New York Giants: Good news and bad news in dissapointing loss to Pittsburgh Steelers

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants entered their week one matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers as a significant underdog, and it turned out that way on Monday night. The Giants lost 26-16 to the superior team, and that was known going into the contest.

With a strong defensive front and secondary, Pittsburgh managed to limit them to 279 yards through the air and just 29 total yards on the ground. Running back Saquon Barkley was completely shut down, despite totaling 60 yards as a receiver. Nonetheless, the Giants did show some positives in the game.

Good news and bad news for the New York Giants:

GOOD NEWS:

While some saw this result as a disappointment, the Giants remained competitive until the fourth quarter. At half-time, they were only down by 16-10.  Big Blue immediately got the ball back from the Steelers in the 3rd quarter and had an opportunity to secure the lead, but an unfortunate Daniel Jones interception in the red-zone cost them a great opportunity to secure momentum.

In Joe Judge’s first game as the Giants’ head coach, the team performed well, aside from some costly mistakes. The Jones INT was the tipping point, and the Steelers ultimately scored an additional 10 points in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.

The good performances were scattered across the roster. Darius Slayton ended the night with 102 yards and two touchdowns, building off his stellar rookie campaign where he led all first-year wide receivers in touchdowns and yards.

Defensively, Blake Martinez racked up 12 total tackles and was flying around the field to make stops in run defense. Leonard Williams was a notable contributor with two quarterback hits and one sack.

Unfortunately, high usage of their defensive front early on in the game gassed them by the second quarter. They simply weren’t able to maintain their mobility as the game wore on.

BAD NEWS:

The Giants have a lot of work to do this week as they prepare for the Chicago Bears. Their defense looked solid at times and made some impressive plays, but the offense made too many mistakes, and they lost the turnover battle, which was a key to win. Daniel Jones threw two interceptions, one of which came in the red zone on a potential game shifting 18-play drive.

The offensive line was disastrous, as the run blocking was virtually nonexistent. Left tackle Andrew Thomas had a decent game against Bud Dupree, but right tackle cam Fleming was a liability all game long. While the pass protection hovered around the average range, the run blocking was embarrassing. Barkley was unable to get anything going on the ground, averaging 0.4 yards per carry on 15 carries.

In coverage, both Cory Ballentine and Isaac Yiadom was unable to hold their own. The former Bronco allowed a touchdown to JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Ballentine was picked on all evening. If the Giants can find a supplement at CB2, they might be in better shape moving forward, but it was a decent place to start for the Giants, who were always going to struggle against a superior Pittsburgh team in week one.

UFC: Henry Cejudo Says Sean O’Malley Isn’t Built To Last

Sean O'Malley

For many fighters in the UFC, receiving their first loss after an undefeated career start brings them back down to Earth a bit. And Sean O’Malley, one of the most promising fighters in the organization’s ranks, received his first career loss in August when he was defeated by Marlon Vera. Not only that, but O’Malley will have time to think about his current situation as he sits out injured.

It’s a tough time for O’Malley. It’s a crossroads moment where he may either come back better or slide further. But former UFC champion Henry Cejudo doesn’t seem to have much faith in the young star. According to him, O’Malley overrates himself a bit.

Sean O’Malley not built to last?

Sean O’Malley can dish out pain but not take it. At least, that’s what Henry Cejudo implied when he gave his take on the Real Quick with Mike Swick podcast. That’s not to say that Cejudo is a hater. He claimed to have a lot of friends in common with O’Malley, and sent him advice before his fight with Vera.

“I’ll be honest with you, I actually like the kid. In some way I’m hating on him, in some way I like him. I’m weird like that. I wish the kid the best, but I also think that he thinks he’s better than what he really is. Even though he’s got the gifts, he’s got great distance, great demeanor, great fakes. Watching those like very subtle. I look at all these minor little details but he hasn’t been built to freaking last,” Cejudo said.

He continued by saying that O’Malley hasn’t been through a war yet, at this point in his career.

“You can give the pain but can you take the pain? That’s the difference between somebody like Sean O’Malley and me. Does he have better striking than me? Probably because of his length and his range, makes him a little dangerous. But you’ve just got to be the full package.”

Being a former champion in two divisions, Cejudo knows a bit about what it takes to win a belt. But his advice isn’t just some quick tips that O’Malley can apply. Rather, he blamed a lot of the problem on inexperience. The only way to solve that is for O’Malley to fight more.

That won’t be for a bit, thanks to the new injury for O’Malley. How he responds when he comes back, though, may just alter the path of his career.

