Yanks Yank Game 4 From Astros

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Now that was a baseball game!! Game 4 of the ALCS between the New York Yankees and Houston Astros has been the best game of the postseason — so far.

Like I said yesterday, hits are contagious. Until the bottom of the 7th inning, a lonely single by Todd Frazier was the Yankees’ only hit. And then, THIS happened. Aaron Judge launched a majestic, 427-foot home run to straight away center field. Not only was this home run a thing of beauty, it was crucial. It got the Yankees on the board, bringing the score to 4-1. It got the crowd going. And most importantly, it forced A.J. Hinch to pull Lance McCullers Jr. McCullers, who 24 hours earlier didn’t know he would start Game 4, was spectacular. The Yankee fan in me wants to thank Astros Manager, A.J. Hinch, for his quick trigger. Letting the horrid Astros’ bullpen loose was the beginning of their end….

Chris Devenski was the 1st victim. He surrendered a triple, a sacrifice fly, and a walk. Devenski was promptly pulled for Joe Musgrove, who got out of the 7th inning unscathed. Little did he know, the 7th inning was just the appetizer. The main course was set for the bottom of the 8th inning. A combination of Musgrove, Ken Giles (the Astros’ closer), and Luke Gregerson allowed the Yankees to bat around, bringing 10 batters to the plate. What started with an innocent single by Todd Frazier, ended with a 2-rbi double by Gary Sanchez. And just like that, the 2-run Yankees’ deficit turned into a 2-run surplus.

If only someone had predicted a final score of 6-4….

Yes.

That’s what they call shameless self-promotion.

While it’s refreshing to see the bats come to life, it shouldn’t overshadow Sonny Gray’s pitching performance. Gray, the forgotten man, hadn’t pitched in 12 days. That is NOT easy. Like Hinch, Joe Girardi had a quick trigger with his starter, pulling Gray after just 85 pitches.

Sonny Gray’s Day: 5 innings, 1 hit, 2 runs (1 earned), 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts

You couldn’t ask for a better performance, in those circumstances, from a guy who hadn’t pitched in nearly 2 weeks. Part of Gray’s success can be tied to Austin Romine getting his 1st start of the postseason at catcher. Gray’s numbers are significantly better with Romine than Gary Sanchez. However, the Romine experiment needn’t last more than 1 day. He’s useless with the bat, and looked rusty with the glove. An ill-timed catcher’s interference didn’t help his cause either. Toss Sanchez back behind the plate, and slot Chase Headley in as the DH. Headley’s bat is finally heatin’ up. Headley, who is historically streaky, looks to be trending in the right direction.

Ride the wave Girardi!! Don’t fight your instincts. I know the robot in you hasn’t taken COMPLETE control of your body — yet.

Game 5 is coming at you today with another awkward 5:08 P.M. EST start. Tune in to FS1 for all the action, as Dallas Keuchel and Masahiro Tanaka will climb the hill. Saying Keuchel owns the Yankees is an understatement. He hasn’t allowed a home run against the Yankees in 217 innings. That trend, gets bucked, today.

Score Prediction: Yankees 3, Astros 2

 

Who do you think will win Game 5?? Post your prediction in the comment section below.

 

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:10 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

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CC Strikes Again!!

cc sabathia

When in doubt, call CC Sabathia. With the Yankees’ season teetering on the edge, they called upon their stopper. Their hefty (crafty) lefty. This season, CC Sabathia is 9-0, in 12 starts, following a Yankees’ loss. That’s unbelievable!!

CC’s Day: 6 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs, 4 walks, and 5 strikeouts 

I don’t love the 4 walks, but if CC is going to keep this Houston Astros’ lineup scoreless through 6 innings, he can walk as many batters as he’d like. Which brings us to the most crucial part of the game. In the top of the 3rd inning, CC gave up a single and walked 2, loading the bases for clutch youngster, Carlos Correa. CC, got CC, to pop-out to shortstop. Disaster averted.

Monday night’s Game 3 victory by the Yankees was filled with big moments.

In Order.

You’re Welcome.

5.) Starlin Castro reached base on a swinging bunt. With 2 outs in the bottom of the 2nd inning, Castro started what turned out to be a 3-run inning. Stay tuned. There’s more to come on this inning.

4.) The 5-run, bottom of the 4th inning. This inning included a double by Greg Bird. A walk by Todd Frazier. An rbi single by Chase Headley (the Yankees’ 1st hit from their DH this postseason). Brett Gardner getting hit by a pitch. A wild pitch which brought in a run. And a 3-run home run by Aaron Judge!! This gave the Yankees an 8-0 lead, putting the game out of reach. They would go on to win 8-1.

