What You Need To Know For Wednesday, Dec. 16 2015

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1.

Degenerate Pete

Speculating is a vice, millions are hooked and many will suffer grievously before this holiday season is over, because of their desires of the heart – not the head. The traditional “Christmas spirit” runs completely against the grain of the natural laws of Speculating, which have nothing to do with silly human weaknesses like Generosity or Kindness or Carelessness.

If Santa Claus had a speculating habit, he would have been dead a long time ago. There are a lot of Criminal Psychos between here & the North Pole, and they would show no mercy on a goofy old man who gets loaded one night a year and drives around through strange neighborhoods with a truckload of jewelry & furs & gold Rolexes. What if ISIS got their hands on him? They would set him on fire & stuff him head-first down a smoking chimney.

Which is not much different from how Professional speculators treat their victims at Xmas time, which also happens to be the end of the football season & the start of Playoff frenzy that will build & grow & throb like a Shark’s heart for 33 more days until Super Bowl Sunday.

Just like Pete the Penultimate.  He was denied again reinstatement by Commish Manfred.  As Ed Graney notes in his article for the Las Vegas Review-Journal: After MLB’s latest hypocritical ruling, Pete Rose doesn’t get it.”

Pete is a shady, classless, swarmy, dirty, clueless, unpenatent-hit king.  The debate may never be over, because however you may moralize the crimes of Clueless Pete – you will see on your tour of the museum of baseball, that he is only one of many deplorable characters that played the game.  For Pete, just shut up, tell your lawyers to shut up, stop making money on autographs and other mementos in Cooperstown, and be the ambassador you think you actually are, and never show – be more than about Pete Rose – if you can.  Kneel before the Gods of Baseball and beg forgiveness and walk the valley as the shepherd – then maybe….until then you might just have to be satisfied as the second best baseball player in hell, because Ty Cobb leads that team.

2.

Tell the Truth

As Danny Kanell avenges the war on football, Bob Costas believes football’s biggest problem can not be fixed.  Is Football headed to a Running Man scenario where football players are fielded by inmates and the shouts from the Colosseum grow louder for the lions?  Everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses.  Who will deny the public what it wants?!

read more here:

3.

Missouri Compromise

It’s usually adorable when politicians try to venture into college sports. Combine grandstanding with a distinct lack of understanding of the system upon which an elected official is attempting to impose rules, and you have a recipe for comedy. Today’s example comes from Missouri state representative Rick Brattin, who has introduced a bill that would revoke the scholarships of athletes who refuse to play for any reason other than injury.

This is obviously a response to the Missouri football team’s threat in November to sit out a game against BYU. That move by the players turned a local story into a national one and basically got Missouri’s system president and chancellor fired. And while there is a robust argument to be had about whether that was the appropriate result, this isn’t the site for that. Today, as the Internet commenters always command, we’ll stick to sports.

Source: Analyzing the dumbest piece of college athletics legislation imaginable

4.

Way to Early Heisman Race 2016

NEW YORK—As Derrick Henry walked out of the Heisman Trophy winners’ press conference Saturday night, the next item on his to-do list was to text his grandmother Gladys. The woman who gave Henry his nickname (Shocka) couldn’t make it to the Big Apple to celebrate with the Alabama junior tailback. She was in a Florida hospital, but that hospital hosted one heck of a party.

Meanwhile, Stanford do-everything back Christian McCaffrey and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson left the ceremony already planning a return visit. They’re sophomores, and it’s quite possible they’ll be back here next year. It’s also quite possible one of them will hoist the trophy. But don’t just picture those two with the Heisman. Take a look at the top eight vote-getters from this season.

1. Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama (1,832 points)
2. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford (1,539)
3. Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson (1,165)
4. Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma (334)
5. Keenan Reynolds, QB, Navy (180)
6. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU (110)
7. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State (79)
8. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State (57)

Besides McCaffrey and Watson, Mayfield, Fournette and Cook will return next year. So will Oregon tailback Royce Freeman, who led the Pac-12 in rushing (1,706 yards). So will Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett, who looked like a Heisman candidate as a redshirt freshman and should own the Buckeyes’ starting job free and clear as a redshirt junior. So will UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, who looked like a budding superstar in his first few college games and should enjoy the fruits of a year-one-to-year-two improvement.

Source: Early look at 2016 Heisman race: Who follows Derrick Henry?

5.

Out of Chaos Comes Order

Every season, hundreds of college football teams line up for a three-month, 12-game haul in the hopes of gaining a spot in the College Football Playoff.

This year, it was an easy selection. Clemson, Alabama, Michigan State, and Oklahoma were the right picks. It was a relatively easy night for Jeff Long and his committee.

However, looking back at the regular season, six critical plays were needed to make this year’s selection such a simple one. Had these plays not happened, controversy would’ve reigned supreme over the college football world.

Here are the six plays that defined the 2015 college football season.

Source: Sports Central / Sports Articles and Columns / College Football / Six Plays that Defined the 2015 Season

Kane's point streak ends at 26, Avs blank Blackhawks

6.

You Play to #Win the Game

”We didn’t focus on (Kane’s streak), we focused on winning the hockey game,” Colorado coach Patrick Roy said. ”I thought we did a good job offensively, defensively. in the neutral zone.

”I liked our game tonight, and our goalie was really solid in key moments in the game.”

Source: Kane’s point streak ends at 26, Avs blank Blackhawks

#ElectionDay #NBA + #NHL News & Notes

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1. NBA Bounce House

Duncan sets NBA record for wins with one team

Tim Duncan scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the Spurs‘ 94-84 victory over the Knicks on Monday. Duncan has 954 regular-season wins with the Spurs, passing John Stockton (953 with Jazz) for the most victories by a player with one team in NBA history. Rounding out the top three is Stockton’s teammate Karl Malone, who had 919 wins during his tenure with Utah.

Duncan has a 954-381 (.715) regular-season record with the Spurs. Among the 10 players with at least 700 wins with one team, only one has a higher winning percentage with that team: Duncan’s teammate Tony Parker. With Monday’s win, Parker improved to 728-284 (.719) in his Spurs career.


