Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mets Struggles Continue, Drop 8th of Last 9 Games

Saturday July 21st, 2012
Final Score: Los Angeles Dodgers: 8 New York Mets: 5
Mets Struggles Continue, Drop 8th of 9 Games

The Mets struggles continued Saturday afternoon as they were beaten again by the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-5. The loss drops the Mets to .500 for the first time since their record stood at 13-13.  This was the eighth loss for the Mets out of nine games since the All-Star break, putting even more distance between them and the last wild card playoff spot.  This will also be the fourth straight series loss for the Mets. 

The starting pitching along with the bullpen was once again a problem for the Mets.  Miguel Batista was taken out of the game before he took his first turn at-bat, as he most ineffective in three innings against the Dodgers.  Batista labored through the three innings, needing 81 pitches. 

Batista needed 33 pitches to get through the first inning alone, walking three Dodgers and giving up one earned run.  He actually threw a 1-2-3 second inning, but was unable to get through the third inning with as much ease.

Batista needed 34 pitches to get through the third inning, which was highlighted by a two-out two-RBI double by Juan Uribe.  Batista was pulled in the bottom of the inning for pinch hitter Jordany Valdespin, who was able to get a bunt hit and come around on a Scott Hairston bloop single.

Batista finished the game with a line of three innings, five hits, four earned runs, three walks and two strikeouts.  Earlier in the week Batista called the Mets “the best team in baseball,” a team he may not be a part of for much longer.

 Jeremy Hefner relieved Batista and was not much more effective after arriving from Triple-A Buffalo.  Hefner gave up two earned runs in his two innings of work, and is tentatively scheduled to start Wednesday for Johan Santana who was placed on the 15-day DL prior to the game.

Highly touted prospect Matt Harvey is a long shot option to start Wednesday for the Mets, as he starts for Buffalo tonight.  GM Sandy Alderson says that Harvey is a viable option for the Mets rotation soon though.

Chris Capuano threw a strong game against his former team, striking out nine in seven innings, giving up three earned runs on eight hits.

For the Mets offense, Ronny Cedeno hit his second homerun of the season, landing in the second deck in the sixth inning.  He finished the game 2 for 3, adding a double in addition to the homerun.

Scott Hairston was also able to get two hits in the game.

In addition to Valdespin’s pinch hit single, the Mets got more production from their bench as Daniel Murphy knocked a pinch hit triple into right center in the 8th inning.

The Mets had a surprise player come out of the bullpen today in All-Star R.A. Dickey.  It was his first relief outing of the season. He retired the first two batters of the inning quickly, but surrendered a two-out single to James Loney followed by a deep homerun to leftfield by Uribe.  Uribe entered the game 1 for his last 38 at the plate, but was able to knock in four RBI’s this afternoon en route to a 2 for 3 performance in which he also walked twice and scored three runs. 

With another series loss already guaranteed, the Mets will look to just salvage a win out of the series and avoid dropping under .500 Sunday afternoon.  Jon Niese (7-4, 3.58 ERA) will take the mound for the Mets and be opposed by Dodgers starter Nathan Eovaldi (1-6, 4.33 ERA).

Yankees Lose Second Straight in Oakland

Yankees vs Athletics Post Game Recap 7/20

Yankees lost there second straight game on the west coast to the Oakland Athletics by a score of 3-2.

Ivan Nova was able to battle his way thru 6.2 innings keeping the Yankees in the game only allowing two runs on nine hits, and one walk while striking out six Oakland batters.

Cody Eppley struggled in the 9th inning allowing three hits, and the game winning run picking up his first loss of the season.

Yoenis Cespedes continued to kill Yankee pitching going 4 for 5 on Friday night scoring the game winning run in the bottom of the 9th.

Yankees hitters were shut down for the most part by Oakland’s rookie Tommy Milone who struck out ten batters in his seven innings of work while only allowing six hits.

Mark Teixeira was able to continue his hot hitting since the All-Star break going 2 for 3, as his average keeps heading north, as he is now at .256 for the year.

Robinson Cano kept the hitting streak alive from the DH spot hitting a single in the 7th inning to extend it to 23 games, and hitting his 22nd homerun of the season off Ryan Cook in the 9th inning to tie the game at the time.

Russell Martin was able to hit his 10th homerun of the season in the 8th inning for the Yankees first run of the game, as Martin went 1 for 3 in the game.

Nick Swisher left the game in the 7th inning with a hip injury which isn’t good news for the
Yankees if he has to miss much time as they found out Brett Gardner will most likely be out for the season needing elbow surgery.