3.) Not 1, but 2 spectacular catches by Aaron Judge. The 1st can be seen here. Judge sacrificed his body, slamming into the right field wall at full speed. Is it possible that catch got him going at the plate?? The 2nd catch was a phenomenal display of athleticism. Check it out here. 

2.) Here’s where CC earned his contract….

The aforementioned pop-out by Carlos Correa. Keeping the Astrosoff the scoreboard was key, but like they say, “Timing is everything.” The Yankees had just taken the lead, and the last thing they wanted to do was cough it right back up. As he did all night, CC clamped down.

1.) Todd Frazier. A ‘Jersey Kid’ who’s livin’ the dream. Frazier stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 2nd inning and hit what can only be described as a ‘Yankee Stadium Home Run’. Watch it first, then we’ll talk.

Have you ever seen a ball, that looked like a bloop-single, land in the bleachers?? I know I know, it’s Yankee Stadium. And yes, I’m a lifelong, die-hard Yankees’ fan. But that was ridiculous. I’m not complaining. It just looked silly. It was, however, just what the doctor ordered for a struggling Yankees’ offense.

Strikeouts ARE contagious, but so ARE hits.

The questions is, can the Yankees’ bats keep it going against Lance McCullers Jr.??

Check out Game 4 action EARLY Tuesday evening on FS1. First pitch is set for 5:08 P.M. EST. Sonny Gray, off 1,407 days rest (or 12), will get the ball for the Yankees.

Prediction: Yankees 6, Astros 4

 

Who do you think will win Game 4?? Post your prediction in the comment section below.

 

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:10 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

 

Severino Overpowers Indians — 2 Down, 1 To Go

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We learned a lot about Luis Severino Monday night. After a pitching performance to forget in the AL Wild Card Game, Severino put his best foot forward in Game 4 of the ALDS. Game 4 was the 2nd elimination game for the Yankees in as many days. Win, and force a Game 5. Lose, and go home.

“Why don’t you just go home? That’s your home! Are you too good for your home?!”

Severino: 7 innings, 4 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, and 9 strikeouts

Severino’s fastball was live, touching 100 mph a handful of times. His changeup regularly registered at or above 90 mph (which is insane). And his slider was sharp and consistent. Severino’s two blemishes came in the form of the long ball. Carlos Santana, who is giving everyone fits, tagged him for a 2-run home run in the 4th inning, and Roberto Perez hit a solo home run in the 5th inning. The other two hits were harmless singles by Jay Bruce and Michael Brantley.

On the other hand, the Yankees’ lineup did what they couldn’t do in Game 1. They got to Trevor Bauer, forcing him from the game after just 2 and 2/3 innings. Bauer was pitching on 3 days rest, and it showed. The Yankees put up 4 runs in the 2nd inning. What started with an error by the 3rd baseman, Giovany Urshela, ended with a 4-run, 2-out rally.

ALERT THE AUTHORITIES!! There was an Aaron Judge sighting during this rally. Judge recorded his 1st hit of the series, cracking a 2-run double to left field. Believe it or not, the key to Judge’s at-bat in the 2nd inning was being fed a steady diet of curveballs. I know Judge has been struck out 174,000 times on curveballs, but hear me out. Bauer, who has gone to his masterful curveball 36% of the time in this series, threw Judge 4 curveballs in a row. While the first 2 dropped in for strikes, the next 2 were in the dirt. This allowed Judge to adjust his eye level and drive a ball later in the at-bat.

While Girardi and his bullpen have been a topic of conversation throughout this series, he pushed the right buttons Monday night. Girardi brought in Dellin Betances in the 8th inning, but promptly yanked him after Betances walked the first 2 batters. Without the 103-mph services of Aroldis Chapman, Tommy Kahnle came in. Kahnle was lights out!! 2 innings, 0 hits, 5 strikeouts, on just 22 pitches. 7-3 lead protected. WOW!! Talk about slamming a door.

When 1 door closes, another opens (or something like that). The Yankees will walk through that door, in Cleveland. It all comes down to Wednesday. Game 5. All-or-nothing. The dangerous, Houston Astros await the victor in the ALCS.

Catch all the action on FS1, Wednesday night, @ 7:00 P.M. EST.

