What To Watch Fri. 7/3 – Sun. 7/5


All times are Pacific.

Friday July 3rd

SF Giants at Washington Nationals – 3pm ESPN: A rematch of last years NLCS. The Nationals Bryce Harper is having an MVP season and this is a chance to see him in action.

USMNT v Guatamala (Friendly) -4pm FS1: The final tuneup for both teams as they head into the Gold Cup.

Calgary Stampeders at Montreal Alouettes – 4:30pm ESPN2: Question in this game is the quarterback play. The Stamps Bo Levi Mitchell threw three INT’s last week in the Stamps come from behind win and the Al’s played three QB’s in week one.

Seattle Sounders vs DC United – 8pm UNIMAS: The Sounders look to get back on track against the top team in the Eastern Conference.

 

Saturday July 4th

Tour De France – 4am NBCSN: Cycling’s premier event gets underway in Utrecht, Netherlands of all places. GoPro Video.

Biking

Tampa Bay Rays at NY Yankees – 10am FS1: Toughest division in baseball. Good series to see who is really going to be there in September.

Toronto Blue Jays at Detroit Tigers – 10am MLB.TV: Two teams fighting for relevancy in their respective divisions. It’s also a battle of pitchers from middle Tennessee as R.A. Dickey (Nashville) takes on David Price (Murfreesboro).

Copa America Final – 1pm BeIN: Yes it’s the 4th of July but it’s Argentina vs Chilie.

NY Mets at LA Dodgers – 4:15pm Fox: The Mets send over hyped Matt Harvey to the mound against Zack Greinke. Not bad for a Saturday.

LA Galaxy vs Toronto FC – 4:30pm MLS LIVE: While some stars will be missing such as Michael Bradley, LA’s newest signing, Steven Gerrard,  will make an appearance.

 

Sunday July 5th

Tour De France – 4am NBCSN: Stage two gets underway.

Toronto Argonauts at Saskatchewan Roughriders – 12:30pm ESPN3: The Riders lost starting QB Darian Durant for the year after only a half of football last week. The Argos on their backup too. It’s should be a good one in Riderville.

FIFA Women’s World Cup Final – 2pm FOX: USA meets Japan in a rematch of the 2011 World Cup Final.

NASCAR Coke Zero 400 – 4:45pm NBC: NBC has Nascar now….probably why we have to wait until almost 8pm EST to watch a race on a Sunday night at the end of a Holiday weekend. #Fail.

SF Giants at Washington Nationals – 5pm ESPN: Not a bad way to cap off a long Holiday weekend.

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The other Tommy John question.

The Washington Nationals famously shut down their pitching ace Stephen Strasburgh. The Nationals announced they were shutting him down earlier in the season because of the Tommy John surgery he’s still recovering from and since then there has been a whole lot of noise about whether it’s right or wrong. However, not a lot of people are talking about Kris Medlen’s comeback or what the San Francisco Giants are going to do about closer Brian Wilson.

Medlen is gaining a lot of exposure about how the Atlanta Braves rehabbed him and how well he’s doing. In fact the Braves have now won the last 20 games in which he has started. Another big question out there is how will the Giants treat their All-Star closer Brian Wilson when he’s ready to comeback?

Wilson, aka Fear the Beard, aka Willie, has had Tommy John surgery before. It was done back when he was at LSU. So unlike Strasburgh and Medlen, Wilson is older and having to do this for a second time. Unlike Strasburgh and Medlan, Wilson is a closer and only pitches an inning or an inning and a half so the Giants don’t have to have to rehab him like a starter. They don’t have to worry about him being able to pitch six or seven innings like the Nationals and Braves did with their pitchers.

Wilson is also a veteran. He’s won a World Series. He’s been to a few All-Star games but he’s also 30. That last point alone begs the question, ‘will he be able to recover like these younger pitchers?’ The surgery Wilson, Strasburgh and Medlan had is named after the pitcher who first had the surgery, Tommy John. John had the experimental surgery at the age of 31 and pitched until the age of 46. If your a Giants fan that’s good news. However John had the surgery once not twice by that age.

Baseball is a physical sport. It’s a marathon and probably more physically demanding for pitchers. The overhand throwing motion is not a natural motion for the human body. While it’s amazing science to have a tendon replaced it’s probably even more amazing to return to throwing a baseball at high velocity in front of thousands of people.

What this really comes down to is the pitchers state of mind. If Wilson can stay positive and overcome the mental rigors of rehab then Giants fans have reason to hope. If for some reason he can’t then the Giants may have to find a longer term solution to closing baseball games than Sergio Romo and Javier Lopez.