New York Yankees Recap: Missing players Yankees step up to get the win over the Rangers

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

The New York Yankees entered game two of the four-game series against the Texas Rangers, one game behind in the series. The Yankees Jameson Taillon faced the Rangers Mike Foltynewicz. The New York Yankees won the game 7-4.

In the first inning, DJ LeManieu lined out to the right fielder. Brett Gardner starting in the number two spot tonight got a one-out single. Aaron Judge hit into a double play that has been so prevalent this season, ending the first half. At the bottom against Taillon, Willie Calhoun hit a single to center. Nick Solak went down on strikes. Nate Lowe hit the ball but was out. Nate Lowe stuck out to end the inning to end to the inning.

At the top of the second inning, DJ LeMahieu lined out. Rougned Odor against his old team singled to right. Gary Sanchez struck out. Miguel Andujar flew out to center to end the half. Adolis Garcia led off the bottom of the second by grounding out. David Dahl singled up the center. Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit into a double play by Rougned Odor to end the scoreless inning.

Mike Ford led off the third inning by hitting back to the pitcher. Ryan LaMarre chopped to third for the second out. DJ LeMahieu the half ended scoreless.  The bottom of the third was started by Andy Ibanez, who flew out to center. Johan Heim split the center fielders for a double. Willie Calhoun skied to left. Heim was called safe at second. Solak got an RBI single to give the Rangers the early lead. Nate Lowe, who was robbed of an extra-base hit in the first by Gardner, walked. Gallo, after a prep talk by Yankee pitching coach Harkey, Taillon walked to load the bases with two outs. Garcia singled, driving in two Ranger runs. Garcia stole second without a throw. Dahl, with two on strict out, be the Rangers scored three. Texas Rangers 3 New York Yankees 0.

At the top of the fourth, Gardner struck out. Aaron Judge had a one-out single down the middle. Gio Urshela got an RBI double to score Judge popped out to first. Andujar hit a double to center to drive in Urshela. Andujar, this hit a long single to left driving in Sanchez. Mike Ford hit a bullet single to the right-field wall moving Andujar to third. LaMarre walked to load the bases. DJ LeMahieu faced the new Rangers pitcher Kolby Allard and had a right field double driving in two runs. Brett Gardner popped out to third, but the Yankees picked up five runs in the inning to get the lead in the game. New York Yankees 5 the Rangers 3.

At the bottom of the fourth inning, Kiner-Falafa led off against Taillon and flew out. Ibanez ground out. Heim struck out for the first 1-2-3 inning for Taillon.

The top of the fifth was led off by Aaron Judge, who ground out to third base. Gio Urshela went down on strikes. Rougie Odor ripped one to the right-field wall to double. Sanchez flew out to right to end the half. At the bottom, the top of the lineup led off against Taillon on a short leash and popped out to shallow center. Solak had a solo home run to right. Lowe faced the new Yankee pitcher Wandy Peralta, and he walked. Gallo struck out. Garcia ground out to the force. New York Yankees 5 Rangers 4.

Miguel Andujar led off the sixth with a single to left-center. Mike Ford walked for two on and no outs. LaMarre rode on to right, and Andujar went to third. LeMahieu faced the new pitcher Hunter Wood, and he had a very long sac fly scoring Andujar. Gardner went down looking, but the New York Yankees picked up another run. At the bottom, Dahl popped out. Kiner-Falefa faced Jonathan Loaisgia replacing Peralta. Falefa went down looking. Ibanez popped out to Ford to end the inning. Yankees 6 Rangers 4.

Aaron Judge led off the top of the seventh, and he flew out to the warning track in center. Gio Urshela hit back to the pitcher for the second out. Odor struck out. At the bottom, Johan Heim led off, popping out to short. Calhoun lined out, and Solak ground out to Loaisiga for a 1-2-3 inning. Yankees 6 Rangers 4.

