Saturday, June 30, 2012

Yankees Post Game Recap 6/30

Yankees vs. White Sox Post Game Recap 6/30

The Yankees were able to bounce back against the White Sox winning 4-0 

Hiroki Kuroda gave the Yankees the great start they needed to help out the bullpen. Kuroda picked up his 8th win of the season going seven inning allowing three hits, one walk and no runs, adding 11 strikeouts.

David Robertson was able to bounce back with a spotless 8th inning, getting two strikeouts and looking like the Robertson pre injury.

Rafael Soriano was brought in after Boone Logan walked Adam Dunn in the 9th inning for a non-save situation and got a double play to end the game.

Curtis Granderson was able to hit his 23rd homerun of the season, a solo shot in the 1st inning off Jake Peavy for his second homerun in as many days.

Dewayne Wise, coming off his relief appearance on Friday night, got the start in left field on Saturday. He was able to get a two out RBI double in the 2nd inning, scoring Nick Swisher. Wise followed it up with his 2nd homerun of the season, a solo shot in the 5th inning.

Robinson Cano’s month of June continued to be great as he extended his hitting streak to seven games, ,going 2-4 including a solo shot in the 6th inning for his 19th homerun of the season.

Russell Martin, who has been battling a bad back, was in the lineup today and went 0-3 with 2 strikeouts as he is now batting .189 for the season.

Tomorrow is Old Timers Day at Yankees stadium as that will start before the game as Phil Hughes (8-6, 4.48) will face Gavin Floyd (6-7, 4.80) as Yankees will look to tie the series with the White Sox.

New York Mets vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Post Game Recap 6-29

Final Score: New York Mets: 9 Los Angeles Dodgers: 0

The Mets continued their winning streak tonight against the Los Angeles Dodgers, shutting them out 9-0.

After a rough start against the Yankees over the weekend, R.A. Dickey got back to business, tossing another 8 shutout innings brining his season totals to a record of 12-1 with a 2.15 ERA.  In the game tonight Dickey allowed only three hits and one walk while striking out 10 Dodgers. 

With tonight’s win, Dickey won his career high 10th straight decision and the MLB’s first 12 game winner.  Reaching double digit strikeout totals for the 5th time this season also places Dickey first in that category.  Dickey finishes June better than he did May, going 5-0 with a 0.93 ERA.

In addition to Dickey having a great day on the mound, a few other players stood out as well.

Daniel Murphy went deep yet again for the Mets, his third of season.  Murphy has been on a power surge lately, hitting three homeruns this week after going all season without one.  Murphy also knocked in a career high tying five RBI’s tonight.

Murphy was not the only Met player to tie a career high, as Reuben Tejada joined him for that distinction tonight.  Tejada reached base a career high five times, getting on base in a number of different ways.  He went 4-5 from the plate and was also hit by a pitch, scoring two runs.

Lucas Duda was able to snap out of his funk tonight, ending an 0-15 drought with an RBI single in fifth inning.  Ike Davis was also able to add an RBI on a sacrifice fly in the 1st inning, ending the game 1-4 with a season batting average of .198.

The Mets will look to take the four game series and win their fourth game in a row Saturday night when Johan Santana (5-4 3.00 ERA) takes the mound for the Mets against Nathan Eovaldi (0-4 4.04 ERA) of the Dodgers.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Yankees Post Game Recap 6/29

Yankees vs. White Sox Post Game Recap 6/29

The Yankees got hammered in the second game of the series, as they lost to the White Sox 14-7 as today’s game showed how C.C Sabathia and Andy Pettitte will be missed.

Adam Warren’s major league debut was short lived as the 24 year old right hander was hit hard by the White Sox. In his 2.1 innings, Warren gave up eight hits, two walks and six runs, including homeruns to A.J Pierzynski and Paul Konerko.

David Phelps, in his first appearance since being called back up, was able to eat some innings going 3.1 innings. Phelps allowed four hits and two runs while striking out five; he would also suffer the loss. Phelps may be next in line to get a start after Warren's poor performance.

Cory Wade was hung out to dry Friday night as Girardi tried to get 3 innings out of him. The end result is not what he had hoped for. Wade got crushed, giving up six runs in 2.1 innings and throwing nearly 60 pitches before finally getting pulled.

Dewayne Wise came in for the Yankees to face his former team after Wade and was able to get both batters out that he faced on a fly out and ground out.

Derek Jeter was able to pass Orioles great Cal Ripken Jr. for 13th on the all-time hits list with a first inning lead off double for his 3,185th career hit.

Curtis Granderson was able to knock Jeter in right away in the first inning hitting his 22nd homerun of the season.

Andruw Jones was able to get to hit with a two out two run double off the wall scoring Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher. The hit gave the Yankees a four run 1st inning. Jones would add another double in the 4th inning, matching his season total coming into the game in just one night.

Jayson Nix, who got the start in left field, was able to hit his 3rd double of the season in the 4th inning scoring Swisher and Jones.

The Yankees will be playing the third game of the series against the White Sox Saturday afternoon as Hiroki Kuroda (7-7, 3.40) will be facing Jake Peavy (6-4, 2.84).

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Brooklyn Nets 2012 Draft Recap

Brooklyn Nets 2012 Draft Recap

The Brooklyn Nets only had one pick going in to the draft, which was 57th overall, due to trading their first rounder at the trade deadline to the Portland Trail Blazers for Gerald Wallace. The Nets pick was only top three protected and their pick ended up being 6th sending it to Portland.

