Saturday, April 29, 2017

Pirates Blank Marlins

     Ivan Nova pitched a three-hit complete game shutout as the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Miami Marlins 4-0 at Marlins Park on Saturday night. Miami(10-12) has lost four consecutive games.
     Pittsburgh(11-12) took the lead during the second inning. Jordy Mercer got a base hit into center field to score Gregory Polanco.
     The Pirates were able to load the bases in the top of the sixth inning. They scored two runs as Francisco Ceravelli then John Jaso walked. Jaso added a solo home run to right in the ninth inning.

More Locals Selected In NFL Draft

     The 2017 NFL Draft finished in Philadelphia on Saturday with picks from the fourth round to the seventh round. More players with a South Florida connection were selected.
     The Chicago Bears choose safety Eddie Jackson in the fourth round with the 112th overall pick. Jackson played high school football with the Boyd Anderson Cobras. He moved on to the University of Alabama where the Crimson Tide captured the CFP National Championship in 2015. He led the team that year with six interceptions.
     It took one pick later for somebody from the University of Miami to be selected as the Los Angeles Chargers got safety Rayshawn Jenkins. He played four seasons for the Hurricanes and compiled two interceptions, seven passes broken up along with 76 tackles in his senior year.
     Several local guys were taken during the fifth round. Anthony Walker Jr. was picked by the Indianapolis Colts 161st overall. He played linebacker for Monsignor Pace and Northwestern University.
     Wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie was selected with the 172nd overall pick by the Denver Broncos. He helped the American Heritage Patriots win their first state title in 2013 as they captured the FHSAA Class 5A championship. McKenzie went to play college football for the University of Georgia.
     The Minnesota Vikings decided on offensive guard Danny Isidora of the University of Miami with the 180th pick. He did play high school football with the Cypress Bay Lightning. 
     There were no local selections in the sixth round, however two former Broward County standouts were named in the seventh round. Cypress Bay had one-time running back Matthew Dayes picked 252nd by the Cleveland Browns. Dayes later was with the North Carolina State Wolfpack in college.
     University of Miami wide receiver Stacy Coley went to the Minnesota Vikings as the 219th overall pick. Coley was first noticed while with the Northeast Hurricanes in high school.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Dalvin Cook And Local Players Picked

     Three players with local South Florida ties were selected during the second and third rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft held in Philadelphia on Friday. They included Dalvin Cook, Quincy Wilson and Fabian Moreau.
     Cook certainly had the most publicity of any South Florida native who entered the NFL draft and was taken by Minnesota Vikings with the 41st overall selection. He played running back with the Miami Central Rockets and won two FHSAA Class 6A state titles in 2012 and 2013. Cook joined the Florida State University Seminoles and became the school's all-time leading rusher with 4,464 rushing yards in three seasons.
     Wilson was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the second round with the 46th overall pick. He played defensive back for the University of Florida Gators and prior to that with the University School Suns in Davie. Wilson had three interceptions, 33 tackles and six passes broken up in 2016 for the Gators.
     Moreau was less noticed locally because he played his college football with UCLA. He was with the Western Wildcats while in high school. Moreau was picked 81st overall by the Washington Redskins in the third round.

Dolphins Get McMillan And Tankersley

     Day 2 of the 2017 NFL Draft happened on Friday night in Philadelphia. The Miami Dolphins selected two players during the second and third rounds. Both of them have won a CFP National Championship.
     The Dolphins choose inside linebacker Raekwon McMillian with the 54th overall pick in the second round. He was part of the Ohio State University squad to capture a national championship in 2014. McMillian had 270 career tackles, 17 tackles for a loss and nine passes broken up in three seasons.
     The Fins selected cornerback Condrea Tankersley in the third round with the 97th overall pick. He helped Clemson University win their second national championship in school history last season. Tankersley had compiled 149 tackles, nine interceptions and 22 passes broken up in 55 games.

David Njoku Taken By Browns

     Miami Hurricanes tight end David Njoku was chosen 29th overall by the Cleveland Browns at the 2017 NFL Draft held in Philadelphia. He was the only local player selected in the first round of the draft.
     Njoku was in the program with the Canes for three years. He had his best season as a redshirt sophomore in 2016 as he compiled 43 receptions for 698 yards and eight touchdowns.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Phillies Get By Marlins

     The Miami Marlins fell to the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 at Citizens Bank Ballpark on Thursday. It completed the longest mileage road trip in Marlins franchise history.
     Philadelphia(11-9) moved out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Daniel Nava was able to score on a Dee Gordon throwing error. The Phils made a two-run margin in the bottom of the third when Freddy Galvis crossed the plate on a ground out by Odubel Herrera to second.
     Miami(10-10) cut the margin to 2-1 in the sixth inning. J.T. Realmuto singled into left field to drive in Giancarlo Stanton.
     The Phillies responded in the bottom of the frame. Brock Stassi ripped a triple to right and brought in Michael Saunders on the play.
     The Marlins picked up one more run in the next inning. Adeiny Hechavarria scored on a base hit to center by Christian Yelich.

