Jon Fazio's Sports and Thoughts Blog
Today in Sports

MLB: “Oh Curtis! You’re something sort of grandous!… The Grandyman can! The Grandyman can!…” If anybody has any idea what I’m talking about, you might want to ignore this link. If not, check out one of the worst calls in baseball history, courtesy of John Sterling of the Yankees Radio Network. This atrocity was made on April 7, 2010 against the Boston Red Sox. Why am I referencing this now? Curtis Granderson hit a grand slam against the Baltimore Orioles in their first game of a three-game series at Camden Yards, and God only knows what Sterling called during that home run last night (If anybody knows it or has the link, send it to me). Granderson’s home run was one of three from the Yankees tonight as they went on to trounce the Orioles 12-7. Nick Swisher hit a two-run home run in the first inning to start the Yankees offense and Mark Teixera hit a grand slam in the seventh inning to give the Yankees double-digit runs in the game. Teixeira, who came in batting .211, went 3 for 4 with two walks. Swisher entered in a 1-for-14 skid and ended up with three hits, as well as Robinson Cano. Phil Hughes pitched well, giving up three runs and nine hits in six innings to earn his second victory over the Orioles in a week. His eight wins is tied for the AL lead and matches his career high. After being held to seven runs in dropping two of three to Toronto, the Yankees got 15 hits and improved to 9-1 against Baltimore this season. Baltimore is 1-3 under interim manager Juan Samuel and has been outscored 31-9 in the three defeats. CC Sabathia (5-3, 4.14 ERA) gets the nod to start for the Yankees against Orioles’ right-hander Chris Tillman (0-1, 7.71 ERA). First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. on YES.

The Mets took on the Padres at Citi Field to start their three-game stint and Mets fans are getting used to the phrase, “I like Ike!” And for good reason: not only does Ike Davis flash the leather at first base with his crazy catches by the dugout, he hit the game-winning home run for the team last night as the Mets went on to win 2-1 in 11 innings. The Mets picked up the win behind Mike Pelfrey’s great pitching performance, allowing one run on five hits while becoming the first Mets pitcher to last nine innings this season while picking up the no-decision. A key moment in the game came in the seventh inning when Jose Reyes came up to bat with two outs. He took a 1-0 curveball and launched the ball to left field that was originally ruled as a ground-rule double. But the umpires went in the clubhouse to review the call and overturned it, awarding Reyes a solo home run to tie the game at 1. The Padres put a runner on second with one out in the eighth and ninth and failed to score each time. David Eckstein struck out and Headley flied out to end the eighth. Nick Hundley struck out and Will Venable grounded out to end the threat in the ninth. The Mets have now won four in a row and nine consecutive games at Citi Field, improving to 23-9 overall at home. However, they still have their woes when they are away, posting a 8-18 record on the road. But for now, they continue their series at home against the Padres as they send out their ace Johan Santana (4-2, 2.76 ERA) to face Mat Latos (5-4, 3.26 ERA). That game starts at 7:10 p.m and can be seen on SNY.

And in Washington D.C., all eyes were on the Washington Nationals’ rookie sensation Stephen Strasburg as he made his major league debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Nationals right-hander pitched seven innings and gave up only two runs on four hits and struck out 14 batters, which set a Nationals single-season record surpassing John Patterson’s 13 strikeouts, to get his first win by a final score of 5-2. Strasburg, who did the job without looking at scouting reports, threw 94 pitches, 65 for strikes, and didn’t walk a batter. The righty retired his final 10 batters, striking out his last seven. This kid is going to be something, barring any injuries, for years to come. And tonight is just the start of his young career. There will be plenty more pitching performances like this from this kid, just you watch!

NBA: The Lakers took on the Boston Celtics at the TD Garden last night in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. And with a little help from the bench from Derek Fisher, the Lakers went on to beat the Celtics by a final of 91-84. Fisher collected 16 points tonight for the Lake Show, but the crucial 11 points in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference in this game. Sure, there was Kobe Bryant, who led the team with 29 points. There was Lamar Odom, who broke out in this game with 12 points and playing tough defense that seemed to be lacking in this series against Boston. And there was Pau Gasol, who stood up against Glen “Big Baby” Davis and posted up against him all night and swung the momentum of the game to the Lakers. But it was Fisher’s efforts off-the-bench that gave the Lakers a 2-1 series lead in the Finals. After breaking a final’s record for hitting 8 three-pointers in one game, Ray Allen was ice cold, shooting 0-13 and missing eight shots behind the arc. Allen tries to look for his shot against the Lakers in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Thursday at 8:30 p.m as the Celtics look to tie the series and head back to L.A. The Lakers will look to go up 3-1 and try to close it out on their home turf.

NHL: Very quickly, Game 6 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals takes place tonight as the Flyers try to stay alive at home as they take on the Blawkhawks who are looking to close out the series and hoist the trophy on enemy lines. The Flyers are taking their chances with Michael Leighton behind the net in this game, who has been the Flyers’ savior in the playoffs this year. The puck drops at 8 p.m. on NBC.

NFL: All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis returned to practice with the Jets on Tuesday, despite not having a new contract in place. Revis was back for the voluntary organized team activity in a good-faith gesture after sitting out last Thursday. That is the only practice Revis missed this offseason, and he wasn’t fined because it was voluntary. Mark Sanchez fully participated in this practice also, which was his first time this offseason due to his left knee surgery in February. The team confirmed Tuesday night that the second-year pro fully participated in 11-on-11 drills after being limited to individual and passing drills since workouts began several weeks ago. Team doctors have told Sanchez he’s coming along faster than most who have had the same procedure.

Soccer: The World Cup kicks off this Friday at 10 a.m. as South Africa takes on Mexico to start the 2010 festivities. I don’t follow soccer all that much, but I will try to cover this event as much as possible. I’ll probably just list the countries final scores and go in-depth a little more with the U.S. and the final game of the Cup, maybe Italy as well if I’m feeling generous. This is a big event, so i figure this is appropriate to cover.