Mitch's Sports Report: Absivilousness! Brady And The NFL Could End Up At The Supreme Court
The Boston Red Sox found themselves in a pitcher's duel last night with the team sporting the league's worst record. Atlanta's Julio Teheran and Rick Porcello traded zeroes for seven innings until Jackie Bradley Jr. hit his fist home run of the year, and that would be the only run of the game, giving the Red Sox a 1-0 victory over the Braves.
And who knew that at least for the month of April Rick Porcello would be the ace of the Red Sox staff? Porcello had a terrible season with the Sox last year and his spring training ERA this year was a shade under double digits, but he's yet to lose a start this season and with last night's four-hit, no runs, six-strikeout performance he's lowered his ERA to 3.51 to go with a 4-0 record. Robbie Ross Jr. and Koji Uehara also blanked the Braves when Porcello left in the seventh, and after blowing a save Sunday night in Houston when he gave up a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, closer Craig Kimbrel got back up on his horse and finished this one with a one-two-three ninth for his sixth save of the year.
The NY Yankees got some great pitching last night as well, with Nathan Eovaldi taking a no-hitter into the seventh against the Rangers in Texas. The no-no bid was broken up when Nomar Mazara led off the seventh with a single but Eovaldi still got the win, as did the Yankees in a 3-1 victory. Jacoby Ellsbury and Starlin Castro had solo homers to lead the Yankees offense and Andrew Miller worked a prefect ninth for his fifth save of the year.
The NY Mets are starting to right their ship, now winners of four in a row after beating the Cincinnati Reds 5-3 at Citi Field last night, and Neil Walker has been on a tear for the Mets, hitting a tie-breaking two run shot in the seventh inning that proved to be the game-winning hit. The blast was Walker's seventh homer in his last ten games. Michael Conforto and Lucas Duda also homered for the Mets, who got all their runs via the long ball last night. Noah Syndegaard started but did not factor in the decision, with Logan Verett picking up the win in relief.
To Stanley Cup playoff action, and if you were sick of seeing the Chicago Blackhawks win Stanley Cups the way Meryl Streep wins Oscars, fear not. The Hawks, who've won three of the last five Lord Stanley trophies, including last year's, will not make it four of six after being eliminated from the post-season in a thrill-ridden game seven against the St. Louis Blues last night. The game was tied at two in the third period when the Blues' Troy Brouwer scored the eventual game winner after directing a puck off the post and then reaching back as the puck teasingly drifted behind him, almost out of reach. Brouwer brought it back and slid it into the net for a 3-2 lead that sent the standing room only St. Louis crowd into a frenzy, but the drama didn't end there. With just over three minutes left in the game Chicago's Brent Seabroook took a slapshot that rang off one post, skittered across the goal line and hit the other post, and out. After video review confirmed the disc never crossed the line, nineteen-thousand Blues faithful released their breath as one and then counted down the minutes to the victory. The Blues have been a hard-luck franchise for a long time, never having won a Stanley Cup since entering the league in 1967 and suffering many heartbreaking losses along the way, including two against the team they finally vanquished last night, so if you want to cheer for a team that is due for a break from the hockey gods, you could do worse than hitching on to the St. Louis bandwagon.
One other playoff tilt last night, and there will be a game seven in the Nashville-Anaheim series, as the Predators stayed alive by beating the Ducks 3-1.
In the NBA playoffs, say goodbye to the Dallas Mavericks, eliminated in game five last night by the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Charlotte Hornets tied up their series against Miami at two games apiece, and that's where the Portland Trail Blazers and L.A. Clippers stand as well after Portland's 98-84 win last night, but despite the tie, it's advantage Portland because Clippers superstar guard Chris Paul broke his hand in last night's loss.
Finally in NFL legal news, an appeals court has reinstated Tom Brady's four game suspension handed down by the league after nonsense over under-inflated footballs. Please note two things. The ruling does not indicate Brady purposely deflated any footballs, only that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was within his authority to hand down the suspension, and Brady could appeal this decision as well. And believe it or not, this case could actually go all the way to the Supreme Court and if it does, absurdity will have finally combined with frivolousness to create a new American word: Absivilousness. You heard it here first.