Miami Dolphins Draft Charles Harris

     The first round of the 2017 NFL Draft was held in Philadelphia on Thursday night. The Miami Dolphins selected Charles Harris as the 22nd overall pick.
     Harris was a defensive end for the University of Missouri Tigers. He played with the school for three seasons and compiled 18 sacks along with 34 tackles for a loss.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

WWE Releases Andrea Ocampo

     World Wrestling Entertainment has come to terms and have released Andrea Ocampo from their organization. Ocampo had gone by the name Andrea D'Marco while she worked at WWE.
     Ocampo once worked with the Florida Panthers as the game operations arena host for four years until April 2016. She also was a game operations stadium host for Florida Atlantic University football games in Boca Raton.
     She joined NXT as a ring announcer and interviewer in Orlando last year. Ocampo was promoted to the WWE brand in July 2016 as an interviewer and held that spot for several months.

Jeffrey Loria To Sell Marlins

     Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria will sell the baseball club to a group of investors that includes former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and former Florida governor Jeb Bush. The deal must be approved by Major League Baseball owners.
     Loria has owned the Marlins since 2002. They won their second World Series title in franchise history back in 2003. In an unusual procedure, Loria once owned the Montreal Expos and sold the team to Major League Baseball. John Henry shifted from ownership of the Marlins and moved on to own the Boston Red Sox while Loria became the owner of the Florida Marlins.

Chris Kokell Ends Coaching Career

     Chris Kokell announced on ESPN West Palm 106.3 WUUB-FM that he has stepped down as the head coach of the Olympic Heights Lions. He held that position for the past two seasons.
     Kokell has worked as an evening co-host alongside Joe Colella since January on ESPN West Palm. He has been a weekend co-host on that station for several years.
     He did work as a television game analyst on high school football games in 2014 with Alex Kushel on WTVX-TV Channel 34 in West Palm Beach. Kokell announced the 2014 FHSAA Class 3A state championship game in Orlando with Ken LaVicka on WUUB-FM.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Bill Zimpfer Out At WOGL-FM

     Former Miami Dolphins radio voice Bill Zimpfer is no longer working for WOGL-FM in Philadelphia. He started as a sports anchor on their morning show in 1994 and later became a morning sidekick for the program. 
     Zimpfer became the radio play-by-play announcer of the Miami Dolphins when he replaced Rick Weaver in 1994 and worked alongside Jim Mandich. He held the position for eight seasons until 2001 and Howard David took over.

Brad Steinke Leaves WKRC-TV

     Brad Steinke has left his position as a sports anchor at WKRC-TV in Cincinnati. He has been there since April 2015.
     Steinke was an evening sports anchor on Sportstown at WAMI-TV in Miami from 1999 until 2001. He also was a studio host for Miami Heat and Florida Marlins broadcasts on that station.
     He moved to Phoenix after his stint in South Florida. Steinke became a sports anchor and sports reporter for Fox Sports Arizona from 2001 to 2015.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Marlins Outlast Padres

     Dan Straily had a career-high 14 strikeouts as the Miami Marlins edged the San Diego Padres 6-3 in 11 innings on Saturday night at Petco Field. He tied Jose Fernandez and A.J. Burnett for the second most strikeouts by a Marlins pitcher in a game.
     Miami broke out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. Giancarlo Stanton blasted a solo homer to left field on the first pitch for his sixth home run of the season.
     San Diego came back and got their first lead 2-1 during the bottom of the fourth inning. Austin Hedges lifted a two-run home run to left on a 1-1 count. Yangervis Solarte also scored on the play.
     The Fish tied it in the sixth inning when Martin Prado cracked a solo home run to left field on a 2-1 pitch. There would be no more scoring in the contest until the 11th inning.
     The Marlins took advantage of fielding errors on one play as Justin Boar and Dee Gordon scored. Giancarlo Stanton nailed a two-run homer on 1-0 count to left field to make it 6-2. Christian Yelich was able to score in front of him.

Friday, April 21, 2017

West Palm Beach Ratings March 2017

     There were major changes on the sports talk radio scene of Palm Beach County in the month of March for Fox Sports South Florida 640 WMEN-AM. ESPN West Palm 106.3 WUUB-FM remained stable during this time period, although they do not subscribe to a ratings service.
     Fox Sports 640 ended their only local weekday show one week into the ratings period. They let go Joe Raineri and Steve Zemach from the morning show which they hosted since January 2016. The station dropped for the second straight month as they went from a 0.5 to a 0.4 in March. WMEN has lost half of their audience since November 2016 when they registered a 0.8 at that time.
     The station had carried the Florida Panthers Radio Network for the entire season as an affiliate and the club was eliminated from playoff contention at the end of the month. They also did not broadcast any New York Yankees exhibition games like they have since the 2008 season. WMEN will not be part of the New York Yankees Radio Network for the 2017 season.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Miami Dolphins 2017 Schedule Released

