The first night of the NBA regular season got overshadowed by a 14-inning affair in Game 1 of the World Series. With Game 2 coming up tonight to get us over the hump and more than halfway to the weekend, sports fans are looking forward to a busier night in the Association and another pressure cooker at Kauffman Stadium. There are a lot of other things making news around the world of sports, so let’s dive in and see what those things are in today’s Six Pack.
Ned Yost’s Soul
Sometimes it’s hard to figure out how the Kansas City Royals keep doing it time and time again. They scored two runs off of Matt Harvey to tie Game 1 of the World Series in the bottom of the sixth. Alex Gordon’s ninth inning home run off Jeurys Familia was the first run that Familia had allowed in the postseason, a sample size covering 10.1 innings. That tied the game. The Royals and Mets then played four scoreless innings before Eric Hosmer’s walk-off sacrifice fly gave the Royals a 1-0 edge.
It was an incredible night of baseball with a major tinge of sadness. Edinson Volquez, the Game 1 starter, took the mound for the Royals without the knowledge that his father had died from heart disease in his native Dominican Republic. At the request of Volquez’s wife, he was not made aware of his father’s passing until after the game. He threw six quality innings and then left to be with family.
As they have been over the last two seasons, the Royals bullpen was the difference maker. Once Volquez went out, the bullpen gave up one unearned five and five hits over eight innings of work. They combined for 12 strikeouts and two walks. The Mets bullpen was good, but not good enough. Over bettors got a lucky win in this one as both teams combined to go 3-for-21 with runners in scoring position.
As Adam Burke suggested on The Bettor’s Box, live betting the Royals when trailing is the way to go in this series and seemingly in every playoff game they play.
Game 2 will feature Jacob deGrom against Johnny Cueto tonight at The K. How will the Mets respond to such a devastating Game 1 loss? How will the Royals bullpen hold up after yet another big workload? They are now approaching 50 innings for the postseason. There is a lot to follow as this series moves along.
Breaking Morning News
Some breaking news came across the wire while putting together this morning’s piece. Minnesota Golden Gophers head coach Jerry Kill has resigned, effective immediately, citing health reasons. Kill has experienced seizures on the sideline at both Minnesota and also during his coaching tenure at Northern Illinois.
Kill has been a tremendous head coach in college football, especially at Minnesota, where he has regularly had lesser talent than other Big Ten programs. Defensive coordinator and associate head coach Tracy Claeys will take over, beginning with this week’s game against Michigan. The Golden Gophers play at Ohio State the following Saturday.
Our thoughts go out to Jerry Kill as he battles these health problems.
NBA Opening Act
A sluggish first quarter for the Cleveland Cavs was all that the Chicago Bulls needed to hold on for an opening night victory. The Bulls won 97-95 after outscoring Cleveland 26-17 in the first half. LeBron James kicked off the season with a double-double, scoring 25 points with 10 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough. Nikota Mirotic led five Bulls in double figures, including Derrick Rose, who took 22 of the team’s 87 shots. Pau Gasol was limited to seven field goal attempts, which could be something to watch under Fred Hoiberg. Hoiberg, formerly the head coach at Iowa State, believes in a transition game where the perimeter players dictate the offense.
After celebrating last season’s title, the Golden State Warriors looked like a team in line for another one. They blasted the New Orleans Pelicans by 16, as Anthony Davis was just 4-of-20 from the floor. He still led the Pelicans with 18 points thanks to 10 made free throws, but it was tough sledding for one of the league’s top players.
Steph Curry faced little resistance en route to dropping 40 points. Andrew Bogut was a perfect 6-of-6 from the floor with 12 points. The Warriors were without head coach Steve Kerr, but looked like the same well-oiled machine that they always do. Klay Thompson had a rough night with seven turnovers and nine points, but there’s no reason to worry about him. One worry could be the bench for the Warriors, which was just 12-of-32 shooting, including Festus Ezeli’s 6-of-10 performance.
The Detroit Pistons topped the Atlanta Hawks in Stan Van Gundy’s debut with the team. The Pistons only shot 38.5 percent from the field but hit 12 of 29 three-pointers and had a big edge at the charity stripe. They also outrebounded Atlanta 59-40. All five Pistons starters were in double figures in both shot attempts and points. Andre Drummond ripped down 19 boards. The Hawks got 20 points off the bench in 25 minutes from Dennis Schroeder and had three starters in double figures.
Coyotes On The Move?
The Arizona Coyotes need a fresh start. They’ve been trying to rebuild over the last few seasons and should get the chance to continue that vision in a new city. The only caveat? They will be staying in the same area. The city of Glendale has decided to let the lease agreement with the arena lapse, which means that the team will need to find a new home. Phoenix mayor Greg Stanton wants to bring an influx of capital to the downtown area by building a new arena for the Suns and Coyotes to share. An area in East Valley Scottsdale is also a consideration.
Even though selling hockey in Arizona has been an uphill battle from the start, team ownership and the NHL are unwilling to relocate the franchise unless all other options have been exhausted. In this case, it means finding a new arena site. There should be a resolution on this fairly quickly, since time is a factor.
In other NHL news, the Montreal Canadiens lost, falling short of tying the NHL record for most wins to start a season. The 1993-94 Toronto Maple Leafs and 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres each won 10 straight. The Canadiens are now 9-1.
Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen has not been feeling well and doctors are running him through a battery of tests to see what is wrong. Abrasive head coach John Tortorella benched Johansen in the third period of his first game behind the bench because he said that Johansen was out of shape. The Blue Jackets are 2-0 without Johansen, but there’s really no correlation there, because he’s one of the team’s best players.
Down With JPP? Yeah, You Know Me
Jason Pierre-Paul will return in a couple weeks for the New York Giants after the infamous fireworks accident that left him with a mangled hand. JPP has been working to make a comeback and has reportedly signed an incentive-laden deal, which is a big step down from the $14.813 million deal that was staring him in the face before the firework incident.
Now that he has signed, he can work out at Giants facilities and start practicing with the team. His endurance is still and question and his productivity is obviously going to be something to watch, but it sounds like the Giants have locked in a low-risk deal to bring him back into the mix.
In other NFL news, Marcus Mariota is going to give it a go in practice on Wednesday to see if he can start for the Titans this week. The Titans are currently in last place in the AFC South, so it’s a bit of a mystery as to why they would want to rush Mariota, but here we are.
The John Football saga continues in Cleveland. The Browns cannot suspend Manziel for his alleged outburst against his girlfriend back on October 12. Police determined Manziel’s girlfriend was intoxicated, but that Manziel, who admitted to drinking earlier in the day, was not. There were signs of physical assault on his girlfriend, though Manziel insisted that he had not. There were no charges filed, but trouble is just following Manziel around. Part of the problem is that the Browns might need Manziel this week after Josh McCown took another beating last week.
The PGA Tour is in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for this weekend’s joint event with the Asian Tour. The CIMB Classic became a sanctioned PGA Tour event two years ago and Ryan Moore has won both events. With the 12-hour time difference, players tee off tonight. We’ve got a tournament preview for you.
Join us every weekday for the Daily Six Pack, covering six of the top stories from the sports world.