There was some speculation of the Nets buying a pick in the first round, but the first 30 picks came and went with no pick from Brooklyn.

But, they were not quite on the trade front all night. The Nets traded for the 41st pick, sending cash to Portland and received Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor in return. Taylor had a great four year career at Kansas. In Taylor’s Senior year at KU he averaged 16.6ppg, 4.8ast, 2.3reb and 1.3stl. Combined with Thomas Robinson, he helped lead Kansas to the National Championship where they fell to Kentucky.

Taylor was able to get some individual accolades along with playing on one of the best teams in the nation. During his time at Kansas, he was a Bob Cousy Award finalist in his Junior and Senior seasons, and was named to many All-America 3rd teams in his Senior year. He was also named to the Big 12 All-Freshman team by the media in 08-09 season.

The Nets future is very uncertain as it all is riding on what happens with Deron Williams, who has said he's only interested in staying with the Nets or going to Dallas, but Taylor is a good talent and has shown he can take over games at the college level. He should be able to give the Nets some minutes off the bench in his rookie year.

With the 57th pick the Nets selected a draft and stash player in Ilkan Karaman who is a 6-9 forward from Turkey averaged 10.7pts and 6.4rebs per game in the Turkish League but he probably wont be in the NBA anytime soon.

Yankees Post Game Recap 6/28

Yankees vs. White Sox Post Game Recap 6/28

The Yankees suffered a tough 4-3 loss in the first game of the series with the White Sox, spoiling a good start from Ivan Nova. The bullpen was unable to get the final three outs in the top of the 9th, blowing a two run lead.

Ivan Nova was able to step up with a great start the day after the Yankees lost their top two pitchers to injuries in C.C Sabathia and Andy Pettitte. Nova went 7.1 innings allowing six hits and three walks while striking out five and only giving up one run on homerun by Alejandro De Aza.  De Aza had Nova's number, going 4-4 off him.

Boone Logan and Cody Eppley were able to get two big outs with De Aza on second base with one out for the Yankees in the 8th inning. Logan got Adam Dunn to fly out and then Eppley was able to strike out Paul Konerko to keep the lead going into the 9th.

With Rafael Soriano unavailable for the game due to pitching in four of the last five games, Girardi left Eppley in the 9th. Eppley gave up a hit to start the inning then was pulled for Clay Rapada, who made a throwing error, sailing a double play ball into center field.  This lead to David Robertson coming in with runners on 1st and 3rd and subsequently giving up a 3 run homerun to Dayan Viciedo as the White Sox got a 4-3 lead.

Curtis Granderson was able to steal another base in Thursday's game, making it two straight games with a steal for Granderson. It appears Granderson is going to be more aggressive on the base paths with the long absence of Brett Gardner and the Yankees in need of some steals.

Alex Rodriguez was able to get the Yankees offense started with a 2 out RBI double in the 5th inning, scoring Curtis Granderson for the first run for the Yankees.

Robinson Cano would double Alex Rodriguez home right after for another 2 out RBI, giving the Yankees a 2-1 lead at the time.

Mark Teixeira was able to hit a solo shot in the bottom of the 8th inning, providing a nice insurance run for the Yankees. It was Teixeira's 13th homerun of the season.

The Yankees will be playing the second game of a four game set against the White Sox on Friday night as Adam Warren (0-0, -.--) will be making his MLB debut and Jose Quintana (2-1, 1.25) will be on the mound for Chicago.

New York Knicks 2012 NBA Draft Preview

The NBA Draft will take place tonight starting at 7 P.M. ET.  The New York Knicks currently will have a long wait to make their first selection.

Because of a trade with the Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings in 2010 that landed the Knicks Tracy McGrady and Sergio Rodriguez, the Knicks are without a first round draft pick this year.

With such a deep class of college players declaring this year, there will be talent available at number 48 when the Knicks are picking, but that does not mean the Knicks are guaranteed to stand pat and just watch everyone else make moves, even though a draft night move for the Knicks is highly unlikely.

There have been rumors that the Knicks were shopping Landry Fields for a first round draft pick, but nothing concrete ever arose.  It is also not possible for the Knicks to purchase a first round pick this year because they already used the $3 million dollar max in trades getting Tyson Chandler from the Dallas Mavericks. 

The Knicks have very little else to use as trade bait, as Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and Iman Shumpert are looked at as players the Knicks will not or cannot move.  The only options the Knicks have are Toney Douglas, Jerome James and Josh Harrellson.  It is highly unlikely for any of these players to be moved for a pick because of the depth of this draft class.  Teams will not be looking to unload picks for average to below-average packages. 

With the 48th pick, the Knicks can’t expect to land a star, but could find some valuable pieces.  The Knicks have been successful the last two seasons in the second round of the draft, finding good players in Landry Fields and Josh Harrellson the last two seasons.  One person to keep an eye on for this year’s draft is Jae Crowder.

Crowder is said to not have a position in the NBA but that does not mean he does not have a spot on an NBA roster.  Crowder would provide great energy and toughness for a Knicks team that could face the problem of making a whole new bench rotation this season.  Crowder’s size, 6’6” 235 lbs., enables him to play both inside and outside.  It is also a positive that he has dependable range out to the NBA 3 point line.  He would become an instant fan favorite in Madison Square Garden if given the chance. 