     The National Football League released all the 2017 regular season schedules of all 32 clubs on Thursday night. The Miami Dolphins have a slate in which they will have two games against AFC East teams, one game versus AFC West teams, one game against NFC South squads and one game with second-place clubs in other AFC divisions.
     The Dolphins will open up the season at home against their cross-state rivals the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They take to the road and face the newly named Los Angeles Chargers in Carson, California in week 2 followed by a visit to the New York Jets in week 3 and take on the New Orleans Saints in London, England during week 4.
     Miami returns home and hosts the Tennessee Titans in week 5, travel to face the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons in week 6 and come back to South Florida and challenge the Jets in week 7.
     The Fins next three contests are night games. They play on a Thursday night at Baltimore against the Ravens in week 8, host the Raiders on Sunday night in week 9 and fly to Carolina to play the Panthers on Monday night in week 10. The team has a bye week in the 11th week of the season.
     Miami faces the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots twice in a three-week period. They visit the Pats in week 12 then play the Denver Broncos and the Patriots at home in the following two weeks.
     Weeks 15 and 16 has the club visiting the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs. The Dolphins finish the regular season at home as they take on the Bills.

WQBA Flips To Spanish Sports Format

     WQBA-AM 1140 flipped to a Spanish language sports talk format from a news/talk format on Wednesday. It will carry the syndicated Univision Deportes Radio feed. They will compete with another radio station in the Miami market ESPN Deportes 990 WMYM-AM which runs a similar sports format.
     WQBA had been the Spanish language radio home of the Miami Heat Radio Network for many years with Jose Paneda as the team play-by-play announcer. The station earlier this month began as the new Spanish language game broadcaster of Miami FC soccer with Arley Londano as play-by-play voice.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Miami Ratings March 2017

     790 The Ticket WAXY-AM finished first as the top sports format radio station in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale region. It ended a string of seven consecutive months in which Miami Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM was ahead of the competition.
     The Ticket moved up from a 0.8 to a 0.9 in the month of March. The Miami Heat continued their push for an Eastern Conference playoff spot down the stretch as they gained momentum following their long winning streak in the previous month. The addition of Greg Likens as a weekend host helped as the station ended up on top for the first time since July 2016.
     WQAM dropped from a 0.9 to a 0.8 in the period and it was their lowest ratings for that station since April 2016. The Florida Panthers were eliminated from postseason contention with 11 days left in the regular season while the Miami Hurricanes basketball team was knocked out early in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
     Miami Sports 940 WINZ-AM remained the same with a 0.2 for the sixth straight period. Andy Slater was heard for a couple of days at the end of the ratings period because Miami Marlins exhibition games pre-empted his show throughout the month of March.  

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Marlins Almost No-Hit Mariners

     The Miami Marlins came two outs short of a no-hitter as they got a 5-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on Tuesday night. The Fish have won four of their last five games. Wei-Yin Chen had thrown a no-hitter through seven innings on 100 pitches for the Marlins against Seattle(6-9) and was pulled from the contest.
     Miami(8-6) moved out to a 1-0 margin in the first inning. Dee Gordon scored on an infield hit by Christian Yelich to the right side. They made it 2-0 during the second when Derek Dietrich came home on a wild pitch to J.T. Realmuto.
     The Marlins got a four-run cushion in the top of the third inning. Justin Bour knocked Yelich in on a two-run homer to left field on a 3-1 count. It was his second home run of the season.
      J.T. Riddle added another run for the Fish during the ninth inning. He hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Miguel Rojas.
     Mitch Haniger broke up the no-hitter with one out in the bottom of the ninth. He cracked a double into right-center field against Kyle Barraclough for the first hit of the game by the Mariners.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Mariners Stomp Marlins

     Ichiro Suzuki returned to Seattle for the first time since 2014 and the Miami Marlins lost to the Mariners 6-1 at Safeco Field on Monday night. It was the stadium he called home for over 11 seasons. The loss snapped the Marlins three-game winning streak.
     Seattle(6-8) blasted out to a fast start with three runs during the first inning. Robinson Cano blasted a two-run homer to right-center field which scored Jarrod Dyson. Nelson Cruz followed up with a solo home run to center and made it 3-0.
     The Mariners added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Dyson doubled to left field and Leonys Martin scored. Cano would then drive Dyson across the plate with a double into left. Taylor Motter pounded a home run in the fifth inning to make it 6-0.
     Miami(7-6) broke the shutout in the ninth inning. Christian Yelich nailed a 0-0 pitch over the left-field fence for a solo homer.

