13) Knicks 96, Celtics 92:
— Knicks finish 41-31, the #4 seed in the East
— Last time they made the playoffs? Eight years ago.
— Last year, Knicks ranked 27th in opponents’ field goal %age. This year? They rank #1
— Tom Thibodeau is an excellent coach.
12) Matchups for the NBA play-in tournament this week:
— 7-8 game: Washington @ Boston
— 9-10 game: Charlotte @ Indiana
— 7-8 game: Golden State @ LA Lakers
— 9-10 game: San Antonio @ Memphis
— Winner of the 7-8 games make the playoffs
— Loser of the 9-10 games is eliminated
— Winner of the 9-10 games play the loser of the 7-8 games, for the last spots.
11) Gambling can be stressful:
If you bet on the Brewers Sunday, they led Atlanta 8-0 after six innings- they took starter Freddy Peralta out of the game, figuring they’d coast home.
Then the Braves scored 7 runs in the top of the 7th, but Milwaukee held on to win, 10-9, not before inducing some heartburn in Brewer backers.
10) Gambling can be traumatic:
If you bet on Colorado Sunday, they led the Reds 6-0 after seven innings; they took starter Antonio Senzatela out after the first batter of the 8th inning reached base. Cincinnati went on to rally for an unlikely 7-6 win, avoiding a series sweep.
9) A’s 7, Minnesota 6— Can’t remember the last time I saw a team do less to score the winning run in the last inning.
— Batter reaches base on catcher’s interference.
— Next batter hits a tapper to the mound; pitcher throws to second, but the guy there is the 3B because of the shift— he isn’t used to turning double plays, and he misses the throw, which goes into centerfield. Runner goes to third base.
— Next pitch is a wild pitch, and the go-ahead run scores.
8) San Diego Padres are 14-1 when they score 5+ runs, 10-16 if they do not.
Arizona Diamondbacks are 17-6 when they score 5+ runs, 1-17 if they do not.
7) Since 2017, most home runs against one team:
26— Mike Trout, vs Seattle
24— Aaron Judge, vs Baltimore
23— JD Martinez, vs Baltimore
6) White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal is only 10-76 (.132) at the plate this season, but he’s also walked 29 times- his on-base %age is .388, which is really good.
5) Cubs’ pitching has been shaky on the road; they’re 1-4 in road games where they’ve scored 6 or more runs. Overall, Chicago is 6-12 away from Wrigley.
4) Jeremy Hefner is the Mets’ pitching coach; he pitched in 50 games for the Mets in 2012-13, starting 36 of them.
Odd Fact of the Day: At the plate, Hefner was only 2 for 52, but one of the hits was a home run, off Joe Blanton of the Phillies.
3) Washington State’s football program has a guy whose job title is: Director of Transfer Recruiting. This is the new wave in college recruiting, poaching kids from other schools, because teams are sure as hell trying to poach your players.
2) Other NBA playoff matchups:
— East: Miami-Milwaukee, Atlanta-New York
— West: Portland-Denver, Dallas-LA Clippers
1) If the baseball playoffs started today (they don’t):
NL: Mets, Cardinals, Giants Wild Card: Los Angeles @ San Diego
AL: Red Sox, White Sox, A’s Wild Card: Toronto @ Houston