Well…it looks like it could be a free for all in this years Kentucky Oaks with the highly favored Songbird not running due to a fever last month. Songbird had been so impressive I thought trainer Jerry Hollandorfer would have considered her for the Derby instead. Either way it’s not to be and that’s a shame. There are still a lot of good horses running in the Oaks but now they will be fighting to win and not for 2nd place which would have been the case.

I’m leaning toward Land Over Sea to win the Oaks. She was impressive in her last start winning the G2 Fair Grounds Oaks after leaving California and Songbird behind to whom she raced against five times and finishing 2nd to her three times.

The favorite, Rachel’s Valentina, will also be in the money. Trainer, Todd Pletcher, has Johnny Valesquez back on her and he will be near the lead throughout. She should be able to go the distance but I think Land Over Sea will be closing fast and beat her late in the stretch.

My third horse can be one of many but I’ll go with Lewis Bay. She has won two G2 races at the distance and in all five of her starts she never finished worse then second. She did lose to Cathryn Sophia but that race was only one mile and I don’t think Cathryn Sophia can win at 1 1/8 miles.

Other contenders, Terra Promessa, winner of her last four starts, Cathryn Sophia, who has had all five of her starts with Beyer figures in the 90’s winning four of them. I’ve got a $25.00 bank roll and this is what I’m playing: $1 Trifecta Box – 13, 11, 3 – $1 Exacta Box – 13, 11, 3 – $6.00, $1 Exacta – 13/All – $13.00

By Jay Cats

Cleveland's Big 3 will not have an easy time with the Hawks.

The Hawks will have to solve Cleveland’s Big 3 to avoid a repeat of last year’s ECF.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are coming off a 4 game sweep against the tough, gritty, Detroit Pistons. The Atlanta Hawks got by the young, scrappy Boston Celtics in 6 games. Last year, in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Cavs swept the Hawks and went on to play the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Championship.

The Cavaliers are a totally different team than they were last year. Head coach David Blatt has been fired and Tyronn Lue seems to have transitioned this team from a methodical isolation offense to ball movement and up tempo. The Cavs are averaging 103.5 points per game in the post-season and are 2nd in  three point field goal percentage (41.3). For the first time since the 2011 NBA Finals, LeBron James is not the leading scorer on his team (in a series) Kyrie Irving has been rejuvenated in the playoffs. Irving is averaging 27.5 points per game and  is shooting 47% from behind the arc. James is averaging 22.8 points, 9 rebounds and 6. 8 assists per game. Kevin Love continues to be the best 3rd option in all of basketball. Love is playing like he did in Minnesota. He is spreading the floor by shooting the three, posting up and rebounding.  He is averaging 18.8 points and 12 rebounds per game. The Cavs are the deepest team in the NBA. Matthew Dellavedova, Richard Jefferson, Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye and Timofey Mozgov, can all contribute in a big way on any given night.
That Atlanta Hawks are the definition of a balanced team on offense. They have 8 players who are averaging over 9 points per game. The problem here is they don’t have a guy they can go to consistently at the end of a game. They remind me of the Arizona Cardinals of the NFL, they had a very good regular season but they don’t have a legitimate super star. Jeff Teague is leading the team averaging 16.5 points per game and Paul Milsap is averaging 16.3 points per game. The Hawks have the same philosophy as the San Antonio Spurs, pass up a good shot for a great shot. They play very unselfish and don’t care who gets the credit or who takes the shots.
In order for the Hawks to win this series they will have to outscore the Cavs. I don’t see that happening. Right now, Cleveland is looking like the team we all thought they would when LeBron James wrote the “Coming Home” letter. Hawks SM Kyle Korver will continue to struggle in the playoffs because he won’t get any room to get his shot off. If he is not making shots and spreading the floor, he is not much of a factor. The Hawks play hard but they just don’t have the weapons to compete with the high flying Cavaliers.
I like the Cavs to sweep this series. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Hawks win Game 3… but other than that they have no chance. The Cavs are too deep, too skilled and too motivated right now. They are playing with a chip on their shoulder reminiscent of the way the Kansas City Royals did after they lost to the San Fransciso Giants in the World Series. The Cavs are focused, determined and will not take any game for granted.
Follow the Sports Whisperer on Twitter: @Montetjwitter11 and listen to the Monte Cristo Sports Thing on WRNJ Radio Thursday’s at 7pm.
Monte Perez @Montetjwitter11

