Posts By: Bob Dunkel

Bishop’s Move

Heading into Game 4 of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals, the question marks surrounded Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist. After giving up 12 goals in Games 2 and 3 — both New York losses — Lundqvist responded with 38-save performance in a 5-1 victory over the Lightning that tied up the series at 2-games apiece. Now the attention shifts to Tampa… Read more »

Show Me Something

The Show Me State showdown between the Cardinals and Royals was all KC in Game 1 as Kendrys Morales hit 2 HRs and collected all 5 RBI in a 5-0 win on Friday night. The two teams will be back at it tonight as John Lackey (2-2, 2.96) takes the mound for the Cards while Edinson Volquez (3-3, 2.74) gets… Read more »

Last Man Standing

The Cavaliers-Hawks series is looking more like a war of attrition rather than a battle of elites. Cleveland is already without Kevin Love and had to play most of the 4th quarter of Game 1 without Kyrie Irving, who tweaked his left knee again. Not to be outdone, Atlanta lost DeMarre Carroll with a knee sprain and his status is… Read more »

Howard’s End?

The Houston Rockets are facing the prospect of not having Dwight Howard (bruised left knee) for tonight’s Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals versus Golden State. But this is nothing new for Kevin McHale’s team as Howard missed 41 games during the regular season, 27 of which the Rockets won. Houston had a chance to steal Game 1 of… Read more »

Lightning Strikes

The Tampa Bay Lightning rebounded from their 2-1 loss to the Rangers in Game 1 with a convincing 6-2 victory on Monday behind Tyler Johnson’s hat trick and another solid performance from goalie Ben Bishop. Having earned a split in New York, the Lightning head back to Amalie Arena in Tampa tonight for Game 3 of the NHL’s Eastern Conference… Read more »

Blackhawks Down

The Chicago Blackhawks saw firsthand how deep Anaheim is as the Ducks top line registered only one assist in Game 1 and yet Anaheim opened the Western Conference Finals with a convincing 4-1 win. Chicago will have to ratchet up the intensity tonight as the Blackahawks try to avoid falling into an 0-2 hole with Game 2 set in Anaheim…. Read more »

Fish Change Midstream

The Miami Marlins have arguably the best player in baseball in Giancarlo Stanton and the current NL batting leader in Dee Gordon, but that hasn’t kept them from struggling out of the gate with a 16-22 record and No. 17 ranking in the Dunkel Index. The low point came yesterday as Atlanta’s Shelby Miller came one out away from no-hitting… Read more »

LA Confidential

The LA Clippers were seemingly on cruise control with a 19-point, second-half lead over Houston at home in Game 6.  A win would have vaulted the Clippers to the franchise’s first conference final. But LA was outscored by the Rockets, 51-20, the rest of the way and ended up on the losing end of a 119-107 score that evened the… Read more »

Opposites Attract

The NHL’s Eastern Conference finals offer a contrast in styles as the high-flying Tampa Bay Lightning meet the defensive-minded New York Rangers in today’s Game 1 at Madison Square Garden. The Lightning advanced in a six-game series over Montreal, while the Rangers needed all seven to squeak past the Capitals.  To get our pick for today’s game, click on the… Read more »

Back To The Wall

John Wall’s return to the Washington Wizards lineup in Game 5 was a welcome one as the All-Star came through with a 15-point, 7-assist effort despite broken bones in his left hand. But in the end it wasn’t enough as Al Horford’s bucket with 1.9 seconds remaining secured an 82-81 win for the Hawks and left the Wizards on the brink… Read more »

Unfamiliar Territory

The Mets have had a lot of highlights in the early part of the season, but yesterday was not one of them. New York wasted seven scoreless innings from Matt Harvey before losing to the Cubs, 2-1, when Jeurys Familia walked home Chris Coghlan with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning. Stuck in a three-game losing… Read more »

Bear Down

The Memphis Grizzlies had a chance to put Golden State in a deep hole if they had been able to take Game 4 at home. Instead, the Warriors came up with their best game of the series in a 101-84 victory that knotted the series up a 2-apiece. Now it’s the Grizzlies who will have to come up with a… Read more »

