Tanaka Shows Emotion For The 1st Time..Ever — Shuts Out Astros In Game 5

tanaka game 5

2, 2, 1, 4, and 0. No, that’s not my ATM pin number, it’s the number of runs scored by the Houston Astros in the ALCS. While the storyline continues to revolve around Aaron Judge and the Yankees’ potent offense, the pitching staff continues to be overshadowed.

Yes, the bats needed to wake up, as they were limited to 1 run each of the first 2 games, but they wouldn’t be leading the ALCS 3 games to 2 without stellar pitching. Everyone knows how dominant their bullpen is, however, they’ve sported the best starting rotation so far this postseason. The only team who has performed near the level of the Yankees is the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Heading into this season, the Yankees’ starting rotation was littered with question marks. How would Luis Severino perform in his 1st full season as a starter?? How much does CC Sabathia have left in the tank?? Can Michael Pineda stay healthy for an entire season?? Who will be the 5th starter??

The Yankees overachieved this season, so the majority of these questions were answered in the affirmative, however, they did falter at times. Pineda was shut down for the year in early July. Jordan Montgomery, who filled the 5th starter role to perfection, ran into an innings limit. And the 1 part of the rotation the Yankees assumed would be the foundation, Masahiro Tanaka, turned out to be the least consistent piece of the puzzle.

Come October, throw everything out the window. Except for my TV. Don’t throw that out the window. Postseason baseball breathes new life into the air. Some rise to the occasion, some succumb to the pressure. The Yankees have risen.

Last night, in a crucial Game 5, Masahiro Tanaka, pitched an absolute gem.

CAN I GET A SHUTOUT HERRREEEEE?!?!

Tanaka’s Day: 7 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, and 8 strikeouts

The Astros have picked a bad time to go ice cold. 9 runs in 5 games is not going to cut it. Again, this is a testament to the Yankees’ pitching because the Astros are a powerful offense.

Here are the Astros’ offensive rankings in the regular season:

Hits (1,581) – 1st

Runs (896) – 1st

Home Runs (238) – 2nd

Batting Avg. (.282) – 1st

RBI’s (854) – 1st 

Luis Severino will look to keep those powerful bats at bay for 1 more game. Despite being pulled early from his last start, after getting struck with a ball, Severino will take the hill Friday night against Justin Verlander. Verlander mowed down the Yankees in Game 2, so the Yankees will be out for revenge. Hopefully they jump on Verlander early. He’s a rare breed that gets stronger as a game goes on.

Catch all the action tomorrow on FS1 @ 8:08 P.M. EST. When the Yankees win, they’ll return to their 1st World Series since 2009.

LET’S GO YANKEES!!

Score Prediction: Yankees 5, Astros 3 

Who do you think will win Game 6?? 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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Yanks Yank Game 4 From Astros

yankees-astros-2017-american-league-championship-series

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!!

 

 

Yankees C.C. (Complete Comeback)

cc

In CC we trust!!

In a decisive Game 5, the Yankees turned to 37-year old, Carsten Charles Sabathia Jr. Sabathia, now a crafty veteran, channeled his former self. Sabathia, and his left arm, were tremendous, striking out 9 in 4 and 1/3 innings. Notoriously a slow-starter, he wasted no time, striking out the first 2 batters he faced. He kept hitters off balance with his swooping slider and surprised Indians’ hitters with his sneaky fastball.

Do you know what the most impressive part was?? He outdueled AL CY Young favorite, Corey Kluber, twice. For the 2nd straight outing, Kluber was ordinary. After lasting just 2 and 2/3 innings in Game 2, he was destined for just 3 and 2/3 innings on Wednesday. It’s hard to explain. Kluber is one of the best pitchers in the world. But hey, I’m not losing any sleep over it….

Kluber was tagged not once, but twice, by Didi Gregorious. Didi connected on a solo home run in the 1st inning. And struck gold again in the 3rd inning with a 2-run home run. It was DD and CC to the rescue.

Too corny??

Sorry.