If the Knicks go in the other direction and look for guards, two people to keep your eye out for are Darius Johnson-Odom of Marquette and Scott Machado of Iona.  Both would provide the Knicks with different positives that would go a long way.  Johnson-Odom would provide great size and toughness to a backcourt that will be without Iman Shumpert for the start of this season.  He would also provide the defense that will be missed in Shumpert’s absence.  Johnson-Odom also provides NBA shooting depth and interior scoring with an array of floaters and NBA moves.

Machado would provide the Knicks with leadership on the court, leading his small division 1 Iona team to the NCAA tournament.  Machado also finished first in the country with 9.9 assists per game.  He has outstanding ball handling and can lock up on defense.  Another asset the Knicks would covet in Machado is his ability to shoot the ball, as he shot 40.4% from the 3 point line.  He is not the most athletic player available in the draft, but would help an NBA team in many other ways.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New York Mets vs. Chicago Cubs Post Game Recap 6-27

Final Score: New York Mets: 17 Chicago Cubs: 1

Looking to avoid getting swept in Chicago for the first time since 2004, the Mets finally woke up delivering a 17-1 beat down of the Cubs in the series finale.

The Mets offense was clicking for what seems the first time in forever, delivering 17 runs and plenty of season highs as a team and personal bests for players.

Daniel Murphy ended his homer-less streak at 273 at-bats this season with a grand total of 352 at-bats dating back to last season.  Murphy enjoyed it so much the first time, he launched another homerun in his very next at-bat, giving him his first career multi-homerun game.

Scott Hairston added a homerun of his own, his 10th of the season, launching a grand slam in the 6th inning.  Hairston ended the game 2-5 with four RBI’s.

Ike Davis also hit a homerun for the Mets, also his 10th of the season.  Davis finished the game 3-5 with four RBI and three runs.  The 3-5 effort put forth by Davis today got his batting average at .201, the first time he is over the Mendoza line this season.  After such a slow start to the season, Davis is finally starting to turn it around.  Davis delivering at the plate will only make the Mets that much more dangerous.

David Wright was the other Met to knock in runs in this afternoon’s game.  Wright went 2-3, knocking in five RBI’s and scoring two runs.  Wright gave the Mets four players with 4+ RBI’s, tying an MLB record.

Not to get lost in the shuffle is the performance of starting pitcher Jon Niese.  Niese got a ton of run support and was able to shut down the Cubs in response.  Niese gave up one run scattering eight hits and one walk across seven innings while striking out six players. 

Next up for the Mets is a trip out west to visit the Los Angeles Dodgers for a four game series.  Chris Young (1-1 3.42 ERA) will take the mound for the Mets in the opener against ex-Met Chris Capuano (9-2 2.60 ERA) at 10:10 P.M. ET on Thursday. 

Yankees Suffer Two Big Injuries

Yankees Suffer Two Big Injuries

Yankees got bad news before Wednesdays game as it was found out C.C Sabathia suffered a strained adductor muscle which is near the groin and it will force Sabathia to miss his next two starts. Sabathia was 9-3 on the season with 105 strikeouts and a 3.45 ERA. Sabathia first felt the injury against the Mets in the 4th inning. If the Yankees were in the stretch run, he would be pitching through it but they don’t want to risk a major injury. They would rather him miss two starts.

The Yankees will be bringing up Adam Warren from Triple A to take Sabathia's start on Friday against the White Sox. Adam Warren is 5-5 in the minors with a 3.86 ERA and will get a crack at the majors with at least one start.

The big injury blow for the Yankees was suffered in the 5th inning of the game against the Indians when Andy Pettitte took a line drive off the ankle, fracturing it on his left leg. Pettitte threw a couple pitches and gave it a go, throwing one game pitch but was clearly in to much pain as Girardi then pulled him. The injury put Pettitte in a walking boot but they said he wont need surgery. He is expected to miss at least six weeks as most people are figuring for a late August, early September return. Pettitte was 3-3 with a 3.22 ERA as he was pitching great in his comeback season.

Freddy Garcia, who was originally going to be taking Sabathia's start on Friday, was needed to pitch in Wednesday's game and pitched well. Garcia went 2.1 innings, not allowing a run and picked up the win in relief.  Garcia, who had an awful start to the season in the rotation, has been better in the bullpen. He is 2-2 on the season with a 6.39 ERA. Garcia was in the Yankees rotation last year and was 12-8 with a 3.62 ERA which lead to him being re-signed and Yankees will hope he can pitch like last year to fill in for Pettitte.

If Garcia and or Warren struggle, David Phelps seems like the logical choice to get the next crack at the rotation as he was sent back to the minors to stretch his arm out more. Phelps had two spot starts already for the Yankees this year and also pitched in the bullpen, giving him 33.2 innings pitched in the majors this year with a 1-2 record and 2.94 ERA.

The A.L East is one of, if not the best division in baseball with all teams over the .500 mark. The Yankees will need to get C.C back soon and have someone step in for Pettitte, who has been pitching great, or it might force Brian Cashman to make a trade before the deadline in July.

Yankees Post Game Recap 6/27

Yankees vs. Indians Post Game Recap 6/27

The New York Yankees took down the Indians 5-4 on Wednesday, and completed a three game sweep Cleveland at Yankee Stadium.

