Dodgers Outlast Mets For The Second Straight Night To Win 2-1 in 10

The New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers gave baseball fans another classic, but the result was the same as Friday. The Dodgers had just enough big hits and pitching to squeeze out another extra-inning victory, this time by a 2-1 score.

The pitching matchup between Taijuan Walker and Walker Buehler was as good as advertised. Both traded zeros for a majority of the game, and each only made one mistake. Buehler’s came at the hands of Michael Conforto, who launched a solo home run to continue his hot August. Walker carried a no-hitter for 6.1 innings, but Will Smith once again burned the Mets and broke the no-hitter with a solo home run.

Just like Friday, extra innings came down to the quality of depth in the bullpen. After the Mets used Aaron Loup and Seth Lugo to get to the 10th, Yennsy Diaz was the last option left. Diaz ended up allowing Cody Bellinger to double and give the Dodgers the game-winning run. For the Dodgers, their depth stepped up to shut down all nine batters they faced. The victory gave them their third extra-inning win of the season after entering New York with just one all season.

The Mets will attempt to avoid the sweep on Sunday but will have themselves busy with a familiar foe. Max Scherzer will take the mound against Carlos Carrasco for the 7:08 p.m. start on Sunday Night Baseball.

New York Jets beat New York Giants 12-7 in First Preseason Game | Recap and takeaways

new york jets, zach wilson

The New York Giants and New York Jets faced off tonight in Week One of the 2021 NFL preseason. The New York Jets came out victorious. FINAL SCORE: 12-7.

Key stats and takeaways

New York Jets

  • QB Zach Wilson: 6/9, 63 yards
  • WR Denzel Mims: 3 receptions, 51 yards
  • DE Bryce Huff: 2 sacks, 2 TFL

2021 second-overall draft pick Zach Wilson had a solid debut in his first NFL action. While he did not light up the scoreboard, Wilson was smart with the football. He was accurate, had some impressive plays, and avoided any major mistakes. An all-around good performance by a rookie quarterback.

Many felt as though the Jets got a steal in the second round of last year’s draft when they selected wide receiver, Denzel Mims. Tonight, Mims looked like an impressive wide receiver, totaling 51 yards. Denzel Mims had a nice highlight, converting a 3rd and 18 while showing off some skills after the catch.

The New York Jets’ defense took advantage of the New York Giants’ thin offensive line. The Giants lack depth upfront and this allowed the Jets to total 5 sacks in the contest. Bryce Huff contributed two sacks on the night.

The Jets also seem to have some solid quarterback depth. Mike White threw for 127 yards on 13 completions. James Morgan gained 45 yards on 5 completions. No turnovers for any of the Jets’ quarterbacks.

New York Giants

  • QB Clayton Thorson: 5/16, 72 yards, 1 TD
  • WR David Sills V: 3 receptions, 49 yards
  • LB Carter Coughlin: 5 total tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL

The New York Giants’ starting offensive linemen did participate in tonight’s matchup. For the most part, the unit was impressive. Andrew Thomas looked good in both pass protection and run-blocking, including a dominant pass set in the first quarter. RG Will Hernandez also looked like an improved version of himself. Hernandez moved very nicely as a lead/pulling blocker and had a couple of key blocks in the running game. However, it was not a perfect outing for the starters as RT Matt Peart let up a sack on a third down.

Once the starting offensive linemen went out and the reserves went in, Giants fans were reminded just how poor this team’s depth on the offensive line truly is. The Giants let up 5 sacks, losing 34 yards and allowing a safety. The reserve linemen struggled mightily and also lost OG Kyle Murphy with an ankle injury.

Quarterback Clayton Thorson struggled throughout the game. He did throw a nice touchdown pass after evading pressure late in the game, though the majority of the game was relatively unimpressive.

Training camp standouts WR David Sills V and CB Rodarius Williams were on the field for the majority of the game. Sills lived up to the hype, beating cornerbacks with great releases off the line of scrimmage and making a few sound receptions for 49 yards (he also drew a DPI on a deep target). Williams had a rough night, letting up plenty of yards in receptions. But he did recover a fumble in the fourth quarter and nearly took it back to the end zone.

