NHL Stanley Cup Playoff podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Stars-Kraken battle in elimination game tonight in Seattle; Will Ruff return as New Jersey coach; plus more

Seattle Kraken right wing Jordan Eberle (7) scores as Dallas Stars center Roope Hintz (24) and defenseman Esa Lindell (23) watch during the first period of Game 6 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series Saturday, May 13, 2023, in Seattle. (AP News photo)

On the NHL Stanley Cup playoff podcast:

#1 It’s a thriller and a huge game tonight with the Seattle Kraken and the Dallas Stars who play for all the marbles tonight for the Western Conference second round. This is a real head to head with the series with the Kraken defeating the Stars in their last match up in game 6 in Seattle to stay in the series.

#2 The Stars are 3-5 in game sevens since moving from Minnesota in 1993-94 where they are 2-2 at home, the Stars lost last year’s game 7 to the Calgary Flames 3-2 at Scotiabank Saddledome.

#3 The Stars took that tough loss to the Kraken in game 6, 6-3 and forced a game 7, the Stars got a goal from Joe Pavelski his eighth of the post season but it was the turnovers that hurt the Stars in this last contest.

#4 The New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff may not know if he’ll be back next season but Ruff did lead the Devils to their best season in 41 years going 52-22-8 a 49 point improvement from last season. It also was the first time that New Jersey had qualified for the playoffs since 2018.

#5 Taking a look at some possible draft picks for the San Jose Sharks, as you know Connor Bedard and Adam Fantilli are not joining the Sharks in the draft. However taking a look at some draft possibilities Will Smith, Leo Carlsson, or Matvei Michkov. How would one of these players be of a big help for San Jose?

Join Marko for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoff podcasts heard Mondays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Proposed changes in preventing sign stealing from MLB; Union must approve proposals

Former Oakland A’s starter Mike Fiers sits by the A’s dugout was on the Houston Astros when sign stealing was taking place. Fiers reported such going ons and baseball and the players union are working on rule changes to prevent any further stealing of signs (file photo from USA Today)

On That’s Amaury podcast:

#1 Major League Baseball proposed new rules regarding electronically stolen signs which was revealed when the Houston Astros were stealing signs in the 2019 season. Mike Fiers the former A’s pitcher who was a key whistleblower that cracked the sign stealing case wide open when he was with the Houston Astros.

#2 Amongst the proposed rule changes which must be approved by the union, No more looking at scouting information in batting helmets for hitters, hitters will have to do their studying of opposing pitchers before the game in the clubhouse but cannot review opposing starters, middle relievers or closers.

#3 MLB proposed that no managers, coaches, or players may print any scouting reports that can be distributed after the first pitch of a game.

#4 MLB will allow pitchers and catchers to wear wireless pitch com devices voluntarily throughout the regular season.

#5 Amaury on the pitch com issue of wireless devices pitching stars Zack Greinke of the Kansas City Royals likes the new pitch com idea and the New York Mets Max Scherzer says he won’t use it. Both were player representatives during the MLB lockout.

#6 King Richard star Will Smith issues apology: Will Smith who starred as the father of Venus and Serena Williams as father Richard Williams in the movie King Richard who went on stage on Sunday night and slapped comedian Chris Rock issued a direct apology to Rock. Rock who was contacted by Los Angeles Police after the battery declined to press charges and has not issue any statements since the incident. The Oscars Academy has vehemently said they do not condone violence of this kind. The Academy has not issued any discipline against the Fresh Prince such as suspending him from the next Oscars Awards.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead play by play Spanish announcer for the Oakland A’s flagship station 1010 Le Grande KIQI San Francisco and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Pillar wins it late to give Giants the series; SF defeats Phillies 9-6

photo from sfgate.com:  San Francisco Giants’ Kevin Pillar swings for an RBI triple off Philadelphia Phillies’ Nick Pivetta in the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, in San Francisco.

