The Viral Roundup – First Blood Edition
Hello! Welcome to another friendly installment of The Viral Roundup. We’re your reliable one-stop shop for all the big news, big buzz and big developments headlining a new day in sports. If it’s worth talking, texting or tweeting about, we’ve got it tucked in here. In today’s edition: The puck drops on the Stanley Cup Finals, the Mariners gain Mark Trumbo but get taken out by Tanaka and the Pirates continue their winning ways with a sweep of San Francisco.
Did You Hear?
The mood in Tampa Bay for Game 1 went from excited to heartbroken in a hurry. Chicago battled back from a 1-0 deficit in Stanley Cup Finals opener to notch a pair of goals with under seven minutes to escape with a 2-1 road win over the Lightning. Finnish young gun Teuvo Teravainen lit the lamp for the game-tying goal and provided an assist on Antoine Vermette’s game winner. Both clubs didn’t exactly pepper shots on net. Corey Crawford made 22 saves for the Blackhaws while his Bolts counterpart Ben Bishop stopped 19 attempts sent his way. Chicago will be thrilled with this stat: 77% of clubs that win Game 1 have gone on to nab the Cup in the best-of-seven era. (Mind you, Tampa lost the opening bout of their Round 1 and Round 3 matchups, so they might not be too panicked.) Game 2 goes down Saturday night in Tampa.
Did You See?
The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers are set to do battle tonight in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, so why not treat yourself to this awesome animation of Steph Curry’s ball handling warmup? Curry and the Warriors are listed as five and a half point home favourite to take the Finals opener and a -200 moneyline favourite to exit the series with the NBA title.
Did You Know?
- Is expansion on the horizon for the National Hockey League? Commissioner Gary Bettman suggested that expansion could be in the cards depending on how things go at this month’s Board of Governors meeting in Las Vegas. Sin City is one of the locations that’s rumoured to be a landing site for a new franchise with Seattle and Quebec City scoring some murmurs as well. Bettman also attempted to squash talk of the Florida Panthers and Arizona Coyotes possibly being in line for relocation by saying both clubs are in alright health.
- Mark Buerhle blanked the Nationals over nine innings to score a complete game win. The Blue Jays starter held Washington to a measly six hits over the entire contest and Jose Bautista crushed his 8th homer of the season in an 8-0 bludgeoning of Washington. Toronto returns north of the border to prep for a contest against Houston tomorrow and the Nationals start a set tonight versus the Chicago Cubs.
- The Red Sox and Twins traded wins in their Wednesday doubleheader showdown. Boston scored the first W courtesy of a 6-3 doubling up of Minnesota that featured wonder rookie Eduardo Rodriguez holding the Twins to two hits over seven innings for his second win in as many Major League outings. Minnesota got their revenge in the nightcap blanking Boston 2-0. This time it was Trevor May that was marvellous on the mound keeping the Red Sox bats to only two hits.
- Sonny Gray collected his seventh win of the season at the expense of the Tigers. The Athletics starter improved to 7-2 following a sterling eight inning performance yielding two hits and zero earned runs in a 6-1 Oakland victory. Detroit’s reeling at the moment with six straight losses to their name and ground being lost in the AL Central standings. The Tigers can snap that streak this afternoon in the final game of their series with Oakland.
- Masahiro Tanaka’s was terrific in his return to the Yankees. The 26-year-old right-hander kept his outing under 80 pitches and held the Mariners to 3 hits in that span to lead New York to 3-1 win. Mark Teixeira and Garrett Jones both went yard in the victory. The Yankees exit the Pacific Northwest sweeping the series and Seattle is bogged down in a five game losing streak. Was there a silver lining to this day for Mariners fans? Kinda! Direct your eyes below.
- The Mariners have added a big bat to their lineup in the form of D-Backs slugger Mark Trumbo. Seattle acquired the 29-year-old outfielder (plus pitcher Vidal Nuno) in a deal that ships catcher Welington Castillo, pitcher Dominic Leone, outfielder Gabby Guerrero and infielder Jack Reinheimer to the desert. Trumbo’s hit .259 with 9 homers and 23 RBI this season and is expected to open up Nelson Cruz’s opportunities to play DH, while Arizona will be able to give their younger players increased playing time. Speaking of Arizona…
- The Diamondbacks scored their biggest comeback in franchise history in yesterday’s action. Arizona (a -130 moneyline home favourite) came back from a 6-0 deficit in the 2nd to snatch a 9-8 win over the Braves. A.J. Pollock knocked his 7th homer out of play in the comeback effort and allowed the D-Backs to exit the series with a 2-1 record. Arizona hosts the Mets tonight and the Braves head back to Georgia to face the Pirates.
- The Cards continue to be dynamite at home. St. Louis (a -160 moneyline home favourite) topped the bottom-feeding Brewers 7-4 on Wednesday. John Lackey pitched seven strong innings to improved to 4-3 on the season and a robust five run opening frame provided some welcome offensive support for the 36-year-old vet. Ryan Braun was out of the lineup for Milwaukee and he’ll be on the shelf for more games thanks to a cryotherapy procedure on his right thumb. Adding to the Brewers woes was the exit of 3B Hector Gomez after hitting his head in the 6th.
- Francisco Liriano had San Fran’s number on Wednesday. The Pirates hurler outdueled Tim Hudson to pilot Pittsburgh to a 5-2 win and a series sweep of the Giants. Pirates SS Jordy Mercer notched a double and his 2nd round-tripper of 2015 in the victory. The Buccos have been extremely hot of late winning 12 of their last 16 while San Francisco’s been stumbling and have a five gaming losing streak to show for it.
- He wasn’t selected first overall, but his jersey sales were the number one pick last month. Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota can boast having the NFL’s top jersey sales total for May. In second place was fellow rookie Jameis Winston of Tampa Bay and Deflategate focal point Tom Brady earned the bronze medal spot. Outside of the jersey sales department, Mariota’s Titans aren’t expected to do too much winning in 2015. Oddsmakers list the AFC South squad as a 200/1 shot to win the Super Bowl.
- The Gronk Clan are coming to a game show near you. Rob Gronkoswki and his family will be taping an episode of Family Feud this weekend because the universe is a strange and fascinating place.
- Oddsmakers like American Pharoah’s chances of winning the Triple Crown this weekend. Located in the number 5 post position, the horse with Kentucky Derby and Preakness titles is a 3-5 shot to win at Belmont. The last horse to score the Triple Crown? You’ll have to go back to 1978 when Affirmed pulled off the feat.
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