Every-Thing Sports

Jermaine Every: Summer sporting events to hold you over

The World Cup should give you a sports diversion. @FIFAWorldCup verified Twitter account

Summer is here. The heat has ratcheted up a notch or 12. I took the wife on a lunch date Sunday afternoon and we did some shopping. Our leftovers were still hot when we got home. School is out, so the inevitable conundrum of what to do with your kids for the summer is something parents wrestle with every year. But hey, at least the traffic will be light. Community pools are open to help cool you off, and keep the kids busy. Beware of the urine dye indicator and floating turds. It’s also vacation time. A lot of you will be going on vacation and taking trips. Thanks to the guys at ESPN 97.5 and SB Nation who are taking time off and giving my podcast partner Craig Koskin and I an opportunity to fill in.

Summer descending upon us also means the sports landscape will amount to a barren waste land according to most. Baseball is the only of the major sports that is still in-season. Some of you feel as if baseball is secondary. I know lots of people who don’t like it. But the Astros are poised for another World Series run so we should be along for the ride. Sure the bullpen sucks, and the bats have narcolepsy, but this team will make the playoffs. They also have the best pitching staff in MLB and that is all you need to have a shot. The true titans are the NBA, and reiging sports king of the hill the NFL. The NBA Finals are soon to be over. Emphasis on soon if the Cavs can’t pull it together fight back. We’re still 59 days away from the first NFL preseason Hall of Fame Game and 94 days away from the Eagles/Falcons Kickoff Game for the regular season. This could be a long couple months for some…unless you open your mind to some alternatives.

When I say “alternatives” I’m talking strictly sports. I mean, sure you could pick up a hobby, or get some much needed rest. However, as sports fans, we aren’t wired like that. We love the competition and drama that comes along with it. If your sports appetite can’t wait a couple months, here are several alternatives:

The World Cup (June 14-July 15)

This is the premiere sporting event of the summer. The world will be watching. I know people who root for certain countries to win because their favorite player/s play/s for said country. Soccer is such a global game because all you need is a ball and two makeshift goals. The World Cup only comes around every four years. After the corruption scandal erupted a few years ago, FIFA has seemingly recovered and they’re looking forward to what is looking to be a great Cup. Jerry Bo wrote a great article for anyone needing a beginner’s guide to the Cup.

Men’s College World Series (June 16-26)

The Men’s College World Series produces some of the most exciting moments in sports every year. LSU’s Warren Morris won an ESPY with his walk-off homerun to win the 1996 title. Since 1950, it’s been held in Omaha, Nebraska. From 1950-2010, it was played in Rosenblatt Stadium. From 2011 on, it’s been played at the TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. That’s the history and tradition sports fans love.

PGA US Open (June 11-17)

I know. I know. “Golf is boring!” “I use golf to take naps on the weekends.” “If Tiger’s not in contention, I’m not watching.” I’ve heard it all before. Heck, I’ve even said some myself. But this major is different because it’s the longest, and sometimes most difficult, course of the year. Watching the top pro golfers in the world struggle is a good reminder that nobody owns this game. Winners are often times barely under par. It’s going to be held at Shinnecock Hills in New York. The last three winners were at -4, E, and -1.

Wimbledon (July 2-15)

If you think golf is boring, chances are you feel the same way about tennis. This major has all the pomp and circumstance expected of an event held in England and attended by members of the royal family. Players are held to a very strict all white dress code. Men are to bow and women are to curtsy. Did I mention it’s played on grass? The ball doesn’t spin or bounce the same so players with power aren’t always at an advantage. Centre Court on a Saturday or Sunday for the finals is a sight to see.

These are just four big sporting events I’ve listed for you to watch. There are at least three to four more that are worth your attention. Personally, I’ll be glued to each one of these I’ve listed, especially The World Cup. I’ve become a fan of soccer since I moved to Texas in 2000. If there are any more you’d suggest, or you want to interact with me about the subject matter, give me a follow on Twitter so we can discuss. I hope to hear from you guys because I’d love to get your feedback!


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Houston gets back in the win column

Astros end six-game skid thanks to a gem by Greinke

Zack Greinke tossed a gem Saturday night. Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

After the Mariners roared back Friday night to get a walk-off win over the Astros, dashing their hopes of ending their losing streak, Houston tried to even the series with a win on Saturday night with their ace Zack Greinke on the mound. Greinke would do his part, throwing a terrific game, and the Astros would squeak out one run, which was enough to get back in the win column.

Final Score: Astros 1, Mariners 0

Astros' Record: 7-7, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Zack Greinke (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Chris Flexen (1-1)

Plenty of hits, but only one run

Although the Astros were racking up hits against Chris Flexen, they had little to show for it. Eight different batters would notch ten hits against him, but the only time it amounted to a run was on a two-out RBI-single by Taylor Jones in the top of the fourth, giving Houston a 1-0 lead.

Greinke spins a gem

Luckily for them, Zack Greinke was making it look like that would be enough. He cruised through the Mariners all night, allowing just four hits while giving up zero runs along with six strikeouts, one of which moved him past 2,700 on his career. He could have attempted to finish the complete-game shutout, but at 91 pitches after eight, Dusty Baker opted to bring in closer Ryan Pressly for the ninth. Greinke's final line: 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 91 P.

Houston finally ends their losing streak

With the high-leverage save opportunity in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Pressly entered to hold on to the one-run lead. He would do his job, finishing off the win for Greinke and putting an end to Houston's disappointing losing streak.

Up Next: The third and final game of this series will get underway at 3:10 PM Central on Sunday. Jake Odorizzi (0-1, 13.50 ERA) will look to make a rebound from his disappointing first start with the Astros, while the Mariners will start Nick Margevicius (0-1, 7.04 ERA).

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