On the Hump…

idiot

A kid from Ohio won a championship in Cleveland, and it wasn’t LeBron.  Now we have articles like this – and to me, completely missing the point of what we witnessed.  LeBron became the first player ever to lead BOTH teams in points, rebounds and assists – and the guy who guarded him gets the MVP?!  Sure, it’s a nice story, Iguodola’s rise from bench role-player to Finals MVP, but what are we evaluating anymore?  The current league MVP got 0 votes and 7 out of 11 voters voted for a guy who could not stop LeBron.  I doubt LeBron would have wanted it anyway…

Maybe my point is, we should appreciate a bit more what we saw – because after the guy in this picture got his tattoo – Love went down, then Kyrie went down, and it is like we have said around here before – you do not tempt fate – ask Kentucky fan and the other dopes about #KarmicRespnsibility.  Now, at least, we know we will never see a Finals MVP from a losing team again; if not last night, then never.  Clearly the dogmatic-media chumps are too rancorous to separate performance from result.  The Warriors went wire-to-wire, and deserved this title – none of that will be as memorable as James toting this sack of rocks up the hill like Sisyphus. James showed he’s still the world’s best, one of the best ever, and in losing, somehow managed to play the doomed, tragic hero archetype.  Who’d-a-thunk that?

  • Iguodala, Warriors finish off Cavaliers for first title in 40 years

    The Warriors clinched their first NBA championship in 40 years, defeating the Cavaliers, 105-97, in Game 6. Andre Iguodala, who was named Finals MVP, scored 25 points in Game 6 (tying Stephen Curry for the team-lead), marking his only 25-point game since the start of the 2014-15 regular season. Iguodala is the first player in NBA history to score at least 25 points in a Finals-clinching victory without recording any 25-point games in the preceding regular season or earlier in that year’s playoffs.

    nullGreen records triple-double in Game 6 clincherDraymond Green was a huge contributor in the Warriors’ road to glory as well, recording 16 points in Game 6 along with a team-high 11 rebounds and 10 assists. The 25-year-old became the sixth player to record a triple-double for the victorious team in a Finals clincher, joining Magic Johnson (1982 and 1985), Larry Bird (1986), James Worthy (1988), Tim Duncan (2003), and LeBron James (2012). Magic had been the only player before Green to achieve that feat on his opponents’ home floor – Johnson recorded 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 14 assists at Boston Garden in Game 6 of the 1985 Finals.

    For the 2015 playoffs as a whole, Green averaged 13.7 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game. Tim Duncan is the only other player in the last 30 years who won a championship, having averaged double-figures in both points and rebounds along with at least five assists per game throughout the playoffs; Duncan averaged 24.7 points, 15.4 rebounds, and 5.3 assists in the 2003 playoffs. Other players to reach those heights reads like a list of the all-time greats: Bill Russell (six times in the 1960’s), Larry Bird (1981 and 1984), Magic Johnson (1980 and 1982),Bill Walton (1977), Wilt Chamberlain (1967), Tom Gola (1956), and Neil Johnston (1956)

    nullLeBron falls short despite superhuman effort

    LeBron James did all he could for the Cavaliers, leading the team with 32 points, 18 rebounds, and nine assists in Game 6. James, who also led the Cavs in those three categories in Game 2 and Game 5, is the second player in the shot-clock era to lead his team (or tie for the team-lead) in points, rebounds, and assists at least three times in a single NBA Finals. Tim Duncan had three such games leading the Spurs in the 2003 Finals against the Nets.

    James had also led the Heat in points, rebounds, and assists in six of Miami’s Finals games from 2012 to 2014 (two per year). No other player achieved that feat even once in a Finals game over the last five years.


 

St. Louis Cardinals Hackers Facing Serious Federal Jail Time

Someone is going to jail.  As for the the organization, you would think a minimum, 8 figure fine.  I would give them a post season ban for a few years as well.  The Corporate Espionage that the Cardinals, knowingly and willingly conspired to, did not just impact the Astros – it impacted lots of other teams that compromised relationships with players and damaged salary and trade negotiations.  For some involved, this has to equate to lifetime banishment – this goes beyond Pete Rose’s transgressions or Shoeless Joe’s.  We have witnessed other leagues’ commissioners deal with some sort of league-wide crisis recently, but nothing like this – I wonder what Roger Goodell would do???

  • Home run derby at Camden Yards

    The Orioles played longball and then some against the Phillies on Tuesday, cranking out a franchise-record eight home runs in their 19-3 victory. Manny Machado started the barrage with a leadoff homer in the first inning and then homered again to begin the second inning for the O’s. Machado is just the third player in the last 50 years to lead off both the first and second innings of a game with a home run. The other two to do so in the last half-century are Chad Curtis, who achieved that feat with the Tigers on May 28, 1995 against the White Sox, and Stan Javier, who hit two leadoff shots for the Giants on April 11, 1999 versus the Padres.

    nullLong(ball) night for Phillies bullpen

    Dustin McGowan had a rough night in relief for the Phillies, allowing five of the Orioles’ eight home runs in 3.1 innings pitched. McGowan is just the fifth pitcher in the modern era – and the first in Phillies history – to surrender at least five homers in a game while pitching in relief. The four others to do so since 1900 are George Caster (1940), Craig Skok (1978), Frank Pastore (1979), and Andrew Lorraine(2002) – Caster gave up six homers while the other three pitchers allowed five.

    Justin De Fratus also allowed a home run in relief for the Phillies, as did Jeff Francoeur, who took the mound for the first time in his 11-year major-league career to throw two mop-up innings. The seven home runs allowed by the Phillies bullpen matched the major-league record for most homers allowed by a team’s relievers in a single game. There had been two previous instances of a team’s relief pitchers allowing exactly seven long balls – the Reds’ relievers did so on June 6, 1939 at the Polo Grounds against the Giants, and the Orioles’ pen served up seven at Toronto on September 14, 1987.

    nullHolt hits for cycle

    Brock Holt doubled to lead off Tuesday’s game for the Red Sox against Julio Teheran and the Braves, then singled in the fifth inning, hit a solo homer in the seventh, and tripled in his final at-bat to complete the first cycle in the majors this season. Holt is the first player to hit for the cycle against the Braves since the Mets’ Keith Hernandez did so on July 4, 1985. Atlanta’s streak of 4776 games without allowing a player to hit for the cycle had been the longest active streak in the major leagues by a wide margin. That distinction now belongs to the Blue Jays – Toronto has not allowed a cycle in its last 3954 games. The last player to record a cycle against the Jays was Hall-of-Famer George Brett on July 25, 1990.

    More goose eggs for Pirates

    The Pirates continued their mastery on the mound, blanking the White Sox, 3-0, to win their sixth straight game. Pittsburgh has kept its opponent off the scoreboard in five of those six wins, marking the first time in almost 20 years that a team recorded five shutouts within a six-game span. The Orioles were the last team with such a span, having finished the 1995 regular season with five consecutive shutouts. The only other time that Pittsburgh posted at least five shutouts over a six-game span took place 112 years ago! The Pirates posted six consecutive shutouts from June 2 to June 8, 1903 – two over the Giants, three against the Boston Beaneaters, and one versus the Phillies.

Abstract Sand Trap

Chambers Bay

One time, I bet the director of a local country club $1,000 that he would slice into the woods. In a very snobby tone, he informed me that gambling was not permitted at their establishment. He followed that up by declaring that he never sliced. Predictably , he then sliced into the woods, which clearly upset him. Despite my amusement, I informed him that he could pay me the money some other time. He then informed me that he did not in fact owe me the sum of money I proposed in my bet.  So I went off and played my round – then this happened.

 

So get the 6 golfers you think will have a chance to win America’s National Professional Tournament, and secure YOUR chance at winning a $1,000,000, playing Draft Kings’ FANTASY GOLF MILLIONAIRE MAKER – starting Thursday.  Here are some guys on the “value-meal” side of things:

  • Danny Willet
  • Robert Streb
  • Tommy Fleetwood
  • Ben Martin
  • Retief Goosen
  • Erik Compton

 


 

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LeBron James scored 40 points as part of his triple-double in the Cavs’ loss (14 rebounds, 11 assists). Only three other players scored 40 points in a playoff triple-double: Oscar Robertson (twice in 1963), Jerry West (1969), and Charles Barkley(1993). West was the only player other than James to do so in an NBA Finals, famously doing so with 42 points with 13 rebounds and 12 assists in a Game 7 loss to the Celtics.