Monte Perez
@Montetjwitter11

draft

Doug Whaley did it again. The Buffalo Bills had another solid draft class, filling key needs with players that can have an immediate impact right away. Buffalo used their connections at Clemson to snag an excellent rush defender, moved up in the second round to snag a middle linebacker from Alabama, and made some noise when they drafted a quarterback in round four with one of the strongest arms since JaMarcus Russell.

In the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Bills selected Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson with the 19th overall selection. The first 18 picks could not have gone any better for the Bills as their first option fell to them. Some mock drafts projected Lawson to be selected as high as the early teens. One question mark lingering around the 6’4” 260lb end was his right shoulder, which has been injured since his freshman season. The Bills medical staff cleared him, and Whaley and company jumped at the opportunity. As a junior, Lawson recorded 24.5 tackles for a loss in 15 games, including 12.5 sacks and a forced fumble. With the departure of Mario Williams to Miami, Lawson will fill an immediate void.

For their second round selection, the Bills traded up 8 spot to 41 to select inside limebacker Reggie Ragland from Alabama. Buffalo was so set on taking Ragland, that they started calling every team in the second round, looking for a trade partner. Like Lawson, there was a medical issue that may have hurt Ragland’s stock. The NFL Network reported that Ragland had an enlarged aorta, in which Whaley said the Bills medically cleared him and that a hear specialist told him he was “fine”.

The Bills went defense again in round three selecting defensive tackle Adolphus Washington from Ohio State. This was another excellent pick as it filled another need. Washington’s versatility will help him succeed in Rex Ryan’s multiple front defense. Washington does come to Buffalo with a past as he faced charges in January and was suspended by Ohio State for the Fiesta Bowl, after he was arrested for solicitation in December outside a Columbus, Ohio motel. Washington pleaded guilty to the charge, which were later dropped in February.

With the 139 overall pick, the Bills selected Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones in the fourth round. Jones exploded onto the scene when he took over for JT Barrett and led the Buckeyes to a national championship in 2015. After a disappointing 2015-16 season, Jones made the decision to leave school enter the NFL draft. With comparisons to draft bust JaMarcus Russell, Jones had the strongest arm in the class. This is the fifth quarterback the Bills have selected in the draft since the great Jim Kelly retired. Though the team is encouraged with the play of Tyrod Taylor, his current contract situation leaves a factor of uncertainty. It was time for the Bills to draft a quarterback, and they did.

In round 5, the Bills selected running back Jonathan Williams from Arkansas. Now at this point in the draft, players selected are less certain to make the 53 man roster. Williams is not a lock to make the roster, but if he does, he will add depth behind LeSean McCoy, Karlos Williams, and Mike Gillislee. Williams missed all of last season with torn ligaments in his foot, but would have been a 3rd or 4th round selection.

With two selections in round 6, the Bills drafted speedster wide receiver Kolby Listenbee from Texas Christian. As the number 3 wide out on the roster, Listenbee caught 30 passes for 597 yards and 5 touchdowns. With the loss of Chris Hogan to the New England Patriots, there is a void that needs to be filled. Listenbee will be competing against Marquise Goodwin, Leonard Hankerson, Greg Salas, Jarrett Boykin, Greg Little, and Dezmin Lewis for a roster spot. It will be interesting to see who will win in a race, Listenbee or the Olympian Goodwin. Pretty sure we called this pick during the week.

With the 218 selection, the Bills selected cornerback Kevon Seymour from Southern California (USC). Seymour ran a 4.39 40 yard dash at the combine which was tied for eighth best among all 2016 combine participants. His best shot to make the 53 main roster will be as a fourth or fifth cornerback who will have to find a roll on special teams.

