Archive for the ‘baseball’ Category

How was your week

Posted: June 23, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

It seems as though in the last week or ten days there’s been a coupe of prevalent  statements going around Major League Baseball and I don’t know how anyone came to these conclusions.

Now both of these talking points concern Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; so let’s look at these and see if they’re even possible.

Here’s the first one. We don’t talk about Mike Trout enough.

Now unless the networks are going to dedicate an entire show to Trout I’m not sure if there’s a way networks could talk about him more than they do now. I don’t know how they could talk about Trout anymore than they do right now, but for some reason someone got the idea that they’re not talking about him enough. I guess they don’t watch the other shows on the networks they work for.

Considering in the last six seasons Trout has won two MVP awards while finishing three times and fourth once and in the seasons he didn’t win these shows talked about him until their viewer ears bleed. I can still remember hearing multiple shows last season try to give Trout the MVP award even though he was injured and played in just 114 game and the Angels weren’t even in the playoff race.

If you thought that the various shows that cover baseball brought Trout’s name up a lot get ready to hear it even more.

Here’s the second one. Mike Trout is underrated.

Now since a lot of the shows that talk about Trout are televised from the East coast they’re off the air by the time Trout’s games are over. Now I don’t believe this makes him underrated, but it just puts him behind.

Trout is currently hitting .328 and is tied for the major league lead in home runs with J.D. Martinez at 23. Trout also leads the majors with 62 runs scored. He has also drawn the most walks in baseball so far this season with 67. That puts him 11 walks ahead of Bryce Harper who is second in that category.

Now with the big numbers Trout has out up so far tis season and especially the fact that he’s got big home run numbers there’s no way he can be considered underrated.

Now if either of these statements where considered true there is a way Trout could change them. Get the Angels into the playoffs. This is Trout’s 7th full seasons at the major league level as he just played in his 1000th game, but he’s only played in three playoff games and he didn’t perform well in them.

In 12 post season at bats Trout has 1 hit which gives him an .083 batting average. His one hit was a home run and he did draw 3 walks, but the Angels where swept in that series.

Trout is clearly the best player in baseball right now and is on track to end up in the Hall of Fame when his career is over. I actually like Trout as a player. It’s just the stupidity that the media shows around him that I get tired of.

Remember when the Los Angeles Dodgers got off to a 12-16 start the all of the baseball media wrote them off? Now the funny thing is they won’t remember this either and they’ll say that they believed in the Dodgers all along, but any fan who pays attention knows better than that. They talk about how it looked like the Dodgers window to win was closed after going to the World Series last season and there was even some talk about them looking into trading Clayton Kershaw.

I’m not a big believer in burying a team a month into a season, but I guess it gives the media something to talk about and then when or if the team comes back they can talk about how they never gave up on them and they knew they’d be back in the race. I don’t know what’s wrong with owning up to something you said, but I can pretty much guarantee that you won’t hear any of the talking heads on television admit that they said the Dodgers where done.

Speaking of those Dodgers they are now 38-35 and find themselves in 2nd pace in the NL West just 2 1/2 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks and Kershaw hasn’t pitched sine May 31st. Not bad for a team that was written off just a month into the season and now Kershaw is returning to the mound tonight.

Kershaw didn’t get off to the kind of start to the season that people expected and then he had a couple of injury issues.

Kershaw made 7 starts for the Dodgers and then went on the disabled list with bicep tendonitis on May 1st. Kershaw spent the entire month of May on the disabled list as he returned May 31st to make a start against the Philadelphia Phillies. After 5 innings in that start Kershaw was removed and landed back on the disabled list with back strain.

Kershaw has made 8 starts this season and while his record is just 1-4 his ERA is very good at 2.76. In three of Kershaw’s four losses the Dodgers have scored 1 run twice and 2 runs once; so you have to think with a little bit of run support Kershaw won-loss record would be respectable.

Now originally the Dodgers had scheduled Kershaw for a minor league rehab start tonight, but instead he will come right back to the major league team off of the disabled list and will start tonight against the New York Mets.

The Dodgers not only will get Kershaw back tonight, but Rich Hill returned from the disabled list on Tuesday. Hill pitched 6 scoreless innings against the Chicago Cubs, but the Dodgers did lose the game 2-1.

Even with Kershaw and Hill back in their the Dodgers still have a couple of starters on the disabled list. Hyun-Jin Ryu was moved to the 60 day DL and isn’t expected to return until the end of July as he recovers from a groin injury. Rookie Walker Buehler was fantastic filling in while the Dodgers dealt with their injuries. Buehler went 4-1 in 9 starts with an ERA of 2.63 before landing on the disabled list with a microfracture to his ribs. Buehler could possibly return early next month.

The Dodgers where just one of a couple of teams that where written off very, very early this season. It appears as though they’re back in the NL West race and unless they get hit with another big round of injuries you have to think they’ll contend for a playoff spot. I guess those people on television did something my mother always told me not to do. It looks like they counted their chickens before they where hatched.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but the podcast is also available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

Don’t forget to look me up on Twitter @Burketime

Advertisements

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: June 20, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

We’re just about six weeks away from the MLB trade deadline and it seems clear that the one thing every team needs is bullpen help. No matter who I hear talk about which team they always mention how they could use another arm in the bullpen and it’s pretty obvious why this is. With the way starting pitchers are handle it’s no surprise teams are out looking for the best bullpen arms they can find; be it closers or set up men.

For some reason unless you are a bona fide top of the rotation starter you can’t go through the other teams batting order a third time. I’m not sure why that is, but that’s how managers are handling starters.

Think about this; if you’re starter has a rough inning or two, but doesn’t give up any runs there’s almost no chance that you’re going to get more than 5 innings out of that starter. Remember that this could also be a pitcher that hasn’t given up any runs, but just had to work out of some trouble. Now you’re bullpen has to cover up to 4 innings in almost every game. How are they going to do that without breaking down?

Besides the odd third time through the line up rule how many times have you been watching a game and heard the announcers say that the pitcher is coming up on 100 pitches and will need to be removed soon. Obviously if your starting pitcher is working out of trouble and has to throw high leverage pitches every inning by the time he gets to that magical 100 pitch number he might be ready to be taken out of the game. Now this isn’t the case all the time, but time and time again when we see a pitcher get close to or just over the 100 pitch mark there’s action in the bullpen.

Since this is what baseball has turned into look for teams to try and get their hands on as may relivers as they can before the July 31st trade deadline. There was a trade earlier this week that should be the start of us seeing relievers starting to move.