LB Carter Coughlin also stood out defensively for the Giants. The second-year player transitioned to off-ball linebacker this offseason after playing EDGE in his rookie year. Coughlin looked like he had been playing inside linebacker for years, putting together an impressive 5 tackle, 1 sack, 1 TFL performance. Carter was all over the place making plays.

New York Jets QB Zach Wilson quiet yet effective in NFL preseason debut

new york jets, zach wilson

Wilson guided the New York Jets to the only points of the MetLife Stadium civil war’s first half before giving way to Mike White.

Zach Wilson introduced himself to the NFL preseason scene in a quiet yet effective way on Saturday night, completing 6-of-9 passes for 63 yards in his unofficial professional debut. His first drive yielded the only points of the first half of the Jets’ preseason opener against the New York Giants, a 30-yard Chris Naggar field goal that gave Gang Green a 3-0 halftime lead.

Wilson was one of several touted quarterbacks from the 2021 draft’s first-round who starred on Saturday. While he probably didn’t match the hype generated from Justin Fields’ showcase in Chicago, his effective showing likely allowed the Jets to breathe a sigh of relief after a tough showing at the Jets’ Green & White Scrimmage in East Rutherford last weekend.

Situated at his own 36 at the start of his first drive, Wilson earned a pair of nine-yard connections with Corey Davis, moving the Jets into opposing territory. Assisted by 34 yards from Ty Johnson and Michael Carter, Wilson moved the Jets to the Giants’ 12-yard-line. An attempted third hook-up with Davis fell incomplete, leading to Naggar’s opening triple.

Wilson was forced to begin his next drive nine yards from his own end zone after a strong Riley Dixon punt. After Johnson got him out of the shadow of his own goalposts with a 10-yard carry, Wilson earned 16 yards on a nine-yard third down, firing a pass to Keelan Cole to keep the drive going.

Wilson appeared to have another third down conversion through an eight-yard to Jamison Crowder on third-and-four at the cusp of midfield, but a Cole penalty for offensive pass interference cost them the down. Undeterred, Wilson found Tyler Kroft for a 13-yard tally to set up a short, manageable fourth down. A run up the middle to Johnson on fourth-and-one failed to keep things alive, ending Wilson’s day at two possessions, as head coach Robert Saleh promised.

While Wilson was a bit stagnant in the pocket, his solid showing should allow to Jets to sleep a little easier after he completed 11-of-24 passes and was victimized by two interceptions in the intrasquad scrimmage last Saturday. Wilson’s numbers were almost equal to the one thrower chosen above him. Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars likewise completed 6-of-9 passes, outgaining Wilson with 71 yards, though he was sacked twice in a two-possession showing against Cleveland.

Wilson will return to preseason action next Saturday night, when the Jets travel to Green Bay to battle the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field (4:25 p.m. ET, WLNY/NFL Network). After his two possessions, Wilson gave way to second quarterback Mike White, who completed 13-of-19 passes for 127 yards.

The Jets currently lead the Giants 10-0 in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags 

Mets Game Preview (8/14/21) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (70-46)

edwin diaz, mets

After an instant classic on Friday, the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers play the middle game of their three-game series at Citi Field. Both teams will need their starting pitchers to pitch deep into the game after the 10 inning game last night. The first pitch from Citi Field is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.

After being in an ugly offensive slump, the Mets lineup is starting to come around. While they are not putting up groundbreaking numbers, they are finally scoring enough to give themselves an opportunity to win. Michael Conforto is leading the way in August as he is slashing .324/.425/.529 and has the same amount of strikeouts and walks (6). Conforto is vital to the Mets success, in wins he slashes .281/.415/.430 but in losses he hits .146.

The Dodgers are a well oiled machine and they still contain a menacing lineup even without the presence of Mookie Betts. With Walker Buehler on the mound, the Dodgers tend to score plenty of runs for their ace. There have only been four starts where they scored two runs or less for Buehler.