Kyle Higashioka led off the eighth inning with a single to left field. Andujar went down on strikes. Mike Ford singled, moving Higgy to third base. Wade was in to pinch runs for Ford. LaMarre ground out with the Yankees at second and third. LeMahieu ground out to center to end the half. At the bottom, Nate Lowe against Chad Green and flew out to left. Gallo hit out sharpy to Odor for the second out. Garcia flew out to Gardner. New York Yankees 6 Rangers 4.

At the top of the ninth, Brett Gardner walked. Gardner advanced on a wild pitch. Aaron Judge singled to left with Gardner going to third. Urshela, with men on the corners, chopped out, but Gardner scored. Odor against Brett Martin struck out for the second out. Higashioka tapped out to second to end the half, but the Yankees picked up another run. At the bottom with five days rest, Yankee closer Aroldis Chapman took to the mound to face David Dahl with last licks on the line for the Rangers, he struck out. Kiner-Falefa struck out. Ibanez doubled to left. Davis pinch hit for Heim and struck out with a 103 mph fastball to end the game.

The final score was New York Yankees 7 and the Texas Rangers 4. The winner was Wandy Peralta, and the loser was Mike Foltynewicz. The save went to Aroldis Chapman, his 10th of the season.

 

New York Giants: Joint practices with New England Patriots on the cards

New York Giants, Joe Judge

Despite the New York and Boston rivalry and two Super Bowl matchups, there’s an obvious connection between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots. Everyone knows about Bill Belichick going from the Giants to the Patriots, but current Giants head coach Joe Judge is also a part of that connection as a member of Belichick’s coaching tree.

That connection, it seems, could result in joint practices between both teams this preseason.

The report comes from ESPN’s Mike Reiss, who says the logistics of the practices are still up in the air.

The Patriots have known their opponents for some time, and if everything comes together with COVID-19 considerations, joint practices with the Eagles and Giants could be finalized. One possibility discussed, but is not official at this point, is having the Patriots-Giants practices in Foxborough, even though the game will be played in East Rutherford, N.J.

Interestingly enough, the practices could happen in New England even though the preseason game between the teams is set to happen in New Jersey.

That preseason game will also be the finale for both teams, as the fourth preseason game was axed as part of the league’s expanded schedule beginning this year.

The Giants will have another game in January instead of what would be the final preseason matchup, in a change from the previous norm.

We’ve known for a while that Judge is bringing some traits from the New England and Alabama organizations to the Giants after taking over as head coach, so it should be interesting to see if the Giants take anything new away from practicing with the Patriots themselves.

Nido’s Ninth Inning Homer Leads Mets To Another Unlikely Win, 4-3

The New York Mets needed the bench mob and much more to find carry them to another miracle win over the Atlanta Braves, 4-3. Seven pitchers and a lineup of three starters somehow managed to find another way to gut out a tough victory in a place they rarely win.

Tomas Nido earned another start due to his hot streak at the plate, and he made manager Luis Rojas look like a genius. Nido’s solo home run off Will Smith gave the Mets just enough support for Edwin Diaz to earn a save. Despite pitching for the third consecutive day, Diaz was throwing 101 with a sharp slider and recorded a 1-2-3 inning to get another save. Jonathan Villar, who has now become a regular, provided half the offense with his two-run home run in the third inning.

The small army of Mets relievers combined to strike out 15, and none of them went more than two innings. It was never perfect throughout the middle innings, but the relievers did enough to stop the bleeding and prevented the Braves from taking the lead at any point. The win was another example of how tough and battle-tested every player on the roster has become this season. Even with the ugly sweep against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Mets have gone 9-3 in their last 12 games.

On Wednesday, David Peterson faces Charlie Morton as the Mets attempt a sweep of their division rival. If they pull it off, it will be the Mets’ first sweep in Atlanta since the 2016 season. The first pitch from Sun Trust Park will be another 7:20 p.m. ET start.

 

New York Liberty: 3 stars from Tuesday’s win vs. Minnesota

Sabrina Ionescu made WNBA history in just her sixth game, as the New York Liberty won their third straight to start the season.