Andy Pettitte was forced to leave the game early after taking a line drive off his ankle in the 5th inning. This injury to Pettitte coming the same day C.C Sabathia was placed on the DL with a groin strain that he suffered against the Mets. Pettitte went 4 innings allowing 3 hits 1 walk 2 runs only 1 of which was earned due to a Alex Rodriguez throwing error and struck out 7 batters.

Cody Eppley and Clay Rapada struggled to finish the fifth inning as they gave up a combined 3 hits before Freddy Garcia came in to finish the fifth by striking out Jose Lopez. Garcia would go 2 1/3 scoreless innings without allowing a base runner and picking up 2 strike outs while picking up his 2nd win of the season.

David Robertson was able to cruise through the 8th inning getting 2 strikeouts setting up for Soriano. Things got very interesting for Soriano in the ninth inning as Soriano didn’t have his good stuff allowing 2 hits 2 walks and 1 run, but was able to get Asdrubal Cabrera to fly out and leave the bases loaded and picked up his 17th save of the season.

Eric Chavez was able to bust out of his funk with RISP as he was 1 for 22 coming into Wednesday afternoon. Chavez laced a two out two-run double in fourth inning scoring Cano and Ibanez. Chavez was able to get another 2 out RBI in the 8th giving the Yankees a insurance run which ended up being very important by hitting a base hit and scoring Mark Teixeira.

Robinson Cano belted his seventh homerun in the last 10 games and 18th of the year at a perfect time in the 6th inning taking Ubaldo Jimenez the other way scoring Alex Rodriguez and giving the Yankees a 4-3 lead at the time. Cano also had two base hits going a nice 3 for 4 on the day.

Russell Martin who missed the last few games with a back injury was back in the lineup but went 0-4 with 2 strikeouts as his average is now .193 for the season.

Yankees will be starting a 4 game series against the A.L Central leading Chicago White Sox at home as Ivan Nova (9-2 4.25) will face Dylan Axelrod (0-1, 4.85).

What has happened to Cory Wade?

What has happened to Cory Wade?

Cory Wade has had an awful June after really stepping up for the Yankees after Mariano Rivera and David Robertson both went down with injuries as Wade was great in the set up role in the Yankees bullpen for much of the early season.

Wades stats for the month of June have been really awful and got even worse in Tuesday nights game where he gave up four runs against the Indians. In June, Wade has pitched 7.1 innings allowing 14 hits, four walks, nine earned runs and three homeruns while only getting three strike outs. Wade saw his ERA for the month end up being a whopping 11.05.

Things have gotten really bad since June 16th in his last five appearances:

June 16 @Washington 0.2 innings 1 hit 1 walk 1 earned run 1HR
June 20 vs. Atlanta 0.1innings 2 hits 1 earned run
June 22 @NYM 1.0 innings 2 hits 1 earned run
June 24 @NYM 0.1 innings 1 hit 1 walk
June 26 vs. Cleveland 0.2 innings 4 hits 4 earned runs 1HR

Wade had a great April and May, as in April he pitched 10.2 innings allowing eight hits, one walk and two earned runs having a 1.69 ERA. In May, Wade went 12.1 innings allowing nine hits, two walks and four earned runs for a 2.92 ERA.

With Wade's sudden drop off it brings the question up of what is wrong with him? Is it just tired arm from a lot of work early in the season, is he possibly hurt, or is this who Wade is. With Joba Chamberlain and David Aardsma still a little ways a way, a roster move seems unlikely right now unless he is hurt and should get a chance to work things out in games like last night where the Yankees have a big lead. Girardi using him in a set up role like before seems very unlikely now.

J.R. Smith Declines Player Option

Today J.R. Smith declined his player option in his contract with the New York Knicks, making him a free agent on July 1st.

Smith is foregoing $2.4 million dollars he would have made if he picked up his option to become a free agent.  Smith is eligible to for a 20% pay raise, meaning he can sign for as much as four years and $12.2 million with a team.  Another option, according to the New York Times, is to re-sign with the Knicks for a one year with the Early Bird rights, putting him on track to make at least $5.3 million in the 2013-2014 season. 

Smith’s father, Earl, told that he was going to make a strong push for his son to stay in New York and play for the Knicks.  That may not be a plausible option for Smith though, as his father does concede that, “it’s very clear that the money is the biggest factor with him.”

Smith joined the Knicks this past season in mid-February to a prorated $2.5 million contract after returning from China.

Smith struggled at times with the Knicks, averaging 12.5 points per game on 40% shooting with 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game in the regular season.  His playoff numbers were below average, struggling with his shot as he went 11-48 in the last three games of the series against the Miami Heat.

I for one am in favor of the Knicks trying to bring Smith back into the fold.  At times he was erratic with his shot selection, but he is not afraid of the big moment and seemed to be tamed by Mike Woodson.  Smith has the talent to be a top player in the NBA; it is just a matter of a coaching staff getting the effort out of him for it to shine through.

New York Mets vs. Chicago Cubs Post Game Recap 6-26

Final Score: New York Mets: 3 Chicago Cubs: 5

Another lackluster performance for the Mets leads to another loss to the lowly Chicago Cubs.  The Mets had a few mental mistakes that led to costly errors and sloppy play.

Dillon Gee’s career high streak of seven straight quality starts was snapped as he labored through five innings giving up four earned runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out six. 

