New York Giants: Daniel Jones tops important quarterback metric

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones typically falls around the middle of the pack when it comes to quarterbacking lists. He’s obviously not the worst QB in the league, but on the other hand, it’s clear from his first couple seasons that he has a bit to go before being a true franchise player. However, in one important metric, Jones comes in ahead of even the league’s top quarterbacks.

This metric is deep passing, where next gen statistics placed Jones ahead of everyone else on a recent NFL.com list from Nick Shook.

Giants fans looking for proof that Jones can become the franchise QB he was drafted to be are getting a generous helping with this choice. Sure, it’s a surprise to everyone to see him No. 1, but the numbers don’t lie. Jones went deep just 39 times but was very effective when doing so, and his year-to-year improvement is incredibly encouraging. After posting a CPOE of -4.9 percent in 2019, Jones took a massive leap in 2020 to +14.8 percent, an improvement of +19.7 percentage points, the largest in the entire league from 2019 to 2020.

What does this say about Jones?

As the list states, Jones had the biggest increase in completion percentage over expectation in the league during 2020.

When Jones passed deep, he completed the passes almost fifty percent of the time and had a passer rating of 134.3 with five touchdowns and no interceptions.

One of the biggest obvious takeaways here? The Giants need to incorporate deep passing in their offense more. It’s something the organization has likely realized themselves, as the Giants made significant moves this offseason to improve the wide receiver spot. New addition Kenny Golladay, after all, is widely regarded as a dangerous downfield threat.

The results of the list might surprise you, but that’s understandable given Jones only had 39 deep attempts in 2020. The rest of the top 5, on the other hand, all had more than 50 attempts.

The lack of downfield plays has indeed been a point of criticism for Jason Garrett’s offense so far. Will it adapt in 2021 to suit this aspect of Jones’ game more? We’ll just have to wait and see.

NASCAR: Kyle Larson domination secures Hendrick Motorsports record

Through Larson’s dominant win at the Coca-Cola 600, Hendrick Motorsports became the winningest team in NASCAR Cup Series history.

Hendrick Motorsports made history in a familiar way: together in dominant fashion.

Rick Hendrick’s race team became the winningest team in NASCAR Cup Series history on Sunday night, as Kyle Larson dominated the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway to earn the group’s 269th victory, passing Richard Petty’s Petty Enterprises. Larson led 327 of 400 laps in the longest event on the NASCAR circuit (600 miles).

HMS Chevrolets have now won three consecutive events to tie and break Petty’s record. Larson took home his second win of the year, with his teammates Chase Elliott, William Byron, and Alex Bowman finishing second, fourth, and fifth respectively. Only third-place Kyle Busch broke up on the HMS monopoly in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

“It’s perfect. Everything down to the way they mow the lawn. It looks amazing. They put a level of pride and effort into everything…(Hendrick) has built such an amazing empire. Everyone there loves to work there,” Larson said of working with HMS. “I’ve always had a lot of respect for him. Getting to see the level of respect everyone has for him, how they love to work for him, it shows how great of a person he is…there’s a lot to be learned off of him.”

Hendrick, 71, made his fortune as the owner of several Chevrolet dealerships. He entered NASCAR ownership in 1984 and his team has gone on to win 13 Cup Series titles and over 300 races in the three national touring series. Elliott earned the most recent championship last season in the No. 9 Chevrolet.

Sunday’s win was almost thematic in its timing. Not only is Charlotte a five-minute drive from HMS headquarters in Concord, but the No. 5 Chevrolet currently driven by Larson also raced to Hendrick’s first victory back in 1984 with Geoffrey Bodine behind the wheel at Martinsville.

Hendrick had a little bit of pride in capturing the win at Charlotte but would’ve been happy with any of his quartet reaching victory lane.

“I really wanted to do it in Charlotte,” Hendrick said. “(But) I didn’t care who broke the record, I just wanted to win it. Any one of them, I pull for them all the same. It’s tough when they’re battling each other for the lead, but the objective in this race was winning…It’s like having a bunch of kids. You love them all the same, each one of them has different strengths and characteristics. But at the end of the day, they work well together.”