Behind WNBA history from Sabrina Ionescu, the New York Liberty won their third straight game to open the season. The top pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft earned the first triple-double in team history (10th in league history) en route to an 86-75 win over the Minnesota Lynx. New York (3-0) has won their first three games of the season for the first time since 2007.

ESM has three stars from Tuesday’s win…

3rd Star: Betnijah Laney

20 points, 5 assists

Poor Laney had perhaps the quietest 20-point game in team history, but it says something that Tuesday’s output was her lowest-scoring effort of the season. She’s also making the most of her chances, sinking 8-of-12 opportunities. A corner triple from Laney made it 50-47 in the third quarter, giving New York a lead they would never relinquish after trailing at halftime.

2nd Star: Sami Whitcomb

13 points, 8 rebounds

In the lead-up to the Minnesota game, head coach Walt Hopkins referred to her as an “unsung hero” in the Liberty lineup. The two-time champion was anything but unsung on Tuesday, hauling in a career-best eight rebounds and helped man the interior when it looked like Sylvia Fowles was about to take over. Fowles scored 16 points in the first half, but was held to only 10 in the second, part of that tally coming when the outcome was decided. It was in part thanks to the rebounding efforts of Whitcomb, who also sank some clutch triples to permanently give the Liberty the lead.

1st Star: Sabrina Ionescu

26 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds

A kid from Brooklyn who needs no supersoldier serum, Ionescu’s first two outings on Atlantic Avenue have been downright historic. Whether it was through clutch deep shots (one first-half three was taken from the 25th anniversary logo near midcourt) or setting up her teammates down below (namely Kylee Shook), Ionescu made sure the Liberty suffered no hangover from their opening two wins over Indiana. Everyone knew the kind of impact Ionescu could potentially make on both a New York and national landscape, but even the most unapologetic fan of the Oregon Duck couldn’t have seen this coming.

The Liberty return to action on Friday night on the road against the Washington Mystics (7 p.m. ET, YES).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

UFC rebooks headliner between TJ Dillashaw and Cory Sandhagen

The UFC has rebooked one of the most highly anticipated matchups of the summer. MMA Junkie was the first to report this evening that the promotion has landed on a new date for the headliner between TJ Dillashaw (16-4) and Cory Sandhagen (14-2).

The matchup will not headline the UFC‘s Fight Night on July 24th. Originally, the two were supposed to headline a Fight Night on May 8th. This matchup was being looked at as a bantamweight title eliminator.

However, Dillashaw suffered a nasty cut in training and the fight was called off. Since then, the UFC has been working towards a new date and tonight, the deal was finalized for July 24th.

With a title shot off the table for Cory Sandhagen, the next best thing in this shot against TJ Dillashaw. He’s getting to fight the UFC former champion with a title shot on the line.

The Sandman has seen his stock rise a ton over the past few months. After a slipup against Aljamain Sterling back at UFC 250, Sandhagen scored highlight reel knockouts over Marlon Moraes and Frankie Edgar.

Knocking out the former UFC lightweight champion in the manner that he did really showed people how good Sandhagen is. Now, he’s going to get the fight that he wanted in taking on the returning TJ Dillashaw.

Dillashaw’s UFC return

After two and a half years away, TJ Dillashaw is finally returning to the octagon. The former UFC bantamweight champion came off of a suspension that ended in January which kept him away since January 2019.

Dillashaw never lost his title inside the octagon. The former champion was forced to relinquish the title after he popped for EPO after his failed attempt to become a two-division UFC champion against Henry Cejudo.

Dillashaw said that he took it to assist with his energy levels as he was trying to make 125 pounds. He insists that he’s never taken it before. However, there have been a lot of questions regarding Dillashaw’s potential use of EPO prior to the Cejudo fight.

