Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Mitch's Sports: Red Sox Suffer First Back To Back Losses; In Anaheim, The Longest At-Bat In History

Let's agree that as amazing and historic as the best ever start in Boston Red Sox franchise history has been, the pace it set was not sustainable. And so it was that the Red Sox suffered their second loss in a row and dropped their first series of the year with a 4-1 defeat in Oakland against the A's yesterday afternoon.

But it was just one bad pitch that led to  the loss. And as good as new manager Alex Cora has been thus far, the decision to leave lefty David Price in to face Oakland right handed slugger Khris Davis with two outs and two on in the bottom of the eighth in a 1-1 game was not the right one.

Price had been excellent, scattering eight hits over seven and two thirds, but he was showing signs of tiring and righty reliever Carson Smith was ready in the bullpen, and after Price struck out Jed Lowrie, Cora probably should have lifted him in favor of Carson and the better righty on righty match-up. Instead, Davis swung at Price's first offering and planted it firmly into the left field seats for a three-run homer and Boston's first back to back losses of the year, a stretch that including   being no-hit by Sean Manaea on Saturday. Still, at 17-4 the Red Sox still have the best record in the majors, and will try to get back on the winning side of the ledger when they take on the Blue Jays in Toronto tomorrow with Rick Porcello looking to improve on his fantastic 4-0 start.

Those Blue Jays fell to the NY Yankees 5-1 at the Stadium yesterday, flummoxed by Luis Severino, who gave up just three hits over seven innings to get the win. Didi Gregorius homered for the Yanks, and rookie Miguel Andujar had a career-high four hits in the victory, which featured the debut of another promising rookie, infielder Gleyber Torres, who went 0 for 4 in his first game in the bigs.

The NY Mets were hoping to improve on their impressive 14-6 start, but persistent rain in Atlanta postponed that effort.

One other baseball note: The longest at-bat in major league history was recorded yesterday after an incredible duel between San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt and LA Angels pitcher Jaime Barria, who threw 21 pitches to belt before getting him to line out to right field. Belt fouled off 16 of those pitches during his plate appearance, which earned an ovation from both benches. Consider that 21 pitches is a lot for a pitcher to throw in one inning, and Barria had to throw those 21 to just one batter in that historic instance, now officially the longest at-bat in league history.

While baseball is just getting started, playoffs abound in other sports this time of year, and the first round of the NHL post-season is not disappointing for drama, and there was plenty of that in yesterday's series clinching 8-5 win by the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Philadelphia Flyers, a game that was a nail-biter despite that final score. The Flyers have no one but themselves, and the refs, perhaps, to blame for their exit. They took a 4-2 lead late into the second period and it looked like they were going to force a game seven, but the Penguins scored two late in the frame to tie it up and then less than 30 seconds into the start of the third period, let a defensive miscue lead to a steal inside the blue line by Phil Kessel, who made a beautiful pass to  Jake Guentzel, who put in the go-ahead and eventual game winner, one of four goals he scored to secure the series for Pittsburgh. I mention the refs, though, because maybe the worst non-call I've ever seen was made later in the third when the game was still close. The Flyers had just come off a failed 5 on 3 power play when Penguin Kris Letang flat out upended a Flyer deep in Philly's zone, a trip so blatant everyone froze for a split second waiting for a whistle before the puck went to Guentzel, who blasted home a slapper to give the Pens a two goal cushion they wouldn't give back. Had Philly not just come off a power play I guarantee the trip by Letang would have been called, and it should have been, but ultimately the Flyers have to look in the mirror and ask why they couldn't hold that two goal lead in a game they had to have to keep their season going.

The other contest yesterday was not nearly as close with the Nashville Predators routing the Avalanche 5-0 in Colorado to close out that series four games to two.

In the NBA the youthful Boston Celtics are learning on the fly how tough the playoffs can be. After taking the first two games of their series against the Milwaukee Bucks at home, they're now even with Milwaukee after losing two on the road, including a hard fought 104-102 loss yesterday. These Celtics are showing how good they are now, but really it's a window into how much better they're going to be next year with a healthy Kyruie Irving and Gordon Hayward available. Both those veterans stars are out with injury now and so it's falling on the shoulders of  kids like Jaylen Brown, who poured in 34, and Jason Tatum, who had 21, to keep Boston battling, and they certainly did yesterday, chipping away at a 20 point deficit to tie the game and even take the lead in the fourth quarter. But in the end it was Milwaukee superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo who gave the Bucks the win when he tipped in a rebound of a shot with just five seconds left for the two point margin of victory. The series now shifts back to Boston for game five tied at two apiece.

The Cleveland Cavaliers pulled out a 104-100 win over the Pacers in Indiana to even that series at two and two. Same deal for the Washington Wizards, who overcame the fouling out of Bradley Beal with a clutch down the stretch performance by John Wall to beat the Toronto Raptors 106-98. Wall scored or assisted on ten of Washington's last 14 points to secure the win and tie up that series at two.

And the San Antonio Spurs are still kicking, staving off a sweep at the hands of the Golden State Warriors by leaning on 40-year old veteran Manu Ginobili, who scored 10 of his 16 points in the 4th quarter to give the Spurs a 103-90 victory.

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.
Latest Stories