U.S, women's team wins 4th World Cup, Predictions for the Home Run Derby and the All Star game

Great victory for the U.S. yesterday over the Netherlands by a score of 2-0. Megan Rapinoe won the Golden Boot award for most goals and assists in the competition. She also won the Golden Ball Award as the World Cup’s best player. Rapinoe scored 6 goals for the tournament and converted a penalty kick goal in the second half yesterday to put the U.S. up 1-0. Rose Lavelle converted an even better goal later in the second half launching a left footed boot 20 feet for the clinching goal. It wasn’t the total clincher, but the way the U.S. was playing defense led by back Crystal Dunn, the lead looked insurmountable.

Not a big fan of Megan Rapinoe because of her anti-American comments and her decision not to acknowledge the national anthem. But the U.S, team as a whole seemed patriotic. The women are now pushing hard for equal pay with the men.

Trump was asked about it after the victory. He said it depends on the crowd draw the women are getting in their games as opposed to the men. The women win $250,000 for winning the World Cup while the men get over a million. So that should be more equitable. But I think Trump had a good initial answer though he backtracked a little at the end and said they should get equal pay.

If the women’s game keeps growing and draws the attendance figures that rival the men, they certainly deserve an increase in pay equal to the men. But it should depend on the economics of each game. Now, with this World Cup victory, the women’s game could take off and they would have a very strong argument. But it should depend on the interest and the attendance they get for and at their professional games. Certainly the women’s pay for winning the World Cup should be equal to the men. There was as much interest in the Women’s World Cup this year as there was in the Men’s World Cup last year, particularly in the U.S.

So the women have a very good point for the World Cup where they should be compensated equally. But as far as professional soccer goes, the economics of the women’s game versus the men’s game should be the main consideration in determining pay for each respective game. If the women’s game can draw crowds like the men’s game, pay should be commensurate with that and the women deserve just as much pay as the men. But it shouldn’t be determined by emotion, but rather by the economics of each sport.

Regardless, this was a highly impressive performance by the U.S, women’s team.


Home Run Derby winner

Progressive Field, Cleveland

Tonight, 7 PM CT ESPN

This will be electric with some of the best power hitters in the game. One half of the draw features Pete Alonso of the Mets, Carlos Santana of the Indians, Josh Bell of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Ronald Acuna Jr of the Braves., while the other half of the bracket features Matt Chapman of the Oakland A’s, Vladamir Guerrero Jr of the Toronto Blue Jays, Alex Bregman of the Astros and Joc Pederson of the Dodgers.

Winner

Josh Bell over Alex Bregman

I like Bell of the Pirates to win it. He’s hit 27 homers, which is tied for 4th in the National League behind Milwaukee’s Christine Yelich (31), and the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger and the Mets’ Pete Alonso who are tied in second with 30 apiece. Bell is tied with Hunter Renfroe of the Padres for fourth. Bell leads the majors with 84 RBIs.

Alonso is also in the Derby. Mike Trout leads the American League with 28 homers. The Angels centerfielder is having another sensational season. He is not in the field. The second leading home run hitter in the American League is Edwin Encarnacion, so the NL is hitting it out more than the AL.

The winning prize is $1,000,000 so it’s a big deal to a lot of these guys who are on early contracts and many of them are making $550,000 a year. A lot of youthful guys in the field. There’s still room for veterans as Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Freddie Freeman, Justin Verlander and David Price would attest to. I don’t like that all the “experts” are saying it’s a young person’s game now. There are plenty of veterans excelling and you can tell by the list above that the best pitchers are veterans. So both the veterans and the young guys are achieving great things. No age group is doing markedly better than the other.

Like Bell to capture the HR Derby tonight (Photo TribLive.com) .

Like Bell to capture the HR Derby tonight (Photo TribLive.com) .

Prediction for the Mid Summer Classic

Progressive Field Cleveland, 34,000+

7 PM CT FOX, Joe Buck, Smoltzie on the call.

I like Bell, Bellinger and the National League to get the job done this year. There will be some balls flying out of Progressive Field, but I like this LA Dodgers team and their players who are representing the NL. I predicted the Dodgers as my World Series winner over the Astros before the season started. The Yankees are looking tough in the American League as are the Twins and Indians, so there is competition for the ‘Stros, and the Braves look strong in the National League and you can’t count out the Nationals, the Brewers or the Cubs. The NL Central is pretty compelling this season with all 5 teams within 5 1/2 games of each other. I like the Dodgers players, the Braves players and the NL All Stars to prevail tomorrow night in what should be a fascinating All Star game.

I’ve got Cody Bellinger as the MVP.

National League 6, American League 5

Cody Bellinger and the “Senior Circuit” take the All Star game tomorrow night in Cleveland (Photo Dodgers Nation).

Cody Bellinger and the “Senior Circuit” take the All Star game tomorrow night in Cleveland (Photo Dodgers Nation).







Dans goes off, Sonny, David, Tyler superb, further thoughts on our terrific 2019 team

Young man, you had a night! Dansby Swanson was 3 for 5 last night against the Philadelphia Phillies with 2 homers, a double and 5 Ribeyes in a 12-6 Atlanta Braves victory.

With his team down 4-0 in the bottom of the 1st, the Braves shortstop launched one 404 feet over the right central field wall for a solo shot to get his team going. The Braves caught up to the Phillies and held a 9-6 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth. During the comeback rally, Dans also doubled in the left field corner to knock in another run. The Braves had a 9-4 lead, but the Phillies made it interesting at 9-6 in the bottom of the 8th.

With one out and 2 runners on, the great Swanson crushed another ball over the left central field wall 391 feet to put the lead in comfortable shape at 12-6. The Braves got’em out in the 9th and moved to 52-36 on the season and in first place of the NL East by 6 games.

Dansby is now hitting .274, really getting that average up, he’s a .300 major league hitter to me the way he could hit at VU, and he now has 17 home runs and 57 Ribeyes. At this pace, Dans could hit 35 homers and drive in 110. It’s phenomenal what the great one is doing. Braves at home tonight versus the Marlins at Sun Trust Park. This is a loveable team. Everything about them is fun to watch. They’re becoming a serious factor to make a deep October run. Dans is a big part of it. Very proud of the man.

Sonny Gray pitched a spectacular game Wednesday Night in the Cincinnati Reds 3-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. Sonny went 8 gave up just 4 hits, 0 runs with 1 walk and 12 K’s. Sonny threw 111 pitches with 76 for strikes against 35 balls, more than a 2:1 strike to ball ratio which is a baseline for winning games. Sonny was awesome hitting 93,94,95 and his breaking ball was very strong. He threw some good cutters as well. Sonny now 5-5 on the season with a 3.59 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP, solid, 33 walks and 103 strikeouts. The Reds have just been a Fountain of Resurgence for Sonny. His pitching coach, Derek Johnson, was his pitching coach at Vanderbilt. And Coach Johnson is outstanding. Sonny is really in a good place. His team is pretty good too. The Reds, which took 3 of 4 from the NL Central leading Brewers, are 41-44 and just 4 games back of the Brewers and the Cubs in the NL Central. This team is making some noise. Derek Johnson has made a major impact on the pitching staff. The Reds can really pitch. Coach Johnson is a phenomenally talented coach. I could see him becoming a big league manager one day. It’s really working well for Sonny.

Tyler Beede pitched spectacularly well for the San Francisco Giants in their 10-4 victory at San Diego Tuesday Night. Tyler went 7, gave up just 4 hits, 1 run with 0 walks and 4 K’s. Tyler threw 100 pitches with 63 for strikes against 37 balls. He was hitting 95 routinely and didn’t walk anyone, which is huge for Tyler. Tyler and Sonny remind me of each other. They both have awesome stuff, and if they’ve got their control down during a game, they are tough. Tyler moved to 2-3 on the season with a 5.64 ERA, but 2 of his last 4 starts have been tremendous. Against the Dodgers on June 17th, Tyler went 6, gave up 3 hits, 1 run, with 5 walks and 7 K’s. But his control has been much better lately. Like where Tyler is trending and the Giants are playing better.

David Price had another outstanding night for the Red Sox, which are not playing their best baseball right now and trail the Yankees by 8 or 9 games in the AL East. But David keeps delivering. He just needs some help from the rest of the pitching staff. In a 10-6 victory @ Toronto Tuesday Night, Dave went 6, gave up 4 hits, 2 runs with 4 walks and 7 K’s. A lot more walks than David normally gives up, but he really settled down after some early trouble and helped pitch his team to victory. David is now 6-2 with a 3.33 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP, 19 walks and 89 strikeouts. He’s been phenomenal for his team.

Mike Yaz and Bryan Reynolds are doing great things for the SF Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates respectively, and Mike Minor didn’t have his best outing on Monday, but he’s been spectacular this season. Walker Buehler got roughed up a little bit in Colorado, but that’s Colorado, a mile above sea level where a pop up to left becomes a homer. Walker did some good things in the game though. Trust the man completely. Tony Kemp still a key substitute for the Astros and Curt Casali playing a lot of catcher for the Reds. Curt doing a good job. Would like to see his bat get going some more though.