Pitching Matchup

Taijuan Walker starts for the Mets and continues to search for the magic he had during the first half of the season. While Walker did have his first quality start since the All-Star break, the home run ball continued to plague him. Walker has allowed 10 home runs in his last four starts after allowing just six all season. This start could be another rough one if the home run issues continue to linger.

Walker Buehler starts for the Dodgers and is as good as it gets right now. Buehler leads baseball with a 2.13 ERA and is 12-2 which is the best winning percentage this season. He has been untouchable since July started with a 1.62 ERA and has now allowed a single home run in that span. In his last start he held the Los Angeles Angels to one run over six innings with eight strikeouts. Buehler will struggle with control from time to time and has not had a walkless start since May 5.

Matchup To Lookout For

Taijuan Walker vs. Corey Seager: 4-for-13 (.308), Home Run, 3 Strikeouts

Fans’ return to MetLife Stadium sets up a special NFL preseason game

It’s all too appropriate that fans return to MetLife Stadium coincides with the resumption of the game dubbed the “Snoopy Bowl”.

Those who venture out to MetLife Stadium on Saturday night will probably forget the final score of the game they paid to see once they get back on Route 3 or the New Jersey Turnpike. But the important part is…they’ll have ventured out to MetLife Stadium.

It’s been 532 days since Giants Stadium’s successor hosted a full-fledged professional football game in front of paying customers. That streak, begun shortly after an XFL contest between the New York Guardians and the Los Angeles Wildcats, finally snaps on Saturday, as the New York Jets and Giants resume their preseason series after a year off (7:30 p.m. ET, WNBC).

The Jets and Giants have staged an annual late summer showdown since 1969, when the former began its Super Bowl defense with a 37-14 triumph at the Yale Bowl. Since the teams began sharing the swamps of the Meadowlands (when the Jets moved in from Shea Stadium in 1984), the game has become a North Jersey tradition, a different kind of fireworks as days slowly get shorter. It’s a night of playful bragging rights, a union of metropolitan football. Upon the naming rights takeover of MetLife, known for featuring the Charlie Brown gang in its advertising, the contest became known as the “Snoopy Bowl”, complete with a beagle-branded winner’s trophy. Fans have kept the name alive in an unofficial capacity despite MetLife severing its ties with the Peanuts franchise.

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

For a few precious hours, it’s a metropolitan Super Bowl decided by those more likely destined for the practice squad than for The Big Game itself.

“Since the game doesn’t count, the parking lot always had kind of a party atmosphere,” Kenny Watkins III of Woodland Park, NJ and a season-ticket holder at Giants Stadium said of the game. “People in blue and green are tailgating, having fun, playing music, usually there’s a band set up somewhere. It’s more like a concert atmosphere than a football game.”

By now, no one needs to elaborate as to why the series was interrupted. The COVID-19 health crisis shut down many summer traditions across the tri-state area and the nation as a whole, including the NFL preseason and the plethora of regional matchups that come with it. Few mourned the loss of the exhibition slate…preseason football is often seen as a chore in even the best of times…but regular season games played in empty stadiums took on an eerie feeling, even if they were done in the interest of public health. The Jets and Giants were a couple of the 14 teams that played their entire 2020 home slate in an empty stadium.

But welcome normalcy has finally started to emerge from the pandemic, primarily thanks to vaccination efforts. Caution is still in place due to COVID’s Delta variant but football fans have eagerly made their way back into stadiums as the first official week of preseason action continues. 

In some ways, the true value of Saturday’s game is found not on the field, but rather the stands, which is set to host a de facto family reunition of thousands.

“Saturday is going to be special even though it’s just a preseason game,” Peter Schwartz of Long Island told ESM. “It’s appropriate that both sets of fans get to be at the first game with fans because this area has been through so much over the last 18 months.”

“It’s been awesome to have fans back,” Arizona defender J.J. Watt said during an in-game interview with KPNX during the Cardinals’ preseason opener against Dallas on Friday night. “It’s been awesome to have fans back in the building. After last season, everybody playing in empty stadiums, it’s an incredible feeling to have these fans back, to have the energy, to have the excitement.”