25,000 points for James

With his 22 points scored in the Cavaliers‘ win on Monday, LeBron James reached 25,001 regular-season points in the NBA, in his 915th career game. James is the 20th player in NBA history to score 25,000 points; only three of those players reached that mark in as few games as he did. Ahead of him on the list are Wilt Chamberlain (691 games), Michael Jordan (782), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (889).

James also added 11 assists in Monday’s game, becoming the sixth player to record a double-double in the game in which he surpassed 25,000 points, joining Chamberlain (who had a triple double when he reached that mark in 1968), Jerry West (1973), Abdul-Jabbar (1980), Karl Malone (1997), and Tim Duncan (2014).


Westbrook joins elite groupAltX.Logo.white

Russell Westbrook totaled 25 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds in the Thunder’s loss on Monday. Westbrook has 121 points, 37 assists, and 30 rebounds in four games this season. Only two other players in NBA history had at least 120 points, 30 assists, and 30 rebounds over their first four games of a season, and each did so twice: Oscar Robertson (1961-62 and 1966-67 seasons) and Larry Bird (1984-85 and 1987-88 seasons).


Harden leads the way for Rockets

James Harden scored 37 points as the Rockets earned their first win of the season, a 110-105 triumph over the Thunder. Dwight Howard had the second-highest points output for Houston in Monday’s game, with 16 points. Last season, Harden played in 12 games in which he scored at least 20 more points than any of his teammates. Only one other player had at least five such games in the 2014-15 campaign: Russell Westbrook, with eight.


Warriors win big after trailing at the end of the opening quarter

The Warriors defeated the Grizzlies, 119-69, on Monday after trailing by one point at the end of the first quarter. Golden State is just the second team in NBA history to win a game by at least 50 points after being outscored in the opening quarter. The first such instance occurred on February 1, 1983, when the Bulls came out victorious over the Rockets, 129-76, after also trailing by a point at the end of the first.


Curry has another big quarter

Stephen Curry scored 30 points, including 21 in the third quarter, of the Warriors’ 119-69 victory over the Grizzlies. It’s the second straight game in which Curry scored at least 20 points in a quarter, having netted 28 points in the third period of the Warriors’ win over the Pelicans on Saturday. The last player with a 20-point quarter in consecutive games was Jamal Crawford in January 2007. Crawford had 23 fourth-quarter points on January 24 against the Suns and had two 20-point quarters in his next game on January 26 versus the Heat (20 points in second quarter and 23 in third).


2. ‘Ockey News – The Quick and the Dead

Toews and Kane find success against Quick

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane each scored a goal for the Blackhawks as they posted a 4-2 victory over the Kings which ended L.A.’s winning streak at seven games. Toews has scored 11 goals in his 21 regular-season games against Quick, which ties him with Radim Vrbata for the third-most goals versus the two-time Stanley Cup-winning netminder, behind Shane Doan and Patrick Marleau (12 each). Kane scored only one goal in his first 13 regular-season games versus Quick but he’s tallied seven goals in eight regular-season games against him since then.


Lupul nets a pair in Leafs’ victory

Joffrey Lupul scored two goals in the Maple Leafs’ 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars’ in Toronto. It was Lupul’s first multiple-goal game since the last time the Stars played at Air Canada Centre, a 5-3 Maple Leafs victory on Dec. 2, 2014 in which Lupul notched the final two Toronto goals. Lupul finished the 2014-15 season by scoring only one goal in his last 30 games but he’s the Maple Leafs’ leading scorer with five goals this season.

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Learn More About #KarmicResponsibility

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1. Further Mis-Adventures of #KarmicResponsibility

This is Pittsburgh’s Bartman.  Maybe one of the most complete teams the Pirates have ever had and some douche-nozzle comes up with THIS, AND gets a Hotel chain to produce them to pass out.  Hey, it’s #Murica and we all have that luxury – but just because we can, doesn’t mean we should and #5 is the example hillbilly fandom that screams #KarmicResponsibility.  Beyond the Nuclear-Level of OCD this fan has – he must have forgotten you never plan cheers – you’re not Duke fan and it’s never clever.  I say HE because we all know, only a man would come up with this from his mother’s basement.

Anyway, now the Cubs move on to face a team in the Cardinals that seem to be held together by duct-tape – aren’t they every year? – so now we get two fanbases, that dislike each other, to such a degree, that they both act like everyone’s drunk uncle, on Thanksgiving, at your Mom’s house, with her new boyfriend that looks a lot like Jim Tomsula…Cubs fans are excited, again.  Like a dog chasing cars – it seems like the dopamine dump, cubs fan gets, shuts off their common sense and they quickly forget/bury the destiny that they are to blow it in the worst way.  All we need now, is some clown to get a world series tattoo and complete the affront to #KarmicResponsibility – or some other nonsense that creates the cyclical train-wreck of sorrow Cubs Fan is so used to.


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2. ALDS Preview: Rangers v BlueJays

3:30 PM EST ALDS Gm 1 Rangers @ Blue Jays Gallardo (13-11) at Price (18-5) FS1 / SNET

Those plucky Rangers are back in the playoffs, and it seems they only get there when they have Josh Hamilton, and Cole Hamels – eeery.  To start the season, the 2015 Rangers found themselves without young phenom Profar and staff Ace, Yu Darvish – and further seemed out of it by the trade-deadline.  Then they traded prospects for Cole Hamels, strengthened their bullpen, got healthy and went on a second-half tear to win the division from the Astros.

For the BlueJays, you have to remember 2012, when they finished with a 73-89 record and by trades and free agent signings they brought in Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey only to improve by one game.  In 2014, the BlueJays improved to 83-79, so when they were looking at a record of 45-46 at the All-Star break, the ‘Jays pushed all the chips in on Tulowitzki and David Price, to go along with 2015 free-agent signee and possible AL MVP josh Donaldson, to become an offensive juggernaut that can play D and pitch.