Noah’s Arc

Noah Syndergaard’s trajectory to the big leagues wasn’t as straight as the Mets’ prospect had wanted after failing to be called up last September and then being left off the roster coming out of spring training. But with Dillon Gee going on the DL last week with a groin strain, the 22-year-old right-hander finally got the call and will make… Read more »

Sweet 16

An early-season start filled with highlights for the Yankees continued yesterday as Michael Pineda struck out 16 in New York’s 6-2 win over Baltimore. The K number tied David Cone and David Wells for second all-time in Yankee performances behind only Ron Guidry’s 18 strikeouts against the Angels in 1978. Tonight, the Yankees will see if some of that good… Read more »

Capital Improvement

The Washington Capitals are one game away from advancing to the Eastern Conference finals thanks to the sterling play of goalie Braden Holtby, who has registered a 1.36 goals-against average in the Caps series with the Rangers. One shot Holtby would like to get back was Chris Kreider’s one-timer with 1:41 left in Game 5. Kreider’s goal tied the game… Read more »

Wall Of Pain

The Washington Wizards were dealt a blow when John Wall’s wrist injury suffered in Game 1 of their series with Atlanta proved to be five non-displaced fractures. The injury kept Wall out of Game 2 and Atlanta took advantage with a 106-90 win that knotted the series up at 1-apiece. With Wall’s status uncertain, the venue switches to Washington tonight… Read more »

No Mother’s Day Gift

On the eve of Mother’s Day this weekend, Clippers forward Matt Barnes was in the strange situation of having to issue an apology for a profane remark he directed at James Harden’s mother during Game 2 in Houston. The incident should add fuel to an already intense series between the Rockets and Clippers as the venue switches to LA for… Read more »

Joc Of All Trades

In a lineup that features stars like Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson is starting to stand out for the Dodgers. The rookie’s last seven hits have all been HRs, including two more yesterday in LA’s 6-3 loss to the Brewers. He also ranks fourth in the NL in OPS (1.090). Today, Pederson and the Dodgers will see if they can bounce… Read more »

Love Loss

The Cleveland Cavaliers certainly felt the loss of Kevin Love (separated shoulder) in their Game 1 matchup against Chicago. Mike Miller started in place of Love and had only 3 points in 16 minutes while the Cavs were outscored by 20 points with him on the floor en route to a 99-92 defeat. Meanwhile, the Bulls got a strong game… Read more »

Familiar Look

Being down 0-2 in a playoff series to the Chicago Blackhawks is nothing new for the Minnesota Wild. The Wild were in similar holes in each of the last two postseasons before winning at home in Game 3 to crawl back into the series. That’s the situation the Wild face tonight after the Blackhawks held serve in Chicago with a… Read more »

Milwaukee’s Worst

The Brewers 7-18 start — worst in baseball — cost manager Ron Roenicke his job on Sunday. It was quite a turnaround from Roenicke’s first season with Milwaukee in 2011 when he led the Brewers to a franchise-best 96-66 record and NL Central title. But after leading the division for much of last season, the Brewers went into a tailspin… Read more »

Tough To Face

The Memphis Grizzlies reward for beating Portland in the first round of the playoffs is to face the team with the best record in the NBA this year — the Golden State Warriors. No easy task for the Grizz, the challenge has been made bigger by the uncertainty surrounding point guard Mike Conley, who missed the last two games of… Read more »

Ranger Danger

The New York Rangers looked like they were headed for overtime in Game 1 of their conference semifinal matchup with Washington when Capitals winger Joel Ward fired the puck past Henrik Lundqvist with 1.3 seconds left to steal the opener, 2-1. Now the Rangers head into Game 2 this afternoon trailing in a series for the first time in the… Read more »

Home Away From Home

Because of the riots in Baltimore, the Orioles have been forced to play a “home” series against the Rays in Tampa Bay this weekend. Chris Tillman (2-2, 7.58) will get the start for the Birds, while they Rays will send Alex Colome to the mound in his season debut after coming back from a case of pneumonia. To get our… Read more »

Goal Oriented

The LA Clippers had a chance to go up 3-2 in their series with the Spurs, but an offensive goaltending call against DeAndre Jordan with 4.3 seconds left in Game 5 scuttled the Clips comeback and gave San Antonio the edge heading into tonight’s Game 6. Hoping to avoid elimination, the Clippers can point to their win on San Antonio’s… Read more »