A few necessary adjustments might still have to be made. To reduce touchpoints, for example, MetLife Stadium has transitioned to cash-free transactions at all concession and retail outlets. But it’s well worth it to get back in the New York football groove.

“I think you should just be courteous to those around you, making sure that you’re not doing anything too obnoxious or breaking any of the COVID precautions in place,” Joe Gucciardo of Howard Beach said of the precautions. “I think having the Snoopy Bowl be the first game back is somewhat bittersweet. It’s fun, you can go with a buddy who likes the other tri-State team and jaw at each other all night.”

Both teams have offered sneak previews of their respective returns to fan-filled stadiums as their respective training camp proceedings continued. The Jets first hosted the Green & White Scrimmage last Saturday night while the Giants capped off their Fan Fest with a public practice on Wednesday night.

(Photo by Alan Schaefer/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Intrasquad scrimmages, however, don’t replace the feeling of showcasing your gridiron stuff against another opponent, especially one you’re forced to share the country’s largest media market with. Staten Island native and Jets fan John Maleka is looking forward to seeing his team showcase their young talent in a MetLife Stadium adorned in blue, as Saturday’s tilt is a designated Giants home game. Fellow attendee and Montville resident Dave Strum anticipates a “sea of green and blue”, which he labels a welcome change from his last East Rutherford excursion.

Strum, after all, was at the Jets’ last contest held in front of fans, a 16-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in December 2019. Alas, many attendees went home unhappy: black and yellow outranked green on that temperate afternoon, which was completely understandable with the Steelers’ playoff implications and the nine-loss Jets’ lack thereof entering what was each

Jets head coach Robert Saleh isn’t so much interested in New York bragging rights, but can’t wait to see his group go up against another…it just so happens it’ll come against Joe Judge’s gang.

“I think every NFL team is ready to see somebody else,” Saleh said this week, per notes from the Jets. “We’re sick of each other, we’re sick of seeing the same defense, we’re sick of seeing the same offense. They’re ready to see a different color and they’re ready to go against different schemes and be challenged in different ways. It’s going to be fun, I’m excited for the group.”

Lately, bragging rights amongst each other in a meaningless summer exhibition have the only thing Jets and Giants fans have had to celebrate. Neither team has made a playoff appearance since the end of the 2016 season. The 10th anniversary celebration of the Giants’ Super Bowl XLVI triumph comes with the bittersweet reminder that the upset win over New England is the metropolitan area’s most recent NFL postseason win.

But the redemptive naivety of the NFL preseason is that everyone goes in undefeated and undeterred. Win the game, and happy times are ahead. Losses can be blamed and excused on the idea that it’s “only preseason”.

While the Giants are holding most of their premier talents out of Saturday’s game, the Jets are set to put on a youthful showcase. Even the most stubborn Gang Green hater can admit that there is legitimate potential behind this team, headlined by the arrival of new franchise quarterback Zach Wilson.

The Jets spent this offseason doing what they could to make sure his NFL transition was as seamless as possible, bringing in receivers Corey Davis and Keelan Cole, who will likely see some time on Saturday. Draft choices Alijah Vera-Tucker and Elijah Moore aren’t expected to partake, but have nonetheless offered optimism. The hire of Saleh has also received universal acclaim.

“There’s a whole new vibe to this team from the front office to the new quarterback and the new ‘toys’ sprinkled throughout the offense and defense,” Meleka said. “It feels like the Jets fans have more to look forward to in this game, especially since Wilson is slated for the first quarter while (Giants quarterback Daniel Jones) is out. More specifically, the new coaching staff and the new schemes on both sides of the ball finally give these Jets players an opportunity to make a name for themselves and begin their journey to solidifying a spot on the 53-man roster.”

“So far, the atmosphere around the Jets has been nothing but excitement for the future of the franchise with Coach Saleh and all their young studs: Moore, Wilson, and (linebacker Hamsah) Nasirildeen,” Strum added. “Jets Nation will definitely be fired up for some preseason action against the local rival team.”

