Jonas Vingegaard near the summit.
“I could not follow all the way up, it was just a little bit too much,” he said. “It was a super-hard, hot day.”
NBA PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE/RESULTS
All times Pacific
Phoenix vs. Milwaukee
Phoenix 118, Milwaukee 105
Tonight: at Phoenix, 6 p.m., ABC
Sunday: at Milwaukee, 5 p.m., ABC
Wednesday, July 14: at Milwaukee, 6 p.m., ABC
*Saturday, July 17: at Phoenix, 6 p.m., ABC
*Tuesday, July 20: at Milwaukee, 6 p.m., ABC
*Thursday, July 22: at Phoenix, 6 p.m., ABC
NHL PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE/RESULTS
STANLEY CUP FINALS
All times Pacific
No. 2 Tampa Bay vs. No. 4 Montreal
Tampa Bay Lightning players surrounded the Stanley Cup again, putting their hands all over the trophy they won for the second time in 10 months.
It was a familiar sight for the NHL’s back-to-back champions, even if it was different in every possible way.
After the Lightning beat the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 on Wednesday night to wrap up the final in five games, captain Steven Stamkos hoisted the Cup in front of 18,110 fans — 18,110 more than the last time he did back in September.
Pyrotechnics went off around him to celebrate not only Tampa Bay winning during a pandemic once again but the end of another grueling season played against the backdrops of protocols and restrictions.
“Full arena, incredible energy and another championship in Tampa,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “It feels like things are normal.”
Winning has become normal for the Lightning, who did so this time relying on their playoff MVP goaltender and the only two players on the ice without their names on hockey’s holy grail.
Andrei Vasilevskiy had a series-ending shutout for an NHL-record fifth consecutive time dating to the 2020 final. Finishing with a handful in a frantic final minute, he made 22 saves to remain undefeated in games after a loss over the past two playoffs, both contested during a deadly pandemic with the Lightning coming out on top each time.
“It’s unbelievable,” captain Steven Stamkos said. “This group, to go back to back after everything we went through last year in the bubble, to go through this year ups and downs it’s amazing.”
Tampa Bay 5, Montreal 1
Tampa Bay 3, Montreal 1
Tampa Bay 6, Montreal 3
Montreal 3, Tampa Bay 2 (OT)
Tampa Bay 1, Montreal 0
THIS DATE IN SPORTS
1889 — John L. Sullivan defeats Jake Kilrain in the 75th round in Richburg, Miss., for the U.S. heavyweight championship. It’s the last bare-knuckle boxing match before the Marquis of Queensbury rules are introduced.
1922 — Suzanne Lenglen beats Molla Bjurstedt Mallory, 6-2, 6-0 for her fourth straight singles title at Wimbledon.
1939 — Bobby Riggs beats Elwood Cooke in five sets to win the men’s singles title at Wimbledon.
1941 — Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox hits a three-run, two-out homer in the ninth inning to give the American League a dramatic 7-5 victory in the All-Star game at Detroit’s Briggs Stadium.
1955 — Peter Thomson wins his second consecutive British Open finishing two strokes ahead of John Fallon. Thomson shoots a 7-under 281 at the Old Course in St Andrews, Scotland.
1967 — Billie Jean King sweeps three titles at Wimbledon. King beats Ann Hayden Jones 6-3, 6-4, for the singles title; teams with Rosie Casals for the women’s doubles title, and pairs with Owen Davidson for the mixed doubles title.
1978 — Bjorn Borg beats Jimmy Connors, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 to win his third straight men’s title at Wimbledon.
1984 — John McEnroe whips Jimmy Connors 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 in 100-degree temperatures to take the men’s singles title at Wimbledon.
1990 — West Germany wins the World Cup as Andreas Brehme scores with 6 minutes to go for a 1-0 victory over defending champion Argentina in a foul-marred final.
1991 — Michael Stich upsets three-time champion Boris Becker to win the men’s singles title at Wimbledon, 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-4.
1995 — Top-ranked Steffi Graf wins her sixth Wimbledon singles title, beating Arantxa Sanchez Vicario 4-6, 6-1, 7-5.
1996 — Switzerland’s Martina Hingis becomes the youngest champion in Wimbledon history at 15 years, 282 days, teaming with Helena Sukova to beat Meredith McGrath and Larisa Neiland 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 in women’s doubles.
2000 — Venus Williams beats Lindsay Davenport 6-3, 7-6 (3) for her first Grand Slam title. Williams is the first black women’s champion at Wimbledon since Althea Gibson in 1957-58.
2007 — Roger Federer wins his fifth straight Wimbledon championship, beating Rafael Nadal 7-6 (7), 4-6, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-2. I’s also Federer’s 11th Grand Slam title overall.
2010 — Paul Goydos becomes the fourth golfer in PGA Tour history to shoot a 59. Goydos puts together his 12-under, bogey-free round on the opening day of the John Deere Classic. Goydos makes the turn at 4-under, then birdies all but one hole on the back nine at the 7,257-yard TPC Deere Run course.
2012 — Roger Federer equals Pete Sampras’ record of seven men’s singles titles at the All England Club, and wins his 17th Grand Slam title overall, by beating Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.
2014 — Germany hands Brazil its heaviest World Cup loss ever with an astounding 7-1 rout in the semifinals that stuns the host nation. Miroslav Klose scores a record-setting 16th career World Cup goal in a five-goal spurt in the first half and Germany goes on to score the most goals in a World Cup semifinal.
2016 — Roger Federer loses in the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time in his career, falling to Milos Raonic 6-3, 6-7 (3), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 on Centre Court. The 34-year-old Federer had been 10-0 in Wimbledon semifinals, winning seven of his finals.
Venus Williams wins her first Grand Slam singles title. Watch it here.
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