Missed Thurs. Night Game

Posted: 10/26/2013 by levcohen in Football

For the first time in the last two years, I forgot to make a game prediction in the NFL. Luckily, this was a Thursday night game, and not a whole slate of Sunday games, so it’s not too bad, but it still is bad. I was away in a place with no internet and simply forgot to make the pick in advance. I’ll take a tie under all three categories for simplicity reasons.

As for the game itself, it was a blowout, with the Panthers simply the better team, although the Bucs did look competent. We know that the 0-7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers are bad, so the question from this game is: Can the 4-3 Carolina Panthers, with all kinds of talent, finally be taken seriously? Now, the last few times we have asked this question, the Panthers have rapidly deteriorated in subsequent games, which makes this question harder to answer. But, just based on talent and recent results, this Carolina team could well make a playoff run, especially given the lack of other enticing options for the NFC’s #2 wildcard (Bears? Lions?).

In baseball, the World Series is tied 1-1, and it’s been very pitching heavy, if not as much as in the LCS’s. Jon Lester was dominant in game one for Boston, and Michael Wacha pitched well in game two for St. Louis. Much of what we thought coming into the series has proved true, at least through two games. The Red Sox hitters have tired out the St. Louis aces, holding Adam Wainwright and Wacha to 11 innings. They’ve also done pretty well against them, with nine hits, five walks, and five earned runs. Unfortunately for Boston, the St. Louis bullpen has been very good, especially in game two, when rookies Carlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal subdued the vaunted Red Sox offense, with three one hit innings and six strikeouts. Oh, and they also only expended 35 pitches, which could prove important later in the WS. Also, David Ortiz is good. Really good. He is 4 for 6 with a homer in each game of the series and has proved vital to the Red Sox offense. He is so good that he will start at first base tonight in St. Louis, and giving his fielding that could really hurt the Sox. Then again, he is such a good hitter that this is clearly the right choice. This series looks like it is going 7.

In basketball, the season starts in just a few days (my predictions will come soon), and there was a semi-major trade made over the past few days, with Marcin Gortat being traded to Washington along with Shannon Brown, Malcolm Lee, and Kendall Marshall for Emeka Okafor and a top-12 2014 protected first round pick. This was a pretty obvious trade to make, and a smart one for Phoenix. The Suns are clearly tanking, and adding a first round pick (I find it hard to believe that Washington will be in the bottom 12) is beneficial. They now potentially have four first round picks in 2014 (they will surely get Indiana’s lottery protected first rounder, and likely acquire Minnesota’s top-13 protected pick), including a Washington pick that will likely be just outside of the lottery. A pick in the 15-18 range is very valuable, probably more so than one year of Gortat.

Suns grade: A

The Wizards are going to get a lower grade here, but I don’t blame them for going playoffs or bust in a really weak Eastern Conference. Gortat is an upgrade over Okafor, although that is more in terms of health than production, and they also get Shannon Brown, who is a solid shooter and could make a good 8th or 9th man on a playoff team. And remember, Kendall Marshall was a mid first round pick just last year, and I guess the Wizards still believe in him.

Wizards grade: B

In hockey, the season is chugging along, although I am having a hard time getting into it, given that the Flyers are absolutely terrible.



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