James is the first player to produce two triple-doubles with 30 or more points in one Finals series. And including a 32-point triple-double with the Heat in the 2013 Finals, he now has three triple-doubles with 30-plus points in Finals competition, matching the total for all other players in the shot-clock era. (West, James Worthy, and Barkley had one each.)

James has been responsible for the last six triple-doubles in NBA Finals games. That ties the record set by Magic Johnson, who turned in six consecutive Finals triple-doubles from 1980 to 1985.

Stephen Curry scored 17 of his team-high 37 points in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ 104-91 win over the Cavaliers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. That matched the highest fourth-quarter output in any Finals game over the last 40 years. The other players with a 17-point fourth quarter during that time all did so in this century: Shaquille O’Neal (2000), Dwyane Wade (2006), and Kevin Durant andRussell Westbrook (both in 2012).


10455962_655482271219306_3463095868752109635_nCubs go walking with Castro on 2 straight nights

Starlin Castro‘s single in the bottom of the 11th gave the Cubs a 2-1 win over the Reds on Sunday night after Castro singled in the ninth inning for a 4-3 victory on Saturday. Castro was the first player since 2011 to deliver walkoff RBIs in consecutive team games. The last player to do so was Jacoby Ellsbury for the Red Sox. Even better for the historians out there, the last Cubs player to do so was Ron Santo in May 1966 and Santo did it in style with a pair of walkoff homers.

Scherzer is Ryan-like in his masterpiece

Max Scherzer struck out 16 batters and allowed only one hit-a broken-bat single byCarlos Gomez in the seventh inning-as the Nationals defeated the Brewers, 4-0. If you never saw Nolan Ryan pitch, Scherzer’s outing on Sunday was reminiscent of a signature Ryan performance.

In 1972, Ryan became the first pitcher in modern major-league history with more than 15 strikeouts in a game in which he allowed no more than one hit. He did that three more times-in 1973, 1990, and 1991. Scherzer was only the seventh pitcher since Ryan to compile such a game, and none of them did it more than once. The others were Kerry Wood(1998), Pedro Martinez (1999), Randy Johnson (2001), Curt Schilling (2002), Brandon Morrow(2010), and Corey Kluber (last month).

Pirates & Phillies reprise their series-for-the-ages from 57 years ago

Josh Harrison drove in the game’s only run with a single in the 11th inning as the Pirates defeated the Phillies, 1-0, on Sunday. Pittsburgh topped Philadelphia by the same score in 13 innings on Friday night. Prior to this series, the Pirates had faced the Phillies 2,266 times, and only six of those games were scoreless through 10 innings.

But here’s an amazing kicker: The last major-league series in which two games reached the 11th inning with the score 0-0 was also played at Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia was the visiting team. That was in 1958 and the games were played at Forbes Field; as they did this weekend, the Pirates won both games. There were no relief pitchers used in either of the games: Ron Kline defeated Robin Roberts in 12 innings on May 9; Bob Porterfield, making his debut for the Bucs, pitched an eight-hit shutout to top Curt Simmons on May 11.

Cabrera steals a win from Sale

Asdrubal Cabrera‘s two-run seventh-inning home run gave the Rays a 2-1 win over the White Sox. It was the latest go-ahead home run off Chris Sale in the last three seasons, and it marked the first time this season that Sale failed to win a game in which the Sox staked him to a lead (6-0 prior to Sunday). The only starting pitchers to be given a lead at least six times this season and win every one of those games are Gerrit Cole (9-0), Carlos Carrasco (7-0), and Michael Pineda (7-0).

Sale sets Sox strikeout mark

Chris Sale did achieve one noteworthy milestone on Sunday: With 12 strikeouts, he raised his total to 51 over his last four starts, resetting his own team record in the process. No other active pitcher has ever fanned more than 50 batters over a span of four consecutive appearances; the last pitcher to do so was Randy Johnson in 2004.

Prior to the 2013 season, only two White Sox pitchers struck out even 40 batters over four games: Juan Pizarro (40 in 1961) and Javier Vazquez in 2007 (42). Sale has done it in each of the last three seasons.

What’s better than triple-double? How about a triple-triple.

Eduardo Nunez, Shane Robinson, and Eduardo Escobar all tripled in the sixth inning for the Twins on Sunday. And if that doesn’t seem unusual enough for you consider this: Minnesota scored only one run in the inning, with Robinson getting picked off and Escobar getting stranded.

It was the first time since the Washington Senators moved to Minnesota in 1961 that the Twins had three triples in one inning. And it was the first instance in the expansion era of a team scoring only once despite three triples in an inning. The other 20 teams to do so averaged 4.6 runs in those innings.

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Friday Dregs

Iguodala comes through for Kerr and the Warriors

Andre Iguodala didn’t start a game during the 2014-15 regular season and he hadn’t started a game during this year’s playoffs until Steve Kerr sent him to the floor to begin Game 4 of the Finals. Iguodala proceeded to score 22 points and grab eight rebounds, both tied for the Warriors’ team high, as Golden State topped the Cavaliers, 103-82, to deadlock the series.

Over the last 45 years, the only other players who started an NBA Finals game without starting a game during either the preceding regular season or earlier in that year’s playoffs were Terry Teagle (1991 Lakers), Marcus Camby (1999 Knicks) and Manu Ginobili (2013 Spurs). Ginobili (24 points in Game 5) and Iguodala (on Thursday night) are the only players among them who either scored 20 or more points or pulled down as many as eight rebounds in their first start during that year’s Finals.

Convincing road victory for Golden State

The Warriors’ 21-point margin of victory in Game 4 was the largest for any road team in an NBA Finals game in which they entered the game trailing in the series. The previous high was 16 points by Miami in its 109-93 Game 4 victory at San Antonio in 2013.

Cleveland off the mark from downtown

The Cavaliers made only four of their 27 three-point field-goal attempts in Game 4 (14.8 percent). There have been 474 instances in NBA playoff history in which a team launched at least 25 shots from three-point range; only four other teams that took 25 or more three-point shots made as low a percentage of them as did the Cavaliers, with the last such team doing it 18 years ago, when the Bulls made four of 27 three-point shots (14.8%) in an 87-80 loss at Miami in Game 4 of the 1997 Eastern Conference Finals. The only other team to hit such a low three-point percentage (minimum: 25 shots) in a Finals game was the Bulls, who made only three of 26 three-point shots (11.5%) in losing Game 5 of the 1996 Finals at Seattle, 89-78.

Not many turnovers in Game 4

The Warriors (seven) and Cavaliers (nine) combined to commit only 16 turnovers in Game 4. That is the second-lowest total of turnovers in a NBA Finals game in any of the last 15 years. The only Finals game with fewer turnovers during that time (2001-2015) was the opener of the 2013 Finals, when the Spurs (four) and Heat (nine) combined to turn the ball over only 13 times.

Kazmir limits the Rangers to one hit, again

Scott Kazmir threw eight innings for the Athletics as they topped the Rangers, 7-0, and the only hit he allowed was a fifth-inning single by Elvis Andrus. It was the 11th major-league game this season in which a pitcher had a scoreless outing of seven or more innings without allowing more than one hit. Kazmir is the only pitcher who has had two such games and both were against the Rangers in Oakland. He pitched seven scoreless innings versus Texas on April 8, allowing one hit (a bunt single by Leonys Martin leading off the game).

nullCuddyer’s first walkoff RBI since 2006

Michael Cuddyer‘s second go-ahead RBI of the night came on a game-ending single in the bottom of the ninth inning and gave the Mets a 5-4 triumph over the Giants. Cuddyer, who hadn’t produced a game-ending RBI since he hit a walkoff homer for the Twins on April 19, 2006, played 1140 major-league games in the interim. Cuddyer entered Thursday’s game with the longest current streak of consecutive games without a walkoff RBI among active major-league players, a distinction that now belongs to San Diego’s Clint Barmes, who has played 1090 games since the only walkoff RBI of his career (a game-ending homer for the Rockies off Trevor Hoffman in the 2005 season opener).