Time will tell if more restrictions lay on the road ahead as the Delta variant remains stubborn. But for the time being, provided that fans remain vigilant and use their best judgment, it’s fine to view Saturday’s game at its surface: a welcome back to a frivolous, if not cherished, Garden State tradition, a landmark in the battle against the hated pandemic.

“It is definitely fitting that football returns to New Jersey in Jets vs. Giants fashion. Although a meaningless game to some, this game, gives me a little bit of hope that the end of the pandemic is in sight and will be a milestone for how far we have come from the beginning of the pandemic until now.” Strum said. “Although I’m a little nervous with the new Delta variant going around, I am definitely excited to feel the atmosphere of thousands of screaming fans cheering on their team, the smell of food cooking on the grill before the game, some J-E-T-S chants with fellow Jets fans in the parking lot.”

True to football form, however, he’s not letting a joint celebration get in the way of a little good, old-fashion metropolitan smack talk.

“I might have to thank some of them for letting Elijah Moore fall to us in the second round.”

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

Chicago Bears: Justin Fields impresses in preseason debut

It was a cool summer afternoon at Soldier Field as the Chicago Bears opened up the preseason against the Miami Dolphins. Quarterback Justin Fields made his debut, playing in the second and third quarter, going 14-for-20, 142 yards, combined with one passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown. Fields’ mobility was also on display as the 11th overall pick rushed five times for 33 yards.

There’s a lot to digest when it comes to Fields preseason debut. After what appeared to be early jitters, the rookie quarterback slowed down, hitting wide receivers with quick, easy completions before, leading to a 14 point explosion for the Bears in the third quarter. This is just the start for Fields, who will look to improve as the season goes on. What’s noteworthy is that Fields did play more than veteran Andy Dalton, who played just two series and completed just two passes for 18 yards, averaging 4.5 yards per attempt.

Throughout the afternoon, much of what made Fields such a pro-ready quarterback was on display. Accuracy, poise, mobility, ball placement, and solid decision-making. Nothing is perfect in the NFL, however, Fields debut was more good than bad, which is encouraging as the Bears continue to prepare for the regular season.

The highlight of the afternoon came midway through the third quarter when Fields scrambled for 21 yards, which then set up a 30-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jesse James just two plays later. Fields to James is a connection that has emerged quickly and showcases Fields ability to connect with pass catchers.

When the Bears return to Halas Hall on Monday to prepare for the Buffalo Bills, there will be a number of questions to answer. What will coaches make of Dalton and Fields’ preseason debuts? Is Fields going to make the Bears coaching staff second-guess naming Dalton the starter? With just about a month to go until the regular season, Fields appears to be trending in the right direction for the Bears and Saturday was an indication of the potential that the 11th overall pick holds.

New York Giants cornerback duo listed with top 10 in the league

new york giants, adoree jackson

The secondary hasn’t been the most stable spot for the New York Giants over the past few years, as the team has seen multiple first round draft picks like Eli Apple and DeAndre Baker leave for varying reasons without becoming long term players.

However, it looks like the Giants have finally reached a good spot at the position. That didn’t come through drafting, but instead through their free agent acquisitions.

The Giants watched James Bradberry raise his performance level to become one of the best corners in the league after joining them last season, and they added to his presence in 2021 by signing Adoree’ Jackson as the main number two option.

This signing is regarded as the biggest improvement to the team’s defense from 2021’s free agency, and the combination has already earned attention from the national media.

In a list of the top 10 cornerback duos in the league, NFL.com’s Cynthia Frelund listed Bradberry and Jackson at number 10.

Since 2018, James Bradberry has forced a whopping 42 incompletions — the top figure in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus. Last season, he earned an overall PFF grade of 79.8, which tied for seventh among corners with Jalen Ramsey. Computer vision shows that on snaps where the front was unable to generate pressure, Bradberry still allowed just a 59.6 percent completion percentage, the second-lowest mark amongst corners in 2020. Overall passing data logically shows that an increase in pressure correlates with a decrease in completion percentage, but it also shows that effective coverage from defensive backs ahead of the pass can correlate with increased pressure. Bradberry’s production, combined with the addition of Adoree’ Jackson, should help the Giants more effectively blanket pass catchers before the snap. Between that and the additions made up front, New York should increase its pressure rate in 2021, which will in turn drive even more efficiency from the corners.

