13) There is a Twitter account called Umpire Scorecards which grades the home plate umpire after every game; it shows where they missed calls, what %age they missed and which team was helped by those calls.
Friday night in Cincinnati, in a game whose start was delayed by rain, Hunter Wendelstedt had the plate. Of the 108 pitches he called balls, only two were strikes. That is very good. Of the 51 pitches he called strikes, 12 were actually balls, mostly borderline high pitches. No bueno.
76% accuracy on called strikes isn’t good; when robot umpires become a thing in a couple years, stuff like this won’t happen anymore. I’m not in favor of robot umpires, but they’re going to be a real thing fairly soon.
12) New Orleans 31, Michigan 27 OT
— First-ever overtime game in the new USFL.
— They use a 2-point conversion shootout for overtime games; Breakers converted both of theirs, Michigan went 0-2.
— New Orleans is 4-3, Michigan 1-6, with five losses by 7 or less points.
— Michigan’s kicker made a 60-yard field goal; they lost a game earlier this season when a different kicker missed a 21-yard kick at the gun that would’ve won the game.
11) New Jersey 20, Tampa Bay 13— Generals clinch a playoff berth; Tampa Bay didn’t score a TD in any of their three red zone drives. Bandits were minus-3 in turnovers, are minus-10 for the season. Thats a losing number in any league.
10) FS1 showed a picture from 1991, when TV analyst/former Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was playing QB for the San Antonio Riders in the World League of American Football. His coach was Mike Riley, who is currently the New Jersey Generals’ coach.
Garrett spoke very highly of Riley, who has had an interesting career in almost every pro football league there has been, plus a couple college leagues— he is Oregon State’s all-time winningest coach.
9) Reds’ OF Tommy Pham and Giants’ OF Joc Pederson got into a pre-game scuffle Friday; now Pham has been suspended for three games. Apparently the dispute was over a fantasy football league they were in last fall; there was an actual dispute about putting a player on injured reserve and well…..you would think this wouldn’t result in a fight, but it did.
Two rich guys in a fantasy football league; there must’ve been lot of money at stake for things to carry over to May of the next year, but now Pham loses $111,111 for his three-game suspension, making it a very expensive fantasy football season.
8) They were talking on couple of different ballgames Saturday how catchers who use pitch-com are putting it on their knee pad instead of their wrist. Teams are paranoid that signs could still be stolen by seeing where the catchers presses the key pad, if it was on his wrist.
7) Someone kept track of this at a Tigers-Guardians game this week; they used a total of 115 baseballs in that game.
6) UCLA 25, Oregon State 22 (10)— Bruins tied game with nine runs in bottom of 9th inning in this Pac-12 tournament game, then won it in extra innings.
— This is the first year the Pac-12 has a postseason baseball tournament.
— Game lasted 5:44
— Kid on UCLA had seven RBI and he didn’t start.
— Beavers later beat UCLA 8-7 in another game, eliminating the Bruins from the double elimination event- they play Stanford for the conference title Sunday night on ESPN2.
5) Red Sox 5, Orioles 3— This was Nathan Eovaldi’s 211th career start; it was his first complete game. By way of comparison, Greg Maddux threw 109 complete games, Rick Langford 85. No one throws complete games anymore.
Last time a pitcher threw consecutive complete games? Corey Kluber, in 2017.
4) Golden State is 21-4 in playoff series since Steph Curry has been on the team; they’re 89-39 (.695) in playoff games in the Curry era, the best playoff winning %age of any MVP in NBA history.
3) NY Rangers 5, Carolina 2:
— Carolina is 7-0 at home in the playoffs, 0-6 on the road.
— First five games in this series stayed under the total; this one went over.
— Game 7 is Monday night in Raleigh.
2) Someone posted a picture on Twitter of a Pistons-Cavaliers game from 2004, when Lebron James scored 43 points. The guy guarding James in the picture was Darvin Ham, who is now going to be Lebron’s coach with the Lakers.
1) Former Iowa State guard Tyrese Hunter not only transferred away from the Cyclones, he bolted to Texas, a conference rival of Iowa State’s. He was the best available transfer out there; big loss for Iowa State.
Other schools trying to poach Hunter were Gonzaga, Kansas, Louisville, Purdue, Tennessee; last year, Purdue was one of the few top 50 programs that didn’t poach any transfers.
This is where college basketball is headed, free agency. It is what it is, even if it does suck.