The Viral Roundup – Bryce Harper Is Very Good At Baseball Edition
Howdy! Happy Thursday and welcome to The Viral Roundup. We’re your daily one-stop shop for all the big news, big buzz and big developments headlining the world of sports. If it’s worth talking about, we’ve got it right here. In today’s edition: Round 2 action continues on for the NHL and NBA, Deflategate rears its head yet again and Bryce Harper decimates the Marlins.
Did You Hear?
Beware! Bryce Harper will go yard off you and anyone you care about. The Nats slugger had a triple homer day, racking up round-trippers in his first three at-bats in a 7-5 win over the Marlins. Harper’s the first 22-year-old to have a homer hat trick since Joe Lahoud pulled off the feat for the Red Sox in 1969. In less fist-pumping news, details are still lacking on the health of Washington hurler Stephen Strasburg after he left Tuesday’s action with a shoulder ailment. Elsewhere in Nationals medical news, Jayson Werth was out of the lineup for a second straight contest with a shoulder issue of his own.
Did You See?
Can you sort out horses from hipsters? Y’know, aside from the Clydesdale that was in Awesome Colour back in 2006. As the world nursed its post Kentucky Derby mint julep hangover, Garbage Time’s Katie Nolan hit the streets to ask folks if they could sort out hipster band names from monikers given to race horses. Spoiler: The success rate was low.
Did You Know?
- It was a night of Habs heartbreak in the Sunshine State. Tyler Johnson’s goal with 1.1 seconds remaining shattered the spirit of Montreal hockey fans and provided Tampa Bay with a 2-1 home win. The Bolts now hold a 3-0 stranglehold on the Canadiens and can seal the deal tonight on home ice. Lightning goalkeeper Ben Bishop made 30 saves for the W, while Hart/Vezina candidate Carey Price stopped 17 shots in a losing cause. If the Bolts can finish off Montreal, it’ll send the club to its first Eastern Conference Finals since their 7 game defeat in 2011 at the hands of the Boston Bruins.
- The Capitals are just one win away from clawing their way back into the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since the Clinton era. Andre Burakovsky lit the lamp twice and Braden Holtby turned aside 28 shots to score a 2-1 win for Washington over the New York Rangers. NYR had an incredible opportunity in the 3rd frame to tie things up when Carl Hagelin was hauled down by Washington blueliner Mike Green and was awarded a penalty shot for the infraction. As you can tell from our tone, Holtby bailed his squad out and stopped Hagelin’s attempt. The Caps can turn 3-1 to 4-1 on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
- King James and the Cavs came back in a big way on Wednesday night. Coming in as a five and a half point home favourite, Cleveland levelled Chicago 106-91 with LeBron James redeeming his weak Game 1 with a 33 point/8 rebound performance. Kevin Love and J.R. Smith were both out of the lineup, but LeBron’s headband did make a triumphant return. (Not helping matters for Chicago was a 7 for 22 night beyond the arc.) The Cavs victory knots the series up at 1-1 heading into the Windy City for Friday’s Game 3 showdown.
- The Rockets took advantage of a CP3-free Clippers squad and have a 1-1 series tie to show for it. James Harden and his magnificent beard put 32 points on the scoreboard (a healthy assortment coming in the 4th quarter) and Dwight Howard notched a double-double in a 115-109 Houston win. Los Angeles guard Chris Paul’s hamstring injury kept him out of the lineup and Austin Rivers was underwhelming as a temporary “solution.” L.A. hosts Game 3 tomorrow night and it’s not yet official if Paul will be back to work.
- Did you think Deflategate was done and dusted? Nope. The NFL’s investigation into the matter determined that it was “more probable than not” that the Patriots intentionally deflated footballs in their AFC Championship Game against the Colts. The report also declared that New England’s superstar quarterback Tom Brady was likely aware of the inflation tampering. Discipline is likely coming to the franchise (Spygate, anyone?) but the severity of the punishment is still to be determined. “Throughout the process of this nearly four-month investigation, we have cooperated and patiently awaited its outcome,” said Patriots owner Bob Kraft in a statement following the release of the NFL’s report. “To say we are disappointed in its findings, which do not include any incontrovertible or hard evidence of deliberate deflation of footballs at the AFC Championship Game, would be a gross understatement. In addition, given our level of cooperation throughout the process, I was offended by the comments made in the Wells Report in reference to not making an individual available for a follow-up interview.” It doesn’t look like this whole affair is wrapping up anytime soon.
- Mark Buehrle’s strong 2015 campaign continues. After giving up one run in the opening frame, the Blue Jays starter shut down the bats of the Pinstripes in a 5-1 win. Things were far messier for heavily paid Yankees hurler CC Sabathia who sinks to a 0-5 record this season after giving up four runs and nine hits over six plus innings. Toronto catcher Russell Martin clubbed his 7th homer of the season in the victory. The Jays move on to a new series with the Red Sox on Friday and the AL East leading Yankees start a home set versus the Orioles tonight.
- It wasn’t exactly at the level of Bryce Harper’s triple homer outing, but Evan Longoria put on an impressive display of power of his own on Wednesday. Tampa’s asset at the hot corner went yard twice as the Rays edged past the Red Sox 5-3. Boston starter Justin Masterson was chased off the mound in the 5th and exited the game with an L. Both clubs are looking up at the Yanks at the top of the division standings.
- The Twins have really turned it around after a shaky start, eh? Minnesota decimated Oakland 13-0 today to improve to 11-5 at home. Kyle Gibson was strong on the mound holding the A’s to four hits over six innings. It was a remakable Major League debut for Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario as he went yard on the first big league pitch that came his way. Minnesota is currently two and a half games back of the Royals for the AL Central lead.
- The Padres pummeled the Giants pitching staff in Wednesday’s afternoon action to emerge with a 9-1 win. San Diego (a +128 moneyline underdog) exploded for five runs in the 3rd and were able to reap the benefits of Ian Kennedy’s work on the mound. The Padres starter turned in an excellent 7 inning performance with only one earned run given up. San Diego’s win prevented their NL West rival from sweeping the series and bumps the Padres to a half game lead over the Giants in the standings. The Dodgers continue to enjoy a comfortable lead at the division’s summit.
- The IIHF World Hockey Championship offered up a barnburner between two hockey powers. Canada bounced back from 3-0 1st period deficit to hang a 6-4 thumping on Sweden. Oilers forward Taylor Hall continued his incredible tournament play with a pair of markers for the national squad. Canada leads Group A with an undefeated record while the Swedes sit in second place. Canada’s next showdown will be on Saturday against France.
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