After the draft, the Bills signed 15 undrafted free agents. Three of those players have a western New York connection.  The Bills signed former University at Buffalo and former Will South quarterback Joe Licata. Licata finished his four year career with 9485 passing yards along with 76 touchdowns and 37 interceptions. The fourth and final Gronkowski brother, Glenn, was signed by the Bills out of Kansas State. The former Will North Spartan caught 15 passes over three seasons and scored five touchdowns.  The final WNY connection is Robert Kugler who played at Orchard Park through his final junior season, before moving to Pennsylvania for his season year and then continuing his college playing career at Purdue.

The New York Mets exploded on to  the scene last year  with their young and talented pitching staff…. Along with their success… came Nicknames.

(L-R) Thor, the deGrominator and the Dark Knight.

Matt Harvey is called The Dark Knight, Noah Syndergaard is called Thor and David Wright is called Captain America. I have dubbed 2nd baseman Neil Walker and Outfielder Michael Conforto… Thunder and Lightening. I have also went ahead and given Conforto a worthy nickname. “The Natural”
Last season, “The Natural” played in 56 games. He batted .270, hit 9 home runs, had 26 RBI’s and finished 2nd on the Mets in slugging percentage (.506). The Mets management and manger Terry Collins have basically treated Conforto with “Kid Gloves”. Finally they stopped doing that this year and have let him grow and learn on the job. Conforto is batting 3rd in the lineup and the results have been amazing. He is batting .338, 1st on the Mets, 10th in the MLBHis slugging percentage is .615 3rd on the Mets, 15th in the MLB. On Base percentage of .429, 1st on the Mets, 11th in the MLB.
image

The “Thunder and Lightening” duo of Michael Conforto and Neil Walker have bolstered the Mets’ solid lineup even further.

Mets announcer Keith Hernandez said that Conforto has a swing reminiscent of former Yankees great Don Mattingly. That is very high praise. Conforto never seems to be too high or too low. For a young player (23 years old) he is handling the bright lights and big city of New York like a seasoned veteran.
When Daniel Murphy signed with the Washington Nationals Mets fans were in mourning. I kept telling Mets fans on Twitter to just wait and see how good Neil Walker will be. Walker is a steady professional who is very consistent. But, even I didn’t expect Walker to be this good. Walker and Short Stop Asdrubal Cabrera are the only two Mets players to play every game so far and  Walker leads the Mets and the MLB with  9 Home Runs.
He has exceeded all expectations and I would be shocked if he is not named NL player of the Month.
Walker and Conforto “Thunder and Lightening” have been a great boost to the Mets lineup. We all expect Yoenis Cespedes to hit 25 plus home runs and drive in over 90 RBI’s. That will happen but we don’t know what to expect from David Wright. With his back injury we can expect him to fade as the season progresses. Terry Collins should have this as his everyday lineup.
1- Curtis Granderson
2-Neil Walker
3- Michael Conforto
4- Yoenis Cespedes
5- Lucas Duda
6-Asdrubal Cabrera
7- David Wright
8-Travis d’Arnaud
9- Pitcher
The Mets have the pitching to compete with any team in the National League. Now with the emergence of “Thunder and Lightening” they have the offense too. Mets fans enjoy this tidal wave of victories, we all know…. winning has been few and far between for this franchise. Let’s Go Mets!
Follow The Sports Whisperer on Twitter: @Montetjwitter11
and listen to the Monte Cristo Sports Thing on WRNJ Radio
Monte Perez @Montetjwitter11

Monte Perez
@Montetjwitter11

Major League Baseball has suspended Miami Marlins All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon for 80 games for testing positive for PEDs, it was announced early Friday morning.

According to ESPN, the MLB reported that a test Gordon took showed excess Testosterone and Clostebol, two substances banned by the League. Neither the Marlins nor Gordon have released statements yet.

Gordon is coming off a 2015 to remember in which he was voted a starter for the NL’s All-Star team, won a Silver Slugger and Gold Glove, and led the NL in batting average and stolen bases. He signed a 5-year $50 million extension with Miami in January.