On Monday the Kansas City Royals sent their closer Kelvin Herrera to the Washington Nationals for three minor leaguers.

In exchange for Herrera Kansas City receives 21 year old Class-A outfielder Blake Perkins, 23 year old Double-a third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez and 17 year old right handed pitcher Yohanse Morel. Morel has pitched just one game in the Dominican Summer League since Washington has signed him.

Herrera is in the final year of his contract and will be a free agent after this season. As part of the trade the Nationals agreed to pick up the remainder of Herrera’s contract for the 2018 season.

Herrera is just 28 years old, but is in his seventh major league season. He was a set up man on those Royals teams that went to back to back World Series before taking over as closer full time in 2017. Herrera was 1-1 with an ERA of 1.05 with 14 saves for Kansas City before being traded. He made his first appearance for the Nationals last night working a 1,2,3 inning in his debut.

The addition of Herrera to the Nationals bullpen gives them four guys down their with closing experience. Herrera joins Sean Doolittle (19 saves), Ryan Madson (3 saves) and Brandon Kintzler (2 saves) will be the fourth when he returns from the disable list some time next month. It’s unclear right now what role Herrera will fill in the Nationals bullpen, but he’s had success as both a closer and a set up guy; so manager Davey Martinez will have some flexibility with him depending on what he needs at the time.

This deal actually worked I two ways for the Nationals. Like I said every team needs help in their bullpen and the team the Nationals are chasing the Atlanta Braves where said to be interested in Herrera. The Nationals are currently 3 1/2 games behind the Braves in the National League East.

You also have to wonder how much interest the Philadelphia Phillies had in Herrera. The Phillies are in 3rd place in the NL East 4 1/2 games behind the Braves, but just a game behind the Nationals.

On Monday the Phillies sent their closer Hector Neris to Triple-A after posting a 6.00 ERA in 30 games this season. Neris did have 10 saves for the Phillies, but he blew three saves and with the high ERA Philadelphia decided to go another way.

Phillies manager Gabe Kapler hasn’t named a new closer and has said that he won’t. It appears as though the Phillies will be going with the dreaded closer by committee situation.

23 year old Seranthony Dominquez has picked up 3 saves while 24 year old Jake Thompson has 2 saves. Is it possible that one of these two young pitchers could take over the closers role on a Phillies that looks like it’s a contender for a playoff spot.

There could be a couple of closers on the trade market. Could you see the Phillies making a deal for Zach Britton of the Baltimore Orioles, Shane Greene of the Detroit Tigers or possibly Brad Hand of the San Diego Padres. You have to think that they’ll look to add some type of relief help by July 31st.

The Houston Astros came into last nights game against the Tampa Bay Rays on a 12 game winning streak and with Justin Verlander on the mound it looked like there was a good chance they would get that 13th win in a row.

Blake Snell made the start for Tampa Bay opposite Verlander. Snell did have some struggles and walked 7 guys over his 7 innings, but he did limit  very good Astros offense to 3 hits and 1 run. Snell also added 6 strikeouts over his 7 innings. Verlander may have even pitched better than Snell as he went 6 2/3rd innings giving up just 1 run on 6 hits while striking out 10.

Matt Duffy led off the 8th inning with a double off of Hector Rondon. Jake Bauers made the first out of the inning on a ground out to 2nd base with Duffy moving to 3rd. Wilson Ramos singled to leftfield to drive Duffy in and give the Rays a 2-1 lead.

Ryne Stanek worked a 1,2,3 bottom of the 8th inning for Tampa Bay. Brad Peacock held the Rays in check in the Top of the 9th; so the Astros had one more chance to continue their winning streak. Jose Alvarado started the 9th inning and got the first out before giving which led to Sergio Romo coming out of the Rays bullpen. Romo did give up one hit, but no runs in route to picking up his 4th save of the season as the Rays ended the Astros 12 game winning streak with a 2-1 win.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is also available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

Feel free to look me up on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: June 16, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well for a little while the ridiculous Manny Machado trade talk had stopped, but sadly at the end of this week it’s returned.

First off let me remind everyone that the Baltimore Orioles; the team Machado currently plays for haven’t even said they would be interested in trading him. All the trade speculation comes from the fact that Machado is in the final year of his contract and it’s believed that he won’t resign with Baltimore. Now the Orioles normally don’t trade a player of Machado’s status even f they where to lose him this off season as a free agent this off season. I’m sure Baltimore would make Machado a qualifying offer; so they would receive a draft pick if he signed with another team as a free agent in the off season, but since it’s believed that the Orioles would be better off trading him everyone keeps bringing up trade talk.

This time there are some new teams added into the Machado trade mix. For the first time since Machado’s name has came up as a possible trade candidate the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees have been mentioned as teams that could be interested in acquiring him. While Machado would be an upgrade for both teams at the shortstop position neither team has a pressing need for him, but since people won’t stop talking about this; let’s take a look at it.

Xander Bogaerts is the Red Sox shortstop and you would think that he would be involved in any deal that would bring Machado to Boston. Bogaerts is hitting .280 this season with 11 home runs and 39 RBI’s. Bogaerts is a solid defender as he’s made just 4 errors this season and has a fielding percentage of .983 this season. Bogaerts is 25 years old and won’t reach free agency until after next season. Bogaerts is making $7.05 million dollars through arbitration this season.

Now I doubt we’d see a straight up trade of Machado for Bogaerts, but the Red Sox have one of the better rated minor league systems in baseball; so who might have to be added to this deal to make it happen?

3rd baseman Michael Chavis is the Red Sox top rated prospect and he is currently serving an 80 game suspension for testing positive for a performance enhancing drug. Because of the suspension Chavis hasn’t played yet this season. Chavis is 22 years old and is currently blocked by Rafael Devers at 3rd base. Would the Red Sox package him as part of a Machado deal?

The Red Sox also have three top rated pitchers in Jay Groome, Tanner Houck and Bryan Mata.  Is it possible the Red Sox would add one of these pitchers to a Machado deal? Now Groome is 19 years old and will miss the entire season do to Tommy John surgery. Houck is 21 years old and is 3-7 with a 5.50 ERA in 12 starts for the Class-A Salem Red Sox. Mata is also pitching for Salem where he is 3-2 with a 3.50 ERA in 11 starts.