Projected Starters: Corey Kluber vs. CC Sabathia

The Yankees lineup tagged Kluber for 6 runs in Game 2. That won’t happen again. The same way Yankees’ fans knew Severino wasn’t going to get shelled in consecutive outings, Indians’ fans know their ace. As for the Yankees, I trust CC, but it’s all hands on deck.

While my heart is rooting for the Yankees 100%, my mind doesn’t love their chances in Game 5.

Prediction: Indians 4, Yankees 3 (10 innings)

I’d pay good money to be wrong on this one….

Who do you think will win Game 5?? Post your prediction in the comment section below.

 

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:10 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

 

 

Tanaka Pitches A Gem — 1 Down, 2 To Go

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That was as exciting a 1-0 game as you’ll ever see.

With their back against the wall, the Yankees turned to their 155 million dollar man. It’s hard to earn an entire contract in 1 start, but Masahiro Tanaka came pretty close. Tanaka dazzled a sold-out Yankee Stadium, pitching an absolute gem:

7 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, and 7 strikeouts  

He outdueled Cleveland Indians’ hurler, Carlos Carrasco. Carrasco was strong through 5 and 2/3 innings but lost his control in the 6th inning (issuing 3 walks). Despite Carrasco keeping the Yankees off the scoreboard, they did have the leadoff hitter on base in the 3rd and 6th inning.

Has the term ‘small-ball’ been wiped out of the baseball dictionary??

*This isn’t revisionist history.

I turned to my friend Michael during the 3rd and 6th inning, and said, “Hey, remember when players used to bunt in this situation?” He completely agreed, especially in a pitcher’s duel, that a bunt would have been the smart play. What happened next, both times???? That’s right, A DOUBLE PLAY!!

The 6th and 7th innings would prove to be crucial in the outcome of this elimination game. With 1 out and 1 on, Francisco Lindor hit a fly ball to deep right field. And as nonchalantly as one could possibly rob a home-run, the seemingly 9-foot tall, Aaron Judge, reached over the wall and brought 2 runs back in the park.

It was like that scene in an animated film when the ordinary man transforms into a 40-foot giant in seconds.

Tanaka, and Lindor, reacted in the only way they could, the ‘tip of their cap’.

Hit the fast forward button to the bottom of the 7th inning. The Yankees were finally able to capitalize, on a Greg Bird, leadoff, moonshot to right field. There’s jacked up, and then there’s JACKED UP….Click here.

I wasn’t in the building, but all accounts from those in attendance drew parallels to the electrifying 1990’s and early 2000’s Yankees. There’s nothing comparable to a stadium, filled to the brim, with 50,291 screaming fans — in the Bronx.

So, the Yankees live to fight another day. Weather permitting, that day will be today. 1st pitch is currently set for 7:08 P.M. EST., but the forecast calls for rain to stop at approximately 8:00 P.M. EST. Take a nap today, for we may be in store for a long evening.

Projected Starters: Luis Severino vs. Trevor Bauer 

Their last starts were polar opposites. Bauer ran through the Yankees in Game 1 of the ALDS, allowing just 2 hits in 6 and 2/3 innings. Severino lasted just 1/3 of an inning, getting shelled by the Twins in the AL Wild Card Game.

The ultimate question is: Which Luis Severino will show up to Yankee Stadium tonight??

The Yankees’ season, hangs in the balance….

Prediction: Yankees 6, Indians 4

 

Who do you think will win tonight?? Post your prediction in the comment section below.

 

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:10 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

The Sports World’s Amazing Weekend

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When it’s 95 degrees outside, you can either go to the beach or do what I did. Yup. I sat in an air conditioned living room and watched sports all weekend. As my Boston people would say, “That was wicked smart.” It was a good weekend to reacquaint yourself with the special a** groove in your couch, because the sports world was busy. Let’s start with the most important (but probably least watched) sporting event of the weekend:

STANLEY CUP FINALS

Following a bad loss in Game 5, the Nashville Predators were happy to head home. Prior to Game 6, the Predators stood an impressive 9-1 in their home arena in the playoffs. Unfortunately for the Predators, the Pittsburgh Penguins handed them their 2nd home loss. The Penguins broke a scoreless tie 58 minutes and 35 seconds into the game, scoring what would be the game winning goal. They would add an empty-net goal 1 minute and 21 seconds later, securing a 2-0 victory. And just like that, the Pittsburgh Penguins became the first team in 20 years to win back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships. Sidney Crosby (duh) won the Conn Smythe Trophy (MVP of the Playoffs) for the 2nd straight year. I don’t normally talk about shoulda, woulda, couldas..but ah..what the hell. The Predators actually scored in this game. Just 1 minute and 7 seconds into the 2nd period, Colton Sissons had a goal erased by a quick whistle. The goal shoulda counted, but we can’t go back in time. Also, Sissons and fellow Predator, Filip Forsberg, both hit the post in the 3rd period. That sucks! I feel for the Predators, as their run through the playoffs was fun to watch. Better luck next year!