Breaking news: Steve Cohen in agreement to be the New York Mets’ owner

New York Mets

For the New York Mets, a new era is on the horizon. As confirmed by MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen is in agreement to acquire the major league team from the Wilpons.

The transaction that will see the native New Yorker acquire the Mets was later confirmed by Sterling Partners via a press release on Monday.

“I am excited to have reached an agreement with the Wilpon and Katz families to purchase the New York Mets,” Cohen said in the statement, per SNY.

Fred Wilpon has been the majority owner of the Mets since 2002.

Despite several competitive bids, most notably by Alex Rodriguez – Jennifer Lopez and Josh Harris – David Blitzer (owners of the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils) Cohen was always viewed as the favorite to end up with the New York Mets at some point.

Cohen was very close to buying the team last December before he pulled his initial offer after some differences appeared in the negotiations.

Cohen will own the New York Mets at long last

To be recognized as the official owner of the New York Mets, Cohen would need approval from the other 29 ownership groups in Major League Baseball, but that is expected to be a formality and not an obstacle.

Cohen, per the terms of the deal, is expected to be the owner of a 95 percent stake of the New York Mets, at a valuation of roughly $2.475 billion.

Cohen, a lifelong Mets fan, always dreamed of owning the team and now will get his wish, at long last.

The Mets are currently 21-26 in the 2020 shortened season, and while they are still hunting a spot in the playoffs, they are running out of time and games to play. They are currently in fourth place in the National League East division, out of a Wild Card spot.

New York Giants: Golden Tate OUT For Season Opener

New York Giants, Golden Tate

The New York Giants kick off their season at 7:20 p.m. tonight. Wide receiver Golden Tate has been questionable to play in the season opener all week. Now, Golden Tate has officially been ruled out of tonight’s game with a hamstring injury, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN.

Second-year quarterback Daniel Jones will be without one of his top wide receivers again to start the season. In 2019, Jones never played a single game with all of his playmakers. Daniel Jones never hit the field with Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, Saquon Barkley, Darius Slayton, and Golden Tate all healthy last season. The Giants’ skill positions looked different week-to-week last year, and the discontinuity is continuing to begin the 2020 season.

Who’s Next?

Filling in for Golden Tate will likely be Damion Ratley. The Giants claimed Ratley off of the waivers last week. He was listed as the second-string wide receiver behind Golden Tate on the Giants’ first depth chart. Ratley spent the last two seasons with the Cleveland Browns, totaling 25 catches for 344 yards and 1 touchdown.

The New York Giants are facing one of the toughest defenses in the NFL tonight. Being without Golden Tate will be a serious blow to the Giants’ offense. Tate was one of Daniel Jones’s favorite targets last year as he totaled 676 yards and 6 touchdowns in 11 games. There was a strong chance that Tate played tonight, so he should be ready to roll in Week Two despite tonight’s disappointing game-time decision.

New York Mets Injury Report: September 14, 2020

With about two weeks worth of games left, the New York Mets have plenty of work to do to get themselves in a postseason spot. Will any key players return to action soon during the last few games?

Jeff McNeil is day-to-day after leaving Sunday’s game with “gastrointestinal discomfort” or, in other words, a stomach ache. Diarrhea is a COVID-19 symptom, but it currently seems like the issue is only a one-day issue for McNeil. He should return to the lineup on Tuesday.

Jake Marisnick is sidelined with a right hamstring injury that hampered him earlier in the season. The is no word on how long he will spend on the sidelines, but the Mets have not opted for an IL stint yet. As one of their best hitters against lefties, they will need his bat in the lineup as soon as possible.

Instead of optioning Franklyn Kilome, the Mets sent him to the 10-day IL with a split fingernail. It should not take a long time to recover, but the Mets may not need him back soon. Erasmo Ramirez took his role as a long man in the bullpen.

Dellin You There?

Dellin Betances played catch on Friday for the first time since landing on the IL with a right lat issue. His timetable to return is questionable, and the earliest the Mets should have him back is during the last week of the season. If the Mets are out of the race, we may not see him throw another pitch this season.

Corey Oswalt (right biceps tendinitis) and Tomas Nido (COVID-19) are two players who the Mets have been silent about. Both resumed baseball activities but have not returned to the active roster. For Nido, the acquisition of Robinson Chirinos closed out an opportunity for Nido to return when cleared.

Robert Gsellman, Rene Rivera, and Eduardo Nunez are out for the season with their respective injuries. When healthy, they did not provide much for the Mets, combining on for a -0.4 WAR.

Noah Syndergaard is still rehabbing from Tommy John Surgery as he looks forward to the 2020 season.