The Yankees also have an established shortstop in Did Gregorius and you’d have to think he’d be going to Baltimore in a Machado trade. Gregorius’ batting average is a little down this season at .254, but the power is there with 14 home runs and 39 RBI’s. Gregorius is 28 years old and is making $8.25 million dollars this season through arbitration. He doesn’t reach free agency until after next season.

The Yankees also have a well rated minor league system; so would they add one of their top prospects along with Gregorius to bring Machado to New York?

20 year old outfielder Estevan Flores is the Yankees #1 prospect right now. Flores is hitting .246 in 36 games for the Class-A Tampa Yankees.

Just like the Red Sox the Yankees next three best rated prospects are pitchers Justus Sheffield, Albert Abreu and Chance Adams. Sheffield is just 22 years old and is currently in Tripe-A after making 5 starts in Double. On the season he is 2-4 with an ERA of 2.67 over 12 starts. Abreu is 22 years old and is 2-2 with an ERA of 4.10 over 8 starts for Class-A Tampa. Adams is 23 years old and has made 13 starts in Triple-A; he is 2-2 with a 4.96 ERA.

Did you see anything there that has you thinking Machado may be joining the Red Sox or the Yankees?

Now there where also a couple of teams that we talked about before that are still interested in acquiring Machado in a trade.

The Chicago Cubs are said to be “serious” in their attempts to get a deal done for Machado. The Philadelphia Phillies where also mentioned as being interested in Machado. Now humorously the Phillies did admit they where interested in Machado, but that interest is this off season when he’s a free agent.

Sadly I’m going to have to learn to deal with the Machado trade talk since it’s going to continue until he’s actually traded. I’m sure that more and more teams names will come up as being associated with trading for Machado as he could fit with just bout any contender. I just wish there was a little bit more sustainability to the trade reports instead of just the “sources” that are saying this.

Speaking of those sources they reported yesterday that Kawhi Leonard no longer wants to play with the San Antonio Spurs. The reports have now increased to multiple outlets; so this story has really gotten some legs. Now oddly after all of these stories came out there was another report that Leonard has not yet expressed anything directly to the Spurs and that San Antonio won’t rush Leonard for a decision. Is everyone else out there as confused as I am? I think I got this straight now. I wants out of San Antonio, but he hasn’t mentioned anything to the Spurs as of yet. Does that sound right?

Apparently Leonard would like to play in Los Angeles with the Lakers being his first choice, but the Clippers would also be acceptable. While not in Los Angeles the Sacramento Kings expressed interest almost as soon as Leonard’s name came up. The Kings own the 2nd pick in the upcoming draft.

Leonard miss almost all of last season with an injury which caused some conflict between Leonard’s camo and the Spurs. If these reports are true you have to think this is the main reason Leonard wants out of San Antonio. When healthy Leonard is considered a Top 5 player in the NBA an one of if not the leagues top defender.

Will have to see an eye on this story and see where it goes.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget hat the podcast is also available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: June 13, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Since his debut back in 2003 Miguel Cabrera has been on of if not the best right handed hitter in baseball. Over his 16 seasons Cabrera has racked up 2676 hits, 465 home runs, 1635 RBI’s and is a career .316 hitter. Cabrera also won back to back MVP awards in 2012 and 2013; that 2012 season was the last time a player has won the Triple Crown.

Now in three of the last four seasons Cabrera has had to deal with a number of injuries. 2017 may have been the worst season of Cabrera’s career. He played in 130 games, but hit just .249 with 16 home runs and 60 RBI’s. His batting average and RBI’s where the worst of his career and the only other season he hit less than 16 home runs was when he hit 12 as a rookie.

Cabrera’s team the Detroit Tigers have played a little better than expected this season as they are trying to rebuild. Detroit is 31-37 and in 3rd place in the A.L. Central 5 1/2 gams out of 1st place.

While the Tigers have been a bit of a surprise you have to wonder if there record would be even better had Cabrera been able to play in more than just the 38 games he’s appeared in this season.

Cabrera was on the disabled list earlier this season as he dealt with some tricep and bicep issues. While it was hoped that Cabrera’s injuries where behind him for the season; it didn’t turn out that way.

Cabrera walked in his first at bat last night against the Minnesota Twins. During his second at bat in the Bottom of the 3rd inning Cabrera swung and missed at a pitch nd immediately dropped his bat. Cabrera had to be removed from the game and it’s being reported that he’s likely to miss the rest of the 2018 season because he ruptured the tendon in his left biceps.

Cabrera is signed through 2023 and has vesting options in his contract that could take him through the 2025 season. In 2019, 2020 and 2021 Cabrera is scheduled to make $30 million dollars. His salary jumps to $32 million dollars as season for the 2022 and 2023 season. Cabrera’s vesting options are both or $30 million dollars a season. For the 2024 option to kick in Cabrera has to finish in the Top 10 of MVP voting for the 2023 season. The 2025 option kicks in if again he is voted in the Top 10 of MVP voting for the 2024 season.

With Cabrera done for what looks like the season; what will the Tigers do at 1st base? When Cabrera was on the disabled list earlier this season John Hicks and Niko Goodrum handle the position. Since the Tigers are rebuilding you have to think that they’ll go that route again, but since Hicks is also the teams back up catcher maybe they’ll look to add a veteran. Is it possible that the Tigers bring in Hanley Ramirez or the recently released Adrian Gonzalez to hep out at 1st base? Either player could sign for the veteran minimum and their former team would foot the bill for the remainder of their salary.

The Tigers don’t really have a top prospect at 1st base, but they do have Edwin Espinal playing the position in Triple-A. Espinal is hitting .287 over 48 games for Toledo in the International League. Espinal isn’t the prototype power hitting 1st baseman as he has just 41 home runs over 8 minor league seasons.

Will have to wait and see what the Tigers decide to do to try and fill the while that Cabrera’s injury has left them with.

Zach Britton returned from injury last night to make his 2018 debut with the Baltimore Orioles. Britton pitched one inning and there was some rust. Britton faced five batters last night walking 3 and striking out 1 while throwing 26 pitches. Even though he had some issues; Britton didn’t give up any runs.

It’s being reported that the Orioles will ease Britton back into his closer role.

In the 2nd round of the 2016 draft the New York Jets selected Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenburg hoping he’d develop into a future starting quarterback for them.

As it turned out in two seasons with the Jets Hackenburg never saw an regular season action, but it looked as though there would e a chance for him to compete for the starting job this coming season. Last years starter Josh McCown was a free agent and it was just Hackenburg and Bryce Petty as the quarterbacks on the Jets roster. Well that changed quickly. Not only did the Jets re-sign McCown they also signed free agent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Then the Jets added another quarterback when they used their 1st round pick in this past draft to take Sam Darnold. New York traded up to #3 to take a quarterback which turned out to be Darnold.

