Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sports Chowdah Not Quite Opening Day Edition- Yankees Get One Back; Can B's Capitalize? C's Get Knicked in Embarrasing Effort; UConn Women Perfect

OK, I think I've got making fun of President Obama's embarrassing ceremonial first pitch out of my system. To those in the punditocracy who chortled at his throwing like a girl, allow me to say that saying the President threw like a girl is hardly fair to women like Team USA Softball Gold Medalist Jennie Finch.

After an off day Monday, game two of the season opening series between the Sox and Yanks got underway at Fenway on Tuesday night. From the bottom of the 5th the contest was deadlocked at 4-4 until the top of the 8th when Hideki Okajima took to the mound. Jorge Posada led off the innng for New York with a ground-rule double into the right field stands. After getting Swisher to ground out, Bret Gardner singled and Curtis Granderson flew out to center before Jeter gounded to Marco Scutaro for what would've been the 3rd and final out of the inning if it weren't for Scutaro's low throw that Youkilis had to dig out of the dirt. This was followed by the bases-loaded walk to Nick Johnson to finally bring Posada home and put the Yankees up 5-4.

The Yankees would go on to get an insurance run from Robinson Cano in the top of the 9th and Mariano Rivera would come on to close out the game and gave up a 1-out double to Marco Suctaro before retiring Jacoby Elsbury and Dustin Pedroia to close out the game an the 6-4 win for New York.

OTHER RED SOX NEWS: The Red Sox and Josh Beckett have agreed to a four year contract extension yesterday. The terms of the deal weren't immediately disclosed.

NHL: Well.....I didn't hold out much in the way of high hopes for Boston's trip to Washington D.C. on Monday night- I mean an 8th place team struggling to hold on to their final playoff spot going up against the team with the best record in the league with less than a week left in the season.

But the Bruins surprised me (in the good way) with their effort against the Capitals on Monday, Even leading for 2-1 for much of the 2nd period on a Patrice Bergeron tally before the Caps got the equalizer from Mike Knuble with less than 30 seconds remaining in the 2nd. After a scoreless 3rd period, the Bruins held off a late charge by the Caps to send the game into overtime, giving the B's a very hard earned point. However, less than 20 seconds into the OT, the Caps got the game-winning tally from Brooks Liach for their 3-2 win over Boston.

Alex Ovechin was actually relatively quiet, with two assists (still leaving him tied w/Sidney Crosby at 46 goals) and from what I caught of the game, the Caps weren't simply resting their top players prior to the postseason; they seemed to be treating this like a regular-season game in November or December. Tukka Rask had 27 saves in he loss while Washington's Jose Theodore stopped 28 of 30 shots faced.

The Bruins will host the Buffalo Sabres Thursday night at the Garden. Meanwhile, Philadelphia shut out Toronto 2-0 and the Canadiens got a point from their shootout loss to the NY Islanders on Tuesday, Leaving Boston in 8th place with 85 points.

NBA: After hanging on to (barely) beat the Cavs on Sunday, the Celtics wet the proverbial bed against the New York Knickerbockers for some reason, losing 101-104....Ray Allen led the scoring for Boston with a whopping 17 points. Danillo Galliarni had 31 points, 5 rebounds and was 10 of 11 from the free throw line for the Knicks. The C's will travel to Toronto to take on the Raptors tomorrow night.

Good god...losing to the freakin' New York Knicks? That's just embarrassing....I'll have to hang my head in shame or something.

NCAA HOOPS: As some of you could probably tell during my March Madness coverage, my give-a-damn was irreparably busted. The final game featured Cinderella Butler against heavily favored Duke. Butler made it interesting, but in a championship as gratifying as watching the Yankees win the World Series or the Lakers win the NBA Finals, Duke held on to win 61-59, but only after a desperation half-court shot by Butler's Gordon Hayward rimmed out as time expired.

The UConn Huskies Women's hoops team capped another perfect season, beating Stanford 53-47 in the Women's championship game in San Antonio. That was actually a pretty close game by UConn standards, as they managed to beat most opponents in the 2009-2010 season by a margin of 8 or more points. I'm not a huge hoops fan, let alone women's hoops, but a monumental achievement like that deserves at least some comment from even the most ambivalent and dispassionate spectator.

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