  • For all the talk that the Toronto Blue Jays are the obvious best team in the American League — they’re the overwhelming Vegas favorite, and ESPN’s Jayson Stark has already picked them to win the World Series — the one thing Toronto wasn’t this season was the best team in the American League. The Jays didn’t…(continue reading)

CorreaCain

3. ALDS Preview: Astros v Royals

7:30 PM EST ALDS Gm 1 Astros @ Royals McHugh (19-7) at Ventura (13-8) FS1

No-longer are they the Lastros – an organization that averaged 108 losses from 2011 to 2013 and are baseball’s youngest team – they beat the Yankees on Tuesday and now face their opposite in every way.  It’s Manufacturing versus Big Oil.  The steady-rolling production of the Royals, versus the Boom-or-Bust-strike-it-rich nature of the Astros.

  • Just three short years ago, the Royals went 72-90. It was their ninth consecutive losing season, and their eighth out of those nine that they had lost 90 or more games. Being a Royals fan meant unrelenting misery. It meant being unhappy on purpose. That same year, though…(continue reading)

4. Saturday Afternoon in Death Valley

If any fanbase can understand and appreciate what Gamecock fan is going thru – its Tiger fan.  What comes to mind for me is 2005 when LSU had to go to Arizona State after Hurricane Katrina for a home game in the desert.  Arizona State donated the gate receipts from the game to LSU and the Fiesta Bowl covered LSU’s travel expenses – in return, LSU will pay it forward to South Carolina, and what could have been a trap game looks a bit more fortuitous for LSU – so Saturday I’ll cheer for South Carolina before and directly after the game.

  • Because of the aftermath from flooding that began last weekend, officials felt it was unwise to play the game at the regularly scheduled site of Williams-Brice Stadium. Access to areas of the city, the safety of the infrastructure and the availability of drinking water were major concerns……(continue reading)

5. Banner Raised

Last night was the start of the NHL season if you were to busy to notice watching the Pirates and Cubs.  In Chicago they raised another banner and the Rangers started the Blackhawks off with a L.  If you do not have NHL-CenterIce package to watch all the ‘Ockey you want – I think you can find games on the NBCSN channel – I just have no idea where to find it…but anyway here is Yahoo Sports preview of all 30 teams from the Puck Daddy staff:

 

DiRTy Thursday

Toews scores 10th goal, Chicago ties series

Jonathan Toews scored his 10th goal of the playoffs, tying Patrick Kane for the team lead, in Chicago’s 2-1, series-tying win over the Lightning on Wednesday. The only other playoffs in which the Blackhawks had more than one 10-goal scorer were 1971 (Bobby Hull 11, Jim Pappin 10) and 2010 (Dustin Byfuglien and Patrick Sharp 11 each, Kane 10).

The first four games of this year’s Stanley Cup Final have been decided by the minimum margin. There have been just two other Finals in which the first four or more games were decided by one goal: all five games of the Canadiens vs. Maple Leafs series in 1951 and all four of the Canadiens vs. Blues series in 1968.

Brandon Saad‘s tiebreaking goal in the third period was the game-winner for the Blackhawks. Saad has scored seven goals in the Blackhawks’ 10 playoff games at United Center this year, which ties him with his teammate, Patrick Kane, Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov and Anaheim’sCorey Perry for the most goals in home games in the 2015 playoffs. Going back to the second round of last year’s playoffs, Saad has scored 12 goals in his last 16 postseason games in Chicago.

Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig returned to the Dodgers’ lineup, and last night against the Diamondbacks he was a triple away from the cycle after the fourth inning. It was a very Puig game, complete with a opposite-field homer.

Cardinals have a pair of young aces

Carlos Martinez improved to 7-2 with a win over the Rockies on Wednesday; his fellow 23-year old teammate Michael Wacha is 8-2. The Cardinals are the first team to have two pitchers age 23 or younger win at least seven of their first 12 starts of a season since Dwight Gooden (8-2) and Sid Fernandez (7-2) did so for the Mets in 1986.

A surprising start by Morton

Charlie Morton, who had a 36-61 career won-lost record in the major leagues prior to this season, improved to 4-0 in four starts this year with a win over the Brewers on Wednesday. He’s the first pitcher to win his first four games of a season after entering the year at least 25 games under .500 since Red Ruffing for the Yankees in 1934. Ruffing, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1967, had spent the 1920s with some poor Red Sox teams, before being acquired by the Ruth-and-Gehrig Yankees.

Nationals stun Yankees with late comeback

The Yankees led the Nationals, 4-2 in the eighth inning on Wednesday, but Washington scored twice in the eighth and once in the eleventh to win, 5-4. It was the Yankees’ first loss after leading by two or more runs in the eighth inning or later since August 27, 2012 against Toronto.

The Yankees’ streak of 164 consecutive wins when leading by two or more runs in the eighth inning or later was the longest for any major-league team since the Twins’ 207-game streak from 2004 to 2007. The only longer regular-season streaks for the Yankees were a 183-game streak from 2004 to 2006 and a 174-game streak from 1998 to 2000.

Washington took three of the four meetings between the teams this season, despite trailing by multiple runs in all four games. The Yankees are 28-4 against all other teams this season when they have had a lead of at least two runs.

Hunter loses his mind

Royals return to throne

The Royals finished off their sweep of the Twins and moved two games ahead of Minnesota in the A.L. Central with a 7-2 win on Wednesday. It’s the first time since 1982 that Kansas City has swept a series from a division rival to move into first place, and force their opponent out of first place, at least 50 games into a season. The Royals won three games from the Angels from July 2-4 to move past California into first place in the A.L. West. California wound up winning the division by three games over Kansas City.

Tuesday DiRT

A Hobbled Ben Bishop Is Good Enough

Have the Blackhawks run out of MeauxJeaux?  It seems like maybe they have.  Crawford appears to be too mercurial – that 3rd goal – it was like he didn’t expect anyone to be in front of his net. He made no effort to break up the pass or to get over. I don’t get it.  Every goalie lets up softies, but you rarely see an NHL goalie look like a soccer goalie does when a cross connects to the far side and he has no chance. Maybe it’s because the NHL nets are only 4’ wide.

