Happy Wednesday everyone! Shanna McCarriston here to bring you everything you need to know in the sports world today.
This is the last time this week I'll be stopping by, as I'm taking a week off to head to California to visit my cousin. She's an animator for the "Avatar" movies and works directly with James Cameron, so she's pretty cool.
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But enough about my travels, let's get to the sports news you need to know. We are going to talk about opening night of the NBA playoffs, the PGA championship, the Olympics and more. And away ... we .... go ...
📰 What you need to know
1. Spencer Turnbull throws MLB's fifth no-hitter of the season
In what is somehow becoming kind of normal, there was another no-hitter in baseball late last night. This time, it came from Spencer Turnbull of the Tigers -- you know, the guy who led all of baseball in losses back in 2019 with 17.
Two years later, Turnbull got his revenge on the league:
- Turnbull struck out nine batters to go against two walks
- He threw a career-high 117 pitches, which clearly took its toll on him late as he looked tired in the ninth inning
- Of his 117 pitches, 77 went for strikes. He also induced 12 ground-outs versus just two fly-outs
Almost more impressive than those Turnbull tidbits? This is the SECOND TIME the Mariners have been no-hit in the past two weeks. Overall, this is the fifth no-hitter of the MLB season. The record for most no-no's in one year is eight, which came all the way back in 1884. That mark is clearly in danger of being shattered.
Quite possibly the most shocking part of everything that happened last night, though? Angel Hernandez was the home plate umpire. It's the first time he's called balled and strikes in a game that resulted in a no-hitter (don't act like you're surprised.)
2. Takeaways from the opening night of the NBA playoffs
The NBA playoffs are finally here and we have two games of the Play-in Tournament under out belts. First up on Tuesday, we had the Pacers crush the Hornets, 144-117. Then, the Celtics stayed alive with a 118-110 victory over the Wizards.
As someone from Boston, I'm pretty happy with the results.
Here are the takeaways from the exciting first night from our NBA experts:
- Hornets hampered by lack of postseason experience: There is something to be said about being there before and the Hornets struggle was not helped but their lack of experience in big postseason games. It's not all bad, their young team has a bright future, but they just didn't have the efficiency needed against Indy
- Doug McDermott, Oshae Brissett step up for Indy: Caris LeVert did not play due to the health and safety protocols, but the team still had playmakers where it counted. McDermott had 20 points in the first half, showing the urgency needed to win. Brissett was also crucial, leading the team with 23 points
- Jayson Tatum can carry the Celtics: Tatum was on another planet against the Wizards. He finished with 50 points -- his third 50-point game of the season -- eight rebounds and four assists. A large chunk of those points game in the third quarter, when he put up 23 points. The secret behind Tatum's success was that he finished most of his shots in the paint and at the rim. It led to him hitting all 17 of his free throws
Ready for more? Check out who our experts picked to win in tonight's slate of playoff action.
3. Tony La Russa doesn't care that the Twins threw behind Yermin Mercedes
There are a bunch of "unwritten rules" in baseball and some people take these more seriously than others. White Sox manager Tony La Russa is one who takes them seriously -- even if it means going against his own players.
In Monday night's game against the Twins, young White Sox star Yermin Mercedes hit a home run on a 3-0 pitch in the ninth inning. Chicago was winning 15-4 and the 429-foot home run came from a 47-mph pitch off of Willians Astudillo, a position player.
Not everyone was impressed with the rookie's sixth home run. La Russa felt that in the situation, Mercedes should not have been attempting to hit a home run.
- La Russa on Monday: "He made a mistake. There will be a consequence he has to endure here within our family."
The phrasing seems a little intense, but, hey, La Russa, 76, is a serious rules guy. No word yet on what the consequence within the "family" will be, but on Tuesday night, we saw what it was on the field.
In the seventh inning last night, Mercedes was thrown behind. Twins reliever Tyler Duffey was thrown out of the game, and players in the White Sox dugout were visibly upset at what went down. You know who wasn't upset? Take a guess.
- La Russa on Tuesday: "I wasn't that suspicious. I'm suspicious when someone throws at someone's head. I didn't have a problem with how the Twins handled that"
I'm all for respect, but if I got paid to play a game, I'd always try and play it as well as I can, especially because of how short the shelf life of athletes are. I'd also have my player's back in this situation if I was a manger.
4. Ranking the PGA Championship field
Later this week, 156 golfers are hading to the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island to tee up for the 2021 PGA Championship. That's a lot of people to keep track of, but lucky for you our golf expert Kyle Porter gathered his list of the most important ones to keep an eye on.
The rankings for the upcoming event are based off of a combination of recent statistical trends, history at PGAs and what Porter has seen from players over the last few months.
Here are his top three:
- No. 1: Jordan Spieth -- It's simple. Spieth has statistically been the best player in the world for three months. Porter is "way in on him contending for a fourth major championship this week"
- No. 2: Rory McIlroy -- While Porter clearly is safe putting him here in the second spot, he notes that there seems to be a slight mental lapse at times for McIllroy at the biggest events, even if it's just a slight lapse. He has not always contended for majors, even at some of the best points in his career. Can Rory shake that this weekend?
- No. 3: Justin Thomas -- His ability to hit greens from anywhere will be a great help to him. Porter says if his driver cooperates, he'll contend for Wanamaker trophy No. 2.
Click here for Porter's complete list and some more commentary.
📝 Odds & Ends
- Japanese doctors want the IOC to cancel the Tokyo Olympics because of the country's rising COVID-19 numbers
- Stanford reversed its decision to cut 11 of its varsity sports programs
- Mike Trout will miss 6-8 weeks with right calf strain
📺 What to watch tonight
🏒 Capitals vs. Bruins, 6:30 p.m. | BOS -170 | TV: NBCS
🏀 Spurs vs. Grizzlies, 7:30 p.m. | MEM -4 | TV: ESPN
🏀 Warriors vs. Lakers, 10 p.m. | LAL -5 | TV: ESPN
Best thing I saw on the internet 🏅
Celtics' Jason Tatum dropped 50 points on the Wizards last night and after the game he joked that he didn't want to lose to his friend and fellow St. Louis native Bradley Beal. Tatum was clearly excited about heading to the playoffs, but it seemed extra sweet that it was Beal he beat to get there