CINCINNATI - Good morning. It's Monday, May 19, 2014.
MONDAY'S QUIZ: The Pirates beat the Yankees on Sunday, the first time the Bucs won in the Bronx in 54 years. What was significant about the last time they won there?
PHILLIES 8, REDS 3: Four home runs for the Phils as they won two out of three from the Reds. Jimmy Rollins and Wil Nieves hit back-to-back home runs to open the game. Reds nemesis Marlon Byrd hit one later. Cody Asche put the nail in the coffin with a three-run shot in the seventh.
TOO LITTLE AGAIN: The Reds scored just seven runs in the three game series.
PHLAT IN PHILLY: The Reds have not won a series in Philadelphia since 2006. Since then, the Reds are 0-7-1 in series when they come to the so-called City of Brotherly Love.
BIG GAME QUOTE: "The elephant in the room is the fact that we have Votto and Bruce unavailable" said manager Bryan Price after the game. He doesn't know whether Votto will be able to rejoin the team when the Reds begin a series in Washington.
A THINKING SLUMP: The Reds gave away the go-ahead run in the fifth inning Sunday. First of all, pitcher Cliff Lee singled to start the inning. Jimmy Rollins hit a hot shot down to Todd Frazier at third. The ball bounced off his glove and Frazier still tried to get the force at second. Too late. Will Nieves laid down a bunt to the left of the mound. Tony Cingrani had a real good chance to cut down Lee(the lead runner) at third, but he turned and threw to first base instead. Then when Chase Utley hit a grounder to first. Neftali Soto seemed confused with what to do with the ball. He stepped on first and Lee was able to score.
STRANDED: In the fourth, the sixth and the seventh innings, the Reds had a runner at second base with no one out. None of those base runners ever scored. Just horrid situational hitting.
MONDAY: A three game series begins with the Nationals in Washington DC. Mike Leake pitches against Stephen Strasburg.
COOLING OFF THE HEAT: Paul George had 24 points and seven assists as the Pacers beat the Miami Heat in game one of the Eastern Conference finals. Xavier product David West had 19 points and seven rebounds for Indiana. Game 2 is Tuesday in Indianapolis.
HOOPS TONIGHT: It's the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder in game one of the Western Conference finals Monday night in San Antonio. It's on TNT at 9 p.m.
NHL PLAYOFFS: The Chicago Blackhawks won game one of the NHL Western Conference Finals 3-1 over the LA Kings. Game 2 is Wednesday in Chicago.
THE NHL TONIGHT: Game two between the Rangers and Montreal is at 8 p.m, on NBC Sports Network. New York leads the series 1-0.
CLOSE TO HOME: The Cincinnati Cyclones begin their Eastern Conference Championship series with the Greeneville Road Warriors Monday night at US Bank Arena. Hot Dogs for a buck. They drop the puck at 7:30 p.m.
SUNDAY'S BEST LINE: It came from Secretary of State John Kerry, who was giving a speech at Yale. "You are the most diverse class in Yale history, or, as it's called in the NBA, Donald Sterling's worst nightmare." For the record, students from 61 countries graduated this weekend from Yale.
REALLY? There were hints Sunday that Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome might pass up a run at the Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown. California Chrome uses a nasal strip to aid his breathing during races. In the past, the New York Racing Commission has not allowed the use of nasal strips. Has the world gone crazy? The horse industry is dying a slow death. They need casinos to keep them relevant. Now comes along a chance for the sporting public to be interested in horse racing again. There will be a three-week buildup to the race, and the sport gets three weeks of free positive publicity. If that is prevented by a nasal strip, it would be criminal and stupid. This has to be resolved in a hurry.
REPEAT: Ed Carpenter is the pole sitter at Indianapolis for the second year in a row. He's the 11th driver to earn back-to-back 500 poles. James Hinchcliffe and Will Power will join him on the front row.
MONDAY'S QUIZ: The last time the Pirates won in the Bronx was in the 1960 World Series. The Pirates won games 4 and 5 at old Yankee Stadium. That allowed the World Series to return to Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. The Yanks clubbed the Pirates in game 6, but the Pirates won Game 7 10-9 on Bill Mazeroski's dramatic home run in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Hope your week gets off to a great start. I'll see tonight at 6 and 11.