Two out of three ain’t bad. Remember that when you think of Kevin Correia. He gave the Dodgers two wins in three starts, and that sure was critical for a starting Dodgers rotation that had gone from the best in baseball to injury-prone with a debacle of a back end.Don’t judge Correia solely by Sunday’s start. That was ugly. He allowed seven runs ‑ five earned ‑ and three home runs in a three-inning clunker as the Mets avoided a sweep with an 11-3 win at Dodger Stadium, although the Dodgers maintained their 4 1/2-game lead over San Francisco. Leading the Dodgers to two victories in his two previous starts was beneficial in so many ways. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Correia’s likely headed to the bullpen, which was the Dodgers plan for him all along when he arrived via trade with Minnesota two weeks ago. He was mired in a season-long struggle there, and a change of scenery to a playoff-bound team helped. Hyun-Jin Ryu is scheduled to come off the disabled list (right hip strain) Friday so that spot won’t be open again, unless something hampers Ryu’s return. The Dodgers also have two off days this week ‑ Monday and Thursday ‑ due to those two games in Australia. Judge Correia and Roberto Hernandez by what they’ve done for the Dodgers, which is provide some relief for a starting rotation that nearly had to put out a “help wanted” sign for starting pitchers.Hernandez was acquired from Philadelphia on Aug. 8, and he’s 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA with the Dodgers.The Dodgers were desperate for starters with Paul Maholm and Josh Beckett down with injuries, and Hernandez and Correia weren’t perfect, but they sure delivered. And, some of the heat can be taken off Clayton Kershaw, who’s having an MVP season but can’t be expected to win every start. Two of the players making waves in August were players the Dodgers landed in trades after they cleared waivers in August. Imagine. “Kevin wasn’t the guy we talked about starting,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s pitched well for us, come in and won a couple games. Roberto has thrown well and kept us in games for the most part. Danny (Haren) has won three out of the four. At this point, we’re in single-game mode. You go out and try to win a game that day. We’ll try to line up our guys the best we can. We won’t worry about shoring anything up other than going out and being ready to play.”Correia said it would take a while to push Sunday’s loss out of his mind, but he should remember the service he provided. He helped bandage together a cobbled rotation. Before Sunday’s game, Mattingly said: “Him and Roberto both have been good for us. It’s been a little tough stretch with Zack (Greinke) and Hyun-Jin and to be able to have two guys that have experience in the big leagues and aren’t really overwhelmed, that’s been really nice for us. Two good pickups. We wouldn’t be talking about it in the same breath if they haven’t pitched well.”Catcher A.J. Ellis knows exactly what Hernandez and Correia have done for the Dodgers. That’s not lost on him.“Getting Hyun-Jin back will slot everyone back to what we had planned,” Ellis said. “Those guys are professionals who battle and know how to compete. It makes it tough and puts a lot of pressure on the first two guys, Clayton and Zack, to go out and win their games for sure and hope you can battle and scrap with the other three.“You’ve seen what Danny (Haren) has done, turning the season around the last 3-4 outings. He looks like he’s on a good trajectory. Kevin and Roberto are professional guys who have been around a long time and know how to get a lot of outs.”Correia didn’t pitch well Sunday, as evidenced by three home runs (by Travis d’Arnaud, Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada) that put the Dodgers in a big deficit. Correia was bothered, of course, and perhaps carried more stress on his shoulders knowing this might be his final start before moving to the bullpen. If his contribution was giving the Dodgers two wins in desperate times, that’s something. “This one is going to bother me for a while because the situation I’m in,” Correia said. “I wanted to win the game. This hurts more than I can remember in quite a while. I’ve been doing this long enough that these outings are inevitable. You just hope they’re the 11th or 12th outing, not the third outing with a new team.” But two out of three ain’t bad. It was just what the Dodgers needed.
