What you may have missed this weekend: 5/23-5/26

I hope you enjoyed an entire article by Aman last week! I know it was a great read as he had it packed with several different topics. This week, the both of us will work together to bring you up to date on everything that you might have missed this weekend.

Kasey_Kahne_Coca-Cola_600_2009

“Kasey Kahne” by tequilamike is licensed under CC-BY-2.0

But before we get you caught up on that, let’s revisit last weekend and the results of one of the major Golf tournaments, 2019 PGA Championship. This year’s winner was Brooks Koepka who scored 8-under par to take the championship for the second year in a row. In 2018, he shot a 16-under and won it too. Unfortunately, Tiger Woods didn’t make the cut. This weekend we don’t have any golf, but we do have one of NASCAR’s major races to keep an eye on. Can Kyle Busch repeat as champion?

Don’t forget about our weekend recap of the NHL and NBA playoffs as the Finals are finally here and the MLB is continuing to headline certain spots this weekend.

Aman will once again give you the update on all Soccer and Cricket news as we head into some critical matches this upcoming weekend. Stay tuned for more articles from Aman and I throughout the week as we prepare for another big week in sports.

So, what did you miss this week? Let’s start with the more difficult news that will be the NBA and the two teams that will face each other in the Finals.

But before we get started, we have some tragic news to announce that may touch the hearts of many Alabama and Auburn natives. It was confirmed Sunday morning that Rod Bramblett, the radio voice of the Auburn Tigers, and his wife, Paula, died from injuries suffered in a car crash Saturday night in Alabama. This sudden passing will be hard to grief. Auburn’s president Steven Leath said “Our hearts are full of grief. Janet and I offer our sympathy and support to the family of Rod and Paula Bramblett. The Auburn family loves you!”

Bramblett served as the lead announcer for Auburn football, men’s basketball and baseball since 1993. He was honored as the National Broadcaster of the Year by Sports Illustrated in 2013, in part for his call on Chris Davis’ game-winning 109-yard return of a missed field goal as time expired to beat Alabama in the Iron Bowl. May the Bramblett’s rest in eternal peace.
There is also more tragic news for Wisconsin’s sports fans. No, I’m not talking about the Milwaukee Bucks losing. I’m talking about the late great Bart Starr and his passing. Starr was a two-time Super Bowl winning champion QB with the Green Bay Packers. Starr was the first quarterback in history to win five National Football League championships. Unfortunately, he passed away Sunday at the age of 85 after being in bad health since suffering a serious stroke in 2014.

NBA:

As the NBA Finals appearance and set to tip off on Thursday, May 30, the defending champions were still waiting on their next opponent. That opponent will be the Toronto Raptors after climbing back from a 2-0 deficit in their series with the Milwaukee Bucks.

With the series tied at two games a piece, game 5 was a pivotal game changer and that we saw in the 3rd quarter. Midway through the 3rd, the Bucks had pulled out to a 14 point lead as Raptors star Kawhi Leonard was on the bench. The moment he checked back in, the Raptors quickly cut into the lead with the help of guard Fred Van Vleet making three consecutive 3’s and give the Raptors the momentum. The Bucks looked lost and their star, Giannis Antetokounmpo, couldn’t find a way to keep his teammates and himself involved as they were missing several shots down the stretch to loss 105-99 at home.

With the Raptors then leading the series 3-2, the series shifts back to Toronto for game 6 where Drake and the North look to celebrate a conference finals victory after years of difficult times getting by LeBron James. This is a new Raptors team that’s led by Leonard as he scored 27 points with 17 rebounds and seven assists as the Raptors eliminated the Bucks in six games with a 100-94 win. Up next for the Raptors is the Golden State Warriors and we’ll talk about about that in our NBA Finals Prediction piece that’ll be set to come out Tuesday.

NHL:

There wasn’t much Hockey news this week after the St. Louis Blues wrapped up their conference finals in six games against the San Jose Sharks this past Tuesday. The Blues have set themselves up for an epic Stanley Cup Finals with Boston Bruins. The Bruins made light work of the Carolina Hurricanes as they swept them off the ice a week and a half ago.

But this Cup Finals should be interesting as both teams split their two games they have played each. In each of the last four seasons, they have played eight games against each other and each one four a piece. If the Finals are anything like the last eight meetings we will be in for a good Stanley Cup Finals as they face off on Monday night.

Aside from the Stanley Cup Finals, there is another big game that took place on Sunday. This game is the World Hockey Championship game between Canada and Finland. After two weeks of battling several other Nations, these two have made it to the finals.

