New York Giants: Two players make CBS Sports 2021 top 100 list

New York Giants, Leonard Williams

It’s around the time of the offseason when top 100 lists come out, and the New York Giants are a bit more represented on them this time around than they were last year. That, for the most part, is because of the players who stepped up last season and raised their profile as top names at their position. James Bradberry made it onto PFF’s top 100 list, but the CBS Sports version of that same list has two different Giants listed.

It seems strange to omit Bradberry as he was one of the best defensive players on the team relative to others around the league at his position, but that’s what this list does as the highest ranked Giant is instead Leonard Williams. Of course, it’s understandable why Williams is on the list. Last season, he responded well to a lot of doubts about his play and gave the Giants their much needed leading pass rusher.

Leonard Williams
New York Giants DE

He was a force last season for the Giants defense, finally achieving the level of play expected of him when he came into the league with the Jets. Williams earned a new contract because of his impressive play.

The other addition on the list is perhaps more surprising – not because of the raw talent of the player, but because of his absence during last year. This player is Saquon Barkley, who comes in on the top 100 despite the long chronological gap since he’s last performed.

Saquon Barkley
New York Giants RB

He is coming off a torn ACL suffered in Week 2 last season, which limited him to 34 yards rushing for the year. He did have two impressive seasons to open his career, but can he get back to that same level he flashed as a rookie in 2018?

Many will consider Barkley a strange addition over Bradberry. Bradberry, after all, had the better season more recently. But if the list is including future potential and not just recent performance, it’s understandable why one of the most exciting running backs in the league would make it into the top 100 despite coming off an injury.

New York Yankees Recap: Yankees lose for the fifth time in a row to the Red Sox

This evening the New York Yankees met up at Fenway Park in Boston with the Red Sox for game two of three. The Yankees sent out Jordan Montgomery to face ex-Yankee Nathan Eovaldi. The Yankees lost game one 5-3 last night. They tried to even up the series tonight under mostly cloudy skies and a game-time temperature in the high 70’s. The Yankees had lost all four games against the Red Sox this season. The Red Sox won the game 4-2 for the fifth Red Sox win over the Yankees this season.

Nathan Eovaldi took the mound in the top of the first inning and faced DJ LeMahieu, who singled to center. Aaron Judge hit into a double play. Gary Sanchez had an off-field hit. Giancarlo Stanton struck out to end the half. Montgomery on the mound he faced Michael Chavis, who ground out to short. Alex Verdugo ground out to the pitcher with a flip to first. JD Martinez hit one down to the Pesky pole but was foul. He ended up striking out for no score in the first inning.

The second inning was led off by Luke Voit, who had two home runs in his first four at-bats since returning from the IL ground out to short. Gio Urshela ground out to third. Gleyber Torres hit into a soft roller to short to end the half. In the bottom of the second, Xander Bogaerts singled off a hit to Montgomery. Rafael Devers hit to the left, and Urshela went into the stands but was okay. He ended up walking. Hunter Renfroe singled back to Montgomery to load the bases with Sox. Kike Hernandez hit a single to bring in the first Red Sox run. Bobby Dalbec hit to right caught by Voit, but Devers scored. Conner Wong singled, but Chavis ground out to end the inning. Boston Red Sox 2 Yankees 0.

Andujar led off the third and ground out. Brett Gardner, who struck out. LeMahieu ground out to the pitcher for an easy half for Eovaldi. In the bottom, Verdugo ground out to first. Martinez ground out to Urshela. Bogaerts doubled to the center-field wall. Devers ground out to short. Upon review, he was safe. Renfroe reached on a single to center, and Bogaerts scored. Hernandez walked. Dalbec hit back to the track, but Gardner caught it to end the inning. Red Sox 3 Yankees 0.

Aaron Judge led off the fourth inning against the Red Sox and singled to right field for the leading man on base. Gary Sanchez popped out to the catcher. Giancarlo Stanton struck out swinging. Luke Voit ground out to first to end the half. At the bottom, Connor Wong led off by grounding back to Sanchez. Chavis also ground out to Sanchez. Verdugo ground out to LeMahieu to end the inning. Red Sox 3 Yankees 0.

Gio Urshela led off the fifth inning against Eovaldi and flew out to left-center. Torres one to the center-field wall that Hernandez caught. Andujar also flew out to center for five shutout innings for Eovaldi. Martinez led off the bottom of the inning by hitting directly to LeMahieu for the first out. Bogaerts singled to left. Devers hit into the force, and he and Bogaerts were out to end the inning. Red Sox 3 Yankees 0.