Our National Champions

A lot of fans and pundits have commented that this 2019 team is the best team we’ve ever had. By the results, SEC Regular season champions, SEC Tournament champions, Regional, Super Regional champions, 13 players drafted by MLB, and finishing the job and winning the national championship, this team makes a pretty strong case that it is and was the best team we’ve ever had. But I like what Corbs said at the Awards ceremony last Friday at McGugin. Corbs said that 2003, the first year we made it to the SEC Tourney in a while, led to 2005, our first super regional. 2005 led to the signing of David Price, a game changer for our program, and that led to 2007, where we won the SEC regular season and tournament titles with Price, Pedro Alvarez and Ryan Flaherty. Price was the first overall player selected in the MLB draft by the Tampa Bay Rays and I’d say he’s had a phenomenal big league career with more to come. He’s given so much back to Vanderbilt financially and emotionally. He’s been a stellar representative of the program.

2007 led to 2010, another super regional. 2010 led to 2011 our first trip to the CWS. 2011 led to 2013 when we finished 26-3 in the SEC and made another Super Regional. 2013 led to 2014, and our first national title. In 2015 we got there again only to lose heartbreakingly to Virginia, which we had defeated the year before for the national title. 2015-16 with Ethan Paul, Stephen Scott, Julian Infante, a number one recruiting class, had the devastating tragedy of losing the great Donny Everett. Despite the tragic and heartbreaking loss of a beloved teammate, Ethan, Stephen, Julian, Walker Grisanti and Patrick Raby hung in there, and with help from JJ Bleday, Austin Martin, Kumar Rocker, Tyler Brown, Mason Hickman, Pat DeMarco, Philip Clarke, Harrison Ray, Ty Duvall etc. this 2019 team put together one of the finest seasons in college baseball history. It was clearly a historically great team. So that’s my opinion. This may have well been the best team we’ve ever had and measuring them by their achievements, you’d have to say that. But so many great players and great teams led to this season. What a a run Tim Corbin has put together at Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt baseball is the premiere program in the country, and it’s kind of by a fairly wide margin. Corbs has Austin, Kumar, Tyler, Mason, Harrison, the talented Ethan Smith and some good young talent returning next season, so we’ve got another shot at being really special. What an extraordinary coach and what extraordinary players we have had and have. It’s quite a ride we’re on and extraordinarily satisfying. This is something we can hang onto for a while. Forever actually. And our program is going to keep producing sensational results the way Corbs recruits and coaches. He’s got the No.1 class for 2019. If we can keep most of them from the Major Leagues, the freshman have until the first day of classes in August to decide if they want to sign a contract or play at Vanderbilt, then we’ll have an influx of more superb material setting us up for a tremendous 2020 season. We should have very strong pitching next season, and if some of the younger guys, who have elite talent, can play well, we’ve got a chance to be exceptional. Can’t wait for next season, but going to enjoy this one some more. Just deep satisfaction and contentment right now.

I’ll have some football stuff next week and more MLB guys stuff. Coach Mason is recruiting well for 2020 and we’ve got some graduate transfers who are going to be very good players for us this season. I’ll talk more about the team next week along with the 2019 freshman class along with the transfers and the guys in the 2020 class.

Have an awesome weekend.

Predictions for the 133rd Championships at Wimbledon

All England Courts, London

Defending champion Men: Novak Djokovic

Defending champion women: Angelique Kerber

ESPN coverage started today and lasts through the men’s final on July 14th

Women’s Final: Saturday, July 13th 7 AM CT ESPN

Men’s Final, Sunday, July 14th, 8 AM CT,ESPN

Winners

Men

I’ll take Rafa in the semis over Roger and Djoker over Kevin Anderson. I’ll take Rafa over Djoker as the superb Spaniard captures his 19th major. He has 1 Australian Open title in 2009, 2 Wimbledons (2008, 2010) 3 U.S. Opens (‘10, ‘13, ‘17) and 12 French Open championships. He’s hot right now and he carries that all the way to the championship on Sunday, July 14th. With the victory, Rafa will move 1 major championship behind Roger Federer who has 20, the most of all time.

Nadal over Djoker 6-4, 5-7, 7-5, 6-7, 6-3

Women

I’m real bullish on 23 year old Aussie Ashleigh Barty. She just won the French and her court demeanor and mental toughness are spectacular.

I like Barty to capture her second major and set herself up for a very bright future in the game.

Ashleigh Barty over Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-2

What a group of young men, all of them are champions

SEC regular season champions, SEC Tournament champions, 59-12, most wins in SEC history. Regional champs, Super Regional champs. 13 players drafted by MLB, tied for an SEC record. Then, after all of those amazing achievements, the team went on to deliver a National Championship to Vanderbilt. Does it get any better than that? Kumar Rocker, Tyler Brown, Mason Hickman, JJ Bleday, Austin Martin, Philip Clarke, Harrison Ray, Pat DeMarco, Stephen Scott, Ethan Paul, Drake Fellows, Ty Duvall, Julian Infante. Everybody. The whole team. Every single one of them. And of course the architect and father of Vanderbilt baseball, the great Tim Corbin. What a man.

Well done young men. Well done as always Corbs. Well done Coach Scott Brown and Coach Mike Baxter. The whole staff. You make everybody proud. It's great to be a Commodore. Sure going to enjoy this for a while. Donny is looking down and he's proud.

Go Vandy! Anchor Down!

The CWS National Championship Series, preview

No.2 Vanderbilt vs Unranked Michigan

Records, VU (57-11), Michigan (49-20)

Vanderbilt defeated Lousiville 3-0, Miss. State 6-3, and Louisville 3-2 to get here

Michigan defeated Texas Tech 5-3, Florida State 2-0, and Texas Tech 15-3 to get here.

Coaches:

Vanderbilt: Tim Corbin 57 years old, born in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. 733-352-1 overall (67%), in 17 seasons. 4 SEC regular season championships (2007, 2011, 2013, 2019), 2 SEC Tournament titles (2007, 2019), 4 CWS appearances. 2014 National Championship.

Michigan Erik Bakich, 41 years old, born in San Jose, California. Played at San Jose CC and East Carolina (1997-2000). 10 seasons as head coach, 3 at Maryland, 7 at Michigan. Record 258-160. 101-64 Big Ten.

Games 1, 2, and 3 (if necessary) 6 PM CT on ESPN. Karl Ravech, Eduardo Perez and Kyle Peterson on the call. Kris Budden on the field.

Starting pitchers tonight:

VU, Junior RHP Drake Fellows (13-1, 3.97, 111 innings, 43 walks, 126 strikeouts, 9 home runs given up, opponents average .245)

MU: Junior L:HP Tommy Henry (11-5, 3.27 ERA, 115.2 innings pitched, 25 walks, 127 strikeouts, 11 home runs, opponents average .221).

Tuesday Night for us:

Freshman RHP Kumar Rocker (11-5, 3.38 ERA, 93.1 innings, 19 walks, 103 K’s, 2 home runs, batting average, .240).

Possible MU starter, Sophomore RHP Jeff Criswell (7-1, 2.60, 100.1 innings, 47 walks, 105 strikeouts, 6 homers, .220)

Probable for us Wednesday (If necessary)

Sophomore RHP Mason Hickman (8-0, 2.08, 90.2 innings, 25 walks, 119 K’s, 7 homers, .183 average against).

Michigan to be determined

Leading hitters for VU

3B Austin Martin, .406, 10 homers, 45 RBIs, 19 doubles, 4 triples, .629 slugging %, 18-of-23 stolen bases.

RF JJ Bleday, .354, 26 homers, 70 RBIs, 14 doubles, 1 triple, .711 slugging %. MIke Trout has a .680 slugging percentage and he’s the best player in baseball.

LF Stephen Scott, .331, 14 homers, 59 RBIs, 20, doubles, 1 triple, .595 slugging %

SS Ethan Paul, .316, 9 homers, 72 RBIs, 23 doubles, 1 triple, ..506 slugging %, 11 of 13 SBs


Michigan

RF Jordan Brewer .329 12 homers, 57 RBIs, 19 doubles, .564 slugging %, 25 of 29 SBs.

DH Jordan Nwogu, .326, 12 homers, 46 RBIs, 14 doubles, 4 triples, .569 slugging, 16 of 18 SBs.

1B Jimmy Kerr, .278 14 homers, 62 RBIs, 15 doubles, .510 slugging.

Closers

VU RHP, Tyler Brown, 3-1, 2.31 ERA, 17 saves, 111 innings pitched, 8 walks, 63 K’s. 1 home run, ..198 average against.

Michigan: Willie Weiss, 2-2, 3.08, 9 saves though he hasn’t been used in CWS.

VU ERA team, 3.74, Michigan 3.40

Team batting averages, VU .314, Michigan .281

Fielding, VU, .981, MU, 974

We have the advantage in hitting, fielding and starting pitching, we have a slight edge though the guy tonight, Tommy Henry, is outstanding, so we’ll need to work the count and really bare down at the plate and knock in runners in scoring position. Our Achilles Heel has been our middle relief. Zach King, Hugh Fisher, Patrick Raby and A.J. Franklin all need to get better. Jake Eder had a rough 7th against Louisville, but pitched well in the 8th. I kind of trust him. I do trust Ethan Smith, and I’d like to see us give Jackson Gillis and Chance Huff a shot. The first 4 I mentioned scare me due to their control problems. I’d like us, if we need to, to use these latter 4 pitchers in middle relief when necessary, Eder, Smith, Gillis and Huff.

Going to be a phenomenal series with 2 storied universities and 2 outstanding baseball programs led by superstar coaches. If we can get to Tyler Brown with a lead late, I feel pretty good about our chances both tonight, tomorrow night and, if necessary, Wednesday Night. Let’s get this one tonight and take it from there.







