Earthquakes fall short at home in international friendly

by Michael Martinez

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Earthquakes invited C.F. Pachuca, a club from Mexico and last year’s Liga MX champions, to play in an international friendly in San Jose. The Quakes attempted a big comeback but ultimately fell short, losing 4-3 as time expired.

The first half was all Pachuca as the international club netted two first half goals to hold a two goals to none lead. It appeared that if the first half continued into the second, San Jose was headed for some major trouble.

And when the second half begun, it looked troubling as the visiting team struck first with another goal early in the half from a penalty kick. Fortunately, San Jose was poised to fight back down by  three goals and they did just that.

In minute 64, the Earthquakes were on the scoreboard, when midfielder Tommy Thompson found the back of the net for the first time this season. Thompson has been on loan from SJ’s affiliate, the Sacramento Republic FC, since July. Four other players from the Sac Republic squad came on loan to compete in the friendly as well.

The Quakes showed a ton of fight, even though their opponent scored on a penalty kick again just two minutes later. San Jose battled back down by three goals and actually scored a minute after Pachuca. Midfielder Shea Salinas was the shooter as he nailed the far side netting.

In between minutes 60 and 70, the two teams scored three goals altogether as both offenses hit their stride with a little bit of help from chippy play. Pachuca’s midfielder, Ruben Botta, received two yellow cards and was sent off the field around the same time as all the goals.

With their opponents down a man, the Earthquakes hoped to take advantage and cut the two goals lead. However, it took the team too long as they  were finally able to cut the lead to one in the second minute of extra play.

Once again it was Salinas who got it past the goalkeeper, but ultimately the Earthquakes fell short, 4-3.

Salinas had a tremendous game and some incredible  goals to go with it. The Quakes have struggled to score recently so Saturday night’s friednly was a positive for them going forward.

San Jose’s next matchup is against the Seattle Sounders, next Saturday in San Jose at Avaya Stadium.


Giants bullpen gives up sure win in late innings

by Michael Martinez

SAN FRANCISCO – Johnny Cueto (13-3) appeared to have his first win since the All Star break in the bag after he threw a solid six and two thirds innings, allowing just three runs on eight hits with four strikeouts. Cueto also had a nice day at the plate putting together two hits and driving in a run. However, the Giants bullpen fell apart in the late innings and allowed the Orioles to make things competitive.

Hunter Strickland came in to relieve Cueto and got out of a seventh inning jam but gave up two runs in the seventh to let the Orioles back into the ball game, which included a solo shot by Mark Trumbo. The blast was Trumbo’s was number 34 of the season he still leads the AL in that category.

Derek Law replaced Strickland in the eighth and was able to limit the damage as the Giants still held a 7-5 lead heading into the top half of the ninth.

Then Santiago Casilla came into the game and not only let two runners get on base, but threw a hanging curveball right over the heart of the plate to Baltimore second baseman, Johnathan Schoop. Schoop made Casilla pay as he crushed the hanging breaking ball into the left field bleachers to give the Orioles the lead, eight to seven. The homer marked Casilla’s fifth blown save of the year.

“I have confidence in all my pitches,” Casilla said through interpreter Erwin Higueros. “I threw the curveball, and I just made a mistake. The ball didn’t break.”

The Giants then tried to make something happen off Orioles closer Zach Britton in the bottom of the ninth, but unfortunately could not get a run across the plate to push the game into extra innings. Britton added to his league leading save total, 37, as Baltimore sits just a half game behind the Toronto Blue Jays for first place in the AL East.

For San Francisco, its their 18th loss since the Mid Summer Classic and a real bad one after they held a six run lead heading into the top of the seventh.

The orange and black hit their stride at the plate, tallying 14 hits for seven runs and forced Orioles skipper, Buck Showalter,  to remove starter Wade Miley in the fifth inning.

Giants back up catcher Trevor Brown got the scoring started with an RBI single in the second inning. Brown got the start behind the dish after Buster Posey was a last minute scratch due to back tightness. The injury could have been sustained from the flight back and has gradually worsened, according to Posey.

Before Sunday’s ball game, Brown had been hitless in his last seven at bats, with just three hits in his last 19. But Brown made the most out of his start and was a huge spark for SF’s offense. He finished the game three for five with three RBIs.

“He’s been great,” Posey said about Brown’s performance this year. “He gave us a chance to win the game.”