Gordon is considered one of the League’s brightest young players who will be a star for years to come. The news is very disappointing.

By Matt Morris @Flat_Manigen74

By Matthew Morris
@Flat_Manigen74

thunder-vs-spurs1

Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs are set to clash with KD and the Thunder.

Last season the Cleveland Cavaliers lost Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving during the playoffs. Stephen Curry is expect to miss two weeks with a strained  knee and Chris Paul is out for the remainder of the season with a fractured hand. Half of winning the NBA Championship now, is just staying healthy. Before Paul was injured I asked the question on Twitter: Is it time to start questioning Doc Rivers and Erik Spoelstra? Both the LA Clippers and the Miami Heat have superior rosters to the Portland Trailblazers and Charlotte Hornets. There is now way Miami should be playing a Game 5 with the series tied at 2-2.
To quote legendary ring announcer Michael Buffer… Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!
Spurs vs. Thunder Preview:
This was supposed to be a rebuilding or transition year for San Antonio. The Spurs have gone away from their “Big 3” of Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili to Kawhi Leonard and LeMarcus Aldridge. The Spurs don’t rebuild, they retool. They were 67-15 during the regular season and tied the Boston Celtics for the greatest home record of all-time 40-1. Leonard continues to lead  on both ends of the floor. He was named  Defensive Player of the Year and he was 4th in the league in 3-point field goal percentage (.443). The Spurs beat a Memphis Grizzlies team that was decimated with injuries. But unlike a lot of teams in the NBA, the Spurs never play down to their competition. They swept the grizzlies in 4 games and now can rest until Saturday. This is one of Gregg Popovich’s strength as a coach. His team never takes anyone for granted and they are always prepared.
After losing Game 2 to the Dallas, the Oklahoma City Thunder dominated the Mavs and won in 5 games. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant have now both scored 30 points a game… in 9 playoff games. The Thunder are a two headed monster and will only go as far as Westbrook and Durant will carry them. The Thunder only have 6 players who really contribute game to game. . Durant (26 PPG), Westbrook (26 PPG), Enes Kanter (15.2 PPG), Serge Ibaka (12.6 PPG), Dion Waiters (11 PPG) and Steven Adams (9.2 PPG)
Prediction:
This is going to be a battle from start to finish. With Curry and Paul being injured, the winner of this series could make it to the NBA Finals. I fully expect Westbrook and Durant to continue scoring over 25 points per game, but where is the rest of the scoring going to come from? If Rick Carlisle can steal a win with an undermanned Mavericks squad, what will Greg Pop do from game to game? The Spurs have 11 players who average more than 5.5 points per game in the playoffs. The Spurs are a lot like the New England Patriots, no matter who plays, they always contribute. The Thunder’s offense is based on isolation, the Spurs offense is based on ball movement and giving up a good shot for a great shot. I think the Spurs offense will wear down the Thunder.
I like Billy Donovan but I think Pop exposes him here. I like the Spurs depth and coaching to win this series in 6 games.
Follow the Sports Whisperer on Twitter: @Montetjwitter11 and listen to the Monte Cristo Sports Thing on WRNJ Radio Thursday’s at 7pm.
Monte Perez @Montetjwitter11

Monte Perez
@Montetjwitter11

Jake Arrieta has shown no signs of slowing down after winning last year’s NL Cy Young Award. When Eugenio Suarez’ pop-up landed in Jason Heyward’s glove to end last night’s match-up between the Cubs and and the Reds, it sealed the second no-hitter of Arrieta’s career, just 9 regular season starts after his first against the Dodgers last August.

It was an absolute blowout for the Cubs on both sides of the ball. In addition to Arrieta not allowing a single hit to the Reds, his offense gave him 15 more runs than he would have needed. 16-0 was the final from Great American Ballpark. Arrieta needed 119 pitches, 71 were for strikes. He walked 4 and K’d 6. Kris Bryant, Ben Zobrist, David Ross and Anthony Rizzo all homered to back their pitcher.

