I just want to start off by saying that I wanted to make a blog post about baseball, because I had not made a blog post about baseball until now. I chose to write about the Chicago Cubs because I am a big Cubs fan. I watch all of their games. Therefore I have more knowledge on the Cubs compared to any other MLB team. So I just wanted to let my readers know that this will be a biased blog post.
The New York Mets took on the Chicago Cubs in a three game series at Wrigley Field. Before this series started the Mets had a record of 7-4. The Cubs had a record of 6-9. The Mets have some really talented players, including Pete Alonso and newly acquired Francisco Lindor. The Cubs hitting had been struggling pretty much all season. But their pitching has been good all year. So I expected this series against the Mets to be tough.
The first game between the Mets and the Cubs was a very close game. This game was more of a pitchers duel. Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta pitched very well. He pitched five innings with only one earned run. Mets pitcher Taijuan Walker pitched 3.2 innings with two earned runs. The Cubs scored one run in the third inning, and two runs in the fourth inning. The Mets scored one run in the fifth inning. The Mets could not score for the rest of the game so the Cubs won 3-1!
The second game was crazy. The Mets were up 2-0 after the third inning. Then the Cubs offense exploded. The Cubs scored seven runs in the fourth inning! The Mets got two more runs in the fifth inning, but the Cubs continued to score as well. The Cubs scored three runs in the fifth inning. So the Cubs were winning 10 to 4 going into the sixth inning. In the sixth inning the Cubs did not stop scoring. Javier Baez hit a grand slam! It was his sixth career grand slam! The Cubs scored two more runs in the eighth inning and went on to win 16-4! A dominating performance!
The final game of this series was a really fun game to watch as well. The Cubs scored three runs in the third inning. After that the Mets scored two runs in the fourth inning. The Mets scored one run in the seventh inning to tie the game at 3-3. Neither team could score in the eighth or ninth inning, so the game went into extra innings. In the tenth inning Jason Heyward came into the game as a pinch hitter for the Cubs with bases loaded. Heyward stepped up to the plate and hit a single, and the Cubs got a walk-off 4-3 win! It was Jason Heyward’s seventh career walk-off hit! The Cubs hitting finally came alive in these three games, and it was great to see them sweep the Mets!
The Masters is a tradition unlike any other. Winning the Green Jacket at The Masters Tournament is the most prestigious accomplishment for a professional golfer. Every professional golfer dreams about winning the Masters. The Masters is always an entertaining event, and this year’s tournament was definitely entertaining. It was a little different with limited crowds because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But at least they had some patrons there at Augusta National. Last year’s tournament did not allow any patrons to spectate.
There were some unexpected things that happened at this year’s Masters though. Some very good golfers did not do as well as people thought they would. The defending champion Dustin Johnson did not make the cut for the final two rounds. Jason Day missed the cut for the last two rounds as well. 2012 and 2014 champion Bubba Watson finished at just +1. The most surprising was Will Zalatoris. This was his first Masters appearance, and he finished in second place. It was a very impressive performance.
But the 85th Masters Tournament was really special because of Hideki Matsuyama. He won this year’s Masters Tournament with a one shot lead over Will Zalatoris. Matsuyama made history by becoming the first Japanese man to ever win a major championship! It was pretty incredible! I was actually rooting for Jordan Spieth. He is my favorite golfer. Spieth played well in this tournament, and he finished tied for third place. In his first Masters appearance in 2014 Spieth finished tied for second, in 2015 he won The Masters, in 2016 he should have won it but he tied for second, in 2018 he got third place, and now in 2021 he was tied for third place. That is an amazing career so far at The Masters. Even though I wanted Jordan Spieth to win it all this year, I was happy for Hideki Matsuyama. He is now an inspiration to so many Japanese golfers.
The Baylor Bears faced off against the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the Championship game. But before I talk about the title game, let’s look back at the Final Four games. In the Final Four the 2 seed Houston Cougars played 1 seed Baylor. Baylor crushed Houston. The final score was 78 to 59. In the other Final Four game the 11 seed UCLA Bruins took on number 1 overall seed Gonzaga. The Bruins were huge underdogs, and they played a great game. The game went into Overtime! Gonzaga was up 90 to 88 near the end of Overtime, but then UCLA got a layup to tie the game with 3.3 seconds left. It looked like the game was going into double Overtime. Gonzaga inbounded the ball to freshman Jalen Suggs, and he banked in a half court buzzer beater to win the game 93 to 90! It was unbelievable! I have watched a lot of basketball games, and this was definitely one of the best basketball games I have ever watched. I felt bad for the UCLA team and fans because of how the game ended. But this UCLA team exceeded all expectations. They went from the First Four to the Final Four, and almost became the first 11 seed ever to make it to the Championship game.
The Championship game between Baylor and Gonzaga was a great matchup. Both of these teams had a very high scoring offense. Gonzaga was still undefeated, and both teams were looking to win their first Championship. Before this game the only title game appearance for Gonzaga was in 2017, and Baylor’s only appearance was in 1948. In this game Baylor jumped out to a 9-0 lead and never looked back. Gonzaga never had the lead in the game. They just could not come back. Baylor ruined Gonzaga’s perfect season in a dominant 86-70 win. The difference was the defense of the Bears. I actually predicted that Baylor would win this game because they had a fantastic offense and defense. But I thought that it would be a really close game. I wanted Baylor to beat Gonzaga because they were the underdogs. So even though it was not a close game it was still fun to watch. Overall this March Madness Tournament was pretty crazy.
And then there were four. The Final Four is here and the matchups are definitely interesting. The teams remaining are the Baylor Bears, the Houston Cougars, the Gonzaga Bulldogs, and the UCLA Bruins.
The number 1 overall seed Gonzaga has been cruising past their opponents. In the Sweet 16 they beat 5 seed Creighton 83 to 65. Then in the Elite 8 they defeated 6 seed USC 85 to 66. Gonzaga made it to the Final Four in the 2017 tournament, and now they are back in it again.
Baylor has been taking care of business as well. In the Sweet 16 they beat 5 seed Villanova 62 to 51. In the Elite 8 they beat 3 seed Arkansas 81 to 72. This is Baylor’s first Final Four appearance since 1950.
The next Final Four team is Houston. In the Sweet 16 they took down 11 seed Syracuse 62 to 46. Then in the Elite 8 they defeated 12 seed Oregon State 67 to 61. This is Houston’s first Final Four appearance since 1984.
Then there is this year’s Cinderella team, the 11 seed UCLA Bruins. They have had an incredible run from the First Four to the Final Four. In the Sweet 16 they played Alabama in an amazing game. Alabama made a crazy buzzer beating 3 pointer to send the game into Overtime. But UCLA upset 2 seed Alabama by winning 88 to 78. In the Elite 8 UCLA had another stunning upset, as they beat 1 seed Michigan 51 to 49. No 11 seed has ever advanced to the Championship game. The lowest seed to make it to the Championship game is an 8 seed. UCLA is only the fifth 11 seed team to ever make it to the Final Four. This is the Bruins first Final Four appearance since 2008, and it is their 19th Final Four appearance. UCLA is the only team in this year’s Final Four who has actually won a title, and they have won it 11 times.
With a Championship game berth on the line 11 seed UCLA will be taking on 1 seed Gonzaga. Gonzaga has been playing outstanding offense and defense. It will be interesting to see how UCLA plays against them. The other game in the Final Four is 2 seed Houston against 1 seed Baylor. Houston is one of the best defensive teams in the country. Baylor also has a great defense, and they have a fantastic offense. These Final Four matchups are really intriguing.