strasburg: slider caused injury
WASHINGTON — Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg thinks relying too much on his new slider put stress on his pitching arm and contributed to the injury problems that sidelined him during the second half of last season and the playoffs.
"I fell in love with it," he said Sunday at the team's annual fan festival, "because it was working, especially the first half."
Strasburg, 28, threw sliders on 17.1 percent of his pitches last season, according to Fangraphs. He said that because the slider was not a pitch he was used to throwing, he had trouble delivering it the same way each time and altered his motion, leading to a tendon issue in his right elbow that is now resolved.
His biggest takeaway? He plans to "do everything I can to make the adjustments to stay healthy for the whole season next year."
TRADE: The Nationals sent starting shortstop Danny Espinosa to the Angels for two minor-league pitchers; Trea Turner will return to shortstop after learning to play center last season.
Costa, Chelsea win ninth straight in EPL
Diego Costa muscled West Brom's Gareth McAuley off the ball and curled a shot into the top corner in the 76th minute to seal a 1-0 win for host Chelsea. Chelsea has won its past nine matches in the EPL, its best run since 2009, to power to the top of the standings. Host Liverpool dropped six points behind Chelsea after a 2-2 draw with West Ham, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored to lead host Manchester United to a 1-0 win over Tottenham.
Team Duval wins Father/Son event
David Duval and stepson Nick Karavites shot 10-under 62 to win the Father/Son Challenge by a stroke in Orlando. They finished at 21-under 123 in the scramble event to hold off Stewart and Connor Cink, Retief and Leo Goosen, and Fred and Taylor Funk, winning $200,000. Newcomers John and "Little John" Daly tied for ninth.
boycott: Latvia won't send its skeleton athletes to the Feb. 13-26 bobsled and skeleton world championships in Sochi, the first such announcement by a national team in response to a Russian doping scandal. A number of athletes, including some past Olympic medalists from the United States and Britain, have said they might skip worlds unless officials move the event out of Russia.
ALPINE SKIING: Olympic champ Mikaela Shiffrin seems unbeatable in slalom, the American winning in Sestriere, Italy, in the 11th consecutive World Cup race that she has entered in the discipline.
tennis: Serbia's Miomir Kecmanovic repeated as the Orange Bowl Boys' 18s singles champ in Plantation. Others in the event's 70-year history to win consecutive Boys' 18s singles: Billy Martin (1973-74) and Harold Solomon (1969-70).