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO — When the San Francisco Giants they knew that were getting a hitter with power and potential, and this season, Kevin Pillar has done just that.

Pillar went 2-for-4, including the go-ahead triple in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Giants defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 9-6 before a crowd of 36,637 at Oracle Park.

The win by the Giants gave them the series, their first series win since winning two out of three against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

Evan Longoria led off the inning with a single, and then after both Stephen Vogt and Scooter Gennett were retired by Jose Alvarez, Nick Pivetta came on to face Pillar and he put into the right-center field alley that easily scored Longoria from first base.

Brandon Crawford was then intentionally walked, so that Pivetta could face Will Smith, who was making his first ever plate appearance. With Smith at the plate, Crawford stole second and then Smith shocked everyone, as he lashed an opposite field single that scored both Pillar and Crawford; however, Bryce Harper nearly ruined it, as his throw just missed getting Smith at first base.

Joey Rickard then doubled Smith to third base, where he shared a laugh with Ron Wotus and after a Brandon Belt walk, Pivetta finally got out of the inning, as he got Mike Yastrzemski to ground out to end the inning.

This was a wild game that saw everything, as the Giants took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, as Belt led off the inning with a walk, Yastrzemski then doubled off the left field wall and then Longoria gave the Giants the lead, when he singled up the middle off of Phillies starter Jake Arrieta.

Vogt then singled off of Arrieta that sent Longoria to third base; however, Arrieta regrouped to get Gennett to strike out and then Pillar grounded into a double play that ended the inning.

That 2-0 lead by the Giants was gone by the top of the second inning, as the Phillies erupted for three runs and that was end of the night for Giants starter Conner Menez.

J.T. Realmuto and Scott Kingery each walked, and after Sean Rodriguez struck out, Cesar Hernandez singled to load the bases. Arrieta then struck out for the second out of the inning, but the Phillies got on the board, when Roman Quinn walked and then Harper hit a two-run single that gave the Phillies the lead and that was it for Menez.

Jandel Gustave ended the inning, as he got Rhys Hoskins to fly out to Austin Slater and stop any further damage.

In all, Menez lasted just 1.2 innings, allowing three runs on just two hits, walking three and striking out four.

The Phillies attacked the Giants again in the top of the third inning, as Hernandez hit a two-run single off of the Giants third pitcher of the game and second reliever, Andrew Suarez, who came on to replace Gustave, when Corey Dickerson came on to pinch hit for Rodriguez.

Unfortunately for the Phillies that was the score for just one-half inning, as the Giants came all the way back to tie up the game, as Yastrzemski hit his 12th home run of the season. Longoria then picked up his second hit in as many at-bats, and after a Vogt fly out, Gennett doubled in Longoria to cut the Phillies lead down to one. Pillar then singled in Gennett to tie up the game.

Menez, who went from being on the hook for the loss, ended up getting a no-decision and Arrieta also did not fare in the decision, as he went three innings, allowing five runs on seven hits, walking just one and striking out five.

Gennett gave the Giants once again in the bottom of the sixth inning, as he hit his second home run of the season and first at home. His home run landed in McCovey Cove, the 80th Splash Hit by a Giants batter since the ballpark opened on April 11, 2000.

Dickerson tied up the game in the top of the eighth inning, as his sacrifice fly that took Yastrzemski to the wall easily scored Realmuto from third base. Realmuto led off the inning with a single, then went to third on a Kingery double.

Smith, who came on to replace Tony Watson prior to the Dickerson sacrifice fly then walked Hernandez intentionally and Brad Miller flew out to Yastrzemski to end the inning.

In all, the Giants pitched the final 7.1 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, walking eight and striking out six.

Smith, who was unable to save the game for just the third time this season ended up with the victory, as he went the final 1.2 innings, allowing just two walks and a strikeout to improve his record to 4-0 on the season.