With that, many are wondering just how good TJ Dillashaw is. Well, the former UFC champion gets the opportunity to show the world on May 8th. If he comes out and dominates Cory Sandhagen while passing all drug tests, that will say a lot about how good TJ Dillashaw really is.

New York Giants: Kadarius Toney is the YAC machine that the Giants’ offense was missing

new york giants, kadarius toney

The New York Giants revamped their offense this offseason. The Giants’ offense was one of the worst in the NFL in 2020. New York only managed to score a putrid average of 17.5 points per game last season. Dave Gettleman and company recognized that changes were needed, so the Giants went into the offseason with the goal of finding “touch-down makers.”

The Giants succeeded in finding their “touchdown-makers.” The additions of Kyle Rudolph and Kenny Golladay should improve the Giants’ red zone offense and receiving dependability. But the first-round addition of Kadarius Toney will improve the Giants’ offense in a different way.

Kadarius Toney the YAC machine

Kadarius Toney might not give the Giants an added edge in the red zone like Kenny Golladay, but he does provide a lot for the offense. New York’s offense was particularly bad after the catch.

The Giants’ offensive weapons rarely created yardage after the catch. According to Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus, the New York Giants ranked dead last in the league with the fewest yards after the catch per reception in 2020 at 3.0 yards per. Not only did the Giants’ receivers struggle to separate from coverage last season, but they also struggled to make plays with the ball in their hands.

To fix this, the Giants went into the 2021 NFL Draft and selected the best yards-after-catch receiver in the entire draft class. Kadarius Toney is borderline impossible to tackle. He is labeled a human joystick for his video game-like juke moves. Kadarius Toney forced a missed tackle on 35% of touches since 2018, which was first among the 2021 wide receiver draft class (PFF). Toney forced 32 missed tackles on 80 catches the past two seasons (PFF).

On 177 touches in his collegiate career at UF, Kadarius Toney forced an insane 64 missed tackles (PFF). The Giants landed a tackle-breaking machine in Kadarius Toney. The Gator product will jump-start New York’s offense and provide elite after-the-catch ability to a team that severely lacked in that regard.

Knicks playoff ticket prices surge, fans rank 3rd most loyal during pandemic

New York Knicks, Spike Lee

New York Knicks basketball remains the hottest show in town despite the emergence of the Brooklyn Nets as a legitimate title contender this season.

The Knicks have become the league’s Cinderella story this season, defying the Vegas odds (22.5 wins) to advance to the playoffs for the first time in eight years. And not only did they break the long playoff drought, but the Knicks have also clinched a homecourt advantage in the first round with the fourth seed.

They will host the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 on Sunday in what is expected to be a loud and relatively packed Madison Square Garden.

Tickets to the Knicks’ much-awaited playoff return have yet to be released to the general public, but their prices have astronomically gone up in the secondary market.

Stub Hub has Game 1 tickets being resold for as low as $356 in the nosebleed section to as high as $31,500 in the VIP courtside row. Meanwhile, tickets to the Nets’ Game 1 are listed for as low $162 to as high as $2,761 in the middle section of the Barclays Center. No VIP seats and suites were posted as of press time.

At TickPick, Knicks’ tickets are priced from as low as $513 to as high as $7,475 at the courtside section behind the VIP row. The Nets’ game tickets go for as low as $178 to as high as $40,250 in the lower level suite.

Season ticket holders got the first access to the tickets on Tuesday. Deposit holders are next in the pecking order, and whatever is left will be open to the public beginning Wednesday, according to a MSG source.

Team governor James Dolan said the Knicks are eyeing to have more than 50 percent of the Madison Square Garden’s seating capacity for the playoffs. Dolan made the announcement during New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s press briefing on Monday.

“I know it’s been a long time. Believe me, I know it’s been a long time. People tell me every day. But we’re back. We’re in the playoffs,” Dolan said.

“For Knicks home playoff games, we’re shooting to have more than 13,000 fans at the Garden. The majority of whom will be sitting in vaccinated sections shoulder-to-shoulder.”

