April 29, 2007

Devils 3, Senators 2 (2OT)

Alright I had a huge post but then it got erased, so that blows.

In short, the Devils had to win this game. Not technically, but you don't want to go down 2-0, especially losing both at home. That goal in double overtime by Jamie Langenbrunner may have changed this series around.

The Devils flat-out dominated the first period, leading in shots on goal by 16-5. Then they stopped. The rest of the game, the Senators outshot the Devils 40-17. While it was bad, it wasn't as bad as it seems due to the many missed shots by the Devils, whether due to aim or deflection. So it was a little more even than it appears, but it was pretty bad to put up 4 shots on goal in the 2nd and 3rd periods. The defensive dominance in the first period gave way to goaltending dominance, with Brodeur stopping 43/45 shots for the 3rd star when it probably should have been the first star.

The goal with 3/10ths of a second left in the first period was huge for the Devils. If they don't get that goal, they don't win the game. It helped a lot.

Still annoying that the Devils sat back and waited for the Senators to come at them. They got lucky they only let in 2 goals, but Brodeur was back there making sensational plays. But that's not the way to play the game, as John F. definitely agrees with me over at In Lou We Trust. Go check his blog out every dang day because it blows mine away. Props to Tom Lycan as well for posting within seconds after the victory was completed.

It was a good win, but it could have been a terrible loss due to the fact that the Devils exhibited no offensive pressure throughout the rest of the game. I would imagine that to be fixed come Game 3.

Reds 8, Pirates 1

This was a fun one to watch. Once again you are reminded of the kinds of things the Reds could do if they were able to put it all together on a consistent basis.


Pitching: The starting pitching, even throwing Milton in there, has been dang dang good this far in the season for the Reds, and they can't even remain above .500. When the starers go sour, it will be a long season. Until then, enjoy the 2nd-finest performance by a Reds starter this year (after Lohse's outing against the Cubs). Matt Belisle started and ended for the Reds, giving up 5 hits and a run while K'ing 5. Extremely well done. He had a perfect game going until the 6th inning where he gave up a double and a single which scored the only run. From there, he got a little weaker but still finished out the game. He didn't look as dominating in the lateer innings, giving up more hits but getting fortunate double play balls in the 7th and 8th innings to kill off any threat and then went 1-2-3 in the 9th. What a game. Great stuff. A ton of strikes and just having the attitude, he was very mentally keen.

Hitting: Ryan Freel led off and was 2/4, scoring twice. It was a perfect game pitchers duel through 3 innings but the Reds scored in the 4th on a Hamilton walk and a Conine double. Then Cincinnati does what it does well and that's have the occasional breakout inning, which was the 5th. Belisle started it, oddly enough, with his crazy sac bunt attempt where a lot of weird things happened. Ross & Dunn were on the corners with 1 out and Belisle bunted into the ground. He got tagged out and then the catcher threw to 2nd base when he Ross go there. Wilson tagged the BASE and not the player, so Ross was safe because it was no longer a force out, because Belisle was already out. Dunn saw all that and ran across home plate. Then 2 singles and a double later, the Reds had some more runs and they weren't finished until Gorzelanny mixed in a balk, scoring Phillips from 3rd base. The Reds tacked one on in the 8th on another Conine double and an EdE single. Then Conine threw in 2 more RBI's on a bases-loaded single. Phillips was 2/5, Conine was 3/5, EdE & Ross were both 2/4. On the other end of the totem pole was Hamilton, who had a double but then K'ed 3 times which was pretty nasty. Adam Dunn was 0/3 with a K and a grounder that went for a double play.

Fielding & such: Dunn stole second base in the 5th inning. I think he's 5 for 5 now, a very opportunistic stealer. Did he steal any last year? I think maybe 1 or 2. Good stuff from him. Freel got caught stealing in the 7th. You'll have that with Freel. Not sure if he's given the wrong signals or if he gets bad jumps or reads, but he'll get caught a few times before the year is out and he will have more bases than not, but it's something to improve. Do what Dunn does, dang it. 2 double plays with Phillips in the mix, one from EdE, the other from Gonzo.

The Randy Moss Experiment is over

Good news I guess. Sort of sad, just remembering back two years ago when I heard the news Randy Moss was leaving Minnesota to come to Oakland. It was huge news, a sensational day. Oddly enough, the first team Moss played against as a Raider is the team he was traded to: the New England Patriots. Hard to imagine Moss as a Patriot, I was getting all set to see him with the Green Bay Packers, but it was New England who swooped in and made the deal. The Raiders received a 4th-round pick that they used to select John Bowie, a cornerback from Cincinnati who just happened to be one of, if not THE, fastest player in the draft.

The experiment began with the Raiders trading their #1 pick, Round 7 pick, and linebacker Napolean Harris to Minnesota for Moss. That was a blockbuster deal. Moss did do some things well in Oakland, but his numbers and production were nowhere near what everyone thought he was capable of doing, and that was due to some injuries as well. It's hard not to scapegoat Randy Moss, more and more people disliked him over time and wanted him out of here. So now he is. It's too bad things didn't work out and it's not all on Moss for that, but a good chunk of it was. It didn't help to have him whine and nag when the team was doing so poorly and the cardinal sin is to admit you're not going 100%, which is what Moss did on more than occasion.

So now we have Mike Williams, Jerry Porter, Ronald Curry, and Doug Gabriel. Williams, in a sense, replacing Moss, though I didn't think that was the case but it looks like it is now. Not that Williams becomes the #1, but here's hoping he can pick up his game with former coach Lane Kiffin. That's the hope and the idea. So Josh McCown throws the balls for a year or half a year and then Russell waits his turn, hopefully trimming some fat off of his body and beefing up his mental attributes and then the Raiders are in business a couple/few years down the road.

Raiders select Michael Bush


This was my pick for the 2nd round way back when before all of that nonsense occurred (and I'm still not sure about all of it) but the Raiders got him, it just happened to be the first pick of the 4th round!! This is very awesome news, I flipped out when I saw the Raiders had him. I had wanted him all along. There were very few running backs I'd prefer to watch in college than Michael Bush. I know I'm going on a limb here, and I don't quite believe it as much as I did a couple years ago, but I thought Michael Bush had the potential to be the best Bush in the NFL. If you get my drift, he could surpass Reggie. That was the idea. Not sure what the status is now, but it was clear Al Davis & Co. could not pass up that talent finding him still hanging around after 3 rounds. Very very good pick right there. Time to get excited about that one.