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Mitch's Sports Report: Pomeranz Shines In Red Sox Win; Round One Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions

The Drew Pomeranz Red Sox fans were hoping to see when he was acquired after the all star break last season for a pretty good young prospect showed up at Fenway Park last night. The former Padres lefty was not expected to go more than five innings in his first start since starting the year on the DL with arm soreness, but he scattered just four hits before giving up a lead off single in the top of the 7th with the Sox leading 2-0 and ended up striking out six in an 8-1 Red Sox win over the Baltimore Orioles.

The O's made it 2-1 after Pomeranz left but would get no closer, and a bit of luck in the bottom of the frame opened the door for a late innings Red Sox rout. With Pablo Sandoval on first and one out, a tailor made double play grounder was hit to the normally reliable J.J. Hardy at short. Hardy is a former gold glove winner and this should have been the end of the inning, but he booted the ball and everyone was safe. Jonathan Schoop then misjudged a bloop fly that should have been caught but fell into short right field instead and the bases were loaded for Dustin Pedroia, who delivered a two-run single.

Pedroia would finish the night with four RBI's and catcher Christian Vazquez finished 4 for 4, including a two-run triple in the 8th. It's still early, but the Red Sox right now might have two of the best catchers in all of baseball in Vazquez and Sandy Leon, both of whom are tearing the cover off the ball at the plate and handling it beautifully when behind it. Leon has not allowed a runner to steal on him to this point, and Vazquez has one of the best arms in the game. The Sox and Orioles finish up their brief two game series at Fenway tonight with knuckleballer Steven Wright making his second start of the season and looking for his first win.

The NY Yankees were idle last night, but Yoenis Cespedes of the NY Mets was not. Cespedes did his best Reggie Jackson impersonation, blasting three home runs in the Mets 14-4 dismantling of the Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets homered seven times in total. Lucas Duda had two. Travis D'arnaud and Asdrubal Cabrera also went deep. Both starters left early in this one, with the Mets' Matt Harvey feeling some tightness in his hamstring. He said after the game it didn't feel serious and he expects to make his next start. Old friend Clay Buchholz got roughed up for six runs ,including the first homer by Cespedes, and left in the third with a strained right forearm. The Phillies say he'll undergo an MRI.

The Toronto Blue Jays were looking forward to finally getting in front of their home town fans after starting the season 1-5 on the road, but their record only got worse after dropping their home opener 4-3 to the Milwaukee Brewers. Keon Broxton and Domingo Santana went deep for Milwaukee and J.A. Happ took the loss for the Jays, who at least know that whatever early season struggles they're having will be on no concern to Torontonians come Thursday night when the Maple Leafs begin round one of the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Washington Capitals.

As for those NHL playoffs, they begin tonight with four games on tap. The Boston Bruins hope former B.U. star Charlie McAvoy can ignore whatever butterflies may be circling about in his gut when he takes the ice in Ottawa for his first ever NHL game, in the playoffs, against the Senators. The Bruins are trying to plug two huge holes along their blue line with injuries to Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo. Tommy Cross is also expected to see minutes tonight, and if not for these desperate substitutions I might be tempted to say the Bruins, who would be underdogs even with Krug and Carlo, could take this series, despite going winless in four games against Ottawa this season. But without Krug and Carlo I can't see Boston getting out of this round. I'm looking at Ottawa in six, but as always when I'm pessimistic about the Bruins, I hope I'm wrong.

I'd be surprised if the Montreal Canadiens and NY Rangers didn't go the full seven games in their opening round series, which begins tonight at the Bell Centre. Carey Price and Henrik Lundqvist will likely put on a goal-tending clinic and you expect a number of games decided in overtime in this one. Habs in seven is the pick here.

The defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins have drawn the high flying Columbus Blue Jackets in round one, a team with a lot of offensive weapons and Sergei Bobrovsky having a Vezina trophy worthy season in net. He has the league's best goals against average, and the Penguins are banged up, most notably without their best defenseman Kris Letang for the playoffs. But, the Pens have the experience, they have home ice advantage, and they have Sidney Crosby. Penguins in seven.

Out west it'll be the San Jose Sharks taking on the Edmonton Oilers, back in the playoffs for the first time in a decade and with the best young player in the league, Connor McDavid, in the fold. Oilers in six.

Locally in college men’s lacrosse St. Anselm beat St. Michael’s 10-7 as St. Mike's falls to 1-6 on the season. Mount Ida edged out Norwich 8-7. Despite the Cadets putting 52 shots on goal, they fall to 5-7 with the loss.

In college baseball the Castleton Spartans blasted six home runs in a 15-0 laugher over Norwich.  Charles Stapleford got the win on the hill with six scoreless innings, and Franklin Pierce beat St. Michael’s 10-1.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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