The Viral Roundup – The Broom Of Mercy Edition
Howdy! Welcome to another friendly go-around of The Viral Roundup. We’re your one-stop shop for all the big news, big buzz and big developments headlining a brand new morning in the world of sports. In today’s edition: Cleveland punch their ticket to the NBA Finals, the Rangers survive and thrive to score a Game 7 spot and the Blue Jays taste walk-off glory.
Did You Hear?
The sweep is complete and it wasn’t even close. Cleveland (a 7.5 home favourite) blew out Atlanta 118-88 to gain passage to the franchise’s second-ever NBA Finals appearance. LeBron James put 23 points on the scoreboard and a returning Kyrie Irving provided 16 points in this absolute rout of their Eastern Conference Finals opponent. The Cavs now shift into voyeur mode as Golden State and Houston battle it out to be other side of the title series equation. A championship for King James and the Cavaliers would end Cleveland’s enormous title drought. The city hasn’t held a major championship since the Browns were NFL champs. We’d say Super Bowl champs, but Cleveland’s been titleless since before the invention of that American sports institution.
Did You See?
What NFL player would you want to see on American Ninja Warrior? Would JJ Watt be your first pick? Maybe Marshawn Lynch’s in your top spot? How about The Almighty Gronk? None of those football superstars have taken on the challenge of American Ninja Warrior, but Seahawks punter Jon Ryan has. Did he turn in a dazzling record-setting performance? No. No he did not. (FEAR THE TILTING TABLE!) He did put in an admirable effort and wore some camouflage shorts, so that’s a minor victory. Check out Ryan’s attempt below.
Did You Know?
- The New York Rangers did more than just survive Game versus the Tampa Bay Lightning, they absolutely slaughtered the club that had them on the brink. The Blueshirts throttled the Bolts 7-3 in the Sunshine State and force a Game 7 showdown at Madison Square Garden on Friday night. Derick Brassard had a monster game for NYR with a hat trick and two helpers while Henrik Lundqvist made 36 saves in the victory. (By the way, Brassard is the first Ranger to score a Conference Finals hat trick since Wayne Gretzky pulled off the heat in 1997.) As you may have guessed from the final score, Tampa netminder Ben Bishop had a miserable evening giving up five goals on 26 shots before getting the hook with understudy Andrei Vasilevskiy taking over in the crease. Considering King Henrik’s reputation as a Game 7 marvel, Tampa has their work cut out for them in Manhattan later this week.
- Ken Hitchcock will be back behind the bench in St. Louis for 2015-16. The Blues have inked a one-year pact that will have Hitchcock continuing to guide the team after an underwhelming postseason run that included a first round exit courtesy of the Minnesota Wild. There were rumblings that St. Louis were one of the suitors in this month’s Mike Babcock sweepstakes, but Detroit’s bench boss chose Toronto as his new place of employ. The Blues have made the playoffs in all four years that Hitchcock has been in the role of head coach.
- It wasn’t exactly the 14-1 Memorial Day beatdown the Yankees served up on Monday, but we’re sure New York was just fine with Tuesday’s W too. Adam Warren held the Royals to two hits over 6+ innings as the Yanks (a -115 moneyline home favourite) topped Kansas City 5-1. Mark Teixeira cranked his 14th homer of the season in the victory. New York can sweep the series against their AL Central leading guests this afternoon.
- The Houston Astros improved to a robust 30-17 yesterday by rolling past the Orioles 4-1. Houston kinda took their time putting Rs on the board, scoring all their runs in the 7th and 8th. Astros hurler Scott Feldman was strong on the mound and 3B Luis Valbuena went 2-4 with two RBI. Houston’s been on a tear of late, snatching up 10 wins in their last 13 outings.
- Josh Donaldson brought the power on Tuesday night. The Blue Jays 3B provided a double dose of round-trippers including a three-run tater in the bottom of the 9th to give Toronto a 10-9 walkoff win over the White Sox. Donaldson’s homer heroism came at the expense of Chicago closer David Robertson who suffered his second blown save of the season. Jays slugger Jose Bautista also provided 5 RBI in the victory.
- To the plank with ye! Another day, another Marlins loss. The Pirates (a -150 moneyline favourite) thumped Miami 5-1 at PNC Park, powered in part by a two-run shot from Neil Walker in the bottom of the 2nd. Pittsburgh starter Jeff Locke collected his third win of 2015 and the Pirates have a chance to complete the sweep this afternoon. The Fish have dropped to 2-7 with Dan Jennings on as the new skipper.
- Cincinnati’s nightmare losing streak has been slain! Cincy squeaked out a 2-1 W over Colorado on Tuesday night that snapped an ugly nine game tailspin of defeat. Skip Schumaker provided a pinch-hit walkoff double that brought Marlon Byrd home and the Reds back into the land of the winning. Cincinnati notched the win with 2B Brandon Phillips out of the lineup with a toe injury.
- Homers Bryce Harper and Denard Span were not enough to grab the Nats a victory at Wrigley Field. The Cubs edged out the visiting Nationals 3-2 with Addison Russell’s clutch double in the 9th sending the Second City crowd home happy. Kris Bryant, another mega-talented Chicago prospect-to-pro star, cranked his seventh homer of the season for the winning side.
- The Mets are now an impressive 19-6 at home and they can thank Wilmer Flores’ key hits for keeping the Ls at six. The New York shortstop knocked in the tying run in the 8th and the game-winning win in the 10th to give the Mets a 5-4 extra innings victory over the NL East rival Phillies. Philadelphia is in danger of being swept if they drop today’s matinee versus New York.
- The Brewers will be without hurler Wily Peralta for 4-6 weeks courtesy of a strained oblique acquired in Friday’s Milwaukee/Miami game. The Brewers haven’t revealed who will take the pitcher’s spot in the starting rotation during his absence. Peralta’s 2015 campaign hasn’t been much to write home about. The 26-year-old right-hander holds a 1-5 record coupled with a puffy 4.00 ERA. By the way, Milwaukee dropped their fourth straight contest yesterday thanks to a 6-3 loss courtesy of Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants.
- The Montreal Alouettes held a news conference yesterday to trumpet the signing of defensive end Michael Sam. The LSU alum made headlines by becoming the first openly gay player taken in the NFL Draft, although he did not end up staying on with either of the teams (St. Louis and Dallas) that employed him. ”I’m just here to play football. I’m not trying to do anything historic,” Sam told reporters. Montreal are currently listed as an 8/1 shot to win the Grey Cup in 2015. The Calgary Stampeders top the Futures board as a 10/3 favourite to win it all, while the Ottawa Redblacks have the longest odds at 20/1
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