Dave Strader Enters Hockey Hall Of Fame

     Former Florida Panthers television play-by-play announcer Dave Strader has been named the 2017 recipient of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for broadcasting by the Hockey Hall of Fame. He will receive the award this November.
     Strader was the television voice of the Florida Panthers on Fox Sports Net Florida from 2004-05 until the 2006-07 season. He was second person to hold that post with the franchise and replaced Jeff Rimer.
     He started broadcasting hockey on radio with the Adirondack Red Wings of the American Hockey League and was later promoted in the organization to television play-by-play announcer of the Detroit Red Wings.
     Strader had announced hockey games nationally on ESPN, ABC, Versus and NBCSN from 1996 until 2015. Following his stint with the Panthers, he called games on television for the Phoenix Coyotes and Dallas Stars.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Marlins Walk Off Mets Again

     The Miami Marlins finished a game with a walk-off win for the second time in three games as they topped the New York Mets 4-2 at Marlins Park on Sunday. The Marlins extended their winning streak to three games and ended the home stand with a 4-2 record.
     Miami(7-5) started early and got up 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Dee Gordon scored on a Christian Yelich ground out to short. The Fish added another run in the sixth inning when Marcell Ozuna doubled to center and brought in Yelich.
     New York(7-6) mounted a two-run rally in the ninth inning to tie the contest. Asdrubal Cabrera got a base hit into center field with two out which drove in Travis d'Arnaud and Juan Lagares.
     The Marlins struck back in the bottom the ninth with the walk-off victory. J.T. Riddle hit his first home run of the season on a 0-1 pitch to right-center field with Rojas scoring in front of him.

Marlins Blast Past Mets

     The Miami Marlins pulled off another comeback victory over the New York Mets 5-4 on Saturday night at Marlins Park. The Fish are now 3-2 on their opening home stand.
     New York(7-5) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Neil Walker doubled into left field to bring in Asdrubal Cabrera.
     Miami(6-5) put together two solo homers during the bottom of the second to take the lead 2-1. Justin Bour smashed a home run on a full count to right field then Marcell Ozuna hit one to left on a 1-1 count.
     The Mets bounced back in the seventh. Curtis Granderson tripled to center which drove in Walker. Granderson would eventually score on a sacrifice fly to center by Michael Conforto. Cabrera added a solo homer to right on a 2-2 pitch in the eighth inning to give New York a 4-2 margin.
     In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Marlins rallied with three runs on back-to-back homers to move ahead. Christian Yelich ripped a two-run homer to right on a 3-1 pitch that brought in Miguel Rojas. Giancarlo Stanton followed with a home run to center field on a 3-2 count to make it 5-4.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Marlins Slip By Mets

     The Miami Marlins scored the winning run in the ninth inning to defeat the New York Mets 3-2 at Marlins Park on Friday night. Both clubs played a 16-inning game the day before.
     Christian Yelich helped Miami(5-5) get ahead during the first inning. He hit a sacrifice fly to center field which scored Dee Gordon
     New York(7-4) got to tie it 1-1 in the top of the third. Michael Conforto knocked in Curtis Granderson with a sacrifice fly to center. Lucas Duda added a solo home run on a 1-2 pitch in the top of the fifth to give the Mets a 2-1 lead.
     The Fish made it 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth. Gordon singled into center field and brought in Miguel Rojas. The Marlins picked up the walk-off victory in their final at-bat in the ninth inning when J.T. Realmuto drove in Rojas with a double into center.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Gerard Gallant Named Vegas Head Coach

     Former Florida Panthers head coach Gerard Gallant has been named the new head coach of the Vegas Golden Knights. They will begin their inaugural season in the National Hockey League this October.
     Gallant was the head coach of the Florida Panthers for almost three seasons. He helped the club capture the 2016 Atlantic Division title in his second season. They fell to the New York Islanders in six games during the first round of the playoffs. Gallant was let go by the Panthers in late November 2016. He was under contract with the club until the end of the 2018-19 season.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Heat Fall Short Of NBA Playoffs

     The Miami Heat fell short of the NBA playoffs, even though they defeated the Washington Wizards 110-102 on Wednesday night at American Airlines Arena. The Heat finished with the same record as the Chicago Bulls for eighth place in the Eastern Conference, however the Bulls held the tiebreaker for a better record in head-to-head meetings.
     Washington started off ahead 27-23 after one quarter. Miami(41-41) bounced back and got up 56-50 by the end of the first half. The Heat extended their margin to 91-77 after three quarters and stayed in front for the rest of the way.
     Goran Dragic led the Heat with 28 points while Hassan Whiteside completed a double-double with 24 points and 18 rebounds. Trey Burke had a game-high 27 points for the Wizards.

Marlins Win Home Opener

     The Miami Marlins won their home opener over the Atlanta Braves 8-4 at Marlins Park on Tuesday night. It was the 25th home opener for the franchise and the sixth held at Marlins Park. The facility will host the annual All-Star Game in July.
     Miami(4-3), who won four of their last five games, began with a hot start as they scored three runs during the first inning.  Christian Yelich knocked in Dee Gordon with a base hit into left field.  J.T. Realmuto was able to score on a sacrifice fly to left by Justin Boar. Yelich made it a three run margin when he crossed the plate on a Marcell Ozuna sacrifice fly to right
     The Marlins increased their lead to 6-o in the bottom of the third. Ozuna blasted a three-run homer which scored Yelich and Bour.
     Atlanta(1-6) scored in the fourth inning as Nick Markakis hit a solo home run to right field. The Braves added two more runs in the top of the fifth.
     Ozuna connected for his second home run of the game in the bottom of the fifth on a 1-0 pitch. Yelich scored in front of him on the play to make it 8-3.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Steve Goldstein Announcing NHL Playoff Games