As a staff, the Giants walked 11 batters and this was the first time since September 20,2006 against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field where they won a game like that. It was the 11th time since moving to San Francisco in 1958 that the Giants (2019 J.G. Spink Award Jayson Stark gets credit for that stat).

NOTES: Gustave, Trevor Gott and Smith each made their first ever plate appearances during the game, and this was the first time since September 21, 1934 that three pitchers made their first ever appearances at the plate in the same game. Sherman Edwards, Whitey Wistert and Lee Grissom each went to the plate for the first time for the Cincinnati Reds in a 16-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field. That is the only other time since 1913 that this occurred in a game, according to STATS, INC.

The 11 walks by the Phillies are a season high, and the first time they turned the trick since April 26, 2009 against the Florida Marlins at Sun Life Stadium in a 13-2 Phillies victory.

Prior to the game, the Giants honored their 1989 National League Championship team, as Will Clark, Don Robinson, Bill Bathe, Chris Speier, Ernie Camacho, Brett Butler, Terry Kennedy, Craig Lefferts, Ernest Riles, Donell Nixon, Atlee Hammaker, Dave Dravecky, Greg Litton, Kelly Downs, Robby Thompson and Mike Krukow were joined on the field by coaches Bill Fahey, Dusty Baker, Norm Sherry and manager Roger Craig.

They also memorialized Jose Uribe, Wendell Kim, Hank Greenwald and General Manager Al Rosen.

Giants President then announced the surprise of the night, The Thrill of the Night, as the Number 22, worn by Will Clark will be retired during the 2020 season.

Clark will join Bill Terry, Mel Ott, Carl Hubbell, Monte Irvin, Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda, Gaylord Perry and Willie McCovey in that elusive club.

Christy Mathewson and John McGraw are honored by the team with the letters NY, as they never wore numbers for the Giants.

Jackie Robinsons number 42 is retired throughout Major League Baseball and is also on the façade on the Club Level at Oracle Park.

Ford Frick Award Winners Jon Miller, Lon Simmons and Russ Hodges are honored on the Club Level.

UP NEXT: Madison Bumgarner takes on the mound on Tuesday evening, as the Oakland As make their only trip to San Francisco this season. The As return to the Bay Area after splitting six games in Chicago will send Brett Anderson to the mound in the opener.

Giants Yastrzemski wins it 3-2 with a walk off in 12 innings

photo from sfgate.com: San Francisco Giants’ Mike Yastrzemski hits a solo home run against the New York Mets during the 12th inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Sunday, July 21, 2019.

SAN FRANCISCO-Mike Yastrzemski ended the weekend series with one swing of the bat for the San Francisco Giants.

Yastrzemski hit a changeup off of Robert Gsellman on a 3-2 pitch in the bottom of the 12th that landed in the left field bleachers giving the Giants a dramatic 3-2 victory over the New York Mets before a crowd of 35,406 at Oracle Park.

It was the first career walk-off home run for Yastrzemski and his 9th home run of the season for the rookie.

The Yastrzemski walk-off gave the Giants three wins in four games over the Mets, and they have won eight out of their last nine, 11 out of 13 and 15 out of 18.

This was also the fifth consecutive series win for the Giants since splitting the four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks from June 27-30.

Despite not faring in the decision, Connor Menes went five innings, allowing two runs on three hits, walking three and striking out six in his major-league debut.

Menes got into trouble in the first inning, when J.D. Davis doubled with one out in the inning; however, Kevin Pillars defense came up huge again.

Pillar made a great running catch off a Pete Alonso hit ball, and was able to regroup to throw out Davis at third base to end the inning.

It was the team-leading sixth outfield assist for Pillar, and the MLB leading 25th outfield assists for the Giants as a team this season.

Steven Matz went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits, walking just one and striking out six and like Menes, he did not fare in the decision.

Zach Green like Menes, made a great first impression for his new teammates, as he picked up two hits in his first two at-bats in the major leagues.

