Mitch's Sports Report: Price Sets Career High 'K' Mark In Atlanta; Celtics Get Blown Out
The Boston Red Sox got the kind of performance from David Price last night they were looking for when they signed the power throwing lefty this past off-season, and the only caveat is that he was facing the worst team in baseball.
Still, for all the Atlanta Braves' problems, and they have many, they are a major league squad, and any time you strike out fourteen big league hitters as Price did last night, that's a big deal. In fact, the fourteen K's marked a career high for Price and he didn't lack for run support as the Sox won easily 11-4 against an Atlanta club that has only four wins this season against fifteen losses.
The offensive highlight in this one was a monster home run by Red Sox third baseman Travis Shaw, who clubbed a three-run shot in the first inning that traveled an estimated 418 feet into the second deck at Turner Field and would still be moving this morning if the seats weren't in the way. The Braves would settle for a round tripper of any length at this point. Atlanta has now gone fifteen games without anyone on their roster hitting a home run, a dubious franchise record. There was one highlight for the Braves, though, in the guise of a spectacular over the shoulder running catch by second baseman Daniel Castro, who ran full out to shallow right center to get the lip of his glove on a blooper by Mookie Betts that looked for sure like it was going to fall in. Castro made the grab with the ball tipping off the edge of the glove and then he snagged it with his bare right hand, doubling up David Price at first base after the catch. Worth looking up on the interwebs if you find the time.
As for the Sox, they'd be wise to take advantage of two more games they have against Atlanta as the four-game home and home series moves to Boston tonight with knuckleballer Steven Wright getting the start for the Sox.
The news was not as good for the NY Yankees who got knocked around by the Texas Rangers in Arlington 10-1 last night. The Rangers had a big third inning, touching up Yankees starter Luis Severino for five runs in the frame, capped by Mitch Moreland's two-run bases loaded single. A lot of Yankees fans were looking for Severino to have a break-out season, but not so in the early going. He's 0-3 so far with an ERA just under seven. On the other side, A.J Griffin was very good for Texas, keeping the Yankee bats quiet allowing just four hits, all singles, while striking out five, as he improves to 3-0 on the year. Alex Rodriguez missed the game as he struggles with an oblique injury suffered in Sunday's game, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi says he's hopeful A-Rod can make it back into the lineup for tonight's series finale, with CC Sabathia scheduled to start for New York.
The NY Mets are now riding a five-game winning streak, thanks to playing the sad sack Cincinnati Reds again, but especially due to a pinch-hit three-run homer by Yoenis Cespedes that powered the Mets to a 4-3 win at Citi Field. The Reds are good at giving up home runs this year, allowing a league high thirty-eight so far, and it's not even May yet.
To the NBA playoffs, and any momentum the Boston Celtics may have had when they won an overtime thriller against the Atlanta Hawks in Game four was nowhere to be found last night in Game five in Atlanta. The Hawks blew out the Celtics 110-83 to take a three games to two lead in their opening round series. It's been a home sweet home series for both teams, with neither club winning yet on the road, but that formula favors the Hawks. Even if they don't wrap up the series in game six in Boston the deciding Game seven would be back in Atlanta.
It was a much tighter contest in Toronto where the Raptors came back from a thirteen point fourth quarter deficit to beat the Indiana Pacers 102-99 to take a three games to two lead in that series. It looked like the game was headed to overtime when Solomon Hill nailed a three-pointer for Indiana that would have tied the game at 102 but it went to video review which showed that Solomon was a shade short of getting off the shot before the final buzzer sounded.
Locally, Rice Memorial boys' high school soccer coach Louis Gazo is stepping down from his coaching duties, after a three-year tenure that included two state titles, one in Division two in 2014 and another in Division one when the Green Knights moved to that upper tier in 2015. Gazo compiled an impressive record of fifty-three wins, nine losses and a tie during his run with Rice. Gazo is himself a graduate of Rice Memorial, and as the Burlington Free Press reports, his son Leland was named the paper's Free Press boys' soccer player of the year as a goalie. He'll continue that career at Bradley University in Illinois.