Monday, May 16, 2016

Baseball Weekend, NBA Week Ahead

The San Francisco Giants went to Arizona for four games, scored a total of 14 runs including three games of four and under--- and swept the series.  That made five wins in a row, and put them in first place.

 They scattered a home run in each game (two by Panik, one by Pence and one by Trevor Brown) but the big story was starting pitching--not only excellent performances by Cueto and Samardzija but very good innings by Jake Peavy and Matt Cain, each of whom gave up only one run, though neither got a win.  They are beginning to justify Bochy's faith in them through the rough early season.

The Giants still weren't hitting much, and even less with runners on base.  Their defense improved, and despite giving up leads, the relief pitchers ultimately got wins and saves.  But the nature of these games--low-scoring, not many hits---in Arizona's hitter-friendly park was pretty strange.

Meanwhile the Pirates salvaged one game of their 3 game series with the Cubs, the hottest team in baseball.  They spoiled a no-hitter by Lester and won 2-1 behind Cole.

So the Western Conference NBA finals begin Monday, with a different matchup than expected: it's Golden State against the Oklahoma Thunder (and so San Antonio's stellar regular season, largely unnoticed anyway, goes into the forgotten bin.)  In some ways it's tougher for the Dubs, with two monsters to contend with, Westbrook and Durant, both playing at a high level in the playoffs.  The Warriors may also lack a key player, Andrew Bogut, at least for the first game.  With Draymond Green a bit banged up and Steph Curry not 100%, the start could be rocky.  This series could easily go six or seven.   But the Warriors have the upper hand.

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