Trout and Pujols both homer for the Angels

Mike Trout homered in the sixth inning and Albert Pujols hit a four-bagger in the ninth to help the Angels beat the Rays at Tropicana Field. It was the fifth game this season in which both Trout and Pujols homered, tying them with Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and Logan Morrison for the most such games for any major-league teammates this year.

nullMarcum tosses a gem

Shaun Marcum pitched seven innings and limited the Mariners to two hits in the Indians’ 6-0 shutout on Thursday afternoon. Marcum joined Trevor Bauer (April 9) and Corey Kluber (May 13) as Cleveland starters who have won games this season in which they had a scoreless outing of at least six innings without allowing more than two hits. The only other major-league teams that have had starts of that kind by three different pitchers this season are the Athletics (Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmirand Drew Pomeranz) and Giants (Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong and Chris Heston).

nullGonzalez allows a run

The Rangers’ Chi Chi Gonzalez saw his career ERA balloon to 0.42 by allowing one run in seven innings versus the Athletics as he suffered his first loss in his third major-league game. Fernando Valenzuela posted a 0.33 ERA through his first three starts in the majors (in 1981), but since then, the only other pitcher who accumulated at least 20 innings through his first three major-league starts while pitching to an ERA as low as Gonzalez’s is Pat Combs, who had a 0.41 ERA to that point of his career for the 1989 Phillies.

Pay DiRT

James leads the way for Cavaliers in Game 3 victory

LeBron James scored 40 points to lead the Cavaliers to a 96-91 victory over the Warriors and a 2-1 lead in the series. James also recorded eight assists, which is one more than the combined total of the rest of the Cavaliers team. No other player in NBA history scored 40 points and recorded at least half of his team’s assists in a Finals game before James. The last player to achieve that feat in any round of the playoffs was Rajon Rondo, who scored 44 points and tallied 10 of the Celtics’ 15 assists in an overtime loss to the Heat in 2012.

James, whose three-game streak with more than 30 field-goal attempts is the longest of his career, has scored 123 points through three Finals games, breaking the record for most points in the first three games of a NBA Finals. Rick Barry had previously held that mark, having scored 122 points in the first three games of the 1967 Finals for the Warriors against the 76ers. James and Barry are also the only players to miss at least 20 field-goal attempts in three consecutive Finals games; Barry had four such games in a row to conclude the 1967 Finals while James now has three such games to begin this year’s Finals.

nullFirst 20-point effort for Dellavedova this season

Matthew Dellavedova played a huge role in the Cavaliers’ Game 3 victory as well, contributing 20 points, including 10 in the third quarter. The scoring output marked Dellavedova’s highest scoring game of the season – his high in the 2014-15 regular season was 18 points (April 15), and his playoff-high was 19 points (May 14) prior to Tuesday. Only one other player in the last 10 seasons scored at least 20 points in a Finals game without recording any 20-point games in the previous regular season or first three rounds of the playoffs. That player happens to be one of Dellavedova’s teammates – Mike Miller scored 23 points in the Heat’s Finals-clinching victory in 2012 against the Thunder, marking his only 20-point effort of the 2011-12 regular season and playoffs.

Heston throws first no-hitter of 2015

In just his 13th major-league start, Chris Heston entered the record books by throwing a no-hitter at Citi Field against the Mets. Heston, who recorded 11 K’s without walking a batter, became the first rookie pitcher to strike out more than 10 opposing hitters without issuing a walk in a no-hitter. Heston’s three HBP’s resulted in the only baserunners for the Mets on Tuesday, and it also put Heston on a list by himself – no other pitcher in major-league history hit at least three opposing batters while completing a no-hitter.

Heston threw the fourth no-hitter for the Giants over the last four seasons – Matt Cain threw a perfect game against the Astros in 2012, and Tim Lincecum no-hit the Padres in 2013 and again in 2014. The only other team in major-league history to throw a no-hitter in each of four consecutive seasons is the Dodgers, though Los Angeles needed just one pitcher – Sandy Koufax – to achieve the feat.

Speaking of Sandy Koufax, the Dodgers great was the last pitcher before Heston to finish a no-hitter with three strikeouts in the final inning. Koufax K’d the last three Cubs in his perfect game on September 9, 1965.

Friday Dregs

Aside from Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, MLB has all their games playing tonight, and if you have StrikeZone you’ll get to see all of the action as it happens.  So for today we are going to give you some lineup help.  Here are 4 lineups to consider for tonight, check to see if they are playing and for rain:

#1               #2               #3               #4

P: Odorizzi     Odorizzi      Volquez      Gibson

P: Gibson       Volquez      Will.Perez   Butler

C: Posey         Saltamac    Norris         R.Martin

1: Goldschm   Goldschm  Carter         Teixeira

2: Rendon       Panik         Dozier         DJ Lemahieu

3: Gallo          Tejada        Carpenter   Donaldson

S: Jhonny P    Jhonny P   Tulowitzki    Tulowitzki

O: Rajai D       Pollock       McCutchen  Giancarlo

O: Joc Peder   Pillar          JoeyButler   Bautista

O: Burns         Moss           Springer      Gardner

As for alternate Ideas to consider for tonight here are some candidates to consider by position – remeber to check and see if they are in the lineup and for rain:

C: Saltamacchia/Cervelli/Norris/Posey/Vogt

1:  Goldschmidt/Carter/Freeman/Pujols/Posey

2:  Panik/Dozier/Phillips

3:  Carpenter/Freese/Tejada/Lawrie/Frazier/Donaldson/Arenado/MiguelC

S:  Jh.Peralta/Tulo/Tejada/Xander/Andrus/DiDi

O:  McCutchen/Pillar/Moss/JoeyButler/ShinSoo/Bruce/Deshields/A.Gordon/Pollock/Joc/Souza/Springer/Trout/Bryce Harper


 

Here we go with the recap of the last few two days….

Wednesday Review

NHL

Blackhawks rookie leads unprecedented Game 1 comeback

Teuvo Teravainen and Antoine Vermette scored goals in the last seven minutes of the third period which enabled the Blackhawks to overcome a 1-0 deficit and beat the Lightning, 2-1, at Tampa in the first game of the Stanley Cup Final. It’s the first time in NHL history that a team won Game 1 of a Stanley Cup Final in regulation time after trailing while being shut out in the third period.

Chicago is also the first road team to record a regulation-time victory with a third-period comeback in the opening game of a Stanley Cup Final series. Three other visiting teams won Game 1 of a Stanley Cup Final in overtime after trailing in the third period: the Islanders in 1980 (at Philadelphia), the Canucks in 1994 (at New York Rangers) and the Sabres in 1999 (at Dallas).

Teravainen, who assisted on the winning goal, is the first rookie in NHL history to score two third-period points in the first game of a Stanley Cup Final series. Since 1983, the only rookies before Teravainen to record more than one point in the opening game of a Cup Final wereJaromir Jagr for the Penguins in 1991 (two assists vs. Minnesota) and Ville Leino for the Flyers in 2010 (one goal and one assist at Chicago).

MLB

Gallo making powerful impression

Joey Gallo hit a home run in his major-league debut on Tuesday night and he cleared the fences with a solo shot on Wednesday evening. None of the 53 players in major-league history who hit at least 400 lifetime home runs began their careers by homering in each of their first two games. The player with the most home runs who did go deep in each of his first two big-league games is Todd Helton, who retired with 369 homers, which currently ranks him tied for 78th all time.

Tanaka returns with a win

Masahiro Tanaka made a triumphant return by throwing seven innings in a 3-1 victory at Seattle, improving his record to 16-6 in 25 major-league starts. Prior to Tanaka, the most recent pitchers to win at least 16 of their first 25 career starts–all for the Yankees–were Mel Stottlemyre (who, like Tanaka, was 16-6 through his first 25 starts) and Whitey Ford (17-2).

Astros rookie strikes out 11 with no walks

Lance McCullers, a 21-year old rookie making his fourth career start, struck out 11 Orioles batters and did not issue a walk in a complete-game win for the Astros on Wednesday night.

McCullers, at age 21, is the fourth youngest pitcher in the last 50 seasons with more than 10 strikeouts and no walks in a complete game. The three younger pitchers to do so over that span were Dwight Gooden (twice, at age 19 for the 1984 Mets), Bert Blyleven (at age 20 for the 1971 Twins) and Kerry Wood (at age 20 for the 1998 Cubs, while tying a major-league record with 20 strikeouts in a nine-inning game).

