That’s Why They Play The Games

April 14, 2021

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Roger Kahn

“It is dangerous to spring to obvious conclusions about baseball or, for that matter, ball players. Baseball is not an obvious game.”

The current standings in the AL East sure prove Kahn correct.

Letter Rip!

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TEAM NEWS

The Sportsletter’s primary writer and editor, Jeff Yoder, is out this week. The Sportsletter team will continue to produce abbreviated editions through Friday. We’ll return to the normal content schedule next week.

The Sportsletter

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MLB

That’s Why They Play The Games

Photo: Hannah Foslien / Getty Images

Red Sox Stay Hot In Cold Weather, Win Seventh Straight

 

Not even the snow can stop the Red Sox. Despite playing at the brisk temperature of 33 degrees with occasional snowfall, the Sox gutted out a 4-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins, highlighted by the scorching hot Rafael Devers, who belted his fifth home run in the last four games.

 

The Red Sox Shocking Start

 

Nobody expected Boston to look this good this year, let alone be sitting atop of the AL East through the first ten games. After dropping their first three games at home, many fans feared that this year would be a continuation of their disastrous 2020 season where they finished dead last in the AL East. However, Boston has proven the doubters wrong as of late, as they are currently on their longest win streak since they won the World Series in 2018. While the heavily favored Yankees have had inconsistent bats and starting pitching to begin their campaign, Boston has shown that although they may not have the big names they did when they won it all a few years ago (ie. Mookie Betts, David Price), they are going to be a competitor in their heavily contested division.

Additional Storylines

Boston Globe: Red Sox turnaround from calamitous 2020 revolves around the rotation

Yahoo! Sports: Picking a Red Sox MVP is Easy — It’s Alex Cora

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NBA

Fears Confirmed – Jamal Murray Has Torn ACL

Photo: Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

Nuggets Guard Out For Season

 

In a major blow to Denver’s hopes at making a run in this year’s playoffs, starting guard Jamal Murray suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during the fourth quarter of Monday’s night game against the Warriors. In his fifth NBA season, Murray was averaging career highs in points per game (21.2), field goal percentage (47.7%), and three-point percentage (40.8%).

 

With just over one month remaining in the regular season, the Nuggets are fourth in the Western Conference, meaning they’ll need to hold on to keep home-court advantage in the first round.

 

Here’s an update on the playoff race. Keep in mind that the top six teams from each conference automatically qualify for the postseason, while teams 7-10 will need to win their spot in the play-in tournament.

 

Western Conference:

1) Utah Jazz (41-14)

2) Phoenix Suns (39-15)

3) Los Angeles Clippers (38-18)

4) Denver Nuggets (34-20)

5) Los Angeles Lakers (34-21)

6) Portland Trail Blazers (31-23)

7) Dallas Mavericks (29-24)

8) Memphis Grizzlies (27-25)

9) San Antonio Spurs (26-26)

10) Golden State Warriors (26-28)

11) New Orleans Pelicans (25-29)

12) Sacramento Kings (22-32)

13) Oklahoma City Thunder (20-34)

14) Houston Rockets (14-40)

15) Minnesota Timberwolves (14-41)

 

Eastern Conference:

1) Philadelphia 76ers (37-17)

2) Brooklyn Nets (37-17)

3) Milwaukee Bucks (33-20)

4) Atlanta Hawks (30-25)

5) Boston Celtics (29-26)

6) Miami Heat (28-26)

7) Charlotte Hornets (27-26)

8) New York Knicks (28-27)

9) Indiana Pacers (25-28)

10) Chicago Bulls (22-31)

11) Toronto Raptors (21-34)

12) Washington Wizards (20-33)

13) Cleveland Cavaliers (19-34)

14) Orlando Magic (17-37)

15) Detroit Pistons (16-38)

Additional Storylines

CBS Sports: Concern Over Jamal Murray’s Knee Injury Evokes Reminders of Shortened 2012 NBA Season

ESPN: NBA Experts Debate : These Eastern Conference Storylines Need Your Attention

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SOCCER

Champions League Quarter Finals (Leg 2)

Photo: Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

PSG vs. Bayern: Tiebreaker Or Dreambreaker?

 

Paris Saint-Germain was able to squeeze through to the Champions League semifinals after a 0-1 loss to Bayern Munich after winning the 3-3 aggregate tiebreaker on away goals. Notorious for being habitual chokers, PSG allowed a goal to Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting during the second leg, but was able to make it through to the semi-finals, avenging their defeat to Bayern in last year’s finals.

 

Chelsea vs. Porto: Adventuring On To The Semifinals

 

Coach Thomas Tuchel told Chelsea to treat the Champions League like an adventure after a roller coaster game against Porto. Chelsea was able to clinch a 2-1 aggregate victory to reach the semifinals for the first time since 2014 despite a late scare goal by Porto. Despite Mateo Kovacic’s injury-based absence, Chelsea was able to stop Porto from undoing the advantage created by goals from Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell during Leg 1.

 

Additional Storylines

Bleacher Report: Top Winners, Losers After Tuesday’s Champions League Quarterfinal Leg 2 Results

CBS Sports: Champions League takeaways: PSG survive lack of sharpness; Pulisic will need ice packs all weekend

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🎥 THE HIGHLIGHTS

🏀NBA: Tatum, Celtics Edge Past Blazers

Jayson Tatum scored 32 points, including five in the final minute, as Boston took down Portland 116-15 and moved up to fifth in the Eastern Conference.

 

⚽️SOCCER: Two Early Goals Good for USWNT

In a friendly against France, the U.S. Women’s National Team struck quickly. Megan Rapinoe scored a penalty in the 5th minute and Alex Morgan doubled the lead in the 19th minute on the way to a 2-0 victory.

 

🏒NHL: Nashville Puts Seven Past the Champs

After racing to a 3-0 lead at the end of the first period, the Predators kept their foot on the gas, topping the Lightning 7-2 as six different skaters got in on the goalscoring action.

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THE STORYLINES 

🏀Caris LeVert and the Life Saving Trade

A routine physical performed when the Pacers acquired him in the James Harden deal revealed a cancerous tumor. Less than three months after having his kidney removed, he’s back on the floor. (SI)

 

⚾Early Gaffes Highlight Must-Fix Gaps in MLB’s Replay Review System

Baseball’s back, but so are replay reviews. Frustrations with the system, including camera coverage, jurisdiction issues, and lack of transparency, continue to stick around, but the system continues its gradual improvement. (B/R)

 

🏀 Kevin Durant Feuds With ‘Drunk Uncle’ Shannon Sharpe After Fake Quote on ‘Undisputed

Shortly after his controversial Instagram dispute with Michael Rappaport, Nets superstar Kevin Durant got wind that ‘Undisputed’ co-host Shannon Sharpe used a fake KD quote on his show, which led to a tense back and forth between the two. (Yahoo! Sports)

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📰 THE HEADLINES

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The Sportsletter Team

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