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      hongwei28
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      NEW YORK — New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway has been using some variation of the term “sync up” so often lately [url=http://www.ravenscheapstores.com/alex-lewis-jersey-cheap]Alex Lewis Jersey[/url] , he sounds like an early 1990s music critic discussing Milli Vanilli. At least on Monday the Mets will face another out-of-sorts team whose fortunes are sinking faster than those of an exposed one-album wonder.

      Two squads enduring a miserable June will meet when the Mets host the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opener of a three-game series at Citi Field. Seth Lugo (2-2, 2.85 ERA) is scheduled to pitch for New York against Jameson Taillon (4-6, 4.03 ERA) in a battle of right-handers.

      Both teams suffered the final loss of a three-game sweep Sunday, when the Mets gave up seven solo homers in falling to the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers, 8-7, in 11 innings and the host Pirates dropped a 3-0 decision to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

      The losses ensured the Mets (31-44) and Pirates (36-41) will enter Monday with the worst June records in the National League. New York is 4-17 since the calendar flipped while Pittsburgh is 7-14.

      The nosedives have all but ended once-robust playoff hopes. The Mets, who opened the season 11-1, are 12 1/2 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the National League East and 10 1/2 games behind the Philadelphia Phillies in the race for the second wild card.

      The Mets opened June in a historic offensive slump in which they scored just 20 runs in 12 games from June 1-15. New York has scored 47 runs in its last eight games but has lost three games in which it scored at least seven runs.

      “We just can’t sync up exactly what we’re trying to do every day,” Callaway said Sunday. He also used the sync up expression following Thursday’s 6-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies.

      “If we swing the bats, we give up seven homers,” Callaway said Sunday. “If we pitch and swing the bats good [url=http://www.ravenscheapstores.com/javorius-allen-jersey-cheap]Javorius Allen Jersey[/url] , our defense isn’t quite there. It’s kind of been the whole season — we’re not syncing up all the components that we need to sync up to win some ballgames. We did that early in the season.”

      The Pirates are uttering the same laments. Through 43 games, Pittsburgh led the NL Central with a 26-17 record and ranked fifth in the majors in runs scored (216).

      Since then, though, the Pirates have gone an NL-worst 10-24 while scoring just 123 runs, the fewest in the NL and the fourth-fewest in the majors.

      “At the beginning of the season, pitching was clicking, hitting was clicking,” Pirates pitcher Trevor Williams told reporters after he took the loss Sunday, when he allowed three runs over six innings. “We’re starting to get apart from each other and we’re hitting a skid at the same time.”

      Lugo will be looking to snap a two-start slump Monday. He didn’t factor into the decision last Wednesday, when he gave up six runs (three earned) over three innings as the Mets fell to the Rockies, 10-8.

      Lugo has given up 11 runs (eight earned) over eight innings in his last two starts after tossing 13 straight scoreless innings in three games (two starts) from May 31-June 10.

      Taillon took the loss last Tuesday [url=http://www.ravenscheapstores.com/brent-urban-jersey-cheap]Brent Urban Jersey[/url] , when he allowed three runs over five innings as the Pirates fell to the Milwaukee Brewers, 3-2. He has alternated wins with losses in four June starts.

      Lugo has never faced the Pirates. Taillon is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two career starts against the Mets. He made both starts consecutively to open his big league career in 2016 and carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning of the second start on June 14.

      Panthers offensive coordinator Norv Turner has no plans to restrict Cam Newton’s ability to make plays with his feet. As for the quarterback’s throwing motion, well that might need a little tweaking.

      The 65-year-old Turner said he returned to coaching because of an opportunity to work again with Panthers coach Ron Rivera – who was on his coaching staff for four seasons in San Diego – and to coach the talented group of offensive players led by Newton.

      ”He’s an amazing player for his position,” Turner said Tuesday on a conference call.

      The versatile 6-foot-5, 245-pound Newton has carried the ball 828 times over the past seven seasons – by far the most in the league by a quarterback during that span. By comparison, Seattle’s Russell Wilson has run the ball 578 times during his six seasons in the league.

      While it’s logical to question how much pounding Newton’s body can take – he turns 29 in May – it’s also hard to argue with his success.

      He’s averaged 5.2 yards per carry and has scored 54 touchdowns rushing, which is the most by a QB in NFL history. And Newton tends to play better when he’s more involved in the running game.

      ”He’s a real threat to defenses,” Tuner said. ”So he will always have that threat to run.”

      That should be music to Newton’s ears.

      After Newton carried the ball a career-high 139 times last season and led the Panthers in rushing with 754 yards, he said ”that’s my edge.”

      ”I wouldn’t expect you or anybody else to take it away,” Newton said following Carolina’s season-ending playoff loss at New Orleans. ”And when I say you, I mean the media as a whole. I’m comfortable running the football [url=http://www.ravenscheapstores.com/c.j.-mosley-jersey-cheap]C.J. Mosley Jersey[/url] , I feel like I help the team when I’m running the football, and as long as I’m playing this game, I’m going to run the football.”

      Turner suggested that he and his son Scott Turner, the team’s new quarterbacks coach, will look to improve Newton’s throwing mechanics.

      Because he’s so big Newton has a tendency to rely on his strong arm and throw off his back foot, often resulting in high throws that lead to incompletions or interceptions. Turner said that while sometimes those types of throws are necessary under pressure, the staff ”is going to work hard to get his weight transferred and have good technique when he is throwing.”

      Turner said the Panthers overall system won’t change much, although he wants to be able to stretch the field vertically to force defenses to cover the entire field.

      He believes Newton has the arm strength to do that.

      Turner said he had a brief conversation with Newton after being hired.

      ”We didn’t get into a lot of football,” Turner said. ”As he expressed to me – and I feel the same way – there is excitement and nervousness. When you have change there is nervousness. Sometimes that nervousness is good and it gets your attention. It’s not status quo and you use that as a time to improve.”

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