Canada beat the Czech Republic 5-1 on Saturday when Mark Stone scored his tournament-leading eighth goal and Matt Murray made 39 saves. Finland got a 1-0 victory over Russia as Marko Anttila scored midway through the third period. Since Canada’s 3-1 loss to Finland in the opener, they have won eight straight games. Canada won 2-1 in 2016 which was the last time these two teams met in the finals. Canada looked to be the favorite with their recent success, but Finland was lead to a 3-1 victory by Anttila and his two goals.

MLB:

White Sox’ got Triple-Play and Grand Slam in same game

Although this wasn’t a weekend game, it is still something that needs to be recognized. On Wednesday, the Chicago White Sox became the first team in more than four decades to turn a triple play and hit a grand slam in the same game.

The triple play came in the third inning against the Houston Astros’ as Astros’ outfielder Jake Marisnick hit a line drive to Sox’ 3rd baseman Yoan Moncada with runners on first and second and no outs. The Grand Slam came in the sixth-inning as Charlie Tilson hit a grand slam for his first big league home run. With that performance, the White Sox become the fourth team in the 40 years to have hit a grand slam and turned a triple play in the same game (Tigers-2017, Mets-2002, Blue Jays-1979).

Jays rookie Biggio gets first hit, homer in majors:

Here’s a question for all the Baseball fans, do you remember the last time a Biggio played in the major leagues? It was 12 years ago in 2007 when Hall of Fame second baseman, Craig Biggio, walked away from the game. But this past weekend we witnessed a return of Biggio in Toronto. That Biggio was Toronto Blue Jays rookie second baseman Cavan Biggio, Craig’s son.

Cavan recorded his three first major league hits on Sunday, including a home run. Cavan Biggio was 0-for-6 in the Majors with three strikeouts before he singled to right field in the bottom of the second inning. He homered to right field for his first major league home run in the 4th and singled again in fifth for his third hit of the day and second RBI if the night. Biggio finished 3-for-4 in the Blue Jays’ 10-1 victory. If Cavan is anything like his father, we could have another 3,000 hit guy to add to the list as Craig finished with 3,060 hits in his career.

NASCAR:

There is no better way to prepare yourself for Memorial Day weekend without a handful of sports news. But you also have the historic 60th annual Coca-Cola 600 that was held Sunday evening. The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest race in NASCAR and Martin Truex Jr. made it look easy as he took the checkered flag and won his third race of the season.

Soccer:

FC Barcelona end season on low note:

After suffering through the trauma of losing to Liverpool 4-0, Barcelona couldn’t find any consolation as they lost to Valencia in the Copa Del Rey Finals 1-2. Their season was finished within the first half of that game to be honest as Valencia went into the half 2-0, thanks to goals from Kevin Gamiero and Rodrigo. Messi was able to get one back for Barcelona in the 73rd minute, but Barcelona’s 78% possession and 26 shots wasn’t deemed enough compared to just Valencia’s eight.

Cricket:

Hashmatullah Shahidi half-century results in Afghanistan win over Pakistan:

Well it’s only a warm-up match, but you can’t ignore this upset. Sure, Pakistan’s been in poor form, failing to win in their last ten One-Day Internationals (ODIs), but the return of Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz to the Pakistan side wasn’t enough firepower to take down in-form and confident Afghanistan. In the first innings, Pakistan elected to bat, but despite Babar Azam’s 112(108), Pakistan could only manage a total of 262. Afghanistan responded strong, playing sensible cricket, putting stress on the Pakistani bowlers. Despite three wickets from Riaz, Hashmatullah Shahidi’s 74(102)* was enough to hand Afghanistan a win by three wickets.

Steve Smith century silences England:

When Steve Smith came out to bat when Australia were 82-2, he was greeted by plenty of boos from a relatively small English crowd. By the time Smith left the crease, Australia were at 296-8 with Smith scoring 116(102). However, Australia looked even more impressive with the ball as England were bowled out for 285, 12 runs short. James Vince and captain/wicket-keeper Jos Buttler got fifties for England, but England’s lower order failed in allowing England to cross over the line.

Trent Boult too hot for India:

India arrived at The Oval in London and in their warm-up match against New Zealand, elected to bat first on a green, bowler-friendly pitch. This was to test India’s batting in the most difficult of conditions, but turns out it was too difficult for the Indians. India were bowled out for 179, but that could’ve been worse if it wasn’t for Ravindra Jadeja’s 54(50). New Zealand won with ease, by six wickets. Captain Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor picked up half-centuries and it was Henry Nicholls with the winning runs.

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