The Sports Report: Max Muncy could be headed to the injured list

Max Muncy strikes out swinging.
Max Muncy
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Jack Harris: Max Muncy has been available all year for the Dodgers.

But in his return from a torn left elbow ligament he suffered at the end of last season, the All-Star slugger hasn’t looked the same.

Muncy is batting just .150 in his first 41 games. He’s hit only three home runs. He has lacked his normal power at the plate.

Now, after banging his elbow into a wall while trying to catch a foul ball in Washington this week, Muncy could be headed for a stint on the injured list, too, manager Dave Roberts told reporters on Thursday.


The Dodgers didn’t need Muncy in the lineup to rout the Arizona Diamondbacks 14-1 on Thursday, when Freddie Freeman had five RBIs, every player in the starting lineup had at least two hits, and the team up one hit shy of the Los Angeles franchise record with 24.

But they could be missing Muncy for a while moving forward, with all signs pointing to a potential IL stint for the infielder.

The Dodgers added veteran outfielder Kevin Pillar to the taxi squad Thursday, flying him to Arizona in the event Muncy is placed on the IL in the coming days.

“We all know he’s been grinding with the arm issue,” Roberts said. “I’m going to give him some time off to kind of reset the arm … I don’t know if there’s an aggravation in there. But we just have to kind of temper back a little bit.”


Dodgers takeaways: Mookie Betts rediscovers MVP form; Julio Urías outduels Juan Soto

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From Steve Henson: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. sought out Shohei Ohtani last year during the first day of All-Star game festivities and pantomimed holding a camera. The Toronto Blue Jays slugger wanted a shot with the Angels’ two-way phenom.

Ohtani’s response? Afterward, he recalled thinking, “Why is he asking? It’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. I’d love to take a picture with him.”

By season’s end, Ohtani won the American League MVP award and Guerrero finished second.

They met again Thursday night at Angel Stadium, Ohtani and his picture-perfect physique perched on the mound, Guerrero and his unblemished swing menacing at the plate.

Ohtani had no trouble with Guerrero in his first two at-bats, but hung a 76-mph curveball that the 23-year-old Blue Jays slugger hooked inside the left-field foul pole for a home run in the sixth inning that extended Toronto’s lead en route to a 6-3 victory.


From Gary Klein: Reggie Scott knows the value of a pipeline program — two decades ago one started him on his way to becoming the Rams’ vice president for sports medicine and performance.

Thomas Brown, the Rams’ tight ends coach, is looking forward to another pipeline program producing similar results for coaches and front office executives.

Brown and Rams senior personnel executive Ray Farmer were among more than 60 men and women who participated this week in the NFL’s inaugural “Coach and Front Office Accelerator” in Atlanta. The two-day event provided women and minority prospects with development sessions and networking time with team owners.

The program exceeded expectations and was “definitely a step in the right direction,” Brown said Thursday after an organized team activity workout in Thousand Oaks.

“Everybody involved with the program, I think, was very intent on trying to make it a real experience, to make the networking and the programming impactful,” Brown said. “The ultimate true test is going to be the results down the road.”


From Thuc Nhi Nguyen: The lowest moment of Megan Faraimo’s career — watching on TV last year as her team struggled at the Women’s College World Series — is still difficult for the redshirt junior to discuss. An untimely right-hand injury she suffered days before the Bruins left for the tournament haunted UCLA’s short-lived stay in Oklahoma City. What Faraimo wants to talk about is what came next.

She picked up a book, one an aunt recommended. The fiery pitcher’s family knew she could relate to the message in Kobe Bryant’s “The Mamba Mentality.”

Reeling from the disappointment of letting her teammates down, Faraimo channeled the legendary Laker’s famous mindset into a Pac-12 pitcher-of-the-year campaign. She leads the No. 5-seeded Bruins into a best-of-three super regional series against No. 12 Duke at Easton Stadium, beginning at 8 p.m. PDT Friday.

The redshirt junior’s ability to rebound from disappointments — whether she’s resetting after giving up a home run or rededicating herself after an injury delayed her long-awaited World Series debut — has defined Faraimo’s successful UCLA career more than her four career perfect games, school-record six saves this season or Pac-12-best 261 strikeouts.


From Thuc Nhi Nguyen: For one night, the Sparks can exhale.

The star-studded team avoided another early season disaster Wednesday by snapping a five-game losing streak with a 99-94 victory over the Phoenix Mercury at Arena. After getting their first home win of the year, the Sparks graciously waved to the crowd of 4,020 with smiles on every player’s face.

The last time the Sparks celebrated a win, it was the third day of the season. At the time, when an 87-77 win over the Indiana Fever gave the Sparks two consecutive road victories to open the season, the team looked like it could quickly grow into a playoff contender. The five-game losing streak was a harsh reality check.

The Las Vegas Aces blew out the Sparks 104-76 on Monday, but the losses that sting the most are the three that came by just one possession. The late missed shots, blown defensive assignments and poorly executed plays revealed just how much work the Sparks had ahead of them.

Those with rose-colored glasses see a team that has eight new players that’s still in contention despite playing six of its first eight games on the road with almost no practice time since the season began on May 6. But the standings that had the Sparks ninth in the WNBA before Wednesday’s victory deal only in black and white.