     Florida Panthers television play-by-play announcer Steve Goldstein will announce several NHL playoff games on national radio at Westwood One and NBC Sports Radio Network. He will work a game Saturday night between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Washington Capitals with Darren Eliot.
     Goldstein has been the television voice of the Florida Panthers since the 2007-08 season. He was the radio play-by-play announcer of the club from 2004-05 until 2006-07.
     He was the studio host at NBC Sports Radio Network and Westwood One at the Stanley Cup Final last season. Goldstein worked as a sideline reporter for the outdoor stadium game between the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues at Busch Stadium in early January. He was the ice hockey radio play-by-play announcer for Westwood One at the last two Winter Olympics in 2010 and 2014.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Heat Overcome Cavs

     The Miami Heat had a must-win game to stay in the playoff hunt and got a 124-121 overtime victory over the NBA world champion Cleveland Cavaliers at American Airlines Arena on Monday night. The Heat remained tied with the Chicago Bulls for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls still hold the tiebreaker in head-to-head meetings.
     The Cavaliers held out LeBron James and Kyrie Irving for their second straight game played between both clubs in Miami this season. Cleveland(51-30) are now one game behind the Boston Celtics for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
     Cleveland rolled out to a 37-24 lead after one quarter and were up 60-56 at halftime. The Cavs extended their lead to 91-80 after three quarters.
     Miami(40-41) charged back with a 20-6 run at the start of the fourth quarter to go ahead. The Heat led 106-99 with three minutes remaining in the fourth. The Cavs scored seven consecutive points to tie the contest 106-106 and sent the game into overtime. Miami outscored Cleveland 16-13 in the extra session.
     Tyler Johnson had a team-high 24 points for the Heat while Hassan Whiteside compiled 23 points along with 18 rebounds. Deron Williams got a game-high 35 points and Kevin Love picked up 25 points for Cleveland.

Dale Tallon New Panthers General Manager

     Dale Tallon has returned to his position as general manager of the Florida Panthers. He replaces Tom Rowe who took over the position in May 2016. Tallon held the general manager role with the club from May 2010 to 2016. He will still keep the title of president of hockey operations.
     Rowe loses his position as general manager and interim head coach. He will remain with the organization in hockey operations as a special advisor. It has been a fast ride for Rowe in the last 16 months. He was named assistant general manager in January 2016 and got elevated to general manager four months later. Rowe was named interim head coach in late November 2016 when they let go head coach Gerard Gallant.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Panthers Shut Out Capitals

     The Florida Panthers played their season finale as they defeated the Washington Capitals 2-0 at Verizon Center on Sunday night. It completed the 24th season for the Panthers as a National Hockey League franchise.
     It was the second straight game that James Reimer picked up a shutout for the Cats. No Panthers goalie has done that since Tomas Vokoun in October 2010. Washington(55-19-8) will go on to face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
     Florida(35-36-11) had to wait until late in the second period to take the lead. Derek MacKenzie raced down the ice and was able to score a shorthanded goal with 4:13 left in the frame off a pass from Colton Sceviour.
     The Panthers extended their margin to 2-0 at the 9:47 mark of the third period. Denis Malgin scored on assists from Reilly Smith and Nick Bjugstad.

Marlins Crush Mets Again

     The Miami Marlins wiped out the New York Mets for the second straight day as they pounded them 8-1 at Citi Field on Saturday night. The Marlins increased their winning streak to three games.
     Miami(3-2) scored in each of the first three innings. Giancarlo Stanton knocked in Miguel Rojas with a single to left field in the first inning. Marcell Ozuna powered a solo home run to left on a 3-2 count during the second inning. Rojas drove in J.T. Realmuto with a sacrifice fly to center in the third.
     New York(2-3) put up their only run in the contest during the bottom of the fifth. Lucas Duda homered to center field on a 1-1 pitch.
     The Marlins extended their margin later in the game. Ozuna singled to right field which brought in Christian Yelich in the top of the seventh.
     The Fish got two runs in the eighth inning. Realmuto singled to center field for Adeiny Hechavarria to score. Rojas followed with an infield sacrifice which scored Dee Gordon.
      In the ninth inning, Gordon picked up an RBI on fielder's choice to second with Ozuna scoring. Realmuto extended their margin to 8-1 on a base hit to left that scored Ichiro.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Heat Outlast Wizards

     The Miami Heat remained in the Eastern Conference playoff race with a win over the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center on Saturday night. The Heat have won two of their last three games and climbed to tie the Chicago Bulls for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
     Washington(48-32) led 29-28 after one quarter and were tied with Miami(39-41) at halftime 52-52. The Heat moved ahead 78-74 after three quarters and stayed again in the final minute of the contest.
     Hassan Whiteside got a double-double with a game-high 30 points and 12 rebounds for the Heat. Tyler Johnson added 19 points and Goran Dragic poured in 18 points. John Wall compiled 16 points and eight assists for the Wizards.