The tiebreaking hit was given up by Gee in the 4th inning off the bat of top prospect and recently called up Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo.  Rizzo ripped a double to centerfield, knocking in his first RBI as a Cub. He would end the night 2-4.

The Cubs were able to add another run in the 8th inning off a Reuben Tejada throwing error.  That error occurred because of a missed call by first base umpire Manny Gonzalez, who called Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger safe even after Ike Davis tagged him before reaching base.  Davis was subsequently thrown out of the game for placing his glove on Gonzalez.

In addition to Gee losing his consecutive quality starts streak, David Wright’s hitting streak ended at 15.  Wright ended the game 0-3, but was able to produce an RBI with a sac fly in the 4th inning and drew a walk to lead off the 9th

The Mets once again were able to do damage with two outs.  With an MLB leading 161 two-out runs entering the game, the Mets added to that total in the 2nd inning thanks to four straight hits including RBI singles by catcher Josh Thole and Gee. 

The Mets were unable to keep up the offense, as they ended the game on an 0-13 streak with runners on base, one of the many problems the Mets encountered tonight.  After knocking out Cubs starting pitcher Randy Wells after three innings, the Mets were unable to capitalize off the Cubs bullpen, as they combined to pitch six shutout innings, allowing only four base runners total; two hits and two walks.

The Mets look to avoid getting swept at Wrigley Field for the first time since 2004 in a Wednesday matinee.  Jon Niese (5-3 3.75 ERA) will take the mound for the Mets and will be opposed by Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija (5-6, 4.34 ERA). 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Yankees Post Game Recap 6/26

Yankees vs. Indians Post Game Recap 6/26

The Yankees were able to pick up the 6-4 win over the Indians, winning the first two games in the series, and giving the Yankees a nice four game winning streak.

Phil Hughes was very good on Monday night, bouncing back from his poor performance against the Atlanta Braves when he gave up four homeruns. Hughes, in picking up his 8th win of the season, allowed six hits one walk and no runs in eight innings, while striking out four batters in a fantastic start.

Cory Wade continued to struggle as he gave up four hits and four runs, including a homerun in the 9th inning. Wade, who was used a lot when Rivera and Robertson went down with injuries, pitched very well in that time, but has now allowed runs in four of his last five appearances.

Rafael Soriano, who Girardi probably wasn’t planning on using going into the 9th with a six run lead, was needed to close the game after Wade gave up four runs. But with only two pitches, Soriano was able to get save number 16.

Chris Stewart, in his third straight start filling in for Russell Martin, was able to get a base hit and RBI in the 2nd inning. It was his 8th of the season and scored Nick Swisher on a liner that hit off a diving Jack Hannahans glove. Stewart would add a sac fly in the 8th inning for another RBI capping off a good night.

Curtis Granderson was able get a clutch base hit later in the 3rd inning with a bases loaded, scoring Stewart and Dewayne Wise and helping the Yankees rally with two outs.

Alex Rodriguez, fresh off a day off, was able to hit his 13th homerun of the season in the 7th inning off Tony Sipp.

Derek Jeter celebrated his 38th birthday with a solid 2-5 game getting two base hits with his family in attendance.

Like Jeter, Nick Swisher was able to get 2 hits, going 2-4 in the game and Swisher was able to score both times. Swisher got his average up to .272 on the season in the process.

The Yankees will be playing the final game of the series Wednesday afternoon looking for a sweep as Andy Pettitte (3-3, 3.29) will face Ubaldo Jimenez (7-5, 4.59).

Rangers Top 10 Moments of 2011-2012 Season

The New York Rangers enjoyed their finest season since their championship season in 1993-94. Their season unfortunately ended in the Eastern Conference Finals at the hand of the division rival New Jersey Devils.

There was still plenty of great moments for the Rangers this season, and here are the top ten moments.

10. Gaborik gets OT winner against Florida (Jan 5, 2012)

With former President Bill Clinton in attendance, Marian Gaborik sent the Garden faithful into a euphoric state when he blasted a shot from the slot by Florida goaltender Scott Clemmensen. The game winner gave the Rangers a 3-2 victory, and their third win in a row.

9. Rangers score four in the second to beat Pittsburgh (November 29, 2011)

The Rangers erased a 1-0 deficit in the second period with a four goal barrage. Ryan Callahan tied the game eight minutes into the second with a power play goal. John Mitchell and Brad Richards scored ninety seconds apart to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead, and Marian Gaborik added another power play goal with less than minutes left in the second period. The win was the Rangers seventh win in a row at home.

8. Richards beats Coyotes with 0.1 seconds left (December 17, 2011) 

Just when the game looked like it was headed to overtime, Brad Richards spun a backhand shot that deflected off of Keith Yandle's stick and passed goaltender Mike Smith. The goal was originally disallowed by the refs who said time had expired, but after review the puck crossed the line with 0.1 seconds left, and the Rangers won 3-2.

7. Richards scores game-winning goal in Winter Classic (January 2, 2012)

In a much anticipated match-up between the Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers in the Winter Classic, the two teams did not fail to entertain. The Flyers jumped ahead 2-0 in the second period, but the Rangers came back to tie the game, and five minutes into the third period, Brad Richards buried a rebound opportunity to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead and victory.

