Sports Today: Reds roll behind Arroyo, NFL draft approaches, NBA playoffs continue, etc.

April 24, 2017
  • By Marcus Hartman
NEW YORK - JULY 07: Bronson Arroyo #61 of the Cincinnati Reds delivers a pitch against the New York Mets on July 7, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Welcome back from a beautiful spring weekend. We’ve got baseball, NFL draft and NBA playoff talk on the docket today. Who’s got it better than us? 

The Cincinnati Reds lost two of three games to the Chicago Cubs, but they snapped a four-game losing streak with a 7-5 win Sunday. 

Bronson Arroyo had his best start of the season, striking out seven and walking none, and Patrick Kivlehan drove in three runs for the victors. 

The Reds also got two hits, including a home run, from struggling right fielder Scott Schebler while Eugenio Suarez was on base three times and scored twice. 

Hal McCoy: Bronson Arroyo’s ‘Frisbees’ baffle the Cubs

Cincinnati would have won the series if not for Michael Lorenzen yielding a three-run homer to tie the game at five on Friday night. That was an example of manager Bryan Price’s outside-the-box thinking with his bullpen left him a bit vulnerable — but then most pitching staffs are vulnerable to the Cubs lineup. 

Chicago leaves town with a half-game lead in the National League Central, but at least the Reds’ video board operators got their shots in before the series was over… 

The NFL draft is this week, but Michigan has found a novel way to grab headlines in the football world: With a trip to Italy. 

In a change of pace from most of the past decade, more than a couple of Wolverines figure to be drafted this weekend, too. 

Two Wolverines (Jabrill Peppers and Taco Charlton) are in NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah’s top 50 prospects while there are four players from Ohio State (Malik Hooker, Gareon Conley, Marshon Lattimore and Curtis Samuel)… 

READ MORE at Marcus Hartman’s “Cus Words blog

Ohio State football’s rich pipeline of talent will continue flowing to the NFL on Thursday night, too, but what about the basketball team? 

Trevor Thompson is checking out his draft prospects again, but he probably won’t hear his name called in June. 

Thad Matta is reportedly working on his team’s talent problem, though, by pursuing Mark Smith, a four-star prospect from Edwardsville, Ill. 

He could give Ohio State a much-needed shot of talent this fall if he chooses the Buckeyes over the likes of Illinois, where there is a new coach, and Michigan State, where there is already a logjam of young studs…

Blowouts blotted some of the fun of the NBA playoffs last season, but so far that has not been much a problem this time around. 

All four games yesterday were decided by nine points or less, and Boston’s 104-95 win over Chicago had plenty of drama as the Bulls erased a large early deficit. 

That series is tied 2-2 with both teams taking turns sweeping a pair of games on the opponent’s floor. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers finished off a sweep of the Indiana Pacers yesterday, and the Golden State Warriors could do the same against the Portland Trailblazers tonight. 

LeBron James has been dominating his division without a coach for almost a decade, and Steph Curry might have to learn how to do the same thing following reports Steve Kerr could miss the rest of the playoffs because of recurring back problems. 

With Blake Griffin out for the rest of the playoffs, neither of Golden State’s potential second-round playoff opponents (the Clippers and Jazz) are too intriguing. 

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The same is not exactly true in the East, where the Milwaukee Bucks are keyed by breakout star Giannis Antetokounpo and the Toronto Raptors are one of those teams that has been good for a while but hasn’t broken through.