Panthers Blank Sabres

     The Florida Panthers played the final home game of their 24th season as an NHL franchise and beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-0 on Saturday night at BB&T Center. Shawn Thornton participated in his 705th and final game in the National Hockey League. He is expected to retire and join the Panthers organization in an unknown capacity.
     After no scoring during the first, Florida(34-36-11) scored first at the 7:45 mark of the second period. Thomas Vanek had the puck on the left wing and passed ahead to Nick Bjugstad. He snapped a shot from the left circle past Robin Lehner for his seventh goal of the campaign.
     The Panthers added another goal on the power play with 2:57 left in the frame. Jonathan Marchessault and Jaromir Jagr took initial shots from the slot area before Jonathan Huberdeau backhanded the puck between his legs while in the blue paint for the score.
     In the third period, Buffalo(33-36-12) surrendered a tally at 5:55. Jagr stole the puck away from Josh Gorges in the right corner and pushed it to Huberdeau. He skated around the Sabres cage, backhanded the puck to the crease and went into the net off a defender. It was the second goal of the game for Huberdeau and tenth of the year.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Marlins Silence Mets

     The Miami Marlins had an easier time than expected with a 7-2 victory over the New York Mets at Citi Field on Friday night. It was the fourth game of a six-game road trip for the Marlins.
     New York(2-2) got on the scoreboard in the first inning. Curtis Granderson singled to left field which scored Asdrubal Cabrera.
     Miami(2-2) put up a three-run rally during the top of the second. Derek Dietrich tripled to deep center field as Justin Boar and Marcell Ozuna crossed the plate. Dietirch would later score on a ground out by Adeiny Hechavarria.
     The Marlins continued their momentum in the third. Christian Yelich smashed a two-run homer that hit the right-field foul pole and drove in Dee Gordon to make it 5-1.
     The Fish added two more runs in the fifth inning for a six-run cushion. Ozuna knocked in Yelich with a base hit to left field. Dietrich followed with an RBI-single into center to score Giancarlo Stanton from third.
     The Mets showed some pop in their lineup in the bottom of the eighth. Yoenis Cespedes blasted a solo home run to left field on a 3-1 count and cut the margin to 7-2.

Raptors Survive Heat

     The Miami Heat barely fell short as they lost to the Toronto Raptors 96-94 at Air Canada Centre on Friday night. The Heat have lost three of their last four games and dropped to ninth in the Eastern Conference.
     Toronto(49-31) started off ahead 26-19 after one quarter and were up 53-43 at halftime. Miami(38-41) cut into the gap during the second half and were down 70-65 after three quarters. The Heat did outscore the Raptors by three points during the final quarter, but were unable to take the lead.
     James Johnson led the Heat with a team-high 22 points while Goran Dragic added 18 points. DeMar DeRozan had a game-high 38 points for Toronto.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Blues Roll By Panthers

     The Florida Panthers played their second-to-last game at home and fell to the St. Louis Blues 6-3 on Thursday night at BB&T Center. Keith Yandle played in his 631st consecutive game which placed him eighth all-time in NHL history. The Blues improved to 13-2-2 in their last 17 games.
     St. Louis(44-29-7) was able to go up 1-0 at 13:16 of the first period. Former Panther Scottie Upshall stopped a pass by Ian McCoshen in the neutral zone. Ryan Reaves went on a breakaway through the right side and scored on a forehand shot past James Reimer.
     Florida(33-36-11) tied it up 1-1 at the 6:41 mark of the second period. Jaromir Jagr sent a lead pass into the neutral zone. Vincent Trocheck came into the Blues zone on a 2-on-1 breakaway and put in a wrist shot from the left circle by Jake Allen for his 23rd goal of the season. It was only his second goal in the last 18 games. McCoshen, who made his NHL debut with the Cats, got an assist on the play and was credited with his first NHL point.
     The Blues regained the lead less than one minute later at 7:37.  Jaden Schwartz passed the puck from the left wing to the middle. Vladimir Tarasenko then released a high wrist shot from the high slot for his 38th goal of the season.
     It took 55 seconds into the third period for the Panthers to make it 2-2. Michael Matheson skated around the Blues cage and stuffed in a shot while falling down.
     St. Louis got their third lead of the contest at the 5:36 mark. David Perron skated in with the puck from the right of the crease, faked the shot in the crease and snapped it a shot from close range.
     The Cats matched it again at 7:45. Colton Sceviour fed a pass from the right wing to Denis Malgin and he ripped a one-time slap shot from the top right circle.
     The Blues would get their next two goals while on the power play. They made it 4-3 at 10:37 when Patrik Berglund redirected the puck from the slot area following a slap shot by Jordan Schmaltz from the top of the zone.
     St. Louis scored again with the man advantage with 6:11 left in the third. Schwartz centered the puck from low left circle and Alex Pietrangelo tipped it in from the blue paint. Schwartz added an empty-net goal with 58.2 seconds remaining.

