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Thursday, June 29

   by Larry Ness - 06/29/2006

The NBA draft was expected to unpredictable and it was. It began with Italy's Andrea Bargnani going first to Toronto, becoming the first-ever European to be chosen as the No. 1 overall pick. Only three of the top eight picks were actually selected by the teams they will play for next year.

I'm not hiding after losing last night's 20* Interleague GOY (on the Angels) but I am pasing on Thursday's light schedule (not even a free play). I'll be back to work on Friday.

Adam Morrison (at No. 3 by Charlotte) and Shelden Williams (at No. 5 by Atlanta) join Bargnani in that select group. There were seven first-round trades and then eight more in the second round, setting an unofficial draft day record with 15.

Rudy Gay of U Conn was the first of four Huskies to be drafted in the first round (at No. 8 by Houston), tying U Conn with North Carolina (2005) and Duke (1999) for the all-time record. That begs the question, "How is it possible the Huskies didn't even make last year's Final Four?" For the record, North Carolina won the title in 2005 and Duke lost in the 1999 title game (to U Conn, by the way).

MLB notes

The AL continued its dominance over the NL last night, winning 10 of 15 interleague games. Pedro lasted just three innings against his former teammates (allowed eight runs/six earned), as the Red Sox beat the Mets 10-2. Boston has now won 11 straight games, the team's longest winning streak in 11 years. The Red Sox also own MLB's best IL mark at 13-1.

Right behind Boston is Minnesota and Detroit, which own winning streaks of seven and six games, respectively. Both the Tigers and the Twins are 13-2 in IL play, with Minnesota winning 17 of its last 19 games overall and the Detroit winning 16 of its last 18 games. While the White Sox have won just two straight, Chicago is 12-2 in IL play (as is Seattle) and has won 13 of its last 15, overall.

The Pirates lost for the 13th straight time last night (4-3 to the White Sox), setting a new franchise record for consecutive losses (post-1900). Pittsburgh took a 3-0 lead into the seventh but the White Sox scored four runs in that inning and held on for the win. Today (at 12:35 ET), the Pirates host the White Sox again. Pitching for Chicago is Jose Contreras, who is 16-0 (2.73) over his last 21 starts. Good luck!

The Pirates are now 26-53 on the year and are closing in on the Royals (25-51), for MLB's worst record. However, Pittsburgh has long ago taken over as MLB's biggest "moneyburners", as a $100 bet on each Pittsburgh game this year would have one $2,513 in the hole. In comparison, the Royals are just minus-$686 on the year. Pittsburgh's IL mark fell to 1-10 with Wednesday's loss, tying them with the D'backs (who have also lost 19 of their last 22 overall) for MLB's worst IL record.

The Cards ended their eight-game losing streak last night, by scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth (aided by two Cleveland errors) of a 5-4 win over the Indians. The Phillies, who lost a doubleheader yesterday to the Orioles, now own MLB's second-longest active losing streak, at seven straight games. Philadelphia has lost 15 of its last 18 overall and the team's run of 13 wins in 14 games (from April 30 through May 14) is now no more than a distant memory.

Thursday's schedule is fairly light, as there are just nine games on the board. My "pick your poison" game usually features two pitchers who are struggling. However, in tonight's case, it would be almost impossible to make a strong case against either of the starting pitchers in the Mets/Red Sox game (7:05 ET on ESPN).

Going for the Mets is Tom Glavine. Glavine came to the Mets from the Braves in 2003 and in his first three seasons in New York, has struggled. Heading into 2006, Glavine was 33-41 (3.86) with New York going 41-57 in his 98 starts, However, the 2006 season has been a very different matter. Glavine enters tonight's game with an 11-2 mark (3.33). His last loss came back on April 24 and over his last 11 starts, is 9-0 with the Mets winning all 11 games!

While the Mets have gone 14-2 in Glavine's 16 starts this year, the Red Sox are 13-3 in Curt Schilling's 16 starts in 2006. Schilling is 9-2 overall (3.61) with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 96-13 on the year. He's made six starts in Fenway, going 5-0 (2.79) with the Red Sox winning all six games. Schilling's K-W ratio in his six home starts is an incredible, 42-2!

Ness Notes is available Monday through Friday by 1:00 ET.

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