Following their crushing defeat in Game 2, winning the ALDS was all the more impressive. These young, “baby-bombers” showed grit and resiliency, punching their way out of a corner. After completing the comeback Wednesday night (5-2), the 2017 Yankees became just the 7th team to comeback from an 0-2 deficit to win a Divisional Series.

If I had told you Aaron Judge would go 1 for 20 in this series, but they’d win, you would have called me names I can’t write on my website. Aaron Judge is an impressive, young man. He’s humble. He’s a great athlete. And he hits baseballs really, really far. But he now holds an unenviable record. Judge’s 16 strikeouts in the ALDS are the most by any player, in any playoff series, in MLB history. No es bueno.

Judge mashes mediocre fastballs (under 94 mph), and has a great eye (127 walks). However, he struggles against fastballs 95 mph or faster and strikeouts far too much (208). Pitchers usually raise his eye level with the ‘high-heat’, and then drop the hammer with a low-and-away breaking ball. If the Yankees are going to have a chance against the Houston Astros in the ALCS, Judge will need to lay off those nasty breaking balls. He should walk down to 1st base over and over again, and set the table for Gary Sanchez in this series. This will force opposing pitchers to serve up inside fastballs to Judge later in the series. Then, my fellow Yankee fans can bust out their telescopes to track Judge Moonshots….

Again, I’m not rooting against my team. I simply call it like I see it.

ALCS Prediction: Astros in 7  

Prove me wrong, again, please….

 

Who do you think will win the ALCS?? In how many games?? 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

severino

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!!

 

 

 

 

Durant Wins 1st (of many) NBA Title

durant nba title

There are 9 words in the English language we should all get used to hearing..again..and again..and again: “The Golden State Warriors are NBA Champions once again!” With Kevin Durant as the new sheriff in town, this may become a common theme in the NBA. And as impressive as the Warriors were this season (I will give them their deserved praise), they are not helping the NBA’s cause. Many thought the NBA had become a 2-team league. Correction. It has become a 1-team league. Think about it. What is the question Cavaliers ownership and management are asking themselves right now?? Exactly! Who can we add to this roster in order to compete with the Warriors?? You laugh but it’s true. In the not so distant future, I picture the entire All-Star starting lineups donning Cavaliers and Warriors’ jerseys. We’ll get back to the mess that is the NBA, but for now, let us give the Warriors the standing ovation they deserve.

Kevin Durant did what he set out to do. He captured his 1st NBA title after jumping ship in Oklahoma City and joining forces with Stephen Curry and company. There’s only one way to put this, Durant straight up balled out. After missing 20 games due to injury this season, Durant returned and peaked at the perfect moment. He averaged 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 5.4 assists in the finals, making him the unanimous Finals MVP. He unquestionably deserved the Finals MVP, however, he completely overshadowed the spectacular series Stephen Curry had. Curry averaged 26.8 points, 9.4 assists, and 8.0 rebounds in the Finals. Those are video game numbers, normally MVP worthy, however, Curry was the 3rd best player in the series. Again highlighting the state of the NBA.

Let’s rewind to the 2014 offseason. The Warriors roster was constructed with only 1 thing in mind; winning multiple championships. 2 down, at least 1 to go. Assuming this roster remains intact (only Andre Iguodala is a free agent this coming offseason), this Warriors team will remain a dynasty in the NBA. Which begs the question, where does this Warriors team rank amongst the all-time great teams?? We only ask the tough questions here at DaveTalksSports!! Here is a list of the NBA’s all-time great teams:

  1. The “Showtime” Lakers
  2. The 80’s Celtics
  3. The “Bad Boy” Pistons
  4. The Bill Russell Celtics
  5. The Shaq and Kobe Lakers
  6. The Spurs’ Dynasty
  7. And last, but certainly not least, the Jordan-Era Bulls

When we say teams, we really mean an era or dynasty that won multiple championships. Many teams flashed greatness for 1 year, but how many franchises ran off streaks of multiple championships??