Braves surrender another huge lead

There have been only two major-league games this season in which a team was defeated after leading by at least six runs and the Braves have lost both of them. Atlanta surrendered an eight-run advantage in a 13-12 loss to the Nationals at Turner Field on April 28, and allowed a six-run cushion to disappear in Wednesday’s 9-8 setback against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field.

Pirates sweep the defending champs

The Pirates, by virtue of their 5-2 win over the Giants in San Francisco, swept a series of at least three games on the road against the defending World Series champion for only the fifth time in franchise history. Pittsburgh’s other sweeps of at least three games on the home field of the reigning title holders were against the Cubs (in 1909), Giants (1922), Cardinals (1983) and Reds (1991).

Peralta pounds the Brewers

Jhonny Peralta was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in the Cardinals’ win over the Brewers and he now has 50 hits in 135 career at-bats (.370) versus Milwaukee. That gives Peralta the second-highest lifetime average for any active player against the Brewers (minimum: 100 at-bats), behind Troy Tulowitzki, who has batted .408 against them.

Buehrle throws a 93-pitch shutout

Mark Buehrle threw only 93 pitches in his shutout of the Nationals. That’s the fewest pitches thrown by a pitcher in a nine-inning complete-game performance this season and the second-fewest for Buehrle (again, in a nine-inning complete game) in his major-league career. He authored a shutout against the Indians while throwing just 90 pitches in July 2004, when he was 25 years old and playing for the White Sox.

Heart of the order powers Royals

The heart of the Royals’ order–Lorenzo CainEric Hosmer and Kendrys Morales–produced back-to-back-to-back RBI-doubles in the third inning of Kansas City’s 4-2 win over the Indians. It was the first time since May 2006 that three consecutive Royals batters in one inning each connected for extra-base hits that drove in a run. In that game nine years ago, four straight Kansas City batters did so–Emil BrownTony GraffaninoAngel Berroa and Doug Mientkiewicz.

Burns clears the bases

Billy Burns‘ bases-loaded triple on the first pitch of his at-bat in the second inning was the key hit in Oakland’s 6-1 win at Detroit. Burns has had a first-pitch hit in each of his last four games, one shy of the longest such streak in the major leagues this season. Kole Calhoun connected for a hit on the first pitch of an at-bat in five consecutive games last month.

Big day for Boston’s middle infielders

Dustin Pedroia (4-for-5) and Xander Bogaerts (3-for-4) helped the Red Sox defeat the Twins in the first game of a doubleheader and became only the second starting keystone combination in more than two years to each register at least three hits for Boston in the same game. Pedroia and Stephen Drew did that on May 6, 2013 in an 11-inning game that was coincidentally also against the Twins at Fenway Park.

Rookie stymies the Red Sox at Fenway

Trevor May threw seven scoreless innings to help the Twins record a 2-0 victory over the Red Sox in the second game of their doubleheader. The only other rookie in the last five seasons to earn a win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park by throwing at least seven shutout innings was Matt Shoemaker in 2014.

Franco takes Chapman deep

Maikel Franco hit a game-tying three-run homer off Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning and the Phillies went on to defeat the Reds in extra innings. Franco launched a game-tying homer on Tuesday night in the eighth inning of a Philadelphia win over Cincinnati. He is the first rookie with a game-tying or go-ahead home run in the eighth inning or later of back-to-back games since the Twins’ Bobby Kielty in 2002.

Sale: consecutive starts with 12+ Ks and no runs

Chris Sale struck out 13 batters without allowing a run on Wednesday night, after a 12-K/no-run outing last Thursday. Prior to Sale, the most recent pitchers to make back-to-back starts with at least a dozen strikeouts and no runs allowed in each were Chan Ho Park (2000 Dodgers), Hideo Nomo (1995 Dodgers), Roger Clemens(1987 Red Sox), Nolan Ryan (1978 Angels) and Sandy Koufax (1965 Dodgers).


 

Thursday Review

NBA

Warriors shut down Cavs in OT to win Game 1

The Warriors outscored the Cavaliers, 10-2, in overtime, allowing only an uncontested layup byLeBron James in the closing seconds of their 108-100 victory in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. That matched the lowest point total that any team has allowed in an overtime period of the Finals. The Lakers held the Pistons to two points in OT of Game 2 of the 2004 Finals. Richard Hamilton scored Detroit’s only points in the extra period, hitting a jump shot midway through overtime.

James scores 40-plus vs. Warriors in regular season and playoffs

LeBron James led all players with 44 points in Cleveland’s loss. James scored 42 points in his only game against the Warriors during the regular season. He is the fifth player to score 40 or more points in a regular-season game and then do it again against the same opponent in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The others were George Mikan, Minneapolis vs. Washington (1948-49); Jerry West, Los Angeles vs. Boston (1965-66); Allen Iverson, Philadelphia vs. Lakers (2000-01); and Kobe Bryant, Lakers vs. Orlando (2008-09).

MLB

Jones snaps HR drought with a game-winner

Adam Jones broke a 2-2 tie with a home run off Chad Qualls in the eighth inning to give the Orioles a 3-2 victory at Houston. That blast snapped Jones’ streak of 83 at-bats without a homer, his longest since early last season. It was his 14th game-winning home run in Late-Inning Pressure Situations since joining the Orioles in 2008, tying Miguel Cabrera for the most in the American League during that time. The major-league leader is Alfonso Soriano (15).

Twins overcome early deficit for late win at Fenway

The Twins, who trailed 4-0 early, scored four runs off Koji Uehara in the ninth inning to gain an 8-4 victory at Boston. It was the first time in Uehara’s 314 major-league appearances that he allowed even one run and failed to retire a batter.

This was Minnesota’s 825th game at Fenway Park, including 523 as the Washington Senators from 1912 to 1960. It was only the second of those games in which the Senators or Twins won by at least four runs after the Red Sox had taken a lead of four or more runs. The first was in 2003 and, for what it’s worth, Minnesota faced knuckleballers in both games: Tim Wakefield 12 years ago and Steven Wright yesterday.

A’s day starts well, ends with mixed results

The Athletics took a 6-0 lead over the Tigers on Thursday and held on for a 7-5 win at Detroit. The victim of Oakland’s early assault was Shane Greene, who was charged with six runs and failed to complete five innings. It was the fifth time in 12 starts that Greene allowed more than one run per inning; the last pitcher to do so in at least five of his first 12 starts for the Tigers wasDontrelle Willis (2008-09).

The A’s day didn’t end nearly as well as it began. Stephen Vogt was removed from the game in the ninth inning after pulling up lame while chasing a foul pop-up. Coming into the day, Vogt had the highest Elias Impact Rating of any catcher in the either league (82.8), and he ranked second on his team to Sonny Gray (91.5).

Tigers suffer back-to-back series sweeps

Thursday’s victory completed the A’s three-game sweep of the Tigers after Detroit had lost four straight games to the Angels. It’s the first time that Detroit has been swept in consecutive series (of two or more games, that is), after entering each series above .500, since June 1993, when Sparky Anderson’s team went 0-9 on a road trip of three games each at Baltimore, Boston and New York, knocking the Tigers out of first place.

A first for Mayberry

John Mayberry went 4-for-5 with a home run in the Mets’ 6-2 win at Arizona. It was the first four-hit game of Mayberry’s career and it came in his 313th start. Only seven other active players have made at least 300 starts and never had more than three hits in one game: Luis Valbuena (535 starts), Mitch Moreland (457),Travis Snider (409), Brett Lawrie (397), John Jaso (374), Eric Young Jr. (329), andAaron Harang (314).

Reds show no favor to an old friend

The Reds faced a former teammate on Thursday night, defeating Aaron Harang and the Phillies, 6-4. Harang, who led the Reds with 75 wins during his eight seasons with the team (2003-10), came into the game with a 2.02 ERA that ranked fifth in the National League, but allowed a season-high six runs to suffer his sixth loss of the season.

Here’s an odd twist: It was Harang’s sixth appearance against Cincinnati, each for a different team. The others were with the Athletics (2002), Dodgers (2012), Mariners (2013), Mets (2013), and Braves (2014).

Choo delivers in the clutch

Shin-Soo Choo singled in the 11th inning to deliver Leonys Martin with the winning run in the Rangers’ 2-1 victory over the White Sox. It was the seventh time Choo has produced a walkoff win, five of them in the last three seasons. The only player with more walkoff plate appearances since 2013 is Josh Donaldson (8).