You knew that the Jets wouldn’t be carrying five quarterbacks; so some of them had to go. Petty ended up being waived and was picked up by the Miami Dolphins and Hackenburg was traded to the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders sent a conditional 7th round draft pick to the Jets for Hackenburg, but the Jets will never see that draft pick as the Raiders cut Hackenburg after being with them just three weeks.

Now the question is; will Hackenburg catch on with another NFL team? With two new start up leagues the AAF and the XFL coming into play very soon there’s a chance that Hackenburg could go into one of those leagues and actually get a chance to play.

Jon Gruden the Raiders new head coach said that the team decided to cut Hackenburg because they needed the roster spots to sign defensive lineman Frostee Rucker and Ahtyba Rubin.

Hackenburg is the third quarterback who was drafted in the within the first two rounds of the NFL draft not to have played in a regular season game in his first two seasons. Interestingly the last quarterback to do that was Jim Kelly. Of course Kelly didn’t play in and NFL game because he was quarterbacking the Houston Gamblers in the USFL.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is also available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

There have been 14 points race this NASCAR season and the combination of Kevin Harvick (5), Kyle Busch (4) and Martin Truex Jr. (2) have won 11 of those 14 races. There are 22 races left this season and you have to wonder if there will be any other drivers to step up and challenge these three. Busch is the current points leader with Harvick right behind him. Truex Jr. is currently 4th in the driver standings as Joey Logano is holding down 3rd place. Logano has one win on the season, but it’s the five Top 5’s and eleven Top 10 finishes that have him sitting this high in the driver standings.

Since Harvick, Busch and Truex Jr. all have their win to get themselves into the NASCAR playoffs there goal win be to get as may playoff points as they can. Right now Harvick and Busch have earned 25 playoff points while Truex Jr. has picked up 13 playoff points. No other driver has double digit playoff points yet.

NASCAR added stage point scoring a season back where drivers can accumulate points by where they finish at different points of a race, which they called stages. The Top 10 drivers in a stage get points. A driver gets 10 points fro winning a stage and then the points drop by one to where the 10th place finisher of the stage gets 1 point.

This season Harvick has the most stage wins with 7 while Busch and Austin Dillon have picked up 5 stage wins. Truex Jr. finds himself a little behind in stage wins as he has just three so far tis season.

Now the NASCAR playoffs are a long way away and when you’re dealing with a sport where any type of mechanical failure could wipe out your championship chances you just never know what might happened, but with the way this season has been going it’s a good bet that either Harvick, Bush or Truex Jr. ends up holding the championship trophy after the November 18th race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The NBA Finals took an extra day off as the series moves across country for Game 3 tonight in Cleveland.

The Cleveland Cavaliers had a great opportunity to steal Game 1 in Oracle Arena, but J.R. Smith made a play that will go down as one of the all-time playoff blunders. Game 2 was a different story as the Golden State Warriors came out and made a statement on their home court to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

When you look at these two teams it’s clear that LeBron James is the best player in the series, but the Warriors are easily the best team in this series. Now when this series was starting I picked Golden State to win it in 5 games and I believe Cleveland will win one of these two games on their home court; possibly tonight.

If you’ve listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast you know that I think there’s a lot of manipulation that goes on through the NBA playoffs and I don’t think the finals are any different. I’m expecting Cleveland to be heavily favored in tonight’s game by the officials. Now the home team normally gets more foul calls and ends up shooting more free throws and I fully expect the breakdown to go like that tonight. You have to remember that ESPN along with TNT greatly overpaid the NBA for the rights to televise games and the NBA wants them to think they got their monies worth.

It’s no real shock that Golden State and Cleveland ended up in the finals against each other again. Cleveland is really the only marketable team in the Eastern Conference; so who else was going to get to the finals? I don’t think that the NBA or the television providers would’ve been upset in the Houston Rockets had found their way into the finals, but you have to think that Golden State was the first choice. Besides the Rockets was their another Western Conference team that you think they wanted to see in the finals?

I’m not going to say that the games are fixed as I believe that they are more manipulate. The right whistle here or there or maybe just the fact tat the whistle didn’t blow could can the out come of a game very easily. I believe that Adam Siler is the smartest out of all the commissioners and he wants to keep the people who give the large amounts of money happy.

Major League Baseball held their draft this week and they are trying very, very hard t make it an must see event like the NFL or NBA draft and it’s just not going to happen for them. It’s understandable that they would want their draft to raw as much interest as the NFL or NBA draft does, but the sport is so different from what the NFL and NBA do that it’s never going to be looked at the same way.

It’s a pretty easy comparison to make. Baker Mayfield as the #1 draft pick by the Cleveland Browns in the NFL draft. Since they haven’t had their draft yet this year will go back to last years where the Philadelphia 76ers selected Markelle Fultz with the #1 pick. No these two players went directly to the teams that drafted them and they get to play at the top level of their respective sport right after the draft. Baseball doesn’t quite work like that.

Let’s look back one year. In 2017 the Minnesota Twins took shortstop Royce Lewis with the #1 pick. Now unlike Mayfield and Fultz Lewis was assigned to the Twins Gulf Coast League. Lewis played 36 games there before being moved up to the Twins Class-A team the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Lewis finished up the 2017 season with Cedar Rapids playing in 18 games. Now after spring training Lewis went right back to Cedar Rapids where he’ll probably send the majority if not the entire season. This year the Detroit Tigers had the #1 pick in the draft and they took pitcher Casey Mize. Now Mize just like Lewis last season will probably report to the Tigers rookie league team and then possible finish out the season in Class-A. Now we should get to see both Mayfield and Fultz play for their teams this season. How long before we’ll get to see either Lewis or Mize play a game in the major leagues?

This is the reason that the MLB draft will never have the same kind of following as the NFL, NBA or even NHL where the top draft pick skate for the team that picked them right away. The waiting period is always going to hold the popularity of the MLB draft back and there’s just no way to change that.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live o BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is also available for you to listen to any tie you want at TuneIn.com

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: June 2, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Is it time that we look into the possibility that injuries are going to derail Clayton Kershaw’s career.

