Bay Area Sports Beat: What You Need to Know Right Now
Our pitch to the Oxford Dictionary to get “Verlandered” official is still pending, but as far the Oakland A’s are concerned, they’d be happy to forget the silly would-be verb.
For the second consecutive year, the surly Tigers pitcher ended the dream in Oakland, shutting down the A’s in a decisive Game 5.
Justin Verlander was just as, if not more, dominant than he was last year, pitching six perfect innings and eventually leaving after eight innings pitched without giving up a run and only sacrificing two hits in an eventual 3-0 victory.
Verlander, for what it’s worth, is no longer welcome in Oakland. It’s been 30 (!) innings since the A’s scored against him.
Sonny Gray, who was Oakland’s hero in a masterful Game 2 performance, gave up a fourth-inning home run to Miguel Cabrera to spoil the rookie’s magical introduction to postseason baseball.
But, really, Gray pitched well. Verlander just pitched better.
As for the vociferous faithful who filled O.co, Verlander heard ‘em, and minced their words in a strange form of motivation.
“Everybody in the ballpark, 50,000, are rooting against me and yelling as loud as they can,” Verlander told The San Jose Mercury News. “That’s fun for me. I enjoy that.
“At one point they were chanting, ‘Let’s go Oakland,’ and in my head every time that they said ‘Oakland,’ I said ‘Tigers.’”
He. Did. What?!
The kids are going to be OK, after all. Especially this Tomas Hertl kid.
Now-rookie sensation Hertl put on a show for the ages (and the interwebs) on Tuesday night, scoring four goals in an 8-2 dismantling of the New York Rangers as the Sharks continued their impressive start.
But it wasn’t just the scoreline or Hertl’s goal haul that caught the nation’s attention: it was also the audacious stunt he pulled in the waning moments that left plenty of jaws on the floor.
On a breakaway, he added a fourth goal with a behind-the-legs shot that only the most technically apt and supremely confident could pull off. Don’t just take these words for it, watch Hertl’s theatrics here via Bleacher Report and try to just watch it once.
And as if the sheer beauty of Hertl's on-ice exploits weren't enough, his performance also spawned perhaps one of the bro-iest, NSFW quotes of all time from teammate Joe Thornton.
Public service announcement: our resident Sharkologist, Alicia Kidd, informed yours truly that The Next Big Thing's first name is actually pronounced "Toe-mausch."
You're all welcome.
You’re a cruel mistress, Salt Lake City.
And let the Cardinal never return. Stanford, previously ranked No. 5 in the nation, endured a shocking defeat on Saturday, falling to the host Utah Utes 27-21.
Utah’s unexpected victory over Stanford both put a serious dent in the Cardinal’s Rose Bowl aspirations and also dropped them from No. 5 to No. 13 in Sunday’s BCS rankings.
Stanford (5-1) had the nation’s second-longest winning streak before Saturday’s debacle. Next week won’t get any easier for the Cardinal against UCLA, a team that throttled Cal 37-10 on Saturday.
Every so often, SFW: @seanswaby