Fans in the vaccinated section will not be required to wear their mask.

Unvaccinated fans will have to wear a mask and be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test.

Dolan urged fans to get their COVID-19 vaccines to ramp up their return, especially if the Knicks advance past the Hawks.

“Go today and get your vaccination so that when these shows come, when the Knicks make it to the second round — Oh, I hope — you can come, and we’ll have a seat for you,” Dolan beamed with excitement.

“Any of you who know about basketball know about the concept of the 6th man and the homecourt. We’ve been missing our 6th man, and we’ve done as well we’ve done without our 6th man. But we’re getting our 6th man back for the playoffs, so we’re going to be even better,” Dolan added.

Only 1,981 fans have been allowed to every Knicks’ home game since February.

Dolan was appreciative of the Knicks fans he credited for helping the team’s major turnaround this season.

The enigmatic Knicks governor, who had his shares of a public spat with fans in the past, has made himself scarce until Monday. To his credit, he has done a remarkable job staying out of trouble. His recent moves — hiring Leon Rose and signing off Tom Thibodeau as head coach — have been lauded around the league and dramatically changed the Knicks’ narrative. Rose and Thibodeau have established a culture that could attract stars soon.

“Our fans have been extremely loyal and have helped drive the team’s success,” Dolan said.

Many Knicks’ fans have remained loyal despite the string of bad luck in the last seven years. Those who stayed are now reaping their rewards.

According to a recent survey, the Knicks have lost 15.6 percent of their fans during the pandemic. But the fan fallout is ranked among the lowest around the league.

Only Chicago and Detroit fans have ranked ahead of New York fans. Unfortunately, both the Bulls and Pistons fanbases have endured another losing season.

A survey conducted by TickPick.com has found out that the New York Knicks fans are among the most loyal fan bases in the NBA.

The survey conducted by TickPick last March also had the Memphis Grizzlies turning off 36.1 percent of their fans, the most in the league.

With the NBA and all other sports shutting down last year, the study also found out that 82 percent of people felt lost without sports in their lives. Only 20 percent or just 1 in 5 fans have lost interest in sports amid the pandemic.

Most of the Knicks fans, though, never wavered and kept their faith. And with the team’s resurgence, it’s just a matter of time before those 15.6 percent will come back to the fold if that hasn’t started yet.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Windhorst: ‘Scott Perry will be around Knicks longer’

New York Knicks

New York Knicks general manager Scott Perry started the NBA season on shaky ground. But along with Julius Randle and the Knicks’ rise, Perry is believed to have found his solid footing on the new regime.

ESPN’s NBA Insider Brian Windhorst posited on his podcast that Knicks team president Leon Rose would retain Perry on Tuesday.

“Scott Perry only got a one-year contract extension,” Windhorst said on Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast.

“I think someone should want to hire him,” his guest, ESPN’s The Jump host Ramona Shelburne replied.

“I’ll get in trouble for saying this because it will get aggregated, but I hear Scott Perry will be around the Knicks longer,” said Windhorst. “He will be. I hear it is all going to be worked out.”

Perry is a remnant of the Steve Mills era. But he’s not at all a stranger to the new regime. He has prior connections with the Knicks’ current team executive vice president and Rose’s senior advisor William Wesley.

The two executives have known each other since Perry’s days with the Detroit Pistons in the early 2000s. Wesley has become an influential figure in the Pistons’ locker room, being Rip Hamilton’s confidant and a close friend of coach Larry Brown.

While Perry was there, he helped the Pistons build a consistent playoff roster that went to the Eastern Conference Finals six times and won an NBA championship in 2004 under Brown.

Before this season, Perry’s future with the team was murky.

But to Perry’s credit, as Shelburne discussed on the Windhorst’s podcast, he was responsible for pivoting quickly to Randle after Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving spurned the Knicks.

Perry locked up Randle to a team-friendly deal, and his gamble paid off.