Why does he stand up instead of just pushing across? He’s still on that post, but standing, as the puck goes in. He must not have known anyone was there, but with that many of his own guys you still have to respect the deflection. That looked lazy or confused. I think at times, he’s very good and underrated/unappreciated, but how easy that goal was, that one confounded me.

At the other end, Bishop was fighting the puck all night, but I think the possible-injury made him keep things simple. As the game went on, he largely let the puck just hit him and then tried to find the rebounds. Early he was aggressive — he had the horrible 2-pad stack on Hossa’s missed net and the attempted glove save where he reached far out in front and tipped it into his own net. Some big athletic goalies are better off when they can keep things simple, and he did that for the last two periods. I would like to find out what the injury is after the series – if there is one.

But…Then again it could be a replay of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2013.  You know the one when Boston went up 2-1, after the Blackhawks won Game 1.  Toews did not record a single goal in those first three games, nor did Kane.  It caused plenty of panic in Chi-Town.  This team seems to operate at a different frequency than most.  They almost prefer to save their best hockey for when a series gets later, (see Western Conference Finals).  It typically starts right around Game 4.

Want to know how well the Blackhawks play in late in the series?  In games 1-3, under Quenneville, the ‘Hawks are 30-30.  In games 4-7, the ‘Hawks are 40-14!  But who knows, if you’re a fan of the Blackhawks, you have to worry a little – can’t keep pulling rabbits out of your hat – lose game 4 and it might be over.

Notes I can’t put anywhere else:

  • Cedric Paquette‘s goal with 3:11 remaining in the third period snapped a 2-2 tie and earned the Lightning a 3-2 win over the Blackhawks in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. In Game 1, Chicago’s Antoine Vermette scored the go-ahead goal with 4:34 left to play in regulation time which provided the winning margin in the Blackhawks’ 2-1 victory. This is the third Stanley Cup Final since the NHL took exclusive possession of the trophy in 1927 in which there were two games with a tiebreaking goal scored in the last five minutes of the third period. The others were the Maple Leafs against the Red Wings in 1964 (Toronto’s Bob Pulford in Game 1, Detroit’s Alex Delvecchio in Game 3) and the Hurricanes versus the Oilers in 2006 (Carolina’s Rod Brind’Amour in Game 1, Edmonton’s Ryan Smyth in Game 3).
  • The Blackhawks posted a 2-1 win in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, but the Lightning has won Games 2 and 3 by scores of 4-3 and 3-2. This is only the third time since 1977 that each of the first three games of a Stanley Cup Final series was decided by a one-goal margin. That also happened in 1998 (Red Wings vs. Capitals) and 2010 (Blackhawks vs. Flyers).

check out our new BASEBALL page.  We have included several new things for you to help select your #DraftKings MLB Lineup.  We will have all the info you need by 3p MST everyday.

 

DiRT on Monday

Is there no-one else out there besides Jeff Van Gundy who sees how terrible the refs are in this series, especially last night?  You either look at this series as Cleveland could be up 2-0, or Golden State could be – you could look at it that Golden State had a chance, even with the poor shooting of Steph Curry – and either way you look at it, last night was a game that was so ugly, it fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down – but that dumpster-fire was entertaining to watch.  Do you doubt why the league suffers from conspiracy theories?  Watch the Refs in game 2 again, and you’ll see why – none of the calls and non-calls make any sense – how does Lebron not get some of those call towards the end – it was worse than Hack-A-ShaQ?  About the only thing Lebron did not do to win this weekend, was ride American Pharoah.

What I believe to know is that, Lebron is the only guy out there who knows what it takes to win and he is doing everything he can about it.  But can he continue to overcome the obstacles and JR Smith?  Can Golden State stop playing outside-in?  When will Cleveland stop trying to blow it at the end?  I have no real idea on any of it.  Thankfully, this series is turning into an all-timer, Spurs-Clippers-esque.  Hopefully whatever side of the fence you find yourself on, you’re enjoying it as much as we are here.

Notes I cannot put anywhere else:

  • LeBron James produced game-high totals of 39 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists to lead the Cavaliers to a 95-93 overtime victory over the Warriors in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, knotting the series at one win each. James joined Jerry West as the only players in the history of the NBA Finals to achieve a triple-double with as many as 39 points. West scored 42 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and handed out 12 assists for the Lakers in their Game 7 loss to the Celtics in 1969.
  • James became the second player to produce outright game highs of points, rebounds and assists during the NBA Finals, joining Shaquille O’Neal, who did so at Los Angeles in the Lakers’ Game 2 victory over the Nets in 2002 (40 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists).
  • Stephen Curry scored 19 points in the Warriors’ loss on Sunday while making only two of his 15 attempts from beyond the arc. It was the first game of Curry’s NBA career, regular season or postseason, in which he missed as many 13 three-point field-goal attempts. His previous high was 11 missed three-pointers, done three times, twice during the regular season in the 2013 calendar year and once earlier in this year’s playoffs (7-for-18 against the Pelicans in Game 3 of the first round). The only other player in the history of the NBA Finals who missed as many as ten three-point field-goal attempts in one game is John Starks, who went 2-for-18 from the field, including 0-for-11 from three-point range, in the Knicks’ Game 7 loss at Houston in 1994.
  • The Cavaliers-Warriors series is the first in the history of the NBA Finals in which the first two games each required overtime and it’s the first series in any round of the NBA playoffs in which Games 1 and 2 both went to overtime since the Mavericks and Trail Blazers split the first two games of their best-of-five first-round series in 1985, both at Dallas, with the first game going to double-overtime and the second game decided in one extra period. It’s only the second time that two consecutive games of an NBA Finals went to overtime at any point during a series. The Knicks won Game 3 of the 1970 Finals and the Lakers won Game 4 of that series, both requiring overtime at Los Angeles.
  • Draymond Green blocked three field-goal attempts by LeBron James in Game 2, including two in overtime. The only other player who has rejected three of James’s field-goal attempts in one playoff game is Serge Ibaka, who did it for the Thunder in a Game 2 loss to the Heat in the 2012 Finals

If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?  The same parable works for Horse Racing.  A triple crown winner has finally occurred after 37 years – will it save Horse-Racing?  Does it change the average persons viewpoint on the ponies?  Did you actually watch the race?  I mean before you told people on Facebook how awesome it was that it happened?  So what have we learned from an Egyptian of Jewish decent who’s horse was Grand-Sired by Empire Maker – the same horse that ruined Funny Cide’s Triple Crown in 2003 at the Belmont – you might have learned that the Triple Crown is hard in baseball and in horse racing – it’s the 12th time for horse Racing and Miguel Cabrera in 2012, was the 17th in baseball – the drought being 10 years longer in baseball.

