Posts By: Bob Dunkel

Break Time

Baseball’s four-day break, marked by tomorrow night’s All-Star game, is here. Reflecting back on the first half, the Cardinals’ once insurmountable lead has dwindled down to 2 1/2 games over the Pirates in the NL Central after Pittsburgh took three of four in their recent series with St. Louis. Those two teams rank Nos. 1 and 3, respectively, in the… Read more »

McClutch

The Pittsburgh Pirates had to overcome three deficits and two ejections last night before finally prevailing over St. Louis, 6-5, on Andrew McCutchen’s two-run homer in the bottom of the 14th inning. The victory moves the Pirates to within 3 1/2 games of the front-running Cards in the NL Central. Pittsburgh, which has won seven of eight and 10 of 12, has… Read more »

Twin Disappointments

The Detroit Tigers took a 6-1 lead over the Twins into the ninth inning yesterday and looked poised to pick up a game on Minnesota in the AL Central standings and deliver Justin Verlander his first win of the season. But neither of those happened as the Twins erupted for seven runs in the ninth, the final three coming on… Read more »

Final Push

The Cardinals’ Carlos Martinez made a strong statement last night for inclusion on the NL All-Star team as he shut down the Pirates, 4-1, in the series opener. Martinez, who ran his record to 10-3, is one of five players contending for the final spot on the roster, which will be announced later today. Perhaps more importantly, Martinez and the… Read more »

Red Is The New Black

The Ottawa RedBlacks have been the surprise of the young CFL season as their 2-0 start has already matched their win total for all of last season. Tonight, the RedBlacks will kick off Week 3 as they travel to Edmonton to face an Eskimos team that is coming off a bye week and looking to bounce back from their 26-11 loss… Read more »

No Hanging Chad

Chad Billingsley hadn’t won a game in over two years when he took the familiar mound at Dodger Stadium last night. Now sporting a Phillies uniform, Billingsley handcuffed his old teammates on two runs and six hits over six innings to earn his first victory since April 10, 2013, in a 7-2 Philadelphia win.  The Phillies and Dodgers will be… Read more »

Moore Is Better

Maya Moore and the Minnesota Lynx look well on their way to getting back to the WNBA Finals this year as the Lynx are off to an 8-2 start and the top ranking in the latest Dunkel WNBA Index. Moore was at her best on Sunday while scoring 23 points and pulling down 11 boards in an 82-57 trouncing over Seattle. To… Read more »

Giant Headache

It was a nightmare of a road trip for the defending champion Giants as they went 0-6 culminating with last night’s 3-1 loss to the Nationals that also saw manager Bruce Bochy and pitcher Ryan Vogelsong ejected. The slide drops San Francisco all the way down to No. 15 in this week’s Dunkel MLB Index. The G-Men will try to… Read more »

Iron Deficiency

Miguel Cabrera has been baseball’s iron man over the last decade, averaging 157 games per season and playing fewer than 157 only once between 2004 and 2014 (148 in 2013). But for the first time in his career, Cabrera has gone on the disabled list with a strained calf suffered in Friday’s game versus the Blue Jays. The two-time AL… Read more »

Hotdogs, Fireworks & Baseball

In between all the 4th of July festivities is a full slate of baseball games starting with the Nationals and Giants at 11:05 a.m. and ending with the Rockies and Diamondbacks at 10:10 p.m.  To get all of our picks for today’s MLB slate, click on the Baseball icon above. Plus get all of today’s CFL matchups as Week 2… Read more »

Shock To The System

It’s pretty easy to see how much Skylar Diggins means to the Tulsa Shock. Playing their first game last night without their star, the Shock fell by 31 points at Phoenix. It was a far cry from the team that had won eight of its first 10 games to start the season and was in first place in the WNBA… Read more »

Paris In Summer

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers opened the 2015 CFL campaign with a big 30-26 win over Saskatchewan last week behind 167 all-purpose yards from running back Paris Cotton. It was the Blue Bombers first win at Saskatchewan since 2004 and gives Winnipeg some momentum coming into tonight’s home-opener versus Hamilton.  To get our pick for this game and the full CFL schedule,… Read more »

