Posts By: Bob Dunkel

Even Stevens

The Celtics rocked the Cavaliers by taking the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals, but Brad Stevens’ club gave it all back in Cleveland and now finds itself tied up as the series moves back to Boston for tonight’s Game 5. The good news for Stevens and the Celts is that TD Garden has been a friendly confine… Read more »

Soft Landing

Houston’s excitement after winning Game 2 against Golden State proved to be short-lived as the Warriors responded with a 41-point drubbing of the Rockets in Game 3. The thrashing had Houston coach Mike D’Antoni admitting his team played “soft” and left the Rockets in a 2-1 hole with Game 4 tonight at Golden State. To get our pick, click HERE…. Read more »

What Can Brown Do?

Boston’s Jaylen Brown was an unstoppable force in the first two games against Cleveland as the Celtics routed the Cavaliers at home. But in Game 3 in Cleveland, LeBron James put the clamps on Brown and the rest of the Celts’ offense sputtered en route to a 116-86 defeat that got the Cavs back in the series. How Brown and… Read more »

Green Piece

Never shy about voicing his opinions, Golden State’s Draymond Green gave the media a juicy nugget after practice yesterday when he said the problem with the Warriors performance in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals was they didn’t feel threatened. “I think we’re at our best when we feel threatened,” Green said. After Houston’s 127-105 thumping, the Rockets are… Read more »


LeBron James has single-handedly transformed Cleveland from a city that expects to lose to one that was dubbed Believeland after he delivered an NBA title two seasons ago. But James ability to get the Cavaliers over the hump has been put to the challenge in this series against Boston. The Celtics took the first two games at home in convincing… Read more »

Fleury Of Activity

The Winnipeg Jets had numerous scoring opportunities in Game 3, but were stymied by the acrobatic goaltending of Vegas’ Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury’s 33 saves helped preserve a 4-2 win for the Golden Knights and gave the surprising expansion team a 2-games-to-1 lead in the Western Conference Finals. The Jets will try to solve the three-time Stanley Cup champ tonight in… Read more »

Bucking The Trend

After unloading stars such as Andrew McCuthchen and Gerrit Cole in the off-season, the expectation coming into the MLB season was that the Pittsburgh Pirates would take a step back this season. But that hasn’t been the case in the first quarter of the season as the Bucs have posted a 25-17 record and are tied for first place with… Read more »

Isolated Incident

No team runs more isolation plays than the Houston Rockets. And that strategy of clearing out and letting All-Stars James Harden and Chris Paul create scoring opportunities was a big part of Houston posting the best record in the NBA regular season. But in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against Golden State, the strategy backfired. Harden got his… Read more »

Road To Redemption

The Washington Capitals have been a snakebit organization when it comes to the postseason, but this year looks to be different. A big part of the Caps’ turnaround has been their play on the road. Barry Trotz’ team is an impressive 7-1 away from home in the playoffs, including taking the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals in… Read more »

Waiting Game

Since early in the NBA regular season, the anticipated matchup between Golden State and Houston in the Western Conference Finals has been foremost on basketball aficionado’s minds. With the tip-off tonight, the wait is finally over as the No. 1 seed Rockets (65-17) host the No. 2 seed and defending-champion Warriors (58-24) in Game 1. To get our pick for… Read more »

Boston Med

All season long, the Boston Celtics have battled injuries starting with Gordon Hayward’s season-ending ankle injury in the season-opener and extending through Kyrie Irving’s season-ending knee injury late in the regular season. But somehow Brad Stevens remaining unit has overcome the obstacles and now finds itself in the Eastern Conference Final against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Game 1… Read more »

Knight Shift

Even though they weren’t even in existence at this point last year, the Vegas Golden Knights continue to perform like a veteran squad. After finishing with the third-best record in the Western Conference, the Golden Knights swept the Kings in the first round of the playoffs and then dispatched the Sharks in six games to advance to the Western Conference… Read more »

New York Mess

After a strong start to the MLB season, the New York Mets have reversed course and find themselves struggling to stay above .500 (18-17) after dropping eight of their last nine games. Mickey Callaway’s team has looked out of sorts during the turnaround as well with the latest snafu occurring when the Mets batted out of order against the Reds… Read more »