So does this reinvigorate horse racing?  Not likely, but there is a cool stat to come out of it all – Miguel Cabrera, hit a two-run home run to give the Tigers the lead for good in their 7-1 win over the White Sox in Chicago Saturday.  The only other baseball player with a Triple Crown to his credit to hit a home run on the same day that horse racing welcomed a new member to its most elite club was Lou Gehrig. Gehrig, who led the American League in batting average, home runs, and RBIs in 1934, hit a homer on June 8, 1935, the day that Omaha won the Belmont Stakes, and two more on June 5, 1937, when War Admiral gained racing immortality.  Home Runs and Triple Crowns are hard – both on the same day is harder still.

Not sure why Bishop left in the third period, maybe he had to poop, but Vasilevskiy did just fine in stoning the Blackhawks.  In fact, the victory he earned in Game 2 is only the 4th time in NHL history that a goalie recorded a win in a Stanley Cup Final game, that he did not start.  The first time was in 1928 – one of the most famous in ‘Ockey ‘Istory – when Lester Patrick, the Rangers 44yr old coach, put himself in goal after Lorne Chabot was injured in game 2.  The “Silver Fox”, as he was known, helped the Rangers win 2-1 in overtime over the Montreal Maroons.  Vasilevskiy’s win was the first of his playoff career, making him the fourth goalie in 77 years to record their first playoff victory in a Stanley Cup Final game – the others:  Al Rollins, Toronto (’51), Hank Bassen, Detroit (’61), Jussi Markkanen, Edmonton (’06), and Patrick Roy, Montreal (’86).

 

Weekend Sediment

Before we get to the weekend recap – there is a tragic news story coming out of Florida – It seems an owner of a major-league-fantasy sports team decided to hold his wedding during the baseball season and subsequently neglected his team for a honeymoon destination without wifi.  His reckless decisions have placed his teams chances for a title in serious jeopardy that they may never recover from.  If this sounds like something you might do, then stop and think of your players.  Of course you can avoid any of these scenarios by playing Daily Fantasy with us and never have to worry about taking a vacation and ruining your teams chances, because each day is a new chance to earn some fresh lettuce.  We have developed a baseball solution based on avoiding zeroes and increasing your chances to cash 75% of the lineups you enter.  So, look for our information by 2p each day based on the amount of games being played in our BASEBALL page.  Now on with the recap!


Lightning strikes

From Elias: Ben Bishop became the first goaltender in NHL history to send his team into the Stanley Cup Final with a road shutout in a Game Seven, as he lifted the Lightning into the Final by blanking the Rangers, 2-0. For Bishop, it was his second Game Seven shutout of the 2015 playoffs; he had blanked the Red Wings, 2-0, in the seventh game of Tampa Bay’s first-round series. Bishop is the third goaltender in NHL history to earn a pair of Game Seven shutouts in one playoff year. The others were Colorado’s Patrick Roy in 2002 (vs. Los Angeles and San Jose) and Boston’s Tim Thomas in 2011 (vs. Tampa Bay and Vancouver). (For Bishop, unlike Roy and Thomas, the shutouts came in the first two Game Sevens of his NHL career.)

Bishop, who recorded an assist in his Game Seven win versus Detroit, did the same in Friday’s victory against the Rangers. The only other NHL goaltenders with even one career assist in a Game Seven shutout are Pittsburgh’s Frank Pietrangelo in 1991 (vs. New Jersey) and Colorado’s Patrick Roy in 2002 (vs. Los Angeles).

Bishop shut out the Rangers not only in Game Seven, but also in Game Five. No other goaltender had ever pitched a road shutout in a winner-take-all road game after also having earned a shutout in his previous game on the same ice.

The Lightning’s victory, on the heels of a 7-3 loss in Game Six on Tuesday, marked the first time in NHL history that a team had won a series by means of a Game Seven road shutout after having allowed at least five goals in the previous game.

Toews puts Chicago on path to victory

From Elias: The Blackhawks, on a pair of goals by Jonathan Toews, outscored the Ducks, 2-0, in the first period of Game 7 in the Western Conference Final at Anaheim. Toews is the third player in NHL history to score two first-period goals for the road team in the seventh game of a playoff series. The other players to do that were the Maple Leafs’ Dave Keon at Montreal in a 1964 Semi-Final series, and the Kings’ Ted Irvine at Oakland in a first-round series in 1969. The last NHL player to score two first-period goals for the home side in Game 7 was the Bruins’ Milan Lucic in a second-round matchup versus the Flyers in 2010.

Kane helps on three goals

From Elias: Patrick Kane assisted on three of the Blackhawks five goals in their win over the Ducks in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final. In the NHL’s expansion era (1968 to date) the only other players to record three assists in the seventh game of a Semi-Final or Conference Final series are Boston’s Jean Ratelle at Montreal in 1979 and Toronto’s Doug Gilmour versus Los Angeles in 1993, though each of them did so in a game their team lost.

Blackhawks offense comes alive in last two games of Conference Final

From Elias: The Blackhawks won 5-3 in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final, after posting a 5-2 victory in Game 6. It’s the seventh time in NHL history that a team won Game 6 and Game 7 of a playoff series while scoring at least five goals in each game, but it’s only the second time it has happened after the first round. The only previous instance of an NHL team winning a series in that fashion after the opening round was when Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings posted 5-4 wins over the Maple Leafs in Games 6 and 7 of the 1993 Campbell Conference Final.


