New York Mets Series Preview: New York Yankees (7/20-7-22)

Part two of the Subway Series moves to the Bronx as the New York Mets face the New York Yankees. The Mets start the second half at 39-55, 13.5 games behind the first place Philadelphia Phillies. The Yankees once again reign supreme in New York with their 62-33 record but are 4.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox, who has the best record in baseball. The Yankees took two out of three from the Mets at Citi Field earlier this season.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(7/20, 7:05 PM) Noah Syndergaard (5-1, 2.97 ERA) vs. Domingo German (2-5, 5.49 ERA)

(7/21, 1:05 PM) Steven Matz (4-7, 3.38 ERA) vs. Sonny Gray (6-7, 5.46 ERA)

(7/22, 8:05 PM) Jacob deGrom (5-4, 1.68 ERA) vs. Masahiro Tanaka (7-2, 4.54 ERA)

Mets Rotation is Ready to Go

The Mets have their big three lined up to pitch against the mighty Yankees lineup. Syndergaard has already said these games mean a lot for the Mets. They could be showcases for potential trades before the deadline. The Mets hitters are avoiding Luis Severino and have a very good chance to take two out of three and start their second half strong. The team is currently in selling mode but a lot can change in the 10 days before the July 31 trade deadline.

After months on the disabled list, Yoenis Cespedes will finally return to the lineup. He will likely DH in all three games and his bat is desperately needed in the lineup. During his absence the Mets were breaking all sorts of records, but they were all bad ones. The Mets lineup is always better with Cespedes in it and if they want to make any run at getting back in the race, Cespedes has to stay healthy and play every day.

Bronx Bombers Back on Top

The Yankees have murderers row 2.0 after acquiring Giancarlo Stanton in the offseason and calling up Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar. They lead baseball with 161 home runs and are on pace to hit 275 home runs which would break the MLB record for home runs in a single season. They feature seven different hitters with double digit home run totals and are led by Aaron Judge’s 25 home runs.

Gary Sanchez will return to the Yankees lineup tonight after spending time on the DL with a right groin strain. Sanchez has had a disappointing season, hitting under .200 and only hitting eight home runs. The break from the field could help Sanchez and bring his bat back to life. The Yankees are almost 30 games over .500 without his production and the sky is the limit for them if he returns to his usual form.

Matchups to Lookout For

Jose Bautista vs. Masahiro Tanaka: 10-39 (.256) 3 Doubles, 2 Home Runs, 5 Walks, 11 Strikeouts

Giancarlo Stanton vs. Jacob deGrom: 9-25 (.360) Double, 4 Home Runs, 3 Walks, 7 Strikeouts

Jose Bautista vs. Sonny Gray: 6-20 (.300) Double, Home Run, Walk, 4 Strikeouts

Brett Gardner vs. Jacob deGrom: 4-14 (.286) Home Run, 2 Walks, 4 Strikeouts

Interesting Stats

Hitters with 0-2 counts against Steven Matz in 2018: 9-30 (.300) 2 Doubles, 9 Strikeouts

Hitters with 0-2 counts against Aroldis Chapman in 2018: 3-27 (.111) 2 Doubles, 18 Strikeouts

Big Ten: The Illinois Quarterback Job Falls On Cam Thomas

In the last Big Ten quarterbacks article, we looked at the Northwestern Wildcats and their QB situation. It’s only fair that in the next article, we look elsewhere in the state and check out the Illinois Fighting Illini. Unlike the other Big Ten team in the state, Illini fans can hardly be content with their team’s results.

Their two wins came against Ball State and Western Kentucky, in the first two games of the season. Every game outside of those two went down as a loss, and as you would expect from a team with a two win record, Illinois experimented with quarterbacks.

Jeff George Jr. had the most snaps and attempted 181 passes, throwing for 1,273 yards and seven touchdowns all season. However, Chayce Crouch also attempted 91 passes, ending the season with 443 yards and a single touchdown. Freshman Cam Thomas also had a bit of playing time, with 66 attempts and 375 yards. It seems like Illinois should have options going into next season.

But they really don’t.

A bad turn of events hit the Illini, and now the pressure falls on one player. After announcing in January that he was going to transfer, Jeff George Jr. picked Michigan as the school where he’ll spend his last two years of eligibility. At least Illinois has Chayce Crouch, right? Well, Crouch decided to walk away from football despite being a junior last season and having one year left during his college career.

“I don’t think there is anything left to give. I have decided to hang up the cleats and end my career as a Fighting Illini. At this point in my life, this is what is best for me and I hope you all respect my decision,” Crouch wrote. With his retirement, only one of the Illini quarterbacks to attempt a pass last season is still on the team.

Cam Thomas played in four games last season, his pass attempts increasing game by game as the season came to a close. The numbers weren’t good. 42% completion percentage, no passing touchdowns, and five interceptions. But with the team as a whole going winless in the conference, you can’t blame all of it on Thomas.

The Illini just weren’t a very good football team last season, and there was no realistic way that a freshman quarterback like Thomas would make them look better after entering so late into the season. Still, Thomas has the potential to progress his game entering his second season. The starting job will fall to him as the only experienced quarterback on the roster, and against Northwestern, he had one of the only bright moments of the game for Illinois and showed what he can do while tucking and running.

In the Illinois spring game, he showed his progress in the passing game and threw a 71 yard touchdown to Caleb Reams. “He can do everything. He’s so smart, he puts us in a great position to make good plays,” said teammate Reggie Corbin, about Thomas. During spring ball, head coach Lovie Smith emphasized that while Thomas isn’t completely ready, he’s shown potential and is moving in the right direction.