Brett Gardner led the top of the sixth, who continued his slide with a strikeout. Le Mahieu reached on a bobbled play by Devers. Judge singled, bringing the tying run to the plate. Gary Sanchez hit a long one into the third-deck foul. He ended up hitting into a round-the-horn double play. At the bottom, Renfroe hit for the fifth infield hit of the game. Hernandez struck out swinging. Dalbec got the force out for the second out of the inning. Wong struck out to end the inning. Red Sox 3 Yankees 0.

The top of the seventh was led off by Giancarlo Stanton, who singled. Voit went down swinging. Urshela hit into the force with Stanton out a second. Torres, after his last 1 for 32, flew out to end the half. Chavis singled to lead off the bottom. Verdugo struck out. Martinez against Abreu doubled on a hit out of the reach of Judge in right. With two on and one out, Bogaert flew out to Gardner, but Martinez scored to tack on another run for the Red Sox.  Devers flew out to Andujar in left, but the Red Sox picked up an insurance run. Red Sox 4 New York Yankees 0.

Eovaldi, still on the mound in the eighth inning, faced Andujar, who struck out. Gardner ground out on Eovaldi’s 105th pitch. LeMahieu hit a solo shot to center for the first homer of the game, and it got the Yankees on the board, which was the end of the night for Eovaldi. Hiro Sawamura replaced him against Aaron Judge, who walked on eleven pitches. Gary Sanchez also walked, setting the stage for Giancarlo Stanton to tie the game. Stanton also walked to load the bases for Luke Voit as the go-ahead run. Adam Ottavino came on to face Luke Voit ground out to get the Red Sox out of trouble. Red Sox 4 Yankees 1.

At the bottom of the eighth, Renfroe ground out to second. Hernandez flew out to Andujar in left. Dalbec ground out to end the half. With last licks on the line for the Yankees in the ninth, Gio Urshela took to the plate and flew out to center. Gleyber Torres singled on a line drive to right. Rougie Odor pinch hit for Andujar and hit into a force out. Brett Gardner, with the game on the line, Odor stole second. Gardner walked, and the Yankees brought DJ LeMahieu to the plate as the tying run. DJ hit up the middle, and Odor scored on the play. With two on and two outs, Aaron Judge had a chance to win it for the Yankees but struck out to end the game.

The winning pitcher was Nathan Eovaldi, the loser was Jordan Montgomery, and the save went to ex-Yankee Adam Ottivono (5). As a result, the New York Yankees have not lost their first five to the Red Sox for the first time since 2009.

 

New York Liberty: Three stars from Saturday’s win at Atlanta

A career-best in scoring for Sami Whitcomb paced the New York Liberty to a win in the first half of an Atlanta doubleheader.

A career-best evening for Sami Whitcomb paced the New York Liberty to a healthy 101-78 victory over the Atlanta Dream on Saturday night at Gateway Center Arena at College Park. The win snaps a two-game losing streak and pushes the Liberty back to the .500 mark (8-8). It’s also the first part of a doubleheader in Georgia, as New York and Atlanta (5-9) will face off again on Tuesday night (7 p.m. ET, ESPN3).

ESM hands out game balls from the most one-sided victory of the Walt Hopkins era…

3rd Star: Michaela Onyenwere

18 points, 2 rebounds

After recovering to have a strong second half in Thursday’s Chicago debacle, Onyenwere kept the good vibes rolling with a 6-of-8 shooting performance from the field. The rookie out of UCLA has become the Liberty’s most potent interior threat in the absence of the injured Natasha Howard and flashed her physicality with eight visits to the foul line, sinking all but one.

2nd Star: Betnijah Laney

28 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds

Laney returned to her customary 20-point showing, but it didn’t come easy. The former Atlanta rep took a hard hit in the second half on what became a flagrant foul, which could’ve been a crushing blow to a team that’s already missing Howard and Rebecca Allen. But much like her hockey brothers and sisters, Laney didn’t miss a shift, instead returning to post her best scoring output since sinking 30 on opening night. She wasn’t the only one returning to scoring landmarks. Sabrina Ionescu put up 10 points in her return to the starting lineup, her first time in double digits since May 24.

