New York Giants: Joe Judge undecided on starting lineup vs Browns

new york giants, joe judge

Fans of the New York Giants might be wondering if the team will play more starters against the Cleveland Browns in week 2 of the preseason, but that question will go unanswered for now. Head coach Joe Judge chose not to give a starting lineup, instead saying on Friday that he hasn’t decided on anyone just yet.

“I haven’t made a decision on anybody right now,” Judge told reporters. He went on to say that the Giants’ decision will involve cooperation with the Browns and their own head coach Kevin Stefanski.

“We’re going to see how we come out today and I’m going to talk with Kevin in terms of his plans. We’ve talked earlier in the week about what they’re intending to do and we’re going to see how that’s going to measure up and we’ll evaluate our team after today.”

It remains unclear if the Giants are going to start Daniel Jones in this second preseason game, but we do know that some key offensive players are already ruled out due to injury. These players include Saquon Barkley and Kenny Golladay, as well as first round draft pick Kadarius Toney.

Overall the Giants have focused on evaluation over giving playing time to their first team starters in the preseason so far. With a shortened preseason due to an extra regular season game being added under the current league rules, it’s very possible that the Giants only properly give their starters a chance in the last game or opt to not do so at all.

The Giants didn’t play a preseason at all last year due to it being cancelled under COVID-19 restrictions. Depending on what the team does, the starters may once again experience jumping directly from training camp to the regular season.

UFC books headliner between Miesha Tate and Ketlen Vieira

The UFC has finalized a big time headliner in the women’s bantamweight division. Combate was the first to report today that the promotion was finalizing a headliner between Miesha Tate (19-7) and Ketlen Vieira (11-2).

The fight between these two top ten bantamweights will headline a UFC Fight Night on October 16th. Vieira will be looking to bounce back in this headliner against Tate. The last time we saw Vieira was back in February when she took on Yana Kunitskaya.

While Vieira looked good in spots, she ultimately lost a unanimous decision to Kunitskaya. That loss dropped Vieira to 5-2 in the UFC. A couple of years ago, it appeared that Vieira was looking like a title contender at 135 pounds. However, her progression has slowed down a bit.

Vieira started off extremely strong in the UFC. She started out 4-0 with wins over former title challengers Cat Zingano and Sara McMann. However, she was then out of action for an extended period of time with a few injuries. Since she’s returned, she’s just 1-2 and hasn’t really looked the same.

UFC Comeback for Tate

This is the second UFC fight for Miesha Tate since she decided to return to action. The former Strikeforce and UFC bantamweight champion returned to the cage last month after she retired nearly five years ago at the age of 30.

The highlight of Tate’s career came in 2016. She capped off a 5-0 run by beating Holly Holm at UFC 196 to claim the bantamweight championship. It was the absolute peak for Tate and it was also a high point that she quickly fell off of.

Tate lost her title to Amanda Nunes at UFC 200 then lost a decision to Raquel Pennington at UFC 205. After the loss to Pennington, Tate announced that she was retiring. It was a steep fall for Tate who addmitedly said that she was mentally worn out from fighting.

However, after nearly five years away, she decided to return to the UFC. She looked sensational last month when she defeated Marion Reneau. That win put her right back in the mix at 135 pounds. If she can defeat Vieira in October, she might only be a win or two away from a UFC title shot.

New York Jets: 3 stars from Saturday’s preseason win at Green Bay

new york jets

Offense took center stage on Saturday, as Zach Wilson found Tyler Kroft for two scores in a New York Jets victory.

Zach Wilson earned his first two unofficial touchdown passes as a New York Jet on Saturday, each going to Tyler Kroft, while Corey Davis established a connection with the young quarterback through a 70-yard showing on four catches. The Jets’ rookie quarterback completed 9-of-11 passes overall for 128 yards, playing four drives in a 23-14 victory over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

Despite a tough showing from the defense in their first post-Carl Lawson injury showing…the ultimate insult being a 19-play, 81-yard scoring drive from the Packers’ offensive reserves…the Jets are likely enthused over their Saturday showings on offensive and special teams. Matt Ammendola converted three field goals, while Corey Ballentine set up the latter touchdown drive with a 73-yard kickoff return. Young men in the secondary managed to provide late defensive redemption, as Brandin Echols and Lamar Jackson each stole a pass from Kurt Benkert and Jake Dolegala respectively.