6. Lundqvist stops Briere on penalty shot (January 2, 2012) 

Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was in the spotlight all season, and he never failed to please Ranger fans, especially with 19 seconds left in the Winter Classic and the Rangers clinging to a 3-2 lead. Ryan McDonagh was penalized for covering the puck with his hand in the Rangers crease. The Flyers were awarded a penalty shot taken by Danny Briere. Lundqvist remained patient while Briere came in, and he stopped Briere's attempt through the five-hole, and kept the Rangers ahead 3-2.

5. Rangers reach 50 wins (March 30, 2012) 

The New York Rangers hosted the Montreal Canadiens at Madison Square Garden looking to notch their first 50 win season since the 1993-94 season. The Rangers dominated the Canadiens from start to finish en route to a 4-1 victory. Michael Del Zotto netted two goals in the third period to give the Rangers a 4-0 lead, and Henrik Lundqvist made 19 saves for the shutout.

4. Kreider scores first career goal against Ottawa (April 23, 2012) 

Chris Kreider was coming off a National Championship with Boston College when he got the call up from the New York Rangers during their series with the Ottawa Senators. The Rangers were facing elimination in Game 6 and came out with a gutsy 3-2 victory that included Kreider's first career NHL goal. With just under a minute to go in the second period, Kreider beat Ottawa's  Craig Anderson to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead. They went on to beat Ottawa 3-2, and eliminate Ottawa in seven games.

3. Rangers sweep season series from Flyers 

If there was one team the Rangers wanted to see in the playoffs this past season, it was the Philadelphia Flyers. The Rangers went 6-0 against their division rivals this season, including their exciting 3-2 win over the Flyers in the Winter Classic. The Blueshirts outscored Philly 24-11 in the season series, and swept the season series from the Flyers for the first time in 40 years.

2. Richards ties game with 6.6 seconds left (May 7, 2012)

The Rangers were on the brink of elimination against the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Rangers were trailing the Caps 2-1 late in the third period. Joel Ward of Washington took a double-minor penalty for high-sticking Carl Hagelin. The Rangers pulled goalie Henrik Lundqvist for a two-man advantage and with 6.6 seconds left on the clock, Brad Richards poked the puck passed Caps goalie Braden Hotby off the post and in. The Rangers stayed on the power play into overtime where Marc Staal fired a shot from the point passed Holtby for the victory. The Rangers went up 3-2 in the series and defeated the Caps in seven games.

1. Lundqvist wins the Vezina Trophy 

Henrik Lundqvist dazzled between the pipes this season for the Rangers,and this year it earned him the Vezina Trophy, given to the top goaltender in the league. Lundqvist was at the top of the league in almost every category. Lundqvist posted 39 wins including 8 shutouts. He also boasted a .930 save percentage with a 1.97 goals against average. It was no surprise to the fans that Lundqvist brought home the hardware this year, he was one of the main reasons the Rangers achieved so much success this season. Lundqvist was also up for the Hart Trophy, given to the league MVP.

Knicks Top 10 Moments of the 2011-2012 Season

The last few images for the Knicks this season were not pleasant ones.  Iman Shumpert and Baron Davis suffering serious injuries in the playoff series against the Miami Heat, bowing out early from the playoffs yet again.  It leaves a sour taste in Knicks fans mouths, but that should not take away from the positives that the Knicks had this season.

Here is a list of the top 10 moments for the Knicks this season.  

1.) The signing of Tyson Chandler 
The Knicks, it seemed, came out of nowhere to sign Tyson Chandler.  He was rumored to be going to a number of different places to play with the Knicks never being real contenders.  What a signing Chandler ended up being.  After finishing 22nd in defensive efficiency in 2010-2011, the Knicks finished this past season ranked 5th in defensive efficiency.  A lot of credit for that improvement needs to be given to Chandler, who averaged 9.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game in the regular season.

2.) Carmelo Plays Santa on Christmas Day

Playing at Madison Square Garden is one of the best experiences a player can have.  Playing there opening day on Christmas, you can’t ask for any better of a setting.  The Knicks had a great start to their season thanks to Carmelo Anthony and his 37 points against the Boston Celtics, leading the Knicks to a 107-106 victory giving every Knicks fan a great present for Christmas.

3.) Linsanity Begins

February 4th, 2012 will go down as one of the most surprising days in Knicks history.  Against the Nets at the Garden, head coach Mike D’Antoni looked to the end of his bench and called upon third string point guard Jeremy Lin.  What followed is nothing anyone could have expected.  Line scored 25 points while adding seven assists leading the Knicks to a 99-92 victory that snapped a 2-11 skid the Knicks were on.  Lin’s outstanding play would put the Knicks on track for their longest winning streak of the season at seven games in which Lin averaged 24.4 points and 9.1 assists per game.

4.) Kobe Who?
On a night most people would think the Knicks would be outmatched turned out to be yet another big stage for Jeremy Lin to step up in.  Going up against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, Lin played what is possibly the best game of his career.  He set a career high scoring 38 points, compared to Bryant’s 34, and was serenaded by the Garden faithful with MVP chants as the Knicks pulled off a 92-85 victory.

5.) Linsanity reaches a fever pitch
On Valetine's Day, Jeremy Lin once again stepped up for the Knicks.  In a game that the Knicks had no business winning, playing poorly for the first three quarters, Lin came through in the end once again.  Lin knocked down his first career game winner, nailing a 3-pointer with .5 seconds left over Toronto Raptors point guard Jose Calderon.

