AROUND THE SPORTS WORLD

Turmoil in New York, the college football playoff and Herm hits Arizona

Eli Manning is back. SBNation

You can listen to my radio show, The Sports Bosses, Monday thru Friday 10 a.m. Eastern on SB Nation Radio. Follow me on Twitter @mediarodriguez

Another curious drive around they sports map this week. While I always say that I never let the facts get in the way of a good story, this week’s nuggets tell me that truth is always stranger than fiction:

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.

The Geno Smith era began and ended for the New York Football Giants with a 24-17 loss to the Raiders Sunday.

While Geno didn’t actually play bad he will forever be linked to the buffoonery that was the Ben McAdoo era in the meadowlands.

At 2-9, I get what the Giants were doing. But the logic of looking to Geno Smith to see what he can do is like saying .. I have a Rolls Royce but I want to drive something different this week. Oooh that Toyota Corolla looks interesting. All the while the “future” of the team, Davis Webb was inactive for the game.

After the loss New York fell to 2-10 on the season and quickly fired McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese. Eli Manning is back as the driver of Big Blue as New York shakes themselves.

As far as McAdoo...I always thought that he looked like first guy killed in every mob movie. Well, congrats. You just earned Fredo Corleone status. And Monday, the Giants took Fred ah, Ben.. fishing. Good riddance.

TUSCALOOSA, ALA.

The College Football Playoff committee announced that Alabama would join Clemson, Oklahoma and Georgia as the four teams vying for the sport’s National Championship leaving Ohio Stare on the outside looking in. Bravo. They got it right. Bama should be there.

What is the CFP? A business. A show. They hav an obligation to their shareholders ( TV, sponsors, partners) to deliver the most interesting storylines and games.

Clemson vs. Alabama is a better story line. It is two southern teams playing in New Orleans. It is a better game. It is better... business.

CINCINNATI, OHIO

Whoa was that Steelers/Bengals game uncomfortable to watch. Two players taken off in stretchers and a vicious helmet to helmet hit.

While the commissioner may be lighting cigars with hundred dollar bills after getting a contract extension, the Monday nighter pulled back the curtain on the NFL. A violent, cruel game that leaves the players discarded like palm husks on the side of the road.

The league can try to put in all the education, equipment and safety to make the game safer. The players need to give a damn too. No more cheap shots. No more targeting. It just ain’t cool.

TEMPE, ARIZ.

Finally thank you to Herm Edwards. I hope he has a long run as head coach of the Arizona State Sun Devils. The press conferences are going to be epic. He’s graduated to “old man shouting at cars” status. Bless his heart.
 

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McCullers Jr. out-pitched friend and former teammate Dallas Keuchel on Father's Day. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With three impressive wins to start this series against the once AL-leading Chicago White Sox, Houston tried to extend their winning streak to seven games and finish a four-game sweep on Father's Day. Thanks to a big inning against former-Astro Dallas Keuchel, they would win to keep their hot streak going.

Final Score: Astros 8, White Sox 2

Astros' Record: 43-28, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (4-1)

Losing Pitcher: Dallas Keuchel (6-2)

Rough return to Houston for Keuchel

In his first game against his old squad, Dallas Keuchel would not have a memorable start on the mound for Chicago. Houston made him labor in the first inning, loading the bases though they only came away with one run on an RBI single by Abraham Toro, grabbing the early 1-0 lead. After going down 1-2-3 in the second, they got after Keuchel again in the third.

They ended up batting around against him that inning, including a two-RBI single by Yordan Alvarez, RBI double by Taylor Jones, and bases-loaded RBI-walk by Jose Altuve, which would end Keuchel's day very early and leave the bases juiced. Chicago's bullpen would walk another batter to give Keuchel another earned run, making it a 6-2 game, with all six going against the former Houston ace. Carlos Correa extended the lead to five runs in the next inning, hitting a leadoff solo home run to make it 7-2.

McCullers Jr. gives up two over six

That gave Lance McCullers Jr. a nice lead to work with, and he managed it well. He had one big mistake in the early goings of the game, giving up a one-out single in the second to set up a two-run home run, which at the time put Chicago in front 2-1 before Houston's offense came alive. He followed that up with four scoreless innings, erasing a walk in each with some tremendous defense behind him—his final line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 94 P.

Astros complete the sweep to jump on top of the standings

Still a six-run game in the top of the seventh, Blake Taylor entered as the first reliever out of Houston's bullpen, tossing a 1-2-3 frame. He continued in the top of the eighth, getting two strikeouts in another scoreless inning. The 8-2 score would go final as Ralph Garza Jr. would enter as the third pitcher of the day to wrap things up with a scoreless top of the ninth to finish the four-game sweep. The win, their seventh straight, paired with an Oakland loss earlier in the afternoon, moves Houston into the top spot in the AL West based on winning percentage.

Up Next: This long stretch of consecutive games continues on Monday in Baltimore, as the Astros pick up a seven-game road trip starting with a three-game set against Baltimore getting underway at 6:05 PM Central. Jake Odorizzi (1-3, 5.68 ERA) will get the start for Houston, going opposite of Keegan Akin (0-2, 5.76 ERA) for the Orioles.

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