ESM bestows three game balls from the summer triumph…

Honorable Mentions

  • RB Michael Carter: 10 carries, 52 yards
  • S J.T. Hassell: 5 tackles, 1 sack
  • CB Brandin Echols: 3 tackles, 1 interception
  • KR Corey Ballentine: 1 return, 73 yards
  • K Matt Ammendola: 3-for-3 field goals

3rd Star: WR Corey Davis

4 receptions, 70 yards

After he was granted one series in the Snoopy Bowl last weekend, Davis was granted some extended time to work with Wilson in Green Bay. The two further strengthened their connection to the tune of a game-high 70 yards, including two big ones at the end of the first quarter that set up the Jets’ first touchdown.

“We’re definitely getting (chemistry),” Davis said of his connection with Wilson, per Jack Bell of NewYorkJets.com. “We’ve made a lot of huge strides the last week and a half, two weeks. I think Zach is a lot more comfortable in the pocket, he’s been more accurate. I’ve been getting open and creating space to try and make it easier for him.”

2nd Star: TE Tyler Kroft

2 receptions, 36 yards, 2 touchdowns

It’s been a while since the Jets have had a consistent red zone threat at tight end, perhaps dating back to the days of Mickey Shuler (although there have been brief flashes of brilliance, like Dustin Keller and Anthony Becht). Kroft could turn out to be a valuable diamond in the rough signing if he keeps this up and appears well on-pace to usurp the starting tight end role from Chris Herndon.

1st Star: QB Zach Wilson

9-of-11, 128 yards, 2 touchdowns

Wilson’s success undoubtedly comes with the caveats that he’s doing this against reserve defenses in the preseason, but it’s hard not to feel excited about what he’s been able to accomplish this summer (especially when his shortcomings in camp practices and scrimmages made national headlines).

The most inspiring portion of Wilson’s Saturday showing was perhaps his ability to respond to adversity and pressure. With the Jets’ defense going through a tough outing and his pockets collapsing, Wilson held his own and didn’t fall victim to any sacks. His first touchdown pass to Kroft came shortly after a Jets penalty bestowed the offense a dozen-yard second down. Such command of the offense impressed Jets head coach Robert Saleh.

“I thought Zach had good command, he was under control, he handled the pressure well, he was good in and out of the huddle,” Saleh said, per team reporter Randy Lange. “He’s been going through his progressions and he’s been pretty good at that.”

The Jets will round out their preseason slate against the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday night at MetLife Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET, WCBS). 

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

Twins-Yankees series finale postponed: Find out the details

New York Yankees, NYY, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez

Fresh off winning their ninth game in a row on Saturday against the Minnesota Twins, the New York Yankees will have to wait until next week to keep their streak alive and try to take it to ten contests in a row.

The Yankees’ official site reported that with Hurricane Henri bearing down on the New York area, Sunday’s game against the Twins at Yankee Stadium, the series finale, has been postponed due to the forecast of severe inclement weather.

The game will be played on Monday, Sept. 13, at 2:05 p.m. ET at Yankee Stadium, per the team’s official site.

The Yankees are a season-high 20 games above the .500 mark and are playing some of their best ball of the season. Players like Aaron Judge, Luke Voit, Gerrit Cole, and Jonathan Loaisiga have been crucial to keep the streak alive, but it has been the unlikely contributors such as Albert Abreu, Nestor Cortes Jr., and Andrew Velazquez the ones that have provided the extra push.

The Yankees published ticket information for the rescheduled game

The team site explained that fans holding paid tickets for Sunday’s postponed game may use them for the rescheduled game on Sept. 13 or exchange them for tickets to a similar regular-season game at Yankee Stadium (subject to availability) as described in the Yankees’ rain check policy, which may be found at yankees.com/raincheck.

The Yankees are close to welcoming back some of their injured players, such as Corey Kluber, Domingo German, Gleyber Torres, Gio Urshela, and even Clarke Schmidt if he is ever needed. The Bombers are peaking at the right time and are now in sole possession of the American League’s first Wild Card spot.

At 72-52, the Yanks are also four games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East, so the division, while unlikely, remains a very tangible possibility for the Bronx Bombers.

New York Yankees Recap: Cole rules the Twins for Yankees 9th win in a row

andrew Velazquez, yankees

The New York Yankees have moved closer to the AL East lead just four games behind the Tampa Bay Rays, winning seven series in a row and 8 games in a row. Today they will go for their 9th win in a row with Yankee ace Gerrit Cole on the mound for the Yankees and Kenta Maeda for the Minnesota Twins. Today they can win the series after winning the first two games from the Twins. Today they got the series win and the Yankees won their 9th game in a row 7-1.