Marlins Win First Game Of Season

      The Miami Marlins beat the Washington Nationals 4-3 in ten innings on Thursday at Nationals Park. The game did not start for eighty minutes due to a rain delay.
     Washington(2-1) began strong in the bottom of the first against Marlins staring pitcher Tom Koehler. Newcomer Adam Eaton smashed a lead-off home run into right-center field to give them a 1-0 lead. Another rain delay would stop the contest again for one hour at the beginning of the sixth inning.  
     The Nationals added another run in the seventh inning for a two-run margin. Jayson Werth came to bat and blasted a solo homer to left field while Ryan Barraclough was pitching.
     Miami(1-2) broke the shutout during the top of the eighth. J.T. Realmuto smacked a two-run homer to center with Christian Yelich on base.
     The Nats matched in and regained the lead in the bottom of the frame as Ryan Zimmerman nailed a solo home run to center field.  It was his second homer of the series.
     The Fish came back and tied it in the ninth inning when Tyler Moore knocked in Adeiny Hechavarria with a base hit into center. The Marlins won it in the following inning as Justin Bour doubled to left field which brought in Realmuto.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Heat Buzz Hornets

     The Miami Heat held on to for a 112-99 road victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night. The Heat, who snapped a two-game losing streak, are now tied with the Chicago Bulls and Indana Pacers for seventh in the Eastern Conference.
     Miami(38-40) was able to take a 27-23 lead after one quarter and were up 52-51 at halftime. Charlotte(36-43) was unable to keep up with the pace and were behind 86-73 after three quarters. Both clubs scored 26 points each in the final quarter.
     Goran Dragic led the Heat with 33 points. Hassan Whiteside put together a double-double with 13 points and 20 rebounds. Nicolas Batum had a game-high 24 points for the Hornets.

Nationals Strike Down Marlins

     The Miami Marlins lost to the Washington Nationals 6-4 on Wednesday night at Nationals Park. It was the second game of the season for the Fish.
     In the first inning, Miami(0-2) compiled two runs. Marcell Ozuna was able to get a two-out, two-run single off Tanner Roark into center field which scored J.T. Realmuto and Christian Yelich.
     Washington(2-0) was able to get to Marlins starting pitcher Dan Strailey during the second inning. Ryan Zimmerman blasted a solo home run to right field with one out and made it 2-1.
     The Nationals took their first lead of the contest in the fourth inning. Bryce Harper drove in Adam Eaton home on a double then Daniel Murphy placed a base hit into deep center that brought in Harper. Zimmerman walked, Anthony Rendon flew out to right and Jayson Werth had a base hit that dropped into shallow center. Matt Wieters knocked in Murphy and Zimmerman with a soft base hit up the middle of the diamond to give them a 5-2 margin. Dustin McGowan was called upon to replace Stailey on the mound for Miami.
     The Nats put up another run in the bottom of the fifth against Nick Wintgren and extended their margin to 6-2. After a lead-off double by Eaton into left field, he scored on a Harper single to center.
     The Marlins put up one run each in the final two innings of the game. Realmuto blasted a solo home run to left field in the eighth inning and drove in Dee Gordon with an RBI-single into right field during the ninth inning.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Habs Clinch Division Title Over Panthers

       The Florida Panthers began their final home stand of the 2016-17 regular season with a 4-1 defeat to the Montreal Canadiens at BB&T Center on Monday night. It was the first of three home games for the Cats in Sunrise. The Canadiens, who have won five straight games, clinched the Atlantic Division with the victory.
       Montreal(46-24-9) waited until 13:12 into the first period to take the lead 1-0. Artturi Lehkonen made a pass to Alex Galchenyuk who was behind the Panthers cage. He centered it in front and Andre Shaw would snap in a shot from the low slot by Reto Berra.
       Florida(33-35-11) tied the contest up 1-1 at the 8:57 mark of the second period as Jonathan Marchessault scored his 30th goal of the season. Micahel Sgarbossa was in the left circle and let Marchessault take the puck from him. He skated through the slot, delayed an attempted and then scored on a wrist shot from the low right circle past Charlie Lindgren. Marchessault passed Scott Mellanby for second in franchise history with the most goals in his first season with the Panthers.
       In the third period, the Habs regained the lead 2-1 at 1:27. Jeff Petry poked the puck ahead from the right point to Lehkonen at the top right circle. He pulled ahead and fired a high wrist shot for his 15th goal of the campaign.
       Later in the period, Paul Byron went on a breakaway and shot the puck wide left of the net. The puck bounced off the end wall to Lehkonen in the left circle and he powered home a slap shot for his second goal of the game at 16:49. Alexander Radulov added an empty-net goal with 1:26 remaining in the game off a feed from Max Pacioretty.