Jet Lag

The Winnipeg Jets had a chance to wrap up their series with the Predators at home in Game 6, but instead ran into a brick wall in goalie Pekka Rinne and were blanked 4-0.  That necessitated another road trip for the Jets back to Nashville as the two teams play a decisive Game 7 tonight at Bridgestone Arena. Get all… Read more »

Canadian Club

Last night, Seattle’s James Paxton became a club of one as he was the first Canadian pitcher to throw a no-hitter in his home country. Paxton needed just 99 pitches to blank the Blue Jays (5-0) in Toronto and in doing so also became just the second Canadian overall to throw a no-no (Dick Fowler with the 1945 Philadelphia A’s… Read more »

Pelican Brief

When New Orleans manhandled Golden State (119-100) in Game 3 of their playoff series, it looked like the Pelicans might give the defending champions a run for their money. But that euphoria proved to be brief as the Warriors bounced back in Game 4 with a convincing 118-92 victory. Suddenly down 3-1, the Pelicans are left fighting for their postseason… Read more »


The Philadelphia 76ers came into their playoff series against Boston as the favorites, but it has been all Celtics so far as Brad Stevens’ team has taken the first three games and has a chance to complete the sweep tonight in Philly. To get our pick for this game and the full NBA playoff schedule, click on the Basketball icon… Read more »

Missing Card Trick

The St. Louis Cardinals have taken the first two games of the series against their arch-rival Chicago Cubs, but got some bad news yesterday when it was announced that catcher Yadier Molina would likely miss the next month after getting hit in the groin with a foul ball and undergoing surgery. Without their usual backstop behind home plate tonight, the… Read more »


It’s hard enough to play your nemesis in the postseason, but for the Washington Capitals, that scenario was made even more difficult by the recent suspension of enforcer Tom Wilson. Wilson’s absence was fairly apparent in Washington’s Game 4 loss to the Penguins as the top line that he usually mans with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov managed just five… Read more »

Salt In The Wounds?

The Utah Jazz stunned the Rockets in Game 2 in Houston, dominating at the outset and holding on to a 116-108 victory that knotted the series up at 1-1. Tonight, the venue shifts to Salt Lake City where the Rockets haven’t lost to Utah since November of 2016 and took both of this year’s regular-season matchups by 11 points. To… Read more »

Predators Fall Prey

After jumping out to a three-goal lead on the road in Game 3, the Nashville Predators certainly felt confident that they would secure the home-ice advantage back from Winnipeg in their best-of-seven series. But the Jets had something else in mind as they staged an offensive-explosion that resulted in a 7-4 comeback win and a 2-1 lead in the series…. Read more »

Spin Cycle

In the burgeoning world of baseball esoterica, we can now add another item: spin rate. That’s been the hot debate ever since Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer alleged that Astros’ pitchers might be doctoring the baseballs because their spin rates were all higher this season than last. Sadly for Houston fans, that effect didn’t shut down the red-hot New York Yankees last… Read more »

Smart Move

After a season filled with injuries, the Boston Celtics needed a little good news and got it with the return of Marcus Smart to their lineup. Smart came back from his thumb injury in Game 5 of Boston’s series with Milwaukee and while he didn’t contribute much on offense (9 points in 25 minutes), he was his usual disruptive force… Read more »

Brave New World

The Braves today are expected to promote their top prospect — and the No. 1 prospect overall on many experts’ charts — in outfielder Ronald Acuna.  The 20-year-old excited Atlanta fans in the spring when he hit .432 with 4 HRs and 4 SBs in just 16 games. He’s cooled off some while playing in Triple-A Gwinnett, posting a .232… Read more »

Sho Must Go On

Angels rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani suffered from blisters in his last start and had to leave after only two innings during a 10-1 loss to the Red Sox. He’ll try to bounce back tonight but faces a tough challenge as the Angels face the defending-champion Houston Astros and their red-hot starter, Charlie Morton (3-0, 0.72). To get our pick for… Read more »