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Schedule and results
All times Pacific
Second round
Western Conference

Colorado (C1) vs. St. Louis (C3)
Colorado 3, St. Louis 2 (OT)
St. Louis 4, Colorado 1
Colorado 5, St. Louis 2
Colorado 6, St. Louis 3
St. Louis 5, Colorado 4 (OT)
Today at St. Louis, 5 p.m., TNT
*Sunday at Colorado, 5 p.m., TNT

Calgary (P1) vs. Edmonton (P2)
Calgary 9, Edmonton 6
Edmonton 5, Calgary 3
Edmonton 4, Calgary 1
Edmonton 5, Calgary 3
Edmonton 5, Calgary 4 (OT)

Eastern Conference

Florida (A1) vs. Tampa Bay (A3)
Tampa Bay 4, Florida 1
Tampa Bay 2, Florida 1
Tampa Bay 5, Florida 1
Tampa Bay 2, Florida 0

Carolina (M1) vs. New York Rangers (M2)
Carolina 2, New York 1 (OT)
Carolina 2, New York 0
New York 3, Carolina 1
New York 4, Carolina 1
Carolina 3, New York 1
Saturday at New York, 5 p.m, ESPN
*Monday at Carolina, TBD

*-if necessary


Schedule and results
All times Pacific
Conference finals
Western Conference

No. 3 Golden State vs. No. 4 Dallas

Golden State 112, Dallas 87
Golden State 126, Dallas 117
Golden State 109, Dallas 100
Dallas 119, Golden State 109
Golden State 120, Dallas 110

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Miami vs. No. 2 Boston

Miami 118, Boston 107
Boston 127, Miami 102
Miami 109, Boston 103
Boston 102, Miami 82
Boston 93, Miami 80
Today at Boston, 5:30 p.m., ESPN
*Sunday at Miami, 5:30 p.m., ESPN

*-if necessary


1823 — A $20,000 match race between American Eclipse (representing The North) and Henry (representing The South) is held at Union Course, Long Island, N.Y. American Eclipse wins in two-of-three heats, after his original jockey, William Crafts, is replaced by Samuel Purdy before the second heat. The race, witnessed by 60,000 spectators, is the first to have been timed by split-second chronometers, which were imported for the event.

1873 — Survivor is the winner of the first Preakness Stakes.

1882 — Trainer Robert Walden wins his fifth consecutive Preakness Stakes, with Vanguard. Walden would win a total of seven Preaknesses, a record for a trainer.

1968 — “Papa Bear” George Halas retires as head coach of the Chicago Bears.

1972 — Mark Donohue wins the Indianapolis 500 over two-time defending champion Al Unser with a record average speed of 162.962 mph.

1975 — The Philadelphia Flyers win their second straight Stanley Cup with a 2-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres in Game 6.

1981 — Willie Shoemaker wins his 8,000th race and then three more. Shoemaker gets the milestone on top of War Allied in the first race at Hollywood Park.

1981 — Julius Erving of the Philadelphia 76ers is named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player, making him the only player to win MVP honors in the NBA and the ABA.

1982 — The Lakers, despite an 11-day layoff, beat Philadelphia 124-117 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals for their ninth consecutive victory. The nine straight wins sets the NBA record for consecutive wins during one postseason.

1984 — Rick Mears wins the Indianapolis 500 by the largest margin in 17 years with a record-setting 163.612 mph. Mears beats Roberto Guerrero and Al Unser by two laps. Fifteen of the 33 drivers are eliminated during two crashes.

1985 — Scott Wedman sinks four three-point field goals without a miss and shot 11-for-11 overall from the field, both NBA Finals records, as Boston routs the Lakers 148-114 in Game 1. Boston’s 148 points and 62 field goals are NBA Finals records.

1990 — Arie Luyendyk wins the fastest Indianapolis 500 by overpowering former winner Bobby Rahal over the final 33 laps, for his first Indy car victory in 76 races. His average speed of 185.984 mph breaks Rahal’s record of 170.722 in 1986. Luyendyk becomes the first to finish the race in under three hours.

1998 — In one of the biggest upsets in Grand Slam history, Pete Sampras is ousted at the French Open by 21-year-old Ramon Delgado of Paraguay, ranked 97th in the world, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, 6-4.

2001 — Hicham El Guerrouj runs the fastest outdoor mile ever in the United States, and high school sensation Alan Webb breaks four minutes outdoors. El Guerrouj wins in a sizzling 3 minutes, 49.92 seconds, shattering the U.S. all-comers’ record of 3:50.86. Webb, the 18-year-old from Reston, Va., puts on a brilliant last-lap burst and finishes fifth at 3:53.43, smashing the high school record of 3:55.3 set by Jim Ryun in 1965.

2004 — Brad Richards’ goal in Tampa Bay’s 4-1 victory over Calgary is the game-winner — his record-tying sixth of the postseason.

2007 — Dario Franchitti gambles on the rain and wins the Indy 500. Franchitti inherits the lead by staying on the track when the leaders pit for fuel and then drives slowly to the checkered flag in a downpour when the race is stopped 10 laps later after 415 of the scheduled 500 miles.

2011 — Top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki loses to Daniela Hantuchova 6-1, 6-3 in the third round of the French Open. It marks the first time in the Open era that the top two seeded women fail to make the round of 16 at a Grand Slam tournament. Kim Clijsters, the No. 2 seed, lost on May 26.

2012 — Dario Franchitti wins the Indianapolis for the third time, taking advantage when Takuma Sato crashes on the final lap.

2012 — Manu Ginobili scores 26 points and San Antonio wins its 19th in a row to tie the NBA record for longest winning streak kept alive in the playoffs. The Spurs beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 101-98 to open the Western Conference finals.

2014 — The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater becomes the only school in NCAA history to win championships in football, men’s basketball and baseball in the same school year.

2018 — Chris Frome wins the Giro d’Italia to join cycling greats Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault with his third consecutive Grand Tour victory.

Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally

Ross Porter visits with Shawn Green. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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