Mets Offense Hits New Low and Wastes deGrom’s Start in 1-0 Loss

Just when you think the New York Mets offense cannot get any worse, they laugh in your face and waste another three hours of your time. To make matters worse, they wasted another terrific start from Jacob deGrom to allow the Boston Red Sox to steal a 1-0 victory.

By no means should this discredit the great Red Sox pitching but every hitter in the lineup looks like they barely belong at the big league level. From the flailing swings to barely hitting the ball out of the infield, it looks like deGrom is pitching against them every night. Red Sox pitching held the Mets to just two hits after their best scoring opportunity in the first inning.

Nick Pivetta struggled with walks to start the season and continued the trend by walking Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor to start the game. In usual fashion, the following three batters all made outs without driving in a run. For the rest of the game, they were lucky to put the bat on the ball. Pivetta hurled five, one-hit innings with seven strikeouts. Garrett Whitlock followed with a very impressive two innings and struck out four. Adam Ottavino made it look easy in the eighth, and Matt Barnes struck out the side in the ninth to put the Mets to bed.

Same Old S…..

deGrom relived the nightmare scenario he has become so accustomed to. He was not at his best but still managed to strike out nine in six innings and hold the Red Sox to one run. Unfortunately, deGrom was just as cold as the rest of the offense as he went 0-for-2. Lately, the rest of the pitching staff has gotten the same treatment, and at some point, it needs to end.

From the beginning, it looks like the Mets are a team lacking the energy needed to win. It makes it tough to get going when Lindor cannot get himself going either. The Mets will move how he does, and as long as he remains cold, the rest of the team will. There may be the light at the end of the tunnel as Lindor lined out on a terrific leaping play by Marwin Gonzalez in his last at-bat. Hopefully, this is something Lindor can build upon as he moves forward.

After an off-day Thursday, the Mets head to Philadelphia to begin a three-game weekend series with the Phillies. Marcus Stroman will face off against Chase Anderson in game one of the series from Citizens Bank Park.

 

 

Quickley sparks Knicks big win over Bulls, claims solo 4th

immanuel quickley, rj barrett, new york knicks

Rookie guard Immanuel Quickley caught fire in the fourth quarter as the New York Knicks quickly returned to the win column.

The Knicks (35-28) notched their 10th win in 11 games after taming the Chicago Bulls, 113-94, Wednesday night at the Garden.

It was a big bounce-back win for the Knicks following a slip up against the Phoenix Suns, the second-best team in the West, last Monday. They find themselves all alone again as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference after the Atlanta Hawks fell to the Philadephia 76ers earlier.

They had Quickley to thank for.

The rookie guard dropped 11 quick points in a dizzying 15-2 Knicks run to start of the fourth quarter. The Bulls never recovered.

“We just enjoy playing with each other,” Quickley said. “Everything is clicking. We just want to continue to take the right steps and just try and make a playoff push.”

By the time Quickley went out after picking up his fifth foul, the Knicks had transformed a precarious one-point lead to a dozen, 91-79, with 6:39 left.

The Knicks stepped on the pedal with Nerlens Noel anchoring their interior defense. Reggie Bullock and RJ Barrett hit a pair of dagger threes then Julius Randle brought them home with eight of his game-high 34 points inside the final two minutes.

It was Randle’s seventh 30-point game in their last nine outings.

Randle sat on the bench when the Knicks pulled away in the fourth quarter. But he returned to the floor when the Bulls cut the Knicks lead to nine, 93-84, with 5:36 left.

New York blew hot and cold through the first three quarters before going full throttle in the fourth quarter. The Knicks outscored the Bulls, 37-19, in the final 12 minutes.

With Randle smoking hot in the first half, New York raced to an 18-point lead. But the Knicks let the Bulls hang around to Tom Thibodeau’s chagrin.

Not even a technical foul could calm him down. But it worked as the Knicks responded and turned up the heat when it mattered.

Quickley picked up the slack for Derrick Rose, who had an off night.