The rating might seem low but it’s worth noting that Jackson hasn’t played a single game for the Giants yet. Bradberry improved after getting into Patrick Graham’s defense, and the same may happen with Jackson.

The Giants are confident enough in that outcome, after all, that they gave him a three year contract for a hefty $39m. The Giants secondary could easily rise further in the overall ranks of the league if Jackson sees a similar improvement to Bradberry.

It’s easy to imagine this will be a good environment for Jackson, as he’ll be playing and practicing with former Titans secondary teammates Logan Ryan and Joshua Kalu.

At the very least, the combination of Bradberry and Jackson looks better than the combo of Bradberry and Baker, and some around the league are starting to take note of that improvement this offseason.

Knicks: Allan Houston, Penny Hardaway push Quentin Grimes to play best Summer League game

Shooters will always shoot.

Quentin Grimes entered the NBA with a reputation as a 3-and-D guy after leading the Houston Cougars to the NCAA Final Four last season.

But after Grimes hit his first shot — a 3-pointer — in his NBA Summer League debut, his primary skillset seemed to have betrayed him.

After three Summer League games, he was just shooting 27 percent from the field and 31.8 percent from the 3-point zone.

It wasn’t the shooting form expected from the 25th overall pick after blowing the New York Knicks brass away with his impeccable shooting during the NBA Draft Combine.

Throughout his slump, Grimes never wavered, gleaning on two former NBA stars’ encouraging words.

“Allan Houston told me to keep shooting. Everything will gonna follow. Penny (Hardaway) was texting me: ‘everything will gonna follow. Shoot is what you do.’ That’s why I came out a little bit more aggressive today at all times,” Grimes said.

Houston, a special assistant to Knicks assistant general managers, was a 40 percent career three-point shooter. He had some of the biggest shots in Knicks’ history. On the other hand, Hardaway was a 32 percent career three-point shooter but played his best years with Orlando Magic before playing for the Knicks during the twilight of his career.

Grimes held his pre-Draft camp in Memphis training with Hardaway.

The two former Knicks players’ powerful words rejuvenated Grimes who broke out from his shooting slump Friday.

His 15-point effort nearly helped the Knicks wipe out a 21-point fourth quarter deficit. It took Cade Cunningham’s best game to preserve a Detroit Pistons victory, 93-87, Friday in Las Vegas. Cunningham, the top overall pick, scored 24 points built on seven triples.

Grimes tried to keep up, scoring eight in the final quarter to backstop Obi Toppin’s 31 points.

Grimes hit 3 of 6 from deep and went 6 for 10 overall from the field. He added seven rebounds, three assists and two shot blocks in a well-rounded performance.

”I’m just starting to get comfortable,” Grimes said. “The last few games I was not shooting well.”

Even when his shot was not falling, Grimes did not stop playing.

”I hung onto my defense. I rebounded and continued making plays,” said Grimes who averaged 6.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists before Friday.

Knicks Summer League coach Dice Yoshimoto kept his faith and also implored his struggling swingman to keep on shooting.

“I told Quentin to be Quentin. If he’s open, shoot it. If not, move it. Don’t overthink. Just shoot and let it fly,” Yoshimoto said. “He’s been putting up a lot of time in the gym. It showed today, and he made some shots.”

Grimes hopes to carry that momentum in Knicks’ Saturday marchup against third overall pick Evan Mobley and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Mets drop opener against Dodgers but show competitiveness, resilience and grit

The first of 13 games that the New York Mets will have to play against the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants didn’t go well, as they lost 6-5 in ten innings against the reigning World Champions. There were signs, however, that tell the story of a resilient team that refuses to give up, and that’s a plus given the ugly second-half slide that saw the Mets lose the first place in the NL East division.

The Mets actually came back from a four-run deficit in the seventh inning of Friday’s game against the Dodgers. The atmosphere at Citi Field was incredible when Pete Alonso tied the game on a wild pitch by Blake Treinen.

