Thursday, June 21, 2012

Miami Vice Sports Chowdah Update- Heat Turned Up All the Way; Fish Are Squished & Youth Is Served At Fenway; Odd Development in Sandusky Trial

RED SOX- On Thursday night at Fenway, it was the young guns that helped the Red Sox complete a 3-game sweep of the Marlins.

After taking the first two games- including what amounted to batting pracitce in Wednesday night's 15-5 win- the Red Sox found themselves trailing late at Fenway Park on Thursday evening. With Daisuke Matsuzaka on the mound, the Red Sox quickly couhged up a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning before eventually settling down. Boston would get some runs back when Cody Ross and Jarrod Saltalamacchia led off the 4th inning by getting hit by pitches from Miami starter Carlos Zambrano in consecutive at-bats. Will Middlebrooks drove Ross home on an RBI single and Saltalmacchia came home on an Aviles sac-fly to cut Miami's lead to 3-2.

In the bottom of the 5th, the Red Sox would tie the game up on a Middlebrooks RBI single, but the Marlins would re-take the lead after Matsuzaka gave up a solo homer to Giancarlo Stanton. After giving up the homer, Matsuzaka was relieved by Andrew Miller, who allowed a 2-out RBI double to Omar Infante to give the Marlins a 5-3 lead.

It was looking as though the Red Sox would have to write this one off until the bottom of the 8th inning, when Saltalamacchia led off the inning with a wall-ball double. Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen pulled relief pitcher Randy Choate for Edward Mujica. Facing Middlebrooks, Mujica immediately gave up a 2-run homer to tie the game for Boston and then a Ryan Kalish single. Kalish would then advance to 3rd on an Aviles groundout before Daniel Nava brought him home on an RBI single to take the lead. Pedroia and Gonzalez would go down quietly, but the damage was already done to Florida and Boston took a 6-5 lead heading into the top of the 9th where Alfredo Aceves had a 1-2-3 inning to nail down the Red Sox win.

Matsuzaka gave up 4 earned runs on 4 hits and one walk in 5⅓ innings of work. Coming in in releif after Miller, Scott Atchison got credit for the win while Aceves had his 18th save of the year. Of course, the real story was the clutch performance of the youngsters Nava and Middlebrooks. Slotted at 3rd base on Thrusday night, Middlebrooks went an impressive 3-4 with 4 RBI- half of them coming in the game-tying homer he belted. Nava went 2-4 and the one RBI he had on the night proved to be the game-winner.

The Red Sox will host the Braves on Friday night with Jon Lester [4-4; 4.53 ERA] scheduled to get the start against Jair Jurrjens [0-2; 9.37 ERA]. The game will be televised on NESN, Peachtree TV and MLB Network with a first pitch of 7:10 ET. Boston's former National League team comes in to Friday night's game at Fenway having taken two out of three from the Yankees, putting the brakes on the Bronx Bomber's impressive double-digit win streak.

NBA- June 21st 2012 will go down as a sad sad day in which the "I'm setting my phone to LeBron James mode- No rings!" joke died a tragic and untimely death. Damn you, NBA!

After taking Game 1 of the NBA finals, the Oklahoma City Thunder lost four in a row against the Miami Heat. The Heat won the clinching Game 5 at home by a 121-106 margin and with former Cavalier Lebron James having a 26-point night- a little off by his standards, but teammates Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade and Mike Miller picked up the slack- Miller coming off the bench for 23 points. This would be the Heat's second title in their franchise history, with the first coming back in 2006. A low point in the trophy ceremony was when the Miami crowd decided to boo Basketball hall of famer and 11 time NBA champion Bill Russell when he presented the trophy to the Heat in a postgame ceremony.

Although unsuccesful, the Oklahoma City Thunder's trip to the NBA finals after just three seasons in the Sooner state has made the rest of the Western conference sit up and take notice.

Not to get all sour grapes or anything, but in hindsight I'd almost have to have to say the highlight of this abbreviated NBA Season was the lockout.

You see, I discovered that with no games to televise between late October and Christmas, alot of regional sports channels filled the air time of the scheduled NBA games with NCAA women's college volleyball.

Yes- attractive, fit college-age women sprinting around the court in shorts that would make a Hooter's girl blush while occasionally huddling and reassuring teammates with a pat on the backside. Damn it, NCAA- why were you holding out on us?

Sadly, with no NBA labor dispute on the horizon, it doesn't appear that we'll be in for a many televised college volleyball tournaments in the fall of 2012, but then again, considering the volleyball season generally overlaps with NCAA Football and Basketball, there's already enough competition in the works. For those of you with a reasonably fast internet connection, alot of conferences will gladly live stream many in-conference games [goes for just about any sport- NANESB!]

NCAA FOOTBALL- Jurors were expected to deliberate on Friday after hearing testimony from witnesses in the Jerry Sandusky trial.

After character witnesses testified on behalf of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, the case took a bizarre turn when one of Sandusky's own sons accused the former co-ordinator of molesting him. Matt Sandusky- an adopted foster child of Joe and his wife Dottie- made the accusations public on Thursday afternoon, although it was too late for him to testify against his adopted father.

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