Kumar, Stephen Scott among others lead Commodores to victory over State

Kumar Rocker went 6 innings, gave up just 5 hits, 1 run, with 1 walk and 6 strikeouts and Stephen Scott crushed 2 homers to lead the No.2 Commodores to a 6-3 victory over No.3 Mississippi State Bulldogs at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.

We moved to 56-11 on the season and now play Friday Night at 6 on ESPN against the winner of the Miss State-Louisville game tomorrow. The weather could be a question mark the next couple of days so hopefully we can play as scheduled.

Kumar was brilliant and moved to 11-5 and has a 3.38 ERA. Tyler Brown came on in relief of Patrick Raby in the bottom of the 7th and was just as brilliant giving up just 1 hit, 0 runs with 0 walks and 2 K's. Tyler earned his 16th save of the season. If there's a better closer in college baseball I haven't seen him. Tyler's the best.

Stephen Scott clubbed 2 home runs, he now has 14 on the season. He hit a solo shot and a 3 run shot, and JJ Bleday had 3 hits including a key RBI double driving Austin Martin home from first to put us up 2-0 before Stephen unloaded for his 3 run shot.

Harrison Ray played spectacular defense at second base. He snared a line drive headed into right field late in the game, turned a super double play with Ethan Paul and executed the first out of the 9th on a super stop to the right of him on a ground ball throwing out the speedy Jake Mangum.

It was a terrific performance by the team. We still need to do a little better with runners in scoring position and particularly with our middle relief, but overall, solid effort by the team.

Woodland does it for Amy at the 119th U.S. Open

Gary Woodland put on a historic performance at the 119th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in winning his first major championship in beyond impressive fashion.

Gary’s been through a lot with him and his wife losing one of their twins 18 months ago when they were expecting and the twins were born prematurely. They lost a daughter during childbirthwhich was devastating, but had a son. Their son is healthy now which is awesome, but the loss of their daughter is still a difficult chapter in their lives. They are expecting twin daughters in August and while the loss of his daughter will always be remembered sadly, Gary Woodland has won the United States Open for her and his present and upcoming, expanding family. It’s an amazing story.

There’s also another powerful story in the great Woodland’s life. And that is Amy Bockerstette.

Gary met Amy, who has Down’s Syndrome, at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and they played together. They formed a bond that will last forever. Amy had a 16 foot putt on the 18th which she sank. It was a powerful., moving moment. She and Woodland embraced emotionally. She’s special and so is Gary Woodland.

Gary shot 13 under par to defeat the great Brooks Koepka, who was gunning for his 5th major championship in 9 attempts, an incredible feat, at the Open and played superb golf as well. Brooks finished -10. Brooks was down 2 shots on 18 and crushed his drive. He had 237 yards in on the par 5 for his second shot. Brooks said afterwards to Joel Klatt of FOX that he was between a 3 iron and a 4 iron. He knew he couldn’t get the 4 iron there, so he pulled out his 3 iron and attempted to hit it high and land it soft. He hit it perfectly, but the ball landed on the green and rolled to the back into the rough. From there, Koepka could not get up and down for birdie and Woodland still had a 2 shot lead.

Right before that on 17, Woodland faced a long what looked like putt on the difficult par 3 17th, that was over fringe and rough on the large, kidney shaped 17th green. He elected to pull out his 64 degree wedge and chip it over the rough. It was about a 90 foot chip. He executed the shot perfectly with the ball rolling 2 feet from the hole. It was a magical shot, one of many Woodland executed throughout the Open. Woodland rolled it in for par, and for good measure, he birdied 18 from 20 feet. There was the chip in par Saturday on the par 4 13th , that was historically good. There was the phenomenal 3 wood on Sunday on the par 5 14th, where Woodland had 257 to clear the trap. Woodland was going to be aggressive, he was there to win, and cleared the trap in front of the green and the landed the ball 25 feet for eagle and 2 putted for birdie to give himself a then 2 shot lead. Just shot after shot, key putt after key putt, the great 35 year old from Topeka, Kansas by way of the Washburn University (Topeka) and the University of Kansas was not going to be denied.

Gary Woodland is now a major champion on quite possibly golf’s biggest stage. And he did it for Amy, he did it for his wife, Gabby. He did it for his deceased daughter, his 18 month old son and his new twin daughters coming in August.

Not a more deserving guy than the great Gary Woodland. The FOX broadcast of the Open was flawless. Joe, Paul, Brad and crew were phenomenal. FOX has now got coverage of the U.S. Open down to a science. The uninterrupted coverage in the final hour and really a lot of uninterrupted coverage throughout the Open was spectacular. Congratulations to FOX Sports and Joe Buck, Paul Azinger, Brad Faxon and all the FOX golf commentating team on their superb work on the 199th U.S. Open. They have the contract through 2026 and I’m very much looking forward to their broadcast of the 120th Open from famed Winged Foot in New York next year .

Gary Woodland is a champion and there should be more majors to come for the talented, high character gentleman from Kansas. He earned every bit of the 119th U.S. Open championship. He left no doubts on the course that he was the best player in the world at the Open. And there was so much more to the Gary Woodland story than just winning this epic major. He’s a happy guy right now and I can’t think of anyone more deserving than Gary Woodland.

Baseball versus Mississippi State preview, ML:B guys playing spectacularly well

****Please disregard anything about the game taking place tonight. It’s tomorrow at 1:07 PM CT on ESPN****

After a very well played 3-1 victory over Louisville Sunday in which our stellar sophomore third baseman Austin Martin hit two homers, which gives him 4 in his last 2 games, he homered twice against Duke in game 3 of the Super Regional, and a terrific pitching performance by Drake Fellows and Tyler Brown, we square off with a familiar foe in our second hurdle in the College World Series. Our 55-11, No. 2 ranked Commodores square off with No.3 Mississippi State (52-13), which is coming off a wild 5-4 victory over Auburn on Sunday Night. State was down to their last 3 outs in the bottom of the 9th with a 4-1 deficit, but scored 4 times and got a gift from Auburn third baseman Edouard Julien who committed a throwing error on what would have been the third out, and allowed the Bulldogs to come all the way back and capture the game.

Due to inclement weather today the game will be broadcast by ESPN tomorrow, Wednesday, at 1:07 PM CT. Auburn and Louisville will finish up their game which is in the top of the 5th with Louisville leading 4-1, tonight at 9 CT on ESPN. Karl Ravech, Eduardo Pe’rez and KP, Kyle Peterson, on the call. Kris Budden will report from the field. Kyle is a top 4 commentator in sports along with Jay Bilas in college basketball, Herbie in college football, and Cris Collinsworth on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Really like KP’s commentary. He’s spectacular. You will enjoy the game with Kyle’s commentary, particularly if we come out on top

Kumar Rocker, coming off a no hit, 2 walk 19 strikeout performance in one of the most historic performances in college baseball history, will be on the hill for us. Kumar has been spectacular lately, not only the Duke game, but the entire last 2 months of the season. He is 10-5 with a 3.50 ERA, with just 18 walks and 97 K’s. There is a different kind of pressure in Omaha. Michigan’s pitcher, junior Tommy Henry, who pitched a complete game, 3 hit shutout with 0 walks and 10 K’s in a 2-0 Wolverines’ victory over Florida State, said he was extremely nervous when he took the mound. There will be adrenaline running in Kumar and some nerves, but he’s such a competitor and a big game pitcher already. I trust him tomorrow. Kumar will face senior Peyton Plumlee, a right hander, who is 7-4 with a 3.67 ERA, with 27 walks and 63 K’s. Plumlee’s last outing was an 8-1 Super regional victory over Stanford in Starkville in which he pitched 6.2 innings, gave up 2 hits, 1 run, with 1 walk and 6 K’s.

But I believe our guys will be ready to respond.

Austin Martin is now hitting .411 with 10 homers and 45 Ribeyes. His slugging percentage is .641, second only to JJ Bleday’s .715, which are both spectacular numbers. Anything over a .500 slugging in the major leagues is considered outstanding, so what Austin and JJ have done is sensational.

Hopeful that Kumar can duplicate his effort from the Duke game, but if he runs into trouble, our middle relief needs to be good to get it to Tyler Brown in the 8th or the 9th. Jake Eder, Zach King, Ethan Smith, Hugh Fisher, A.J. Franklin, Jackson Gillis and Chance Huff need to all be ready. But if Kumar can give us another spectacular performance, that would be the best of all worlds.

Will keep you informed on this tremendously important game tomorrow.

MLBers

Tyler Beede

Tyler pitched terrifically last night in leading his San Francisco Giants to a 3-2 victory over the 48-25 Los Angeles Dodgers at Chavez Ravine in LA. Against one of the top lineups in major league baseball, Tyler pitched 6, gave up only 3 hits, 1 run with 5 walks and 7 K’s. Would like to see those base on balls number go down, but he battled and pitched a brilliant game. I watched the first 2 innings before hitting the sack, and Tyler was hitting 95-96 with his fastball, his breaking ball was superb, and his changeup was solid. Just an awesome performance from Tyler, a key piece in our 2014 national championship team. It’s been a struggle for Tyler in the big leagues and he’s gone down to triple A quite a bit due to control issues. But he’s battled and last night’s performance against a stellar lineup can only give him a ton of confidence heading into his next start Saturday at Arizona. Tyler was a first round draft pick by the Toronto Blue Jays coming out of high school in Massachusetts, but turned down their contract offer to come to Nashville. That’s character and maturity. Tyler’s a total class act and I’m really pulling for him to keep excelling. Last night had to be a big boost to his confidence. He’s got tremendous talent, so it’s just continue to tap into that talent going forward. Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who’s won 3 world series in 2010, 2012 and 2014 and is retiring after this season, said Tyler will keep getting better and better. He said this last night after the game. Bochy believes in him. The Giants moved to 31-39, and they are getting better and better. They’ll probably need to get the first or second wild card because the Dodgers are going to be close to impossible to catch.