The Charlotte dominance was Larson’s second win in the No. 5, which also played host to Terry Labonte’s Cup Series title in 1996. Finishing off dominating performances has been a struggle for Larson. He previously led at least 200 laps in six prior events but came out winless each time. Additionally, he is by far the 2021 leader in laps at the front with 1,105. It wasn’t hard for Larson to get the lead early on. This weekend’s events held qualifying at the 1.5-mile oval and Larson’s time put him on the pole next to Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the front row.

He closed the deal on Sunday, holding a final margin of over 10 seconds on Elliott. The No. 5 led the way for HMS, whose four vehicles led all but 17 laps on Sunday. It wasn’t hard for Larson to get the lead early on. This weekend’s events held qualifying at the 1.5-mile oval and Larson’s time put him on the pole next to Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the front row. Elliott and Byron were third and fourth right behind them at the start.

HMS Chevrolets have now won each of the last three races, with Bowman previously winning at Dover and Elliott winning last week at the Circuit of the Americas. Byron, piloting Jeff Gordon’s No. 24, has finished in the top ten in all but one of the past 13 races and set a new career-best with his sixth top-five finish of the year on Sunday.

“It’s a great problem to have,” Larson said of racing his teammates for victories. “We’ve done a great job of racing each other hard, but yet not putting each other in a bad spot either so. We all want to see each other succeed for Rick and we all work great together during the week and even on the weekends…we’re racing with respect.”

The NASCAR Cup Series returns to action next Sunday at Sonoma Raceway’s road course for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 (4 p.m. ET, FS1).

 (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

Race Notes

  • Hendrick vehicles last won three consecutive races in 2015, when Gordon, Johnson, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. respectively won at Martinsville, Texas, and Phoenix.

 

  • Only two cautions emerged for on-track incidents. Kurt Busch’s No. 1 Chevrolet had a belt issue that eventually leaked oil on the track at lap 174 while Ryan Newman lost a tired and hit the wall at lap 297. All other cautions signaled the end of three 100-lap stages (all won by Larson).

 

  • Busch’s bad day was part of a brutal outing for Chip Ganassi Racing, as Ross Chastain likewise had a problem in his No. 42. The day was not a total loss for CGR, as Alex Palou placed second in the Indianapolis 500.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Giants: Evan Engram and Kyle Rudolph complement each other perfectly

New York Giants, Evan Engram

The New York Giants spent a lot of resources on their offense this offseason. New York made two big splashes in free agency on the offensive side of the ball and also made some quality depth signings. Wide receiver Kenny Golladay and tight end Kyle Rudolph were the big-name weapons that joined the Giants in March. The Giants also signed John Ross III and Devontae Booker as quality backups.

New York then doubled down on its promise to give Daniel Jones weapons in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. With the 20th overall pick in the draft, the Giants selected wide receiver Kadarius Toney.

The Giants now feel confident that Daniel Jones has the tools at his disposal to create a successful 2021 season. In 2020, New York had a clear lack of talent on offense, averaging only 17.5 points per game. One of the team’s best receiving threats, Evan Engram, struggled tremendously in 2020, dropping 11 passes on the season.

In 2021, Engram could bounce back as the Giants take some pressure off of him in the receiving game. They added a bunch of new weapons to the offense and created good depth at the tight end position heading into 2021.

Evan Engram and Kyle Rudolph complement each other perfectly

The good, bad, and ugly of Evan Engram

Evan Engram will return this year as the New York Giants’ starting tight end. However, he will likely share much of his playing time with the newly-signed veteran Kyle Rudolph. Engram and Rudolph’s playing styles complement each other perfectly.

Much has been made of Evan Engram’s drops and struggles in 2020. But many forget that he is still a quality tight end and one of the most athletic and dynamic players at this position in the NFL. Not many tight ends in the NFL can fly through a 40-yard dash at 4.42 seconds. He has true wide receiver speed and elite route running for a tight end. Engram’s release package helped him frequently separate vertically for big gains downfield last season.