The Yankees will look to win their first game in Oakland as Phil Hughes (9-7, 4.22) will face another Athletics rookie Jarrod Parker (6-4, 3.16).

Johan Santana Lands on 15-Day DL

Johan Santana Lands on 15-day DL

Mets starting pitcher Johan Santana was placed on the 15-day DL this morning with a sprained right ankle.

Santana suffered the injury July 6th against the Chicago Cubs when he awkwardly fell while trying to cover first base on a groundball to first baseman Justin Turner.

People around the Mets believe that the ankle injury has messed up Santana’s delivery, as he has had to rely on his surgically repaired left arm more during his windup.  This in turn has caused fatigue in the arm, so in addition to healing up the ankle Santana needs rest to build back up arm strength in the arm.

“Ever since the ankle injury, basically he’s lost his command,” said Mets manager Terry Collins.  “We don’t think he can land properly … he is using all arm to pitch with, causing some fatigue in his shoulder, (but) no pain.  There’s just nothing there.  So we’re gonna disable him and get him some rest.  Let the ankle heal and rebuild the arm strength back a little bit.”

Replacing Santana will be a tough task for Collins and GM Sandy Alderson to decide upon.  With Dillon Gee already on the DL, the Mets were scrambling for starting pitching help.  Miguel Batista was making the start for Gee Saturday afternoon and Jeremy Hefner has been called up to replace Santana on the roster.  Hefner is tentatively scheduled to start in place of Santana Wednesday in Washington.  The addition to Santana to the DL will also add fuel to the fire of prospect Matt Harvey being called up to make his major league debut.

Since throwing the first no-hitter in Mets franchise history, Johan Santana has struggled mightily. 

He has given up five or more earned runs in three straight starts and has compiled an ERA of 6.54 in eight starts since the 134 pitch no hitter.  Those eight starts include surrendering 11 homeruns in only 42 2/3 innings.  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Mets Loss Series Opener with Dodgers

Friday July 20, 2012
Final Score: Los Angeles Dodgers: 7 New York Mets: 6
Mets Loss Series Opener with Dodgers

The Mets were unable to carry any positives over from Thursday afternoon’s victory against the Nationals, dropping the first game of a three game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.  It is vital for the Mets to get the last two games of this series, as it is an important one for the Mets.  If they hope to make the playoffs, the Dodgers are one team the Mets will be competing against and nothing would help more than beating them head-to-head. 

The Mets were in a hole right from the beginning, behind the whole game thanks to another off night from Johan Santana.

The Dodgers wasted no time in taking the lead, as Matt Kemp launched a towering two-run homer in the first staking the Dodgers with an early 2-0 lead.  The Dodgers tacked on another run in the inning thanks to a Jerry Hairston Jr. RBI single.

The second inning did not go much better for Santana, as he issued all three of his walks, one of which was a four pitch walk to Andre Either that forced in a run.

The third inning, which was Santana’s last, he gave up a lead off hit to Hairston Jr. and later his second homerun of the game.  The second homer was hit by Luis Cruz and was his first of his career. 

Santana was lifted for pinch hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis before he could even take his first at-bat of the game.  Santana’s final line was uninspiring, as he labored through three innings, giving up seven hits, two of which were homeruns, six earned runs, three walks and three strikeouts.

This was the third straight start in which Santana allowed six or more earned runs, the third time in Mets history that has happened, joining Bobby Jones and Pedro Astacio. 

The Mets offense was not without some fireworks, as Jordany Valdespin continued his mashing as a pinch hitter, knocking his MLB-high tying fourth pinch hit homer of the season out in the 7th inning.  It was his sixth homerun of the year in only 81 major league at-bats.  It also tied the Mets franchise record for pinch hit homers in a season with Danny Heep and Mark Carreon.  All of Valdespin’s hits as a pinch hitter have been by way of the long ball.

David Wright continued his torrid pace at the plate, knocking in his 66th RBI of the season, tying with for the NL lead in the category. 

Daniel Murphy also tied a career high with four hits in the game.  Two of his four hits were doubles and Murphy also knocked in his 44th RBI of the season.

The Mets bullpen has had their struggles this season, but tonight they had a good showing.  Being asked to provide some extra innings because of the short outing from Santana, the bullpen was able to go six innings surrendering only one run.  The performance from the bullpen kept the Mets in the game.