Yaz

Mike Yastrzemski is making his mark for the SF Giants as well. Yaz has been playing pretty regularly in left field and is hitting .250 with 2 homers and 7 RBIs. Mike made a spectacular, game saving catch in the bottom of the 9th Saturday Night to preserve an 8-7 Giants victory over the NL Central leading Milwaukee Brewers (40-32). Yaz has always been an exceptional player with great defensive skills, good hitting and super speed, so it’s awesome to see the 28 year old catch on with the Giants.

Mike certainly has great talent in his genes. His grandfather, Carl Yastrzemski, was a 1989 Hall of Fame inductee after having a spectacular career with the Boston Red Sox from 1961-83. Grandfather Yaz was one of the greatest players of all time. The great Yaz hit ,.285 for his career with 452 homers and 1,844 RBIs. He was an 18 time All Star, AL MVP in 1967, Triple Crown winner in 1967, leading the majors in homers, RBIs and batting average, which is almost impossible to do, he was a 7 time Gold Glove left fielder and was a 3 time AL batting champion in 1963, ‘67 and ‘68. One of the greatest memories from my youth was watching the 1975 World Series when Yaz’s Red Sox played the great Big Red Machine Cincinnati Reds. That may have been the greatest collection of players to ever play in a World Series. In game 4, a phenomenal game, with Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench and the awesome Reds holding a 2-1 lead in the series, the 2 teams put on an all time classic game at Fenway. It went into extra innings. My father made me go to bed since it was a school night. But I turned on my clock radio and listened to the extra innings. The great catcher for the BoSox, Carlton Fisk, with the score tied in the bottom of the 11th, hit a deep drive to left field but it was uncertain whether the ball would stay fair. Fisk was throwing his arms to the right begging the ball to stay fair. It did and the Red Sox won one of the most spectacular games in World Series history. The great Reds team went on to win it in 6 games, but it was such a memorable game with supreme effort from so may players. I’ll never forget it.

Yaz was a legend. Hoping Mike continues that historic legacy in his big league career.

Dansby

Dansby Swanson is playing stellar shortstop for a phenomenal Atlanta Braves baseball team. Dans and the Braves took 2 out of 3 from the Phillies this past weekend at SunTrust Park, defeating Bryce Harper and the Phils, 15-1 on Sunday. Last night, the red hot Braves defeated the Mets 12-3. Dans is now hitting .261, so I’d like to see that average continue to climb and Dans to become a .300 hitter going forward. But he’s an incredibly hard worker and such a high character guy, and will do everything possible to do that. He’s been a stellar player for the Braves this season. Freddie Freeman (.313), Ronald Acuna Jr. (.301) and second baseman Ozzie Alhies (.286) are all on fire. Freddie, at 29, is the leader for this talented, youthful team that’s sprinkled in with some talented veterans. Freddie’s a surefire All Star this year. Freddie has hit 19 homers and driven in 52 runs. He’s been spectacular. Albies was 3 for 4 last night with a homer and 4 RBIs. He has 11 homers on the season. Acuna Jr. launched his 17th homer of the season last night and has driven in 49. And the great veteran Brian McCann has been on fire lately as well. Brian is hitting .303 He hit his 7th homer of the season and his 28th and 29th RBIs. McCann has been splitting catching duties with Tyler Flowers and they are a potent combination as Flowers is having a solid year as well. The 35 year old McCann left the Braves for a while but he’s back where he belongs and says this Braves team reminds him of the 2017 World Champion Houston Astros team that he was on. He thinks this team is that good and getting better and better. The Braves are now 43-30 and lead the NL East by 3 games over the Phillies (39-37). If the pitching can hold up, the Braves can find themselves playing very deeply into October. Certainly a World Series contender. Glad Dans is part of this special team.

Bryan Reynolds

Bryan has pretty much become the every day left fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates because he is performing spectacularly well. Bryan is hitting .361 with 5 homers and 23 RBIs. He also has 15 doubles and 2 triples. Bryan will be a key piece for the Pirates going forward as they try to rebuild their team into a contender for the World Series in the future. The Pirates aren’t bad at 32-39. They’re only 7 1/2 games back of the Brewers in the NL Central with a ton of baseball left. Bryan is a pivotal player for them. Bryan was another member of our 2014 national championship team.

Sonny

Sonny Gray had an excellent outing for the Cincinnati Reds Sunday in an 11-3 victory over the Texas Rangers. Sonny pitched 5, gave up 5 hits, 3 runs, with 1 walk and 8 K’s. The Rangers are a good hitting team and unfortunately teed off on David Price last Thursday Night, so that was good stuff from Sonny. Sonny is now 3-5 with a 3.77 ERA with 27 walks and 79 K’s. Like Tyler, if Sonny can keep his control under control, he’s a fantastic pitcher. He’s got former Vanderbilt pitching coach Derek Johnson as his pitching coach for the Reds, so that’s awesome for Sonny. Johnson coached Sonny at Vanderbilt. Just really happy for Sonny that he’s out of the media zoo in New York and somewhere where he can be himself and be the pitcher he’s capable of being. He’s doing well for the 32-38 Reds, which are much improved from last season.

Curt Casali

Curt is hitting .288 for the Reds with 4 homers and 18 RBIs in a backup catching role. Curt is doing very well every time his number is called and the guy ahead of him is hitting barely above .200 so maybe Curt will keep getting more opportunities. Curt is an excellent defensive catcher as well.

Tony Kemp

Tony is starting at second base for the Astros and hitting .226 with 5 homers and 14 RBIs. Jose Altuve is supposed to come off the injured list tomorrow, so Altuve will probably get the start Wednesday. But Tony is a valuable player to the Astros and I know manager A.J, Hinch will use him quite often in the outfield and when Altuve needs a break. Tony is a superb defensive player. The Astros are playing exceptional baseball once again despite a slew of injuries to position players. They are 48-25 and lead the AL West by 8 1/2 games.

Mike Minor

Mike got another victory on Saturday, 4-3 decision over the Reds in Cincinnati. Mike pitched 6.1 innings, gave up 4 hits, 3 runs, with 4 walks and 6 K’s. He gave up a couple of homers, so he needs to be a little more accurate next time and keep it in the park, but he’s having a super year. Mike is 6-4 with a 2.63 ERA with 32 walks and 99 strikeouts. The Rangers may be the surprise team in the Major Leagues this year as they are 38-33 and, as of right now, are the second wild card team in the American League. They’re doing an excellent job out there in Arlington.

David Price

David had a rough outing against the Rangers last Thursday. In just 1.1 innings, he gave up 5 hits and 6 earned runs. Not a David Price like performance because he’s been exceptional for the Red Sox this season. David is 4-2 with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning, good number). He’s walked only 15 and struck out 71. He is so accurate. The Red Sox are heating up now at 40-34 as they’ve won 6 in a row, They are just 5 1/2 games back of the Yankees in the AL East. and David is on the mound tonight @ the Minnesota Twins, which has the best record in baseball at 47-24. So big start for Dave tonight.

Walker

Now last but certainly not least, far from it, Walker Buehler has been phenomenal this season for the LA Dodgers. Walker is 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA and a mind blowing 0.92 WHIP,. That WHIP is hat’s Hall of Fame stuff. Walker has walked only 13 and struck out 84. He’s hitting 97, 98, 99 regularly this season. His arm is powerful and he’s a phenomenal competitor. In Walk’s last outing versus the Cubs, a tough 2-1 loss, Walker pitched 7, gave up only 2 hits with 0 walks and 6 K’s. Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen lost it in the top of the 9th giving up 2 runs. So Walker is in extremely good shape. He could be a starter for the National League in the All Star game. He’s got my vote. He’s tremendous.

Next pitching assignments

David Price tonight @ the Twins, 7:10 CT

Mike Minor, Thursday versus the Cleveland Indians @ home, 1:05 PM CT

Walker Buehler, Thursday Night 9:10 CT versus Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants. Should be a classic at Dodger Stadium.

Sonny Gray Friday 7:10 PM CT @Milwaukee

Tyler Beede Saturday @Arizona, 9 PM CT ESPN+

****Louisville and Auburn are in a weather delay that’s been going on for 2 hours or so it seems like with Louisville leading 4-1 in the top of the 5th. A lot of game left there, so hopeful our game will start tonight close to time and we can play ball.****

Tomorrow

Will keep you informed on any developments for our baseball team entering the 1:07 PM CT first pitch versus Mississippi State. Once again, ESPN will televise and it can be seen on the ESPN App as well on your phone or ipad or the Watch ESPN website on the computer.

Football commits for 2020 and our 2019 team under DMase. are coming tomorrow as well Coach Mason, now in his 6th season, is doing stellar work on the recruiting trail for 2020 and I like the transfers and the freshmen he’s brought in to play for us this coming season along with 3 returning superstar upperclassmen in tailback Ke’Shawn Vaughn, wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb and tight end Jared Pinkney. Need to get exceptional play from Deuce Wallace or Riley Neal, whoever steps up in August at quarterback. If we can get excellent play from one or both of them, we’re loaded offensively, and I’m excited about what we have on defense. Will have more on Coach Mason and the football program tomorrow.

