When Joel Kiviranta capped a hat trick by scoring the series-clinching goal in overtime in his playoff debut in the second round, the young Finn had one real desire. ”I hope I get more games,” Kiviranta said. Kiviranta hasn’t come out of the Dallas Stars lineup since, and he’s emblematic of the impact a player can have in the fight for the Stanley Cup after playing but not practicing for weeks on end.
Bam Adebayo has not wanted much credit for anything this season, always deferring to others in the Miami Heat locker room when things are going well. ”I put that game on me,” Adebayo said. On Miami giving up 41 points in the third quarter: ”I wasn’t being the defensive anchor that I should have been.
Justin Turner homered twice and AJ Pollock, Will Smith and Edwin Rios also went deep as the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied to beat the Angels 9-5 on Friday to open the first-ever season-closing Freeway Series. The loss mathematically eliminated the Angels from postseason contention in Joe Maddon’s first season as manager, and gave the final AL playoff spot to the Houston Astros.
Ryan Pressly had no interest in waiting to see if the Astros would get the help they needed to clinch the last spot in the expanded American League playoffs after the Houston reliever couldn’t finish it himself when he was a strike away. The Los Angeles Dodgers pitched in anyway by beating the Angels to give Houston a franchise-record fourth straight trip to the postseason, and a shot at redemption after the offseason sign-stealing scandal that tarnished a 2017 World Series championship. Joey Gallo’s run-scoring fielder’s choice in the 10th inning completed a 5-4 victory for Texas as the Rangers rallied from a run down in each of the last two innings Friday night, starting with Ronald Guzman’s two-out, two-strike solo homer off Pressly in the ninth.
The San Diego Padres are still very much counting on a healthy Dinelson Lamet making his playoff start next week. The big right-hander gave them a scare when he reported biceps tightness and made an early exit Friday night – but, for now, Lamet will throw in a couple of days with expectations of pitching Wednesday at Petco Park in San Diego’s first postseason berth in 14 years. ”Everybody is pretty optimistic right now,” manager Jayce Tingler said.