1st Star: Sami Whitcomb

28 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists

Whitcomb was strong right from the get-go, making a mark on both her personal and the team’s record books. She tied her personal best in scoring (originally 22 points in a 2017 game against the Liberty) before the first half even let out, breaking it at one of the most crucial points of the game. As the Dream slowly inched their way back in, cutting the New York lead down to four, a crucial, deep three from Whitcomb ignited a 37-20 run to end the game. Whitcomb’s seven successful triples tied a Liberty record last reached by Amanda Zahui B in 2019.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

NASCAR Cup Series: Larson blows tire on final lap, Bowman steals victory at Pocono

With four laps to go in the NASCAR Cup Series Pocono Organics CBD 325, Kyle Larson assumed the lead from Alex Bowman after Bowman jumped ahead on a late-race restart.

Three laps to go. Two laps to go.

As time was running out, Larson’s lead expanded, and it seemed that the driver of the No. 5 would be well on his way to his fourth consecutive Cup Series points-paying victory.

One lap to go. One turn to go.

And then: BANG!

Larson suddenly blew a tire, hitting the turn three wall hard, gifting a victory to his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman.

“It’s a bummer,” Larson said postrace. “At least we showed everyone that we were going to win another one and just bad luck took it from us”.

However, it’s a completely different attitude for the No. 48 squad, as Bowman’s good luck helped him secure his third victory of the 2021 season.

“This is the strangest win I’ve ever been a part of,” Bowman said. “I thought I was [going to run] 2nd, which was still going to be a good day for us with how we struggled throughout the course of the day, but then he blows a tire and we win”.

Bowman ran around 10th place for most of the day, but a late-race debris caution allowed him to advance to the front-row with the choose-cone rule. He launched into first place behind a push from Ryan Blaney and was passed by Larson with four laps remaining. Bowman regained the lead in turn three of the final lap to hold on for the victory.

“Our plan was to minimize our [final] stop and get enough fuel to make it to the end, and we did that with two right-side tires,” Crew Chief Greg Ives said. “12 gallons [of fuel] is what we needed, maybe a little less with cautions. We were lined up fourth on that restart coming to the choose cone, and he elected to take the bottom, and that obviously was the winning move”.

While Ives instructed Bowman to pit right before the end of Stage 1 for track position in Stage 2, Kyle Busch stayed out and won the opening stage fresh of his Camping World Truck Series defeat just hours before. Larson started the race from the pole position, but surrendered the lead to teammate William Byron on Lap 5, just prior to an early debris caution.

Just a lap after the debris caution returned to green, Cole Custer’s day ended early after colliding with Brad Keselowski on the frontstretch.

“It was just a tight hole [that I was trying to pass in],” Custer said. “At least we don’t have to wait a whole week and sulk about it, we can just go back tomorrow and get it done”.

Stage 2 was taken by the older of the Busch brothers, Kurt, for some much-needed stage points for the No. 1 team. Younger brother Kyle dropped to ninth, while Larson, Joey Logano, William Byron, and Ryan Blaney finished in positions two through five.

The second stage featured a trio of incidents, including a Ryan Newman spin on lap 54, a wreck involving Corey LaJoie and Anthony Alfredo on lap 61, and a blown tire off the car of Ross Chastain. Stage 3’s only caution was the debris caution to set up the dramatic finish.

With eight races until the playoffs, Kyle Larson leads the playoff standings with Denny Hamlin leading in overall points. Austin Dillon is the final driver in on points, while Kurt Busch sits 24 points away from the top-16.

The top-20 of Saturday’s will be inverted to start the finale of the Pocono Doubleheader on Sunday. That puts Chris Buescher and Michael McDowell on the front row after finishing 20th and 19th, respectively. Custer, Newman, Larson, Chastain, LaJoie, Alfredo, and Ryan Preece have had their backup cars approved, and will start Sunday’s race from the rear. Chase Elliott also has severe damage and is expected to switch to a backup car.

Race No. 2 of the Pocono Raceway Doubleheader begins Sunday at 3:30 PM Eastern Time on NBCSN. The Xfinity Series race will start at 12:00 PM, also aired by NBCSN.

 

New York Jets: 3 aftershocks from the Morgan Moses signing

morgan moses, new york jets

The New York Jets had a late offseason surprise going into the weekend. How does it affect the team moving forward? ESM investigates.