NBA FINALS

No sweep. No history. Well, history was still made, just not by the Golden State Warriors. The Cleveland Cavaliers finally won a game (137-116), and they did it in historic fashion. When so many changes are made to the record books, a list is necessary:

  1. The Cavaliers scored 49 points in the 1st quarter
  2. The Cavaliers scored 86 points in the 1st half
  3. The Cavaliers made 24 3-pointers
  4. Lebron James recorded his 9th triple-double in the Finals (breaking Magic Johnson’s record)
  5. Dahntay Jones became the 1st player to get a technical foul from the bench in the NBA Finals (I don’t actually know if this is true – but I think it’s really funny)
  6. Lebron James passed Michael Jordan for 3rd all-time in points scored in the NBA Finals (trailing only Jerry West and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)

Heading into Game 4, the Golden State Warriors were looking to become the 1st team in NBA history to sweep through the playoffs at 16-0. If they win Game 5 they will still be in rarified air. They will join the 2001 Los Angeles Lakers and the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers as the only 1-loss teams to win a championship.

All you Lebron fanatics can pump the brakes. Don’t expect the Cavaliers to hit 24 3-pointers and score 137 points again. You can also expect Lebron, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love not to combine for 94 points again. The Cavaliers are David Wells. They are capable of throwing a Perfect Game, but they aren’t bringing home a Cy Young Award anytime soon. Expect the Warriors to roll in Game 5. 124-111. Warriors win another title. Book it.

U.S.A. VS. MEXICO

Soccer?! Yes. We are going to talk about soccer. Have you ever seen anyone happier to end in a draw before?? That is the question to ask following a draw between U.S.A. and Mexico on Sunday night. You’d think U.S.A. had just won the World Cup. The two nations squared off in a CONCACAF World Cup qualifying match. The match was played in front of 87,000 screaming fans in Estadio Azteca, the famed stadium in the heart of Mexico City. Michael Bradley of U.S.A. scored a shocking goal (from about 40 yards out) just 6 minutes into the match. But, thanks to incredibly poor defense by U.S.A, Mexico tied the match in the 23rd minute when Carlos Vela ran untouched for what seemed like 8 miles before putting home a left-footed strike from just outside the box. The match would end in a 1-1 draw. Maybe there is reason to celebrate, as the U.S.A earned just their 3rd win or draw in 22 tries playing in Mexico City. Pop the champagne……?

AARON JUDGE FOR MVP

Before you laugh, check out the numbers. If the MLB season ended today, Aaron Judge would be the Rookie of the Year and MVP. That hasn’t been done since Ichiro Suzuki in 2001. Aaron Judge is hitting .344 with 21 home runs and 47 r.bi.’s. Yup, that would give Judge the lead in the Triple Crown. Plus, Judge’s Yankees are in 1st place in the American League East with a record of 37-23. PLUS, Aaron Judge hits baseballs really, really FAR. Yes, that baseball really travelled 496 feet. That would be the longest home run since ESPN began tracking distance in 2009. The Yankees are now riding a 5-game winning streak. In their last 5 games, the Yankees have scored a total of 57 runs. That is insane!! This offensive outburst is still being done without future 1st baseman Greg Bird. As good as the offense has been, it is the pitching that has the Yankees in 1st place on June 12th. C.C. Sabathia’s resurgence has been the untold storyline of the Yankees’ season. Let’s hope it continues.

RAFAEL NADAL

And last but not least….words you’ve heard many times before. 10 times now to be exact. Yes. Rafael Nadal won his 10th French Open title. What words could I possibly find to explain the greatness that is Rafael Nadal?? I don’t know, but I’ll try. He is the best clay-court tennis player ever. We have never seen a player this dominant at anything..ever. Not Wayne Gretzky on ice. Not Bill Russell on the hardwood. And no, not Tom Brady on the gridiron. Rafael Nadal dominates clay like nothing we’ve ever seen. Think about this. Nadal just won the French Open without dropping a set in the ENTIRE TOURNAMENT!! The finals was about as anti-climatic as they come. He defeated Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1. At age 31, Nadal is finally healthy again, and that means only one thing..the sky is the limit.