Bauer continues his string of strong starts

Trevor Bauer allowed two runs in six-and-two-thirds innings to earn the victory in the Indians’ rain-shortened 6-2 win at Kansas City. It was the fifth consecutive start in which Bauer held his opponents to two or fewer runs. His ERA for those five starts is 1.75, compared to a 4.40 career mark prior to that.

Game 7’s are DiRTy

NHL

Two Game 7s in the NHL Conference Finals

The Blackhawks forced a decisive seventh game in the Western Conference Final with their 5-2 win over the Ducks in Game 6 on Wednesday, after the Rangers did the same in the Eastern Conference Final with their Game 6 victory over the Lightning on Tuesday. This will be the third time in NHL history that both Semi-Final or Conference Final series in one playoff year went seven games, It happened first in 1964, when Toronto beat Montreal and Detroit topped Chicago in seven-game Semi-Finals, and again in 2000 when New Jersey edged Philadelphia and Dallas got by Colorado in the Conference Finals.

nullKeith notches three assists in the second period

Duncan Keith assisted on all three of the Blackhawks’ second-period goals in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final. Keith is the fourth player in Blackhawks history to register three assists in one period of a playoff game. The other Chicago players to do that are Pat Stapleton in 1973 (Game 1 of the Stanly Cup Final at Montreal, first period), Chris Chelios in 1992 (Game 2 of Conference Final vs. Edmonton, third period) and Patrick Kane in 2014 (Game 5 of Conference Final vs. Los Angeles, first period). Kane was the last player on any NHL team to accomplish that feat before Keith.


 

NBA

40 year Drought is over

Stephen Curry registered 26 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals in the Warriors’ series clinching win over the Rockets on Wednesday night. The only other players to produce at least 25 points, five rebounds, five assists and five steals in a playoff series clinching win are Michael Jordan (1990 vs. Philadelphia),Hersey Hawkins (1991 vs. Milwaukee) and Scottie Pippen (1991 vs. the Lakers).

Both NBA Conference Finals end in five or less

The Warriors ended the Western Conference Final series in five games with a win over the Rockets on Wednesday night, a day after the Cavaliers completed a sweep of the Eastern Conference Finals with a victory over the Hawks. This marks only the second time in the last 29 years that both NBA Conference Finals series ended in five or fewer games. The only other time that happened over that span was in 2011.


 

MLB

nullThor and the Mets

Noah Syndergaard did not allow a run while pitching one out into the eighth inning and had a big day at the plate going 3-for-3 with a home run in the Mets’ 7-0 blanking of the Phillies on Wednesday afternoon. The only other rookies to hurl at least seven shutout innings while lashing out three or more hits including a home run are Colorado’s Jason Jennings, who pitched a shutout and had three hits and a homer against the Mets on August 23, 2001 and the Dodgers’ Larry Sherry, who did not allow a run over 8.2 innings and recorded three hits and a long ball against the Cardinals on August 15, 1959.

nullThe Yankee nightmare continues as A-Rod passes Gehrig…..and Thome

Alex Rodriguez hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the fourth inning in the Yankees’ 4-2 win over the Royals on Wednesday afternoon. Rodriguez’s blast, the 50th of his career against Kansas City, not only allowed him to break Lou Gehrig’s American League record for career RBIs, it also set the mark for most career home runs hit against the Royals, a record he shared with Jim Thome entering Wednesday’s action.

nullCruz goes the dynamite

Nelson Cruz broke a scoreless tie with a two-out, three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning in Seattle’s 3-0 win over the Rays in Tampa on Wednesday afternoon. Cruz became only the second player in Mariners’ history to break a scoreless with a two-out home run in the ninth inning or later, joining Logan Morrison who went deep with two out and two-men on in the top of the ninth against the Angels in a 3-1 Seattle win on September 18, 2014.

Pirate pitching stifle another opponent

The Pirates defeated the Marlins by a score of 5-2 on Wednesday extending their winning streak to six games. Pittsburgh has allowed two or fewer runs in each of the six wins during its streak. The only other time the Pirates have won six consecutive games, while allowing two or fewer runs in each game, over the last 38 seasons was in 1992, when Pittsburgh had a nine-game streak of that kind.

nullKipnis loves batting first

Jason Kipnis went 3-for-5 in the Indians’ 12-3 win over the Rangers on Wednesday afternoon. It’s the eighth time that Kipnis has had three hits in a game in this month. Prior to Kipnis, the last Indians player to record at least eight three-hit games in a calendar month was Kenny Lofton, who had eight in August of 1995. It is also the highest total in a calendar month by a second baseman since San Francisco’s Jeff Kent had eight games with at least three hits in June 2002.

nullLaRoche in extra innings

Adam LaRoche singled in the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning leading the White Sox to a 5-3 win over the Blue Jays on Wednesday afternoon. LaRoche’s 855 career RBIs ranks 20th among active major league players, but his 26 RBIs in extra-innings are tied with Carlos Beltran for the fifth most among current players behind Albert Pujols (35), Alex Rodriguez (33), Ryan Howard (29) and Matt Kemp(27).

nullAnother Arenado

Nolan Arenado drove in three runs in the Rockies’ 6-4 win over the Reds on Wednesday afternoon. It’s the sixth time that Arenado has had at least three RBIs in a game this season, tied with Paul Goldschmidt for the major-league lead in that category. Prior to this season, Arenado drove in at least three runs in a game only five times in the 244 major-league games he had played in during his career.

nullPanik at the Disco

Joe Panik hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning giving the Giants a 2-1 lead in a game they would go on to win 3-1 on Wednesday afternoon. It’s the first time Panik had multiple RBIs in a game this season. He entered Wednesday’s action with the most games played (44) among players that did not have a multiple-RBI game this season.

nullFinally Hicks

Aaron Hicks hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning in the Twins’ 6-4 win over the Red Sox on Wednesday afternoon. Hicks entered the contest on a streak of 71 consecutive plate appearances without driving in a run, which was the third longest current streak for any major-league position player entering Wednesday’s action, behind Mike Baxter (103) and Coco Crisp (72).

A’s struggle in close game again at home

The A’s dropped a 3-2 decision to the Tigers in Oakland on Wednesday afternoon. Oakland has now lost each of its last 12 home games that were decided by one run dating back to last season. It’s the longest such streak since 1894, when the Cubs had a 12-game streak of that kind and the National League Louisville club (spanning 1893-1894) had a 13-game streak.

nullScherzer loves the Nat’l League

Max Scherzer hurled seven shutout innings and struck out 13 in the Nationals’ 3-0 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Wednesday. The only other visiting pitchers to not allow a run while registering at least 13 strikeouts at Wrigley Field are Cincinnati’s Ewell Blackwell (1948), the Dodgers’ Sandy Koufax (1961), Cincinnati’s Jim Maloney (1963), Atlanta’s John Smoltz (1996), San Francisco’s Jason Schmidt(2004) and Milwaukee’s Mike Fiers (2014).

nullHeyward homers

Jason Heyward led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a game-tying home run and the Cardinals scored another run later in the inning to defeat the Diamondbacks on Wednesday night. It was Heyward’s 89th career home run but only the third of which came in the ninth inning or later with his team trailing and either tied the game or put his team ahead. The only other times he did that were on April 20, 2010 and August 17, 2013.

I went to law school – I got a football scholarship!

RIP: Patrick Swayze sadly died of pancreatic cancer in 2009

Word is someone got drunk recently and thought it was a good idea to remake this movie.  Not a continuation that could have had a guest appearance by Keanu, ya know, helping with clues on how he stopped the “Ex” Presidents, blah blah – No a full-on reboot!  The remake we neither wanted nor needed, and wait until you see this trailer – should have called it something else besides “Point Break”!  Called it something else like, Jason Bourne’s Fast and Furious Twilight Adventure 10.  They took something that was simple and fun and made it moody.  I’m gonna stick up for younger me and boycott this movie purely based on principle.  How do you replace the magic of Swayze, the awkwardness of Keanu and the bat-shit-craziness of Busey?  What’s next a remake of Roadhouse?  Is someone out there intentionally trying to ruin titular movies of our youth, just for CGI cash-grabs?  This movie fails to have the gang wear the ex-presidents masks, and it is also not centered around surfing, like the original – it’s more nonsense about international markets and youth soccer – than some bruddahs searching for sum toasty-tubular waves looking out for 50yr-storms.  Even the catch-phrase: do you know how many laws you broke? Gravity? Are you serious?!  This is just cookie-cutter junk – Delroy Lindo being the stereo-typical police-chief – throw in some stunts and let the story fill itself out – just like The Last Action Hero (except that was making fun of itself).  Is Hollywood all out of ideas?  I’m so angry that I need to watch the original a few times, just to get the taste out of my mouth, because I might have thrown up a little.