6.) New Regime Takes Over
On March 14th, Mike D'Antoni stepped down as head coach of the Knicks with Mike Woodson being hired in an interim role.  On this night, the Knicks would blow out the visiting Portland Trail Blazers 121-79, which was the start to a five game winning streak and a strong finish to the regular season for the Knicks.  Woodson would match D'Antoni with 18 wins this season, needing 18 less games to do so.

7.) Melo Magic

With the Knicks suffering from injuries to Jeremy Lin and Amar’e Stoudemire, it was time for someone to step up and fill in.  That someone was Carmelo Anthony, who showed why the Knicks traded so many pieces for him.  On April 8th, Anthony set a New York career high scoring 43 points against the 1st seeded Chicago Bulls in overtime 100-99.  Anthony knocked down clutch 3 pointers at the end of regulation and overtime, willing the Knicks to victory.
8.) Melo Magic Continues

Scrambling to make a playoff spot, Carmelo Anthony once again put the Knicks on his back and carried them to a much needed win against the rival Boston Celtics.  Anthony tallied his second career triple double April 17th at the Garden against the Celtics.  The 118-110 victory also included a season-high tying 19 3-pointers, led by Steve Novak with eight and J.R. Smith with seven.

9.) Tyson Chandler Gets Some Recognition
In the storied history of the Knicks, no player has ever won the Defensive Player of the Year award until now.  On May 2nd, Tyson Chandler recieved the award and was also named to the NBA All-Defensive 2nd team.

10.) A Streak Finally Ends

On May 6th at Madison Square Garden the Knicks were facing their second straight sweep in the first round of the playoffs and 13th straight playoff loss.  Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire were not about to let that happen. Anthony scored 41 points and Stoudemire added 20 of his own to go along with 10 rebounds.  It was quite possibly the best performance the two put on as teammates, as the Knicks defeated the Miami Heat 89-87, ending the 13 game playoff losing streak, winning their first playoff game since 2001.

New York Mets vs. Chicago Cubs Post Game Recap 6-25

Final Score: New York Mets:1 Chicago Cubs: 6

Mets manager Terry Collins let his players know how he felt about their play recently, calling it admirable because the Mets just ended a streak of eight straight series against teams with win.  What Collins feared most, a letdown by his team, may be starting to materialize after a very lackluster performance against the Chicago Cubs, owners of the worst record in the MLB.

The Mets were able to only muster six hits against the Cubs with shortstop Ronny Cedeno and Mike Nickeas each getting two apiece.  It took the Mets until the 9th inning to even score their run as it came on Ike Davis’s 9th homerun of the season. 

The Mets were also very sloppy in the field, committing three errors, all of which came in a disastrous 7th inning when the wheels really fell off for the Mets.   

Johan Santana pitched admirably for the Mets, by once again was let down by a lack of offense.  Santana pitched six innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits and three walks while striking out six.

The big blow for the Cubs came in the 4th inning when Joe Mather launched a 2-run homerun off Santana after he issued a two out walk to Cubs catcher Geovany Soto.

The Mets bullpen had a comeback and debut tonight.  The comeback was made by Ramon Ramirez, who was returning off the DL from a strained right hamstring, had a rough outing allowing both of his inherited runners to score in the 7th inning.  The debut was made by Justin Hampson, who was called up from Triple-A Buffalo to be paired with Tim Byrdak as lefties in the Mets bullpen.  Hampson surrendered a two out triple to Reed Johnson, was able to get out of the inning unscathed, also recording a strikeout.

Travis Wood pitched seven innings of shutout ball for the Cubs, giving up five hits and only walking one batter while adding six strikeouts.

Up next for the Mets is the middle game of their series against the Cubs.  Dillon Gee (5-5 4.27 ERA) will take the mound for the Mets while right-hander Randy Wells (1-2 4.91 ERA) will take the mound for the Cubs.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Yankees Post Game Recap 6/25

Yankees vs. Indians Post Game Recap 6/25

The Yankees were able to take the first game of the series against the Indians winning 7-1 as the Yankees bats jumped on Indians starter Josh Tomlin early, tagging him for six runs in three innings.

Hiroki Kuroda gave the Yankees a great start while picking up his 7th win of the season. Kuroda went seven innings allowing five hits, two walks, and only one run while striking out seven batters, bouncing back from his loss in Atlanta. Kuroda continues to be good in June as he has a 2.67 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP for the month.

The Yankees bullpen finished off the final two innings as Clay Rapada pitched in the 8th and Freddy Garcia in the 9th. Neither of them allowed a base runner.

Robinson Cano kept his bat red hot, hitting a two-run RBI double in the first inning, and hit his 17th homerun of the season and second homerun in as many days in the 3rd inning.

Nick Swisher followed Cano with another solo shot, his 12th homerun of the season, as the Yankees went back to back and belly to belly off Josh Tomlin in the 3rd inning.

Dewayne Wise got the start in center field and hit his 1st homerun of the season, a 2-run shot in the 2nd inning scoring Eric Chavez. Wise also got his first 2 RBIs of the season as well off the homerun. Wise would get his 3rd RBI of the game and the season in the 6th inning by hitting a triple.

Alex Rodriguez got Monday's game off, but Eric Chavez continues to hold his own on days when he’s in the lineup. going 1-3 with a walk a two runs scored.

