Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sports Chowdah Update, June 25-26- Ghana Baby, Gone; Giant Problems Ahead for Sox?; Feeling Another Draft?

WORLD CUP: Extra time giveth, extra time taketh away. After advancing on a last-minute goal by Landon Donovan on Wednesday against Algeria, team USA faced Ghana earlier today. And while that game wasn't settled in regulation either, things didn't go team USA's way this time around. Ghana's Asomah Gyan scored the deciding goal three minutes into the overtime of their first elimination game, giving Ghana a 2-1 win. Landon Donovan scored the only goal for team USA, giving them a game-tying goal on his penalty kick in the 62nd minute.

It was a good effort by team USA, but they fell into a hole one too many times throughout the tournament. Ghana will advance to take on Uruguay next week after the Uruguayans beat South Korea 2-1 earlier today.

Elsewhere in the World Cup: Authorities in Zimbabwe say they have arrested two Pakistani men using fake passports at the South African border; one of them reportedly involved in planning the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks that killed 166. The men- which included Imram Muhammed who is sought by Pakistani and international authorities for his role in the mass-casualty attacks on India- were detained in the southern border town of Beitbridge last Sunday according to Zimbabwe's state-controlled Herald newspaper [A Bobby Mugabe mouthpiece, so caveat emptor, NANESB! readers- NANESB!]

AP/Boston Herald
MLB: While I was bracing for the worst in Tim Wakefield's start last night, it was a much closer game than I anticipated. Wake held the Giants to 3 earned runs (plus one unearned) over 7 innings- although he did give up 11 hits and had a costly throwing error with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 2nd. Londonderry, NH native son Brian Wilson came on in the 8th to close out the game for San Francisco and got some insurance (that he would need in the 9th) on a sac-fly that plated Nate Schierholtz to make it a 5-3 game for San Francisco. Youk would belt a triple to deep center with 2 outs in the 9th and get driven home on a Victor Martinez single before an Adrian Beltre single and Bill Hall walk would load up the bases , but Darnell McDonald would ground out to short to finish up the ballgame.

Just to make matters even more suck-tastic, Dustin Pedroia left the game in the 3rd inning on Friday night after fouling a ball off his foot in the top of the inning. X-Rays on the foot showed a non-displaced fracture on the navicular bone of his right foot earlier today and he was placed on the 15-day DL.

If that wasn't enough, things were looking as though they'd take a turn for the even-worse to start off earlier today. While Darnell McDonald kicked things off with a solo homer in the 1st inning, Clay Buccholz hyperextended his knee while running the bases after getting his first career base hit in the top of the 2nd. Scott Atchison came in and pitched two-and-one-third innings of relief starting with the bottom of the second, followed by Ramon Ramierez, Manny DelCarmen, Dustin Richardson, Hideki Okajima and Daniel Bard among others. The bullpen got alot of help from Mike Cameron- both with his bat- a 3-run homer in the top of the 2nd (Cameron's first with the Red Sox)- and his glove- a running, weaving catch on a well-hit Pablo Sandoval fly ball that looked like Cameron had lost in the sun before he slid into the outfield wall. The centerfielder was 1 for 3 on the day with the 3 RBIs on the day while Scott Atchison was credited with the win and Papelbon closed out the game with a 1-2-3 ninth inning good for the Red Sox 4-2 win and Pap's 17th save of the season.

The rubber game of the series tomorrow promises to be pretty interesting as Jon Lester (8-3) will start against 2-time NL Cy Young winner Time Lincecum (8-2). First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM Pacific time and 4:05 Eastern.

Other Red Sox news: Boston acquired infielder Eric Patterson from the Oakland A's this weekend in exchange for minor-leaguer Fabian Williamson. Patterson is batting .204 on the season with 4 home runs and 9 RBIs.

Elsewhere in MLB: It took 149 pitches, but we have another no-hitter for this season. Arizona's Edwin Jackson looked so wild at times that it was doubtful he could even get out of the inning, let alone go the distance without surrendering a hit. Jackson gave up eight walks and zero runs while striking out 6 in the Diamondback's 1-0 win over Tampa Bay Friday night. Jackson threw 149 pitches and faced 30 batters without giving up a hit. This is the fourth no-hitter of the season with the perfect games by Philadelphia's Roy Halliday and Oakland's Dallas Braden and the first no-hitter of the 2010 MLB season thrown by Colorado's Ubaldo Jiminez barely 2 weeks into the season.

NHL: The Tyler Segiun era has begun in Beantown. The Bruins selected the 6ft 1 Center from the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL as the second overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft at a much-more-serene Staples Center this weekend. The B's got the high pick from Toronto when they traded Phil Kessel last offseason. The Edmonton Oilers had the #1 pick of the draft and went with Taylor Hall of the OHL's Windsor Spitfires.

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