After Wednesday’s barnburner, the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers get back at it tonight at the AAA for game 2 of their Eastern Conference Finals series. Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra asked his team a very simple, yet pointed, question at practice yesterday: What could you have done better? Ray Allen worked on free throws, as the team combined to shoot only 64% from the charity stripe. Shane Battier and the rest of the shooters worked to improve the 5-18 shooting from behind the three-point line. The team also worked on ironing out some of the issues that caused them to commit 21 turnovers, after averaging less than 15 per game during the postseason. You can watch as the Heat bring their “A” game tonight, starting at 8:30 pm, TNT. I’m sticking by my original pick - Miami in six games or less.
In the Western Conference final series, the San Antonio Spurs and the Memphis Grizzlies are off until Saturday in Memphis. The Spurs lead that series 2 games to none.
From the NFL, ESPN has a list of five second-year players that could have very big seasons this season, including Dolphin QB Ryan Tannehill:
It is time to start analyzing the Las Vegas win-total bets for the NFL this season. ESPN insider Dave Tuley brings us all the numbers:
The Marlins are up in the Windy City to take on the Chicago White Sox in a three-game interleague series starting tonight. The Fish come into this series having lost 9 of 11, while the White Sox have won 6 out of their last 9. The Marlins return to Florida and take on the Tampa Bay Rays in Tampa on Monday and Tuesday and back to Miami for two more games against the Rays on Wednesday and Thursday. Next weekend, the Metropolitans will invade Marlins Park. Here are the expected pitching matchups for the White Sox series:
FRIDAY Tom Koehler vs John Danks 8:10 pm
SATURDAY Ricky Nolasco vs Jake Peavy 7:15 pm
SUNDAY Alex Sanabia vs Dylan Axelrod 2:10 pm
Of course, the Fish are still the worst run-scoring team in MLB, with 125 in their 47 games. (2.67 runs per game) I will be posting the “bottom five” rankings in runs scored until the Marlins aren’t on the list. It looks like we’ll be here all season long.
TEAM W-L Runs
Marlins 13-34 125
Dodgers 19-26 156
Nationals 24-23 159
White Sox 21-24 166
Phillies 23-24 167
In the major leagues yesterday, first in the National League,
Pirates 4 Cubs 2
Andrew McCutchen put in a full day at the office with three hits, two RBI, and two stolen bases as the Pirates finished off a three-game sweep of the Cubs.
Over in the American League:
Jays 12 Orioles 6
Edwin Encarnacion belted a grand slam, JP Arencibia added a two-run blast and finished with four RBI.
Tigers 7 Twins 6
Prince Fielder drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning. Miguel Cabrera connected long distance with a man on and finished with three RBI.
Indians 12 Red Sox 3
Mark Reynolds and Drew Stubbs each with three hits and three RBI.
Angels 5 Royals 4
After seven consecutive losses, Joe Blanton finally won a game for the Angels. Mark Trumbo, Mike Trout, Alberto Pujols, and Chris Ianetta all connected long distance.
Today’s games, first in the National League:
Phillies @ Nationals 7:05 pm
Kyle Kendrick vs Jordan Zimmerman
Braves @ Mets 7:10 pm
Kris Medlen vs Jeremy Hefner
Cubs @ Reds 7:10 pm
Scott Feldman vs Bronson Arroyo
Pirates @ Brewers 8:10 pm
AJ Burnett vs Marco Estrada
Padres @ D-Backs 9:40 pm
Eric Stults vs Brandon McCarthy
Cardinals @ Dodgers 10:10 pm
Lance Lynn vs Chris Capuano
Rockies @ Giants 10:15 pm
Tyler Chatwood vs Tim Lincecum
Over in the American League:
Orioles @ Blue Jays 7:07 pm
Chris Tillman vs Sean Nolin
Twins @ Tigers 7:08 pm
Samuel Deduno vs Anibal Sanchez
Indians @ Red Sox 7:10 pm
Justin Masterson vs John Lackey
Yankees @ Rays 7:10 pm
David Phelps vs Roberto Hernandez
Marlins @ White Sox 8:10 pm
Tom Koehler vs John Danks
Angels @ Royals 8:10 pm
Jason Vargas vs Luis Mendoza
A’s @ Astros 8:10 pm
Tommy Milone vs Erik Bedard
Rangers @ Mariners 10:10 pm
Justin Grimm vs Joe Saunders
Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports on Logan Morrison’s progress:
The comparisons of the Marlins and the Astros to history’s worst team, the 1962 New York Mets are starting to rear their ugly heads:
Here are the up-to-the-minute standings in MLB:
Here are the individual league leaders in MLB:
TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION: How many times have the Hurricanes won the ACC tournament in baseball? Tell you later, alligator.
In college baseball, FIU got two home runs from Edwin Rios to beat UALR yesterday, 4-3, and advance to today’s elimination game. Game time tonight is 7:30 pm, against the loser of this afternoon’s game between South Alabama and Louisiana-Lafayette. Meanwhile, in the ACC tournament, the University of Miami Hurricanes got pummeled by North Carolina, 10-0. The Canes will take on North Carolina State today.
I’m selling a little over three acres in the beautiful North Carolina mountains, overlooking the New River, a quick 35-minute drive from Boone and Blowing Rock. Check out some photos here and feel free to contact me if you have any questions:
THE ANSWER TO TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION: How many times have the Hurricanes won the ACC tournament in baseball?
Unfortunately, they have won only once, back in 2008.
Don’t miss my two “Descarga Deportiva” radio segments (for the Spanish-challenged, “Sports Jam Session”) every day, Monday through Friday, at 9:25 am and 12:15 pm on Radio Esperanza, 1550 AM or on the internet on www.miradioesperanza.com.
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Behave yourselves, and always remember that tomorrow will bring us a brand new day. HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!!!