This week’s version of What had happened was… is dedicated to the reason why we all watch sports. For the improbable comeback or the outcome that just makes you shake your head. The reason why I continue to watch sports is because the outcome is never predetermined. The more I watch sports the more i am amazed at the outcome of some games. A bounce here or a bad hop there can change everything. With that theme in mind, here are the top three sporting events of the weekend, and of course one non sports event that affected me.
Before we get to the top three the Los Angeles Lakers get an honorable mention for their 16 point, 4th quarter comeback against Oklahoma City on Sunday afternoon. It’s only an honorable mention because those kinds of comebacks are commonplace in the NBA.
The Boston Red Sox were cruising to a 9-0 lead over the Yankees on Saturday Afternoon. I’m sure the Red Sox still felt pretty good even though Mark Teixeira got the Yanks on the board with a solo home run in the sixth. No one in Boston was prepared for what would happen next. Nick Swisher’s grand slam and Teixeira’s three run shot cut the lead to one in the seventh. Then the two came through in the eighth with two run doubles to give the Yankees the lead. Not only did New York come all the way back, they cruised to a 15-9 victory. The Yankee comeback included five walks and an error. I still contend that the biggest difference between the Yankees and the Orioles is their discipline at the plate. Yankee hitters make pitchers work for every out they get, and very rarely swing at balls out of the strike zone regardless of the situation. I love the picture below. That’s a lot of crooked numbers on the scoreboard.
We always talk about how important face offs are in lacrosse. Saturday afternoon at UMBC Retriever face off man Phil Poe showed us one of the greatest examples of how imprortant they can be. Winning face offs in lacrosse can be just like playing make it take it in a one on one basketball game. you score, get it right back, score again, get it right back, and it just keeps on going. UMBC and Albany were locked in a see-saw battle all day long. The Great Danes went on a fourth quarter run that built a 12-10 lead to 16-11 with just over six minutes to play. That’s when Poe started his own little game of make it take it. Poe’s first win led to Scott Hoppman’s goal that cut it to 16-12. The next face-off was true make it, take it. Poe won the face-off, sprinted into the Albany end and scored eight seconds after Hoppman’s goal to make it 16-13. Poe won the next face off and the Retrievers converted again on a man-up situation to make it 16-14. Poe’s fourth straight win set up Matt Gregoire’s goal and cut the Great Danes’ lead to one. You guessed it, Poe won his fifth straight face off and when Dave Brown drilled a laser beam into the Albany net the Retrievers had come all the way back. Poe not only won every face off, he also scooped up every ground ball as well. Five face off wins, five ground balls for Poe and five goals in a span of 2:18. All of it wouldn’t have mattered if the Retrievers couldn’t finish the job. Scott Jones did that 2:17 into OT to give UMBC an improbable 17-16 OT victory. Check out the highlights below courtesy of UMBC