It was a beautiful hot, humid, and mostly cloudy day at the Stadium in the Bronx. Cole took the mound in the first inning and faced Max Kepler, who lined out on the first pitch he saw. Jorge Polanco ground out back to the mound. Josh Donaldson struck out looking for a 1-2-3 for Cole. At the bottom, DJ LeMahieu struck out for the first out of the inning. Anthony Rizzo reached on a bobbled ball to short. Aaron Judge flew out to center. Rizzo stole second. Giancarlo Stanton struck out for a scoreless inning for both teams.

At the second, Luis Arraez faced Cole and flew out to Judge in center. Rob Refsynder also flew out to Judge. Ryan Jeffers singled to right. Nick Gordon singled to right. Willans Astudillo popped out to Rizzo in the infield. At the bottom, Rougie Odor, hit by a pitch, took first. Luke Voit singled. Velazquez lined out. Kyle Higashioka singled. With men on the corners and two outs, Tyler Wade singled to left as the Yankees struck first, scoring Odor. LeMahieu flew out to left. New York Yankees 1 Minnesota Twins 0.

Andrelton Simmons led off the third inning by grounding out to Rizzo, who flipped to Cole at first. Kepler popped out to Rizzo. Polanco ground out to Odor to end the half. Rizzo led off the bottom by popping out to shallow center. Aaron Judge went down swinging. Stanton popped out to the infield. Yankees 1 Twins 0.

The fourth inning was led off by Donaldson, who ground out to third. Arraez singled off Cole’s glove. Arraez stole second. Refsnyder ground out, but Arraez went to third. Jeffers struck out looking. Odor led off the bottom of the fourth by striking out. Voit went down swinging. Velazquez flew out to center to end the inning. Yankees 1 Twins 0.

Nick Gordon led off the fifth by striking out swinging. Astudillo reached on a single. Simmons singled through the hole in left, moving Astudillo to second. Kepler walked the bases loaded. Polanco struck out swinging. Donaldson struck out with the bases loaded and two outs, looking to get Cole out of a bases-loaded jam.

Higashioka led off the bottom and flew out to the warning track in left-center. Wade hit a standup double to left field. LeMahieu singled to right, moving Wade to third. Rizzo walked to load the bases. Judge with the bases loaded and only one out stood back and watched Wade score on a wild pitch. Judge walked to reload the bases. That was the game for Kenta Maeda. Stanton faced the new Twins pitcher  Edgar Garcia and doubled to left, driving in LeMahieu and Rizzo as Judge moved to third base. Odor still with one out singled, but Judge was called out at home plate for the second out. Voit doubled down the left-field line driving in both Stanton and Odor. Velazquez struck out swinging, but the Yankees picked up five runs in the inning. New York Yankees 6 Twins 0.

At the top of the sixth inning, Arraez flew out to Judge in center. Refsynder struck out for Cole’s sixth strikeout of the game. Jeffers ground out to third to end the half. At the bottom, Higashioka flew out to left field. Wade struck out. LeMahieu flew out to left-center to end the quick inning for both pitchers. Yankees 6 Twins 0.

Nick Gordon led the seventh inning, who faced new Yankee pitcher Lucas Luetge and ground out to second. Astudillo flew out to Judge in center. Simmons ground out Velazquez at short for the final out of the half. At the bottom, Rizzo faced the new Twins pitcher Ralph Garza and walked on four pitches.  Judge flew out to left. Stanton singled, moving Rizzo to third. Florial pinch ran for Stanton. Odor hit a homer into the bullpen, but a last-second time-out was called, negating the home run. He ended up striking out with some unhappy words for the home plate umpire. Voit with men on the corners and two outs flew out to center to end the inning. Yankees 6 Twins 0.

Max Kepler led off the eighth inning by popping out on the first pitch he saw. Then, Polanco homered to left field. Donaldson flew out to Wade in left. Arraez struck out swinging to end the half, but the Twins got on the board. At the bottom, Andrew Velazquez, who has been sleeping in his childhood bed since coming to the Bronx, hit his first major league home run for the Yankees. Higashioka struck out swinging. Wade ground out softly. LeMahieu ground out to second, but the Yankees tacked on another run. New York Yankees 7 Twins 1.

With last licks on the line for the Twins and closer Albert Abreu on the mound, Rob Refsynder led off the ninth by flying out to left on an excellent running catch by Wade. Jeffers struck out. Nick Gordon popped out to second. The final score was the New York Yankees 7 and the Minnesota Twins 1. The winning pitcher was Gerrit Cole, and the loser was Kenta Maeda. With the win, the Yankees were 20 games above .500 and got their ninth win in a row.