Randle has emerged as an All-Star this season, leading the surprising Knicks to the playoffs for the first time in eight years. He is the favorite to win the Most Improved Player of the Year and a cinch to be selected in one of the three All-NBA teams at the end of the season.

Perry has also stuck to his guns during the 2019 NBA Draft picking RJ Barrett with the third overall pick despite some quarters in the Knicks organization wanting to trade down and pick up additional draft assets in return.

After an All-Rookie Team snub last season, Barrett bounced back and has added an outside shot to his developing all-around game that has become vital in Knicks’ success this season.

He also signed Reggie Bullock and Marcus Morris and flipped him for a first-round pick that eventually became Immanuel Quickley.

Perry was also responsible for drafting Mitchell Robinson in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft and locking him up to a team-friendly contract. But he also had his shares of misses, like picking Kevin Knox over Mikal Bridges, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Michael Porter, Jr, and hiring Dave Fizdale over Mike Budenholzer.

Before coming to New York in 2017, Perry also had stints with Orlando — where he drafted Victor Oladipo, Aaron Godron, current Knick Elfrid Payton, former Knick Mario Hezonja, — and the Kings after his first stop in Detroit.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

New York Yankees activate Rougned Odor off IL

The New York Yankees announced  Tuesday afternoon that they’ve activated infielder Rougned Odor off the IL. Odor went to the IL after injuring his knee in a home plate collision during a May 4 victory over the Houston Astros.

Although his numbers aren’t great, the Yankees have certainly missed his presence on the field. He’s batting .164 with a .632 OPS, but he’s seemingly come through in many big situations. Each of his four home runs have been game-changers as they’ve both shifted momentum and provided much-needed scoring boosts.

Odor coming back also gives the Yankees some added swagger. He’s one of the fun personalities on the team, and you can tell that he truly loves baseball. His heart and hustle along with his entertaining bat-flips give the Yankees a bit of an emotional boost.

Additionally, Odor returns in a time where the Yankees are starting to struggle with injury issues. The list of players headed to the IL is beginning to lengthen, with the latest additions including outfielders Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton. Gleyber Torres is also sidelined as he received a positive COVID-19 test result last week.

With Torres out in the meantime, it’s expected that Aaron Boone will place Odor back in the lineup against the Texas Rangers this week. Luke Voit will play first-base, while DJ LeMahieu will likely shifting over to third with Gio Urshela moving over to shortstop. That would clear the second-base position for Odor as he really only knows how to play that position.

Game time with the Rangers on Tuesday is scheduled for 8 pm ET on YES Network and ESPN.

Mets Game Preview: (5/18/21) @ Atlanta Braves (19-22)

Someone the New York Mets found a way to win again, despite losing two more key players. They will try to lick their wombs and get themselves ready for game two of three against the Atlanta Braves. The first pitch from Georgia is a slightly later 7:20 p.m. ET start.

The Mets will need to dig deeper into their bench as Kevin Pillar is on his way to the injured list. He joins a crew of starting players who have created room for the Syracuse Mets to make their debuts on the roster. Johneshwy Fargas, Jake Hager, and Khalil Lee will have huge shoes to fill while the bat of Pillar, Brandon Nimmo, and Michael Conforto are sidelined. Fargas came through during Monday’s game with an RBI double, which was his first big league hit.

Holding Ronald Acuna and Freddie Freeman in check is the key to shutting down the Braves offense. On Monday, the Mets kept them both hitless, which is why their offense was held just to one run. With the Mets using a bullpen game, the task becomes much harder with the weaker parts of the bullpen being exposed to the two MVP candidates.

Pitching Matchup

The Mets will use an opener, but they still have no idea who it is. Drew Smith, Tommy Hunter, and Robert Gsellman are all options to start the bullpen game.

The Braves will throw Tucker Davidson, who only has 1.2 big league innings under his belt. In his only start during 2020, he allowed seven runs (two earned) and walked four batters. The offense should be plentiful for both teams during this middle game of the series.