Thursday, May 28, 2015

NBA Finals is set

With last night's 104-90 win, the Golden State Warriors advance to the NBA Finals, where they will face the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Houston started off on the right foot, jumping out to a 22-17 lead after the first quarter.  But trouble emerged in the second quarter as the Rockets got out scored 35-24, and the Warriors never looked back.  Compounding the problem was Houston's James Harden.  His night started off right, stealing the ball away twice to begin the game.  But his dream night turned into a nightmare, turning the ball over a playoff record 13 times, and shot an ice-cold 2-for-11 from the field.  His only saving grace was his 10 for 13 from the free throw line.

It was a series that never really wanted to go the Rockets' way.  With the exception of Game 4's win to extend the series one more game, the Warriors were fully in control.

The Warriors will face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the finals, who swept the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference final.  It will be a long week of rest and Lebron James references on sports talk and highlight shows, as Game 1 of the NBA Finals is slated for next Thursday, June 4th at 9PM.

All games to air on ABC (locally, WTEN ABC 10)
GAME 1: Cleveland at Golden State - Thurs 6/4, 9PM
GAME 2: Cleveland at Golden State - Sun 6/7, 8PM
GAME 3: Golden State at Cleveland - Tues 6/9, 9PM
GAME 4: Golden State at Cleveland - Thurs 6/11, 9PM
GAME 5: Cleveland at Golden State - Sun 6/14, 8PM*
GAME 6: Golden State at Cleveland - Tues 6/16, 9PM*
GAME 7: Cleveland at Golden State - Fri 6/19, 9PM*
* - if necessary

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Both Stanley Cup Conference Finals to require 7th game

The greatest pair of words in sports will be uttered twice in the Stanley Cup Conference Finals.


A night after the New York Rangers manhandled the Tampa Bay Lightning to force a Game 7 at Madison Square Garden on Friday night, the Chicago Blackhawks defended their home ice to force a Game 7 against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night in Anaheim.

It is the first time since 2000 since both conference finals have gone the distance.

Noah Syndergaard: He can hit, too

Noah Syndergaard showed off some of his batting power he exhibited during his stint with the Las Vegas 51's on Thursday. 

In the 4th inning, he launched a solo homerun over the center field wall, travelling over 425 feet, to extend the Mets lead to 5-0.  On the power of his 7 1/3rd innings pitched, he help lead the Mets to a series sweep over the Philadelphia Phillies, winning the Thursday matinee 7-0.

He complimented his long bomb with a pair of singles to give him a 3-for-3 day.  His performance at the plate gives Terry Collins another option on the bench in a pinch hitter situation, as he will opt to go for a six man pitching rotation when Dillon Gee returns from the disabled list.

The Mets are off on Thursday as they get ready to host the Miami Marlins for a three game weekend series before heading west to San Diego and Phoenix for their first of two west coast trips this season.  Matt Harvey will take to the mound on Friday in the series-opener, which gets under way at 7:10PM.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Mets swept out of Pittsburgh

The Mets continue to get frustrated by the NL Central, getting swept by a second team in that division by way of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In the series finale, after the Mets scored in the top of the 5th to draw even with the Pirates on Wilmer Flores's hit, Andrew McCutchen turned Niese's walk to Jose Tabatha to lead-off the bottom half of the frame into two runs with his home-run.  Niese would not get out of the inning, surrendering another run to head to the dugout with the Mets down 4-1.

Erik Goeddel got out of the inning without any further damage, but had troubles himself in the 6th inning, emphasized by Starling Marte's three-run home-run that put the game away at 7-1.

The Pirates would go on to win the game 9-1, dropping the Mets to 2 1/2 games behind the Washington Nationals for first in the NL East.

The Mets have lost 5 of their last 6 games, losing 4 of those by 6 runs or greater, as productivity at the plate continues to plague the injury-depleted Mets.  David Wright continues to be on the disabled list, with his stint extended with the latest news that he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis.  Lucas Duda was scratched from the Sunday lineup with discomfort in his hamstring.  That led to a lineup that featured a .263 hitter as their best hitter (Daniel Murphy), and three position players hitting below the Mendoza line.