Belt Tightening

With pitch counts seemingly foremost on every manager’s mind, the record set yesterday by the Giants’ Brandon Belt would make any sabermetrician giddy. In the first inning of the Giants game against the Angels, Belt produced a 21-pitch at-bat that included fouling off 16 two-strike pitches. Never mind that Belt finally lined out, the pitch count broke the record by… Read more »

Out Of Aces

The Dodgers and Nationals can throw an arsenal of arms at opponents and did just that in the first two games of their series as Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg all took the mound. The result was a split in the first two games, but left the teams with Jeremy Hellickson (0-0, 3.86) and Alex Wood (0-2, 3.91)… Read more »

Tee Ball

The New York Mets are off to a solid 14-5 start, which is even more impressive considering their offensive leader, Yoenis Cespedes, has yet to get untracked. Cespedes’ pedestrian numbers (.208, 4 HRs and 18 RBI) led him to speculate that what he needs to be doing is playing more….golf. According to Cespedes, he did this a few years ago… Read more »

Clean Up Duty

In an effort to shake Giancarlo Stanton out of his offensive slump, Yankees manager Aaron Boone dropped him from third in the batting order down to fourth last night. The results were tepid — 1-for-3 with an infield single and RBI — but the shake up did end with a Yankees victory over the Blue Jays, 4-3. Those two teams… Read more »

Blistering Start

It’s been a tale of two blisters in the current series between the Angels and Red Sox. The first is the physical blister that developed on Shohei Ohtani’s pitching hand and limited the Japanese sensation to just two innings during Game 1 of the series. The second is the blistering pace the the Red Sox are on as they’ve become… Read more »

Cold Shoulder

With all the cancellations due to damp, frigid weather, it’s not surprising to hear MLB players complain about the conditions. Yesterday, it was the Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo who opined that the season is too long and that he for one would be willing to take a pay cut to play fewer games. Chicago certainly looked like a team not too… Read more »

Capital Improvement

Washington Capitals fans are used to playoff disappointments, but the first two games of their series with the Blue Jackets may have hit a new low as the Caps dropped a pair of overtime losses at home. Still, Barry Trotz’ team maintains it can improve and turn things around as the series shifts to Columbus tonight. To get our pick… Read more »

Young At Heart

Last night, the Rangers’ 44-year-old Bartolo Colon turned back the clock as he carried a perfect game into the eighth inning of his start against Houston. Although Colon eventually lost both the perfect game and no-hitter, Texas prevailed over the Astros in 10 innings, 3-1. It was a rare bright spot for the 6-11 Rangers, who will stay on the… Read more »

To Victor Go The Spoils?

After losing their best player, Paul George, there weren’t very high expectations surrounding the Indiana Pacers coming into this season. But the emergence of Victor Oladipo (career-high 23.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.3 apg) as an All-Star sparked the Pacers to a surprising 48-34 record and a No. 5 seed in the East. Just how improved the Pacers are will be… Read more »

Golden Ticket

The defending-champion Golden State Warriors enter this year’s NBA playoffs looking much more beatable than last year when they went an amazing 16-1 in the postseason en route to their second title in three years. This year’s version has been hampered by injuries — the latest being a sprained MCL that continues to sideline Stephen Curry — and finished a… Read more »

Reynolds Rap

The Washington Nationals are off to a sluggish 6- 7 start that has been marred by a sputtering offense even with the fast start from Bryce Harper. In an effort to turn that around, the Nats yesterday signed veteran Mark Reynolds, who contributed 30 HRs and 97 RBI last year for the Colorado Rockies. While Reynolds will report to the… Read more »

Boston T Party

If baseball were handing out technical fouls, there would have been plenty to go around last night in Boston between the Red Sox and Yankees. Both benches cleared twice and a few punches were thrown when Tyler Austin charged Joe Kelly in the seventh inning. It was all part of a typical Bosox-Yanks showdown and sets up an intense finale… Read more »

All Betts In

Once again, the Yankees and Red Sox are expected to battle for supremacy in the AL East and perhaps all of baseball. But if Mookie Betts continues his torrid streak, the Red Sox could pull away quickly. Betts went 4-for-5 last night and punctuated the big evening with a grand slam in the sixth inning as the Bosox took the… Read more »

Pitching Change

Relievers in the bullpen are used to changes being made on the mound, but the Pittsburgh Pirates had a unique twist yesterday when closer Felipe Rivero announced he had legally changed his name to Felipe Vazquez. It’s not clear whether Vazquez’ new jersey will be ready for today’s game versus the Cubs, but the two teams will attempt to take… Read more »

Had Their Phil?

