Five Things To Know From The Weekend: Tigers Swept in Anaheim
The calendar has turned from May flowers to June.... freeze warnings? Regardless of quirky Michigan weather, June also brings finals season in the NBA and NHL and welcomes in the dog days of summer for the Tigers and all other baseball teams. With that in mind here's five things from this weekend you should know to start your week off right.
1) Justin Verlander looked shaky in rehab start
Much was made about Justin Verlander finally trying to shake his injury woes and get back to pitching here in 2015. He didn't look particularly great throwing 79 pitches in 2.2 innings of work on Sunday, giving up six hits and three earned runs. For what it's worth Toledo did win the game 11-6 and did so against a team that is tops in their division in the minors. Not much is known if Verlander will start again with Toledo or Detroit the next time he pitches.
2) The Tampa Bay Lightning don't care about history
The New York Rangers went into Tampa and handled their business to earn the right to play game 7. All the hard work in the regular season gets you home ice and home crowd advantage when everything is on the line. The Rangers are unbeaten at home in game 7's in their long Original Six era lifetime, and the Tampa Bay Lightning plugged their ears of all that nonsense and played some good hockey when it mattered.
Two third period goals from Alex Killorn and Ondrej Palat on Friday night was all the support behemoth netminder Ben Bishop needed as he recorded a second game 7 shutout this postseason. The Lightning looked good in that game and they'll need to continue for one more round if they want to knock out their fourth Original Six team this playoffs.
3) The Chicago Blackhawks are making history
Rocky Wirtz is potentially the greatest thing to happen to the Blackhawks ever. Since he took over in 2007, Chicago has two Stanley cups and earned their place on Saturday to compete for a third with a 5-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks, IN ANAHEIM! It also marks the fifth time the Hawks getting to the conference finals in the last seven years, all of which they have qualified for the playoffs. If they are able to defeat a good Tampa Bay team and win the Cup, they are very much the first "post-lockout" or "salary cap era" dynasty, no question.
4) Klay Thompson is hurt but should be ready for Game 1
Smack in the middle of a long layoff before the NBA finals start up, comes some injury news out of the Bay Area on Friday. Klay Thompson, half of the Splash Brothers, developed a concussion after his team ousted the Houston Rockets in the Western final. As soon as this story was making the rounds, the Warriors and Thompson's camp, including his own father, has said he'll be ready for game 1 come Thursday. I guess it's not just the Cavs who are using the break to heal up their contributors.
5) The San Francisco Giants don't allow many runs
The National League is not something many people follow closely in an American League market but check this out. After starting the season 4-10, the Giants have gone on a tear of 25 wins in their last 35. Spotting them just a half game back of the Dodgers as of this morning. What's more impressive is that they threw eight shutouts in May. Only one team has done that in the last 25 years (August 2013, Dodgers).
One more number to throw out, six of those shutouts came in two bursts. Three in a row early in the month against the Angels and Padres and then three more in a row middle of the month when the Dodgers couldn't put up a run in a three game set in the Bay Area. The defending champs are out of their championship hangover it would seem.
These are my five things from the weekend and now they're yours, I'm Producer Zak, have a great week everyone!