Even though he walked more and struck out less than his last no-no, Arrieta was even more dominant this time around because no one on Cincinnati came remotely close to getting a hit, the 30-year-old stud didn’t need any miracle plays from his fielders to keep his effort alive. Brandon Phillips had the closest thing the Reds had to a hit, a sharp grounder up the third base line that 3B Bryant managed to get to 1B Rizzo on a hop.

Arrieta is now the 30th pitcher in the MLB’s multiple no-no club and the fifth pitcher in as many seasons to join it (Justin Verlander: 2007 & 2011, Homer Bailey: 2012-13, Tim Lincecum: 2013-14, Max Scherzer: two in 2015).

The win improves Arrieta to 4-0 on the year. He now has 26 K’s and a .87 ERA. It doesn’t matter if you like the guy or not, that is unreal. Fellow 300 Leveler Monte Perez recently predicted Noah Syndergaard to win this year’s NL Cy Young. One thing is for sure, Jake Arrieta doesn’t plan on giving it up easily, last night is evidence.

morris

Matthew Morris @Flat_Manigen74

If you are a basketball fan this is the best time of the year. Right after March Madness you have the NBA Playoffs. There has been plenty of action on the hardwood but plenty of stories of the court as well.
Scott Brooks was named the Washington Wizards new head coach. According to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Brooks agreed to a deal with the Wizards on Thursday that will be worth $35 million. There is no secret why this deal got done. The Wizards want to do everything in the power to bring home free agent Kevin Durant. Brooks and KD had a great relationship in Oklahoma City. John Wall, Bradley Beal and Durant would be a formidable “Big Three” in the Eastern Conference.
Phil Jackson ran a mini camp with a few Knicks players recently. The purpose of this mini camp was to discuss and teach the principles of the triangle. I wish this story was false but it is 100% true. Carmelo Anthony did not attend. Talk about Jackson trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. The Triangle is no longer relevant in the modern NBA. The Three point shot is. The Knick were 24th in 3 point field goals made this season.
Tom Thibodeau was named coach and president of Timberwolves. It was only a matter of time before Thibodeau was going to get an NBA job. The Timberwolves have a ton of young talent. Andrew Wiggins won rookie of the year last year. Karl-Anthony Towns (18 points 10 rebounds per game) will win Rookie of the Year this season Zach LaVine won back to back slam dunk contests and greatly improved this season, averaging 14 points per game. Thibodeau will make this team better right away, but I do not love this hire. I have seen this in the NFL East time and time again. The Jets, Dolphins and Bills have continued to hire defensive minded coaches to stop Tom Brady, it rarely works. Brady has been to 10 AFC Championship games. In order for “Thibodeau to have a legitimate chance of winning a championship he has to evolve the way Bill Belicheck has evolved. He has to be open minded in his offensive approach. You are not going to beat the Spurs, Clippers, Thunder or Warriors by trying to shut them down in a low scoring match up. The Memphis Grizzlies has been using this formula for year, but they haven’t gotten to an NBA Finals. The Timberwolves have young talent and they need to play up tempo. If Thibodeau stays with his defense first mentality he will win 50-60 games ever year but will never reach the finals.

The 2016 NBA Playoffs are exceeding expectations.

The Cleveland Cavaliers up 2-0 vs. The Detroit Pistons– Stan Van Gundy complained about the referees after Game 1. The Pistons players called LeBron James a “Fugazi” tough guy. They can talk trash all they want. The bottom line is the Cavaliers have the deepest roster in the NBA. That is right, I said it, Cleveland  has more shooters than the Golden State Warriors. The Cavs hit 20 three pointers in game 2. The Pistons have size and toughness but I like the Cavs to close this out in 4 or 5.
 