Wing And A Prayer

The Detroit Red Wings had a chance to close out their series against Tampa Bay at home on Monday, but failed miserably as the Lightning got two goals from Tyler Johnson in a 5-2 victory that forced a Game 7. Tonight, the venue switches back to Tampa Bay where they Red Wings will have to find a way to stop… Read more »

All Betts In

The Red Sox rebounded from Sunday’s 18-7 thumping at the hands of the Orioles by coming up with a come-from-behind 6-5 win over Toronto last night thanks to Mookie Betts’ first career walkoff hit. The Bosox outfielder came into the game with an 0-for-10 slump, but snapped out of it by going 3-for-4, including the game-winner. Tonight, the Red Sox… Read more »

Bucking The Trend

Sweeps have been the norm so far in the NBA postseason with three already in the books (Cleveland over Boston, Washington over Toronto and Golden State over New Orleans). But the Milwaukee Bucks were able to avoid a sweep on Saturday when they pulled out a 92-90 win over Chicago on Jerryd Bayless’ bucket at the buzzer. Tonight, the venue… Read more »

Roadhouse Blues

The St. Louis Blues squandered their home-ice advantage against the Wild with home losses in Games 1 and 5 by a combined score of 8-3. But the Blues had their best game on the road when they pounded Minnesota, 6-1, in Game 4. In a back-and-forth series, St. Louis is going to need another strong road effort today to avoid… Read more »

Fire Sale

The White Sox-Royals series started off with plenty of sparks on Thursday when the two teams got into an on-field brawl that resulted in five ejections. Key among them what White Sox starter Chris Sale, who reportedly went to the Royals clubhouse later that evening looking for more. With a tense backdrop already set up, the two teams will resume… Read more »

Rondon’t

The Rajon Rondo experiment looks to be officially over in Dallas after a turbulent few months that were marked by more news off the court than on. Hoping to put that episode behind them, the Mavericks have to regroup after going down 0-2 to the Rockets in the Western Conference quarterfinals. Devin Harris and J.J. Barea will have to pick up… Read more »

Butler Did It

The Chicago Bulls took care of business at home, winning Games 1 and 2 behind a pair of stellar performances from Jimmy Butler. After scoring a playoff career-high 25 points in the Bulls 103-91 win in Game 1, Butler topped that with 31 points in their 91-82 win in Game 2. Tonight, Butler and the Bulls will see if they… Read more »

I Like Ike

Things got so bad for the Oakland A’s last night in their 14-1 loss at the hands of the Angels that they ended up having to pitch first baseman Ike Davis in relief.  Davis, who happens to be the son of former MLB reliever Ron Davis, did throw a perfect inning on just nine pitches, giving the A’s a rare bright… Read more »

The It Factor

Paul Pierce riled up Toronto before their series by saying the Raptors lacked the “it” that made other teams worry. He then backed it up by scoring 20 points, including five in overtime, to lead the Wizards to a 93-86 win in Game 1. Tonight’s Game 2 will be back in front of a raucous Toronto crowd as the Raptors… Read more »

A-Game

Alex Rodriguez’ productive return to baseball has stunned most of his critics, who expected his skills to deteriorate after a year-long suspension.  The controversial star leads the Yankees in hitting (.316), home runs (4) and RBI (11), while sparking the Bronx Bombers to a just-completed weekend sweep of the Rays in Tampa for the first time since the 2005 season…. Read more »

Love This Time Of Year

The addition of Kevin Love to a lineup that included LeBron James and Kyrie Irving was supposed to make the Cleveland Cavaliers the team to beat in the Eastern Conference. Love, however, had a tough time finding his role, while the acquisitions of J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Timofey Mozgov had more to do with the Cavs overcoming a 19-20… Read more »

Warrior Mentality

The Golden State Warriors finished with the best record (67-15) in the NBA and the top rating (147.608) in the final regular season Dunkel Index. But can Steve Kerr’s team keep it going in the postseason against a deep Western Conference lineup and eventual Eastern Conference champ? That answer will begin to form today as the Warriors host New Orleans in the… Read more »