It was Greens double in the bottom of the fourth inning that scored Buster Posey tied up game, and that was the score until Yastrzemski’s home run in the bottom of the 12th inning.

Michael Conforto got the Mets on the board in the top of the second inning, as he hit his 18th home run of the season that landed in McCovey Cove and it was the 125th Splash Hit since the Park opened in 2000 and the 47th by an opponent.

Two batters later, Michael Conforto gave the Mets a 2-0 lead, as he hit his 11th home run of the season.

After the Rosario home run in the top of the second inning, the next Mets hit did not come until there was one out in the top of the 11th inning, when Davis singled off of Mark Melancon.

Trevor Gott pitched the 12th inning to pick-up the victory, as he raises his record to 6-0 on the season.

In all, the bullpen of Reyes Moronta, Tony Watson, Sam Dyson, Will Smith, Melancon and Gott went a combined seven innings, allowing zero runs on two hits, walking two and striking out eight.

NOTES: To make room for Menes and Green on the roster, Ty Blach was optioned to Sacramento and Derek Holland and Ryder Jones were both Designated for release or assignment.

Pillar was ejected by home plate umpire Mark Rippenger in the bottom of the eighth inning for arguing balls and strikes. This was Pillars first ejection as a Giant, and the second of his career.

UP NEXT: Shaun Anderson will take to the Oracle Park mound on Monday night, as the Chicago Cubs invade the Bay Area for their only trip this season. Alec Mills will take the mound for the Cbs]

San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: Giants have the confidence and wild card in sights, but will they deal MadBum and Smith?

sfgate.com photo: San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner works against the New York Mets during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 18, 2019, in San Francisco.

On the SF Giants podcast with Michael:

#1 San Francisco Giants centerfielder Kevin Pillar said that the team has confidence and belief, which would also be a good argument to keep pitchers Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith.

#2 The Giants so far have hit more home runs than at home at Oracle Park and average 5.5 runs on the road to 3.4 runs at home per game.

#3 The Giants are four games over .500 at 27-23 on the road. What best explains why their doing better on the road compared to at home?

#4 Manager Bruce Bochy managed the club a 6-1 road trip in Milwaukee and Colorado. The Giants in a four-game series with the New York Mets where they played to a 16 inning win over the Mets 3-2 on a walkoff single by a Donovan Solano to drive in the winning run.

#5 Hall of Famers Edgar Martinez, Harold Baines, Roy Halladay, Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera, and Lee Smith. All will be inducted for this year’s class for the 2019 Hall of Fame. Once again, home run king Barry Bonds failed to get elected by getting 59.1% of the vote.

Michael does the Giants podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca and Daniel Dullum: If Smith and Bumgarner go, so will any chance for a wild card go for SF

Photo credit: @NBCSGiants

On the Giants podcast with Michael and Daniel:

#1 The Giants are 5 1/2 games out from a wild card spot as the second half starts tonight. Critics says forget those odds, the team hasn’t had enough offense to get back. What does Michael say to those critics?

#2 If the Giants are sellers and unload starter Madison Bumgarner and closer Will Smith, that would pretty much crush any chance the team has at the postseason.

#3 Buster Posey has — like last season — been off limits for any trade deals and most likely that will be the case this July too. Posey has had several concussions and his hitting has been below where it normally is at this time of year. How much does Posey’s past injuries play even though he’s untouchable?

#4 If the Giants deal Bumgarner and Smith, how much will their departures impact the Giants for years to come?

#5 The Giants open up a three-game series in Milwaukee tonight and a six-game road trip. Milwaukee has always been a tough customer. The Giants will be starting Shaun Anderson (3-2, 4.23 ERA), and for the Brewers, Chase Anderson (4-2, 4.32 ERA).

Michael Duca and Daniel Dullum does the Giants podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria: Russell’s value for Golden State; How Cousins fits at the Lakers; plus more

Photo credit: twitter.com

On Headline Sports with Tony Renteria:

#1. How much will the acquisition of DeAngelo Russell & Willie Cauley-Stein mean for Golden State?

