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.

3rd Stone from the Sun

It’s wonderful.  It came in the nick of time.  The whole nation getting jittery from too much riot-news and the sporting public is demanding wilder and wilder sport-spectacles, to blot out the dark horizon…and then it happens, everywhere and all at once this Saturday.  The Sheriff and I start our day off with a bowling tournament of champions for our kids and that got me thinking about something my friend La-A (pronunced Ladasha, not kidding) said.  La-A lives up the road from the bunker and says she wants to open a chain of national bowling alleys where house rules require that you check your clothes at the door.

“It keeps them from stealing,” she told me.  “A naked person is an honest person.  We have low operating costs – free labor, no taxes, new friends in strange places and extremely addictive behavior five times a week.”  Hundreds of thousands of otherwise decent people could already be hopelessly addicted to naked bowling, which renders them useless for normal work.  Not too mention the chicken-choking-freaks that’ll hang around – you’ll notice them by the stains on their jeans.

They are the wetheads, a plague of leeches on the body politic.  They’ll dim the brain as well as the body and eventually the victim gets sucked dry and dies.  That is dead weight – which is fatal to a fast-moving economy.  Could any sane person even tolerate naked bowling – think of the tragic encounters and everything it stands for – the sound of the heavy black ball crashing down on anything made of wood-polymer in a contortionist ballet of the body, could make anyone disordered.

But if they succeed and make it a recognized sport in this country with proper rules and regulations of appearance – I am after-all, a professional sportswriter – it says so right here on my credentials – and I would have to report on what I see for you, the public, watching real-life naked bowling.  It would be televised on some Canadian HBO, late at night, pitting two teams of extremely naked women with huge breast implants and fake lips going head-to-head – that no doubt would be wearing Hooters T-shirts if this were anything else but organized recess – and let me tell you, they’d be going for it – locked in a scoreless tie after 13 frames of pretty frantic bowling.

Sounds about right…Let’s all get naked and go bowling.  Why not?  Where can you watch this stuff?  Where is one, right?  It’s still better than going to the Derby.

If you have ever been to Churchill Downs, then you know how truly heinous an experience it can be.  I can tell you that Derby Week in Louisville is a white-knuckle orgy of booze, sex and violence that, 99 times out of 100, swamps anybody who goes near it in a hurricane of fear, pain and mind-numbing disasters that will haunt you for the rest of your life.  The behavior of the crowd on race day is like 100,000+ vicious hyenas going berserk all at once in a space the size of 787 or a basketball arena.  Going is worse than volunteering to join Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg, and just as fun.  I still have recurring nightmares that cause me to wake up sweating and screaming like someone pulling a tape-worm out thru my nose.  My memories are extremely clear and far too obscene to describe here – some involve jails, insane asylums, trials, beatings, police-brutality and private graveyards filled with victims of tragic medical experiments.  You’ll come back with stories of people being deliberately set on fire and tortured by drunken rich people who then hurl their bodies off a cliff into the Ohio river and laugh about it later.  Only to have their families be told by the authorities that they must have ran off to Hollywood to get famous with a band of Turkish horse-gamblers.

Things like that happen every year when the Derby comes around – some simply disappear into thin air or come back with horrible disfigurements and no memory.  Others end up in “hospitals down south” and never mentioned again by people who knew them.  You’d like to think Eyes Wide Shut was just a movie, but Omerta is the code of the South, especially when weird shit is committed by rich people.  Horse people have very small attention spans for anything involving humans – you can read it in the obituary of some head on collision, with an unidentified truck far out on the River road and a private cremation ceremony for close family members only, who wish to remain anonymous.

Thankfully the Derby itself is only 2 minutes long – in sports few things last that long, a Rousey knockout, Sumo wrestling and drag racing are the only tings that come to mind. I have a soft spot for betting the Derby, regardless of the scars from being a witness.  So I’ll bet from a far and begin to enjoy one of the greatest Saturdays of all time.  If you’re wondering, No horse has ever won the Derby from the 17th position and that is where American Pharaoh, the favorite, starts.  With that information, these are the horses that will finish 1-4 in any order: International Star, Frosted, Firing Line, and Dortmund – I have not yet settled on Win, Place, Show, but will definitely Box these four.

Rarely can you find this much action in one day outside of a cockfight in rural Arkansas, but thankfully we have a Game 7 with the Spurs/Clippers and the night finishes off with Pacquiao/Mayweather.  It is more rare that a main event in Las Vegas starts before midnight on the East coast – and considering a NBA game is usually 2.5 hours, you’ll get to watch all 3 events on a Saturday night – just remember who owns Saturday night and the possibility of long lines at the ATM.

We all have a vice and tomorrow night indulges most of them, even for the most ardent opponent of affluent clemency.  It’s all decadent and depraved.  It will satiate our blood-lust as we circle the drain of Dante’s toilet-bowl – It’s what happens when it all accumulates on TV making long-distance hunch bets on a horse named Dortmund.  I’m starting to feel a bit decadent and depraved myself, maybe it’s all true and too much of this causes brain cancer – I will do some more research and report back later – I’ve got some bets to make and some friends to fleece.  Buy the Ticket, take the Ride!