With Independence Day weekend looming, the New York Jets had early fireworks to share.

Per a Friday report from Rich Cimini of ESPN, the Jets are set to sign Morgan Moses to a one-year deal. Moses, formerly of the Washington Football Team, was released due to salary cap reasons after seven seasons in the nation’s capital.

“Morgan is a fantastic player. He’s played at a very high level,” head coach Robert Saleh said recently, per Cimini. “We’re not going to shy away from adding good football players.”

What does it mean? ESM investigates…

Another Brick in the Wall

General manager Joe Douglas continues to make up for the offensive line negligence of the Mike Maccagnan era. While Douglas has earned rave reviews for the relative risk of picking Mekhi Becton at 11th overall and his willingness to use offseason capital on blocking, his veteran acquisitions haven’t exactly panned out. It’s great, for example, that he was able to convince Ryan Kalil to come out of retirement during his first weeks in office, but at some point, these moves have to start paying on-field dividends rather than ones of morale. Douglas has identified the problem. Now he needs the solution.

The 30-year-old Moses only boosts the Jets’ offensive potential as they continue to construct the wall in front of Zach Wilson and his young running backs. This veteran blocking signing, or at least the timing of it, has a different aura to it.

Unlike the aging Kalil or last year’s relatively unproven class developed out of necessity (George Fant, Connor McGovern, Greg Van Roten), Moses appears to still be working through his prime and is someone who serves as an automatic life of the blocking party. There are no Pro Bowl or All-Pro nominations to his name just yet, but Moses’ Pro Football Focus grade (80.6, including an 85.9 in rush protection) was sixth-best amongst right tackles.

Moses has also had little issue staying healthy (having started in every Washington game since 2015) and fulfills the championship feeling trait that the Jets have worked on this offseason (Corey Davis, Tevin Coleman, Sheldon Rankins). To that end, Moses was part of Washington’s unexpected division title effort.

George Fant Becomes a Depth Star

Fant was one of the more prominent arrivals of the Jets’ 2020 free agent class. But he figures to be the odd man out with a player of Moses’ caliber set to join the lineup.

At first glance, Fant could become a late cap casualty or draft capital fodder. The Jets, for example, would save $7.8 million if they trade the former Seattle Seahawk. But if the versatile Fant is a backup right tackle, the Jets are in a relatively decent spot. With experience in several blocking roles, Fant can serviceably step in in case of an emergency. If anyone knows about the value of having a deep squad, it’s Douglas, one of the architects behind the Philadelphia Eagles’ improbable Super Bowl run back in 2017 (which makes the lack of an experienced backup for Wilson all the more puzzling, but that’s another conversation).

Though Fant got off to a slow start, he gradually improved throughout the season. Fant likely endeared himself to new Jets management by expressing his anticipation of working in new coordinator Mike LaFleur’s system toward the end of minicamp proceedings. He’s particularly impressed by LaFleur’s tendencies to focus on outside-zone or wide formations.

“This system is really built for me,” Fant said in a report from team writer Ethan Greenberg. “This is the most excited I’ve been going into a season so far. Being in Seattle for all those years, we kind of ran something similar. But seeing the 49ers and how they were running a wide zone when I was in Seattle, I already kind of had an idea of what they were going to do. Very excited to work with them, get in this system and really show what I’m capable of.”

A Master and An Apprentice(s)

Once again, Douglas’ line renovations deserve some praise in the early going. Becton appears to a legitimate lasting force on the line while Douglas boldly traded up with Minnesota to take Alijah Vera-Tucker, sacrificing any day two capital beyond the second pick of the second round.

But, much like the incoming quarterback, it shouldn’t be fully on the shoulders of Becton and Vera-Tucker to completely clean up the Jets’ blocking woes, especially at such a young age. Having a veteran option like Moses in tow should provide some relief and give them a strong mentor to learn from. When Trent Williams left Washington for San Francisco, Moses became the elder statesman in burgundy blocking. Under Moses’ watch, Washington’s line finished sixth in the final PFF rankings, up from 29th in the preseason edition. Moses was even said to take Washington’s then-franchise quarterback Dwayne Haskins under his wing before the team moved on to eternal placeholder Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Between his experience, talent, and championship knowledge, Moses arrives at a perfect time from a Jets standpoint. Sure, his green makeover probably doesn’t turn the Jets into playoff contenders, but he’s something a Jets team desperately trying to end a perpetual rebuild desperately needed The hard part…fulfilling the potential brought about by this addition and proving Douglas correct…starts in training camp.

