If hockey was consistently as exciting as game five was last night then it would be as popular as football. That game had it all – agony, ecstasy, ridiculous drama, incredible saves, good luck, bad luck, injury, exhaustion, heroics. It was brilliant. Pittsburgh got very, very lucky to pull it off. Or rather, they had Marc-Andre Fleury on their side. He saved the game about 100 times, and proved once and for all that he has arrived and is the real deal. Game six is now going to be fascinating. Detroit is still favored, but not by as much, and the Penguins should be flying high after the win and in front of the home crowd. Pittsburgh is currently at +118, and if they stay around there then I like them a lot.
I obviously can’t know for sure, but I’m guessing that this is not how the Joba-Chamberlain-as-a-starter era was supposed to begin. He only faced 12 batters, and only got seven outs. He was going to be on a tight pitch count, but 65 pitches should be good for more than 2.1 innings. This shows how bettors can be less than objective from time to time. The Jays were starting Roy Halladay, among a small handful of the best pitchers in the league and riding a hot streak. Chamberlain had never started before, he wasn’t going to last deep even if things went well, and the Yankees bullpen is far from ideal. With all that in mind, why were the Yankees favored? All you can do there is take the odds on Toronto and say thank you.
Big Brown had his last work before the Belmont today and his foot held up fine. A lot could happen between now and Saturday, but I have to say that I will be absolutely shocked if we don’t have a Triple Crown winner by Saturday evening.
Ozzie Guillen’s tirade about his team’s inability to hit was ridiculous (though wildly entertaining), but t obviously worked. They exploded for nine runs at home tonight, and it seems like everyone got into the action. Of course, it was against the Royals, so it hardly counts. It did come against Zack Greinke, though, and he is one of the few bright spots on that dismal team, though you’d never guess it if tonight was the first time you had seen him.
The Celtics are favored in game one, but only by 2.5, which is less than the home court advantage. If you like the Celtics then you’re probably a pretty happy person right about now.