The Warriors have now been to 3 straight NBA Finals (winning 2 of 3). In the 2015-2016 season, the Warriors broke the record for most wins in the regular season (73), previously held by the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls (72). The Warriors made a historic run through the postseason this year, dropping just 1 game. Their 16-1 record is the highest winning percentage (.941) of any championship team in NBA history, and they also became 1 of only 3 1-loss teams to win a championship.

The question, when comparing teams from different eras, isn’t who would win (as fun as it would be to watch Jordan and the Bulls play Durant and the Warriors), rather who has a more impressive resume. The Warriors still have room for improvement (which is scary), but right now I’d rank them 7th all-time, behind everyone on the above list besides The “Bad Boy” Pistons. Every other team on that list won at least 3 championships and had at least 4 Finals’ appearances. Unless the Cavaliers add another piece to their championship puzzle, the Warriors should repeat next year (yes I already decided next year’s champion) and climb the all-time ranks.

For now, we close the book on the 2016-2017 NBA season. And we open a new book to a clean page to start the debate. Where do the Warriors rank amongst the all-time great teams?? Post your ranking 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!

 

Crosby, Penguins Dominate Game 5

penguins

If you like blowouts, 2017 has you covered. The Stanley Cup Finals did their best NBA Finals impression Thursday night. Game 5 between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators was for lack of a better word, not competitive. The Penguins took an early lead, scoring just 1 minute and 31 seconds into the game. They would not look back. They added 2 more goals in the 1st period, forcing Peter Laviolette, Nashville Predators coach, to pull his goalie. The Predators’ hero from Game 4, Pekka Rinne, would watch the rest of the action from the bench. Nashville’s backup goalie, Juuse Saros, didn’t fare much better, giving up 3 more goals in the 2nd period. The Predators would lose by the final score of 6-0. The Penguins now own a 3-2 lead in the series.

Thursday was an eventful evening for Penguins captain, Sidney Crosby. Crosby, regarded by many as the best player in the world, showcased his skills with 3 assists (he was the 1st star of the game). However, Crosby’s evening did not end there. With 1:32 left in the 1st period, Crosby thought it would be a good idea to slam P.K. Subban’s head into the ice..multiple times. Oh yeah, you heard that right. Now, before you watch the video, I’ll say it wasn’t as bad as it sounds, but he definitely deserved a more severe penalty than he received. Check out the head slamming here. I’m pretty sure you can’t do that. Both Subban and Crosby received 2-minute, minor penalties. Naturally, the Penguins scored while playing 4 on 4.

After watching the replay of Crosby’s head slam, I’m having a hard time understanding why Subban was assessed a penalty at all. And at the same time, I’m puzzled as to how Crosby wasn’t assessed a 5-minute, major penalty. Is it just me? Am I crazy?? It must be nice to be a superstar, because they seem to get away with murder (sometimes literally). Crosby’s shenanigans did not stop there. Allow me to break into an entire scene from Super Troopers:

But our shenanigans are cheeky and fun!

Yeah, and his shenanigans are cruel and tragic.

Which… makes them not really shenanigans at all.

Evil shenanigans!

I swear to God I’ll pistol whip the next guy who says “Shenanigans.”

Hey Farva what’s the name of that restaurant you like with all the goofy sh*t on the walls and the mozzarella sticks?

You mean Shenanigans?

OOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Love that movie. Anyway, with just over 12 minutes to play in the 2nd period, Crosby kept his shenanigans going from the bench. He launched his water bottle onto the ice in the middle of play. You can see the throw heard ’round the world here (the throw happens at 44 seconds in the video). Although Crosby claimed it was a complete accident, you can see the wind up and intentional throw very clearly. He was not assessed a penalty (no shocker there), and the Penguins subsequently went up 5-0. The water bottle did not interfere with the on ice action, but last time I checked you can’t do that either. It must be nice to be the king.

Crosby’s Penguins are now 1 win away from winning back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships. They will travel to Nashville to try and close out the series on the road. You can tune into the action on NBC on Sunday night @ 8:00 P.M. EST. I guess the NHL is sticking with giving teams 147 days off in between games.

Will the Penguins win the Stanley Cup on Sunday?? Or will the Predators continue their strong play at home and force a Game 7?? Give me your thoughts 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!