▪ There were a lot of people who thought the Warriors were done after Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. Who didn’t right? Only 10 teams had ever come back from a 3-1 deficit, and the Thunder had the defending champions on the ropes. Everyone ended up being wrong, as the Warriors became the 11th team to do the improbable and win the series.
Thanks to The Dan Le Batard Show, there’s now a supercut of naysayers proclaiming the series to be over, including Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith for your viewing pleasure heading into tonight’s Game 1 of the Finals.
▪ Speaking of holes, the San Jose Sharks are in one right now. They went down 0-2 in the Stanley Cup finals after losing 2-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Wednesday night’s Game 2 in Pittsburgh. Highlights below:
▪ Mookie Betts is on fire right now. The Boston Red Sox outfielder has hit five home runs in his past two games against the Orioles, three on Tuesday and two on Wednesday. The trio on Tuesday fittingly went to left, center and right field, including one to lead off the game. Betts led off Wednesday’s game with another home run and followed it with a second in the top of the second inning, becoming the first player to ever lead off consecutive innings with a home run, per Elias. Betts now has 14 home runs this year as of June 1 — he hit 18 in 145 games last year. For more perspective, Betts has as many home runs in two games as the Braves did in all of April.
Betts is a part of a talented young Red Sox core — teammate Xander Bogaerts is on a 24-game hitting streak and outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. had a 29-game streak ended earlier this year.
▪ This is proving to be the season for the pitcher most unlikely to get a hit. In the spirit of Bartolo Colon’s famous — or infamous — home run, the Chicago White Sox won Wednesday’s game 2-1 over the Mets thanks to relief pitcher Matt Albers. The 33-year-old had only two hits in his career entering Wednesday’s game, but smacked a double in the 13th inning and after a wild pitch, would score the go-ahead run on a Jose Abreu sacrifice fly. Albers then pitched the bottom half of the inning and shut down the Mets for the win. Not bad for a guy who grabbed the wrong helmet before stepping into the batters box. According to Elias, it was the the first winning run scored by an American League pitcher in seven years. Question is, who would you rather have?
▪ Journeyman outfielder and current Cleveland Indian Marlon Byrd was suspended for 162 games for testing positive for a banned substance. It was Byrd’s second offense, leading to the season-long ban.
The 38-year-old had his option declined by the Giants last year after being traded to the team by the Reds. The ban will likely end Byrd’s 15-year career, one in which he hit a career .275 and had 159 home runs.