Outfielder Hunter Pence also had a good game and it appears his swing could be coming into form. Pence hit a bomb to center field, 436 feet to be exact, and added a single during the Giants big fifth inning. Pence’s dinger was his first since returning from the disabled list. Prior to today’s game, Pence had not put one into the seats dating all the way back to May 18.

Fortunately, the Dodgers (65-52) lost to Pittsburgh on Sunday, 11-3, keeping the Giants a game ahead in the NL West.

After blowing a huge lead and taking a loss in what looked to be the Giants first back-to-back wins since July 30 and 31 as well as their second consecutive series victory, San Francisco will take on the Pittsburgh Pirates at home tomorrow night at 7:15 p.m. PT as Matt Moore takes the mound.

“I think everyone knows what’s at stake. I don’t think there’s really any motivation needed,” Posey said. “This time of the year, this is when it’s fun. Each game as we get further and further along will have a little more importance on it. I think the group of guys in here generally thrive in these situations.”

Draymond Green’s summer gets worse

by Michael Martinez

Not too long ago, everything looked up for Draymond Green. The Warriors were so close to repeating as champions, but an ill tempered mistake by the All Star seemed to change the series as the Cavs went on to win three in a row.

And after the tough loss, Green found himself in headlines for all the wrong reasons. Green was arrested, but did reach a plea agreement to pay a small fine. Green got out of that situation fine, but now he’s back in the news for yet another mistake.

As Green traveled with team USA, who appear to be having a lot of fun, the Warriors forward put out a NSFW picture on his Snapchat story. At first, Green claimed he had been hacked. However, the 2016 Olympian confessed that he had accidentally shared the photo publicly, while it had been meant to be sent privately.

“It was a situation where it was meant to be a private message,” Green said. “I kinda hit the wrong button and it sucks. It was meant to be private. We’re all one click away from placing something in the wrong place, and I suffered from that this morning.”

Green’s teammates for this summer’s Olympics have given him a lot of grief for the incident. The Warriors sure hope Green can turn it around, but it seems this is more of an embarrassment for Green than anything. But as a professional athlete, he has to be extremely careful especially with social media.

For Green’s sanity, he’ll hope that everyone’s expectations are met as team USA should dominate in international play. Maybe a gold medal will make Green’s summer a little better. Then again, Green is just thankful for where he is.

“To say I can’t catch a break I think that’s disrespectful for everybody,” he said. “How many people get to live their dreams? I’m not going to sit here and throw myself a pity party and say I can’t catch a break. I’m fine. I get to joke around with these guys all day and get to do what I love for my country. I’m fine. I’m fine.”

Draymond Green reaches plea deal

by Michael Martinez

AP Photo file photo: Golden State Warriors Draymond Green playing against the Houston Rockets in game five on April 27, 2016

After getting arrested for an incident in East Lansing, MI earlier this month. Green reached a plea deal in order to avoid jail time. The Warriors’ forward has to pay a $560 fine and the case is closed.

Luckily for Green, he only has to pay a small fine and instead of spending any time in jail, he’s headed to help team USA win a gold medal in Rio next month.

Green’s little slip up almost took away from all the positives from the Warriors offseason, but reaching a plea deal looks good for both sides. Green and Warriors’ forward Klay Thompson will be the only two Warriors players to play in the Olympics.

Draymond Green arrested for assault

by Michael Martinez

Golden State Warriors All Star forward Draymond Green was arrested Sunday in East Lansing, Michigan with assault charges. Green was reportedly arrested for assault after he slapped a fan who had been taunting him at a nightclub.

Green got out on a $200 bail and the victim was not injured, but the arrest is a bit worrisome. The Warriors do know about the situation and the franchise put out a statement regarding Green’s arrest basically saying they will look into it and not comment until they know more.
The arrest comes at a bad time for Green, who is on the USA men’s basketball team that is headed to Rio for the 2016 Olympics. Managing Director Jerry Colangelo will also be looking into the situation to figure out more information and make a decision afterwards.

Green has been known to let his temper go at times and was criticized during the playoffs for a couple of kicks to the groin of Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James.

After landing Kevin Durant, the biggest star in this year’s free agency,  Green’s arrest is the last thing the Warriors need. Although it appears things are not all that serious and professional athletes are always held to a higher standard, it’s what comes with being in the spotlight.

Hanging out in a nightclub is Green’s choice and just because he’s a pro does not mean he should not be allowed to enjoy himself. However, the responsibility of being a pro does mean he needs to keep his composure.