Next up is a Saturday afternoon game between the Mets and Dodgers.  The Mets will look to even the series with Dodgers as Miguel Batista (1-2, 4.33 ERA) will take the mound and be opposed by ex-Met Chris Capuano (9-5, 2.75 ERA).

Yankees Fall to Red Hot Athletics

Yankees vs Athletics Post Game Recap 7/19

Yankees fell to the red hot Oakland Athletics losing 4-3 as they weren’t able to start the trip out west the way they would have liked.

Freddy Garcia had his worst start since re-joining the rotation as Garcia allowed nine hits, two walks, and four earned runs while getting six strikeouts in his 5.2 innings of work. The big blow to Garcia’s night was a two-run homerun by Yoenis Cespedes in the first inning crushing a ball into the seats in left.

David Phelps who was called back up from the minors continued to pitch well in the majors going 2.1 innings in relief for Garcia not allowing a base runner and getting four strikeouts.

Derek Jeter did more of the same in the lead off spot with another multi-hit game going 2 for 4 with a run scored as July has been a big month for Jeter hitting .375.

Alex Rodriguez getting the start at DH where he is hitting much better than starting at third went 2 for 4 with a run scored.

Robinson Cano was able to get his hitting streak up to 22 games with a base hit in the sixth inning going 1 for 4 in the game.

Nick Swisher accounted for much of the Yankees offense going 2 for 4 with two RBIs, and hit his 14th homerun of the season in the 9th inning off All-Star Ryan Cook.

Yankees will look to bounce back against the Athletics with Ivan Nova (10-4, 4.18) on the hill, as he faces Oakland’s rookie Tommy Milone (9-6, 3.54).

Gardner Likely Out for Season

Brett Gardner Likely Out for Season

The New York Yankees found out that Left Fielder Brett Gardner will need surgery on his right elbow likely ending his season. He will be going for surgery on Thursday with Dr. Christopher Ahmad.

Brett hasn’t played since April 17th against the Minnesota Twins when he hurt his elbow diving for a ball. Gardner tried to come back with a few rehab starts but was always hurting afterwards leading to him getting a MRI.

"It's unfortunate," Girardi said. "We missed some of the things he brings to our club."

Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones have been playing great filling in for Gardner, as they both have 12 homeruns and a combined 66 RBIs for the year. The production from Ibanez, and Jones it would seem unlikely for Brian Cashman to make a major move before the trade deadline.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mets Get First Win of Second Half

Thursday July 19, 2012
Final Score: New York Mets: 9 Washington Nationals: 5
Mets Get First Win of Second Half

For the first time since the All-Star game the Mets were able to put together a complete game at the plate and in the field en route to a 9-5 victory over the division leading Nationals.  The win ended the Mets season-high six game losing streak; also they were able to avoid a second consecutive sweep to start the second half and salvage the series against the Nationals.

David Wright paced the Mets tonight and did not take long doing so.  He launched his 13th homerun of the year in the first inning giving the Nets a 2-0 right off the bat.  After being walked in his second plate appearance, Wright knocked another one out of the park for his 14th homerun of the season and a 9-1 Mets lead.  Wright finished the game 2 for 4 with the two homeruns and five RBI’s.  It was Wright’s first multi-homer game of the season.

This was the 18th time that Wright had a multi-homer game as a Met, passing Carlos Beltran on that list.  Only Darryl Strawberry is ahead of Wright now, who holds the record with 22 multi-homer games in his Mets career.

Ike Davis joined Wright in the homerun club today, also hitting his 14th homerun of the season in the 2nd inning.  If the Mets want to make some noise in the second half and make a run at a playoff spot, they are going to need more performances like this afternoon’s 2 for 4 game out of Davis.

The Mets were able to get to Nationals All-Star Gio Gonzalez early and often as he had his shortest outing of the season allowing six earned runs in 3 1/3 innings.  The Mets built a 9-1 lead and coasted to the victory when Gonzalez was lifted in the fourth inning.

For the Mets, R.A. Dickey had his best start in his last four outings.  Coming into this afternoon, Dickey had allowed five earned runs in three of his last four starts.  It was not his best outing of the season, but Dickey was able to go seven strong innings, allowing four runs, three of which were earned.  He was able to get out of trouble, as the Nationals had plenty of base runners getting 10 hits and one walks off of Dickey while he struck out five. 

The Mets will look to build off this afternoon’s win with another important series starting Friday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field.  Johan Santana (6-6, 3.59 ERA) will take the mound for the Mets and be opposed by Dodgers starter Aaron Harang (6-5, 3.53 ERA). 