Magic Man

Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon is known for his unconventional ways, but he may have topped himself on Tuesday when he brought a magician into the Chicago clubhouse. Maddon wanted to shake the Cubs out of their five-game losing streak that had seen the Northsiders fall 11 1/2 games behind the front-running Cardinals in the NL Central. The method looked to… Read more »

Shocker

The Tulsa Shock finished last season with a 12-22 record, which was a slight improvement over the previous year (11-23), but no indication they were ready to compete in the upper ranks of the WNBA. An 8-1 start and a young squad led by star guard Skylar Diggins (17.8 ppg) has changed that perception as the Shock have reached the… Read more »

Mo-Jo

As we approach the halfway point of the MLB season, the two teams from Missouri stand atop the latest Dunkel Index rankings.  The Cardinals continue to put distance between themselves and the pack with the best record in baseball (51-24), while the Royals sit comfortably in second with the best record in the AL (44-28). To get the complete MLB… Read more »

Turning 50

The St. Louis Cardinals became the first team in baseball this season to reach 50 wins with their 8-1 victory over the Cubs last night.  Since 1995, only six other teams had reached the half-century mark before the 75th game and all went on to reach at least the League Championship Series. St. Louis will try to keep it going… Read more »

Phoenix Rises

The defending WNBA champion Phoenix Mercury struggled to a 3-4 record while star center Brittney Griner served her seven-game suspension following her arrest in April on domestic violence charges. Griner returns to the court tonight as the Mercury travel to Minnesota to take on their Western Conference rivals. The Lynx (6-2) have won three of their last four, including a… Read more »

Red Zone

After a slow start, the Cincinnati Reds have found a spark. Last night the Reds won their 11th in the last 17 games with a 13-inning victory over Pittsburgh, 5-4. Brandon Phillips homered for the first time since May 31 to win it as the Reds offense banged out a season-high 17 hits. Tonight, Cincinnati will try to keep it… Read more »

Smelling Like A Rose

It’s the battle of De La Rosas today as Arizona’s Rubby De La Rosa takes the mound against Colorado’s Jorge De La Rosa. It’s the first time the two pitchers with the same surname have faced each other. And they’ll try to cool down the bats in a series that has been dominated by offense. Over the last 11 games… Read more »

Buck’s Shot

Justin Verlander’s return to the Tigers’ rotation has been interrupted again, this time by a sore back. Verlander will miss his turn today with back stiffness after making only two starts since coming back from a triceps injury. That opens the door for Buck Farmer, who was called up from Triple-A Toledo to make the start today as the Tigers close out… Read more »

Cruz Control

The Seattle Mariners were held to two hits last night for the fourth time this season and the third time in the last two weeks while falling to the Royals, 4-1. They also whiffed 13 times, marking the 10th time this season that they had struck out at least 10 times in a game. With the offense struggling, the one… Read more »

Sun Shines Early

After finishing last in the Eastern Conference last season, not much was expected from the Connecticut Sun this year. But after dropping the season-opener against Washington, the Sun have reeled off six straight wins after yesterday’s 76-68 victory at Los Angeles to move to the top of this week’s Dunkel WNBA Index. To get the complete ratings for the season,… Read more »

Max Effort

One start after throwing a complete game one-hitter, Washington’s Max Scherzer outdid himself yesterday as he no-hit the Pirates in a 6-0 victory. Scherzer was one out away from the 22nd perfect game in MLB history when he hit the Bucs’ Jose Tabata on the elbow. Unruffled, Scherzer proceeded to get Josh Harrison to fly out to left and preserve… Read more »

3K For A-Rod

Alex Rodriguez’ surprising comeback reached another milestone yesterday as he picked up his 3,000th career hit off Detroit’s Justin Verlander. A-Rod did it in style as well, hitting a homer into the right-field seats that helped propel the Yankees to a 7-2 win over the Tigers. He also joined Hank Aaron as the only two players to have more than… Read more »

Hamstrung

The Washington Nationals have been beset by injuries this season, causing a team that many picked to win it all to post a very pedestrian 34-33 record so far.  The latest injury may be the scariest as Bryce Harper crumpled in the outfield last night after making a throw. The initial diagnosis is a hamstring strain and Harper is to… Read more »

