Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Thunderstruck Sports Chowdah Update- Iglesias, Big Papi Make It Rain in the Bronx; Bruins Put Penguins on Endangered Species List

BOSTON RED SOX- With a storm front moving in on the New York metropolitan area, there was some doubt as to whether of not Sunday night's Red Sox/Yankees game would be played. The pitching matchup featured an undefeated Clay Buchholz against Hideki Kuroda, and after a 45 minute delay, the tarp was rolled off and the game got under way.

Both starters were dealing, with neither one of them giving up a hit until the second inning. The game would remain a scoreless tie until the bottom of the 4th when Dustin Pedroia would get a leadoff single off of Kuroda, followed by a Big Papi single to shallow center that put Pedroia at third. Mike Napoli hit into a fielder's choice that had the slow-running Ortiz out at second, but it brought home Pedroia for the 1-0 Boston lead.

The Red Sox would then double their lead in the top of the 5th when Jose Iglesias led off the inning with a solo homer to make it 2-0 Boston. Meanwhile, Buccholz was dealing, allowing just two hits in five shutout innings of work. As it turned out, that would be all the Red Sox needed, but Big Papi led off the top of the 6th with a booming solo home run that seemed to rip open the skies, as it was followed by a torrential downpour. After Boone Logan came on in relief of Kurodoa, the Yankees got two more outs as the game was suspended on account of the rainfall.

After a two-hour wait, the game was made official and the Red Sox won the shortened contest by a 3-0 final. Buchholz gets his 8th win of the season and his season ERA is down to an impressive 1.62. Boston takes two out of three from the Yankees in the Bronx and pad their lead in the AL East, with Baltimore leapfrogging past the Yankees for 2nd place in the division.

With Monday off, the Red Sox head back home to face the AL-West leading Texas Rangers at Fenway on Tuesday night. Ryan Dempster [2-6; 4.45 ERA] is slated to get the start against the Ranger's Justin Grimm [5-3; 3.93 ERA]. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 ET and the game will be televised on NESN and the MLB Network in some markets.

Gene J Puskar photo
BOSTON BRUINS- Wow. After getting shut out at home during Saturday's game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals by the Boston Bruins, the Pittsburgh Penguins needed to make a statement for Game 2- and did they ever. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh and their fans, that statement appeared to be 'We don't belong here'.

The tempo was set in a wild first period when the Bruins jumped out to a 1-0 lead not even 30 seconds into the game thanks to a Brad Marchand breakaway. Later on in the period, just seconds after the Penguins had killed a Boston power play, Nathan Horton doubled the Bruins lead (with an assist from Providence call-up Torey Krug). Less than two minutes later, David Krejci would add to his scoring streak from Game 1 with an even strength goal to make it 3-0 Boston. It was at that point that Pens head coach Dan Bylsma made the decision to yank starting goalie Tomas Vokoun for Mark Andre Fleury. At one point in the first, the Bruins had outshot the Pens by an 11-2 margin.

The stoppage and switch seemed to give the Pens some momentum, as Brandon Sutter beat Tukka Rask to put Pittsburgh on the board and make it a 3-1 game with less than 30 seconds to go in the first. But Brad Marchand would end the first period like he started it-

So Tukka Rask's impressive shutout streak comes to an end, but Marchand kills the Pens momentum with all of 8 seconds left in the first quarter and puts Boston up by a score of 4-1.

After a scoreless second period, Patrice Bergeron extended the Boston lead to 5-1 a grand total of 27 seconds into the third and Johnny Boychuk would score with less than two minutes remaining to make it a 6-1 final. Boston goes on to win Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals in Pittsburgh by a 6-1- outscoring the Penguins by a composite 9-1 margin in the first two games. In Game 2, Tukks Rask stopped all but one of the 27 shots he faced. Contrast that with Fleury and Vokoun, who each allowed three goals while facing a combined total of 29 shots (Vokoun faced 12 while Fleury faced 19). Despite the high scoring, Boston was unable to capitalize on their lone power play while Pittsburgh went 0-2 on the mad advantage.

While the epic collapse of the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals isn't mind, it would be a fool's errand to declare the series over already. However, it's safe to say that Boston is firmly in control of their own destiny at this point. The series heads to the Garden on Wednesday night and Game 3 of the Eastern conference Finals will be televised on the NBC Sports network and CBC, with the puck scheduled to drop at 8:00 ET.

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