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Mitch's Sports Report: Red Sox Pull A John Carpenter Style Escape From New York; Jets Beat Preds

Listeners of a certain age might remember an early 1980's movie starring Kurt Russell called "Escape From New York", and that old John Carpenter film pretty much sums up how the Boston Red Sox felt when they got the final out against the NY Yankees in the Bronx last night.

The Red Sox had built up a 4-0 lead over eight innings, waiting out a rain delay after Hanley Ramirez belted his fifth home run of the year off CC Sabathia in the top of the fifth, a solo shot that was one of three runs driven in by the Red Sox DH on the night, and things looked good for Boston even after the game resumed.

But as we learned from game two of this series, you can't ever assume a win against the 2018 Bronx Bombers, and in the bottom of the 7th the Yankees rallied yet again against the same two relievers they bedeviled one night earlier, Heath Hembree and Joe Kelly.

Hembree could muster just one out in the frame as the Yankees loaded the bases, and Sox manager Alex Cora followed the same flawed script from Wednesday night, calling on Kelly to put out the fire, but the only thing he fanned was the flames, walking in one run, then giving up an RBI single to Aaron Judge to make it 4-2. Didi Gregorius grounded out but forced in another run, and Kelly tossed one more block of wood on the self-inflicted bonfire by unleashing a wild pitch that allowed the Yankees to tie the game at four, and send the ceowd into a wild frenzy for a second straight night as they sensed an imminent sweep of their bitter rivals.

Fortunately for the Red Sox they had J.D. Martinez to fulfill the role of the eye-patch wearing Snake Plissken and allow Boston to escape from New York with a victory when hit a solo home run, his 9th of the year, off Dellin Betances, a shot to right that just got over the outstretched glove of Aaron Judge.

And unlike Hemree and Kelly, the Red Sox did not get a repeat failed performance from closer Craig Kimbrel, who may have blown a save in the 8th Wednesday, but is always more settled in a ninth inning classic closer role, and made the Martuinez homer stand up by putting away the Yankees in the 9th fgor his 10th save of the year, and the Red Sox win 5-4.

That victory also slides Boston back into a tie with the Yankees for first place in the American League east, both teams now sporting the best records in baseball, and they still have 13 games left against each other this season, although the next series won't be until late June. That's OK, because Red Sox fans at least could use a break from the Bombers, who lost for just the second time in their last 19 games with that squeaker win by Boston last night.

The NY Mets were idle last night. They hit te road to take on the Philadelphia Phillies tonight. In Toronto, Kyle Seager put on quite the show for the Seattle Mariners, hitting two home runs including a grand slam, five RBI's in all, as the Mariners routed the Toronto Blue Jays 9-3.

To the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, and since my beloved Boston Bruins were knocked out of the tournament there's just one team left that I can emotionally get behind, and that's the Winnipeg Jets, who booked their first ever trip to the western conference finals last by beating the Predators 5-1 on the road in Nashville last night in a winner take all game seven.

This was a big game and one to forget for one the world's best goalies, Nashville's Pekka Rinne, who was pulled just over ten minutes into the first period after letting in two goals of the decidedly soft variety. The move by coach Peter Laviolette initially seemed to work when Predators defenseman P.K. Subban blasted home a one-timer to make it 2-1, but the Jets pulled away later in the second period. Paul Stastny scored twice as did Mark Scheifele, and the Jets, who have one of the most impassioned fan bases you will ever see, now have a chance to make it to the Stanley Cup finals if they can derail the Vegas Knights, who refuse to play like the expansion team they are.

The Jets fans will host game one Saturday night and if you tune in you'll see an arena where virtually everyone in attendance is wearing a bright white T-shirt and waving white towels, part of their "white out" conditions inside, a nod to their well known conditions most of the year outside, as Winnipeg is one of the coldest places in North America. They also do some fun natured taunting for opposing teams when the Jets have them on the ropes to be knocked out of the playoffs, you can hear chants of "Book Your Tee Time!", which is pretty clever. The Jets had a frnachise back in the 1970s when the upstart World Hockey Association tried to challenge the NHL, an experiment that eventually failed, and the Jets franchise moved. But they've been back for a while now and their fans could not be happier, so I'm all in on a potential Stanley Cup going to a Canadian franchise with fans who truly love hockey, but this team that plays out in the desert and calls Las Vegas its home seems to just keep winning no matter the odds against them, most of which are calculated in that city where wagering is a way of life. But I'm gonna call this series for the Jets, with a white out win in game 7.  
 

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 WBUR...as 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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