Engram’s struggles came when the Giants forced him to sit down in the middle of the field between 0-10 yards from the line of scrimmage. All six of the interceptions thrown while targeting Evan Engram came in that range, as did four of his drops.

The Giants misused Evan Engram in 2020. He played the “Jason Witten role” in Jason Garrett’s offense, rather than the “Blake Jarwin role.” Engram is meant to get vertical and use his precise route running to create separation. But too frequently Garrett used him as an underneath contested-catch option. In 2021, expect to see Kyle Rudolph take over that role while Evan Engram gets used in a more versatile fashion.

Mr. Reliable, Kevin Rudolph

Evan Engram’s inconsistency became too much for Giants fans to bear last season. So the Giants went out and got the most reliable tight end in football to make up for that.

Kyle Rudolph has not dropped a pass in the last two years and is incredible at making contested catches. Rudolph’s contested catch rate since 2016 is 51.9%. Compare this to Evan Engram’s career contested-catch rate of 32.1%, and it’s easy to understand why Kyle Rudolph could be one of the Giants’ most valuable offensive weapons.

Kyle Rudolph also provides the Giants with an elite red zone presence. Of Kyle Rudolph’s 48 career touchdown receptions, 40 of them — 83.3 percent — have come in the red zone (Paul Schwartz of the NY Post).

In 2021, expect to see Kyle Rudolph take over Evan Engram’s role last season as the reliable underneath option in the Giants’ offense. Evan Engram will likely complement that by lining up out wide and in the slot more often so he can utilize his speed and separation-ability to make big gains downfield. These two tight ends will work in tandem to make the New York Giants’ offense a more efficient unit next season.

New York Yankees Recap: Yankees swept by the second worst team in the AL

New York Yankees, Michael King

This afternoon the New York Yankees faced the Detroit Tigers in the finale of a three-game set. The Yankees lost the first two games preventing a series win, but hoped to at least salvage the final game before returning to New York to face the formidable Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox. Today the Yankees’ Michael King faced the Tigers’ Tarik Skubal at Comerica Park. In the end, the Yankees pitched and played very poorly and were swept by the Tigers. The final score was the Tigers 6 and the Yankees 2.

Leading off for the Yankees against Skubal was DJ LeMahieu; he dropped one into center field for a single. Giancarlo Stanton walked. With two on and no outs, Aaron Judge hit into the Yankees 51st double play, the most in baseball. Gio Urshela ground out to short to waste another scoring possibility. At the bottom, Nicko Goodrum reached when Urshela threw the ball away. Jelmer Candelario flew out to Urshela at the left-field foul fence. Miguel Cabrera took first on a hit ball. Jonathan Schoop, with two on and one out, struck out. Nomar Mazara ended up on third base on a long single to left, scoring two Tigers. Eric Haase flew out to Andujar. Detroit Tigers 2 New York Yankees 0.

At the top of the second, Gleyber Torres walked. Gary Sanchez popped out to shallow center. Miguel Andujar struck out swinging on a ball in the dirt. Clint Frazier singled on a comebacker to Skubal. Tyler Wade, with two on and two outs, struck out. Victor Reyes led off the bottom and hit back to King for the out. Zack Short hit a single to left. Willi Castro was hit by a pitch putting two on with one out. Goodrum struck out. Candelario walked, loading the bases for Cabrera ground leaving the bases loaded. Tigers 2 Yankees 0.

DJ LeMahieu led off the third by grounding out to left. Stanton struck out swinging. Judge also struck out for a quick inning for Skubal. At the bottom, Schoop walked on King’s 56th pitch. Mazara lined out to Wade in center. Hasse reached on an E5 by Urshela that was avoiding a flying broken bat. Reyes faced the new Yankee pitcher Nestor Cortes Jr. and reached on an error by Torres scoring a run. Short walked to load the bases. Castro hit into a bases-clearing double diving in another three runs. Goodrum single on a bobbled ball by Torres. Cabrera ground out to finally end the inning. Tigers 6 Yankees 0.