This season alone Kershaw has missed 30 days do to bicep tendonitis. He returned from that injury this past Thursday to take the mound against the Philadelphia Phillies. Kershaw pitched 5 innings throwing 62 pitches.  He gave up 1 run on 4 hits while striking out 5 and walking just 1. Kershaw got a no-decision in a game that the Phillies ended up winning 2-1.

It appears as though it was just another first start off of the disabled list. A pitcher throws a certain number of innings on a pitch count and the team looks to stretch him out in his next start. Sadly for Kershaw and his Los Angeles Dodgers this wasn’t the case.

After the game the Dodgers placed Kershaw back onto the disabled list with what is being called a strained back. This is the second time Kershaw has dealt with this injury as it caused him to miss some starts last season. As of no there is no timetable for Kershaw’s return.

Kershaw’s first season was 2008 where he pithed in 22 games starting 21 of them. Then from 2009 to 2015 Kershaw made 30 plus starts in six of those seven seasons and threw 200 plus innings in five of those seven seasons. He also won three Cy Young awards and MVP award over that time period.

Now the past three seasons Kershaw has made 21 starts in 2016, 27 starts in 2017 and just 8 starts this season.

Even without Kershaw the Dodgers have found a way to hang around in the NL West race, but is there anyone out there that believe the Dodgers are a contender without Kershaw in their starting rotation?

Kershaw has been considered the best pitcher in baseball for quite some time now, but you don’t hear that phrase associated with his name anymore. There are still some people who call him the best left handed pitcher in baseball, but is that even true now?

Looking at Kershaw’s career numbers he’s truly been a fantastic pitcher. His career record is 145-68 with an ERA of 2.37. His winning percentage of .681 is the best of any active pitcher in baseball today and it ranks 7th all-time. As far as ERA again he has the top ranked active pitcher and overall he has the 24th lowest ERA of all-time. Those are very impressive numbers, especially the ERA since Kershaw has pitched in an era where home runs are a priority and there have been questions of juiced baseballs.

This is the first time Kershaw has ever had back to back injuries and you have to wonder if the 2018 season is going to lost for him. Besides just dealing with the injuries there are some other questions that will have to be addressed.

Kershaw is making $35,571,429 million dollar this season and he has two more years on his deal. Next season his salary is $34,571,429 million dollars and then in 2020 Kershaw’s salary goes back to the $35,571,429 million dollar he making this season, but there is an opt out clause in Kershaw’s contract after this season. Looking at the situation Kershaw is in right now you’ think he’d stay with the Dodgers, but if he was to return this season and he should if he goes out and has some Kershaw like starts there would be teams lining up to pay him this off season.

I’ve always been a fan of players spending their entire careers with ne team, but we all know in todays baseball that is difficult to do. Do you see Clayton Kershaw playing his entire career in a Dodgers uniform? Or is there a chance that he opts out and is wearing a different uniform in 2019?

Hanley Ramirez is officially a free agent. The Boston Red Sox designated Ramirez for assignment giving them 10 days to either trade or release him. Now it was no surprise that the Red Sox couldn’t find a trade partner for Ramirez. Ramirez was under contract for $22 million dollars this season and had a vesting option for another $22 million dollars if he gets another 302 at bats this season. I’m sure the Red Sox looked for deals involving Ramirez, but there wasn’t a team out there that was willing to take on that contract in a trade.

Now that Ramirez has been officially released by the Red Sox those contract provisions go away. He will still be paid the balance of his $22 million dollar salary by the Red Sox for this season minus the pro rated league minimum by which ever team signs Ramirez. The vesting option applied to the Contract that Ramirez had with the Red Sox; so when he signs with a new team they will not be responsible for that vesting option.

The Red Sox officially asked for release waivers on Ramirez on May 30th. It took 48 hours for him to clear waivers; so as of June 1st he is eligible to sign with any team.

Ramirez came out of the gate swinging the bat. He hit .330 in April and show no signs of the shoulder problems he had last season. When the calendar turned to May Ramirez seemed to stop hitting. Since May 1st Ramirez was hitting just .163 and ended his career as a Red Sox on an 0 for 21 streak.

Ramirez is a former Rookie of the Year and has been named to 3 All-Star teams. Ramirez has also won 2 Silver Slugger awards and back when it meant something he won a batting title; he also has a career .290 batting average.

Through his career Ramirez has played Shortstop, 3rd base, Leftfield, but the last three seasons he’s only played 1st base or Designated Hitter. At 34 years old it would be difficult to see Ramirez paying anything other than 1st base or being a teams DH.

Depending on what a team thinks it needs might be the deciding factor on where Ramirez ends up. He has 20 games of post season experience and has a .380 career post season average. could he bring some of that experience to a young team that thinks they’re in the race? Or is it more likely that a team with a lot of veterans adds Ramirez as a bat off the bench and part time player?

Do you have a landing spot for Ramirez?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is also available for you to listen to at time you want at TuneIn.com.

Don’t forget that I’m on Twitter @Burketime

Do you remember back to the start of the baseball season? Well every team has played close to about 55 games now and things seem to look a little differently than how they started off.

Remember in the NL West where the Arizona Diamondbacks got off to a hot start and a of people who won’t admit it now thought they would run away with the division. Arizona not only came back to the division they fell out of 1st place. Currently the Colorado Rockies hold the top spot in the NL West. The Rockies have a 1 1/2 game lead over the Diamondbacks. A lot of people where very quick to write off the Los Angeles Dodgers and while they aren’t back to .500 yet they are jus 4 1/2 games behind the Rockies and they get Clayton Kershaw back tomorrow. Even the San Francisco Giants with all of their pitching injuries are just 5 games out of 1st place. Madison Bumgarner just made his first rehab start; so he’s not too far away from being back in the Giants starting rotation.

The NL East got off to a different start than a lot of people expected as the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies got off to very good starts. The New York Mets where even playing well for a little while, but which team was struggling? That’s right it was the Washington Nationals and again everyone who won’t admit it now thought he Nationals would just fade away. Guess what, they didn’t. While Atlanta and Philadelphia have both continued to play well the Nationals have some how found a way to get themselves into 2nd place just a 1/2 game behind the Braves with the Phillies in 3rd place 1 game behind Atlanta.

Even the NL Central had an interesting start as the Pittsburgh Pirates got out to an early division lead and people where starting to buy stock in them as a contender. Again you know that those people won’t admit that they ever said anything like that, but they did. The pirates are still over .500 at 28-26, but that’s only good enough for 4th place in the NL Central. The Milwaukee Brewers have been one of if not the hottest team n baseball and currently have the best record in the National League at 35-21. Milwaukee leads the NL Central with the Chicago Cubs 3 1/2 games behind in 2nd place and the St. Louis Cardinals 4 games back in 3rd place. The Pirates by the way are 6 games out of 1st place.