NBA

James does it again

LeBron James finished the Cavaliers’ four-game sweep over the Hawks averaging 30.3 points, 11 rebounds and 9.3 assists per game. James is the first player in NBA history to average 30/10/9 in a playoff series of any length. Honorable mention to Oscar Robertson who averaged 33.4 points, 12.4 rebounds and 8.6 assists for Cincinnati against Boston in a seven-game series in 1963.

Another Atlanta Choke-job

The Cavaliers swept the number one seed Hawks in the Conference Finals. Cleveland is only the third team under the current payoff format (since 1983-84) to sweep a playoff series against the top seed from its own conference. The Lakers swept the Spurs in 2001 and the Nets Swept the Pistons in 2003.

NHL

Brassard Hat-trick gives Rangers another Game 7

Derick Brassard scored three goals and added two assists as the Rangers avoided elimination with a 7-3 win over the Lightning. Brassard is only the third player in NHL history to record a hat trick and at least five points in a road game in which his team faced playoff elimination. Lanny McDonald (three goals, two assists) did it in 1977 for the Maple Leafs at Pittsburgh in the final game of a three-game series won by Toronto. McDonald scored or assisted on all five goals scored by the Leafs in a 5-2 win. Greg Paslawski did it for the Blues at Minnesota in 1986 (three goals, two assists).

Brassard is the fourth player in Rangers history to record a hat trick in a game in which the Blueshirts faced playoff elimination. Frank Boucher did it against Toronto in the 1932 Stanley Cup Final, Ron Duguay against Philadelphia in 1980 and Mark Messier in the “guarantee” game against New Jersey in 1994

MLB

nullKershaw, loves Chavez Ravine

Clayton Kershaw has allowed three or fewer runs in each of his last 29 starts at home, the second-longest streak of that kind in major-league history. Doc White had a 32-start streak of that kind for the White Sox spanning the 1905 and 1906 seasons, when the team played at South Side Park. (Comiskey Park didn’t open until 1910.) The third-longest streak is by Adam Wainwright, who allowed no more than three runs in each of 28 straight home starts spanning 2009 and 2010 at Busch Stadium.

nullFielder en fuego

Prince Fielder had another three hits and three RBIs for the Rangers on Tuesday night (26pts-DK) giving him 14 hits and 15 runs batted in over his last five games. Over the last dozen seasons the only other major-league player with at least 14 hits and 14 runs batted in over a five-game span is Alfonso Soriano for the Yankees in August 2013 (15 hits, 18 RBI).

nullDonaldson a 48 on DraftKings

Josh Donaldson went 4-for-4 with two homers, four runs batted in and five runs scored. Donaldson is the second player in Blue Jays history to go 4-for-4 or better with at least four RBIs, four runs scored and two homers. Carlos Delgado did it against Tampa Bay on September 25, 2003 (4-for-4, 4 runs, 6 RBI, 4 HR).

One of Donaldson’s homers was in the first inning and the other was a three-run walkoff blast. Only two other Blue Jays hit a first-inning homer and a walkoff homer in the same game: Otto Velez on May 4, 1980 and Reed Johnson on June 15, 2003.

nullYankees drop a deuce in the first inning

Mark Teixeira hit a two-run home run in the first inning and the Yankees cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Royals. The Yankees have scored two-or-more first-inning runs 14 times this season, four more such first-innings than any other major-league team. The Bronx Bombers are 10-4 in those 14 games.

nullPirates’ are shivering timbers

Jeff Locke did not allow a run in 5.2 innings pitched continuing a recent trend of excellent starting pitching for the Bucs. Pittsburgh’s starting pitchers are 5-0 with a 1.06 earned-run average over the last five games. The last time the Pirates’ starting pitchers went 5-0 with an ERA that low over a five-game span was in August of 1977 (5-0, 0.69 ERA). The Pirates starters in those five games were John Candelaria (twice), Bruce Kison, Jerry Reuss and Jim Rooker.

nullSeager hits two late homers – scores 39 in Draftkings

Kyle Seager hit a grand slam in the eighth inning and a game-winning homer in the tenth inning in the Mariners’ win over the Rays. Seager is the sixth player in Mariners history to hit two homers in the eighth inning or later in the same game. Donnie Scott (1985), Jim Presley (1986), Jay Buhner (1992), Russ Davis (1999) and Michael Saunders (2012) also did it.

nullSchumaker likes pinch-hit doubles

Skip Schumaker‘s pinch-hit double in the ninth inning drove in the winning run in the Reds’ win over the Rockies. Shumaker has doubled in four of his last five pinch-hit appearances. The last Reds player to have four extra-base hits over five plate appearances as a pinch-hitter was Tony Perez in 1976. Perez had a double, home run, home run, fly out and double over five pinch-hit appearances.

nullHolliday extends streak early

Matt Holliday‘s RBI-single in the first inning extended his reach-base-safely streak to 42 games tying the modern franchise record to open a season which was set byAlbert Pujols in 2008. It was the 20th time this season that Holiday extended his streak in his first plate appearance of the game.

Tigers beat Oakland, 1-0

The Tigers beat the A’s, 1-0, in Oakland on Tuesday night. It was the first 1-0 win the Tigers have ever had in a game played in Oakland. Tuesday night’s game was the 257th between these two teams in Oakland, including the playoffs.

nullCastro finally has clutch hit, leads Astros

Jason Castro‘s two-out double in the seventh inning broke a 1-1 tie in the Astros’ 4-1 win over the Orioles. Castro entered the at-bat with a .138 batting average with two outs and runners on base this season (4-for-29).

nullIt’s May-tober

Madison Bumgarner improved his record to 9-1 in games played in May over the last two seasons. That’s two more May wins than any other pitcher over that span.

–Elias with the assist

Tuesday Dregs

Did you know LeBron James finished with 37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists, and scored game 3’s last five points over the final 40 seconds as the Cavaliers moved out to a three-games-to none series lead with a 114-111 overtime win over the Hawks on Sunday? No other player has ever reached all of those totals (37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists) in an NBA playoff game.

James earned the 12th triple-double of his playoff career, surpassing Jason Kidd’s total of 11 and moving into second place all-time, behind Magic Johnson, who had 30. James achieved the triple-double with his tenth assist with 3:49 remaining in the third quarter. No NBA player had produced a triple-double within the first three quarters of a playoff game since Chris Paul, playing for the New Orleans Hornets against the Lakers, did that in 2011. No NBA player had earned a triple-double so early in a game since 2009, when Rajon Rondo achieved it with 6:15 to play in the third quarter, playing for the Celtics against the Bulls.

James finished with 37 field-goal attempts, the most he has ever taken in any NBA game, during either the regular season or the playoffs. He missed all nine of his first-quarter field-goal attempts, becoming the first player to take that many shots in the first quarter of a playoff game and to miss them all since Tim Duncan went 0-for-10 from the field in the first quarter of Game 1 of a Western Conference Semifinal series against the Lakers in 2002. LeBron also missed his first shot in the second quarter, becoming the second player in this year’s playoffs to miss his first 10 field-goal attempts of a game. (Isaiah Thomas missed his first 10 shots from the floor in Game 4 of a first-round series against Cleveland.) Among other players who have started past playoff games with double-digit streak of misses: Duncan (twice), Carmelo Anthony (twice), Ray Allen and Tony Parker.

James Harden scored 45 points, grabbed nine rebounds and handed out five assists as the Rockets avoided a sweep with a 128-112 victory over the Warriors. The 45 points is the third-most ever scored by a player for a team that was down, three-games-to-none, in a playoff series, behind the 51 points scored by the Warriors’ Sleepy Floyd in 1987 against the Lakers and the 46 points scored by Miami’s Dwyane Wade against the Celtics in 2010.