Nets to Re-Sign Keith Bogans

Keith Bogans is expected to re-sign with the Brooklyn Nets after playing five games for them last season before tearing a ligament, and fracturing his ankle which required season ending surgery.

In Bogans five games with the Nets, he averaged 4.2 pts and 2.2 reb per game after coming off a season with the Bulls in which he started all 82 games.

The 2010-11 season with the Chicago Bulls may have been Bogans best as him and MVP Derrick Rose started in the backcourt together, and the Bulls made the Eastern Conference Finals losing to the Heat in five games.

Bogans will provide a good defensive back up for Joe Johnson, and Gerald Wallace while being able to shoot from beyond the arc with some success as he is a career 35% three point shooter.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mets Comeback Falls Short, Losing Streak up to 6

Wednesday July 18, 2012
Final Score: New York Mets: 3 Washington Nationals: 4
Mets Comeback Falls Short, Losing Streak up to 6

Different day same result for the Mets.  They once again fell down early and mounted a comeback and once again the end was a loss.  The Mets fell to the Nationals tonight 4-3, dropping to only one game above .500 and upping their season high losing streak to six games.  The loss also puts the Mets a season high eight games behind division leading Washington.

Like last night with Jon Niese, the Mets gave starting pitcher Chris Young virtually no room for error. Young pitched great through give innings again, but served up a two-run homerun to Adam LaRoche in the bottom of the 6th to break up a scoreless game.  That was the only blemish on Young’s stat line for the night, as he finished the game with six innings pitched, six hits, two earned runs, one walk and two strikeouts. 

The bullpen again was a disappointment for the Mets, giving up two runs in their two innings of work.  Saturday’s starter Miguel Batista gave up two runs in 2/3 of an inning.  He gave up two two-out singles, the second of which hit him in the lower leg.  After being visited by the trainer and throwing a warm-up pitch, he served up a two-run double to Steve Lombardozzi and the Nationals were up 4-1.

The Mets did show resiliency in the 9th inning, mounting a comeback attempt again against the Nationals closer Tyler Clippard.  David Wright and Jason Bay were able to hit solo homeruns, their 12th and fifth respectively, in the inning to bring the score to 4-3.  Jordany Valdespin was brought in to pinch hit again against Clippard, but was unable to come through again tonight as Clippard struck him out to end the Mets comeback.

As noted before, Bay knocked his fifth homerun of the season out in the 9th inning and had finished the game 2 for 4.  Bay also singled in the 5th inning off Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann, but was unable to come through in the 7th inning with Lucas Duda in scoring position and the Mets down two runs grounding out to shortstop. 

The Mets look to avoid their second consecutive sweep to start the second half of the season Thursday afternoon as All-Star R.A. Dickey (12-1, 2.66 ERA) takes the mound.  It will not be an easy task for the Mets, as they will face Nationals All-Star Gio Gonzalez (12-4, 2.93 ERA).

Terrell Thomas Cleared for Training Camp

Terrell Thomas Cleared for Training Camp

Terrell Thomas has always set his sights on returning for training camp this season with his surgically-repaired knee ready to go. 

Camp for the defending champion New York Giants starts July 26th, and Thomas looks to be right on target with how he set his sights.

Thomas was medically cleared for camp by team doctors this weekend. 

“I just left the doctor’s office; I am all cleared for camp,” Thomas put in his blog.  “I have no limitations for entering camp; obviously they will be monitoring me throughout camp.  It will be in the hands of [head trainer] Ronnie Barnes who has been protecting me thus far.”

Thomas says he is ready to go, but that does not mean that the Giants are ready to let him go full tilt in practice.  The Giants already watched reserve cornerback Brian Witherspoon re-injure his ACL during OTA’s so they will presumably take it easy with Thomas so that a repeat does not happen. 

Thomas was ready for a breakout season last year before suffering the season ending injury and he is eager to prove that he can return to that level now.

Thomas led the Giants in tackles with 106 and interceptions with five in 2010, the last season he played.  He will be welcomed back with open arms to the Giants after signing a four year $17.4 million contract that can be worth up to $28 million with incentives.

“The road just started; I have a lot of work to do,” Thomas wrote.  “I just want to let you know that I have been working real hard.  I am determined to get to the same form as last year and to be a great addition to our secondary.  I am looking forward to making the playoffs and hope for a shot to repeat.”