The Mets are 4-10 against the NL Central, with their only series win coming against the basement-dwelling Milwaukee Brewers.  The Mets will travel to Milwaukee next month for a three-game series.

What have we learned?
- Matt Harvey can dazzle, but he can have off days.  And when he has an off day, watch out.  The Pittsburgh Pirates sent him to the showers after four innings, torching him for a career-high seven runs which ballooned his ERA to 2.91.

- The Mets need players who can produce.  Producing even includes sacrifices, which the Mets were unable to do early on Sunday.  With two in scoring position and nobody out, the Mets struck out three times to leave them stranded.

- Terry Collins told media "There's no panic here" on Saturday.  But truth be told, this is becoming a very telling stretch for the Mets.  The magic of their 12-3 start in April is now gone, they now trail the Washington Nationals by 2 1/2 games, and their away record is a bothersome 7-15.  Injuries have built up, and the fans are clamoring for change.  The Mets could really use some good vibes during their upcoming series against the Philadelphia Phillies and Miami Marlins before embarking on their southwestern trip to San Diego and Phoenix next week.

Next Up
The Mets begin a six game homestand as they host the Philadelphia Phillies on a Memorial Day matinee.  Bartolo Colon will try to improve off his loss to St. Louis where he gave up 8 runs in 4 1/3rd innings.  Once 4-0 with a 2.77 ERA, Colon now sits 6-3 with a 4.85 ERA.  He will face Severino Gonzalez, who has calmed down a little since his season debut where he gave up 7 runs in 2 2/3rds innings of work.  He now has a 2-1 record after a pair of 5-inning games.

Coverage begins at 12:30PM on FOX Sports Radio 1230.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Sports Sunday: One of the busiest non-football days to hit our TV's

It's one of the busiest days on the sports calendar.  And it begins during the breakfast hours and continues through the night.

Not including the full 15 game slate for Major League Baseball today, here's what's going on:

  • The Monaco Grand Prix (8AM, NBCSN)
  • English Premiere League Championship Sunday (10 games all at 10AM, Various NBC Networks)
  • Indy 500 (Noon, ABC 10 WTEN)
  • Coca-Cola 600 (5:30PM, FOX 23 WXXA - Cable Ch. 7)
  • NHL Eastern Conference Finals: Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Rangers (8PM, NBCSN)
  • NBA Eastern Conference Finals: Atlanta Hawks at Cleveland Cavilers (8:30PM, TNT)
What are you looking forward to?  

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lundqvist Gets Torched in Overtime Loss

The Tampa Bay Lightning have Henrik Lundqvist's number.

Two nights after allowing 6 goals on 26 shots, Lundqvist had another game he'd rather erase from his memory bank on Wednesday.

However, this time, the Rangers did all they could possibly do to make up for Lundqvist's troubles, scoring five goals and forcing overtime with a Dan Boyle goal with less than two minutes to play in regulation.

But King Henrik misplayed a wrister from Nikita Kucherov, reacting only once the puck whistled past him, resulting in the overtime winner that sees the Tampa Bay Lightning take a 2-1 series lead after their 6-5 win.

It is the fourth time this season that the Tampa Bay Lightning have lit the lamp five or more times against Henrik Lundqvist.

Lundqvist will have a day off to walk the latest loss off, as Game #4 is on Friday in Tampa Bay.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Blackhawks Win in Triple Overtime after 2OT Goal is Disallowed

The Chicago Blackhawks evened their series with the Anaheim Ducks early in the morning, requiring three overtimes to finally net the game-winner nearly 80 minutes without a goal was played after Corey Perry's second period goal tied the game at 2.

But the game nearly came to an end sooner, as Chicago found the back of the net.  Only one problem, the goal was scored soccer-style, as Andrew Shaw hit the puck off his head to beat Frederik Andersen in the second overtime.

Rule 78.5 disallows goals that are scored by way of use of anything other than a stick.  And in this case, Shaw's forward movement off the head was a deliberate attempt to score.  Awesome attempt, though.

Thankfully, Marcus Kruger gave the Blackhawks win in the third overtime, sending the series back to Chicago tied at 1.

Chicago fans were finally able to meet their pillows at 1:09AM Central Time.  They'll get a night off to catch lost sleep, as Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is on Thursday night.