Only one other player scored at least 40 points, grabbed at least nine rebounds and handed out at least five assists in a game for a team that was down, three-games-to-none, in a playoff series: Tom Chambers for the Suns against the Lakers in 1989 (41 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists).

The Warriors (20-for-46) and Rockets (17-for-32) combined for 37 three-point field goals made and 78 three-pointers attempted. The 37 three-pointers made were the most ever in an NBA playoff game, breaking the record of 33 set by the Seattle (20) and Houston (13) in Game 2 in 1996; and the 78 shots from beyond the arc were also the most ever in an NBA playoff game, breaking the mark of 70 by Oklahoma City (35) and Houston (35) in Game 2 in 2013.

The Warriors are only the second team, regular season or playoffs, to lose a game in which they made 20 three-pointers. The Nets lost to the Nuggets on Jan. 11, 2012 despite making 20 shots from beyond the arc. NBA teams that made 20 or more three-pointers are 15-1 in the regular season and now 2-1 in the playoffs.


Ben Bishop posted a 2-0 win over the Rangers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final, after giving up five goals in both Game 3 (a 6-5 overtime victory) and Game 4 (a 5-1 loss). Bishop is the only the third goaltender in NHL history to record a playoff shutout after allowing at least five goals in each of the previous two games of the same series. The other goaltenders to do that were the Quebec Nordiques’ Dan Bouchard against the Flyers in 1981 (Game 3) and the Canadiens’Carey Price versus the Bruins in 2008 (Game 7).

Toews heroics are not enough

Jonathan Toews scored a pair of goals in the final two minutes of the third period to tie the score at 4-4 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final, but the Blackhawks’ late comeback proved to be in vain as Matt Beleskey scored 45 seconds into overtime to win the game for the Ducks. It was the fifth time in NHL playoff history that a team tied a game after trailing by two goals in the last two minutes of regulation time, and Toews is the first player to score both the tying goal and the one before that. The last team before Chicago to stage a two-goal tying rally in the final two minutes of the third period was the Bruins in Game 7 of their first-round series against the Maple Leafs in 2013. Milan Lucic scored to get the Bruins within one goal, and Patrice Bergeron netted both the tying goal in regulation and the series-winner in overtime.


Never Before

Francisco Liriano struck out 12 batters and earned the win as the Pirates completed their three-game series sweep of the Mets. Gerrit Cole struck out ten batters in his series-opening win on Friday, as did A.J. Burnett in his victory on Saturday. It is the only time in modern major-league history (1900 to date) that a team’s starting pitchers won three straight games within one series while recording a double-digit strikeout total in each game.

Big Game James? 

The Padres averted being swept in their three-game series at Dodger Stadium behind the pitching of James Shields, who improved his record to 6-0 this season. Shields is the only pitcher who has won as many as six games for his new club after switching major-league teams during the past offseason. Since 2010, spanning his time with the Rays, Royals and Padres, Shields is 7-0 in 11 regular-season starts in games in which his team was in danger of being swept in a series, and each of those seven wins came on the road.

Historic Failure

Jeremy Guthrie gave up four homers and allowed 11 runs while getting only three outs against the Yankees on Monday. Guthrie is the first starting pitcher in major league history to give up at least four homers and allow 11 or more runs in a game in which he recorded no more than three outs.

Still doesn’t play on Sundays

Andre Ethier‘s solo home run in the eighth inning broke a 2-2 tie and the Dodgers went on to beat the Braves, 6-3, on Monday night. It was career home run #151 for Ethier, 14 of which have been go-ahead homers in the eighth inning or later (9.3 percent).

The only active players with more go-ahead homers than Ethier in the eighth inning or later since 2006 are Albert Pujols (17), Miguel Cabrera (16), Prince Fielder(16) and Chris Young (15). Jose BautistaJustin Morneau and David Ortiz also have 14 such homers since 2006.

Not since…

Prince Fielder went 3-for-5 with a home run in the Rangers’ win over the Indians. Fielder is now batting .365 with nine home runs in 45 games this season. The last Rangers player to have at least nine homers and a batting average of .360 or better over his first 45 games of a season was Josh Hamilton in 2012 (.368 with 20 homers).

Fielder has 11 hits and 12 runs batted in over his last four games. The only other player in Rangers franchise history with that many hits and RBIs over a four-game span is Ivan Rodriguez from July 30 to August 2, 1999. Pudge had 13 hits and 12 RBIs over that four-game span.

Miss me Milwaukee?

Giants’ leadoff batter, Nori Aoki, went 4-for-4 with a home run in their win over the Brewers. Aoki is the fourth Giants player over the last 60 years to go 4-for-4 or better with a home run from the leadoff spot in the batting order. Bobby Bonds, who did it three times (once each in 1971, 1972 and 1973), Marvin Benard (1998) and Randy Winn (twice in 2005) were the other Giants players to do it over that span.

Arenado times two

Nolan Arenado has seven hits and knocked in seven runs over his last two games. Arenado is the first major-league player this season to have that many hits and RBIs over a two-game span and he’s the first Rockies player to do it since Carlos Gonzalez had exactly seven hits and seven RBIs over two games in May 2012.  That is about how long it has been since we have seen anything from CarGo.

Elias Sports Bureau with the assist…

Shovelin’ DiRT

It’s been a rough weekend – all those buzzer beaters, sure does angry up the blood pressure to unhealthy levels – causing one to black out once or twice from the insanity.

Rare is not just a unicorn, it’s also a buzzer-beater in the playoffs.  Just think about how seldom it actually happens – that someone goes from way downtown to win the game with no time left and this weekend it happened back-to-back-to-back.  The trend started with Derrick Rose on Friday, continued with Paul Pierce on Saturday and finished with Lebron James yesterday, (watch all three).

With Kanye giving the introductions and throwing a mini-concert during the first media timeout, you could understand why the game itself was so ugly – a true visionary was in attendance.  It was like having to sit thru another Adam Sandler movie of hippity-dippity-doo – the game had a fantastic ending that almost wasn’t.

Dave Blatt – Mall Cop – almost cost his team a victory, twice.  First by calling three consecutive timeouts to get a proper inbound pass, then attempting to call a timeout he didn’t have after the Bulls tied it up, only to be saved from a technical by Tyron Lue.

Then, secondly, wanting the best player in the league to inbound the ball with 1.5 seconds left.  Huh?!  Thankfully the GM and real head coach of the Cavaliers changed the play call and took the shot himself.  Just think how different the Superbowl would have been if Lebron was there.  I have seen enough of Dave Blatt as a coach.  He has no idea what he is doing and the internal struggle of his adolescent mind is going to cost Cleveland down the road.  A 13yr-old babysitter can make better decisions in crisis, seriously!

Another coach that has to go is Kevin McHale and his ridiculous flashback to old-school basketball last night against the Clippers.  Dusting off his Celtics playing-days-playbook backfired as the Rockets went down again like it was dollar day at the whore-a-porium.  If you cant beat them – beat them up!  Hous-Done sent Deandre Jordan to the charity stripe 28 times in the first half – he made 10 – and now the Clippers are set to face the Grizzlies in the Western Conference Finals.  Is that presumptuous of me?  Have you seen the psychological warfare the Grizzlies are employing on the Warriors as they grind them down?  If the Warriors win tonight, maybe they get to the conference finals – but look closer – Golden State has no answer for Z-Bo or Gasol and they also cannot stop turning the ball over.  It doesn’t help that the Splash Bros are having trouble hitting water falling out of a boat.  The Warriors missed the memo in all their regular season praise that said playoff basketball is different and follows the fundamental principles of going inside out and defending the post.  Heart is found on the inside, not out on the wings.

Tonight is “what are you made of” night.  The Hawks and the Warriors could be one more step closer to beach reservations by way of Memphis and Washington.  Winning might just delay the inevitable either way – we’ll see – but I’m placing my money on Memphis(+4) and The Wiz(+4.5).  Watch both games tonight on TNT beginning at 7p EST.


One more time for the cheap seats – you can only deflate a ball so much before physics take over and when you consider all the league has done in favor of offense – how does this faux-rage continue to rave on?  If a league seceded control of the game-balls to the teams, then doesn’t a ball that is easier to catch and throw, better for TV?  The league could erase it all right now by controlling the game-balls the same way they do the balls used for kicking and make everyone play under the same conditions – so why don’t they?