The Giants have pro bowler Corey Webster and young promising players in Prince Amukamara and 3rd round draft pick Jayron Hosley in addition to Thomas.  If Thomas is able to return to his old self, he would be a great addition to the secondary and a good person for youngster Amukamara and Hosley to look up to.

Yankees Beat Blue Jays in Rain Shortened Finale

Yankees were able to pick up the win against the Blue Jays in a rain shortened game beating the Jays by a score of 6-0.

Hiroki Kuroda gave the Yanks another great start as he really found his groove it seems winning his ninth game of the season. Kuroda went seven innings not allowing a run, and only giving up 4 hits while striking out five batters.

Derek Jeter had another multi-hit game on Wednesday afternoon going 2 for 3 with a walk, and a run scored.

Mark Teixeira had a another homerun for his 19th of the season a two-run shot in the bottom of the first inning scoring Nick Swisher.

Robinson Cano wasted no time again extending his hitting streak to 21 games now as he hit his 28th double of the season in the first inning.

Jayson Nix, coming off a 3 for 4 night on Tuesday, was in the lineup again on Wednesday this time starting at shortstop. Nix saw more success at the plate again going 2 for 3 with two runs scored.

Yankees bench which as been great all year saw a good game from Dewayne Wise getting a rare start in Center Field for Curtis Granderson. Wise went 2 for 3 with a double, and two RBIs.

Alex Rodriguez was back in the field after two games at DH with a stiff neck, but had a tough game going 0 for 3 with a throwing error.

Yankees will be heading to the West Coast for a four game series with the Oakland Athletics as Freddy Garcia (4-2, 5.25) will face A.J Griffin (1-0, 2.63).

Linsanity Officially Over in New York

Linsanity Official Ends in New York

Just as quickly as Jeremy Lin became a sensation in New York, he has been shown the door from Madison Square GardenMidnight struck on the magic of Linsanity in New York as Jeremy Lin will be going back to the team that cut him, the Houston Rockets, with a big contract the New York Knicks felt was too much to match.  The Knicks had until midnight Tuesday, July 17 to make a decision, but it had been being reported since Sunday July 15th that the Knicks were not going to match.

Lin signed a big three year, $25.1 million contract that included a “poison pill” third year in which his base salary would have skyrocketed to $14.8 million.  Lin got basically $1 million for every start he made last year, which is unheard of even in the NBA where bloated contracts are common.

One reason the Knicks decided against retaining Lin was the money he would have cost them.  As a tax paying team, the Knicks have to pay two and a half times every dollar they are over the salary cap, meaning in the third year of Lin’s contract, he would have effectively been costing the Knicks nearly $30 million.  That was something the Knicks management was unwilling to do after deliberations throughout the weekend and decided it was best to let him walk and go a different route.  Even with the massive amounts of money the Knicks could have made off Lin, it was not worth the money they would have to pay.  They will still reap tons of money as they sold-out their season tickets even before Lin came back.

That other route for the Knicks was to make acquisitions to replace Lin.  With Lin in limbo, the Knicks got going adding three veteran point guards.  The Knicks stole Jason Kidd for the mid-level exception at three years and $9 million from the Dallas Mavericks and signed Argentinean veteran Pablo Prigioni to the rookie minimum.

The sign and trade for point guard Raymond Felton is what really set off the end of Linsanity rumors that eventually came to fruition.  Felton was quoted as saying that Lin would be sent packing once the Knicks finalized the trade for him; Felton was right as Lin’s offer sheet was not matched.

The moves the Knicks made at point guard will more than make up for Lin in my opinion.  Lin had trouble meshing with Carmelo Anthony once he returned from injury, having his stats drop dramatically when on the court with Anthony.  Players will blame Anthony for such a drop off, but Lin should have some blame placed on him as well as his turnover rate was sky-high and he lost all aggressiveness with Anthony on the court.

Felton had an outstanding half of season with the Knicks before being shipped out in the Anthony trade two seasons ago.  His return people hope will rejuvenate Amar’e Stoudemire, who struggled last season no matter who was on the court. 

Kidd and Prigioni will also bring veteran leadership and experience that Lin just does not have yet. Kidd has experience against and beating the Miami Heat, while Prigioni has played competitively for nearly 17 seasons in the Olympics and overseas. 

Another thing these veterans bring is shooting ability.  With the offense undoubtedly going to be run through Anthony, the Knicks will need shooters on the court to space the floor.  Felton and Kidd are better spot up shooters than Lin, which will help in the long run.