Also, a Stack/men’s basketball report. Stack has us prepped for a very competitive year in 2019-20. Our goal is to always go to the NCAA Tournament and excel there, and that won’t change next year with some good solid veterans and exciting new players coming into the program. Stack is also burning up the recruiting trail for 2020 with a lot of big name recruits interested in our program. Will let you know about Stack and the bball team tomorrow as well.

Our Vanderbilt Commodores begin their trek in Omaha

The first step in our CWS journey at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha is versus Louisville (49-16) at 1 PM CT Sunday on ESPN.

Our team, after a historically great performance from Kumar Rocker last Saturday Night in which he threw a complete game no hitter with 2 walks and 19 strikeouts, came back on Sunday and hit 5 home runs in a 13-2 Super Regional series clinching victory over a scrappy Duke team.

Austin Martin hit a pair of homers, and Pat DeMarco, Julian Infante and Stephen Scott also went yard. It was a fantastic performance at the plate for our electrically potent offense. We didn't hit our best the first 2 games of the series, but Kumar bailed us out Saturday Night, and we were ready to hit on Sunday.

We are now 54-11. Drake Fellows (12-1, 4.15 ERA, 104 innings pitched, 42 walks, 120 K's) will get the start for us versus the Cardinals, and I'm speculating that the Cardinals will throw left hander Reid Detmers, who's put up some impressive numbers this season. The sophomore is 12-4 with a 2.85 ERA, with 27 walks and 162 K's in 107 innings pitched. So quite a formidable task.

We defeated Louisville in May at Louisville, 6-2, but we'll have our work cut out for us on Sunday. Louisiville had a super season though and finished No.6 in the country. They are 49-16 and coming off a sweep of East Carolina in the Super Regional. Detmers pitched last Friday Night in a 14-1 Cardinals victory and went 7, gave up 5 hits, 1 run with 2 walks and 6 K’s.

Gotta pitch well, defend pretty much flawlessly, and hit in crucial spots, with men on. We need to get men on first. Need Austin to lead the way and JJ, Ethan, Stephen and Philip, all our RBI guys, to come through. A long ball or 2 or 3 would be tremendous. Our whole lineup with Pat DeMarco, Harrison Ray, Ty Duvall and Julian Infante, who was tremendous against Duke, is capable of doing damage. We face a tough left hander, so we’ll have to bare down against him.

The winner of our game vs Louisville will play the winner of the Auburn (38-26) -Mississippi State (51-13) game on Tuesday at 6 PM CT on ESPN.

So exciting times for our baseball team and the Vanderbilt brethren.

As Coach Mason says, and he now has 8 impressive commits for the 2020 recruiting class with very possibly more to follow this weekend in what could be an outstanding class which I'll talk about Monday along with baseball, "God bless and Let's Ride." 

The 119th Open

119th U.S. Open

Pebble Beach Golf Links, 7,075 yards, par 71

2 time Defending champion, Brooks Koepka, Won at Erin Hills (Wisconsin) in 2017 and at Shinnecock Hills in 2018.

2019 Masters Champion, Tiger Woods

2019 PGA Champion, Koepka

Weather, Really nice, 72 Thursday, 74 Friday, 67 Saturday, 68 Sunday. No rain expected. Winds 9-15 Thursday, 8-13 Friday, 8-12 Saturday, 6-8 Sunday.

TV: Thursday-Friday, 11:30 AM-6:30 PM CT, Fox Sports 1, 6:30-9:30 PM CT FOX. Saturday, 11 AM-9 PM CT, FOX. Sunday, 1-9 PM CT, FOX

Key holes

No.7, 109 yards, par 3

Depending on the wind, this can be anywhere from a sand wedge to a 6 iron, though maybe in the case of Koepka and Dustin Johnson, an 8 or 9 iron when everybody else is hitting a 6 iron. The small green is guarded by 6 bunkers, large and small, with the most hazardous obstacle the ocean to the right and behind the green. One of the most classic major championship par 3’s in golf history.

No. 8, 428 yards, par 4

This is Pebble’s version of Amen corner, 8,9 and 10. On 8, the tee shot is usually a 3 wood or hybrid for the longer hitters to a fairway that runs out to a cliff going straight into the ocean at 275 yards. The approach is a challenging one, over the ocean to a small green that slopes severely from back to front. There are 2 bunkers in back of the green if a player overcooks it, and a bunker short of the green assuming the shot clears the ocean.

No.9 526 yards, par 4

Wind is a big factor on this hole, a very long par 4. The Pacific runs along the entire right side of the hole. The best drive sets the player up for a mid iron to the green. If wind is blowing left to right that could spell trouble for players who cut it. But all of them know how to draw it too, but a major challenge with the wind nonetheless. The second shot is usually off a sidehill lie adding to the difficulty of the shot. There is a gully and 2 bunkers short and to the left. They could come into play if the wind is in the player’s face or they hit their drives into the rough off the tee. This is a U.S. Open so the rough will be up, around 3 inches in spots. One of the Golf Channel commentators, I believe it was Brandel Chamblee, said the players will struggle if they’re on the sides of the greens because it is really thick, and sticky in the rough and chipping could be a nightmare off the green. So hitting the green is at a premium at Pebble Beach.

No.10, 495 yards, par 4

The ocean again runs along the entire right side of this hole and the fairway slopes severely towards the Pacific. The green is another small green at Pebble. The greens on Pebble average 3,500 square feet. At Bethpage Black for the PGA Championship, they averaged 5,500 square feet. There is a steep drop off to the beach on the right and bunkers catching anything long and left. The green slopes severely towards the ocean. These are Poa annua greens which are tricky to read, and can be slower, though with the drier conditions this week, they could be quicker, stimping about 11 1/2-12.

No.17, 208 yards, par 3

This historic hole is where Jack Nicklaus hit the pin with a 1 iron that led to his victory at the 1972 Open, and where Tom Watson chipped in for birdie in 1982 to win that Open over Nicklaus. It typically plays right into the Pacific wind to an hourglass green protected by a massive bunker in the front and smaller bunkers over the green. Key hole on Sunday if you want to win it all.

No. 18, 543 yards, par 5

A picturesque closing hole. The Pacific runs down the entire left side of the hole. If the competitor pulls his drive or has too much draw on the ball, “Foget about it. “ A birdie is challenging as the competitor needs to hit the middle of the fairway clear of the 2 trees right in the center. If the player is right on his second shot there is a tree overhanging in front of the green that is troublesome. There is also a deep bunker on the right side that is also a problem with a bad approach. The green is tricky with slope and not that wide. Depending on how tough the USGA has the course set up, a par might win it for the 119th champion.

Winner

I was thinking Jordan Spieth earlier this week, even coming into today. Spieth has been trending well lately, but listening to him in an interview, he’s too uptight right now. He’s his own worst enemy on the golf course, he’s too negative. Just has a poor attitude right now. I’m not taking him anymore. I don’t see Dustin winning, though he’ll be in contention. Can’t seem to close deals at majors. Rickie Fowler, that would be a negative. Bryson DeChambeau has a shot.

But what tilted the winner for me was what I heard on Live From the U.S. Open on the Golf Channel last night. Rory was the first one complaining about the U.S. Open the past several years, then Tiger was whining about it and Mickelson was the worst. He said the USGA has messed it up all 29 years he’s played, unless it rains. He said they’ll do it again. Cry me a river, Mickelson, Tiger and Rory. You have a privilege that not too many people have and that’s doing something you really enjoy and getting paid a lot of money to do it if you’re successful. Nobody wants to hear that complaining. Mickelson has no room to complain after last year’s total lack of competitive spirit and totally low classed move when he hit a ball that he putted that was still rolling down the hill of the green at Shinnecock in the Open. Then he told the media and people watching, “If you don’t like it, tough it out.” The media and viewers weren’t the problem, it was the little whiner Mickelson, who couldn’t keep his composure enough to play within the rules. I’ve changed my opinion of him completely since then. Not a big fan of the crier. He’s kind of like Urban Meyer really. Just a whiner. He won’t win.

My pick sealed it when he responded to their whining this way. He said,

“Everybody has to play the same course. Everybody needs to hit fairways and greens, If you put it in the fairway and hit greens there’s no reason to complain. Obviously, they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do. Nobody wants to hear excuses.”

Give me a 3 peat

Brooks Koepka

Photo, Golf Digest

Photo, Golf Digest

Vanderbilt Baseball, Football, Brandt Sneds, MLB draftees and award finalists unplugged

Game today at 5 PM CT vs Duke in the Super Regional. RHP Drake Fellows on the hill for us. Drake is 12-0 (wow) with a 3.87 ERA and he's been exceptional recently. Just a warrior for us. Drake will be opposed by Duke RHP Ben Gross (7-4, 4.09). ESPN2 will televise. Weather looks iffy in Nashville right now, so not positive game will start on time, but hopefully we can get it in tonight and have success. Saturday's game will be at 8 PM CT and televised by ESPNU. Kumar will be on the hill for us. Kumar is 9-5 with a 3.91, and, like Drake, has been spectacular. Kumar will square off with Duke RHP Bryce Jarvis (5-1, 4.06). Sunday's game is scheduled for a 2 PM CT start with pitchers to be determined. For us it'll be Mason or Rabes. Hoping it's Mason. Really trust Hick.