 

 

 

 

NASCAR Cup Series at Michigan: Everything you need to know for Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400

After back-to-back road course races, the NASCAR Cup Series will return to oval racing on Sunday with the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Sunday’s race will last 200 laps around the 2-mile speedway with stage breaks at laps 60 and 120. Michigan International Speedway is one of the fastest tracks on the NASCAR circuit with speeds near 200mph going into the corners. Both turns have 18 degrees of banking.

NASCAR has applied resin to the racing surface in both turns in an attempt to create more racing. The sanctioning body last applied resin at Nashville Superspeedway, a concrete racing surface. Sunday’s race will be the first time resin is placed on an asphalt track instead of PJ1.

Teams will have seven sets of tires available with the Sunoco fuel window estimated around 46-51 laps.

Hendrick Motorsports teammates Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott will make up the front row to start the race. This is based on the qualifying metric, which is weighed between finishing position last week at Indianapolis (50%), points position (35%), and fastest lap from Indianapolis (15%).

Sunday’s Green flag is scheduled for 3:16 pm ET on NBCSN. Sunset is at 8:26 pm ET, but daylight shouldn’t be a factor unless unexpected weather hits the area. The Weather Channel predicts just a 15% chance of rain for the race.

The full FireKeepers Casino 400 starting lineup is below.

 

Position Driver Car Number Team
1 Kyle Larson 5 Hendrick
2 Chase Elliott 9 Hendrick
3 Ryan Blaney 12 Penske
4 Matt DiBenedetto 21 Wood Brothers
5 Martin Truex Jr. 19 Gibbs
6 Kurt Busch 1 Chip Ganassi
7 Kyle Busch 18 Gibbs
8 Kevin Harvick 4 Stewart-Haas
9 Denny Hamlin 11 Gibbs
10 Alex Bowman 48 Hendrick
11 Chris Bueshcer 17 Roush Fenway
12 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47 JTG Daugherty
13 Erik Jones 43 Richard Petty
14 Tyler Reddick 8 Richard Childress
15 Bubba Wallace 23 23XI
16 Ryan Newman 6 Roush Fenway
17 Justin Haley 77 Spire
18 William Byron 24 Hendrick
19 Joey Logano 22 Penske
20 Brad Keselowski 2 Penske
21 Chase Briscoe 14 Stewart-Haas
22 Ross Chastain 42 Chip Ganassi
23 Aric Almirola 10 Stewart-Haas
24 Josh Berry 7 Spire
25 Michael McDowell 34 Front Row
26 Austin Dillon 3 Richard Childress
27 Cole Custer 41 Stewart-Haas
28 Christopher Bell 20 Gibbs
29 Josh Bilicki 52 Rick Ware
30 Daniel Suarez 99 TrackHouse
31 Quin Houff 0 StarCom
32 Ryan Preece 37 JTG Daugherty
33 Garrett Smithley 53 Rick Ware
34 James Davison 15 Rick Ware
35 Anthony Alfredo 38 Front Row
36 BJ McLeod 78 Live Fast
37 Cody Ware 51 Rick Ware

New York Jets: Attainable goals for Saturday’s game at Green Bay

New York Jets, Mekhi Becton

How can the New York Jets end a (literally) painful visit to Wisconsin on the right note? ESM’s Jets experts investigate…

Following a devastating injury on the football field, the New York Jets will look to pick up the pieces and seek redemption in a familiar place: the football field, namely the not-so-famous thawed, green tundra of Lambeau Field.

The Jets will seek to end a business trip to Wisconsin on the right note on Saturday late afternoon, as they’ll battle the Green Bay Packers in an exhibition contest (4:25 p.m. ET, WLNY/NFL Network). New York and Green Bay have done battle this week through a pair of joint practices within a stone’s throw of the football cathedral.

The latter portion was a scene plucked from Jets’ fans’ most garish nightmares: defensive end Carl Lawson was carted off the field during a team drill. Their newly acquired pressure artist was later revealed to have torn his Achilles tendon, an injury that will keep force him to miss the entire 2021 season. Undrafted secondary defender Zane Lewis was likewise lost for the year in a separate medical incident.

So how can the Jets leave Titletown with a sense of accomplishment, no matter how small? ESM’s Jets experts investigate with an attainable goal for the Jets to aspire to.