One thing that has not been talked about but is a big reason for Lin not being brought back is James Dolan.  Everyone pokes fun at Dolan because of the ineptitude of the Knicks recently and some of his bone headed moves, but he is not someone to cross, which Jeremy Lin may have done.

Lin hag agreed to a contract with the Rockets at first thought to be worth four years and $28 million, which the Knicks responded with saying they would definitely match; Mike Woodson went as far as to call Lin his starting point guard for next season.  Within a day, the Rockets and Lin announced the signing of a three year $25 million contract, which included the $14.8 million third year instead of a third year of $9 million with a team option on the fourth year.

This move reportedly infuriated Dolan, as he felt slighted and betrayed by Lin, who had received his break with the Knicks and turned around and basically turned on them.

There was also word going around that some people within the Knicks organization and staff, namely head coach Mike Woodson and Anthony, was not happy with Lin.  Woodson secretly did not fully buy into the whole Linsanity thing, feeling Lin did not have as much potential as some fans thought he did, something many advanced NBA scouts share.  Woodson, along with Anthony, was also not happy that Lin was not more willing to play in the playoffs when the Knicks were in desperate need of players with Iman Shumpert and Baron Davis both going down with season-ending injuries.  The unwillingness to play rubbed them the wrong way, as it gives off and impression of putting yourself in front of the team because of looming free agency; especially when Lin deemed himself 85% ready.  No one is 100% healthy come playoff time, so someone considered 85% is a pretty healthy and expected to play.

No one except the Knicks and possibly Lin will know the real reason as to why Lin will no longer be playing for the Knicks.  Money is usually not a problem with the Knicks, so do not always believe everything you hear in the media.  At the same time, maybe money was the issue, which would mean that the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that was put in because of the lockout may actually be working.  When a team as big time and rich as the Knicks are afraid of looming tax problems, it would seem the CBA is doing its job of making teams think twice about flying past the salary cap.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Reeling Mets Lose Fifth Straight

Tuesday, July 17th 2012
Final Score: 10 innings New York Mets: 4 Washington Nationals: 5
Reeling Mets Loss 5th Straight

The Mets were resilient again tonight, but the end result was not a positive one as they fell to the Washington Nationals 5-4 in 10 innings.  It is starting to become sort of a broken record for the Mets, as once again the bullpen struggled and lost the game for the Mets.  The loss tonight drops the Mets to 46-44, seven games behind Washington in the NL East and 3.5 games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves.  This is also the longest losing streak, five games, for the Mets this season. 

The Mets offense was shut down for 8 innings tonight, as Nationals starter Ross Detwiler and reliever Sean Burnett combined to give up only six base runners and strike out five Mets heading into the 9th inning.  The Mets looked dead but thanks to Jordany Valdespin were able to take a 3-2 lead.  It was Valdespin’s 5th homerun of the season and 3rd pinch hit homerun. 

Bobby Parnell came into the game trying to nail down the save in the bottom of the 9th but was unable to hold the lead.  It was the second consecutive blown save for Parnell, who also blew the save Saturday in Atlanta

Josh Thole was able to put the Mets back into the lead in the 10th inning with an RBI single knocking in Daniel Murphy who had an infield single to start the inning, but the lead was short lived.  Tim Byrdak came in the bottom of the 10th and promptly gave the lead back to the Nationals, eventually loading the bases.  Pedro Beato relieved him and threw a wild pitch, scoring Ryan Zimmerman with the go-ahead run.

Bryce Harper hit a rocket to right field to tie the game, but was thrown out on a force at home plate after Byrdak intentionally walked the bases loaded.

This was yet another meltdown for the Mets bullpen, which surrendered runs in three consecutive innings, unable to hold the lead twice.

Not to be forgotten in what will be a tough loss to swallow is the performance of Jon Niese.  Niese gave up only one run, a 5th inning solo homerun to National rookie Tyler Moore.  Niese had retired 12 batters in a row before the homerun.  He finished with a final line of seven innings pitched, three hits, one earned run, no walks and eight strike outs.

Jason Bay made his return from the disabled list and picked up right where he left off, going 0 for 3 and being lifted for Valdespin in the 9th inning. 

David Wright struggled it seemed with picking up the ball in Atlanta, but was back to hitting the ball hard in Washington tonight.  Wright finished 2 for 5, including a double.  Even Wright’s outs were hard hits; the rough weekend in Atlanta seems to have been a blip on the radar. 

