Cokin’s Corner, Sunday 5-29-16

  • May 28, 2016

I was planning to write about how incredibly bad several baseball bullpens were on Saturday. But then that basketball game happened.

I guess it depends on your individual perspective, as I’ve seen plenty of tweets about how the Oklahoma City Thunder blew the game and very possibly the series against the Golden State Warriors.

I’m on the other side, as while the Thunder certainly didn’t play well at the finish, this was more a case of the Warriors simply refusing to lose. Klay Thompson kept his team in it with his long range bombs. Andre Iguodala played some amazing defense when it mattered, and Steph Curry wreaked absolute havoc at the end of the game.

Regardless of what side of that conversation you’re on, one thing that I think we’ll all agree on is that the Thunder are now in an extremely difficult spot. Getting off the canvas after a demoralizing loss is tough enough. Now add in a fairly quick turnaround and travel to one of the toughest home courts I’ve ever seen in the NBA, and this is now a monumental task for Oklahoma City.

It’s sports, so anything can obviously happen. If you watched any number of Saturday baseball games, you already know what I’m talking about. So I’m not about to just crown the Warriors Western Conference champs. They still have to go out and win the game on Monday. But if Golden State comes out of the gate hot, it’s tough to envision the visitors being able to avoid leaving the court with heads hanging.

The biggest beneficiary of all this incredible drama? That has to be the Cleveland Cavaliers. They’re going to be well rested and likely extremely confident as they wait to find out who’s they’re up against for the world championship of basketball.

I know one thing. While I’m hardly the most dedicated NBA fan on the planet, there’s no way I’m missing any portion of Monday’s Game Seven. So don’t bother calling or texting, friends. I’ll be busy.

I’m not going to go into a lengthy dissertation on this. It’s so fluky I can only type in the actual stats, shake my head at them and move on to the next day. I played three games on Saturday. My bullpens combined to surrender 22 runs in 9.2 innings, including a seven-spot in 2/3 of an inning by the White Sox relievers. The bullpens on the other sides? You guessed it. Perfect. Zero runs allowed.

My June special will be posted here on Tuesday, which also happens to be June 1st. If you want advance notice on what I’m doing, email me at

Detroit does not have a good bullpen, but they were beyond awful on Saturday as they gave up nine runs to to Oakland. 3-3 turned into 12-3 and that was more than that for the daily free play. Heres’s Sunday’s and hopefully I won’t jinx a guy who has utterly dominated this opponent.

RED SOX (Price)  at  BLUE JAYS (Dickey)

Take: RED SOX -135

So I’ll get the bad stuff out of the way at the top. The Red Sox have lost three straight. Toronto has suddenly won four in a row. Boston will have to figure out what to do if there’s a save situation, as I would be shocked if Craig Kimbrel is available here. The Red Sox closer threw a career high number of pitches on Saturday and I doubt he’ll even be considered for action today.

I’m not huge on backing pitchers simply based on career ledgers vs. an opponent. It’s small sample stuff for the most part and can frequently be dismissed as extraneous info. But in the case of David Price vs. the Blue Jays, there’s just no way to avoid it. Price is now an amazing 17-2 lifetime against Toronto. That includes 11-1 at this site.

Beyond those numbers, Price is also in better form than RA Dickey, his mound adversary today. Dickey has been reasonably effective for the most part, but he is having long ball issues and he has also been knocked around twice by Boston already this season.

Normally. I won’t consider laying a price on the road with a team on a losing streak when facing a team on a winning streak. There has to be something extraordinary in play for that to take place. That’s where those Price numbers take over. Beyond that, the Red Sox were an unhappy bunch after the Saturday fiasco, as they felt they gave the game away. They’re right about that. Christian Vazquez makes a reality bad throw, Travis Ford does the same, Hanley Ramirez can’t catch a ball I think he still has to catch. That’s how a team loses a game they should have won.

This one is square to be sure, as I’m sure not the only one who knows Price is 17-2 against the Blue Jays. But this is where aces are supposed to step up and be stoppers, so I’ll give Price some backing today and will go with the Red Sox to salvage the series finale.