Whether or not Thomas will be starting material by the time the season rolls around remains to be seen. They really need him to be. The team has enough problems to deal with next season without worrying about whether or not the quarterback will blow games.

What Darelle Revis Meant To The New York Jets

darrelle revis, jets

It is a sad day seeing one of the best corner-backs of all time hang up his cleats and call it a career. Former New York Jets cornerback, Darelle Revis, future hall of famer, and a probable first ballot, started his historic journey with gang green. Drafted 14th in the 2007 NFL draft by the Jets out of the University of Pittsburgh.

Revis is mainly known for his performance throughout the 2009 season, the year where Revis Island was born. That season, Revis only allowed a high of five-receptions, and 58 yards. Only two assignments managed to score touchdowns on him – those receivers being the almighty Randy Moss on the Patriots and a man by the name of Mike Sims-Walker from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The numbers speak for themselves!

In Terrell Owens’ three games against Revis Island, he only managed to have 8 receptions 46 yards and no touchdowns. Randy Moss was able to salvage two-touchdowns in three games, but only had 9 receptions and 88 yards. Calvin Johnson, a athletic freak of nature, barely grabbed four-receptions and 57 yards with no touchdowns. All three NFL legends averaged a career passer rating of 55.7 against the swift intellectual corner from gang green.

Back to back AFC championship games:

Now lets be honest, without Darelle Revis, the Jets’ chances of making the AFC championship and having a run at the Superbowl would have been quite difficult if it weren’t for the seven time Pro Bowl corner. It had seemed as if Revis was unbeatable until Vincent Jackson put up over 100 yards and one-touchdown in the divisional playoff round of 2009. Revis averaged seven-receptions and 80 yards per game over all six playoff games throughout years 2009-2010. It is without question that his time as a New York Jet was remarkable, until his last year which definitely let him know it was time to call it a career.

Saying Goodbye

His average passer rating of 60.4 stretching from 2007-2015 went to 109.8 in 2016. Now we all know the history, but with a decrease in speed and agility, his football IQ can only do so much for him. Playing against a conveyor belt of brand new monstrous receivers who only get quicker as Revis gets slower doesn’t show signs of success for him in the future. This was a wise decision, and Revis Island without a doubt will never be forgotten.

New York Giants: Is Sam Beal A Giant Stretch Or Diamond In The Rough?

The New York Giants made a somewhat surprising move last week in selecting CB Sam Beal out of Western Michigan in the third round of the supplemental draft. Beal signed his rookie contract yesterday, less than a week after being drafted.

He was available in the supplemental draft due to academic ineligibility for next year; Beal is only the third player ever selected by the Giants in the supplemental draft and the first player since Tito Wooten in 1994.

Was Beal worth a third-round pick from the New York Giants?

The Western Michigan product is a highly touted prospect and was projected to be one of the top corners in next year’s draft, so sacrificing 2019’s third round pick can prove to be an absolute steal.

Beal is known to be an excellent cover corner with great foot work and ball skills. He may struggle initially against speedy receivers and needs to get physically stronger to help against the run, but he brings an immediate upgrade to the position.

With a strong summer and into the early season, he should compete with Eli Apple and William Gay for significant playing time, if not starting, and secure the opposite side of the field from Janoris Jenkins. This will free up Big Blue’s safeties, allowing Landon Collins to be more aggressive in the box while Thomas and/or Thompson can drop back into coverage.

From a talent perspective, this was a lock, and a move the Giants had to pull the trigger on. The biggest question regarding Beal is bringing a guy in the locker room who was only available because his academic eligibility was in question for next year. Should this be a big deal?

Time will tell but with the right coaches and players to mentor him along, Sam Beal is poised to be a strong contributor to a secondary that desperately needed depth. If nothing else, the Giants just got a 10-month head start to get a player in the door and can start molding him into an NFL-caliber player.

What Will Hernandez Brings To The New York Giants’ Offensive Line

Drafting offensive guard Will Hernandez might have been one of the biggest steals in the most recent NFL Draft. Luckily, it was the New York Giants who managed to grab him early int he second-round. Herenandez played his college ball at UTEP, where his team finished 2017, 0-16. While his team may have lost hope and given up, Hernandez wasn’t built to simply leave effort on the field.

The Giants’ guard comes from a broken home. One that forced his family to move from a house to a glorified shed – a place that Hernandez couldn’t even stand completely upright it was so small. His battles were far greater at home than on the field, but his frustration and anger has boiled over into the game he loves. His ferocity and intimidation when the pads come on is admirable; quarterback Eli Manning stated earlier in mini-camp that Will has already been in more than five fights.

What does the UTEP product bring to the New York Giants’ offensive line?

Hernandez brings the mentality of a “hog mollie.” He’s a mauler with the passion to only stop when the whistles have blown and his teammates are dragging him off his assignment. His attitude and demeanor on the field is exactly what you want in an offensive lineman, and the Giants managed to steal him in the second-round.

Former Giants, Chris Snee, was compared to the bullish lineman:

“I have no issues with that comparison,” Snee told the New York Post recently. “I’d like to think I was a better athlete than he is but he’s a mauler, a road-grader, everything from that aspect you’re looking for in an interior lineman.

While Snee might have been a better athlete, there’s no way he was more angry. Hernandez is a big man with stocky arms and a solid center of gravity. He will hold back defensive lineman all day long to give Manning the time he needs to operate the offense. Of course, there will likely be rookie hiccups along the way, especially against more talented defenses, but if he can recognize the schemes and disguises, Big Blue might have stumbled upon a diamond in the rough.