The Kids Are Alright

The Cubs’ youth movement has being paying nice dividends so far this season and continued to add up yesterday with the debut of Kyle Schwarber.  The rookie catcher, who has been called up from the minors to serve as a DH in Chicago’s interleague games this week, went 4-for-5 including a triple in his first big league at-bat to lead… Read more »

Cycling Through

Yesterday, Brock Holt became the first Red Sox player since John Valentin in 1996 to hit for the cycle. Holt, who was filling in for the injured Dustin Pedroia at second base, picked up a triple in his final at-bat to complete the rare feat. His slugging also helped Boston pick up a much-needed win in a 9-4 victory over… Read more »

Dellyache

Matthew Dellavedova had done a solid job of containing league MVP Stephen Curry through the first four games of the NBA Finals. But Curry finally unleashed a barrage of 3’s in Game 5 as he totaled 37 points in a 104-91 win that put the Warriors one win away from their first championship since 1975. Tonight, the venue switches back… Read more »

Jay Crew

On paper, the Blue Jays lineup looked loaded with off-season additions Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin joining an offense that already had sluggers Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. And the Blue Jays are starting to deliver on that promise as they’ve won 11 straight while scoring 88 runs during that span. After yesterday’s 13-5 rout over Boston, Toronto is now… Read more »

Iggy Shuffle

Golden State coach Steve Kerr shook up his lineup before Game 4 of the NBA Finals by inserting Andre Iguodala into the starting rotation for the first time this season. The result was extremely successful as Iguodala responded with 22 points and frustrated LeBron James on the defensive end in a 103-82 rout for the Warriors that knotted the series up… Read more »

Justin Time

After missing the first third of the season with a triceps injury, Detroit’s Justin Verlander makes his season debut today as the Tigers face the Indians in the second game of their series. Last night, David Price handcuffed the Tribe on seven hits to record his third career shutout, 4-0.  Verlander will try to keep the momentum going as he… Read more »

Passing The Mantle

Last night, Albert Pujols hit is 537th home run to pass Mickey Mantle into sole possession of 16th place on the all-time HR list. Next up is Mike Schmidt, who sits in 15th with 548.  Pujols will get a chance to inch closer tonight as the Angels open up a a big AL West series at home against the Oakland… Read more »

Green Light

The Cleveland defense has stifled the high-powered Golden State offense through the first three games of the NBA Finals, resulting in a surprising 2-1 lead for the Cavaliers. The early returns had Warriors forward Draymond Green questioning the intensity of the team and saying Golden State needed to play with more desperation. They’ll get that chance tonight as Golden State… Read more »

Giant Accomplishment

Making just his 13th career start, San Francisco rookie Chris Heston tossed a no-hitter yesterday against the Mets. It was the first no-hitter for a rookie pitcher since Clay Buchholz in 2007  and gave the Giants no-hitters in each of the past four seasons. Today, veteran Tim Hudson will try to follow up that act as the Giants and Mets… Read more »

Big Sale

Chris Sale was lights out for the White Sox last night as the lanky left-hander struck out 14 Astros in eight innings en route to a 3-1 victory in the series opener. The loss spoiled the MLB debut of Houston’s highly-touted shortstop Carlos Correa and sent the AL West -leading Astros to their fifth straight defeat.  A.J. Hinch’s club will… Read more »

Cole-Fired

The Pittsburgh Pirates have been surging — winners of five of their last six and 13 of 16 — behind the NL leader in wins, Gerritt Cole. Cole picked up his ninth victory yesterday in a 3-0 blanking of Atlanta that also made him the first Pirate since Emil Yde in 1924-25 to record 30 wins in 53 or fewer starts…. Read more »

Cleveland Rocked

The Cavaliers 108-100 defeat in OT in Game 1 was bad enough, but then Cleveland got the news that they’ll have to play the rest of the series without Kyrie Irving (fractured kneecap). Already dealing with the loss of Kevin Love, the Cavaliers will have to regroup tonight as they face Golden State in Game 2 at Oracle Arena. To… Read more »

Looking At Both Sides

The A’s ambidextrous reliever Pat Venditte made his MLB debut last night in Boston and became the first pitcher since Greg Harris in 1995 to throw with both arms in the same game.  Venditte pitched two scoreless innings in relief, but it wasn’t enough as the Red Sox came out on top, 4-2. Both teams will be back at it… Read more »

Mercury Drops?