How much an impact will Moses have on the 2021 Jets? Continue the conversation on Twitter @GeoffJMags

NASCAR: Alex Bowman wins after Kyle Larson misfortune at Pocono

A Hendrick Motorsports civil war ended in heartbreak for Kyle Larson, whose teammate Alex Bowman sped off to victory.

Kyle Larson seemed well on his way to his fourth consecutive victory on Saturday afternoon at Pocono Raceway. The racing gods had other plans for him, but Hendrick Motorsports was nonetheless there to pick up the pieces.

Larson passed teammate Alex Bowman with four laps to in the Pocono Organics CBD 325, but lost a right-front tire on the white flag lap allowed Bowman to reassume the lead and earn HMS’ sixth consecutive team victory. The victory ends Larson’s personal winning streak at three races, but the No. 5 Chevrolet still managed to cross the finish line in ninth place. Bowman earned his third victory of the season in the No. 48 Chevrolet and beat out Kyle Busch, William Byron, Denny Hamlin, and Ryan Blaney, who rounded out the top five.

Saturday’s race was the first of the second annual Cup Series doubleheader at Pocono Raceway, with the latter race being run tomorrow afternoon (3:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

“The morale is obviously super high at Hendrick Motorsports. It’s really cool to see it that way. I think there’s not one thing,” Bowman said after his win “It’s each and every individual at Hendrick Motorsports from top to bottom in every department, it’s everybody at Chevrolet. Our engines are strong, bodies are great, chassis are great. The guys putting them together are doing a great job.”

Bowman lingered in the upper half of the field in the early stages of the 130-lap race while Busch brothers, Kyle and Kurt, broke the HMS monopoly on stage victories. Kyle earned the first stage victory (25 laps) while Kurt took the latter after lap 77. Larson, Saturday’s pole sitter, reassumed the leap on lap 84 from Kurt. During the third stage’s round of green flag pit stops, Bowman inserted himself into contention with a two-tire stop on lap 93, which put him in the top five. A caution for debris on lap 108 bunched the field together, giving Bowman his chance.

Situated in the front row after the choose lap, Bowman warded off Larson and Kyle Busch to take the lead before engaging in a civil war with his teammate. Larson made what was believed to be the winning pass with four laps to go, but lost his right front tire headed into the “Tricky Triangle’s” third and final turn, allowing Bowman to coast to his third win of the season and the fifth of his career. Bowman, who succeeded seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson in the No. 48 Chevrolet this season, will go for the sweep tomorrow in the same vehicle.

“This is the strangest win I’ve ever been a part of,” Bowman said of his unusual victory. “I thought I was running second, which was still going to be a good day for us with how we struggled throughout the course of the day. Then he blows a tire, we win; can’t do a burnout because I have to race the car tomorrow. I typically stand on the roof of the car; can’t do that because I got to race the car tomorrow. I typically drink all the beers; can’t do all that because I got to race a car tomorrow.”

Larson’s bad luck cost him the honor of being NASCAR’s first winner of four consecutive points events since Johnson in 2007. He did secure his seventh straight top-ten finish but will start from the rear of the field tomorrow because the late wreck will force him to a backup car.

“It’s little bit laughable just because I can’t believe it,” Larson told NBC Sports in his interview after making the mandatory stop at the infield care center. “I hate that we didn’t get another win. It would have been cool to win five in a row. It just wasn’t meant to be I guess today. I felt something like right in the middle of the tunnel. I wasn’t quite sure what it was yet. (The tire) finally kind of shredded halfway through the short chute there.”

“I hate that we didn’t get the win, but cool that Alex still did, a Hendrick car with another win. Cool to keep (team owner Rick Hendrick’s) streak going.”

Race Notes

  • The top 20 of Saturday’s final ledger will be inverted to form the starting lineup for Sunday. Thus, 20th-place finisher Chris Buescher will start first next to Michael McDowell (19th). Buescher is currently four points out of the last playoff spot behind Kurt Busch.

 

  • The latest HMS victory comes days after the team announced that Jeff Gordon would become the vice chairman of the team. Gordon, a four-time Cup Series champion, spent nearly his entire career in the No. 24 Chevrolet now piloted by Byron.