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The Lakers did not soak each other afterwards with champagne. Rookie point guard Jordan Clarkson lamented missing a 27-foot 3-pointer with 11.8 seconds left in regulation. Forward Wayne Ellington agreed with Scott’s contention that he was fouled on a 26-jump shot that Victor Oladipo blocked as time expired. Forward Nick Young bemoaned his scoreless night, missing all six attempts in only 16 minutes. Yet, debate rages among Lakers fans about if different statistics matter. The Lakers have an 11.9 percent chance at the first overall pick, but those odds increase for the NBA’s third-worst team (15.6 percent), second-worst team (19.5 percent) and worst team (25 percent).“It’s a bad omen that you try to send a message to lose games to get the very best pick you can get.” Scott said. “To go out there and deliberately try to lose games to get a better pick, that backfires on you.”Instead, Scott told his players to consider it “a slap in the face” that the Magic fired Vaughn and named assistant James Borrego as the interim coach a day before playing the Lakers to “get their new coach off to a good start.” That happened, thanks to Orlando forward Tobias Harris posting a career-high 34 points on 14-of-18 shooting. Meanwhile, the Lakers are on pace to finish with their worst record in L.A. franchise history. But Scott reported Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and vice president of player personnel Jim Buss are promising patience. ORLANDO — The two teams fought to the very end, a Lakers’ 103-97 overtime loss to the Orlando Magic on Friday at Amway Center featuring a blown 14-point lead and the 12th defeat out of 13 contests. But did the Lakers really win in a forgettable game for two teams destined to miss the playoffs?The outcome could influence the Lakers’ standing in the 2015 NBA Draft. The Lakers (13-37) have the league’s fourth-worst record, but they need a top-five pick to avoid trading their draft selection to the Phoenix Suns as part of the Steve Nash deal. The Magic (16-37) currently own the fifth-worst record, their losing streak extended to 11.“The guys in there are not having a party right now because we lost the game because they think it will help us get a better draft pick,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “If I have guys in there that’s partying, they won’t be here next year, anyway.” “They told me, ‘It would take a few years. Are you okay with that?’ My question to them was, ‘I’m okay with that. Are you okay with that?’” Scott recalled when interviewing for the position last summer. “I’m okay with it because I know in due time we can turn it around.”Scott predicted the Lakers could “surprise some people” before they experienced season-ending injuries to Kobe Bryant (right shoulder), Steve Nash (back), Julius Randle (right leg) and Xavier Henry (left Achilles tendon). Scott also expects Hill will not return from a strained right hip flexor until after NBA All-Star weekend on Feb. 15. Scott then added, “this summer will give us an indication on if we’ll turn it around a lot quicker than we even expect.” With Bryant, Randle, Young and Kelly as the only players left with guaranteed contracts, the Lakers have enough cap space to land a marquee free agent. Until then, Scott maintains he will coach both to win games and develop his roster regardless of how it affects draft seeding.
Your browser does not support the audio element. In February, Gresham told SiriusXM NFL Radio his heart was in Cincinnati and he hoped to return, but understood at the time it was possible he would not. Just less than nine months later, he said he’s not necessarily disappointed with how things worked out.“I think everything worked out well,” he said. “They got what they wanted, next guy up with Tyler (Eifert) and everything. It’s a business and I understand that part of it so I can’t be mad about it. They gave me the opportunity to feed my family for five years, and feed them well, and I have no regrets about it.”That’s not to say Gresham isn’t hoping to put together a big game Sunday against the team that, in no specific terms, cast him aside. Of course he would like to play well and get a win, perhaps showing the Bengals what they’re missing out on.“But I don’t want to look too much into it or make anything personal about it, you know,” he said.No doubt Gresham will get a chance to make an impact Sunday, though how many chances or in what way he could step up remains to be seen. Although he’s seen an uptick in usage over the last few games, he’s still on pace for some career-lows with 13 catches for 158 yards and one touchdown on the season. That one touchdown was one of the biggest of the season; it helped the Cardinals regain the lead in the fourth quarter of last Sunday’s 39-32 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling LISTEN: Jermaine Gresham, Cardinals’ Tight End “Any time you play a team where you spent some time, and especially for as much time as I spent there, it’s not just another game,” he said. “I’m solely focused on this and we’re solely focused on this. There’s obviously a little bit extra on it, but it’s a big game for us, it’s a big game for them and I’m very focused on my job.”Cardinals coach Bruce Arians was asked if it’s natural for someone in Palmer’s shoes to have a little more emotion entering a game like this.“I think if it was the next year, you know? He’s already been through that with the Raiders and having played them and done all that stuff. So I think it is long history,” he said. “Everybody wanted to think I was going back to Pittsburgh for the first time and it’s not about that anymore. It’s about the game this week. I think there are some story lines that people are trying to write, but I don’t think he has any.”Indeed, just as Arians had coached against the Steelers before leading the Cardinals into Pittsburgh last month, Palmer has already faced off against the Bengals, completing 19-of-34 passes for 146 yards with one touchdown and one interception in a 2012 loss while with the Oakland Raiders. So maybe the game won’t be as big a deal to Palmer. But Arians did say it may be a bigger deal if this was Palmer’s first year since playing in Cincinnati and first time taking the field against the Bengals. While that is not the case for the QB, it is the exact situation tight end Jermaine Gresham finds himself in.The 27-year-old spent the first five seasons of his career in Cincinnati, catching 280 passes for 2,722 yards and 24 touchdowns while reaching two Pro Bowls. He signed a one-year contract with the Cardinals in July and is looking forward to the game.“It’s going to be fun,” he told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday. “Just seeing some of the people that I spent so much time with in the past five years. It’s going to be good to see them.“I’m just going to just cherish the moment and just have fun with it. Seeing those guys every day in practice, actually getting a chance to compete against them, I’m just going to have fun with it.”While Palmer’s exit from Cincinnati was rather messy — more on that can be read here — Gresham’s was rather uneventful. His original five-year contract with the team expired, and they chose not to bring him back. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The catch showed what Gresham is still capable of, even if the Cardinals do not call on him as often as the Bengals used to. He said he’s not greedy and not worried about how many passes get thrown his way. His focus remains on doing whatever the coaches ask of him and winning football games.He has, and the team is.“A lot of it is what coverages they play and where the ball goes,” Arians said of Gresham being integrated more into the offense. “We do not traditionally throw it to the tight ends. We pay Larry (Fitzgerald) and those guys too much money to throw it to the tight ends.“They’re here to block, but he is a very capable receiver when he gets his opportunities, which they’re starting to grow. He’s played well.”