Think of the Central time zone and the 4 teams that are .600 or better as the dog days begin – St. Louis Cardinals (33-17), Minnesota Twins (30-19), Houston Fir-stros (31-20) and the Kansas City Royals (29-19).  Maybe the Royals and the Cardinals are so much as a surprise as the Twins and Astros are – but no one saw this…

FRIDAY

Norris caps one-of-a-kind night with walk-off grand-slam

From Elias: Derek Norris, who had struck out in each of his four previous trips to the plate, hit a two-out, grand-slam walkoff homer in the ninth inning to propel the Padres to a 6-2 victory over the Pirates. It was the first game-ending grand-slam homer in the majors this season and the sixth such blow in Padres history, the last coming off the bat of Adrian Gonzalez five years ago. But fans at Petco Park on Friday night saw something never previously done in the history of major-league baseball: Norris became the first player to hit a walkoff grand-slam home run in a game in which he has previously struck out as many as four times.

Dodgers bring drought on the road with them

From Elias: When the Dodgers play in Los Angeles, they have to deal with water restrictions necessitated by the California drought. But now on the road, the Dodgers have experienced a scoring drought, one that reached a remarkable total of 37 consecutive road innings without a run as they fell, 3-0, to John Lackey and the Cardinals on Friday night. That total represents the second-longest streak of consecutive scoreless innings in road games since the Dodgers joined the National League in 1890. The one longer streak was fashioned during the Roosevelt administrationthat’s Teddy Rooseveltin August of 1908. In the midst of a 22-game road trip through six National League cities, the Dodgers went 41 straight innings without scoring in Pittsburgh and Chicago.

The 2015 Dodgers had lost three straight shutouts at San Francisco, May 19 to May 21, in their last road games before Friday’s contest in St. Louis. They have been shut out in four straight road games for the first time in franchise history.

Buehrle’s 204th win is unlike any of the others

From Elias: The Twins ended Mark Buehrle‘s streak of 35 consecutive innings without allowing Minnesota an earned run early and with emphasis, scoring four runs, all earned, in the first inning. But then Buehrle slipped back into form, the Blue Jays pecked away and the veteran left-hander wound up going the distance to earn a 6-4 victory. Only two major-league pitchers over the last 30 years have earned a complete-game win, going nine or more innings, after having allowed four or more runs in the first inningand even they were long ago. In 1995, Seattle’s Tim Belcher downed Cleveland, 11-5, after allowing four in the first, and in 1986, Fernando Valenzuela went the route after yielding four in the first to help the Dodgers top the Phillies, 11-4.

Buehrle’s streak, crafted over five games dating back to 2011, was the longest by any big-league pitcher against an opposing team since Zack Greinke held Seattle without an earned run over 38 innings from 2008 to 2010. It was the longest such streak crafted by a starting pitcher against the Twins since Sudden Sam McDowell sailed through 48 innings without allowing the Twins an earned run over 1968 and 1969.

Hamilton hits two in second home game of season

From Elias: Josh Hamilton homered on each of his first two trips to the plate off Boston’s Steven Wright and the Rangers took it from there, repelling the Red Sox, 7-4. Each of Hamilton’s home runs gave the Rangers a lead (1-0 and then 3-2), and they came in his second home game after re-joining the Rangers while the team was on the road earlier this week. The home runs were the 84th and 85th that Hamilton has hit in a Rangers uniform in what is now known as Globe Life Park in Arlington. He hit only one home run there in 62 at-bats over 16 games while with the Angels over the past two seasons.

Bettis and Tulo have their way in Philly

From Elias: Chad Bettis threw seven and one-third hitless inningsthe second-longest no-hit effort in the 3,548-game history of the Rockies, second only toUbaldo Jimenez‘s complete-game no-hitter at Atlanta five years agoonly to see his bid spoiled when Cody Asche‘s soft grounder to the shortstop position rolled through to the outfield because Troy Tulowitzki was overshifted onto the right side of the infield. Bettis, against whom opponents had fashioned a collective .320 batting average in his 40 previous major-league games, allowed another hit later in the inning and earned credit for Colorado’s 4-1 victory at Philadelphia.

Tulowitzki did his best work with the stick in his hands, going 4-for-4, and reaching Cole Hamels for a pair of home runs. It was the second game in his career in which Tulowitzki produced at least four hits, including multiple homers, while batting 1.000; he went 5-for-5 with two circuit clouts in a game at Cincinnati two years back. Hamels is the fourth pitcher against whom Tolo has homered twice in a game; he had previously homered twice in the same game off Sean O’SullivanBronson Arroyo and John Ely.

Bettis, by the way, did keep a couple of other no-hit streaks intact: He went 0-for-2 at the plate, and is now 0-for-23 in his big-league career. Rockies pitchers as a whole are now hitless in their last 34 at-bats.

Another short start for Strasburg

From Elias: Stephen Strasburg left the mound due to an apparent stiff neck in the second inning of the Nationals’ game at Cincinnati, and the Reds later came from behind to take a 5-2 decision. Strasburg has had major problems with length in recent weeks: including his one-inning effort on Friday night, he has now thrown a total of 16 innings over his last five starts combined. That matches the fewest innings that any big-leaguer accumulated over a five-start span (with no relief appearances sprinkled in) all of last season; the Angels’ Cory Rasmus was the lone pitcher last season who amassed just 16 innings over five straight starts.

SATURDAY

Dodgers finally score on the road

From Elias: Howie Kendrick‘s sixth-inning single scored Justin Turner and ended the Dodgers’ road scoreless streak at 42 innings. That surpassed by one inning the franchise record streak of 41, set in August 1908. No major-league team had failed to score in 42 consecutive innings in road games in 30 years, since the Braves posted a 46-inning streak in May 1985.

Grandal shows power with runners on

From Elias: Yasmani Grandal‘s three-run home run gave the Dodgers the lead for good in their 5-1 win at St. Louis. Grandal’s last two home runs were also of the three-run variety, both on May 7 at Milwaukee. The last Dodgers player to drive in at least three runs on three straight homers within one season was Adrian Beltre in 2003.

