Greetings sports fans, it's Chris Bengel here trying to make your Monday a little bit brighter. I hope everybody had a great weekend and isn't going to miss sports too much this week.
The summer is one of the more interesting times of the year for the sports calendar. Once the NBA and NHL are wrapped up, all we have is baseball until the NFL and college football return in the fall.
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Tonight, we do have the Home Run Derby to keep us entertained and then the MLB All-Star Game itself on Tuesday. There isn't any baseball on Wednesday, but luckily there's Game 4 of the NBA Finals. If there wasn't basketball on Wednesday, I truly don't know what we'd do. The good news is that we won't have to deal with such a dilemma.
Anyway, let's get to the sports news.
📰 What you need to know
1. Bucks climb back into NBA Finals 🏀
The Phoenix Suns had an impressive 2-0 lead over the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Finals as the series shifted to Milwaukee for Game 3 on Sunday. It seemed as though the Suns couldn't do anything wrong and, despite Giannis Antetokounmpo's best efforts, Phoenix had been the superior team thus far.
However, the Bucks thrived on their home floor en route to a 120-100 win over the Suns in Game 3. One of the biggest reasons for Milwaukee's success was the play of Antetokounmpo. The Bucks star finished with 41 points on 14-of-23 shooting while also securing 13 rebounds and clearly isn't hampered by the hyperextended knee that kept him out for two games against the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Milwaukee were able to outscore Phoenix 35-17 in the second quarter and really put some distance between the two teams. In addition, it didn't hurt that the Bucks were able to shut down Devin Booker to the tune of just 10 points on 3-of-14 shooting. Throughout much of the series, Booker was able to get any shot he wanted, but that was far from the case in Game 3.
For some takeaways from Game 3, check out what CBS Sports NBA scribe Michael Kaskey-Blomain had to say.
If the Bucks can come away with a win in Game 4, it's a whole new series and could certainly go seven games. It truly is a lot of fun to see Antetokounmpo excel on the big stage and I'm so glad that fans weren't robbed of that.
2. Italy outlasts England on penalty kicks in Euro final ⚽
Since being hired by CBS Sports a few years back, I've found myself becoming a bigger soccer fan than I ever have been in my life. I've even become a Paris Saint-Germain supporter during that time and was locked in for both the Copa America and UEFA Euro finals over the weekend.
- The Euro final certainly wasn't short on drama as England battled Italy at Wembley Stadium.
- Luke Shaw scored the opening goal just two minutes into the game and England took the 1-0 lead into the locker room
- However, Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci was able to tie the game in the 67th minute
- The game ended up going into extra time and 120 minutes wasn't enough to decide a winner between these two global powerhouses
That's when the game ended up going to penalty kicks and getting wild. Italy was able to come away with a 3-2 advantage and won the Euro title.
England's Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka were the players that missed their penalty kicks. On the fifth and final shot for both teams, English goalie Jordan Pickford made a sensational save in which he deflected the shot off the post and gave England life. However, Saka was then stopped by Italian goalie Gianluigi Donnarumma as Donnarumma guessed right and made a tremendous save to clinch the win for Italy.
It marked Italy's second ever Euro title and the first one since 1968. It also was the first shootout in a Euro final since 1976. For a deeper look at how Italy came away with the win, check out this great write up by our soccer scribe Jonathan Johnson.
This was theater at its absolute best and was such a fun match to watch. You have to feel for England for losing like that when they were able to stop Italy on two occasions during the penalty kick stage. However, Italy pounced on their opportunities despite being down early in the contest.
3. Recapping the first night of the MLB Draft ⚾
The Major League Baseball Draft is one of the most intriguing player selection processes in sports. Most teams are selecting players according to overall potential rather than a need at a specific position. Team rosters are certainly going to look a lot different three or four years down the road than they do in 2021.
The Pittsburgh Pirates owned the top pick in last night's opening round of the draft as a result of their 19-41 record in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. They selected Louisville catcher Henry Davis with the pick. Pittsburgh could've went in a variety of different directions as many had tabbed shortstop Marcelo Mayer as arguably the top player in this year's class.
Here's a breakdown of Davis, courtesy of CBS Sports baseball scribe Mike Axisa.
