Sunday News and Notes

IT'S TIME TO ZIP 'ROUND THE LAND WITH OUR SUNDAY EDITION OF MLB & NBA NEWS & NOTES

By Jim Hurley:

Here's one thing about Major-League Baseball that is really true:

Sometimes - or make that many times - you look up and so-and-so is on a lengthy winning (or losing) streak and it really catches you by surprise ... even if you've been paying close attention.

Case in point is the here-and-now Seattle Mariners:

Betcha didn't realize - unless you are a hard-core fan of the M's, of course - that the Mariners exited Friday night's 3-2 home loss to the Minnesota Twins with the single-longest losing streak these days in the bigs with seven consecutive setbacks that started last Saturday with a 7-0 loss in Toronto and continued on during the past week with four straight close losses to Tampa Bay (three of 'em were one run) and than came the aforementioned series-opener against the Twins in which Seattle scratched for a pair of fifth-inning runs to snap a scoreless tie before surrendering three runs in the top of the seventh inning.

The M's exited that loss 11-17 on the year and -- while nobody with any real baseball sense thought Seattle was gonna beat out either Texas or the still-troubled Los Angeles Angels for playoff spots out in the American League West - the fact remains that here's a case of a team's season slip-sliding away and who needs to think about the cash consequences had you wagered on Seattle in each of these seven tilts ... don't look at us, we didn't have 'em once during this time span!

Okay, so let's get you a couple quick-hitter comments in the world of MLB ...

The Miami Marlins have a new name, a new stadium and a new manager this 2012 season but right now the Fish have the same concerns as a lot of teams: Pitching.

In Friday's wild 9-8 win in 12 innings at San Diego, there was supposed ace RHP Josh Johnson spitting up a five-run lead while allowing 6 runs on 6 hits in less than three full innings of work (and that included a bases-clearing opposite-field triple by opposing hurler Anthony Bass in a crazy six-run Padres third inning).

Throw into the mix the fact that Marlins new closer Heath Bell - who has been brutal so far this season - blew his fourth save while giving up the game-tying run in the bottom of the ninth and don't look now but last year's All-Star is pitching to an 11.42 ERA right now.

Don't think we'll be seeing Bell "slide in" to the pitcher's mound in this summer's All-Star Classic as he did a year ago ... remember that bit of silliness?

Finally, as long as we're "kicking" some folks while they're down, how about the fact Angeles RHP Ervin Santana - who once upon a time threw a no-hitter - has started off his 2012 campaign at 0-6 following Friday night's 4-0 home loss against the Toronto Blue Jays and, yes, you saw it correctly.

Baltimore Orioles 3B Mark Reynolds finally did hit a home run in Friday's 6-4 13-inning win in Boston. Reynolds - who also added a key sacrifice fly in that top of the 12th - snapped an 0-for-13 slump with the round-tripper but his stats following that game included an anemic .157 batting average and now he has one homer in his first 70 at-bats.

Hey, that's still better than Mr. Pujols out in Anaheim, right?
 
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will prove once again to be the champions of the NBA Playoffs as they continue to shine this post-season and remember the playoffs will run straight through the end of June plus there are loads of winners this 2012 Major-League Baseball season too and so sign up today and get it all - Hoops and Baseball every day and nights! Just be sure to check in with us either right here online or else at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 for all the daily and nightly NBA and MLB winners.

Here's some NBA Playoffs News & Notes as we get ready for all the Sunday action that includes a Game #4 tilt between Chicago at Philadelphia with the 76ers now up two-games-to-one in the set plus it's Miami at New York in Game 4 with the Heat searching for the sweep, Atlanta looking to now get even with Boston in a Game #4 in Beantown and the Los Angeles Lakers trying to snap back from Friday's 99-84 loss in Denver with the Lakers still up in the series 2-to-1 ...

No doubt that there were plenty of disturbing occurrences as the Chicago Bulls blew a 14-point second-half lead en route to their 79-74 loss at one-point underdog Philadelphia in Friday's Game #3 bash in Philly but how about the fact Chicago hit on only 4-of-14 triple tries and key reserve Kyle Korver missed all three of his trifecta jumpers.

Hey, with or without PG Derrick Rose who is gone for the duration of these playoffs with that blown-out knee, the Bulls have to hit some downtown shots as that is a huge part of their game and yet Luol Deng attempted just three treys (1-of-3) and ditto for veteran G Richard "Rip" Hamilton (also 1-of-3 from deep).

Best guess-estimate is that the Bulls will try a minimum of 25 treys in Game #4 (if they know what's good for them!)

The Boston Celtics probably didn't think they could win a playoff game by shooting less than 41 percent from the floor but Friday's 32-of-79 FG mark proved to Doc Rivers' club that even a soggy shooting night won't keep 'em down.

True, it helped that Ray Allen returned to the lineup and scored 13 points off the bench while hitting half of his 12 FG attempts but the underlying key in that clash was the fact Boston drained 22-of-25 free throws including Paul Pierce going 14-of-14 from the charity stripe. Hmm, the Hawks attempted only 15 FTs in that Game #3 overtime loss and - while it's true Atlanta is more of a jump-shooting team that doesn't draw all-that-many fouls in the paint - you wonder how a whistle here or a whistle there could have changed the complexion of this whole Eastern Conference series.

Just sayin'!

NOTE: More NBA and MLB News/Notes in the next Jim Sez.

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