If you are unable to move past this and feel as Troy Aikman does, that this is an issue of integrity – then you also agree that Hizzoner must also be held accountable in his meriting of sanctions.

“For the balls to have been deflated—that doesn’t happen unless the quarterback wants that to happen. I can assure you of that. Now the question becomes, Well, did Bill Belichick know about it? This whole comment by Roger Goodell based on the Saints when Sean Payton got suspended for the year, and he said, ‘Hey, ignorance is no excuse.’ That’s gonna come back and haunt [Goodell] again. It haunted him during the whole Ray Rice situation. And now it’s going to haunt Roger Goodell in terms of what the punishment is for the New England Patriots and Bill Belichick. If ignorance is no excuse, and it wasn’t for Sean Payton, and I think it’s going to be severe. Now twice under Bill Belichick—and possibly a third time—they’ve cheated and given themselves an advantage. And to me, the punishment for the Patriots and/or Bill Belichick has to be more severe than what the punishment was for the New Orleans Saints.”

Troy Aikman on radio station KTCK in Dallas

Goodell told the Saints that ignorance was not a suitable defense – so where does this hypocrite turn now?  Either integrity of the game is serious business or it isn’t.  For Goodell, he created this mess of swift frontier justice and unfortunately any decision made will bring scrutiny.  He needs to step down.  The league, under his watch is a breeding ground for incompetent psychopaths and criminals – that continues to fester under his reign.  It used to be the NFL was worried about gamblers challenging the integrity of the game – not it’s own employees.  I want my brutes honest and my coliseum spotless.  I also want the NFL to stop acting like a bad reality show on some shore in Jersey.


This Day in History from History.com…

1981
Bob Marley dies

In what would prove to be the next to the last concert of his tragically short life, Bob Marley shared the bill at Madison Square Garden with the hugely popular American funk band The Commodores. With no costumes, no choreography and no set design to speak of, “The reggae star had the majority of his listeners on their feet and in the palm of his hand,” according to New York Times critic Robert Palmer. “After this show of strength, and Mr. Marley’s intense singing and electric stage presence, the Commodores were a letdown.” Only days after his triumphant shows in New York City, Bob Marley collapsed while jogging in Central Park and later received a grim diagnosis: a cancerous growth on an old soccer injury on his big toe had metastasized and spread to Marley’s brain, liver and lungs. Less than eight months later, on May 11, 1981, Bob Marley, the soul and international face of reggae music, died in a Miami, Florida, hospital. He was only 36 years old.  Here is an old video of Bob, singing Redemption Song.

Dishin’ DiRT

This game was bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!  If you turned this game off when the Warriors were down 20 in the 4th, then shame on you – because we might be watching a season of legendary proportions with this smiling assassin, Steph Curry.  He salsas, he drains threes and each week does something that has us forgetting that basketball was ever played before him – it has, I’m just slathering hyperbole like extra-mayonnaise on a sandwich.  Just think about what we watched for a second last night, with under 6 minutes left, the Pelicans had a 99.8% probability of winning by INPREDICTABLE.

The Pelicans dominated the #1 seed, as if they had switched places for the first 42 minutes.  In the first three quarters, Anthony Davis was 10-17 with 13 rebounds and all night the wings for the Pelicans lived in the paint or had wide open shots – New Orleans made Norris Cole look like an all star last night – it was that kind of domination, for 42 minutes.  This is why the Warriors likely will win the West, there is no substitute for this kind of offensive explosion at any time and cold-blooded-ness.

You must consider the Warriors motivation; instead of giving the game away down 17 early in the 4th – as most coaches would have done – Steve Kerr put Steph Curry back into the game.  Probably because Ryan Anderson hit a few shots and talked trash to the bench.  From then on Draymond Green and the rest of the Warriors grabbed 10 offensive rebounds – Green 4 of them – repeatedly beat the Pelicans to the glass – making up for their poor shooting.  The biggest of the 10 was the last one.  But before that, look at the 3 Steph made to give the Warriors a shot at OT:

In every other instance with how games are ref’d in the NBA, how is that not a foul on Curry?!  That and-1, could have sealed it for the Warriors and no overtime – Curry gets crushed after the shot.  But to back up a bit – how do the Pelicans not foul before Curry shoots the ball – either the one that got them to within two – or the last one BEFORE he gets the ball?  Of course Monty Williams, the Pelicans HC, said he told his players to foul, they just didn’t execute his plan – but let’s be serious – Monty Williams has trouble telling anyone anything – anyone hear if he had a problem with the crowd tonight be too loud and illegal?

What should concern Monty more is, where was Davis in the 4th and especially in OT?  A talented kid like that, has to stop starting strong and tiring late.  If he ever wants to be a serious contender, he’s got to something other than what he has been doing.  Someone like Davis and that skill-set should dominate for all four quarters, not just 3 – remember he had 13 rebounds in 3 qtrs, only got two more the rest of the night.

So what did we learn?  We learned that coming back from 20 is a dubious distinction – no other team can give you that kind of magic, and yet it leaves you wondering how the best team puts itself in that position.  The Warriors have yet to play a full 48 minutes and as the playoffs go on, other teams will not make the same noob mistakes as the Pelicans have.  As a fan though, do we care?


 

On April 12th, this was Yordano Ventura having some words with the Millville Meteor after a line drive single, that Trout later scored on.  Yordano never thanked Catcher Salvador Perez for saving his life, thus keeping his Napoleon complex in tact – because on his next start he started another brawl with the Athletics for throwing at Brett Lawrie.  Ventura was not suspended, only fined, and so was available for his third start last night against the White Sox when he ignited this melee:

Five players were ejected: Ventura, Edinson Volquez, Lorenzo Cain, Chris Sale and Jeff Samardzija.  I love the spunk Yordano has, but when your first three starts empty the benches, you have to wonder if it’s you – it is.  For the Royals, we get it – no one took you seriously and you’re out to prove last year was no fluke – April hasn’t finished yet and you guys are acting like a bunch of Jersey Shore goomba’s who feel slighted because someone is making fun of your uneven-spray-tan and height – like: what did more damage, SuperStorm Sandy or your fake tan and chlamydia, what, are you still upset your mom had to buy two car seats when she drove you to the store?  If we are going to assign blame, than it goes all the way back to 1973, and the Designated Hitter.  Ventura would have less Macho-Man if he had to swing a bat.  Or maybe it’s revenge for this in 2002, after-all it is the Chicago way.


 

Some strange facts for the 2015 season:

  • It is the first time ever that a team that won the World Series (SF Giants) had a 7 game losing streak in April and the team that lost the World Series (KC Royals) had a 7 game winning streak in April.
  • When the RedSox and the Yankees played a 19 inning game, it was the longest ever for the RedSox – but it was also the first time that a team had won (Yankees) after blowing multiple leads after the 15th inning.
  • Bernie Williams retires today after not playing since 2006 – he never filed the paperwork.  After hearing about that Paul O’Neil also announced his retirement, after not playing since 2001 – same reason.
  • Trevor Bauer (Indians) is the only man in a 100 years to start a season of 9 innings of hitless baseball and not throw a no hitter.
  • Every game Tampa Bay has played this year, the team that scored first, won the game.
  • Last Tuesday the A’s became the first team to win shutouts in 4 of their first 9 games since 1910!  Then on Wednesday, the Tigers became the first team to do it since Tuesday.

 

April 26th, 1995 – was the first official game at Coors Field (’94 strike being the reason for the late start) and was a 14 inning gem that saw the Rockies beat the Mets, 11-9, on Dante Bichette’s game winning HR – starting the magic that would continue that season, earning the first wild-card, post-season berth.  The Rockies would lose to the Braves 3-1 in their first playoff appearance.  But that Opening Day was a long cold one that was phenomenal to witness.  Besides my memories of that game and of that moment, I still have the ticket from that day, signed by Pete Coors – how cool is that.  It is also the moment I asked the man upstairs to make sure that every Opening Day from then on is at least 60 degrees and partly sunny.  That ’95 team was something special – Walker, Gallaraga, Burks, Castilla, Bichette, Leskanic, etc…and that Home Run was the beginning of the Blake Street Bombers – we’ve had other memories since – but this was the beginning of the love affair.  Here’s a look back…