First Call: James Neal has his own goal song; Gerrit Cole faces Yankees |
Breakfast With Benz

First Call: James Neal has his own goal song; Gerrit Cole faces Yankees

Tim Benz
Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of Game 5 of a baseball American League Division Series in Houston, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019.
Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole throws to a Tampa Bay Rays batter during the first inning of Game 5 of a baseball American League Division Series in Houston, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019.

In Tuesday’s “First Call,” James Neal is making beautiful music. Gerrit Cole looks to dust the New York Yankees. And the Penguins get ready for the red-hot Colorado Avalanche.

Real Deal Neal

James Neal had a 40-goal season in Pittsburgh back in 2012.

He’s on pace for more than that in Edmonton this season. In his first six games as an Oiler winger, Neal has eight goals.

He scored again Monday night in a 3-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. That was Edmonton’s first loss of the year.

He’s gotten so popular in Edmonton, so quickly, he already has his own song, as recorded by TSN 1260.

You may have noticed a few shots at the Calgary Flames in there. That’s because the Flames absorbed Milan Lucic and his contract in exchange for Neal.

Lucic has no points in six games. Neal had seven goals all of last season. He has exceeded that total already in 2019-20.

Cole is comin’ for ya!

Former Pirate Gerrit Cole is pitching Tuesday in Game 3 of the ALCS.

The Houston Astros and Yankees are tied at one game apiece in that best-of-seven series. First pitch is at 4:08 p.m.

Cole is coming off 25 strikeouts in two starts during the NLDS round against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The right-hander hasn’t lost in 24 starts. His last defeat was back on May 22 against the Chicago White Sox.

Eleven years ago, the Yankees used their No. 1 draft pick on Cole. But he went to UCLA instead.

Now he’ll pitch against the Bronx Bombers at Yankee Stadium. It’s his second start there. He won a game in Yankee Stadium as a Pirate back in 2014, allowing three earned runs and striking out eight in six innings.

Avs all A’s

The Penguins next play the Colorado Avalanche Wednesday at PPG Paints Arena.

The Avs have yet to lose. They are 5-0. Their latest victory came against the Washington Capitals Monday night, by a final score of 6-3.

Mikko Rantanen leads the team with nine points with four goals and five assists already. Nathan MacKinnon has eight points.

Philipp Grubauer has won four of the five starts in goal for the team.

We can have a laugh now

Very little went wrong for the Washington Nationals Monday night in Game 3 of NLCS.

Here’s one thing that did. This is how the St. Louis Cardinals scored their lone run.

That was Juan Soto. And that’s funny now in Washington, D.C. because the Nationals won in an 8-1 romp to take a 3-0 series lead. If the Nats win Tuesday night, they go to the World Series.

Then they can laugh even harder.

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Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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