Keuchel White-washes Sox

From Elias: Dallas Keuchel struck out 11 without walking a batter in a complete-game 3-0 home win for the Astros over the White Sox. No Houston pitcher had struck out more than 10 batters without issuing a walk in a complete-game shutout since Randy Johnson fanned 16 Pirates at the Astrodome on August 28, 1998.

Stanton feels at home in Queens

From Elias: Giancarlo Stanton hit two home runs in the Marlins’ 9-5 win over the Mets in New York. It was Stanton’s third career-multi-homer game at Citi Field. That’s the third-highest total by any player behind current Mets slugger Lucas Duda(6), and former New York first baseman Ike Davis (4).

Paulsen homers off Garcia again

From Elias: For the second straight day, Ben Paulsen homered off Luis Garcia as the Rockies won at Philadelphia. Only two other rookies in the last 20 years have hit home runs in two consecutive games off the same pitcher: the Phillies’ Pat Burrell against the Mets’ Armando Benitez in June 2000, and the Braves’ Brooks Conrad off the Brewers’ Carlos Villanueva in May 2010.

Goldschmidt homers off Lohse in two straight innings

From Elias: Paul Goldschmidt hit two home runs, a solo shot off Kyle Lohse in the third inning and a two-run blast off Lohse in the fourth, in the Diamondbacks’ 7-3 win it Milwaukee. It was the third time that Goldschmidt has homered in consecutive innings, having done so against the Reds in 2013 and versus the Dodgers in 2014. But the last Arizona player to go deep in consecutive innings off the same pitcher was Aaron Hill against Madison Bumgarner at Chase Field on April 7, 2012.

SUNDAY

Hamilton gives the Rangers a dramatic win

Josh Hamilton‘s pinch-hit, two-run double off Koji Uehara with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the Rangers’ a 4-3 triumph over the Red Sox. It was the eighth game of Hamilton’s major-league career in which he produced a walkoff RBI, and in four of those games (all for the Rangers) his game-ender turned a deficit into a victory, three of which came in two-out situations. Sunday’s walkoff by Hamilton was the first for a Rangers pinch-hitter with the team trailing and down to its final out since June 2, 1995, when Rusty Greer‘s pinch-hit, two-run homer off Rick Aguilera with two outs in the bottom of the ninth gave Texas a 6-5 win over the Twins.

Colorado bullpen bails out injured Lyles for Philly sweep

Jordan Lyles lasted only 1.1 innings before his reoccurring toe injury forced him out of the game, but none of the four Colorado relievers who followed him to the mound was charged with a run in the Rockies’ 4-1 triumph in Philadelphia. Chris Rusin, who relieved Lyles in the second inning, tossed 4.2 innings and was credited with the victory. It was the 38th game in franchise history in which the Rockies’ starting pitcher recorded fewer than five outs, but it was the first of those games in which Colorado’s bullpen was not charged with a run.

Ten-hit shutout for Danks

John Danks answered Saturday’s shutout by Dallas Keuchel with one of his own on Sunday, as he scattered ten hits while the White Sox downed the Astros, 6-0. Danks became the first major-league pitcher since Minnesota’s Carlos Silva (11 hits) blanked the Angels on August 3, 2004 to toss a shutout in a game in which he allowed ten or more hits. The only other White Sox pitcher who did that in the post-WWII era is Stan Bahnsen, with a 12-hit shutout of the Athletics on June 21, 1973.

Frazier leads Reds in sweep of Nationals

Todd Frazier went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs as the Reds completed their three-game series sweep of the Nationals. It capped a four-game span for Frazier during which time he went 10-for-15 with four doubles and three home runs. In baseball’s modern era (1900 to date), the only other Reds players who produced ten or more hits over a four-game period, including seven for extra bases and a batting average as high as Frazier’s (.667) are George Crowe in 1957, George Foster in 1980, Kevin Mitchell in 1993 (two overlapping four-game spans) and Barry Larkin in 1995.

Maldonado had enough

After playing the entire game behind the plate, Martin Maldonado put an end to his long day of squatting with a game-ending home run that gave the Brewers a 7-6 victory over the Diamondbacks in 17 innings. Maldonado is the first player in major-league history who ended a game of at least 17 innings with a home run after playing a complete game in the field as a catcher.

A late comeback for the Braves

The Braves erased a two-run deficit with a four-run ninth inning that was capped by Jace Peterson‘s bases-loaded triple in their 7-5 victory at San Francisco. The Braves had lost the previous 70 games in which they trailed in the eighth inning or later (since a come-from-behind win against the Mets on June 30, 2014). That was the longest current losing streak of its kind for any major-league team entering play on Sunday (a distinction that now belongs to the Marlins, who have lost the last 40 games in which they were in that predicament) and it was the longest losing streak of that nature for the Braves since the Boston version of the franchise lost 108 consecutive games in which it trailed in the eighth inning or later from 1904 to 1905.

Kipnis reached base more often than not during May

Jason Kipnis went 2-for-5 with a walk in the Indians’ 12-inning win at Seattle and he posted an on-base percentage of .511 during May, with 51 hits, 16 walks and five hit-by-pitches. Kipnis is the first Indians player to reach base safely at least 70 times in one calendar month (via hits, walks and HBP) since Earl Averill did it 74 times in July 1934 (38 hits, 35 walks, one hit-by-pitch).

Angels win four against the mighty Tigers

Johnny Giavotella‘s infield single in the bottom of the eighth inning plated two runs to snap a 2-2 tie in the Angels’ 4-2 win that completed their four-game series sweep of the Tigers. It was the fourth time in franchise history that the Angels swept a four-game series from a team that entered the series with a winning percentage as high as Detroit’s (.583 at the time of Thursday’s series opener). The Angels’ previous sweeps of that kind came against the Indians in both 1965 and 1967 and versus the Athletics last August.