The rookie spitfire finished with 13 points off the bench. Rose, who starred in his hometown Chicago as the youngest MVP early in his NBA career, added six points and six assists.

But it wasn’t only Quickley who rose to the occasion. In a typical Knicks fashion this season, there were plenty of heroes.

Noel was all over the court for the Knicks. He countered Nikola Vucevic’s monster game of 26 points and 18 rebounds with a defensive masterclass. Noel collected five shot blocks and four steals along with eight points, eight rebounds, and three assists.

Bullock hit three triples and ended up with 13 points. Barrett was efficient with 22 points on 9-of-15 shots. He also stuffed the stats sheet with seven rebounds, six assists, two steals, and one block.

The win was a fitting sendoff for the Knicks before they embark on a tough six-game West Coast trip beginning on Sunday in Houston.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

 

What’s next for Jessica Andrade after UFC 261?

This past Saturday at UFC 261, Jessica Andrade (21-9) was trying to capture the flyweight title. To do that, she was tasked with taking on arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Valentina Shevchenko (21-3).

Andrade is a powerhouse of a female fighter. She is known for her strength and her incredible power. The flyweight division is actually her third weight class since joining the UFC.

When she broke through with the promotion, she started with the bantamweight division because that was her only choice. When the strawweight division opened up, Andrade dropped 20 pounds to 115.

Andrade rose to the top and became the UFC strawweight champion. However, her strawweight run ended with back-to-back losses. After two straight defeats, Andrade moved to what is considered her natural weight class of 125 pounds.

In her first fight, she took on Katlyn Chookagian. Andrade’s power was on full display and she stopped the top flyweight contender in the first round. Afterwards, the UFC immediately started hyping up the fight between Andrade and Shevchenko.

Many people expected Jessica Andrade to give Valentina Shevchenko problems at UFC 261. Well, that wasn’t the case. The fight ended up being extremely one-sided and Shevchenko retained her title with a second round TKO.

What’s next after UFC 261?

Valentina Shevchenko sent a massive message to Jessica Andrade on Saturday night. Andrade is known for her power takedowns and fighting in close. Many thought if the fight took place in close quarters that she would have the advantage.

Well, the UFC flyweight champion made a point to keep the fight in close quarters to show that she has no weaknesses. She dominated Jessica Andrade playing Andrade’s game. So with that loss, where does Jessica Andrade go from here?

Well, there are a couple of options. Andrade could always return to strawweight if she ever wants to. She’s 1-1 with the new UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas (10-4). Andrade knocked Namajunas out in the first fight and lost a close split decision in the second fight.

It would be relatively easy for the promotion to sell the trilogy. However, the odds are that she will want to stay at 125 pounds. Assuming that’s the case, I think the UFC should look at booking her against Cynthia Calvillo (9-2-1).

Calvillo is another strawweight turned flyweight. Currently, she’s ranked fifth in the UFC and she’s also coming off of a loss. I think it would be an excellent matchup that would keep both ladies relevant at 125 pounds.

New York Yankees Recap: Domingo German lights out in Yankees win over the O’s

New York Yankees, Domingo German

Tonight the New York Yankees met up with the Baltimore Orioles in the third game of the four-game set. Domingo German was on the mound for the Yankees and Dean Kremer for the Baltimore Orioles. At game time, it was 84 degrees under mostly cloudy skies. The O’s won the first game, and the Yankees won the second game 5-1.

DJ Lemahieu lead off the game by singling. Giancarlo Stanton hit into a double play for two outs in the inning. Gleyber Torres doubled to the far-right field. A wild ball allowed Torres to go to third base. Gio Urshela struck out, but two hits didn’t help the Yankees because they remained scoreless. At the bottom, Cedrick Mullins led off against Domingo German, and he flew out to center. Austin Hays ground out to short. Trey Mancini also ground out to Torres to end the inning scoreless.