The Atlanta Hawks up 2-0 vs. The Boston Celtics – I don’t know why most so called “experts” picked Boston to win this series. The Celtics are the Arizona Cardinals of the NBA. They are a very good regular season team but they don’t have that 3rd or 4th gear in the playoffs. They are very well coached but they just don’t have enough scoring. I like Boston to win 1 game or 2 but Atlanta has too much talent and scoring to lose 4 out of 7 to the Celtics.
The Miami Heat up 2-0 vs. Charlotte Hornets- The Heat went 10 for 10 from the floor late in the second quarter against the Hornets in game two. The Heat have scored 123 and 115 points in two games. The problem here is not the Charlotte coaching staff or players. The problem is Michael Jordan continues to be one of the most incompetent decision makers in all of sports. Sometimes he makes former Knick Coach and GM Isiah Thomas look like Jerry West. Here are a list of first round picks under Jordan. Other than Kemba Walker, all these first round picks are role players.
2009: Gerald Henderson
2011: Kemba Walker
2015: Frank Kaminsky
The Toronto Raptors up 2-1 vs. The Indiana Pacers- The Raptors struggled early on in this series but seem to have found their groove. The Pacers continue to be led by Paul George. Unfortunately for George there is just not a consistent 2nd option. George is averaging 28 points per game in the post-season. Monta Ellis is the second leading scorer averaging 12 points per game. That is not going to get it done. Raptors close this out in 5 or 6 games.
The Golden State Warriors up 2-1 vs. The Houston Rockets- When the Rockets fired head Kevin McHale early on in the season they said…”We didn’t like the direction the team was headed.” McHale took Houston to the Western Conference Finals last year. The Rockets are an 8th seed and they won the 3rd game of this series. The only bad news about winning the game is not the Rockets players have to play one more game before booking their vacations to Turks and Caicos. Stephen Curry has missed the last few games but I expect him to be back for Game 4 and I expect the Warriors to win in 5 games. This Houston team packed it in weeks ago.
 
The Los Angeles Clippers up 2-0 vs. The Portland Trailblazers- The Trailblazers lost 4 starters to free agency last year. The fact that they made the playoffs was a great accomplishment. Long term they probably would have been better off not making it and getting a higher draft pick. The Clippers bench outscored Portland 43-10 in Game 2. I think PG Damian Lillard should be able to carry his team to 1 or 2 home wins but I like the Clippers in 5 or 6.
The Oklahoma City Thunder up 2-1 vs. The Dallas Mavericks- The Mavs shocked everyone by winning Game 2 at OKC. All the credit in the world goes to Rick Carlisle for that win. His team was well prepared and earned that victory. Unfortunately for the “Mavs” they just don’t have the talent to compete with the high flying Thunder. Durant and Russell Westbrook should close this out in 5 games.
The San Antonio Spurs up 2-0 vs. The Memphis Grizzlies- There are several great things about Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. One of them is the fact that his team never “plays down” to the competition. The Grizzlies are decimated by injures and the Spurs are taking full advantage. Memphis has about a 15% chance to win game 3 but I like the Spurs to win in a sweep. I also think Popovich should be the NBA’s coach of the year. The Spurs went 67-15 this year and they were transitioning from the “Big 3” of  Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili to Kawhi Leonard and LeMarcus Aldridge.
If all these series hold up, I will be 8-0 in my first round  picks
Follow the Sports Whisperer on Twitter: @Montetjwitter11 and listen to the Monte Cristo Sports Thing Thursday’s at 7pm .
Monte Perez @Montetjwitter11

