This week’s ABQ Journal fishing report sez you can catch catfish in the Rio Grande between here and Socorro using night crawlers, liver or stink bait; the tiger muskies at Bluewater Lake fancy hotdogs, though.
The World Series began on Wednesday night with a blow out win by the Boston Red Sox. The Sox were widely expected to win the series, so the beginning of the best-of-7 set seemed, at least, auspicious. However, the St. Louis Cardinals came back on Thursday to squeak out a 4-2 win to knot up baseball’s ultimate contest.
However, Boston took their turn eking out the same supposedly small victory, a 4-2 margin that once again tied things up Sunday night. And with a defensive showdown in Game 5, won 3-1 by the Red Sox, the World Series was all but over. With Game 6 to be played at Fenway in Boston, wild reports circulated of record prices being set for the city's first chance, in this lifetime, to witness a championship.
The Red Sox famously hadn't won the World Series since 1918, but suddenly found themselves in the spotlight, winning twice in the last 10 years. However, the 2004 championship was a sweep, ending in Game 4 at Busch Stadium, when the Red Sox beat the Cardinals. Most recently, they swept the 2007 World Series against the Colorado Rockies, finishing Game 4 in Denver. Thus, the people of Boston tingled for a closing win at home.
When the Cardinals had trouble with the plane getting them to Boston, it seemed as though things were primed for the Red Sox to close everything down for the season. Game 6 did indeed slam the door on baseball for the year, and Boston did it in near-dominating fashion. In the largest romp of this World Series since Game 1, the Red Sox won their 8th World Series title 6-1, holding the Cardinals scoreless until the seventh inning, at which point Boston was firmly in charge.
Nike sent out their obligatory tweet and the people of Boston celebrated like they hadn't seen this in 100-plus years—which, in a way, they haven't. Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox on winning it all, especially since it finally came on their home field. That said, they've won the World Series three times now since 2004.
Every year, every major sport comes down to two teams. Usually, there's some sort of grandiose narrative framing that championship match-up. This year, MLB does not disappoint, and gives the people a trope they've come to expect: team on a roll, delivered through improbable circumstance, versus a team that is defying some odds.
The St. Louis Cardinals get to play the role of the former, shocking most casual fans with their astonishing run through the post-season and winding up only four wins away from the ultimate validation. The Texas Rangers, on the other hand, are a firm lock in the latter category, having raced to the World Series last year, after a long, long drought, and battling all year to get back.
When these two teams meet tonight at 6:05 p.m., they'll start things off in St. Louis, which has home-field advantage thanks to the National League’s win in the All-Star Game. The best of seven series follows a 2-3-2 format, ensuring that Texas' fans will be packing the stands in the middle of the series, regardless of the result.
David Freese is on a role.
There's the mini-drama over Lance Berkman, a free agent last year who was pursued by the Rangers, but ultimately spurned them for the Cardinals. There's the lockdown pitching of the Rangers’ bullpen, which is producing at a rate that is almost embarrassing for the starters. And, of course, there's the danger of St. Louis' powerful offense, combining Albert Pujols—perhaps the best hitter in baseball—with David Freese and the aforementioned Berkman.
Predictions, however, are hard to come by. These teams, with their varied styles and the differing ways they got to this point, play a somewhat even game. When forced to come with a prediction, though, I've got to go with the Rangers in seven games. These teams are so close, it's going to be a full series. We're going to see some beautiful baseball. But ultimately, only one of the familiar stories will get to be told. This is the year for the Rangers.
Fielder and Betancourt celebrate Betancourt’s two-run shot
There's no love lost between the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals. Both teams engaged in trash talk throughout the season, which came to a boiling point in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series. St. Louis controlled the tempo with David Freese’s three-run homer in the top of the fourth inning. But the Brewers went into their signature “beast mode” and delivered a six-run fifth inning. Prince Fielder's two-run homer, Ryan Braun’s two-run RBI double, along with a Yuniesky Betancourt two-run homer gave the Cardinals pitching nightmares. The 9-6 win was huge for Milwaukee, but the series is far from over as the teams split their season series. Despite barely making the playoffs, the Cardinals still have the pitching advantage and could easily win their home games. But they'll have to find a way to win Game 2 without their best pitcher, Chris Carpenter.