Brandt Sneds shot a 60 today at the RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Hamilton, Ontario, the eastern part of Canada. Brandt blistered the course with 8 birdies and an eagle. It was phenomenal. Brandt started on the back and shot 31, then added a cool 29 on the front for a 10 under par 60 round. The par on the course is 70. Brandt had the lead at -11, but is now a shot back of Scott Brown who is at -12 through 17. I picked Brandt to win the tournament on my all sports blog, so pumped for Brandt and the prediction. Brandt won this tournament in 2013 when it was played at Glen Abbey Golf Club, but according to a friend of mine who is Canadian, this course is much better and one of the top 5 courses in Canada. Just had a really good feeling about Brandt coming in. Hoping he can pull this off and have a ton of momentum heading into next week's 119th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach where he won the AT&T Pebble Beach pro am twice in 2013 and 2015. Loving this from Brandt. Will keep you posted.

Coach Mason got a huge commit from 85 3 star outside linebacker Griffin Lampton. Griffin is 6'4", 220 and posted 14 sacks his junior year for Palm Beach Central High School. Watched Griffin's film. He's impressive. Just a dominating force rushing the passer and very good in stopping the run on the perimeter. Saw several tackles for loss too. Griffin will be playing his senior season at the great St. Thomas Aquinas School in Fort Lauderdale, FL. That school produces studs and that's exactly what Griffin is.

Griffin joins 88 3 star quarterback Ken Seals, a 6'3", 203 pound commit from Weatherford, Texas and a very impressive player. Also, 85 3 star wide receiver Logan Kyle from Memorial High School in Tomball, TX, and 84 3 star offensive tackle Bradley Ashmore (6'6", 280) from Neptune Beach, FL. Duncan U Fletcher High School, are in the fold.

All 4 are impressive players. I'm hearing we might be getting Malik Langham in the fold for the 2019 class. He is a 4 star defensive end from Alabama who signed with Florida but is getting out of the letter of intent and coming our way. He is asking for a waiver to play immediately. Coach Mason is really loading up the defensive line. Loving what DMase is doing. We're in the weight room, the freshman are on campus and working out, and football season sounds exciting.

Right now we've got a baseball series to think about. If you didn't know, JJ Bleday was drafted by the Marlins as the 4th overall pick, Drake went to the Padres in the 6th round, Philip Clarke was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 9th round, Ethan Paul went to the Pirates in the 9th, Stephen Scott was drafted by the Red Sox in the 10th round, Zach King went to Miami in the 13th round, Jackson Gillis was picked by the Brewers in the 13th round, Joe Gilbilot (16th, Rays), AJ Franklin (17th Kansas City), Patrick Raby (17th, Reds), Pat DeMarco (17th Yankees), Ty Duvall (25th, Oakland) and Julian Infante (36th, Miami) were all selected in the draft. That's exceptional. That ties an SEC record with 13 players picked in the MLB draft. We join the 2016 Texas A&M team and the 2018 Kentucky team with the most SEC players ever selected in a single year. Says a lot about Tim Corbin's recruiting and our players' character and hard work.

Tyler Brown has been nominated for the Stopper of the Year award given out by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Tyler is one of 6 finalists. The winner will be announced Saturday, June 15th at a news conference at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha at 10 AM CT, the day the CWS starts. 

JJ Bleday, who is already one of 4 finalists for the Golden Spikes Award for the best player in the country, has been named as one of 5 finalists for the Dick Howser Trophy, which is also voted on by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. JJ is one of 5 finalists. The award is for character, leadership, desire and competitiveness. That winner will be also announced Saturday, June 15th at 10 AM CT at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.

The Golden Spikes winner will be announced around that time as well.

Big weekend. Great stuff from Brandt and DMase and awesome stuff from our draftees and Tyler and JJ. 

Will have much more tomorrow including reports on our major leaguers and of course a recap of tonight's game.

The 151st Belmont Stakes preview and prediction RBC Canadian Open prediction

The 151st Belmont Stakes commences at 5:48 PM CT on Saturday with NBC televising. The weather looks perfect, high 77 and sunny.

Here are the post positions, horses, trainers, jockeys and odds. 10 horses are entered for the 1 3/4 mile race.

  1. Joevia, trainer, Greg Sacco, jockey, Jose’Lezcano, 30-1

  2. Everfast, trainer, Dale Romans, Jockey, Luis Saez, 12-1

  3. Master Fencer, trainer, Koichi Tsunoda, Jockey, Julien Laparoux, 8-1

  4. Tax, Trainer, Danny Gargan, Jockey, Irad Ortiz Jr., 15-1

  5. Bourbon War, Trainer Mark Henning, Jockey, Mike Smith, 12-1

  6. Spinoff, Trainer, Todd Pletcher, Jockey, Javier Castellano, 15-1

  7. Sir Winston, Trainer, Mark Casse, Jockey, Jose Rosario, 12-1

  8. Intrepid Heart, Trainer, Todd Pletcher, Jockey, John Velazquez, 10-1

  9. War of Will, Trainer, Mark Casse, Jockey, Tyler Gaffalione, 2-1

  10. Tacitus, Trainer, Bill Mott, Jockey, Jose Ortiz, 9-5

Prediction

I’m going to take the horse that finished 3rd in the Derby. With the reading I’ve done on the horse and just looking at the horse, this horse is built for the 1 3/4 mile distance. He won the Tampa Bay Derby, and the Wood Memorial. The jockey on board him, Jose Ortiz, won the Belmont 2 years ago (2017) on Tapwrit. I’m taking Ortiz, trainer Bill Mott and:

Tacitus

Like Tacitus to take the third jewel in the Triple Crown (Photo, Kentucky Derby).        Prediction for the RBC Canadian      I’m going to take the 38 year old from Nashville this week. He won this event in 2013, and I like him this year after he shot 67, 68 and 69 the last 3 days at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth 2 weeks ago. He has also won the AT&T Pebble Beach (2013 and 2015) where the 119th U.S. Open will be played next week.      Give me      Sneds

Like Tacitus to take the third jewel in the Triple Crown (Photo, Kentucky Derby).

Prediction for the RBC Canadian

I’m going to take the 38 year old from Nashville this week. He won this event in 2013, and I like him this year after he shot 67, 68 and 69 the last 3 days at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth 2 weeks ago. He has also won the AT&T Pebble Beach (2013 and 2015) where the 119th U.S. Open will be played next week.

Give me

Sneds

Like Brandt Snedeker at the RBC (Photo, PGA Championship).

Like Brandt Snedeker at the RBC (Photo, PGA Championship).

Baseball tonight, Stack lands another '19 commit

Our No.2 Vanderbilt baseball team squares off with Ohio State tonight at the Hawk at 6. The game will be televised by ESPN2.

We are the SEC regular season and tournament champions for the first time since our great David Price-led 2007 team. We are 49-10 overall. Ohio State, winners of the Big Ten Tournament, 3-1 over Nebraska at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha last Sunday, is 35-26.

Probable starters are RHP Drake Fellows for us vs RHP Garrett Burhenn for them. Drake is coming off a spectacular performance in the 3rd round of the SEC Tournament where he shutout a potent hitting Mississippi State team over 6 innings, giving up only 5 hits, while walking 1 and striking out 8. It was a warrior-like performance from our junior. We won the game 1-0 over Mississippi State’s vaunted left hander Ethan Small. Drake is now 11-0 with a 4.05 ERA. Burhenn is 6-3 with a 3.53 ERA, so he’ll be challenging.

Right fielder JJ Bleday has been named one of the 4 finalists for the 42nd Golden Spikes Award. The award honors the best amateur baseball player in the United States. The other 3 finalists are Adley Rutschman of Oregon State, Noah Song of Navy and Andrew Vaughn of California. Vaughn won the award last year. Bleday leads the nation in home runs with 26 and slugging percentage at .752, a spectacular percentage. Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers leads MLB with a .754 slugging % and has hit 20 homers and driven in 52. So JJ is right there with the best in the majors. JJ and Ethan Paul lead the team and the SEC in RBIs with 67 in 59 games. That’s sensational.

The winner of the Golden Spikes will be announced Thursday, June 13th at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha during “Baseball Tonight” on ESPN2 prior to the Detroit Tigers-KC Royals game. Hoping the great JJ can capture this coveted award.

So huge one tonight. Drake needs to be the bulldog he always is, we need to defend well, and hit with runners in scoring position. A couple of long ones wouldn’t hurt either.

The winner of tonight’s game plays the winner of No.2 seed Indiana State (41-16) and No.3 McNeese (35-24) at 6 PM Saturday. The loser will play the loser of game 1 at noon Saturday. Indiana State and McNeese will square off at noon today.

Stack adds another to ‘19 haul

Coach Jerry Stackhouse added another player to his impressive 2019 class by getting a commitment from Croatian big man Oton Jankovic.

Oton is 6’9”, 215 and an 88 3 star. Watched Oton’s tape, he’s a highly skilled player. Typical European with superb fundamentals, shooting, both inside and beyond the arc, boxing out on rebounding, setting screens and passing. Awesome kid too. Read his interview with Vandysports and he’s super. Wants to get better at his rebounding, but seems like a hard working, focused young guy who excels in the classroom and is serious about both academics and basketball. He’s ecstatic to play for Coach Stackhouse. He’s a good scorer inside and can stroke it from distance. He’ll add strength in the weight room, so his rebounding should be good next season. Oton played at prestigious Montverde Academy in Florida last year and was pursued by St. Louis, Georgia Tech and Wisconsin also.

