IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Rossi brilliant as runner-up in Indy | TheUnion.com

IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Rossi brilliant as runner-up in Indy

Jim Adams
Sports Columnist
Simon Pagenaud, of France, rear, is hugged by Alexander Rossi, who finished second, after winning the Indianapolis 500 IndyCar auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday, May 26, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
AP | FR123854 AP

INDY DRAMA: Alexander Rossi started the Indianapolis 500 in the ninth spot. By lap 80 he had risen to fourth. However, on lap 136, Rossi was in second and appeared to be in control of the race.

His 23-second pit stop went poorly as a result of a fuel problem. A highly-frustrated Rossi slipped to sixth place. Time to start it all over. NBC commentators noted, “Rossi is driving like a man possessed.” By lap 178, Rossi took the lead after a crash between Sebastien Bordais and Graham Rahal. The track went red.

It was labeled one of Rossi’s most courageous races ever. NBC added that Rossi was the “King of Cool.” It came down to a duel between Rossi and Simon Pagenaud. They traded the top spot until Rossi took the lead on lap 197. However, Pagenaud caught him in the final two laps and won the race. For Rossi, it was an incredible race. He did not win, but his effort, even in the face of adversity, was simply brilliant.

WE THE NORTH: The Toronto Raptors are a team that has captured an entire nation. Canada is a championship-starved country when it comes to professional sports. So it is that fans from every province are giddy over the prospect of stealing the NBA Championship trophy from the United States. The Raptors are not a team to take lightly. Their 118-109 conquest of the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 is proof of that.

Admittedly, Golden State played a rusty game. Was it that Toronto is superior or that Golden State had 9 days off prior to Thursday’s tilt? While Pascal Siakam had 32 points, Kawhi Leonard contributed 23. It was an aggressive and swarming Toronto defense that held the Warriors in check. Will tomorrow’s game be a bounce-back for Golden State? The answer is almost upon us.

GIANT CHALLENGE: On Wednesday evening the San Francisco Giants took on the Marlins in Miami. It was the epitome of what has been a difficult season. Madison Baumgarten pitched a nifty game. However, he could only go 6+ innings, leaving with a 1-1 tie. Enter the Giants bullpen which had an ERA of 2.48 in the first 26 games. However, since then the ERA has bloated to 5.05. Mark Melancon and San Dyson surrender 3 runs.

The Giants rally in the ninth, but lose their seventh straight by a count of 4-1. No Giants starting pitcher has gone seven innings since April 13.

BLUES SURPRISE BRUINS IN GAME 2: The Stanley Cup Finals are tied at 1-1. St. Louis has wrestled away home ice advantage from the Bruins. Boston looked unbeatable in Game 1. However, St. Louis soundly outplayed them in Game 2. Defenseman Carl Gunnarsson’s overtime goal left St. Louis delirious. Game 3 is on NBCSN tonight in St. Louis. It should be an entertaining tilt.

D’ANTONI DENIED: The Houston Rockets have experienced substantial success under the tutelage of coach Mike D’Antoni. However, with the ever-changing landscape of the NBA, he has apparently been denied an extension by the Rockets. D’Antoni has one year left, so there is a lot more to unfold. One thing is sure: If D’Antoni becomes available due to the Rockets ignorance, he will not be out of work very long.

Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at adamses@inreach.com.


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