Also, if you are wondering, yes, Jed Lowrie will not touch a baseball field this season. Even manager Luis Rojas said he has no idea what Lowrie is doing.

New York Yankees’ JA Happ has been pleasant surprise in 2020

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

After a pair of rough outings to open the 2020 season, New York Yankees pitcher JA Happ has settled down and been quite good. Of his last five starts, four have seen him allow two runs or less.

Happ was skipped a few times in the rotation earlier in the season by manager Aaron Boone, and voiced his displeasure about it. It’s been ever since then that we’ve seen a new look Happ.

In his third start of the season on August 16th, Happ pitched 5.2 innings, allowing just three hits and a run. After being skipped, he pitched again on August 29th, tossing 7.1 innings of scoreless ball. That start locked himself back into the rotation.

After giving up four runs on September 3rd against the Mets, he bounced back, allowing two runs over 6.1 innings on September 8th against the Blue Jays. On September 13th against Baltimore, he allowed just one run across five innings.

Happ’s recent success has potentially made offseason decisions much harder for the Yankees. They’ll have a lot of starters and not enough spots. Happ has a vesting option for the 2021 season, and needs 10 starts in 2020 to reach it. He’s currently at seven, and only scheduled for two more starts this year as of right now. Even if he doesn’t reach the 10 starts, could the Yankees consider resigning him?

Even if he finishes strong in 2020, there are some risks to resigning him. He’s older, he’s losing velocity, and there are other younger pitchers looking for a spot. We’ve seen the success of rookie Deivi Garcia, and the team has Luis Severino and Domingo German coming back next year. They have young lefty Jordan Montgomery, and ace Gerrit Cole. Additionally, Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton are free agents this winter, and the team may have tough decisions to make with those two.

JA Happ has been a pleasant surprise for the Yankees in 2020. He has a 3.98 ERA despite a 1-2 record. Is his performance a strong enough case for him to return next year?

The New York Mets are still alive, but time is running out

While the cross-town rival Yankees are currently streaking and were capable of getting out of their own hole, the New York Mets lost a crucial game on Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays and now need to string lots of victories together if they want to advance to the playoffs.

For the 2020 shortened season, MLB and the players’ association agreed to expand playoffs to eight teams per league: the top two clubs in each division will advance to October baseball, plus two other Wild Card teams.

Right now, the New York Mets boast a 21-26 record, which in the National League East only tops the Washington Nationals (17-28.)

The Mets are seven games behind the division-leading Atlanta Braves (28-19), 3.5 games behind the Miami Marlins (23-21) and three games behind the Philadelphia Phillies (23-22).

How do the Mets’ chances look?

Reaching second place is a plausible goal, with 13 games back, but it would be very difficult to achieve. As far as the Wild Card is concerned, the New York Mets have several other teams in different divisions to worry about: the Milwaukee Brewers (20-24) and Cincinnati Reds (21-26) in the Central and the San Francisco Giants (23-24) and the Colorado Rockies (21-25) in the West.

Right now, the Phillies and Giants would be the two Wild Card teams advancing to October baseball.

“We’re still right there,” third baseman Todd Frazier said to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. “But we’ve got to win more games.” Frazier also stated that “crazier things can happen,” which certainly speaks about the now-improbable task at hand.

For now, the New York Mets will begin a three-game series against the Phillies on Tuesday. A sweep will be greatly beneficial, but winning two out of three could also work if they can take every remainder series. Dropping two or three against the Phils would be a dagger for the Mets’ hopes.

New York Jets: Le’Veon Bell could miss some time

New York Jets, LeVeon Bell

An upsetting loss for the New York Jets might become even costlier, as Le’Veon Bell could miss time with hamstring woes.

Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season ends on Monday, but the New York Jets are already taking on multiple losses.

Head coach Adam Gase revealed on Monday afternoon that both running back Le’Veon Bell (hamstring) and linebacker Blake Cashman (groin) may miss significant time with injures. According to team reporter Eric Allen, Gase didn’t “want to put a timetable on them”, but projected that they could be out for at least “a couple weeks”.

The Jets (0-1) will face the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers next Sunday (1 p.m. ET, Fox) before hitting the road again to take on the Indianapolis Colts.

It marks the latest setback for Bell, whose Jets career continues to be a struggle since he inked a four-year, $52.5 million contract in 2019. He struggled in his first full season with the team, earning 16-game lows of 789 yards and three touchdowns. Sunday was more of a strive, as he only earned 14 yards on six carries before the injury kept him out of a majority of the second half. The Jets fell by a 27-17 final to the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park in their 2020 debut.

After the game, Gase expressed regret over keeping Bell in the game as long as he did.