Mike Ford lead off the second inning by homering into the first row of the left-field stands. Aaron Hicks flew out to the warning track in center field. Clint Frazier struck out swinging. Kyle Higashioka struck out swinging, but the Yankees picked up a run on Ford’s home run. At the bottom, Maikel Franco led off by grounding out to Urshela. DJ Stewart walked on four pitches. Pedro Severino popped out to Higgy in an incredible catch. Ryan Mountcastle flew out to Gardner in left. New York Yankees 1 O’s 0.

Brett Gardner led off the third inning and popped out to short. LeMahieu singled up the middle for his 80th multi-hit game that leads the majors. Giancarlo Stanton got a base hit that ate up the shortstop. Gleyber Torres had a blooper into no man’s land in center for a single driving in LeMahieu. Gio Urshela, with two on and one out, homered to left field for a three-run hit. Mike Ford struck out. Aaron Hicks lined out to short. Rio Ruiz led off the bottom by flying out to Frazier in left field. Valaika flew out. Mullins ground out to second for a 1-2-3 inning for Domingo German. New York Yankees 5 O’s 0.

Clint Frazier led off the fourth inning by singling to left. Higashioka singled, but Frazier was caught going to third by a mile. Gardner singled, but the O’s got the force at second for the second out. LeMahieu ground out to second. At the bottom, Hays ground out to second. Mancini struck out. Franco went down swinging for a no-hitter for German through four innings. Yankees 5 O’s 0.

Giancarlo Stanton led off the first inning with a single. Gleyber Torres that was 2 for 2, flew out to left field. Gio Urshela, who homered, singled beyond the shortstop. Shane Armstrong came in to replace Kremer. Mike Ford, with two on and no outs he walked. Aaron Hicks, with the bases loaded, had a sac fly driving in Stanton as the Yankees tacked on another run. With two out and two on, Clint Frazier popped out for the final out of the half. Stewart led off the bottom by flying out to Gardner. Severino went down looking. Mountcastle got the first base hit for the O’s. Ruiz ground out to second for five straight shutout innings for German. Yankees 6 O’s 0.

Higashioka popped out to third for the first out of the sixth inning. Brett Gardner struck out chasing. LeMahieu ground out to second to end the half. At the bottom, Pat Valaika went down on strikes. Mullins lofted to Hicks in center for out two. Hays ground out for a 1-2-3 inning for German, who only thrown 75 pitches through six innings of work. Yankees 6 O’s 0.

Giancarlo Stanton struck out against the new pitcher Tyler Wells to lead off the seventh inning. Torres flew out to right. Urshela flew out to center. Mancini led off the bottom of the seventh by singling to left. Franco went down looking. Stewart hit into a force for the second out of the inning. Severino singled to left, moving Stewart to second. Mountcastle struck out, looking for a great outing for Domingo German. New York Yankees 6 O’s 0.

Mike Ford led off the eighth by flying out to deep left-center. Aaron Hicks flew out to catcher. Severino had to run a long way to make the catch. Clint Frazier homered well into the left-field stands. Higashioka went down on strikes, but the Yankees got tacked on another run. At the bottom, Ruiz was up against Michael King and struck out. Valaika flew out to Gardner. Mullins ground out for a 1-2-3 inning for Michael King. Yankees 7 O’s 0.

Gardner ground out to start the top of the ninth. LeMahieu flew out to far-right. Stanton singled to go 3 for 5 in the game. Torres ground out to Ruiz to end the Yankee scoring in the game. With Last licks on the line for the Orioles Hays at the plate and King still on the mound, Hays struck out looking. Mancini singled to left. Franco hit into a double play to end the game. The final score was the New York Yankees 7 and the Orioles 0. The winning pitcher was Domingo German, and the loser was Dean Kremer.

 

New York Giants: Kwity Paye speculation growing on eve of draft

kwity paye, new york giants

Tomorrow is the start of the 2021 NFL Draft. The New York Giants hold the eleventh overall pick in the first round of this year’s draft. The Giants are one of the first round’s biggest question marks. They could select any one from a list of prospects ranging from wide receiver to cornerback to edge rusher.

