The Viral Roundup – Slaying Warriors Edition
Happy Wednesday! We trust you’re well and relatively sober this morning. Welcome to another go-around of The Viral Roundup. We’re your daily one-stop shop for all the big news, big buzz and big developments headlining a new day in the world of sports. In today’s edition: The Cavs triumph at home, the Red Wings officially hire a new bench boss, Chris Heston notches a no-hitter and Joey Votto slugs without mercy in Cincinnati.
Did You Hear?
Steph Curry got off to a miserable start, shifted into a marvelous second half and ended the evening in heartbreak. Cleveland returned home to Ohio to earn a 96-91 victory over the Golden State Warriors and a 2-1 NBA Finals series lead. King James turned in an incredible performance (40 points/12 rebounds/8 assists) and Matthew Dellavedova had the best game of his career in the Game 3 triumph. (By the way, LeBron’s 123 points in the first three games is the best opening three game tally in NBA Finals history.) The Warriors threatened to battle back from a hefty deficit, but just couldn’t do the trick as the clock wound down. Cleveland improve to a menacing 27 wins in their last 29 home games and can finally boast their first Finals home win in franchise history. Next Up: Golden State tries to even the score tomorrow night in Game 4 action.
Did You See?
Experiencing some French Open withdrawl? Try to calm that craving for a grand slam tournament (Wimbledon’s on its way) with a preview of a new HBO mockumentary starring Andy Samberg and Kit Harington. It looks amazing.
Did You Know?
- The Detroit Red Wings have finally made it official. Grand Rapids bench boss Jeff Blashill has been hired as the head coach in Hockeytown after three seasons with Detroit’s AHL affiliate. Blashill’s hiring comes as no surprise with the team waiting until Grand Rapids was elminated from the playoffs before making an announcement. He’ll be taking over the position that had been held by Mike Babcock for nearly a decade. During Babcock’s tenure, the Wings always made the playoffs and boast a 2007-08 Stanley Cup Champions banner at Joe Louis Arena from the coach’s time with the franchise. Blashill will be taking the reins of a club that went 43-25-14 in the regular season before getting bounced by Tampa Bay in the first round of the playoffs.
- Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs goes down tonight in Chicago. If you know Ben Bishop’s status, please drop us a postcard. It’s not quite clear what’s been ailing Tampa Bay’s goalkeeper and we might may never know. The Bolts hold a 2-1 series lead over the Blackhawks, but oddsmakers list Chicago as a -165 moneyline home favourite heading into tonight’s action. The Lightning have been strong on the road, holding an 8-3 record as the visiting club this postseason.
- Can NBC kill a beloved playoff hockey tradition? We’ll have to wait and see. NBC Sports chairman Mark Lazarus has shared that he’d prefer it if the players competing for Lord Stanley’s Mug gave up on the playoff fuzz. “The players won’t like this, but I wish they all would stop growing beards in the postseason,” admitted the exec. “Let’s get their faces out there. Let’s talk about how young and attractive they are.” To be fair, Lazarus hasn’t called for a ban or anything. It’s just his marketing preference, so let’s turn down the worry, shall we?
- We have our first no-no of 2015! Chris Heston pitched a gem on Tuesday with 11 Ks and no hits surrendered in a memorable 5-0 Giants blanking of the Mets. Heston’s effort marks the 17th no-hitter in Giants history and ended with a trio of strikeouts in the bottom of the 9th. San Francisco has a unique streak on the go: This is the fourth straight year with a Giants no-hitter. Tim Lincecum pulled off the feat in 2014 and 2013 with Matt Cain notching a perfect game in 2012. By the way, the last no-hitter from a rookie came in 2007 via Clay Buchholz.
- Joey Votto had a night to remember. The Canuck with the big bat knocked not one, not two, but three round-trippers in Cincinatti’s 11-2 crushing of the Phillies. (Votto’s pulled off this feat before courtesy of a three homer performance in 2012.) Anthony DeSclafani gave up ten hits as the Reds starter, but exited with only two runs given up and his fifth win of the season.
- Welcome to the majors, Taylor Jungmann. The towering Brewers hurler had a marvelous big league debut holding the Pirates to one run and three hits over seven innings in a 4-1 Milwaukee win. The game was knotted up at one going into the 7th when Aramis Ramirez and Jason Rogers smacked in runs to give Jungmann the help he needed.
- It looked like Chris Young was in the mood to get in on yesterday’s no-hit action. The Royals starter was in possession of a no-no going into the 7th until Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe broke the bid up with a triple. It was the only hit Minnesota tallied as they fell 2-0 at home to Kansas City. The result busts up the tie at the summit of the AL Central standings and gives KC a one game lead over Minnesota. That margin can grow some more tonight in Minneapolis.
- Lucky seven! Toronto (a -158 moneyline home favourite) escaped with a 4-3 interleague victory over Miami courtesy of Edwin Encarnacion’s heroics in the bottom of the 9th. The Jays slugger socked a two run walkoff shot off A.J. Ramos to obliterate a 3-2 deficit and send the Rogers Centre crowd home happy. Toronto can complete the sweep in today’s matinee bout with the Marlins.
- Toronto’s not the only hot hand in the AL East race. The division leading Yankees also grabbed their seventh consecutive win. Masahiro Tanaka turned in another stellar start to help guide New York to a 6-1 bouncing of the Nationals. The Yanks were also aided by Stephen Drew hitting a pair of taters in the contest. The Pinstripes can add to their win streak this afternoon at Yankee Stadium in their rematch with Washington.
- Tuesday’s Women’s World Cup action was decidedly more sedate that the offensive feasts offered up on Sunday and Monday, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth watching. Yesterday’s slate opened up with France nudging past England 1-0 in Moncton thanks to Eugenie Le Sommer’s first half marker. Tuesday’s second Group F matchup showcased Mexico and Columbia playing to a 1-1 draw. Montreal also played host to a draw with Spain and Costa Rica tied at goal apiece. The final match of the day featured Marta and Formiga providing goals in a 2-0 Brazilian thumping of South Korea.
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