- Axisa on Davis: "Davis made the leap by hitting .370/.482/.663 this season with 15 home runs and seven more walks than strikeouts. The demand for two-way backstops always outpaces the supply, which is why Davis' upside is intriguing. He combines a low whiff rate with a high average exit velocity at the plate, and he's at least an adequate defender (with a strong arm) behind it. Some evaluators are concerned his strength-based swing won't work as well against advanced pitching."
And here's what the rest of the top 10 looked like in the opening round of the draft:
- Pittsburgh Pirates - Henry Davis (C, Louisville)
- Texas Rangers - Jack Leiter (RHP, Vanderbilt)
- Detroit Tigers - Jackson Jobe (RHP, Heritage Hall HS, OK)
- Boston Red Sox - Marcelo Mayer (SS, Eastlake HS, Calif.)
- Baltimore Orioles - Colton Cowser (OF, Sam Houston State)
- Arizona Diamondbacks - Jordan Lawler (SS, Dallas Jesuit HS, TX)
- Kansas City Royals - Frank Mozzicato (LHP, East Catholic HS, CT)
- Colorado Rockies - Benny Montgomery (OF, Red Land HS, PA)
- Los Angeles Angels - Sam Bachman (RHP, Miami OH)
- New York Mets - Kumar Rocker (RHP, Vanderbilt)
The most intriguing pick of the round had to be Kumar Rocker lasting until the New York Mets' pick at No. 10. Along with Jack Leiter, Rocker formed a tremendous one-two punch at Vanderbilt and both should have strong careers in the majors. The Mets currently have a sensational starting rotation that features the likes of Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman and Taijuan Walker.
4. Novak Djokovic triumphs at Wimbledon to win record-tying 20th Grand Slam title 🎾
It's no secret that Novak Djokovic has been one of the most dominant forces that the tennis world has ever seen. Djokovic continued his reign as he defeated No. 7 seed Matteo Berrettini 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 to win Wimbledon on Sunday.
Djokovic's Wimbledon triumph marked the 20th Grand Slam title of his storied career. In doing so, Djokovic is now tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the most Grand Slam titles all-time. It's been quite the year for Djokovic as he's won the Australian Open, French Open, and now Wimbledon. Only a handful of tennis stars have swept the Grand Slam tournaments in a given calendar year.
Djokovic will get that opportunity later this summer when he attempts to win the US Open in late August. If he's able to do that, he'll have the most men's Grand Slam titles of all-time, which seems insane considering that Djokovic is only 34.
CBS Sports' Katherine Acquavella broke down how Djokovic was able to secure his latest Grand Slam title and gave some context for his dominance.
- Acquavella: "This Wimbledon championship puts him three-quarters of the way to a calendar-year Grand Slam. No men's singles player has accomplished a calendar Slam since Rod Laver in 1969. Only five players in the history of tennis have won the calendar Grand Slam; Don Budge (1938), Rod Laver (1962, 1969), Maureen Connolly Brinker (1953), Margaret Court (1970) and Steffi Graf (1988)."
📝 Odds & Ends
- Miami Marlins pitcher Pablo Lopez set a Major League Baseball record with nine consecutive strikeouts to begin Sunday's game against the Atlanta Braves. Jacob deGrom (2014), German Marquez (2018) and Jim DeShaies (1986) held the previous record with eight strikeouts to begin a game
- The family of former Kansas football player Caperton Humphrey could pursue legal action against former football coach Les Miles, former athletics director Jeff Long, and the Kansas athletic department. The legal action stems from a 2019 dispute between Humphrey, a group of his teammates, and Miles that led to Humphrey leaving the program
- The Orlando Magic have reportedly finalized a deal to hire Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Jamahl Mosley as the team's head coach. Mosley had spent the past seven seasons as an assistant on Rick Carlisle's Mavericks staff
📺 What to watch tonight
⚾ MLB Home Run Derby, 8 p.m. I TV: ESPN
🥇 Best thing I saw on the internet
For those in the health care field, perhaps it's truly never a day off. That turned out to be the case for Willie Ross. Ross, who is the father of Washington Nationals pitcher Joe Ross and a pediatrician at Stanford Hospital, was in attendance when the Nationals were facing the San Francisco Giants on Saturday. Ross noticed a woman choking two sections over from where he was sitting and immediately sprang into action. He was able to perform the Heimlich maneuver on the woman and cleared her airway after she choked on a hot dog.