The Phoenix Mercury swept through the 2014 WNBA season en route to its third championship in franchise history. The Mercury will try to become the first team to win back-to-back titles since L.A. in 2001-02 as the 2015 WNBA season opens up tonight. The road back to the title for Phoenix doesn’t look to be easy as the Mercury will… Read more »

Drought Conditions

Golden State hasn’t won an NBA championship since 1975. Cleveland hasn’t won a sports championship of any kind since 1964. Something will have to give as the Warriors and Cavaliers tip-off the NBA Finals tonight in Golden State. The matchup also pits arguably the two best players in the league with Cleveland’s LeBron James making his fifth straight trip to… Read more »

Southern Living

The Stanley Cup Final opens tonight in the warm climes of southern Florida with the Chicago Blackhawks just one series away from winning their third championship in six years. But standing in the way is a hot Tampa Bay team that survived a Game 7 on the Rangers home ice to advance to their second final in franchise history.  To… Read more »

Teix Message

Felix Hernandez had dominated the Yankees in recent outings, going 3-0 with a 1.49 ERA over his previous 5 starts versus New York heading into last night’s contest.  But Mark Teixeira put an end to that with a fifth-inning grand slam off King Felix that carried the Yanks to a 7-2 victory in the series opener. Both teams will be… Read more »

Playing The Right Cards

The St. Louis Cardinals were dealt an early blow when ace Adam Wainwright went down for the remainder of the season and 1B Matt Adams joined him for an extended period on the DL. But manager Mike Matheny has juggled his lineup to perfection as the Cardinals own the best record in baseball (33-17) and the top ranking in this… Read more »

Pain In The Neck

The Washington Nationals have been dishing out more punishment than they’ve been absorbing of late, but yesterday was not one of those days. The Nats were forced to put Stephen Strasburg on the DL with a stiff neck and then played without Bryce Harper (back soreness) during an 8-5 loss to the Reds. Washington will hit the field again this… Read more »

Cup Half Full

Half of this year’s Stanley Cup is set as the Tampa Bay Lightning pulled off the upset in New York last night and beat the Rangers 2-0 to advance to the final round. Tonight, the Western Conference will anoint its champion as the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks square off in Game 7 at the Honda Center. To get our… Read more »

Lucky Seven

It will be for one team tonight as the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers face off for the Eastern Conference championship in Game 7 at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers were able to force the deciding game with a 7-3 victory over the Lightning in Tampa on Tuesday night. But Tampa Bay has also shown an ability to… Read more »

Miller Time

When Shelby Miller faced the Giants last year in Game 4 of the NLCS, San Francisco roughed him up for 3 runs and 6 hits in just 3 2/3 innings en route to a 6-4 win over the Cardinals. But Miller, now a Brave, has looked like a different pitcher so far this year. The right-hander (5-1, 1.50) has been… Read more »

Getting Defensive

The Anaheim defense hasn’t always been a solid backstop this postseason, but the Ducks backline has more than made up for it on the offensive end.  Anaheim has gotten 42 points from its defensemen in the playoffs — best in the NHL — including 4 points in their 5-4 win over the Blackhawks in overtime in Game 5. The victory… Read more »

Young And Hungry

The series between the Nationals and Cubs features not only two upper-division teams, but two of the biggest stars of the future in Washington’s Bryce Harper and Chicago’s Kris Bryant. Yesterday, it was Harper’s Nats who got the best of it with a 2-1 victory in the series opener. The two teams will be back at it today in Wrigley… Read more »

Houston, We Have A Problem

The Rockets were looking to get back into the series versus Golden State when the venue switched to Houston for Game 3 on Saturday. Instead, the Rockets ran into a barrage of 3s from Steph Curry (40 points) en route to a 115-80 rout that put Houston in an 0-3 hole. Curry now owns the record for most 3s in… Read more »