 

  • Cole Custer and Ryan Newman each failed to finish due to their involvement in on-track incidents.

For full results, click here

For full standings, click here

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

NASCAR Trucks: John Hunter Nemechek steals the CRC Brakleen 150 at Pocono Raceway

John Hunter Nemechek passed his boss, Kyle Busch, with six laps to go to steal the win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series CRC Brakleen 150 at Pocono Raceway.

“I matched [Kyle’s] restart in the box pretty well, and the No. 2 didn’t quite get to his bumper as fast as I thought he would,” Nemechek said. “The outside lane was dominant here today on restarts so for me it was getting the best launch I could and to keep the No. 38 behind me”.

Busch started the race from the 22nd position based on NASCAR’s new formula, and made it all the way up to third place by the end of the first stage. He pit before the end of stage two for track position, and cycled to the lead on the restart to begin stage three. Busch led 20 laps up through a caution with nine laps to go involving the No. 52 truck of Stewart Friesen.

Nemecheck took the lead on a restart with six laps to go, forcing Busch to battle with Sheldon Creed for third place. Busch and Creed made contact in turn two with four laps to go, putting both drivers too far back to have a chance at victory.

“I was hoping I could have a shot to be able to go back and fight back after [Nemechek], but then I got drilled by [Creed],” Busch said. “Good day for KBM, 1-2, we had fast tundras”.

Creed believes that his decision to split up the KBM trucks on the restart may have backfired, resulting in the contact between him and Busch down the stretch.

“I thought splitting [Busch and Nemechek] up would be good,” Creed said. “I didn’t know if I could trust Preece or not, I should’ve trusted him [though]. The Cup guys race so much better and they actually help each other, so I should’ve just trusted him”.

After getting off to a rough start this season, Tyler Ankrum finally got things to click with his third top-5 of 2021. Ankrum was able to overcome an early speeding penalty to register a 33-point day.

“It wasn’t my fastest truck, but we had a good handling truck,” Ankrum said. “Didn’t have anything there for the KBM trucks or [Creed], in clean air, I just had no speed”.

Ankrum sits 13th in points, just three spots outside the 10-man playoff grid. He was able to gain ground on 12th place driver Johnny Sauter, as he wrecked on the first lap of the race and placed 35th. Sauter’s crash with Jack Wood was just one of two natural cautions all race.

With just two races until the end of the regular season, Nemechek leads the points standings by nearly 100 points. Only four drivers competing for Truck Series points have won races in 2021, the others being Ben Rhodes, Todd Gilliland, and Creed.

The NASCAR Truck Series returns to action on Friday, July 9 at Knoxville Speedway for a dirt race. They’ll return to pavement August 7 for the regular series finale at Watkins Glen.

Full results:

Standings:

Mets Game Preview: (6/26/21) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (35-38)

After splitting their doubleheader on Friday, the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies play the third game of their weekend series. Both games finished with 2-1 scores and went to extra innings as the offense was minimal. Saturday afternoon’s game is scheduled for a 4:10 p.m. start if they avoid the rain.

The Mets offense is in the middle of a horrible slump where they can barely put up runs on a nightly basis. Their seven-run outburst against the Atlanta Braves was a glimmer of hope that the offense would get going, but they have disappointed in the following games. Game one of the doubleheader saw Aaron Nola tie Tom Seaver’s record with ten consecutive strikeouts.

The Phillies’ offense was just as bad on Friday, but their bullpen almost allowed the Mets to take both games. They blew both saves and have a 4.41 ERA on the season, which has forced a closer change. Jose Alvarado was handed the job but failed in game one, and former closer Hector Neris recorded the save in game two. The five best relievers the Phillies use all pitched on Friday, which gives the Mets some leverage heading into today’s game.

Pitching Matchup

Jacob deGrom takes the mound looking to add to his historic season. In his last start, he threw five innings and struck out six on 70 pitches. deGrom has not thrown more than 90 pitches since April due to the Mets treating his workload very carefully. He should be in the 80-85 range if he is on top of his game like usual. deGrom is a notorious day game assassin with a 1.84 ERA in 62 starts, the best of all time.

Zach Eflin starts for the Phillies and is looking to rebound from a rough start against the San Francisco Giants. He allowed seven runs (six earned) on nine hits over five innings. Eflin has struggled against the Mets in 12 career starts, where he has a 5.00 ERA. Earlier this season, he pitched six innings, allowing ten hits but just two runs against the Mets.