Chris Young (2-3, 4.28 ERA) will take the mound and try to end the Mets losing streak against the Nationals’ Jordan Zimmermann (6-6 2.48 ERA).

Yanks Win in Sabathia's Return

Yankees picked up the win over the Blue Jays winning by a score of 6-1

C.C Sabathia made his return to the Yankees rotation and picked up his 10th win of the season. C.C went six innings only allowing four hits, one walk, zero earned runs, and got six strikeouts.

Rafael Soriano was needed again in a game where it was a non-save situation heading into the ninth inning, but Chad Qualls and Clay Rapada loaded the bases leading to Soriano coming in to get his 24th save of the season.

Derek Jeter was able to go 2 for 4 with a double, run scored, and a RBI in the lead off spot.

Robinson Cano wasted no time extending his hitting streak to 20 games with a base hit in the second inning off Brett Cecil as Cano went 1 for 4 in the game.

Andruw Jones continues to swing a hot bat as Jones hit his 12th homerun of the season a three-run shot in the second inning.

Alex Rodriguez got another day off from the field giving Jayson Nix the start at third base, and Nix made the most of it going 3 for 4 with a run scored.

Chris Stewart who always catches C.C got the start tonight, and continued to play solid in his backup role going 1 for 4 hitting a double, scoring a run, and knocking in a run.

Yankees will be looking for a sweep tomorrow afternoon as Hiroki Kuroda (8-7, 3.67) faces Ricky Romero (8-5, 5.03).

Kris Humphries Returns to Nets

Kris Humphries to Return to Nets

Brooklyn Nets were able to sign free agent Kris Humphries to return with the team for 2 year 24 million dollar deal.

"Kris has been a very consistent player for us over the past two years," Nets general manager Billy King said in a statement. "He has developed into one of the top rebounding forwards in the league, and we are very pleased to welcome him back."

Humphries has seen his career take off with the Nets as in the last two seasons he has the most double doubles of any Power Forward in the NBA with 58, and a short stint on reality T.V as he was married to Kim Kardashian for 72 days.

Humphries best year was last year as he averaged 13.8 pts, 11.0 reb, and 1.2 blk per game making it his second year in a row of averaging a double double.

With the signing of Humphries the Nets starting lineup should be set for the regular season with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, and Brook Lopez.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ibanez Powers Yankees Past Blue Jays

The Yankees were able to pick up the first game of the series with the Blue Jays winning by a score of 6-3.

Phil Hughes gave the Yankees a very good start, going seven innings allowing four hits, three walks, two earned runs, and recorded four strikeouts.

Rafael Soriano was needed to finish off the game as Cody Eppley allowed two base runners in the ninth inning, and was pulled by Girardi. Soriano gave up one hit but got the save for his 23rd of the year.

Alex Rodriguez who was a late scratch at third base with a stiff neck was still in the lineup as the DH, and went 2 for 4 with two runs scored.

Robinson Cano went 2 for 3 with a walk, run scored, and a RBI. With the two hits Cano extended his hitting streak to a career high 19 games.

Russell Martin might finally be showing signs of breaking his slump as he was able to hit his ninth homerun of the season, going 1 for 4 in the game.

Raul Ibanez provided the Yankees with the biggest hit of the night hitting a grand slam in the eighth inning breaking a 2-2 tie for his 12th home run of the season.

The Blue Jays Jose Bautista left the game in the eighth inning with a left wrist injury, and was replaced by Ben Francisco.

The Yankees will see the return of their ace C.C Sabathia (9-3, 3.45), as he faces Brett Cecil (2-1, 6.75).

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mets Suffer Sweep at Hands of Braves

Sunday July 15, 2012
Final Score: New York Mets: 1 Atlanta Braves: 6
Mets Suffer Sweep at Hands of Braves to Start Second Half

The Mets start to an important stretch to start the second half of the season after the All-Star break did not get off to an aspiring start, as the Mets were swept in Atlanta against the rival Braves. The sweep was capped off with a 6-1 loss this afternoon.

Johan Santana was pitching well into the 5th inning, when he suffered a meltdown aided by the umpires.  After an RBI single by Michael Bourn knocked in the first run of the game, pitching coach Dan Warthen was ejected for arguing the strike zone with umpire C.B. Buckner when he came out for a mound visit.  The Braves would go on to score five more runs in the inning off Santana, including a three-run homerun by Freddie Freeman.  Santana was also chirping at Buckner throughout the inning, as he was not pleased with the strike zone being called.