Monte Perez
@Montetjwitter11

I don’t write articles about individual awards before they happen, often… But when I do, I am usually pretty good at it. For example… here are some articles I wrote early on in the season:
Marcus Mariota will win the Heisman 2014
Aaron Rodgers will be the NFL’s MVP, 2014
Stephen Curry will be the NBA’s MVP, 2015
On Friday October 30th, 2015,Noah Syndergaard got the start in Game 3 of the World Series.  Syndergaard struggled early on but the Mets offense came to life and New York won  9-3 (it was the team’s lone victory of the Fall Classic). What wasn’t in the box score is what Syndergaard  (Thor as he’s called in New York) did in the very first inning. Thor sent Alcides Escobar to the floor  with a high, 98 mph fastball. This was no accident. After the game he was quoted as saying:
“I certainly wasn’t trying to hit the guy, that’s for sure. I just didn’t want him getting too comfortable. If they have a problem with me throwing inside, then they can meet me 60 feet, 6 inches away. I’ve got no problem with that.”
Thor was sending a message not only to the Royals and to the rest of the league, but also to the Mets. His message was crystal clear. I am the leader of this pitching staff. In just over a year and a half he is averaging over 10 strikeouts and less than 2 walks per game. Noah is only 23 years old, at 6’6, 240 lbs he is a menacing figure on the mound. He will only get stronger and more muscular as he matures. His fastball exceeds over 100 MPH regularly and his slider has been clocked at 91-93 MPH. His slider is faster in speed than 38% of starting pitchers fastballs.
Syndergaard is now 2-0, with 29 Strikeouts, 4 walks and an ERA of 0.90. He is not only the best pitcher on the Mets, but he is the best pitcher in baseball. In  1985 Mets pitcher, Dwight Gooden,  was 24-4 with a 1.53 ERA. Noah is on pace to have a season equal to if not greater than, Gooden’s Cy Young year. I have never seen a young powerful pitcher with this much  pin point control. He rarely walks batters and even though he strikes out more than 10 hitters per game, his pitch count is always below 100.
I am calling it now.. If healthy, Noah Syndergaard will win the Cy Young Award this year, and here is scary new for teams around the league. He is going to get bigger, stronger, smarter and better. He is the Mets #1 starter and that is saying a lot.
Follow The Sports Whisperer on Twitter at @Montetjwitter11 and listen to the Monte Cristo Sports Thing on WRNJ Radio, Thurday’s at 7pm.
Monte Perez @Montetjwitter11

Monte Perez
@Montetjwitter11

The Buffalo Bisons got off to a terrific start in Saturday afternoon’s home match-up with the Pawtucket Red Sox. Domonic Brown launched a monster two-run shot off PawSox starter Brian Johnson to give the Herd an early 2-0 lead. However, unfortunately for the 7,144 in attendance at Coca-Cola Field, that was as good as it got for the home squad.

The lead last for all of a half-inning as PawSox C Sandy Leon hit a two-run shot of his own to tie it in the top of the 2nd. Chris Marrero gave them the lead with a sacrifice fly in the 3rd and it was all Red Sox after that.

“We’ve scored 2 run or fewer in 4 of the last 6 games,” said Bisons Manager Gary Allenson after the game. “If you’re looking for a silver-lining, we’re 4-6 and not hitting.”

Bisons starter Casey Lawrence never seemed to get going in the contest, allowing 5 runs (all earned) on 6 hits. He took the loss and is 0-2 on the year. Red Sox starter Brian Johnson allowed just the Brown HR and cruised to a relatively easy win, allowing 5 hits and striking out 5. Lawrence struck out 3.

Cole Sturgeon doubled in the 4th to make it 5-2 and the game belonged to the pitchers from there on. Buffalo’s bullpen was stellar in relief of Lawrence, allowing one hit in 4 innings between Chad Jenkins and Bobby Korecky. Allenson was very proud of the performance of the relievers.

“They’ve done a great job the whole year, they’re keeping us in games,” he added. “We’re not taking advantage of the opportunities to nip and tug back into games.”

Despite the early struggles of the Herd’s bats, infielder Matt Dominguez is confident his team will pick it up.

“It’s still early in the year, we just need to get our timing down and have better, more consistent at-bats,” he said. “If we stay loose, things will turn around eventually.”

Before the game, Dominguez was presented with the Triple-A Gold Glove he earned at third base last season with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Funny enough, Dominguez was at first today. His replacement at third, Andy Burns, led the Bisons with 2 hits. Chris Dominguez and Sandy Leon each had 2 of the Pawtucket’s 6 hits.

The 4 game series continues with another afternoon game tomorrow at 1:05 PM.

morris

Matthew Morris @Flat_Manigen74