Wednesday, April 18, 2018

3 Toronto teams

Have to keep track of who's playing on what night--two teams in the playoffs. A nice problem to have.

1. Maple Leafs, 4-2 over Boston in game 3, Toronto on Monday night. Series now 2-1 for Boston, next game in Toronto again tomorrow. The Bergeron-Marchand-Pastrnak line for Boston had exactly 0 points on 9 shots. In any ordinary game, you would expect some of their shots to go in, instead of hitting the crossbar, etc. Plekanec had a big night at centre (filling in for Kadri) for the Leafs. He was their only acquisition at the trade deadline, and then did little in the regular season. He came advertised as good on face-offs and a good, disciplined checker who won't give up the puck. He had one assist on three shots, but more than that he did as advertised--disrupted Boston's plays, and kept control of the puck for the Leafs. Marleau, playing on Plekanec's line, scored twice on two shots. Marleau is 38, Plekanec is 35.

Boston was kept sufficiently in check that the "kids" were able to do their thing. Marner and Reilly, both 2 assists. Matthews 1 goal on 5 shots. Nylander 1 assist and 3 shots.

Anderson was generally a big star in goal. Weirdly, he gave up two goals that seemed kind of easy. Guys on the radio are saying he's streaky that way: the easy shots may beat him more than the hard ones. In baseball this might be a shortstop who makes some dramatic plays, but isn't consistent on the routine play. In that case I don't think you keep a job. With Anderson the good seems to greatly outweigh the bad.

2. Raptors win again, 130-119, now 2-0 in the first round of the playoffs. Until this series, they had never won a game 1 in a playoff series, and (it kind of follows) they had never gone 2-0. They led by more than 20 with about four minutes to go, and then relaxed a bit, committed a few stupid fouls, etc.
Valanciunas, 19 points, 1 of 2 from 3. It will flummox opposing teams if he makes those shots. DeRozan 37, 3 of 6 from 3. Only 4 assists, but 6 of 8 from the free throw line. A great night. Lowry 13 points, 12 assists. Miles 18 points, 4 of 6 from 3.

3. Blue Jays win a double header vs. Kansas City. Maile, the backup catcher, with only 19 ABs, oddly has the highest slash numbers of any Blue Jay hitter. He got the walk-off winning hit/RBI in the bottom half of the double header. Pillar is second in batting average, tied for the most ABs. I for one thought he might tail off this year. Pearce with fewer ABs is virtually tied with Pillar for average, better on other slash numbers. Quite a few guys have an OPS over .800. Smoak, who may indeed be down from last year, is striking out too much--21 times in 60 ABs. Travis, Martin and Grichuk seem to be improving on their terrible numbers. No one expects them to stay so low for long. In any case, the team is now 11 and 5.

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