Santana’s final line for the game was five innings pitched, eight hits, two walks, six earned runs and three strikeouts.

This was the second consecutive start in which Santana surrendered six plus earned runs, as he allowed seven runs and 13 hits in his last start against the Chicago Cubs.  This is the first time he has allowed that many runs in back-to-back starts since April of 2000, which were the third and fourth appearances of his major league career.

Santana has struggled since throwing his no-hitter on June 1st, as he is 3-4 with a 5.67 ERA in seven starts.

The Mets offense was unable to get anything going outside of a 7th inning RBI single by Andres Torres.  They were shut down by Braves starter Ben Sheets, who was making his first start in the majors in two seasons.

Sheets finished the game throwing six shutout innings, surrendering only two hits and one walk while striking out five. 

With the loss the Mets dropped to 6 ½ games behind the first place Nationals with their record falling to 46-43.  The Braves are second in the division with a record of 49-39.

Next up for the Mets is another important series against the Washington Nationals starting Tuesday after an off day Monday.  Jon Niese (7-4, 3.73 ERA) will take the mound against lefty Ross Detwiler (4-3, 3.43 ERA).  The Mets could possibly be welcoming Jason Bay back to the lineup Tuesday, as he had a productive afternoon at triple-A Buffalo Sunday afternoon.

Yankees Unable to Sweep Angels

The Yankees were unable to sweep the Angels as their ninth inning rally fell short losing 10-8

Ivan Nova struggled on Sunday afternoon against the Angels allowing nine hits, two walks, six earned runs while striking out three batters. The long ball hurt Nova as he gave up homeruns to Maicer Izturis, Albert Pujols, and Erick Aybar.

Chad Qualls after pitching a good seventh inning coming in for Ivan Nova got lit up in the eighth allowing runs runs while only getting one out in the inning.

Curtis Granderson had a great game in the field and at the plate making two spectacular catches in Center Field, and going 2 for 4 at the plate scoring two runs and hitting his 25th homerun of the season.

Alex Rodriguez was also able to take Jered Weaver deep hitting his 14th homerun of the season a two-run shot scoring Granderson while going 2 for 5 on Sunday.

Robinson Cano got his hitting streak up to 18 games going 2 for 3 with a walk, and a run scored.

Mark Teixeira blasted his 18th homerun of the season, a two-run to get a late rally started in ninth inning off Ernesto Frieri for the first runs Frieri has giving up all season.

Eric Chavez getting the start as the DH had a monster game going 3 for 3 scoring two runs, and hitting his 8th homerun of the season.

Yankees will be facing the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday at home as Phil Hughes (9-7, 4.33) will face Henderson Alvarez (5-7, 4.36).

Jason Kidd Charged With DWI

Jason Kidd Charged wit DWI

Recently signed New York Knicks point guard Jason Kidd was arrested early Sunday morning and charged with a misdemeanor of driving while intoxicated. 

Kidd’s 2010 Cadillac Escalade struck a telephone pole and went into the woods in hamlet of Watermill.  Kidd’s car was the only one involved.

Minor injuries were suffered by Kidd and he was treated at Southampton Hospital.

Kidd was signed earlier this month by the Knicks with a three year $9 million contract.  Kidd’s role with the Knicks is currently influx with all the roster shakeup going on and the uncertainty around Jeremy Lin.  Kidd wants to start, but is more interested in playing the last six minutes of the game, which he considers the most important part of the game.  In the end, Kidd just wants to win no matter if it is as a starter or backup. 

Nets Sign C.J. Watson

Nets Sign C.J. Watson

The Brooklyn Nets were able to land free agent point guard C.J. Watson to be the backup for Deron Williams.

Watson’s new deal will be for two years at the veteran’s minimum making this a very good signing for Brooklyn; they are getting a very good backup for Deron at a good price.

"We are very pleased to add a veteran with the savvy and experience of C.J. Watson to our roster," Nets general manager Billy King said in a statement. "C.J. has the ability to be productive in a variety of roles, and he will add quality and versatility to our backcourt rotation."

C.J. Watson played in 49 games and started 25 for the Chicago Bulls last year as he played a lot with injuries to Derrick Rose throughout the season and in the playoffs. He was a reason the Bulls stayed at the top of the East, landing the number one seed still in regular season.

Watson averaged 9.7 points, 4.1 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 23.7 minutes per game in the regular season and in playoffs against the 76ers played 30.8 minutes per game with 8.0 points, 5.6 assists and 2.6 rebounds.