Curtis Granderson average continues to drop going 0-3 with two strikeouts in Monday's game as June has been unkind to Granderson who is only hitting .216 for the month.

Yankees will play the second game of the series Tuesday night as Phil Hughes (7-6, 4.94) will face off against Justin Masterson (4-6, 3.98).

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Yankees Post Game Recap 6/24

Yankees vs. Mets Post Game Recap 6/24

The Yankees were able to pull off the 6-5 win over the Mets, winning the series at Citi Field and taking five out of six games for the Subway Series, as Yankee fans get the bragging rights for this year.

All indications of this game going in looked like it would be a great pitchers duel between R.A. Dickey and C.C. Sabathia. Unfortunately for New York baseball fans looking forward to this match up neither one of them pitched up to their capabilities tonight.

C.C Sabathia didn’t have his best stuff tonight but also didn’t get a lot of help from the fielders behind him as in his 5.2 innings Sabathia allowed nine hits, two walks, five runs, only one of which was an earned run, striking out three batters in the no decision.

The Yankees bullpen pitched well again, as Boone Logan was able to go 1.1 innings without allowing a base runner and picking up two strikeouts. David Robertson made things a little interesting in the 8th inning, trying to pick up the final two outs of the inning as Andres Torres got to 3rd base with two outs; but Robertson got a ground out to end the inning. Rafael Soriano came in the 9th to close the door and picked up his 15th save of the season.

It was a rough night again defensively for the Yankees. After two errors in Saturday nights game they committed another three on Sunday night as Chris Stewart had two throwing errors on attempted steals, the second of which was more Cano’s fault for not catching it as it went right under his glove between his legs. Cano also had a error fielding a ball in the 6th inning, for his 4th of the year.

Derek Jeter had a tough night going 0-5 with a strikeout, as his average keeps heading south at only .305 for the season and hitting .244 for June.

Nick Swisher was able to provide the Yankees with a big 3-run shot off R.A Dickey in the 3rd inning for his 11th home run of the season.
Robinson Cano put the Yankees ahead for good in the eighth with a solo shot to dead center. It was Cano's 16th home run of the season.

The Yankees will be back at home to face the Cleveland Indians for the first time this season on Monday night as Hiroki Kuroda (6-7, 3.57) will be facing Josh Tomlin (3-4, 5.12).

Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler Receive Awards,-Russell-Westbrook,-Tyson-Chandler-Bettor-coms-2011-2012-All-NBA-3rd-Team-Part-1-NBA-Feature-154178.jpg

The Knicks as a team did not reach the goals they had set for themselves, but some players did receive personal awards.  They will graciously accept these awards, but obviously would rather be on a stage like Lebron James and the Miami Heat winning a championship next season.

In addition to winning the Defensive Player of the Year award, Tyson Chandler was put on an All-Defensive team. Shockingly, it was not All-NBA First team, but instead Second team. 

Dwight Howard was the First team Center and Serge Ibaka, who many thought should have been the DPOY, was also on the First team as a Forward.  But Chandler deserved the award after how much he turned the Knicks defense around from one of the worst defenses in 2010-2011 to a top five defensive efficient team with Chandler on board. 

It needs to be noted that the voting for the DPOY and All-NBA Defensive teams are done by different groups; DPOY is done by a select group of media, and NBA coaches choose the All-NBA teams.

This is not the first time that the DPOY was placed on the Second team All-Defense, as it occurred in 1986 to Alvin Robertson and again in 1995 to Dikembe Mutombo. 

Iman Shumpert also impressed coaches throughout the season with his defensive play, as he garnered four first-team votes and five second-team votes, making for a total of 13 points.  He was four points shy, or two first place votes, of making All-NBA Second team Defensive.
In addition to the DPOY award and making All-NBA Defensive Second Team, Chandler was named to the All-NBA Third team.  He was not alone in receiving this distinction, as Carmelo Anthony was also added to the team.  Chandler and Anthony were joined by Miami Heat's Dwayne Wade, Boston Celtics' Rajon Rondo, and Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki.

The All-NBA First team included Miami Heat’s Lebron James, Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant, Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant and Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul.

The All-NBA Second team featured Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin, Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kevin Love, Los Angeles Lakers’ Andrew Bynum, San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker and Oklahoma City Thunders’ Russell Westbrook.

The All-NBA teams were chosen by a group of 120 sportswriters and broadcasters handpicked throughout the United States and Canada

2012 Rangers and Islanders Draft Selections

The NHL Draft was held this past weekend in Pittsburgh, and here are the Rangers and Islanders draft selections.

New York Rangers 

 Brady Skjei, Defenseman- 28th overall pick 

Cristoval "Boo" Nieves, Center- 59th overall pick 

Calle Andersson, Defenseman- 119th overall pick 

Thomas Spelling, Right Wing- 142nd overall pick 

New York Islanders 

Griffin Reinhart, Defenseman- 4th overall pick 

Ville Pokka, Defenseman- 34th overall pick

Adam Pelech, Defenseman- 65th overall pick 

Loic Leduc, Defenseman- 103rd overall pick 

Doyle Somerby, Defenseman- 125th overall pick 

Jesse Graham, Defenseman- 155th overall pick 

Jake Bischoff, Defenseman- 185th overall pick

More will follow about these draft picks.