The Giants had a phenomenal free agency period where they fixed nearly every major weakness on their roster. New York went all-in on Kenny Golladay and Kyle Rudolph as Daniel Jones’s new weapons. They also signed Adoree’ Jackson as their starting boundary cornerback opposite James Bradberry.

But this does not mean that the Giants will not draft a receiver or a cornerback for that matter. Both are still viable options. However, the new rumor heating up in the mill is that the Giants will take an edge rusher, filling a need that they did not fully address in free agency. One particular edge rusher has been linked to the Giants a lot in recent days: Kwity Paye out of Michigan. Could he be the pick for New York at eleven? And what would he bring to the Giants’ defense?

Could Kwity Paye go to the Giants?

By most analysts’ standards, Kwity Paye at eleven would be a reach for the Giants. His projected draft stock lands him in the late teens or mid-twenties. However, Paye would fill a clear need for the Giants on defense.

The Giants are lacking a true every-down edge rusher on their roster. But is Kwity Paye that guy? Kwity Paye would instantly give the Giants a boost off the edge, especially as a run-defender. Paye is a polished edge prospect and the safest edge prospect in this class. He has no red flags medically or with any character concerns. If the Giants want to make a safe pick and address the edge rusher position, Paye is the pick.

However, Kwity Paye is unlikely to be the best player on the board. There is a strong chance that an elite prospect like Jaylen Waddle, Devonta Smith, Micah Parsons, or Rashawn Slater will be on the board for the Giants due to the run on quarterbacks expected to go in the top ten. Taking Kwity Paye over any of those elite guys would be a hard sell to the fanbase.

Paye at eleven would be a reach, though he is a viable trade-down target. Additionally, if he is the pick at eleven, that selection will be scrutinized and put under a microscope, but Kwity Paye is still a very talented edge rusher. Paye is the top-ranked EDGE in this class according to Pro Football Focus. He had a 26% pass-rush win rate in 2020 while also being a tremendous run-defender (PFF).

In his final two collegiate seasons, Kwity Paye racked up 8.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss through 16 games. Paye was mainly a 5-tech in college, but he has experience playing outside linebacker, rushing out of a two-point stance as well. He might not be the fan-favorite pick, but Kwity Paye is one of the best defenders in this year’s class and he would be a big upgrade on the New York Giants defense.

BREAKING: Diego Sanchez out of UFC Vegas 26 matchup against Donald Cerrone

The highly anticipated UFC welterweight showdown between Diego Sanchez (30-13) and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-15-1, 1 NC) is off. First reported by Carlos Contreras Legaspi, Sanchez has had to pull out of the fight.

At this time, it is not known why Sanchez is having to pull out of the UFC Vegas 26 matchup. This was supposed to be Diego Sanchez’s retirement fight, but it looks like Sanchez’s career will extend a little due to this turn of events.

As of now, the promotion is fully planning on keeping Donald Cerrone on the card. The UFC is actively searching for a replacement opponent to fight Cerrone at 170 pounds. There is no word on if there is any traction at this time.

This was going to be a big fight for both men. Diego Sanchez has gone 3-2 in his last five fights, but he was looking to go out with a signature win. A win over Cowboy Cerrone would have just been that.

On the flip side, Cowboy Cerrone is looking to turn his UFC career around. Cerrone found himself in a title eliminator at 155 pounds against Tony Ferguson in 2019. Cowboy was on a mission to capture the lightweight title and after the birth of his son, he looked better than ever.

However, Cerrone ran into a buzzsaw in Tony Ferguson. After the Ferguson loss, Cerrone suffered back-to-back first round knockout losses at the hands of Justin Gaethje and Conor McGregor.

Now, in 2021, Cerrone is just 0-4-1 in his last five UFC fights. Donald Cerrone needs a win in the worst way and Diego Sanchez looked like a winnable fight. We will have to follow along to see who the promotion gets for Cowboy’s replacement.