Teams running away with their divisions seemed to be the early theme in the National League, but maybe we should let players and teams settle in before we start handing out playoff spots. I completely understand that a lot of the people who where selling these teams do it for a living and they need things to write about and talk about, but they also have to have some kind of common sense when they do that. Even at the point where we are now in the season it’s too early to start deciding who’s going to meet in the World Series.

Carlos Gomez has always been one of the more entertaining players to watch in baseball, Gomez is now with the Tama Bay Rays and he did something yesterday that I have never seen a player do before.

The Rays where in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum last night to play the Oakland A’s. Gomez was starting in rightfield for Tampa Bay and when he went out to his position in the Bottom of the 1st inning he realized how bright the sun was. Now Gomez didn’t have any eye black on and he wasn’t wearing sunglasses; so instead of going back to the Tampa Bay dugout or have a bat boy bring hi out a pair of sunglasses he did the next best thing. Gomez borrowed a pair of sunglasses from a fan in the stands.

The fan was Matt Welch and he said about the situation. “He needed glasses for the sun which gets bad here around game time and I offered mine to him,” Welch said. “He asked another fan if he could use his, but they were normal sunglasses. Mine are more sporty; so I asked if he wanted to use them. He made two plays with them and gave them back along with the ball he caught for the last out.” Welch also mentioned that Gomez is now one of his favorite non-A’s players.

The Rays did end up winning the game 4-3. Gomez went 0 for 3 with a walk in the game.

Brett Brown’s career record is 127-283, but last season Brown and his Philadelphia 76ers went 52-30 and not only made the playoffs, but won a playoff series. Brown was the 76ers head coach as they struggle to rebuild the franchise and he’s been rewarded for that. The 76ers announced that they’ve signed Brown to a 3-year extension. Brown had one year left on his deal with Philadelphia.

Brown has had an interesting trip to the 76ers head coaching job. Brown’s first head coaching job was in Australia’s NBL. Brown was named NBL Coach of the Year in his first season (1994) as his team the North Melbourne Giants won the league championship. Brown also won an NBL title in 2002 as head coach of the Sydney Kings.

In 2002 Brown joined the San Antonio Spurs as Director of Player Development. In 2007 Brown moved into a assistant coaching role under Greg Popovich. Brown won four NBA championships with the Spurs before the 76ers came calling before the 2013-14 season to take over their team.

Brown guided the 76ers through tough times and with this new three year extension he’ll have an opportunity to turn Philadelphia into an NBA title contender.

The NBA Finals start tomorrow night and for the fourth year in a row it will be the Golden State Warriors and he Cleveland Cavaliers in the finals.

To tell you the truth I have zero interest in this series and I think everyone expected these two teams to be here again.

With the at the playoffs have gone and unless there are some shenanigans Golden State should easily win this series especially if Kevin Love isn’t clear from concussion protocol to play. I’m taking Golden State to win this series in just 5 games.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live n BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is also available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

You can find me Twitter @Burketime

 

 

How was your week

Posted: May 26, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

With the start that Shohei Otani is off to I’ve started to wonder if players where handled differently in other countries if we could’ve seen this before.

I’m not sure what your baseball experience was like growing up, but on most of the teams I played on the best pitcher on the team was also one of if not the best hitter on the team. That best pitcher would also play a regular position when he wasn’t on the mound to keep his bat in the line up. Somewhere down the line when it’s decided that this player will just be a pitcher the bat is taken out of his hands. Now on one side it’s understandable. You don’t want your best pitcher getting injured running the bases or any other odd way while not pitching, but hasn’t Otani now proven that the risk might’ve been worth it.

There was some talk of allowing San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner participate in the home run derby at last years All-Star game. Now Bumgarner is just a career .185 hitter, but he has been a better hitter the last four seasons and hit .258 in 2014. Bumgarner also has 17 career home runs.

Now Bumgarner isn’t the only pitcher who’s considered a better hitter than he should be. Zack Greinke of the Arizona Diamondbacks is a career .218 with 6 home runs. Mike Leake was the last player to skip the minor and come straight up to the major leagues has a career batting average of .200 with 6 home runs. Leake is currently with the Seattle Mariners; so he won’t be getting any at bats this season unless they decided to pinch hit him. How about the guy who is probably the best pitcher in baseball right now Max Scherzer. While he’s just a career .192 hitter Scherzer currently has the best batting average of any pitcher who doesn’t get at bats as a Designated Hitter this season at .286. Of course since we’re located in the Chicago area I would be remiss to not include former Cubs pitcher Travis wood who is just a .185 career hitter, but has 11 career home runs in 8 seasons. Wood also famously played leftfield in a game and had to make a play on a fly ball that took him into the Wrigley Field ivy, but he did make the catch.

Is it possible that if the bat wasn’t take out of these pitchers hands when they started their minor league careers; could they have done what Otani is doing right now?

Speaking of Otani. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim has decided to skip Otani’s start this Sunday. I found it humorous that they made this decision because they wanted to manage his work load. It just so happens that this Sunday’s start for Otani would’ve been in New York against the Yankees. So are the Angels managing his work load or avoiding the opportunity for him to get rocked by a good offense?

Otani has made seven starts and is 4-1 with an ERA of 3.35; so he has very good numbers. Now when you breakdown his seven starts you’ll notice that his worse start of this season was against the Boston Red Sox. Otani lasted just 2 innings giving up 4 hits; one of them being a home run, 3 earned runs while walking 2 and striking out just 1. This is the only loss on Otani’s record. The start against the Rec Sox was his 3rd of the season; his 4th start of the season was against the Houston Astros. Otani got a no decision pitching 5 1/3rd innings giving up 6 hits and 4 earned runs while walking 5 and striking out 7.

Now the Red Sox have the best record in baseball right now at 35-16 while the Astros are currently at 34-18. Now the Yankees are currently just a game behind the Red Sox in the American League East at 32-15. So again I have to ask; are the Angels really managing Otani’s work load or are they just allowing him to avoid pitching against a very good Yankees line up?

We had are first trade of the baseball season yesterday. Well technically it wasn’t the first trade, but it was the first trade where a player hadn’t been designated for assignment.

The Seattle Mariners acquired Outfielder Denard Span and reliever Alex Colome from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for two minor league right handed pitchers; Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero. The Mariners will also receive cash considerations in this deal.

