Sports Today: Reds pop Pirates, Michigan talks trash after another loss, bad news for Dayton

The Cincinnati Reds have a chance to win their four-game series with the Pirates today after topping them 7-2 last night.

Billy Hamilton slapped a three-run homer for the home team, and Rookie Davis pitched five shutout innings en route to his first major-league win.

Devin Mesoraco also hit his first home run of the season.

Tim Adleman takes the ball today against Ivan Nova as the teams play a business man’s special at Great America Ball Park.

Off the field, we have an update on Homer Bailey's return from surgery one day after getting the latest on Anthony DeSclafani.

🔗 https://t.co/ncaYl4afpZ pic.twitter.com/E5WUDqJIWR— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 4, 2017

More good news: The Reds have the fastest-working staff in the major leagues this season.

Buster Olney attributes this to the return of Bronson Arroyo, which may have some validity, but whatever the cause… it’s sort of amazing, isn’t it?

Because it’s not a matter of actual pitch efficiency.

The Reds lead both leagues in walks yielded, and they are fourth in home runs allowed. Only four teams have a worse ERA.

The defense has been a big boost, though, as they rank second in defensive efficiency per FanGraphs, where they are also No. 4 in the majors in batters’ WAR (pitchers are 26th)…

The first month of the season raised the Reds in the eyes of the oddsmakers at Bovada. 

Cincinnati is not quite as much of a long shot to win the World Series as it was on Opening Day, rising from 300/1 to 150/1. That’s better than the Padres and Braves…

If you haven’t been paying attention (good for you), Michigan and Florida State have had a little Twitter scrap over the past few days. 

It started when FSU assistant/failed Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster called out Michigan for its draft success not translating to winning enough, a slight that Jim Harbaugh of course could not let go unanswered.

👍 https://t.co/5c7L0pgjnB— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) May 3, 2017

Michigan offensive lineman Grant Newsome stoked the fire early this morning with a Tweet calling out Brewster for the lack of production by his position group in the Orange Bowl and reminding him of his disastrous time in Minneapolis.

Of course, Newsome’s rebuke might sting more if Brewster’s ring weren’t from, you know, a win over the Wolverines, but that is pretty much 21st Century Michigan football in a nutshell: Talking trash about another high-profile loss.

If you can’t beat ‘em, tweet ‘em, I guess…

LeBron James achieved a couple of statistical milestones last night, and the Cleveland Cavaliers crushed the Toronto Raptors to go ahead 2-0 in their playoff series.

👌 pic.twitter.com/CWrXkEw6nU— NBA TV (@NBATV) May 4, 2017

It’s a shame for LeBron the Eastern Conference hasn’t been able to keep up with his super teams over the past decade, but maybe the Wizards or Celtics can provide an actual challenge in the next round.

READ MORE at the Cus Words Blog

The San Antonio Spurs empire struck back at the rebels from Houston last night in the second game of their playoff series, winning 121-96 and giving reason to think that could be a long slog to the finish.

The NBA playoffs may just be heating up, although Tony Parker’s apparent knee injury could change that...

Locally, the Dayton Flyers got some bad news yesterday: Ryan Mikesell needs not one but two surgeries to repair impingements in his hips.

That doesn’t sound like much fun at all for the forward who started 24 games last season as a sophomore out of St. Henry.

RELATED: Mikesell to be sidelined by surgeries 

It’s looking more and more like Anthony Grant’s first season on the sidelines as coach at his alma matter might be a rebuilding campaign.

One source of immediate help that won’t be coming: Mark Alstork.

The Dayton native and former Wright State star announced yesterday the final six schools he is considering as a grad transfer are Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Illinois, South Carolina, LSU and Louisville.

RELATED: Wright State picks Wright State over Milwaukee