Matchups To Look For 

Zach Eflin vs. Michael Conforto: 10-for-29 (.345), 2 Doubles, 3 Home Runs, Walk, 5 Strikeouts

Jacob deGrom vs. J.T. Realmuto: 4-for-27 (.148), Double, 10 Strikeouts

Mets: Carlos Carrasco finally trending in the right direction

Injuries have hit the New York Mets this year like never before. In general, all 30 MLB teams have had to deal with the rigors of a long, grueling season that has brought lots of physical ailments, but what has happened to the Mets has been something else.

One of the Mets’ injured stars, Carlos Carrasco, hasn’t been able to pitch in 2021 with a myriad of injuries. He came alongside Francisco Lindor from Cleveland at the beginning of the year, but suffered some elbow soreness during spring training that he downplayed.

During his recovery, the Mets’ starter, who was projected to be in the middle of a very good rotation, tore his hamstring in March, and hasn’t been able to fully shake off the injury.

According to SNY, Mets’ manager Luis Rojas said on Saturday that Carrasco would throw a side session off the edge of the mound for the first time in months, noting that the talented pitcher is ‘trending right’ and that he ‘feels great.’

Carrasco had been throwing off flat ground for a couple of weeks and received a PRP injection on June 11 to accelerate his recovery. With Joey Lucchesi lost for the year due to Tommy John surgery, and Noah Syndergaard having suffered a setback in his rehab assignment, the Mets really need Carrasco more than ever if they don’t want to go to the trade market and overpay for a starter.

The Mets hope to have him next month but it won’t be easy

However, Carrasco won’t be ready to help in the short term.

Mets president Sandy Alderson said a couple of weeks ago, on June 10 during an interview on MLB Network that he’s “hopeful” the hurler will be able to return at some point between early and late July.

Given that he is still not throwing off a mound per se, don’t expect to see Carrasco in early July. He needs to ramp up and face hitters, then go to a rehab assignment. Late July may still be in play.

Yankees’ third base coach takes the blame for sending Urshela home in key play: ‘There is no excuse’

New York Yankees, Phil Nevins

With the New York Yankees down one run in last night’s game against the Boston Red Sox, third baseman Gio Urshela had hit a long double, which was followed by a Miguel Andujar’s hard groundball single that quickly made its way to right field.

Had Urshela stayed at third, the Yankees would have runners in the corners with nobody out. A rally was not out of the question. However, Gio didn’t stay. Yankees’ third base coach Phil Nevin sent him home even though he hadn’t even touched third base when Hunter Renfroe, the Red Sox’s right fielder, was already taking the ball and preparing a throw.

Renfroe, if you didn’t know, leads MLB in outfield assists with 10. Well, he now has 11, because he threw Urshela out at home plate by a mile with a cannon of a throw.

“We talked about it before the game,” Nevin told NJ Advance Media. “He’s got one of the best arms in baseball.”

Urshela is slow, and he had been dealing with a shin injury. His chances weren’t great against one of the best arms in baseball, but Nevin sent him home anyway. That was a mistake, and he owns up to it.

“I saw a groundball to right field and saw Gio had a good jump,” Nevin said. “Renfroe was kind of moving to his right and the way he was attacking the ball — I’ve seen the way he attacks balls — I honestly didn’t even think he was going to make a throw on that play, but there’s no excuse with nobody out. You can’t get a guy thrown out there.”

The Yankees could have had a productive inning

The throw was a straight, no-bounce bullet that catcher Christian Vazquez caught, with time to spare to tag Urshela.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora was asked about why teams keep challenging Renfroe’s arm. “You’ve got to ask them,” he said. “(Renfroe) does a good job charging the ball and in that situation he had a presence of mind. He didn’t need to keep that throw down. He knew that he had a chance to get (Urshela) at the plate.”

“Even if you think you see something, you have to err on the side of caution with nobody out and I certainly didn’t there,” Nevin said. “Gio getting thrown out at home, obviously I know he’s been out for a couple of days with a leg (injury), so a lot of things compound in that one.”

“We’ve probably got to hold (Urshela) up there, but Phil is as good as it gets over there at third base,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Probably in that spot it was a little bit too aggressive on the send, but there’s no one I want over there coaching third than Phil.”

Would the Yankees have eventually tied the game had Nevin held Urshela at third? What do you think?