Colome has ben serving as the Rays closer, but it appears as though he’ll move into a right handed set up role for the Mariners as their current closer Edwin Diaz has converted 18 of his 20 saves chances and has an ERA of 1.71. Colome had 47 saves for the Rays last season and while he had converted 11 of his 13 saves opportunities he is 2-5 with an ERA of 4.15.

Juan Nicasio is the major league leader in holds with 14, but has an ERA of 5.56; so adding Colome in a set up role can take some of the pressure off of Nicasio. Don’t forget that the Mariners lost set up man David Phelps for the season. Phelps torn the UCL in his throwing elbow and has under gone Tommy John surgery; so adding Colome also helps with the loss of Phelps.

Span will be added to a Seattle outfield that almost seems to be injury prone. Ben Gamel and Guillermo Heredia have both missed time with injuries and Dee Gordon is currently on the disabled list with a fractured toe. Mitch Haniger was also hit with a pitch on Tuesday, but luckily x-rays where negative and Haniger won’t miss any time.

Span is in his 11th season, but it was just his first with Tampa Bay. He’s played in 43 games this season and is hitting .238. For his career Span is a .282 hitter. Even at the age of 34 Span still has a speed aspect to his game. He has stolen double digit bases every year of his career expect one; 2011 when he only played in 70 games due to injury. Span has 6 stolen bases this season.

It’s unclear how the Mariners will use Span and where he’ll play. He’s spent most of his time as a centerfielder, but the Rays used him exclusively this season in leftfield. Will have to wait and see how much playing time Span gets and where the Mariners decide to play him.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that you can listen to the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com.

You can look me up on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: May 23, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

It seems a though the Manny Machado trade rumors have really heated up and if you live in the Chicagoland area like we do you would almost think that he’s already a member of the Chicago Cubs.

It was about a week ago when one of the local newspapers mentioned that the Cubs should go after Machado and from their the story really picked up legs. It’s gotten to the point that every baseball related show is reporting on this.

Machado just happens to be in tow with the Baltimore Orioles for a series with the Chicago White Sox. After the first game of that series reporters surrounded Machado and they didn’t want to ask him about the game. Machado answered all of their questions very professionally and even worked his cousin Cubs outfielder Alberto Almora Jr. into the conversation.

Now this past off season the Cubs inquired about Machado and there where reports that a deal would include current shortstop Addison Russell, pitcher Mike Montgomery and a minor league player. The Orioles had no interest in that deal then, but apparently the local media seems to think that they’ll take this deal now. I don’t know why the Orioles would take a deal involving two major league players. You have to think if the Orioles do decided to deal Machado they use him as a tool to rebuild.

I don’t understand why the Cubs would be a interested in a rent-a-player like Machado and maybe they’re not and it’s just the media pumping up he story. Machado is off to a get start offensively and he would be a upgrade with the bat, but defensively there’s not much different in the two players. The Cubs seem to have an overabundance of everyday players and they’re having a tough time finding at bats for them all. Adding Machado doesn’t solve this problem, he’d just be swapped into Russell’s spot. Of course Machado is an everyday player and it would be difficult for Joe Maddon to hold him out of the line up for players like Javier Baez and Ben Zobrist.

While I doubt that the Orioles would take Russell in a deal for Machado, but if the name Baez was in that dal they might be a little more interested. The Cubs haven’t shown at interest in dealing Baez and I don’t know if they’d do it for Machado. Humorously if Machado did come to the Cubs his cousin Almora could be one of the players headed to Baltimore for him.

Of course the Cubs aren’t the only team interested in acquiring Machado. A couple of other teams that have come up are the Philadelphia Phillies and the Los Angeles Dodgers. I’m sure the Chicago media doesn’t want to hear this and won’t admit it because it would ruin their story, but either of these teams are better trade fits for the Orioles than the Cubs are. The Cubs really don’t have a top prospect to deal while the Phillies and the Dodgers both have quality farm systems they could deal from. The Cubs used all of their top prospects last season while the Phillies where still in their rebuilding phase. The Dodgers did deal a couple of their prospects, but they have a much better farm system than the Cubs and still have players they could trade.

There’s also one important thing that everyone who’s writing and report about this has forgotten. While Dan Duquette is Baltimore’s General Manager, Peter Angelos owns the team and he doesn’t like to trade his star players. This may be the biggest stumbling point with a Machado deal. Also it hasn’t been noted that the Orioles haven’t mentioned or shown any interest in moving Machado.

Now besides the Cubs, Phillies and Dodgers that are reported as the teams interested in Machado, but too be honest you could pick any team in baseball and they could be interested in him.

Seriously, think about that. If Machado was willing to sign a new contract before this season ends he would be the best building block for any team to start shaping their team around. Machado moved to shortstop this season, but if he was willing to move back to 3rd base he would fit with quite a few teams. Machado would be a fantastic bat for any contender to add to their line up or maybe even a team that thinks they’re just a contender. See that’s how easy this is to do with a player like Machado.

I’m guess since I live in a Chicago suburb I get the bulk of the talk of Machado coming to the Cubs, but I wonder if in other cities they’re getting the same thing.

Do you see the Orioles trading Machado? If you have him being traded, what team do you have him going to? and who do you think Baltimore gets in return for him?

If you’re a current baseball player or even a former player how do you think you’d do against 105 m.p.h. fastball from St. Louis Cardinals reliever Jordan Hicks?

On Sunday against Philadelphia Hicks became the second pitcher to reach the 105 m.p.h. with a pitch since Aroldis Chapman. Hicks hit that mark twice in his appearance on Sunday.

Hicks is 21 years old and was the Cardinals 3rd round pick in the 2015 draft. This is his first season in the majors. He made 21 appearances covering 22 innings. His record is 2-1 with an ERA of 2.05. Hicks has shown some issues with control. He’s struck out 9 batters, but he’s walked 16. He’s also hit 3 batters and thrown 4 wild pitches.

While it’s clear that Hicks has a live arm he’ll have to work on his control, but you have to wonder if he’s on the same career path as Chapman. Hicks doesn’t have a save in his career, but I’m sure the Cardinals can envision him as a long term solution as their closer. It will be interesting to see if the Cardinals try and give Hicks some Closing opportunities just to see how he handles a late inning situation.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

Look me up on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: May 19, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, fantasy, hockey, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

One of the things my mother use to say when I was growing up was that if it wasn’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all. Oddly it seems like this is something I’m dealing with right now.