At the top of the fourth, Urshela struck out. Torres flew out deep to center field. Gary Sanchez walked. Andujar went down on strikes. Schoop singled, Mazara reached on a fielder’s choice. Haase hit into a double play to end the inning. Tigers 6 Yankees 0.

Clint Frazier led off the fifth by striking out swinging. Tyler Wade ground out to second base. LeMahieu flew out to Goodrum in center. Reyes led off the bottom by grounding out to second. Short walked, and Castro hit into a double play. Tigers 6 Yankees 0.

Stanton ground out to start the sixth. Judge ground into a ground-rule double. Urshela flew out to right, and Torres flew out to right. At the bottom, Goodrum led off by grounding out. Candelario walked. Cabrera struck out. Schoop singled for two on and two outs. Mazara walked on a bad call to load the bases. Haase struck out to leave the bases loaded. Tigers 6 Yankees 0.

Sanchez led off the seventh by singling to right. Andujar flew out to right. Frazier had a towering fly out to center. Wade struck out to end the half. A the bottom, with new pitcher Nick Nelson on the mound, Reyes ground out. Short struck out. Castro walked. Goodrum ground out to end the seventh inning. Tigers 6 Yankees 0.

LeMahieu led off the eighth inning by singling to right. Stanton flew out to right. Judge walked, moving LeMahieu to second. Urshela struck out. The runners moved up on a wild pitch. Torres singled, scoring Judge for the first run in the game for the Yankees. Sanchez faced the new pitcher Michael Fulmer and singled but on an errant throw, he got caught up in a run down and was out. An inexcusable mistake when down four runs. Tigers 6 and Yankees 2.

At the bottom of the eighth, Candelario went down on strikes. Cabrera ground out. Schoop walked. A passed ball allowed Schoop to advance. Mazara flew out to Frazier in left. With last licks on the line for the New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar singled to center. Clint Frazier singled, moving Andujar to third base. Tyler Wade, with two on and no outs, went down on strikes. LeMahieu flew out to foul territory in right. Giancarlo Stanton walked on four pitches, bring up Aaron Judge to the plate. Judge with the bases loaded went down looking, and the Tigers swept the Yankees. The final score was the Tigers 6 and the Yankees 2. The winner was Tarik Skubal, and the loser, Michael King.

 

 

 

 

 

Knicks on the rope: Trae Young, Hawks deliver killer blow in Game 4

The New York Knicks’ frustration reached its boiling point in the closing moments of an ugly Game 4 loss.

Julius Randle and Reggie Bullock, who played a solid two-man game throughout the regular season, were reduced to shooting targets on defense and misfiring triggermen on offense. Each received a flagrant foul penalty 1 call that encapsulated the Knicks’ struggles on Sunday.

It will be a long flight home for the Knicks who are now on the brink of elimination, starting at a 3-1 series deficit.

Trae Young continued to haunt New York with his impeccable shooting and razor-sharp playmaking as Atlanta ran away with a 113-96 masterclass.

No one expected the Knicks to grab the fourth seed and pick up a playoff win. But only a few saw this overachieving New York squad unraveling at the worst possible time.

Young came just one assist shy of putting up another double-double with 27 points and nine assists. But there was no need for it as Atlanta drew a total team effort. The younger Hawks ran the older Knicks to the ground.

The wheels fell off for New York in the third quarter. Young scored on consecutive pull-up jumpers to ignite an Atlanta 15-5 start inside the first five minutes that stretched a four-point halftime edge to a comfortable 68-54 lead. It was all the Hawks needed to knock the Knicks out in the game.

Atlanta led by as many as 26 in the second half as New York couldn’t answer the Hawks riddle.

As long-time NBA scout Michael Vandegarde pointed out to Empire Sports Media before the start of the series, the Hawks have simply more weapons.

It cannot be overstated.

Young drew plenty of help anew as five more Hawks scored in double figures. John Collins bounced back from a busted lip with 22 points and eight rebounds — his contributions more telling than Randle’s best game of the series.