Whoever said real life couldn't mimic Rocky movies has obviously never seen UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar fight before. Edgar fought Grey Maynard on Saturday night for the third time to settle their rivalry. On New Year’s Day of this year, both men fought to a controversial draw that saw Maynard almost knock out Edgar in the first round. Edgar recovered and did enough to convince the judges to rule the fight a draw. Their third encounter shockingly resembled their second fight with Maynard nailing Edgar with a huge uppercut in the first round. Edgar survived and Maynard failed to take advantage. During rounds two and three, Maynard was conservative, allowing Edgar to pull even in the fight. Then during round four, Edgar made Maynard pay for a takedown attempt and finished the fight with a dramatic knockout to retain the title. After two failed attempts, Maynard will have to climb back up the difficult rankings to get another shot at the title. Edgar may get matched up with Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez or fight the Ben Henderson-Clay Guida winner.
Also in MMA, it looks like Anderson Silva maybe seeing Chael Sonnen back in the octagon sooner rather than later. Brian Stann was poised to become breakout fighter of the year with a win over Sonnen. But the 14-month layoff did not bother Sonnen as he dominated Stann with his wrestling, eventually submitting him with an arm-triangle choke. However, the impressive victory was not enough as Sonnen insulted Silva and challenged him to a fight during Super Bowl weekend. Sonnen even put his career on the line if he lost, but with a victory told Silva he had to leave the Middleweight division.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis runs all over the Jets
The New York Jets struggles continue as the New England Patriots used their running game to frustrate the Jets defense. Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a breakout performance with a career best 136 yards and two touchdowns to lead his team to the 30-21 victory. The Jets were down most of the game but managed to make a compelling comeback from 13 points down in the fourth quarter. But the Patriots used good clock management and sealed the game with a field goal with 1:03 remaining. Jets coach Rex Ryan shouldn't panic, despite losing his third game in a row; but losing one more could send the locker room into disarray.
To say it’s been a difficult season for UNM is a massive understatement. With former coach Mike Locksley getting axed and battling another controversy, dealing with rival New Mexico state looked impossible, to say the least. To UNM's credit, 30,091 fans showed up to support interim coach George Barlow’s chance to salvage the rest of the season. The new-felt optimism quickly disappeared as New Mexico State quarterback Matt Christian dominated the Lobo defense with three passing touchdowns in the first half. When the second half started the Lobo offense showed some signs of life, scoring 21 points. But the defense was unable to stop NMSU as the Lobos suffered its third loss in a row to the Aggies. Despite the lopsided 42-28 loss, the Lobos showed some positive signs, with quarterback B.R Holbrook making decent decisions and moving the ball. There's not a lot of positive signs to take away from an 0-5 start to the season, but the Lobos need to focus on the fundamental basics in order salvage something out of the disaster.
The Milwaukee Brewers and Arizona Diamondbacks engaged in a slug fest during game two of the National League Divisional Series. The teams combined for 22 hits, in a game marked by shifting momentum. During the fifth inning, Arizona seemed set for a comeback victory with Justin Upton tying the game with a two-run homer. But in the sixth, a Jonathan Lucroy bunt and Nyjer Morgan's two run single contributed to the Brewers scoring five runs in that frame. With the 9-4 victory the Brewers take a commanding lead in the series as they head to Arizona on Tuesday. Milwaukee is not exactly used to success of this kind, as the 2-0 series lead is the first in franchise history. If the Brewers can pull of its first sweep in its history, it might give them the momentum needed to move toward a World Series victory.
When Rex Ryan was coaching the Ravens, Baltimore was the most dangerous defense in the NFL. Ryan continued improving the defensive side of the ball with the New York Jets, but on Sunday the Jets got a rude awakening. Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez looked like he was in a horror movie, suffering multiple hits and giving up three defensive touchdowns. The Ravens defense caused so much havoc, it covered up Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco’s mediocre 10-31 throwing performance. With the 34-17 loss, the Jets are now on a two-game losing streak and have a date with their heated rival the New England Patriots. The Ravens proved they're one of the top teams in the AFC, while the Jets looked terrible and should set the stage for another memorable Rex Ryan tirade.