If you’re a FanDuel player I’m sure you’ve participated in the Home Run Derby they’ve had going on this baseball season. It’s a free contest; so why not play. It’s a simple contest to get in on. You select three players you think are going to hit home runs and the person who’s three man team hits the most home runs wins.

When the contest first started I actually went the first week without hitting a home run. I was trying to find the best match us or the ballparks that seem to allow the most home runs and it just wasn’t working out for me; so I decided to make a change.

About 10 to 12 days ago I switched up my strategy. I decided that as long as they where available I’d use Bryce Harper and Mike Trout as two of the three players I’d enter in the contest. Now my co-host on the Sports Time Radio podcast Dan the Man took it one step further. He uses Harper, Trout and Mookie Betts everyday if they’re all available.

Here’s the humorous thing about this. Since we’ve been doing this none of these players has hit a home run during the contest. Now these three players haven’t been available to pick every contest as FanDuel use night games during the week, but they are available the majority of the time.

Now I’m not sayin that we’re the cause of these players not hitting home runs, but Trout was actually in the longest hitless streak of hit career going into last nights game. Trout was 0 for 19 heading into the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays last night. Trout went 1 for 3 last night an his hit was his 13th home run of the season; so maybe the streak is finally over. Even with Trout’s home run the Angels lost 8-3 to Tampa Bay last night.

Let’s hope that Trout’s home run gets him going and for our sake that Harper and Betts join in.

The Las Vegas Golden Knights are just one win away from being the first expansion team in NHL history to make it to the Stanley Cup finals in their first season.

The Golden Knights defeated the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 in Game 4 of their Western Conference finals series last night.

Las Vegas has been trying to set the tone in their playoff games and one of the ways they’re doing that is by scoring first and they did that again last night.

Just 2 minutes and 25 seconds into the game William Karlsson scored the first goal of the game for the Golden Knights on the power play. Karlsson was assisted by Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault.

Karlsson’s goal was the only one of the 1st period as the Golden Knights went into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead.

In the 2nd period it was Winnipeg’s turn to cash in on a power play opportunity. 9 minutes and 29 seconds into the 2nd period Patrik Laine evened things up for the Jets at 1-1 with a power play goal. Laine was assisted by Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien on his goal.

The tie game didn’t last long as less than 50 seconds later at 10:12 of the period Tomas Nosek gave Las Vegas the lead back at 2-1 with a goal. Nosek was assisted by Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Luca Sbisa on his goal. Nosek was actually the Las Vegas player who was penalized when Winnipeg tied the game.

The 2nd period ended with Las Vegas holding a 2-1 lead.

Early I the 3rd period the Jets had a power play opportunity that they where unable to cash in on, but with 5 minutes and 34 seconds gone in the 3rd period Tyler Myers tied the game up at 2-2 with a goal. Myers was assisted by Jack Roslovic on his goal.

With the game even at 2-2 neither team wanted to make a mistake that the other could take advantage of. Unfortunately for Winnipeg that mistake came in the form of a Dustin Byfuglien give-away. With a little over 13 minutes gone in the 3rd period Reilly Smith took advantage of that give-away and scored an unassisted goal that put the Golden Knights up 3-2.

Marc Andre-Fleury made Smith’s goal stand up as he stopped 35 of Winnipeg’s 37 shots on goal as the Golden Knights picked up a 3-2 win in Game 4. Connor Hellebuyck was solid in goal for Winnipeg as he stopped 26 of the 29 shots Las Vegas threw at him.

With the win the Golden Knights have a 3 games to 1 lead in the series and will and will have a chance their first chance to close out this series and advance to the Stanley Cup finals Sunday in Winnipeg. That game has a puck drop time of 2:00 p.m. Sunday. The game will be shown on NBC.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are 25-19 and are currently in 1st place in the NL West, but they’re not without their issues.

Jake Lamb has played just 5 games for the Diamondbacks this season before he went on the disabled list with a sprained acromioclavicular joint in his left shoulder. Lamb came off the disabled list last night; going 1 for 4 as the Diamondbacks suffered their 8th defeat in 9 games 3-1 to the New York Mets. Arizona has been struggling offensively and they’re hoping Lamb’s return will help turn that around.

The Diamondbacks hope that Lamb can help replace some of the offense they lost when A.J. Pollock went on the disabled list with a broken left thumb. Pollock broke the thumb trying to make a diving catch and is expected to be out anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks.

With Paul Goldschmidt off to a slow start this season Pollock has been the Diamondbacks offensive leader. Pollock leads Arizona in batting average at .293, home runs with 11 and RBI’s with 33. Hopefully for Arizona the return of Lamb along with Goldschmidt picking up his pace can off set the loss of Pollock.

Arizona has had some pitching injuries as well. Robbie Ray has started throwing off of flat ground and the Diamondbacks are hoping he’ll be able to return from his oblique strain by the end of the month. Ray returning soon will help boost the Diamondbacks starting rotation, but they’re still looking for someone to take the place of Tajuan Walker in the rotation. Walker is out for the season. Walker suffered a torn UCL in his right elbow and has already under gone Tommy John surgery.

Arizona has tried a couple of pitchers in the 5th spot of their rotation, but haven’t landed on someone they want to keep there.

Kris Medlen made a start, but lasted just 4 innings giving up 7 runs on 9 hits while walking 4 and striking out 4. Medlen was sent back to triple-A after his start.

Troy Scribner also made a start which was his major league debut. Scribner pitcher 3 2/3rd innings in his start giving up 2 runs on 4 hits, but he walked 6 while striking out 4. Scribner was also sent back to Triple-A after his start.

So where do the Diamondbacks turn now? How about Clay Buchholtz.

Buchholtz has made 5 minor league starts this season, 1 in Double-A and 2 in Triple-A for the Kansas City Royals before being released by Kansas City. Buchholtz has made 2 starts in Triple-A for Arizona and his numbers look good. In those 5 starts Buchholtz is 1-1 with an ERA of 2.93. He’s pitched 27 2/3rd innings in those 5 starts with 19 strikeouts and 12 walks.

Buchholtz spent 10 seasons with the Boston Red Sox before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies last season. Buchholtz pitched just 7 1/3rd innings for Philadelphia before an injury ended his season. Buchholtz has pitched in 208 major league games with 190 of them being starts. He is 81-62 with a 4.01 career ERA. Could he be the Diamondbacks answer until Ray returns?

You can listen to the podcast Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

Look for me on Twitter @Burketime