Early Krismas

The Cubs look to be calling up third baseman Kris Bryant from the minors to take Mike Olt’s (wrist fracture) spot on the roster. After leading the Cactus and Grapefruit leagues with 9 HRs in spring training, Bryant has stayed hot at Iowa where he has hit three home runs and is batting .321. His arrival in Chicago coincides with… Read more »

Nobody’s Perfect

The last of the unbeatens in baseball fell yesterday as the Twins finally found a way to slow down the Royals, 3-1. It was a familiar nemesis for KC as Minnesota’s Kyle Gibson ran his career record to 4-0 with a 1.38 ERA in the process. Happy not to be facing Gibson again today, the Royals will see if they… Read more »

Cup Runneth Over

The pursuit of the Stanley Cup officially gets underway tonight with four confererence quarterfinal games on tap headlined by Patrick Kane’s return to the Blackhawks’ lineup as Chicago opens its series in Nashville. Heading into the postseason, the New York Rangers have the top Index rating followed by St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Montreal and Anaheim. To get our final regular… Read more »

Error Of Their Ways

The Washington Nationals have looked sluggish out of the gate and none more so than shortstop Ian Desmond, who has committed six errors in just eight games. Yesterday, Desmond’s error in the seventh inning led to three unearned runs as the Nationals fell to the Red Sox, 8-7.  The Nats have little time to contemplate their mistakes as they turn… Read more »

Setting Suns

The Phoenix Suns’ playoff hopes have disappeared with a stretch that has seen them lose nine of their last 10 games.  The LA Clippers are in the postseason, but just where in the mix is still to be determined as the two teams meet tonight in Phoenix.  To get our pick for this game and the full NBA schedule, click… Read more »

Soler Eclipse

The Chicago Cubs survived another shaky outing from Jon Lester last night thanks to a pair of 2-run homers from Jorge Soler and Arismendy Alcantara’s game-winning single in the 10th inning to pull off a wild 7-6 victory over Cincinnati. The two teams are back at it tonight in Wrigley Field as the Cubs’ Jake Arrieta (1-0; 0.00) goes for… Read more »

Heat Is On

Making four straight NBA finals is a distant memory for the Miami Heat right now as they are on the brink of missing the postseason for the first time in seven seasons.  To have any chance of advancing, Miami must win its last two games starting with tonight’s matchup against the Orlando Magic.  To get our pick for this game… Read more »

Dallas, Part 2

The Dallas Mavericks’ road trip got off to a challenging start as they were taken to double overtime in Denver on Friday night before finally prevailing, 144-143.  Mavs’ coach Rick Carlisle may be looking for a little less stress as he tries to rest up his team before the playoffs and may have found that in tonight’s matchup against the… Read more »

Dallas, Part 1

Dallas Keuchel’s strong finish last year gave the Astros hope they had found an ace for their staff.  The young left-hander picked right up where he left off in the season-opener as he outpitched reigning Cy Young winner Corey Kluber in a 2-0 victory over Cleveland.  Today, Keuchel will take the mound in the rubber game of the Astros series… Read more »

LA Story

Just a month ago it seemed out of the question that the LA Clippers could overtake Memphis for the No. 2 slot in the playoffs.  But an NBA-best 11-1 run since then has put Doc Rivers’ team on the Grizzlies’ doorstep.  Tonight, the two teams will meet at the Staples Center with postseason positioning on the line.  To get our… Read more »

Stale Brew

Pittsburgh’s win over Milwaukee last night left the Brewers (0-4) as the last winless team in the National League.  One more loss would give Milwaukee its longest losing streak to start a season since going 0-6 in 2003.  The Brewers will see if they can avoid that pitfall today when they host the Pirates in the second game of their… Read more »

Flame Up

The Calgary Flames ended a five-year playoff drought when they beat Los Angeles on Thursday night to clinch a postseason spot.  In doing so, the Flames also helped Winnipeg advance to the postseason for this first time since the Atlanta Thrashers made it in 2006-07.  Today, the two teams will meet with Calgary looking to finish a series sweep over… Read more »

Bud Light

One of the bright spots in the Orioles season last year was the pitching of Bud Norris.  The right-hander went 15-8 with a 3.65 ERA during the regular season then finished the campaign with a 1-0 record and 3.38 ERA in two postseason starts.  Today, Norris will get the start in the Orioles home-opener as the Birds host Toronto. To… Read more »