Another hit for UFC Vegas 26

This is the second big hit to UFC Vegas 26 in as many days. Last night we learned that the main event between TJ Dillashaw and Cory Sandhagen was off. A cut to Dillashaw in training is forcing the bantamweight headliner to be postponed.

As of now, it appears that Michelle Waterson and Marina Rodriguez will headline. However, that has not officially been announced by the UFC. Now this matchup between two legends is off. I’m sure the promotion will find a quality replacement, but this is disappointing for fight fans.

New York Giants plan on keeping Nate Solder at tackle according to report

New York Giants, Nate Solder

Some might have hoped the New York Giants would move Nate Solder to guard this season, but according to Jordan Raanan, that isn’t in the organization’s plans. That might come as a surprise to some, of course. Solder has struggled since joining the Giants and missed the last season entirely after opting out.

He’s not returning following a successful first couple of years to his Giants career. Rather, Solder will have to fight to keep a starting spot in the lineup and will make less money doing it thanks to a restructured contract.

Many thought the Giants would move Solder to guard because of these struggles and leave the tackle spot to others, but Raanan claims otherwise and says the Giants aren’t seriously considering it.

“He’ll go into training camp and they’ll move him around and look at that, but I don’t think that’s in their plans right now. I don’t think that’s something that they’re seriously considering or counting on,” Raanan told ESPN Radio’s Chris Carlin.

“He really has never played guard, I don’t think… All of these guys will play guard at some point in practice, so they might take a look at it but it’s not something they are planning on – at least from what I’ve heard,” Raanan continued.

While competing with Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart, there’s no guarantee that Solder ends up getting much time as a main option at tackle this season. The Giants were able to manage without him last season, so he’ll need to present an actual improvement to take back his old spot.

But with Solder having little experience at guard, this might be for the better. The last thing the Giants line needs is someone struggling to learn a new position.

After losing the title at UFC 261, what’s next for Zhang Weili?

This past Saturday at UFC 261, Zhang Weili (21-2) was set to defend her strawweight title against Rose Namajunas (10-4). Weili has been dominant since she came to the UFC and was the betting favorite heading into Saturday.

I personally thought she was going to be too much for Namajunas. If you go by MMA Math, Weili looked like a tough matchup for Namajunas. We’ve seen Thug Rose struggle against Jessica Andrade.

Andrade knocked Namajunas out with a slam in their first fight and hurt her very badly in their second fight. Now, Namajunas did get the split decision win in the second fight, but it was a really tough fight for Thug Rose.

Weili is just as powerful as Andrade, but she’s more well-rounded. She destroyed Andrade to capture the UFC strawweight title and appeared to have no weaknesses. She’s tough, powerful, and she has incredible technique.

However, on Saturday night, she didn’t have much time to show it. Thug Rose looked better than ever and knocked Weili out in the first round with a beautiful head kick. Weili protested the stoppage, but the stoppage was justified. UFC 261 saw Weili lose for the first time in her UFC career.

What’s next after UFC 261?

After the fight was over, Weili posted on her Instagram that she was hopeful that the UFC would book the rematch. Now, you can make the argument for the rematch considering the way the fight ended.

One big strike and the fight was over quick. No telling how the fight goes if that strike doesn’t land, but at the end of the day it did. On the flip side, you can say that the fight was incredibly one-sided with how quickly Namajunas knocked her out with that kick.

I could definitely see the UFC booking the rematch next. However, if they don’t, there are other options for Weili. The one I like the most is the rematch with Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-4).

The two former UFC strawweight champions had the fight of the year in 2020. Weili edged Joanna with a split decision win, but the rematch would be incredibly easy to sell. Before UFC 261, Joanna said that she wanted a shot at the winner.

However, with Joanna coming off the Weili loss and having already lost to Namajunas twice, I don’t see it happening. Weili – Joanna is the way to go in my opinion and I really hope the UFC looks at that rematch next to establish the number one contender.