Facing pressure and chants of “Overrated” from the Hawks crowd, Randle started aggressively and put up a 23-point, 10-rebound, 7-assist effort. But it was not enough. Randle shot better (7-of-19) than the previous three games (24.1 percent) but a lot of times, he was forcing the issue. His shot selection and decision-making still left a lot to be desired. Bullock went scoreless in 35 minutes.

Atlanta’s bench outscored New York for the second straight game with former Knick Danilo Gallinari exploding for 21 points on top of his stout defense on Randle.

Game 5 is on Wednesday at The Garden with the Knicks facing only two options — survive or death knell.

A 3-1 series deficit is tall odds but not impossible to overcome. The Knicks will be trying to become the 14th team in league history to beat those odds after the Denver Nuggets did it twice in the Orlando Bubble last season.

But first, the Knicks must play with a sense of urgency that was sorely lacking in their three losses in the series.

It was the younger Hawks who played with a lot more poise and a physical game that continually wore down the Knicks.

It’s discomforting to think the Knicks have a shot after watching Randle and RJ Barrett snapping out of their slump yet still losing by a mile.

Barrett (8-of-15) and Derrick Rose (7-of-15) chipped in 21 and 18 points in the losing effort. The offensive limitation of this Knicks’ roster has manifested in these games where intensity and pressure picked up.

As desperation creeps in, can the Knicks respond with a season-saving win?

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

NASCAR: Three drivers to watch in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway

On Sunday, the NASCAR Cup Series stays home in Charlotte for the running of the Coca-Cola 600, the longest race of the year. The event is 400 laps long around the 1.5-mile Charlotte Motor Speedway and is one of NASCAR’s crown jewel races. Sunday’s race is also the only race on the schedule with four stages instead of three.

Kyle Larson won Saturday’s qualifying and will lead the field to green at about 6:05 pm. Here are three drivers to watch:

Martin Truex Jr. (+550)

Charlotte Motor Speedway has always been one of Martin Truex Jr.’s best tracks, especially of late. Truex Jr. has three wins at the circuit, and all have come within the last five seasons. He has an average finish of 13.6 at Charlotte with 7 top-5s and 13 top-10s.

With wins at Phoenix, Martinsville, and Darlington, Truex Jr. is just one of two drivers with more than one win this season. The other driver with multiple wins is Alex Bowman, winning twice. Truex Jr. is having one of his dominant seasons this year, so expect him to contend in the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday.

William Byron (+1600)

William Byron has thrived under new Crew Chief Rudy Fugle this season and is having a career year. Byron has placed in the top-10 in 11 of 14 races this season, including 11 of the last 12. He’s currently second in Cup Series points, only trailing the winless Denny Hamlin.

At Charlotte, Byron has just one combined top-10 in NASCAR’s three premier series, that coming in the 2019 Coca-Cola 600. However, his 1.5-mile track performance is improving over time under Rudy Fugle and he’s showing that he can win just about anywhere. Be sure to watch Byron on Sunday.

Kurt Busch (+5000)

Kurt Busch hasn’t performed well this season but he’s looking for a bounce-back performance on Sunday in Charlotte. He has just 2 top-10s in 14 starts this year and is currently 18th in the Cup Series points standings.

In 39 starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Busch has one victory: The 2010 Coca-Cola 600. He has an average finish of 17.1 at the track along with 8 top-5s and 15 top-10s. Busch has been very consistent at this track over his career, so expect him to have a chance on Sunday.

 

Yankees’ 1B Luke Voit returns more bad injury news

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

The New York Yankees are dealing with a serious string of injuries, nothing they are surprised by, given every season another significant issue presents itself. However, this time they all happened at the same time, with Giancarlo Stanton injuring his quad, Ryan LaMarre pulling his hamstring, Corey Kluber suffering a shoulder injury, and Luke Voit suffering a setback with his knee.

Voit received a diagnosis on his recent issue, and it seems as if he will be out for a few weeks at least, according to Yankees manager Aaron Boone.