Oton joins 93 4 star power forward Dylan Disu ( 6’8”, 185, Plugerville, Texas), 89 3 star point guard Scotty Pippen Jr (6’0”, 160, Sierra Canyon, California), 88 3 star small forward Kenyon Martin (6’6”, 195, Sierra Canyon, CA.), 87 3 star small forward Jordan Wright (6’6”, 200, Baton Rouge, LA.) and 98 4 star transfer shooting guard D.J. Harvey (6’6” 185). D.J. transferred to us from Notre Dame and will have to sit out the 2019-20 season but will be eligible for the 2020-21 season. He will have 2 years to play for us. He is a tremendous shooter and overall player.

So Stack is setting us up for a very bright future. I think we can be highly competitive next season and we’ll be a hard-nosed, lunch pale like team that will make you work to score. If we can score the ball with Saben, Aaron and Ejike and some of the other guys along with our new players, we could be dangerous. Like the way we look in the years to come and Stack is in on some awesome players for 2020.

Football

We will open the season on Saturday, August 31st @ Vanderbilt Stadium at 6:30 PM CT versus the Georgia Bulldogs. The game will be televised by the SEC Network. Georgia will most likely be a top 5 to 7 team in the country, but I like the players Coach Mason has added in recruiting and transfers. We need Deuce Wallace or Riley Neal to step up at quarterback. If we can get excellent play from one or both of those guys, though we’ll need to go with 1 quarterback in my opinion, if you have 2 quarterbacks you have no quarterback as the old saying goes, we have the weapons around the qb in Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Kalija Lipscomb, Jared Pinkney and a slew of wide receivers to make explosive plays. We’ve got some other pretty solid running backs. I’m really high on Ja’Veon Marlow. He can be exceptional in the backfield. I like Amir Abdul-Rahman, he will be a sensational wide receiver, and we’ll have former 4 star Cam Johnson back at wide receiver who was out with an injury most of last season and is a superb talent, and the awesome C.J. Bolar. We’ll have weaponry. The line needs to shape up this summer and we need a 10 man rotation, but there is talent led by left tackle Devin Cochran (6’7”, 315). There is plenty of size and physicality up front. Coach Cameron Norcross is a very good developer of the O line, so I expect us to be strong up front. Defense will have some new faces, but experience as well. I really like our secondary and defensive front though. Linebacker has talent led by Dimitri Moore, Caleb Peart and Alston Orji. We’ve got some good players at LB, and we’re loaded in the defensive backfield. Coach Mason has added a lot of players to the defensive front, so I expect us to be pretty good in the trenches too.

Will have more on football as the summer progresses.

Philip Clarke and the amazing Commodores, Men's Golf in great shape after day 3

Philip Clarke with a phenomenally clutch line drive single up the middle scoring Austin Martin from 3rd as the No.2 ranked Commodores won both the SEC regular season title and the SEC Championship with an 11-10 walk off victory over the Ole Miss Rebels.

Philip hit the first pitch he saw from Ole Miss reliever Ryan Olenek and drove it on a line right up the middle. It was a no doubter.

So many heroes. Harrison Ray with 3 doubles and a spectacular play at 2nd to get a crucial out late in the game. Austin Martin with a couple of amazing catches on pop flies that looked very difficult. The second one he was falling on his back, hit the turf hard and still made the play. Jake Eder came in an gave us great middle relief, and Tyler Brown was his usual stellar self in 3 innings of no run work. Just an amazing effort by our team. We finish the season at 50-10 and now wait for the announcement tomorrow at 11AM CT on ESPNU on what seed we'll be and who will be hosting at the Hawk for the NCAA Regional this coming weekend.

Just amazing perseverance and fortitude by our baseball team. Down 6-0, then 9-1 early, we kept fighting back. Pat DeMarco with a huge 3 run shot to cut the lead to 9-8 in the 4th.

Spectacular stuff from this elite baseball team. The postseason couldn't more exciting coming up. D1 Baseball has us as a No.2 seed and UCLA at No.1. I don't know how we can't be the No.1 overall seed with this resume, but whatever. We'll show up wherever the committee puts us. Just love the spirit and toughness mentality on this team. What a group. Now it gets really fun. Will let you know where we are tomorrow as soon as it's announced.

Men's Golf is in 6th place after day 3 at the NCAA Championships at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville. Played well today shooting -`1 as a team. Reid Davenport shot -2 and Will Gordon shot -1. Good stuff from the team. We now advance to the 15 team fourth round tomorrow with the top 8 making the Match play which begins Tuesday. Great stuff from Coach Scott Limbaugh and the team.

Today's huge semifinal game, MLB guys doing spectacularly well, Men's Golf team hanging tough in NCAA's

Kumar Rocker takes the hill for our No.2 Vanderbilt Commodores (47-10) vs.  No.16 LSU (37-23) Game time is approximately 3:30 PM CT or later on the SEC Network with Tom Hart, Kyle Parkinson and Chris Burke on the call, great crew.

LSU is red hot after a 4-3 victory over Auburn Thursday scoring 2 in the bottom of the 9th, then blasting MS. State last night 12-2. They have won the SEC Tournament 12 times, so they're extremely dangerous. They HAVE used a lot of pitchers though. I looked at the 4 games they've played, their only loss is to State, 6-5 in 17 innings Wednesday Night, and the best guesstimate I can come up with is righty Devin Fontenot. Fontenot is 5-1 with a 3.79 ERA. In 40.1 innings, he has walked 20 and struck out 39. He is a sophomore.

Kumar, a freshman, is 7-5 with a 4.32 ERA, but has been terrific since just past the halfway mark of the season. In 66.2 innings pitched, he has issued just 15 walks and struck out 68. Kumar can hit mid 90's and throws a terrific slider and change up. Feel good about our star freshman on the hill. It's going to be tough, this team has a rich tradition at the tournament, but their pitching staff is pretty thin right now, so that works to our advantage. The winner plays the Georgia-Ole Miss winner tomorrow at 2 PM CT on ESPN2. Should be quite a classic today. Ole Miss is leading UGA, 5-3 in the bottom of the 6th.

Dansby Swanson had a spectacular night last night in the Braves 5-2 victory over the Cardinals. Dans homered to left in the top of the 6th and homered in the 8th, 410 feet over the central field wall. It was phenomenal. Dans now has 10 homers and 35 RBIs. He's hitting .370 in his last 7 days. The man is getting hot. The Braves are playing very well at 29-23 and 1 1/2 games behind the Phillies which are 30-21. Braves at Cards tonight at 6:15 on FOX.

Walker Buehler pitched another gem last night in another Dodgers victory, this one 10-2 over the Pirates. Walker went 6, gave up 5 hits, 1 earned run, with 1 walk and 6 K's. His 97-98 MPH heat was cookin, and he combined that with an excellent change up and slider. Walker threw 99 pitches with 74 for strikes against 23 balls, more than a 3:1 strike to ball ratio. Walk is now 5-1 with a 3.58 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning) which is phenomenal. Anything under 1.10 is excellent. Walk has walked 11 and struck out 52. Just under a 5:1 strikeout to walk ratio. The Dodgers are 33-18, and 6 games ahead of the Padres, which are 27-24.

Just some seriously good stuff from Dans and Walk. Bryan Reynolds had a hit last night for the Pirates in their loss to Walker and the Dodgers. He's having an awesome year hitting .312. The Pirates are playing well at 25-23 and 3 1/2 back of the Cubs and 2 back of the Brewers in the NL Central.

Tony got in the game, but didn't hit last night for the 'Stros. Tony is hitting .239, but getting better. He's an awesome player. The Stros defeated the Red Sox, 4-3. The Astros are 34-18 and 7 up on the Rangers.

David Price on the mound tonight at Houston. David is 2-2 with a 3.29 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP, also excellent. David is so accurate. In 41 innings of work, Dave has walked only 10 and K'd 46, almost a 5:1 strikeout to walk ratio, which is also superb. David is coming off a 12-2 victory over Toronto Monday Night. The Red Sox are 27-24 in third, 6 back of the Yankees (32-17). The Rays are 2nd at 29-19. David faces Brad Peacock of the Astros tonight at 6:15. David will face Brad Peacock of the Astros who is 5-2 with a 3.59 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP, so he's a tough opponent. Trust Dave though. 

Mike Minor on the hill for the Texas Rangers tonight. Mike is having an awesome season with a 5-3 record, a 2.64 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. In 64.2 innings, Mike has walked 20 and K'd 67. He's coming off a 10-9 victory over Seattle in which he actually pitched well before the bullpen kind of struggled. Mike got the victory going 6, giving up 6 hits, 2 runs, both earned, with 1 walk and 11 K's. Mike has been spectacular this season. He's hitting 95 with his fastball and his curve and changeup are close out pitches as well as his fastball. Mike very accurate. The Rangers are playing well at 25-23, 7 back of the Astros.Mike faces Tyler Skaggs and the LA Angels tonight. Skaggs is 4-4 with a 5.01 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.

Sonny Gray pitches Monday versus the Pirates at home. Sonny had an awesome outing @ the very good Brewers Tuesday night going 6, giving up 5 hits, 0 runs, with 4 walks and 9 K's in the Reds' 3-0 victory. Sonny moved to 1-4 on the season, with a 3.78 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. He pitched well Tuesday and that's a lot to build on. Sonny has walked 20 and struck out 57. If he can keep his control in good shape, Sonny will have an excellent season. The Reds are 23-27, but playing pretty well lately and only 6 1/2 back of the Cubs in the NL Central.