The last thing the Warriors need is Green to get another suspension handed down to him by the League Office. Hopefully for the Warriors, Green, and all the fans, this is the first and only time something like this happens.

NBA Finals: Warriors historic season ends in Game 7 disappointment

by Michael Martinez

One of the greatest games I have witnessed in my life. And although I’m young, I have watched basketball for as long as I can remember.

So much was on the line before tonight’s tip off. For the Warriors, a chance to bring back to back championships to a city that ponder what winning was not that long ago. Steph Curry’s legacy was on the chopping block as well.

For the Cavaliers, it would be the first pro championship in the city of Cleveland since the Browns won the NFL championship back in 1964. That was before the Super Bowl era, which the Browns have never been to. LeBron James’ legacy was also on the line.

With two mega stars getting ready to battle it out, the anticipation was incredible. And the game did not disappoint.

The contest was back and forth for the entire game and the first half was dominated by Draymond Green.

Green who took blame for his suspension in Game 5, showed up huge for the Warriors when the league MVP did not. Green knocked down all five of his shots from three point range and went eight of ten from the field totaling 22 first half points. He also dished out five assists and grabbed five boards, playing more like himself as opposed to his lackluster Game 6 performance.

James finished the half with 12 points, a team high. Green’s performance allowed the Warriors to hold a 49-42 lead at the break.

Both teams struggled offensively in the first half, but in the third quarter each team showed up. Both teams were knocking down shots and the whole Warriors team got their shots in.

For the Cavs, Kyrie Irving helped ease the load off James with 12 third quarter points. And Golden State still had a one point lead going into the final quarter.

And as Curry became non-existent, James got the job done. James scored 11 points in the fourth and made some excellent defensive plays. He came up huge when his team needed it the most. Both teams found themselves struggling, but Cleveland’s ability to stop Golden State on the offensive end proved to be the difference.

Down three games to one in the best of seven series, the Cavs somehow found a way to be the first team to come back by that margin in Finals history. Cleveland defeated the Warriors, 93-89, to win the NBA’s most coveted prize.

Unfortunately, the Warriors got beat because they were unable to do what they do best, shoot the ball efficiently.

The home team shot 38.6 percent from the field and under 37 percent from beyond the arc. Curry and splash brother Klay Thompson combined for six of 24 from three point range. Two of the best three point shooters in the NBA shot 25 percent in the most important game of their careers.

Curry finished with 17 points and Green almost notched a triple double with a game high 32 points, adding 15 boards and nine assists.

James on the other hand did finish the game with a triple double. James had 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists and quite frankly did not even have one of his better games. James joins Jerry West and James Worthy as the only players to get triple doubles in Game 7 of a NBA Finals.

Irving surely helped James get the victory with his 26 points and clutch shooting.

To no surprise, James won the MVP as he averaged 29.7 points, 8.9 assists and 11.3 rebounds in the series. After much scrutiny, James cemented himself as one of the greatest players ever and brought back a championship to the city of Cleveland for the first time in over 50 years.

Credit to the Cavs and James for playing great basketball, but the Warriors tremendous run comes to a disheartening close. The team who set the record for most wins in the regular season and came back from a 3-1 deficit of their own, watched a second championship slip away from the palms of their hands.

Curry was disappointing and did not have the best game of his career as he mentioned he would need to. And as Golden State found themselves with some injuries to key players, they allowed the Cavs to hold on to some life and it cost them a second championship trophy.

After all this team was able to accomplish, the Warriors appeared to get a little complacent. It will be interesting to see what players say in the next few days, but Golden State has a lot of things to hold their heads up high. Of course coming up short is truly discouraging, but the Warriors have the highest odds to win the championship next year.

Thank you for sticking with Sports Radio Service throughout this season and congratulations to the Cleveland Cavaliers, your 2016 NBA champions.

Warriors second half struggles lead to Game 6 loss

by Michael Martinez

picture credit Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

At the half, the score was tied at 61. Kyrie Irving and LeBron James each had a tremendous first half, but Klay Thompson kept the Warriors right in it.

Out of the half, James and Irving continued playing great on the offensive end of the court while the Warriors began to struggle. The Cavs shot over 60 percent from the field in the third quarter while the Warriors shot 29 percent.

And then in the fourth quarter, Cleveland only shot 42.1 percent but Golden State shot an abysmal 23.8 percent. After things had been close and both teams played tough, James and Irving kept playing like great players do in elimination games.

