Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sports Chowder Update for June 10- National Catastrophe at Fenway; The Devil Zone, NJ Stays Alive in Cup Final; The Heat is On- Miami Surges Past C's in Game 7

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RED SOX- Damn those Beltway insiders!

The Boston Red Sox capped a rather forgettable week by getting swept by the first place Washington Nationals over the weekend. On Friday night, Nats phenom Stephen Strasburg struck out 13 batters in six innings of work while 19 year old rookie Bryce Harper went 3 for 5 with a homer and 3 RBI in Boston's 7-4 loss to the Nats.

Saturday saw the return of Daisuke Matsuzaka to the Red Sox lineup after an extensive trip through the Red Sox minor-league system as part of his rehab. Dice-K went 5 innings, allowing four earned runs and five hits and a walk while striking out 8 but was outdueled by Washington's Gio Gonzalez who went 6 and ⅓ innings and allowing two earned runs on three hits (including Saltalamacchia's 2-run homer) in the Nationals' 4-2 win.

Sunday's game saw the Nationals rally from a 2-1 defecit to briefly take a 3-2 lead on a 2-RBI double in the top of the 7th before the game was tied back up at 3-3 thanks to a Scott Podsednik RBI groundout in the bottom of the 7th. However, after Alfredo Aceves walked Bryce Harper in the top of the 9th, Nats outfielder Roger Bernadina belted a 2-out RBI double to give Washington the 4-3 lead, which they held on to after Tyler Clippard managed to get the last 3 outs of the game.

Having been no less than 2 and a half games out of the AL East lead last week, the Red Sox have fallen back to dead last and are now 6 games behind in the AL East standings. Earlier this week, Boston had dropped two out of three games against Baltimore at Fenway. For Monday, the Red Sox will head down to Miami to take on the Marlins. Josh Beckett [4-6; 4.04 ERA] will get the start against his former team while the Marlins send Josh Johnson [3-4; 4.56 ERA] to the mound. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN and gets underway at 7:10 ET.

ELSEWHERE IN MLB- Although they ended up losing the weekend series to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Seattle Mariners managed to no-hit the Dodgers despite going through six pitchers to do so.

Kevin Millwood threw six hitless innings before leaving with a groin injury on Friday night at SafeCo. That brought reliever Charlie Furbush out of the pen for ⅔ of an inning. Stephen Prior, who came on after Furbush and threw all of ⅓ an inning and faced just one batter was credited with the win. Lucas Luetge then came on for ⅔ of an inning. This was followed up by Brandon League and Tom Wilhelmsen, who got all three outs in the bottom of the 9th to preserve the 1-0 win (Seattle's only run came in the bottom of the 7th when Kyle Seagar brought Ichiro Suzuki home with an RBI single.

The combined no-no was the first of its kind this season and fourth no-hitter of the 2012 baseball season and already the second no-hitter this month. On April 21st, the Mariners themselves were on the other end of White Sox starter Philip Humber's perfect game.

Interestingly, this is not the first time six MLB pitchers were credited with a no-hitter. A June 2003 interleague game between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees unfolded in a similar manner when then-Astros starter Roy Oswalt left the game early with Pete Munro, Kirk Sarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner combining to no-hit the Yankees in the Bronx.

NCAA FOOTBALL- Authorities in Alabama have identifies a suspect in the fatal shooting of three people at a party near the Auburn campus over the weekend. Two of the deceased have been identified as former football players- Edward Christian and Ladarious Phillips- as well as 20 year old Demario Pitts. Three others were wounded by gunfire at the party. Christian had previously quit the team due to a back injury.

Police are looking for 22 year old Desmonte Leonard of Montgomery, AL who is accused of opening fire at the apartment complex to party took place in and starting a fight with partygoers over a woman. Leonard could be facing three counts of capital murder.

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STANLEY CUP FINALS- After falling into an 0-3 hole in the Stanley Cup finals, the New Jersey Devils are within a game of tying up the series at 3-3 after their 2-1 win over the LA Kings on Saturday.

The Devils got on the board late in the first with a Zach Parise power play tally [right when the announcer was talking about the King's near-flawless penalty killing in the postseason- isn't it always that way? NANESB!]. It was an uncharecteristically sloppy goal that Kings netminder Jonathan Quick coughed up after attempting to clear the puck, but it put the Devils on the board .

Justin Williams got the Kings on the board and tied things up at 1-1 early in the second, but about five minutes later, the Devils re-took the lead on a tip-in from Bryce Salvador. Despite outshooting the Devils 9-3 in the 3rd period, Broduer turned aside every shot he faced and the Devils hung on to win by a 2-1 final, forcing a Game 6 on Monday night.

So with the Devils a win away from tying the Cup Final and the King a win away from Clinching it, Game 6 will get underway from Staples Center on Monday night at 8:00 ET; 5:00 Pacific time- the game will be televised on NBC and the CBC.

NBA- The Boston Celtics season- and in all likelyhood, the Big 3 era- has come to an end with their Game 7 loss to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday night.

The Miami Heat surged late and pulled away from the Celtics late in the 4th quarter, outscoring the Celtics 28-15 to pull away for good and clinch the Eastern Conference title with the 101-88 win at South Beach. Lebron James led the scoring with 31 points 12 rebounds and two assists. On the Celtics side of the ball, Rajon Rondo led the way with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists.

The win sets up an appointment with the Oklahoma City Thunder who came from behind to best to San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals last week. This would be the second year in a row the Heat have advanced to the NBA Finals- last year they lost to the Dallas Mavericks 4 games to 2.

Game 1 between the Heat and the Thunder is set to take place Tuesday night at 9:00 ET in Oklahoma City and will be televised on ABC.

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