IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Bullpen blues; Kaep gets promoted
BULLPEN BLUES FINISH OFF GIANTS: The San Francisco Giants escape on Monday night after the bullpen surrenders yet another lead. However, leading 5-2 going into the top of the ninth, the half inning becomes a microcosm of the Giants season. By the time the implosion is over, they take a Matt Moore masterpiece and reduce it to a season-ending debacle. The Chicago Cubs score four and win the game and the series 3-1. Manager Bruce Bochy uses five pitchers in the disastrous final inning. However, they only serve to put a punctuation mark on the bullpen pitching woes of 2016.
SOMETHING HAD TO CHANGE: As the San Francisco 49ers have stumbled their way through the season, starting 1-4 in lackluster performances, Chip Kelly final makes a change. Colin Kaepernick is to play this Sunday at QB. Blaine Gabbert has completed only 58 percent of his passes. The Buffalo Bills are eight point favorites for Sunday’s game. It is a good move as San Francisco needs some type of injection to re-find themselves. This we do know, if the 49ers are leading in the final moments, Kaepernick will have no trouble executing a kneel down.
BRUINS OPEN PVL WITH LOSS: The only thing bigger than the loss to Lincoln is the injury to linebacker and running back Austin Baze. Baze dislocates his shoulder in the 27-14 defeat to open league play against Lincoln Oct. 7. Bear River leads early and are only down 7-6 at half. However, Lincoln wins the second half and the game.
MINERS FAIL TEST AT WOODCREEK: It is a case of too many small mistakes that causes that first Sierra Foothill League win to elude the Miners. Hayden Fay and Justin Houlihan have big nights, but it is not enough to counterbalance missed extra points, two TD’s being called back on penalties, and an untimely fumble. Dennis Houlihan states, “Really, it comes down to making plays to win the game.” It is a close 34-32 loss.
RAIDERS PILLAGE. GO TO 4-1: Jack Del Rio has called the right shots so far for the Oakland Raiders. There are times that it seems in doubt, but the Raiders beat the San Diego Chargers on home turf, 34-31. They need some luck when the Chargers botch the tying field goal in the waning moments. Derek Carr to Michael Crabtree is again the winning formula with a go-ahead 21-yard touchdown pass. Hey, they take over first place in the AFC West after the Denver Broncos meltdown on Thursday night.
DODGERS MOVE ON: The odds were against them, but the Dodgers bested the Washington Nationals in a marathon, nearly 5 hour game Thursday night. Somewhere my broadcast partner Joey Cena is smiling. The Dodgers score all four runs in a wild top of the seventh that takes 44 minutes. The Nationals use six pitchers in the half inning. Closer Kenley Jansen steps in and goes into the ninth until the Dodgers send in Clayton Kershaw to close it out. Tough week for Giants fans as they see their G-Men dissolve and the Dodgers move on.
BIG PAPI EXITS IN STYLE: Yes, his beloved Boston Red Sox are eliminated by the Cleveland Indians. Regardless, David Ortiz makes it a memorable moment at Fenway Park. From the pitcher’s mound, he bids farewell. However, in a subsequent Instagram post, he states, “Don’t be upset, instead smile. I will always be a part of Red Sox nation. Thank you for making it all worth it.” He is bound for Cooperstown and the Hall of Fame. In the meantime, he leaves an indelible mark on the game. Ortiz is, indeed, “Big Papi.”
SHARKS OPEN STRONG: The San Jose Sharks beat the LA Kings on Wednesday Night to open the NHL Season. It was their eighth consecutive opening night victory. Hey, they look crisp and sharp. Brent Burns and Logan Couture score in this 2-1 win. This is an interesting season for the Sharks. They raise the Western Conference Championship banner, but are now intent on winning the Stanley Cup. Just 81 more games to go.
STORM CLOUDS ON THE HORIZON?: Yes, the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement runs to 2021. However, there is an opt-out in 2017. Commissioner Silver has been in China. However, he says everyone is motivated to get a deal done and avoid a work stoppage. With the new TV deals, owners are succeeding tremendously. The players have seen salaries skyrocket. Who wins with a work stoppage? No one…especially the fans.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Highly successful postseason runs come to an end for local Little League teams