As Draymond Green was suspended from game 5, it seems as if James took advantage of facing anyone else but Green. Andrew Bogut also came out early in the third quarter with a knee injury, which effected the Warriors defensive presence.

In place of Green, Andre Iguodala had a solid game finishing with 15 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Thompson finished with a team high of 37 points as the forward was 11 for 20 from the field with six threes. Thompson was nine of nine from the charity stripe.

MVP Steph Curry scored 25, but the James and Irving were simply too much.

James and Irving became the first pair of teammates to score 40 or more points in a Finals game. With Kevin Love playing poorly, the duo was the reason Cleveland is sending the series to a game 6.

James and Irving scored 41 points apiece. James grabbed 16 rebounds and tallied seven assists shooting 16-30 from the field. James’ jumper looked smooth and the Warriors had no answer on the defensive end.

Irving also had six assists and incredibly knocked down  17 of 24 shots from the field.

As the final horn sounded, the Cavs defeated Golden State 112-97. Cleveland shot 53 percent from the field for the game and the Warriors just shot over 36 percent.

Tonight, the Warriors struggled to find their shot from beyond the arc, which is usually how they take the lead and maintain it.

Heading back to Cleveland, the Warriors should be excited to get after it in hopes of grabbing their second championship in as many years. Golden State will have Green back and more news is to come regarding Bogut.

The Warriors are going to need to find an answer to stop either James or Irving because if both play as well as they did it’s going to make difficult to finish off the series.

Tune in to ABC on Thursday at 6 p.m. PT and be prepared to watch a game full of offensive flurry. Golden State will look to try and finish off their historic season with the greatest prize the NBA has to offer.

Historic season not over yet, Dubs back in the NBA Finals

by Michael Martinez

picture credit Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Down in the Western Conference Finals three games to one, the Golden State Warriors looked lost, worn out and defeated. While the Oklahoma City Thunder seemed unstoppable and their path to the NBA Finals appeared clear.

But did people forget that this Warriors team won a record setting 73 games? If anybody could come back down three games for just the tenth time in league history, it would be these guys. And the Warriors showed their resiliency and in game seven their fearless leader, Steph Curry showed that his second MVP selection, an unanimous decision, was no fluke.

The best player on the planet and his team defeated the Thunder, 96-88, in a tough game 7.

The first quarter was all Thunder as their defense was relentless and made Golden State take tough shots. The Warriors only scored 19 points, while Kevin Durant looked to be locked in. Oklahoma City showed up in the first and gave the impression that they had forgotten about the past two games.

However, the second quarter was different and the Warriors went back to what they do best, shooting the three ball. Klay Thompson got off to a rough 0 for 7 start, but knocked down four triples in the second to help his team cut the Thunder’s lead, who looked poised to take a big lead.

At the half, OKC led Golden State, 48-42 and out of the half, the MVP reigned supreme.

Curry made three big triples in the third and the Warriors played tremendous defense. The defending champs outscored the Thunder, 29-12, in the third quarter. The third quarter was the turning point and the home team never looked back.

While Curry had a solid third quarter, his clutch performance in the fourth proved why he is currently the best player in the NBA. Curry went 5-6 from the field, including 2 for 3 from beyond the arc for 15 fourth quarter points. Curry absolutely went off and made the big shots when the Thunder tried to make a come back of their own late in the game.

The Warriors lived by the three in tonight’s game, shooting 45.9 percent from behind the three point line. Their defense also did a great job of not allowing Durant the ball and holding their opponents to a shooting percentage of 38.2 percent.

Durant did finish with 27 points on 10 of 19 from the field for a team high and Russell Westbrook totaled 19 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds. But Westbrook had difficulty shooting as he went 7 of 21 on the night.

Curry finished with a game high 36 points, hitting 13 fields goals on 24 tries with seven of those field goals coming from three point range. The Warriors win was definitely a collective effort as the team had to come together strong to make this incredible series come back. Thompson ended the game with 21 points of his own as the Splash Brothers once again guided their team to one of the franchise’s most important victories.

The Warriors spent a ton of energy on winning this series and that could be a factor as their next task begins on Thursday. But, the Warriors are headed to back to back finals. They have a player who won back to back MVP trophies. And now, repeating as champions is in plain sight.

The Cavs and LeBron James look better than the team the Warriors saw last year, but again do not count out the Western Conference Champions. History is unfolding right in front of our eyes, can the Warriors be historical once again?