Report: Knicks expected to sign Argentinian Luca Vildoza

Luca Vildoza, knicks

The last time the New York Knicks had an Argentinian point guard, they made it to the second round of the playoffs.

It may come full circle this season as they are reportedly eyeing to bring in Argentinian Luca Vildoza, the 2020 ACB Finals MVP.

The Knicks (34-28) currently sit at fourth seed in the Eastern Conference with 10 games left in their schedule.

Vildoza will be following the footsteps of Pablo Prigioni, who quarterbacked the last Knicks team that reached the playoffs in the 2012-13 season.

But unlike Progrioni who came to New York in the twilight of his career, Vildoza is just entering his prime years. The 6-foot-3 Vildoza went undrafted in 2017.

It is unclear whether the Knicks are planning to bring him in via a 10-day contract or a multi-year contract. As it stands, the Knicks have their roster complete with Jared Harper’s two-way deal recently converted to a 10-day contract. The Knicks, though, have an open two-way spot after electing not to sign Simi Shittu, per Ian Begley of SNY.

They can waive Harper and slide him back to their two-way spot if they plan to sign Vildoza to a 10-day or multi-year contract.

The 25-year old Vildoza led Baskonia to the ACB Spanish league title last year as he succeeded Facundo Campazzo as the Finals MVP. Campazzo has since hooked up with the Denver Nuggets.

Vildoza and Campazo were teammates in the Argentinian national team that grabbed the silver in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Hoopshype earlier reported that Vildoza and Baskonia have already reached buyout agreement further fanning the speculations that the Argentinian point guard is on his way to New York.

Eurosport commentator Chema de Lucas was the first to report on the Knicks’ last-minute attempt to bring Vildoza to the NBA.

Vildoza averaged 10.1 points, 3.5 assists with Baskonia in the Euroleague this season while hitting 38 percent of his threes.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

 

Mets Game Preview: (4/28/21) vs. Boston Red Sox (15-9)

The New York Mets send their ace to the mound for the second and final game of their two-game series against the Boston Red Sox. They will try to provide more than the one-run of support as they aim for a split of the series. Wednesday’s game is an unusual 6:40 p.m. ET start from Citi Field.

The Mets have a very unusual offense that has no problem getting runners on base but struggles to score them. They are the only team in baseball hitting under .200 with runners in scoring position and have the worst slugging percentage in those situations at .252. Their offense’s problem is deeper than just hitting in clutch spots; there is very little power coming from anyone in the lineup. The Mets are second to last in doubles (22) and last in home runs (15). They have to consider themselves lucky to still be .500 and in first place.

Yesterday, the Red Sox showed why they have surprised baseball with their 15-9 record. Though it was not their usual offensive outburst, 10 strikeouts from Garrett Richards gave them all they needed to win. The offense pushed across two runs and used their power arms in the back of the bullpen to close out the win. The Red Sox bullpen has a 3.21 ERA and 102 strikeouts, fifth in MLB.

Pitching Matchup

Jacob deGrom has been absolutely masterful through his first four starts of the season. In 29 innings, he has 50 strikeouts which are the most through any pitcher’s first four starts in MLB history. deGrom is also doing it on both sides of the ball as well. He has only allowed one earned run while recording six hits and two RBIs this season. Not only will the Mets need him to deliver a victory, but they desperately need his bat in the lineup too.

Nick Pivetta is no stranger to Citi Field after beginning his career with the Philadelphia Phillies. He has settled in nicely during his first full season in Boston. In four starts, he has a 3.48 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 20.2 innings pitched. Pivetta has struggled against the Mets with a 6.07 ERA in 37 innings.

Matchups To Lookout For

Nick Pivetta vs. Jeff McNeil: 4-for-8 (.500), 2 Doubles, Home Run, Walk, Strikeout

Nick Pivetta vs. Dominic Smith: 4-for-9 (.444), Double, Home Run, 2 Walks, 3 Strikeouts

Jacob deGrom vs. Hunter Renfroe: 3-for-9 (.333), Double, 2 Home Runs, 2 Strikeouts