“He had such success with the knee (rehab) and coming back, so to have a setback here … obviously he’s very frustrated. Hopefully it’s not something that keeps him down too long.”

An unfortunate series of injuries that will certainly impact the team as they proceed forward in the 2021 regular season. They have now lost four of their last five games, including their most recent two against the Detroit Tigers. The offense has struggled considerably, scoring just three runs in the losses.

There was a point two weeks ago where the Yankees seemed to flip the script, but it was primarily thanks to incredible starting pitching, which was never going to last given the Yankees’ history with injuries and inconsistencies in the category. They are now facing similar issues compared to recent seasons, and Boone is no spring chicken to dealing with injury woes.

Hopefully, he can work some of his magic and find a few supplementary pieces, and general manager Brian Cashman might need to consider trading for a few alternative options, given the Yankees are running out of depth in some spots.

Knicks: The key to beating the Atlanta Hawks in Game 4 is simple

julius randle, trae young, knicks, hawks

The key to beating the Atlanta Hawks in Game 4 for the New York Knicks is simple, as they have struggled to get going as of late.

At times, the knicks seem to lack communication and their players aren’t in the right mindset. During the regular season, the Knicks were having fun, enjoying the process and everything that accompanied success. However, the playoffs represent an entirely different beast, testing the bounds of their mental proficiency and physical aggression.

Unfortunately, the inexperience for some players in the postseason has hurt New York up to this point, as both RJ Barrett and Julius Randle are trying to find their comfort zone and footing at the next level. Barrett has struggled shooting after enjoying a late-season stretch of three-point shots that coined him as one of the most efficient shooters from the baseline.

Randle, who had himself one of the best seasons in Knicks history, is falling apart at the seams in the postseason. He won the “Leagues Most Improved Player” award, averaging 24.1 points, 6.0 assists, and 10.2 rebounds this season, all career highs.

The strategy for the Knicks should be simple, and unfortunately, it won’t work unless Julius Randle plays to his All-Star potential.

“This is normal,” Thibodeau insisted Saturday. “This is the playoffs. It’s being intense, the ups-and-downs, navigate everything. We have to do all the things that have gotten us here. There’s an intensity to it. Stay focused on how we can improve and get better.”

The Hawks seem to think they have a secret ingredient to stopping Randle, and I think it might be more mental than anything. When you’re facing off against a player like Trae Young, who’s capable of scoring at any given moment, you need to have players who can match his production and efficiency in one way or another.

Julius must be that player for the Knicks, stepping up and scoring when the team goes cold. However, he’s done the exact opposite, turning the ball over frequently, taking inefficient shots, and clearly displaying anger instead of confidence on the floor.

The reality is simple: Unless Randle can step up and play like his former self, the Knicks will lose this series and get knocked out of the postseason early despite a Cinderella story this year.

Yankees’ skipper Aaron Boone calls out offense for lackluster performance against Detroit

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

It was only a matter of time before the New York Yankees’ starting pitching faced some challenges, as Corey Kluber is out for a minimum of four weeks after suffering a shoulder injury. With the starting rotation being disrupted, they have had their fair share of struggles, as the Yankees try to supplement their deficiencies.

Unfortunately, the Yankees’ usual saving grace would be their offense, which has set records in recent years in some categories. However, this year has been an entirely different story, as the offensive powerhouse team has grappled to get back on track. Having lost four of their last five games, the Yankees have only scored 11 runs in that time frame.

Manager Aaron Boone can only do so much, and while some of his decisions in the relief category and lineup have been coined as poor, he has tried a variety of different combinations to spark things. The reality is, he can’t see into the future but rather put his best foot forward and try different players in different situations to provide a catalyst.

Boone called out the offense for their lack of production lately, and while he does know they are capable of providing sufficient support for the pitchers, they have essentially been a non-factor this season despite the Yankees being six games above .500 and sitting 3.5 games in the American League East.

“Bottom line is we’ve gotta be better. We’ve got to get better if we’re going to be the team we expect to be,” Boone said after the 6-1 loss to Detroit. “A lot of that is built around what we expect to be offensively, and there’s no question that that has to improve. I believe it will improve, but we’ve got to continue to work and make sure we’re making the necessary adjustments every day to get to that point.”