#2 The Lakers are happy in picking up DeMarcus Cousins how much of a big piece of the puzzle and how much does he look forward to working with LeBron?

#3 The Miami Heat are rumored to picking up Russell Westbrook from the OKC Thunder. How badly does Westbrook want to go to Miami?

#4 Tony talks about the Oakland Raiders picking up running back Josh Jacobs and linebacker Te’Von Coney.

#5 How serious will the San Francisco Giants be about dealing pitcher Madison Bumgarner and reliever Will Smith  before the trade deadline?

#6 Kahwi Leonard signed a three-year, $103 million deal with the Clippers and the contract calls for a player option in his third year.

Tony Renteria does Headline Sports podcasts each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: All-Star Game? A’s Hendriks and Giants’ Smith both give up the home run ball in relief; A’s Chapman scores on DP ball

Photo credit: @athletics_fanly

On the Headline Sports podcast with London:

#1 After all the talk about the home run ball and plenty of them, the All-Star Game in Cleveland was a low scoring affair before the American League scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to make it 4-1. Earlier, the American League scored a single run in the second and fifth innings and the American League got two runs in the top of the sixth. The National League tried to make a come back with two runs in the top of the eight but just couldn’t pass the AL in the 4-3 one run AL win.

#2 Representing the San Francisco Giants at the All-Star Game was reliever Will Smith, who got his 23rd save on Wednesday night against the San Diego Padres, which translate to a great first half, despite the Giants struggling in last place in the NL West. At the All-Star Game, Smith gave up a home run in the seventh.

#3 Representing the Oakland A’s were A’s third baseman Matt Chapman, who hit .265, 90 RBIs and 21 home runs, and relief pitcher Liam Hendriks, who is 3-0 with a 1.27 ERA.

#4 For Hendriks, he has saved 23 straight games without a blown save. The A’s are in the hunt for a wild card and are just seven games behind first place Houston and Hendriks closing games will be crucial in the home stretch. Hendriks — in the All-Star Game — gave up a home run for an earned run and struck out three batters.

#5 Meanwhile, the A’s Matt Chapman had some better luck scoring a run from third when the Boston Red Sox Xander Bogaerts grounded into a double play.

London Marq does Headline Sports each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Seventh Heaven: AL pitching dominates in 4-3 All-Star Game win over the NL


By Morris Phillips

CLEVELAND — For the American League and the Indians’ Shane Bieber, the 90th All-Star Game was everything it was cracked up to be.

The AL scratched together some early offense, then pitched with dominance on their way to a 4-3 win, their seventh win in a row in the Midsummers Classic. Bieber, pitching in front of his fanbase and his pride-filled manager, Terry Francona, struck out the side in the fifth to preserve a 1-0 lead, a feat that earned the 24-year old the game’s MVP, the first time a player from the host team has won the award since 1999.

“It’s an incredible feeling now, now that it’s kind of sinking in,” Bieber said. “Just to be able to do it in front of the home crowd, and my first All-Star Game is definitely not something that I expected, especially being added to the game five days ago, four or five days ago.”

Nine American League pitchers got one inning of work each, with AL starter Justin Verlander setting the tone with a two-strikeout first inning. By the time the NL got on the scoreboard for the first time in the sixth, they had just two hits while striking out 11 times.

Bieber and Oakland’s Liam Hendriks combined to fan Willson Contreras, Ketel Marte, Ronald Acuna Jr., Kris Bryant and Trevor Story consecutively before Charlie Blackmon homered off Hendriks to cut the AL lead to 2-1. In all, NL hitters struck out 16 times, and managed to hit just seven balls beyond the infield.