Marlins Lose Opener To Nats

     The Miami Marlins opened up their 25th season as a Major League Baseball franchise as they lost to the Washington Nationals 4-2 at Nationals Park on Monday. The Marlins wore a number 16 patch on their jerseys for late pitcher Jose Fernandez and an ASG 2017 patch on the side of their caps because Miami is hosting the All-Star Game in July.
     Miami(0-1) got out in front with two runs in the top of the fourth against Stephen Strasburg. J.T. Realmuto led off with a double to center field, advanced to third on a Christian Yelich sacrifice fly and then scored on a double by Giancarlo Stanton into right-center field. Two batters later, Marcell Ozuna knocked in Stanton with a two-out base hit to center.
     Washington(1-0) bounced back with a run in the sixth inning. Bryce Harper blasted a solo home run to right field against David Phelps. It was his fifth opening day homer for him.
     The Nationals took the lead during the bottom of the seventh with the help of a couple of new players on the club. Matt Wieters was able to single into center field with two outs. Adam Lind came up to pinch-hit for Strasburg and pounded a two-run homer to center off Phelps.
      The Nats added another run in the eighth inning for a two-run cushion 4-2. They got consecutive walks by Adam Eaton and Harper against Junichi Tazawa. Daniel Murphy followed with an RBI-single into right field to score Eaton.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Nuggets Down Heat

     The Miami Heat were defeated by the Denver Nuggets 116-113 on Sunday night at American Airlines Arena. The Heat have lost four of their last six games and are now tied with the Indiana Pacers for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
     Denver(36-40) jumped out to a 37-30 lead after one quarter and stayed ahead 68-58 at halftime. Miami(37-40) closed the gap and were down 93-87 after three quarters. The Heat could not overcome the deficit during the fourth quarter.
     Hassan Whiteside put together a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds while Goran Dragic drained in 22 points for Miami. Danilo Gallinari dropped in a game-high 29 points for the Nuggets.

Yankees No Longer On 640 Sports

     640 Fox Sports South Florida WMEN-AM will not transmit New York Yankees baseball games for the 2017 season. They have been an affiliate of the New York Yankees Radio Network since April 2008.
     Alpha Media became the owner of the radio station in February and they have cut costs over the last couple of months. Last month they ended their only local weekday show which was hosted by Joe Raineri and Steve Zemach in morning drive.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Bruins Bid Goodbye To Thornton And Panthers

     The Florida Panthers played a rare afternoon game on Saturday as they fell to the Boston Bruins 5-2 at TD Garden. The Panthers lost every game of their four-game road trip. The Bruins extended their winning streak to four games.
     It was the final time that Shawn Thornton played against his former team. He helped the Bruins win their first Stanley Cup championship in 39 years back in 2011. He was named third star of the game by the local media following the game.
     Florida(33-34-11) began sluggish as they had only one shot in the first ten minutes of the contest and two in the first 13 minutes. Boston(42-30-6) got up 1-0 with 2:57 left in the first period when Noel Acciari raced down the middle of the ice for a breakaway and scored on a wrist shot during a delayed penalty.
     There was plenty of scoring by both clubs during the second period. The Panthers responded early as Thomas Vanek scored his 17th goal of the season at 1:38 on a feed by Nick Bjugstad.
     The B's regained the lead at the 7:56 mark. David Pastrnak set up Zdeno Chara for a one-time slap shot from the top left circle which was stopped by Reto Berra, however Patrice Bergeron slapped in the rebound from the low right circle.
     Jaromir Jagr tied the game 2-2 for the Panthers at 9:53 on the power play as he put in a snap shot from the slot area past Tuukka Rask for his 16th goal this season and 765th NHL goal in his career. Keith Yandle and Jonathan Marchessault were credited with assists on the play.
     The Bruins capitalized on a bad turnover and got their third lead of the contest with 5:30 remaining in the second. Berra came out of his crease to clear the puck up the boards. David Krejci ripped a slap shot from the right point that bounced off Berra in the low right circle and into the Panthers cage.   
     Boston received a power play in the final two minutes of the third period and they were able to convert. Ryan Spooner took a shot from the right point then Brad Marchand roofed a shot from the right side of the crease for his 39th goal of the season with 1:44 to go.
     Bergeron added an empty-net goal from the slot off a Jonathan Huberdeau giveaway in front of his own net with 11.9 seconds left. It was his second tally of the game and the 20th goal of the campaign.

Knicks Surprise Heat

     The Miami Heat returned from a three-game road swing and were shocked by the New York Knicks 98-94 at American Airlines Arena on Friday. It was the second game of a home-and-home series between both clubs. The Heat had their two-game winning streak snapped.
     New York(29-47) started the contest on a 15-4 spurt as they moved out to a 33-29 lead after one quarter and led 59-55 at halftime. Miami(37-39) cut into the margin slightly and were down 77-75 after three quarters. The Knicks stayed ahead down the final stretch of the final quarter.
     Goran Dragic added a team-high 22 points for the Heat while Hassan Whiteside compiled a double-double with 17 points and 16 rebounds. Kristaps Porzingis led New York with 22 points.