“(I’m) always proud of the guys, every single one of them. Almost the entire team was used today,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said to SNY after the game. “Falling down 4-0 against this unbelievable Dodgers team and just being resilient. They’ve done that a bunch of times this year, but it was nice to do it with the fans that we had here tonight. I thought the guys were energized by the momentum we had in that 4-run inning, with the fans getting involved in the inning.

“Good to see guys come into the game being ready for a clutch situation to drive in a run, and different things that happened throughout the game. I’m proud of them. This is who we’ve been the entire season, and to show it against a team like this, it shows that we don’t shy away. We do it the same way all the time.”

The Mets need to translate that approach to wins

The Mets know that they will have to translate that energy, passion, and resilience to the rest of the 12 remaining games against the top two teams in the National League.

“Every game is gonna be high-energy, real tough,” McNeil said. “(The) Dodgers are a good team. We know those next 13 games are going to be extremely tough, (we’re) gonna play a couple really good teams. We’re going to battle and hopefully we can have a nice little stretch here.”

As of Saturday afternoon, the Mets are third in the NL East with a 59-56 record, just 0.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies.

New York Giants: Roster bubble players to watch closely in preseason

david sills, new york giants

The New York Giants play their first preseason game of the season tonight at 7:30 pm against the New York Jets. Joe Judge and the Giants plan on treating this preseason game as a traditional fourth preseason game. This means that the starters will barely play (if they even play at all) and the backups will receive the majority share of snaps.

Tonight’s game gives the Giants fans and front office a chance to analyze the players fighting for a spot on the roster. Some of these players are on the bubble and pushing for a spot on the final roster this year. But these players, like David Sills, Rodarius Williams, and Gary Brightwell, will need to perform well in the preseason to earn their spots.

David Sills V

Third-year wide receiver David Sills V has turned heads this summer with numerous impressive practice performances. Sills was a tremendous wide receiver in college at WVU. He totaled 33 receiving touchdowns in his final two collegiate seasons before going undrafted in 2019. David Sills has been with the Giants since September of 2019 after he was waived by the Buffalo Bills that August.

In 2020, David Sills was having an impressive summer practicing with the Giants. Unfortunately, he was not able to play in the regular season, as he suffered a foot fracture that landed him on IR and out for the year. One year later, David is once again having a phenomenal training camp.

David Sills spent the entire 2021 offseason following quarterback Daniel Jones across the country to train for this season. His hard work seems to have paid off as David has looked like a true receiving threat, making plays against the first-team in practice with the Giants. Still, there are a lot of talented wide receivers on the Giants’ roster, some that can contribute on special teams. If David Sills V wants to win a spot on the roster, he is going to have to put together some strong performances in the preseason.

Rodarius Williams

Like David Sills, Rodarius Williams has been popping off at training camp practices. The Giants drafted Rodarius Williams in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Rodarius is the older brother of Cleveland Browns’ cornerback, Greedy Williams. Williams is a press-man corner who exudes confidence. He has the physicality to counteract big-body pass-catchers outside the numbers. He also finished his college career with 150 tackles (35 stops) and allowed just 54.2% of the pass targets against him to be completed for 1,636 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The Giants have plenty of talented defensive backs on their roster. But Rodarius Williams has been a pleasant surprise through camp and looks like he could sneak his way onto the back-end of the roster. With a couple of solid performances in the preseason, Rodarius Williams could secure a spot on the final roster.

Gary Brightwell

Running back Gary Brightwell is another player that the Giants drafted in the sixth round of this year’s NFL Draft. The Giants added a lot of depth at running back this offseason as Saquon Barkley prepares to return from his knee injury. Gary Brightwell, however, now seems to be buried pretty deep on the team’s depth chart.

The former Arizona Wildcat has an uphill battle to make the final roster. He has not played much in practice due to some nagging injury problems. But with an impressive string of preseason performances, Gary Brightwell could make his presence felt and give himself a chance at the fifty-three-man roster. The backups are expected to see plenty of playing time on Saturday against the Jets. This is the game for Gary Brightwell to show out and put his name back in the running.