Tune in to ABC on June 2 at 6 p.m, where Golden State and Curry will take on James and company at Oracle Arena in front of a rambunctious Oakland crowd.


Thunder roll past Warriors in game 3

by Michael Martinez

After the Warriors 27 point blow out win in game 2, the momentum seemed to be in there in Golden State’s favor.

But the Oklahoma City Thunder made it seem like that game was in the very far past.

While the first quarter was close, OKC broke things open in the second quarter thanks  to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The big key for the Thunder in the game was that they were able to get to the free throw line and get easy points. In the second quarter alone, the Thunder went 17 of 18 from the charity stripe.

As everything went right for the Thunder, everything went abysmal for the Warriors who shot 22.6% from the field in the second quarter. Golden State also only made two three pointers in the quarter.

At the half, the Thunder led 72-45 and the third quarter was no different. Golden State showed a little more offensive life, but were still outscored by their opponent. The Thunder took their biggest lead in the game in the third quarter, going up by 41 points at one point in the game.

Golden State scored more than OKC in the fourth quarter, but it was a very lost cause. Oklahoma City blew out the defending world champs in dominate fashion. Durant and Westbrook both had huge games and the Thunder shot 50% from the field for the game.

Westbrook neared a triple double with 30 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds. Durant scored a game high 33 points and eight assists while going 10-15 from the field. The two All Stars played really well and collectively as a whole the Thunder played well.

Steph Curry had a team high for the Warriors with 24 points and Klay Thompson added 18. The Warriors just looked flat and were completely outplayed.

Draymond Green was not a factor in the game at all, which played a role in why the Warriors did poorly. Green also picked up a flagrant one foul after kicking Steven Adams in the groin, which he claims was inadvertent.

Whether it was or not, my guess is that Green will not pick up a suspension for the foul. In the end, the Thunder defeated Golden State, 133-105. OKC’s blowout victory was a point more than the Warriors game two win. After everybody thought the Warriors would have the momentum, Oklahoma City struck right back.

Can Durant and Westbrook continue their incredible play? With the Warriors down two games to one in the series, they will look to try to even the series on Tuesday at 6 p.m. on TNT.

Warriors send Rockets packing in dominating fashion

by Michael Martinez

picture credit CBS 46 Atlanta

Well, Steph Curry did not play and yet the Warriors showed why they made history for the best record in NBA history. Normally, a team without their star player has a lot to worry about. The Warriors showed no problems minus the reigning MVP and proved why they are the team to beat besides the fact their last year’s champs. Golden State annihilated the Houston Rockets in a 114-81 victory at Oracle Arena.

Let’s be honest, there’s not much to say about this game. The game went exactly as most would have figured given that the Warriors routed Houston in game four and not to mention they’re the Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors played great, the Rockets played atrociously, which is a recipe for disaster. The Warriors played with great togetherness and to nobody’s surprise, they shot out of this world. Golden State made it look easy as they finished with a 54.9 shooting percentage while Houston could not find a way to score with a 32.6 shooting percentage. Golden State played solid defense as they forced 18 turnovers for 25 points.

James Harden was the only Rockets’ player to show any offensive life finishing with 35 points. Besides Harden, Michael Beasley was the only other Houston player to finish the game in double figures.

Klay Thompson did his best to fill Curry’s shoes and finished with 27 points. Thompson knocked down seven buckets from behind the arc on 11 shots and finished 10 of 14 from the field overall. Draymond Green was tremendous overall as usual and totaled 15 points, grabbed nine boards and dropped eight dimes.

Shaun Livingston had a good game on offense as well and scored 16 points on seven of eight shooting. The Warriors looked just as good as they always are and bounced the Rockets out of the playoffs.

Throughout the game, Curry showed incredible excitement from the bench and supported his teammates like no other. And this is why the Warriors are so dangerous, they have some of the greatest team chemistry I have witnessed in my lifetime.

The Warriors won the series and only allowed the Rockets to win one game, which came down to the wire.

Golden State will either face the Los Angeles Clippers who are without Chris Paul and Blake Griffin or the Portland Trailblazers. Portland won game five in their series to go up 3-2 and it appears like they will be Golden State’s semifinal opponent.

Whoever the Warriors play, fans are hopeful that Curry can make his way back into the playoffs. But, with the way Golden State played tonight, let Curry take as much time as he needs to get ready for the Western Conference Finals. I am knocking on wood though, so the whole Bay Area doesn’t freak out on me and say I jinxed them.