July 2, 2015

Offense sputters as Royals drop second straight in Houston

Lorenzo Cain\

Lorenzo Cain\

Dallas Keuchel had seven strikeouts over eight scoreless innings and George Springer belted a two-run homer to help Houston to a 4-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday.

Keuchel (10-3), who was coming off his second shutout of the season when he struck out a career-best 12 batters against the Yankees on Thursday, scattered seven hits in his showing Tuesday night. He’s 8-0 at home this season.

“It’s never easy to take Dallas Keuchel out of a game,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “He was a little tired in my eyes, but not in his eyes. I’ve got to balance the short term and the long term.”

Pat Neshek threw the final inning for the Astros, who received sparkling pitching for a third straight contest. They’ve allowed just two runs during their three-game winning streak.

Danny Duffy (2-4) was charged with four runs on six hits over 6 2/3 innings as the Royals dropped their second in a row following a four-game winning streak. [Read more…]

Cardinals see winning streaks halted in extra inning loss to White Sox

Randal Grichuk

Randal Grichuk

Chris Sale made history Tuesday and the White Sox beat the Cardinals 2-1 on Tyler Flowers’ solo homer in the 11th inning.

Baseball’s best and hottest team had won seven straight and nine in a row at Busch Stadium coming in, but Flowers ended those streaks by hammering a Miguel Socolovich (2-1) pitch into the left-field seats.

Daniel Webb (1-0) retired the final two hitters in the 10th with a runner in scoring position to earn the win, and David Robertson survived a pair of two- out singles in the 11th to earn his 16th save.

Randal Grichuk went 3-for-5 and hit a homer on one of the few mistakes made by Sale, who recorded 12 strikeouts to join Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers in MLB history to strike out 10 or more batters in eight consecutive starts.

“I don’t really think about it that often,” Sale said of the record. “I still have a job to do.” [Read more…]

NHL going to 3-on-3 in OT, conspiracy in MLB’s All-Star Voting and can anybody stop the Cardinals (VIDEO)

3-on-3 hockey in NHL's OT will look like a goofy video game

3-on-3 hockey in NHL’s OT will look like a goofy video game

On this edition of the Sports Directors, it’s just the Bill’s.  Wisconsin Radio Network’s Bill Scott talks with me about the NHL’s new overtime rules, how the Royals are getting screwed over by Major League Baseball with the sudden “throwing out of votes,” and what really makes the Cardinals so much better than other teams.

I think the NHL should just go straight to shootouts after a tie in regulation.

Funny, how Royals starters go from eight to five after MLB throws out some votes…proving even more their system for voting is a joke.

The Cardinals success is much deeper than stats and all those hokey sabermetrics (did I even spell that correctly?)

Pronger, an All-Star in eight of his nine seasons with the Blues, selected to Hockey’s Hall of Fame

Chris Pronger (photo/NHL)

Chris Pronger (photo/NHL)

Defenseman Chris Pronger, who spent half of his NHL career with the Blues, winning the league’s MVP award in 2000, was selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday. Pronger was chosen in his first season of eligibility. He was an All-Star in eight of his nine seasons wearing the Blue Note.

Pronger is the only defenseman other than Bobby Orr to win the Hart Trophy and Norris Trophy in the same season, in 2000. He played 1,167 games in 18 NHL seasons starting with the Hartford Whalers, then St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Ducks and Philadelphia Flyers.

Pronger won the 1997 World Championship with Canada, is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and won the Stanley Cup in 2007 with the Ducks; He also won gold at the 1993 World Junior Championship and reach the Cup Final with the Oilers in 2006 and the Flyers in 2010.

Pronger averaged more than 30 minutes per game in two seasons for the Blues, and more than 25 minutes per game in every full season he played from 1998-99 to 2009-10.


Astros launch two homers as Royals win streak snapped. Still hold 5.5 game lead over the Twins

Houston has the best record in the American League (photo/MLB)

Houston has the best record in the American League (photo/MLB)

I never thought I would be writing this next sentence.  The two best teams in the American League played last night in Houston.

After last year’s run, I could understand the Royals, but the Astros?  With their 6-1 over the Royals, they improved on their American League best record of 45-34.  The Royals are right behind them at 44-29.  On Monday night, the Royals couldn’t do much against this hot Houston club.

Starter Joe Blanton walked four, gave up a home run to Jose Altuve and couldn’t finish the third inning, giving up five runs. Brandon Finnegan gave up a homer to Chris Carter. The Royals lone run, a seventh inning homer by Sal Perez came off their young starter Lance McCullers who only allowed four hits.

Eric Hosmer missed the game and will miss the series…he has a finger sprain. The Royals four game win streak snapped, but Minnesota lost to Cincinnati, so the Royals are still up 5.5 games.