There will come a time where the Yankees face a turning point in their season, and it can go one of two ways. Either they struggle and fall apart at the seams, or they pick themselves up, and the offense performs adequately. They are still in the mix in the AL East, so they have plenty of time to work their way out of this current funk.

Presently, some of those star players of struggle to get going, including DJ LeMahieu, who’s hitting .263 with a .344 slugging percentage. If their star players don’t begin to produce offensively, this could be a long season for Yankee fans despite general manager Brian Cashman doing everything in his power to help bolster the pitching rotation.

New York Yankees: 3 Major takeaways from second loss to the Tigers

New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia

This afternoon the New York Yankees met up with the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. It was game two of the three-game set. Last night the Yankees lost the opener with a walk-off win by the Tigers in the tenth inning. The Yankee starter today was Deivi Garcia, who was called up from Scranton. He faced one of the most dependable Tiger pitchers Spencer Turnbull. The final score was the Tigers 6 and the Yankees 1.

Deivi Garcia disappointed

With Corey Kluber on the IL and possibly missing two months, the Yankees brought up Deivi Garcia and Albert Abreu from Scranton. Garcia started last night’s game against the Detroit Tigers and took the loss. He greatly lacked control of his pitches. Several of his called balls were nowhere near the zone.

He only lasted 4.1 innings giving up 5 runs. With two bad starts, one early in the season, he has probably lost his chance to stay up and replace Corey Kluber. In his first start, he also only went four innings. He is presently 0-2 with a 6.68 ERA.

Yankees only get 3 hits

The New York Yankees’ lack of hitting is getting serious as it appears to be deeply embedded in the lineup. On Friday night, the Yankees had 11 hits, far more than usual but went 0-10 with men in scoring position. Last night they could only muster up 3 hits in the game, leaving six on base and going 0-4 with men in scoring position. They also hit into their 58th double play in the game. The Yankees are tied for hitting into the most double plays—.096 per game.

The lack of hitting has dogged the Yankees all season except for a very few games. Only Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have been performing as they should. There are a few others that have shown encouraging signs, but the Yankees still have 8 regular players, including the bench that are hitting less than.194. This morning, the Yankees are of the 30 MLB teams 23rd in batting average and slugging. Even worse, they at 27th in RBI’s.

Another discouraging sign for the Yankees is their best hitter for the last two years, DJ LeMahieu, is underperforming. He won last year’s batting title, but his batting average is over 100 points less this year. Presently he is hitting just .263 with only three home runs of the season. Also discouraging is that when the Yankees hit, it tends not to be timely. Last night they blew the game in the second inning when with the bases loaded and no outs, they only could score one run.

Now the New York Yankees are in danger of being swept by the second-worst team in the AL. What even worse, they, after today, will go back to the Stadium to play seven games against the AL-leading Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. I don’t know the answers to the hitting problem, but it seems obvious that they must have an upgrade in centerfield by trading for a power-hitting lefty. Secondly, they must immediately bring Chris Gittens up from Scranton to replace Mike Ford. Ford is hitting .140. Gittens, in only 14 games, has 4 homers and is hitting .268. They cannot continue not to get performance from first, left, and centerfield.

Justin Wilson adds his name to the Yankee IL

The signing of Justin Wilson is turning out to be a nightmare for the New York Yankees. Over the offseason, with the loss of Adam Ottavino and Zack Britton, the Yankees looked for relievers. They got Wilson from the Texas Rangers, and he has only been a headache since. First, he missed the beginning of the season due to a shoulder injury. When he returned, he pitched very poorly, and after Friday night’s game in which he blew the save, he is again on the IL, this time with a hamstring injury.

A rather odd move by manager Aaron Boone, closer Aroldis Chapman pitched only 14 balls in a tie hold in the ninth inning on Friday night. Instead of going with Chapman again in the 10th, he choose Wilson, who gave up a two-run homer that lost the game for the Yankees.