L.A. Pro Sports Update 4/12
L.A. Dodgers: While the Dodgers’ bats have struggled to begin the year, their pitching has remained solid. After finishing their opening series against the San Diego Padres on Thursday with back-to-back victories, the Dodgers traveled to Coors Field and dropped two of three to the Colorado Rockies with one of their lowest offensive outputs ever in the hitter-friendly ballpark. The team then played the unwelcome visitor as the 2016 World Series champion Chicago Cubs raised their long-awaited title banner and received their championship rings. The Dodgers lost game one of the series in extra innings, but struck back in game two with a 2-0 shutout on April 12.
Player of the week: Starting Pitcher Brandon McCarthy: (past 2 starts) 12.0 innings pitched, eight hits allowed, two earned runs allowed, eight strikeouts, four walks
L.A. Angels: The Angels have become comeback kings early on in 2017. After splitting the last two games of their opening series in Oakland, the Halos returned home and started a four-game win streak. They have yet to lose at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in 2017, thanks to a couple of amazing comebacks. On April 9, the Angels scored a whopping seven runs in the bottom of the ninth to secure a sweep over the Seattle Mariners, then scored three runs in their last at-bat against the Texas Rangers on April 11, giving them another walk off win.
Player of the week: Third Baseman Yunel Escobar: (past 6 games) 12 hits, nine runs, three RBI, one home run
L.A. Lakers: The Lakers came home riding an ill-timed two-game win streak, as fans had already given up on the season and were looking forward to next month’s NBA draft lottery in the hopes of the team keeping their draft pick, which goes to the Philadelphia 76ers if it falls out of the top-three in the lottery. Then the young team promptly notched three more victories, beating the Sacramento Kings, Minnesota Timberwolves and New Orleans Pelicans before losing their final game of the year to the Golden State Warriors, finishing the 2016-17 campaign at 26-56.
Player of the week: Guard/Forward Metta World Peace: Led team in scoring (18 points) in final home game of NBA career on April 11.
L.A. Clippers: The Clippers’ final playoff tuneup included two victories against possible playoff foes San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets. They then beat the Kings to avenge an embarrassing loss two weeks before and finish the season on an NBA-best six-game win streak. The victory over the Kings also clinched the No. 4 playoff seed in the Western Conference, meaning that the Clippers will have home-court advantage in their first round series against the Utah Jazz starting April 15.
Player of the week: Point Guard Chris Paul: (Last two games) 19.0 points per game, 8.5 assists per game
L.A. Kings: After getting eliminated from the playoffs on April 2, the Kings sputtered to the finish line. Their last victory came in overtime against the Chicago Blackhawks at Staples Center on April 8, but that was sandwiched between losses to the Calgary Flames and Anaheim Ducks to conclude the season. On April 10, the Kings shocked the entire hockey world by firing general manager Dean Lombardi and head coach Darryl Sutter. To replace Lombardi, the franchise named beloved ex-players Luc Robitaille and Rob Blake team president and general manager, respectively.
“Player” of the week: Former Left Wing Luc Robitaille: One of the greatest players in Kings history returned to the organization when he became the team’s new president of hockey operations on April 11.
Anaheim Ducks: The Ducks finished their regular season in quality fashion, winning 4-0 against the Chicago Blackhawks on April 6 followed by a 4-3 overtime victory over their local rivals, the L.A. Kings, on April 9. Center Rickard Rakell had himself an excellent pair of games, scoring and assisting in the first game then contributing two assists in the second game. The Ducks begin the first game of their seven-game series against Calgary on March 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Player of the week: Right Winger Jakob Silfverberg: (Last three games) 2 goals, 3 assists