Our No.4 Men's Golf team is presently in 13th place after finishing day 2 at even par as a team. We had a tough day yesterday at the Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark, shooting +19, but we came back today and played well. Harrison Ott shot -1, 71, Patrick Martin and John Augenstein shot even par 72, and Will Gordon shot +1 73.

The top 15 teams after round 3 tomorrow qualify for the final round of stroke play on Monday. After round 4, the top 8 teams compete in match play which begins Tuesday and the championship match is Wednesday. Got our work cut out for us, but fought hard today and had a good day. There are several teams left on the course including several behind us. So need another solid day tomorrow. No.1 Oklahoma State leads at -10. 

French Open preview and predictions

The 123rd edition of the French Open played at Roland Garros commences tomorrow. The Big Three Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are the heavyweights in the men’s field. On the women’s side, Serena is playing, but I don’t consider her a favorite. I’ll tell you whom I like in the women’s side shortly.

The Men’s and Women’s Final will both be televised by NBC, with the women’s side starting Saturday, June 8th at 7 AM CT. on NBC The Men’s Final will commence Sunday, June 9th at 8 AM CT on NBC.

Men’s Semifinals

I like Rafa over Fed on the bottom half of the draw in straight sets

Nadal over Federer 6-3, 6-4, 7-5

I’ll take Djoker in the other semifinal over Juan Martin del Potro

Djokovic over Del Potro 7-5, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3

Men’s Final

It’s hard to go against the 32 year old Manacor Balaeric Islands, Spain. This is a tough out in Djoker though. Rafa has won 11 French Opens and 17 majors, and turns 33 on June 3rd. Djoker, the 32 year old (turned 32 on May 22nd) from Belgrade, Serbia has won the last 3 slams, Wimbledon, the U.S. and the Australian. He has 15 slams to his credit and has won the Australian 7 times. His only victory at Roland Garros is in 2016, where he defeated a struggling Nadal, at the time, in the quarters. Both are still chasing Roger Federer’s all time record of 20 Grand Slam titles. Rafa defeated Djoker in the Italian Open final 2 weeks ago, 6-0, 4-6, 6-1. I like Rafa to emerge victorious for the 12th time at Roland Garros, but with a lot of resistance from Djoker.

Nadal over Djokovic 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5

Women’s Final

I like 27 year old Karolina Pliskova, who just defeated Johanna Konta of Australia to capture the Italian Open championship 2 weeks ago, to finally break through and win her first Slam. I see the young Czech coming through in the clutch here after reaching the semis of the Australian this year already, reaching the semis at the French in 2017, and the final of the U.S.Open in 2016. She has a very good serve and is a consistent player on the court. She’s very steady with her ground strokes, has an excellent serve and has a good, serene mentality on the court. I’ll take Karolina over a compatriot of hers from the Czech Republic. 29 year old Petra Kvitova, who has won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014. This will be a battle. I like Pliskovato to break through in Paris..

Karolina Pliskova over Petra Kvitova 7-5, 4-6, 7-5

Hit brigade, stellar pitching at Hoover last night, State tonight, MLB guys

JJ Bleday was 5 for 5 with an RBI, the great Stephen Scott, Player of the week in the SEC last week, was 3 for 5 with a homer and 5 Ribeyes, Pat DeMarco was 3 for 5 with a ribbie and Philip Clarke was 2 for 5 with an RBI as the No.2 Commodores pounded out 16 hits and Mason Hickman was spectacular on the mound in our 11-1 victory over Auburn last night at the Hoover Met.

JJ raised his average to .361 and now has 25 homers and 65 RBIs. Stephen, who’s been on fire in the past week, is now hitting .343 with 11 homers and 50 Ribeyes. Philip is now hitting .318 with 6 homers and 60 RBIs, and Pat is at .297 with 4 homers and 35 RBIs. Austin Martin was 1 for 5 with 2 runs scored and his 14th stolen base of the season in 19 attempts. Austin is now hitting .427. Harrison Ray stole his 16th base in 19 attempts and made a phenomenal leaping catch on a sinking line drive headed for right central field. Ty Duvall was 1 for 4 with 3 Ribbies. We are now hitting .320 as a team. We ,moved to 46-10 with the victory and play No.3 (rank nationally) Mississippi State tonight in the nightcap at 8 on the SEC Network. State defeated us in a heckuva Super Regional series last season, so we need to return the favor tonight.

Our defense was superb. We are now fielding at a .983 clip, best in the SEC and 8th best in the country. Mason was awesome, going 6 innings, giving up just 2 hits, 1 earned, with 3 walks and 9 K’s. Mason moved to 7-0 with a 2.20 ERA. Mason has walked only 18 and struck out 98, a better than 5:1 strikeout to walk ratio, which is spectacular. Jake Eder pitched pretty well in the last 2 innings allowing no hits, 0 runs with 2 walks and a K. We’ll need Jake some more, so I’m glad he looks like he’s getting his early season form back. Just needs to be accurate and then he’s a very effective pitcher with his 95-96 MPH fastball.

State defeated LSU, 6-5 in 17 innings last night. It ended very late. I was not awake for that. But I saw their great center fielder Jake Mangum hit. He was 2 for 5 and is now hitting .373. He has set the all time national record for hits. He’s a phenomenal player. They hit .319 as a team, their team ERA is 3.48 and they have a .973 fielding % team. So, we hit it a little better and field better, but they’ve got a little better team ERA than we have, so Drake Fellows and the bullpen will have to step up tonight. Our team ERA is 3.84. Drake is 10-0 but has a higher ERA at 4.34. We’ll need a stellar effort from him and the pen tonight, we’ll have to be sharp in the field and we need to hit the ball with runners in scoring position. State is No.3 in the country for a reason, so we have our hands full with a terrific team, but so are we, so we’ve got a good shot. State is 46-11. No.5 Arkansas (41-15) plays No.7 Georgia (43-14) in the other winner’s bracket game. First pitch for that game is at 4:30 PM CT. A&M is playing Ole Miss right now. It’s 0-0 in the top of the 4th. Auburn plays LSU at 1 PM CT today.

MLB guys

Dansby Swanson

2 for 5 last night with his 8th homer, a 3 run shot in the 2nd, and his 31,32nd and 33rd RBIs. Braves defeated the Giants 9-2 to move to 27-23 and 1 1/2 games back of the NL East leading Phillies (28-21).

Tony Kemp

Was 1 for 3 last night with his 2nd double of the season and is now hitting .250. Tony has really gotten his average up in the last 10 days. He was hitting under .200 a week and a half ago. The Stros lost to the Chixox, and dropped to 33-17, but still lead the AL West by 7 1/2 over the Rangers.

Bryan Reynolds

Was 0 for 3 but had a walk and an RBI for the Pirates last night in a 9-3 loss to the Rockies. Pirates now 24-22 and 4 1/2 back of the Cubs in the NL Central. Bryan is hitting .313 this season. Playing very well and has become a fixture in left field.

Curt Casali

Hitting .269 playing backup catcher for the Reds. Curt caught Sonny’s stellar game on Monday Night. Curt does an awesome job for the Reds as the backup catcher.

Sonny Gray

Sonny went 6, gave up 5 hits, 0 runs with 4 walks and 9 K’s in the Reds 3-0 victory over the Brewers at Milwaukee. Sonny threw 103 pitches with 58 for strikes against 45 balls. He pitched a spectacular game. Sonny moved to 1-4 on the season with a 3.78 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP (Walks plus hits per inning, key stat).Sonny will pitch next Monday Night against the Pirates at home. The Reds are 22-27 and 8 back of the Cubs in the NL Central. Playing a lot better than they did last year. Much improved team.

Walker Buehler

Walker lost 4-0 to the Reds last weekend, but went 6, gave up 7 hits, but only 1 earned run with 0 walks and 7 K’s. Walk is now 4-1 with a 3.83 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP, which is outstanding. He’s walked 10 and struck out 46. Not only is he a flame thrower getting up anywhere from 97-99, but he’s also a strike thrower. Pretty outstanding combination for a pitcher. The Dodgers are 32-18 and lead the NL West by 6 games over the Padres. Walker pitches next tomorrow night (Friday) @ the Pirates

Mike Minor

Mike earned his 5th victory of the season going 6, giving up 6 hits, 2 earned, with 1 walk and 11 K’s. He ‘s now 5-3 with a 2.64 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. The Rangers’ bullpen almost gave it away, but held on for a 10-9 victory over Seattle. The Rangers are having a good season at 24-23 and 7 1/2 back of the ‘Stros. Like this Rangers team. Mike pitches next on Saturday @ the LA Angels.

David Price

David had an awesome game Monday Night in his return from the DL with elbow tightness. In a 12-2 Red Sox victory over Toronto at Toronto. David went 5, gave up 3 hits 2 runs with 0 earned, 0 walks and 4 K’s. He threw 67 pitches with 48 of them for strikes against 19 balls, which is terrific. The Red Sox had a pitch count on him due to protecting his elbow. David is now 2-2 with a 3.29 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. He has walked 10 and struck out 46. David is another extremely accurate pitcher who is hitting 94-95 with his fastball The Red Sox have been coming on lately after a very slow start and are now 26-23 and 5 1/2 games back of the Yankees in the AL East. David pitches again Saturday@ Houston. It’s the 6:15 PM CT game and will be televised by FOX. The Braves are also playing @ St. Louis, which will also be televised by FOX at 6:15 PM, so we’ll probably get the Braves, but I’ll give you a report on all our guys the first of next week. Thanks.