Flores takes his place among young power-hitting shortstops

Wilmer Flores, at age 23, slammed his eighth home run of the season to help Bartolo Colon and the Mets defeat the Marlins in New York. Flores’s eight homers match the major-leagues’ fourth-highest single-season total by the end of May for a shortstop under the age of 24. The only higher totals belong to Alex Rodriguez, who did it twice (ten in 1996 at age 20; 20 in 1998 at age 22), and Cal Ripken (11 in 1984 at age 23). Four other under-24 players had exactly eight homers form the shortstop position by the end of May: Arky Vaughan (1935 Pirates), Rico Petrocelli (1966 Red Sox), A-

Rod (1999 Mariners) and Jean Segura (2013 Brewers).

Rookie home-run streaks

Tampa Bay’s Steven Souza (at Baltimore) and Miami’s Justin Bour (at New York) each homered for a third consecutive game on Sunday, tying them with the Dodgers’ Joc Pederson (April 29-May 2) for the longest home-run streaks by major-league rookies this season. Souza became the third Tampa Bay rookie to homer in three consecutive games, joining Evan Longoria (two such streaks in 2008) and Kevin Kiermaier (last season). Bour joined a surprisingly long list of Marlins rookies with three-game home-run streaks, including Kurt Abbott (1994), who is the only one of them who homered in four straight games. The other Marlins rookies with three-game home-run streaks are Charles Johnson (1995), Derrek Lee (1998), Hanley Ramirez (2006), Josh Willingham (twice in 2006) and Giancarlo Stanton (twice in 2010).

Martinez extends his streak of scoreless innings

Carlos Martinez allowed only one hit during seven shutout innings as he and the Cardinals defeated the Dodgers, 3-1. Martinez extended his scoreless streak to 20.1 consecutive innings, which is the longest for any major-league starting pitcher this season. The only other Cardinals starter who fashioned a streak of consecutive shutout innings as long as Martinez’s in any of the last four seasons is Adam Wainwright, who had two such streaks last year (25 innings and 21 innings).

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.

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…

The 5th of May’s Lavanderia Sucia

I HAVE IT 115-113 PACQUIAO. BUT OF COURSE, THIS IS HIS HOME RING, HOMETOWN, HOME STATE. ANNOUNCERS BIASED.

— SKIP BAYLESS (@REALSKIPBAYLESS) MAY 3, 2015

This is a tweet by Skip Bayless, the tabloid emperor – Count Shout-U-la.  As you can see from this rant, he believes Pacquiao won the fight.  He has to, right?  That’s the format.  Skip has to play contrarian to Stephen A and his subjective admiration of Floyd Mayweather’s jock-strap tea.  Remember when detached objectivity was a cornerstone of journalism.  Say what you want about Floyd and his ambient-style of pugilism.  Say whatever you want about his undefeated record against both sexes.  However, what you must say and acknowledge is Floyd won the fight by out-boxing Manny.   Floyd landed 67 more punches – Manny only landed 19% of his – In every other American sporting industry, that is cataclysmic failure.  Skip has to play the part right – in this parody of a caricature of an argument?  He cannot be this bombastically blind, or maybe it’s just the death-cry of a man’s dignity dying before us.

Manny Pacquiao Could Face Legal Trouble For Hiding His Shoulder Injury

In other news…The fight that felt like it went on forever is still going on and this time it has legal ramifications – apparently fighters are injected like race-horses – note the medications taken last month by Manny.  The issue is, there is no disclosure of a a shoulder-injury that everyone conveniently provided as an excuse.  Under threat of perjury, Boxers are legally required to disclose their injuries – not just for obvious health reasons, but for the millions of dollars wagered on the outcome – we degenerates deserve honesty and full disclosure before we gamble.  In the real world this is fraud – in boxing this is normal – this is how the conspiracy starts and the next fight gets created.  We should all learn from our mistakes and stop wondering what happens when a Bear s#*^s in the woods.

The nickname, plus the logo were retired in 2012, and after a long protracted battle with the NCAA are trying to come up with some alternatives – and you can help!  Here are some from the CONSIDER list with authentic rationale:

  • Tundra Rats — The Tundra Rats name would evoke the cold inhospitable nature that is Grand Forks North Dakota. Rats are an intimidating animal.
  • Vicious Prairie Dogs — VICIOUS
  • Zombies — We already have a green, black, and pink color scheme, and zombies are cool
  • wombats — kind of like a golden gopher, only bigger. You said you wanted “unique”
  • TSUNAMIS — If UND is named TSUNAMIS we can still keep fighting TSU!!!
  • Swallows — Because UND has sucked for so long
  • Sunflakes — Grand Forks is the Sunflake City. Noone else will use the nickname. It’s at least as fierce as a banana slug.
  • Squirrels — Squirrels are awesome
  • Spacklers — Carl Spackler (most lethal gopher hunter in history).
  • Snowflake city — white people
  • Snowballs — We get a lot of snow in North Dakota, and also UND has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning a Division I championship.
  • Skunks — People from North Dakota refuse to take showers and smell funny; just like skunks. They have a natural aura of skunk poop.

consideration-list

non-consideration-list

Find your favorite and let us know!


What to watch…

NBA Playoffs  – conference semi-finals – The teams that have W’s in their nicknames play tonight, which is ironic since neither has any L’s so far in the post-season.  The Wiz take on the Hawks again at 8 EST on TNT and lead the series 1-0.  Memphis takes on the Warriors at 10:30 EST, also on TNT – interesting to note that the newly-minted MVP and Golden State are 44-0 when holding opponents under 100pts this year.

NHL Playoffs – Chicago @ Minnesota, Game 3, ‘Hawks lead 2-0 at 8 EST on NBCSN.  Anaheim @ Calgary, Game 3, Ducks lead 2-0 at 9:30 EST USA.

Person of Interest – season finale – Finch and Root try to save the machine from Samaritan, while Reese is in the middle of a gang-war.

The Flash – Dr. Wells(bad guy) unleashes Gorilla Grodd(other-bad guy) – A giant ape with mind-control abilities

So, celebrate the Battle of Puebla responsibly – you only need a little RDA of Vitamin T  – and hopefully your DVR can record more than one show.