With all these fantastic sporting events on TV this weekend, what did you watch?? Tell me what was on your TV in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

 

15 Down, 1 To Go

kd

I like this picture. Yes Kevin, you’re only 1 win away from your 1st ring. Soon Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, and Elgin Baylor will go back to being the best players without an NBA championship.

There are countless ways to break down the Cleveland Cavaliers loss in Game 3 (118-113). But we’re going to keep it short and sweet. The Golden State Warriors are simply too good. They are simply too much to handle for the Cavaliers. That’s it. That’s all I have to say. Bye……….

 

 

 

 

Naaaaa, I’m just messin’ with you..we still need to place blame somewhere. Today, I’m going to blame this loss on 4 people (or things). Lebron James, Lebron James, Lebr………I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Did you just see the Lebron defenders jump out of their chairs?!?!

Seriously though, Game 3’s loss is on Tyronn Lue, Kevin Love, whoever constructed the Cavaliers roster (oh wait that’s Lebron James), and father-time. Let’s start with Tyronn Lue. Lue made numerous mistakes in this game, but none loomed larger than not fouling Golden State immediately with 25 seconds left in the game. Newsflash..when you’re down 1 with 25 seconds left, in a virtual must-win situation, you foul immediately to extend the game. Instead, the Cavaliers waited 13 seconds to foul. This left the Cavaliers with no choice but to jack up a three. But thanks to Andre Iguodala’s extremely risky swipe at the ball, Lebron James never got that chance. Also, you’d think at some point during the game, as the Cavaliers struggled mightily from 3-point range, “Coach” Lue might have suggested taking the ball to the basket. That’s your cue Kevin Love.

Kevin Love was awful last night. He finished with just 9 points on 1-9 shooting (1-7 from 3-point range). The Cavaliers shot just 27.3% from 3-point range. They attempted 44 3-pointers..44!! Who do they think they are the Houston Rockets?? You would think at some point they’d stop trying to jam the square peg into the round hole. Or not. “But if Love hits just 2 more 3’s they win.” Yeah, and if my grandmother had balls she’d be my grandfather. Listen, the Cavaliers put forth a great effort last night, but take the rest of the stats away and consider this: How can the Cavaliers beat the Warriors with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving shooting a combined 1-14 from 3-point range??

 

how does Tristan Thompson’s 5-year, $82 million contract look now?? Thompson has just 8 points and 11 rebounds in the Finals (all 8 of those points came in Game 2). I’m sorry, but that is unacceptable. And if you are relying on a 36-year old Richard Jefferson to guard Kevin Durant, you know you’re in trouble.

And last but not least, father-time. I know, I know, I know, I know. Everyone is going to kill me for this, but it’s the truth. Lebron’s numbers are off the charts. He is a top-5 player of all-time, and he has played in 7 consecutive Finals. HE’S TIRED. In 13 NBA seasons, he has played 41, 272 minutes (25th most of all-time). He is on pace to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for most minutes played. I’m not blaming Lebron James. He is definitely doing all he can. He is leaving every ounce of energy on the court and it shows, as he is yet again averaging a triple-double in the Finals (32 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists). But believe it or not he’s human. This is why, down the stretch of games, he defers to his teammates too much. The Cavaliers were outscored 11-0 in the final 3:08 of the game. They went 0-8 during that stretch. How many of those shots do you think Lebron took?? ONE!! He only took ONE shot in the final 3:44 of the game. Also unacceptable. Lebron, you are the best player in the world, and this is your team. So don’t kick the ball out to Kyle Korver when you can drive to the basket. Don’t give Kyrie Irving the ball and then stand in the corner like a scared 2nd grade kid in gym class and watch Kyrie jack up a step back 3-pointer. Get the ball and ram it home like you did in the 1st quarter!!

And now..we’re here. Present time. The Warriors are up 3-0 in the NBA Finals. They are 15-0 in the playoffs (which is already a record). And they are looking to become the 1st team to sweep through the playoffs at 16-0. The trio of Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and Klay Thompson was fantastic last night. They combined for 87 points and 15 3-pointers. None more important than Kevin Durant’s 3-pointer with 45 seconds left, putting his team up 114-113. The Warriors will try to close out the series sweep on Friday night at 9:00 P.M. EST. Tune into ABC to see if they can continue to make history.

Do you think the Warriors will sweep the Finals?? Give me your hot take in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!