Ladies and Gentlemen,
I bid you all hello and welcome to the newest edition of Ramblings from a Talking Head, the occasional blog that knows it doesn’t have a lot to say but says it anyway for your viewing pleasure. The week-long break from playoff sports has ended over the last two days, so the excitement (and discussion topics) for June sports has ramped up once again! There’s too much news to talk about to continue hyping the blog, so let’s jump in:
Warriors def. Cavaliers 108-100 in OT, take 1-0 series lead:
A week between games for the Warriors and Cavaliers led many fans and sportswriters to believe Golden State and Cleveland would be rested and ready to hit the ground running in Game 1, and those watching were not disappointed. Both teams were ready from the tipoff to attack often in an effort to break their opponent’s best laid defensive measures. LeBron was allowed to score consistently by the Warriors, and he put up 44 points, including the overtime. The Warriors were a bit off at times on the offensive side, but great defensive efforts (and a boost in offensive production) from Andre Iguodala and the second unit helped keep Golden State close and capable of winning the game in overtime. The closing minutes of the fourth quarter, however, may have sounded the end of the Cavs’ chances already: Kyrie Irving showed a greatly noticeable limp on his way to the locker room. The initial tests are showing no damage to his ACL or MCL, but the Cavs’ medical staff and players (especially Irving) are waiting with bated breath for more tests today (6/5/15) to provide more insight into the scope of the injury and the potential for Irving to play again in this series. Irving’s absence handcuffs Cleveland’s offensive production at best and dooms them at worst. Golden State can continue to allow LeBron James to assert himself to the extent they did in Game 1, but with less concern for who can fill the offensive void that the other four players on the court at any time. My prediction before this injury was Golden State in 6, and I believe that to remain true with this development.
Blackhawks surge in 3rd period, def. Lightning 2-1 in Game 1 of Stanley Cup Finals:
The first two periods of this fast-paced matchup played heavily in the favor of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the newcomers to the championship round; the sole goal of the first 40 minutes came from a replay-worthy swipe from Alex Killorn (if you missed it, go watch it… it’s a fun goal to see). The Blackhawks, the poised veterans from deep playoff (and championship) runs past, responded with a goal from a new guy on the rink and took the league with the expected veteran presence, if not from Kane or Toews. Teuvo Teravainen, in his first playoff appearance at 20 years old, placed Chicago back into the thick of things with around six minutes left in the 3rd period and set the table for Antoine Vermette’s go-ahead goal. The youthful Lightning, who hold home-ice advantage and are making the team’s first Finals appearance since 2004, is now down 0-1 and will need to match the defensive intensity from the first 54 minutes of Game 1 to even the series.
Todd Gurley is still “a ways away from practicing,” per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
This isn’t all that surprising or troubling to me as a Rams fan. Despite my Makin’ The Play co-host Rob Johnson’s insisting, I am content to wait and see how Gurley helps the Rams offense, especially if he returns to the level he played at for Georgia. I still believe that Gurley would have been a top 5 pick if not for the ACL injury and think he can help the Rams offense return to a productive level.
Cardinals 8-2 in their last 10, Wacha picks up eighth win vs LAD
The St. Louis Cardinals, in the face of injuries to the lineup, rotation and bullpen, continue to do the only thing that matters in the long run: Win. I will admit, the Brewers and Diamondbacks aren’t the highest level of competition and the Cards did lose series to the Tigers and Royals late last month, but still have the best record in baseball with a .667 winning percentage. The Cards do not appear to be slowing down much, either, after a 7-1 victory over the NL West-leading Dodgers on June 4th, giving Michael Wacha his eighth victory of the year and placing him squarely in the early NL Cy Young Award talk alongside Pittsburgh’s Gerrit Cole.
Bell City Cubs win the Class 1 State Baseball Championship in extra innings
Bell City defeated Atlanta 6-3 in eight innings to complete their comeback for the MSHSAA Class 1 baseball championship. Peyton Maddox picked up the win in relief for the Cubs, who took advantage of a couple of fielding errors by Atlanta to tie the game late and allow for the extra innings victory. Congratulations to coach Justin Simpher and the entire Cubs team for their awesome accomplishment.
As of this writing, Notre Dame’s baseball team won their Class 4 state semifinal game via mercy rule and will play in the Class 4 state championship Saturday morning, so good luck to the Bulldogs!
That’s all the rambling I have prepared for this time! If you have questions or banter to share, you can find me on Twitter (@CodySandusky)! Until next time, ramble on!