In contrast to last year’s showcase in Washington D.C., and juxtaposed against the homer-happy, first half to the 2019 season, the NL was completely out of step. Last year at Nationals Park, National League hitters clubbed five home runs–one each from Contreras and Story–while striking out 12 times and drawing five walks. In Cleveland, with seven hitters back in the lineup from D.C., they struggled to create a rally outside the eighth inning, when they struck for two runs off Cleveland’s Brad Hand.

“A lot of hard throwers and great pitchers over there,” Bryant said. “Unless you’ve seen them before, it’s a difficult matchup.”

While the NL offense appeared to hit the snooze button, the American Leaguers proved resourceful and scrappy, using infield singles to set up both of their initial runs. First, the Astros’ Alex Bregman legged out a chopper to third, and scored on Michael Brantley’s double. Then in the fifth, Gary Sanchez of the Yankees doubled, then moved to third on a ground out, and scored on Jorge Polanco’s infield hit.

The AL kept stitching it together in the seventh, when Oakland’s Matt Chapman drew a leadoff walk off Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff. Then with runners at the corners and no out, Xander Bogaerts of the Red Sox hit into a double play, but Chapman scored on the play. Down 3-1, manager Dave Roberts summoned the Giants’ Will Smith to pitch to Joey Gallo, but the Rangers’ slugger spoiled that plan with a loud home run on Smith’s first pitch.

“I really didn’t understand the magnitude of it; I just hit a home run in the All-Star Game,” said an excited Gallo. “Watching this game growing up, and now I hit a home run in it. It’s pretty special. I think I have to take a step back. Everything happened so quick.”

Gallo’s homer was thumped, the loud crack of the bat inside the ballpark confirmed that. But the numbers did too. Gallo’s blast exited Progressive Field at 111 mph, the fastest in an All-Star Game since exit velocities were first tracked in 2015.

Gallo’s moment was Smith’s as well, and another humbling All-Star experience for Giants’ pitchers. Smith figures to be hot on the trade market in the coming weeks given his 1.98 ERA and 23 saves, but leaving a fat pitch over the plate to a left-handed slugger won’t enhance his value. But clubs will no doubt take note of the fact that Smith’s only allowed home runs to left-handed batters twice in the last three seasons.

The All-Star Game had a couple of feel-good moments with 19-year veteran C.C. Sabathia summoning closer Aroldis Chapman from the bullpen in the ninth, and getting a rousing welcome from Cleveland fans, who supported him over the first 7 1/2 seasons of his career. Sabathia has announced his retirement after the season, and his appearance organized by MLB was an acknowledgment of the extraordinary nature of his career.

Carlos Carrasco, recently diagnosed with leukemia, also made an appearance, with four of his Indians’ teammates and Francona. All five held placards across their chests saying “I Stand for Cookie (Carrasco’s nickname).” Carrasco stood in the middle, and his placard simply said, “I Stand.”

“He’s one of our teammates and one of the big guys in the clubhouse. You don’t wish that upon anybody. We just got to support him in any way we can,” said Brad Hand, one of Carrasco’s teammates on the field during the emotional moment.

San Francisco Giants podcast with Morris Phillips: Will Smith had an outstanding first half, represent Giants at All-Star game

Photo credit: @sfgiants_fanly

On the Giants podcast with Morris:

#1 Last Wednesday Giants reliever Will Smith and All-Star team representative pitched in relief against the San Diego Padres pitched an inning, struck out two and gave up one hit, to get his 23rd save

#2 Smith’s save looked easy in that Wednesday ninth inning. He went right through it and many of his saves have been that way.

#3 Smith has pitched so well this season he has yet to get his first blown save. He has been money in the bank closing ball games.

#4 The other report on Smith is he’s being showcased. He pitched on Saturday in relief at Oracle Park on Saturday pitching one inning, giving up one hit. He didn’t get the save, but got of the Giants out of the inning.

#5 In the last seven games, he pitched in relief he’s saved four games. Smith is a very focused reliever and doesn’t take too much time to get out of an inning.

Morris does the Giants podcasts each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com also is covering the All Star game in Cleveland