Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Midday Recap 4/23: Lob City Heroics and a Giant Walkoff

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Lob Heroics
Finally a road team won a game, as the Chicago Bulls evened their series with the Brooklyn Nets with their 90-82 win on Monday.  And out west, lob city became last-second heroics when Chris Paul nailed the game-winning bucket with 0.1 seconds left to give the Clippers a 2-0 series lead over the Memphis Grizzlies.

3 games tonight as the Boston Celtics hope to even their series against the New York Knicks at the Garden, plus the Heat look to ignite themselves to a 2-0 series lead over the Milwaukee Bucks.  And in the nightcap, the Denver Nuggets narrowly took game 1 over the Golden State Warriors, and hopes to take a 2-0 lead before the series shifts to Oakland.

The Minnesota Twins were unable to play Monday night due to inclement weather.  The postponement was their fourth in their last 8 games, three of them at home, including one against the Mets that will have to be made up in August.  The three home cancellations match a season record for Target Field, and re-raises questions about why the field was built without a retractable roof.

Giant Walkoff
Sergio Romo gets the win as he pitched a third of an inning.  That's because he was the last pitcher on record for the San Francisco Giants, who won 5-4 on a Brandon Belt pinch-hit single in the bottom of the 9th inning.  Buster Posey's 2nd home run of the season in the bottom of the 8th tied the game for the Giants, who improve to 13-7, matching the Atlanta Braves (13-5) and the Colorado Rockies (13-5) for most wins in the majors.

Southern Comfort
Tonight's best game on the rink is the Washington Capitals hosting the Winnipeg Jets.  The Southeast Division is not strong this year, as current division leader Washington has as many points as the 7th and 8th teams (New York Rangers & Ottawa Senators). Winnipeg would love to join that crowd, and the only way they may be able to is to win their division.  Being a single point behind the Caps, a win today will move them from 9th in the conference to 3rd because of the division champions incentive.  If the Caps lose in regulation, it will join them in an already congested battle of teams with 52 points.  That is, of course, unless the Rangers win tonight against the Florida Panthers.

Another good game on the ice will be the Dallas Stars vs. the San Jose Sharks (10:00PM; NBC Sports Network).  The San Jose Sharks can wrap up a playoff spot with a win, currently 5th in the Western Conference.  The Dallas Stars are 3 points behind Minnesota and Columbus for the last playoff spots, with Minnesota playing Los Angeles tonight.

Dodge City
The New York Mets begin a three game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight.  Clayton Kershaw started the season 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA, but has given up 8 runs (6 earned) on 13 hits in his last two outings, both losses.  Padres hitters went long against Kershaw last Wednesday, hitting three home runs against the six-year Dodger pitcher.  The Mets may want to test Kershaw early, and not allow him to get into a comfortable rhythm.

The Mets send Jonathan Niese to the mound.  Niese gave up three runs on nine hits in his last start against the Rockies, and received the loss after the Mets bullpen surrendered 6 runs in the bottom of the 7th, already down 3-2.  The bullpen has greater confidence after Sunday's shutout against the Nationals, but can't get too cocky against a punishing Dodgers lineup.  Radio Coverage: 1230AM FOX Sports Radio, 6:30PM

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