Sunday’s Den: Wrapping up a sports Saturday

— Dodgers 13, Royals 3— Dodgers are the first National League team to win 12 straight games by 2+ runs since the Pirates had a 13-game streak that was snapped on August 13, 1922 – exactly 100 years ago.

— Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 0— Jeff Banister was Arizona’s interim manager for this game; he was the Rangers’ manager from 2015-18, making the playoffs twice.

They told this story on the Arizona TV broadcast last night; when Banister was in high school, he had swelling near his ankle, so he went to a doctor, and was told he had bone cancer. One of the options they gave him was amputation of the foot, which Banister turned down— he still wanted to play baseball.

He wound up having seven operations on the leg, but wound up playing ball— he played in the minor leagues for six years, before the Pirates called him up for 1991. He batted once and he singled in his only at-bat, pinch-hitting for Doug Drabek.

Imagine having to decide whether to keep your foot or not? He made the right decision.

— Friday night, White Sox took Michael Kopech out of his start after he threw six no-hit IP on 85 pitches. Why?

This season, Kopech has thrown 104.2 innings; he threw 69.1 last year, and didn’t play in 2020.

There is a thing that once a pitcher throws 20% more innings than he did the year before, then he is much more prone to injury; Kopech is already 50% past last year’s total, so the White Sox are going to be careful with his innings because they need him down the stretch.

— New Jersey Jets got something of a break; QB Zach Wilson’s injury is a bone bruise and a meniscus tear in his right knee— he could be back in 2-4 weeks, much better than what originally feared.

— Two best-ever seasons for NFL receiving yards:
1,964 yards— Calvin Johnson, 2012
1,947 yards— Cooper Kupp, 2021

The common thread between those two seasons? Matthew Stafford was QB for both of them.

— When NFL roster cuts come at the end of this month, 864 guys lose their job; 300 or so of them will sign on to someone’s taxi squad, others will go to the CFL or the XFL or USFL, but these preseason games are interesting in large part because guys are playing for their careers.

— QB named Drew Plitt played at the end of Friday’s game for the Bengals; he was only signed because Joe Burrow had his appendectomy, and they needed another camp arm, but Plitt completed 6-6 passes for 76 yards and a TD in his only drive. Impressive.

Not sure if Drew Plitt will make the Bengals’ squad, but chances are he’s going to be signed by someone; productive quarterbacks are hard to find.

Plitt played five years at quarterback for Ball State, starting the last four years— he threw 1,246 passes in college, so he has a lot of experience in the MAC, where Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich played (Sean McVay played in the MAC too, but he was a WR).

Ball State went 13-8 the last two years, so Plitt has led a winning program; will be interesting to see where he winds up.

— When the NBA season starts in mid-October, Lakers @ Warriors will be played Opening Night.

— Mets 1, Phillies 0— Jacob deGrom used 76 pitches to throw six shutout innings; he struck out 10, allowed two hits. He’s allowed three runs in 16.2 IP in three starts this season.

— By the way, the Wild Cards in baseball are valuable; right now, three of the six division leaders lead by 10+ games. Would be kind of ho-hum without the Wild Card races.

— Before they rallied to win in the 9th inning Friday, Red Sox had lost 78 games in a row when they trailed going into the ninth inning.

— Deshaun Watson played the first three drives for Cleveland Friday night; Browns didn’t get any first downs on those drives. Watson completed one of five passes, for 7 yards.

How do the Browns handle his playing time the next two weeks? Watson is suspended for at least six weeks; they need to get Jacohy Brissett ready to play in Week 1.

— Buffalo’s rookie punter Matt Araiza had an 82-yard punt Saturday; he was a great punter snd kicker at San Diego State. Usually the punter holds for kicks; but Araiza was also the kicker, so will someone else be the holder for Buffalo’s kicks?

— AFC East odds:
-225— Buffalo
+450— Miami
+450— New England
+2200— NJ Jets

— AFC West odds:
+155— Kansas City
+240— LA Chargers
+260— Denver
+650— Las Vegas

— If the baseball playoffs started today (they do not):
NL: Mets, Cardinals, Dodgers. Wild Cards- Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Diego
AL: New York, Guardians, Astros. Wild Cards- Blue Jays, Mariners, Rays

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.