“I’m mad at myself that I let him back in there in the second half,” Gase said. “He got grabbed and the way he planted and torqued, it looked really bad. I saw him grab his hamstring and he wouldn’t come out. When we came in at halftime, I let him go back in there. I was worried about it. Eventually, I was like, ‘I can’t put you in there. We can’t take a chance of getting more hurt than you already are.”

If Bell is out, the Jets will likely continue to use reserves Frank Gore and Josh Adams. Gore led the Jets with 24 rushing yards on six carries, while Adams scored the final touchdown of Sunday’s game, his first since 2018 as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. The Jets also have fourth-round pick and Florida rookie La’Mical Perine on their roster, but he missed Week 1’s game with an ankle injury.

Further injury woes have also come to the sophomore Cashman, who did an admirable job filling in for the injured C.J. Mosley last season before succumbing to an injury of his own. Cashman had one tackle against Buffalo prior to his departure.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Yankees: At last, the rotation is finding long-lost stability

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

After Luis Severino got hurt in the spring, Masahiro Tanaka got struck by a line drive in the head and James Paxton went down with an arm injury, the New York Yankees’ rotation was left in shambles. Remember, Domingo German is also suspended and, for much of the season, J.A. Happ struggled with command and his results weren’t pretty.

Some time has passed, the Yankees had to endure a terrible spell in which they lost 15 out of 20 games, but now, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel and it all starts with pitching.

The streaking Yankees have won five in a row and are now only half a game behind the second-place Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East. They are, also, four games back from the Tampa Bay Rays with 13 to play. The top spot seems like a longshot, but it is possible if things break right.

Even Gerrit Cole struggled for a bit, mainly with home runs, but he sorted things out like the rest of the rotation. Montgomery was very bad at some point in the last couple of weeks, but he also righted the ship and dominated in his last start.

Here is how each New York Yankees’ starter has fared in his last turn:

  • Gerrit Cole: 7 IP 0 ER 2 H 1 BB 9Ks
  • Masahiro Tanaka: 5 IP 1 ER 3 H 0 BB 5Ks
  • Deivi Garcia: 7 IP 2 ER 5 H 0 BB 6 Ks
  • J.A. Happ: 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 5Ks
  • Jordan Montgomery: 5.2 IP 0 ER 3 H 1 B 9Ks

Those are impressive numbers for the unit as a whole. Happ, one of the most frequently questioned members of the starting rotation, had allowed only a couple of runs in 6.1 frames with 10 strikeouts in his penultimate start, too. The southpaw has a 2.45 ERA with 27 punchouts over his last five starts for the Bombers.

The Yankees hope to keep riding their starters into the postseason. At last, the staff seems to be rounding into form just at the right time.

New York Yankees: Miguel Andujar seems to be rounding into form

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

Yes, his overall numbers still look bad. And yes, his exit velocity numbers are a bit lacking, at least when compared to his elite 2018 season. But Miguel Andujar, despite those two situations, is on the verge of breaking out of his season-long funk. And the New York Yankees are eager to see him succeed at the plate despite the fact that they are about to get Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton back.

Miguel Andujar, who starred for the Yankees in 2018 with a .297/.328/.527, 27 home runs and 76 total extra base hits, has struggled since suffering a torn labrum in 2019 and getting surgery. The 2020 season has been the first one after the surgical intervention, and his average exit velocity (85.9 mph, compared to 89.2 mph in 2018) could suggest that he is still gaining his strength back.

He started the season struggling at the plate, which coupled to his abysmal fielding in third base and left field, didn’t give the New York Yankees a reason to play him. But due to the litany of injuries on the roster, he has been given another shot to star, and it seems he is taking advantage of it.

The Yankees are finally seeing some production

His .242 /.277/.355 overall line is rather disappointing, but let’s dig deeper. From the start of the season until August 28, Andujar slashed .129/.156/.129 with only four hits, no home runs, a 3.1 BB% and a 18.8 K%. His average exit velocity was 86.6 mph.

Since the calendar flipped to September, the prized Yankees’ young player has hit .355/.394/.581 with eleven hits (two doubles, one triple and a homer), 6.1 BB% and 9.1 K%. And while his average exit velocity is still low in that timeframe (85.2 mph), Statcast metrics have been as a little unlucky this year (.270 wOBA, .295 xwOBA.) Those are still bad, but he seems to be trending in the right direction.

Let’s see what the Yankees do with Andujar’s playing time once they get their two sluggers back, especially Stanton, since he will likely play a lot of DH. But right now, the team is actually getting some production from the 2018 Rookie of the Year runner-up.