Philadelphia fans are never shy about expressing their opinions and have already let rookie manager Gabe Kapler know what they think about some of his unconventional moves. Yesterday couldn’t have helped as Kapler pulled his newly-signed ace Jake Arrieta after just four innings of a tie ballgame that the Phillies proceeded to lose (6-3) versus the Marlins to drop their… Read more »

Ejection Seat

Washington’s rookie manager Dave Martinez is on the hot seat after replacing Dusty Baker and taking over a team that won 97 games last season, has arguably the best player in the National League (Bryce Harper), and has made it clear that anything short of a World Series ring will not be acceptable. Perhaps it was the pressure that led… Read more »

Off By A Mile

Fans in the Mile High city of Denver got a treat yesterday when the Denver Post published a visitors guide to Coors Field. The only problem was the picture on the front page was of Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park. Perhaps that ominous glitch was the root behind the Rockies 8-3 loss to the Braves in their home opener. Those two… Read more »

Battered And Brewsed

As if losing 8-0 at home last night to the division-rival Cubs wasn’t bad enough, the Milwaukee Brewers also lost All-Star closer Corey Knebel to a hamstring injury that is likely to land him on the DL. The dual setbacks overshadowed what has been a solid 4-3 start for the Brew Crew and Craig Counsell’s team will try to turn… Read more »

Back In Black

Charlie Blackmon is going to be a wealthy Colorado Rockies outfielder for years to come. The reigning NL batting champ signed a new six-year, $114 million deal Wednesday rather than test free agency this off-season. And it looked to pay immediate dividends as Blackmon went 2-for-5 and scored 2 runs in Colorado’s 5-2 win over the Padres last night. The… Read more »

Low Five

Everything went pretty much according to plan for the Yankees in their 11-4 victory in the home opener against Tampa Bay with one big exception — Giancarlo Stanton’s 0-for-5 performance with 5 K’s.  Things got so bad for Stanton in the end that the Bronx crowd even began booing their new slugger. Stanton, to his credit, took it in stride… Read more »


The Chicago Cubs 1-0 loss to Cincinnati yesterday continued a record-setting trend of offensive struggles for the Northsiders. The Cubs struck out 11 times — giving them 58 Ks through the first five games — and have set the mark for whiffs to start the season. Joe Maddon’s crew will look for a little better result today as the Cubs… Read more »

Anybody Home?

With a new manager and a young roster, the Philadelphia Phillies were expected to have a few stumbles. But the team looked totally discombobulated on Saturday when manager Gabe Kapler called to the bullpen to make a pitching change even though no one had been up and getting ready. It was all part of a 15-2 debacle against the Braves… Read more »

Double Vision

The LA Angels pulled off the deal of the off-season when they were able to sign Japanese star Shohei Ohtani. Called the “Japanese Babe Ruth” because of his ability to excel at both pitching and hitting, Ohtani will make his mound debut today as the Angels wrap up their series with the A’s in Oakland. To get our pick for… Read more »

No Need To Panik

It’s been a rough start to the season for the defending NL champion LA Dodgers as they’ve dropped back-to-back 1-0 decisions at home to the Giants. In doing so, San Francisco’s Joe Panik became the first player in MLB history to homer in back-to-back 1-0 games.  Tonight, the Dodgers will try to shut down Panik and the Giants, and pick… Read more »

Spring(er) Has Sprung

George Springer and the Houston Astros picked up right where they left off last year. For the second straight season, Springer led off the season-opener with an HR and the defending-champion Astros cruised to a 4-1 win over the Texas Rangers. The two teams will be back at it tonight with Dallas Keuchel (14-5, 2.90) taking the mound against former… Read more »