Geoff Magliocchetti: Find Clarity, Confident, and Depth in the Offensive Trenches

Jets fans have every right to be sad and upset over losing Lawson. But, as we discussed earlier this week, his prescience alone didn’t launch the Jets into the playoff conversation and the front seven’s pass rush potential is deep enough to weather the coming storm in 2021. This was always going to be a year centered on development and Lawson’s injury shouldn’t change that.

This season is about finding long-term solutions that can sustain the Jets during the potential good time ahead. One area that was full of fostered potential is the offensive line made to protect the new franchise quarterback Zach Wilson. The blockers mostly did their job last weekend against the Giants’ reserve defenders…they allowed only one sack on the night and their rushers had a little bit of real estate to work with. But this week featured some developments, perhaps masked by the mourning over Lawson, that could have the Jets questioning their depth on the offensive wall.

One of their blocking staples from the last two seasons, guard Alex Lewis, retired this week. Another interior blocking project, 2020 fourth-rounder Cameron Clark, was also placed on injured reserve. Alijah Vera-Tucker, drafted to take over interior duties on Wilson’s blindside, has dealt with a pectoral muscle injury all camp and likely won’t play on Saturday.

Furthermore, reports from Green Bay state that the Jets’ line struggled in front of a legitimate opponent, as Green Bay’s starters took center stage during this week’s get-togethers. Brian Costello of the New York Post estimated that Wilson would’ve been sacked seven times during Wednesday’s practice had his red non-contact jersey saved him. Last season’s most cherished silver lining, tackle Mekhi Becton, has reportedly struggled against opponents, both domestically (Lawson) and abroad (Preston Smith).

Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur mentioned that Becton was “going through some things right now”, per notes from the Jets. LaFleur nonetheless remained confident that Becton would regain his freshman swagger before opening weekend in Charlotte.

“He’ll keep on going. We’re only one preseason game in, we still have over three and a half weeks until we go out and play Carolina. Every day, there are still slight improvements that he’s making and we’re just trying to take it one day at a time right now,” LaFleur said. “Mekhi, he didn’t have a training camp last year. He didn’t have an OTAs last May and June so, he’s still working through some things. I got all the confidence in the world in Mekhi because one, I know how talented he is and two, he’s a good dude and he’s going to work through all this stuff. We got a long way to go across that whole front, across this whole offense and myself included.”

The Jets thus need to use Saturday’s proceedings as a way to build back confidence. Green Bay will likewise be resting many of its starters on Saturday, but a big opportunity lingers to regain the good vibes felt after last week’s win over the Giants. Some names to watch include Dan Feeney, who should continue to get premier interior reps with the first team, and David Moore, an undrafted first-year out of Grambling who drew interest from several teams on the rookie free agency market.

Brendan Carpenter: Go Beyond Lawson

The Jets have had a rough week. Leading up to their Saturday afternoon game against the Packers, joint practices took place in Green Bay. As we know by now, these practices were not injury-free.

.There were a few bumps and bruises, but no injury was bigger than that of Carl Lawson. He is going to miss the season with a torn Achilles. This gut-wrenching news, however, does bring about a new goal for the second preseason game: to see the rest of the depth at defensive end produce.

Outside of Lawson, the Jets have John Franklin-Myers, Bryce Huff, Ronald Blair, Jabari Zuniga, and Vinny Curry, (who should return to the field around Week 2). Lawson was clearly the number-one edge rush option, but the team has nice depth and should still be able to apply pressure. The Jets will most likely have an even more noticeable rotation at end during Saturday’s game, and that’s fine.

The season isn’t over. The loss of Lawson hurts, but it creates an opportunity for other players to show their worth on the field. It won’t be easy to replace the impact the Jets’ most expensive offseason addition would’ve had on the field, but they’ll find a way to compensate. The opportunity starts against Green Bay, and they should be up to the task.

Don’t necessarily look for a substantial amount of sacks against the Packers, but the line should be able to make noticeable noise in the backfield on drop-backs. That alone would be enough to reach this new goal on short notice.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

The Knicks’ success last season sparked an awesome 2021-22 TV schedule

derrick rose, knicks

After an incredibly successful 2020-21 season, the New York Knicks find themselves garnering attention from the NBA and mainstream media. With the 2021-22 NBA regular season schedule dropping on Friday, the Knicks have more nationally televised games this upcoming year and a bevy of prime time slots.

In fact, stretching from mid-February to early March, the team has six nationally televised games in a row. They will take on Brooklyn, Miami, Philadelphia twice, Phoenix and the Los Angeles Clippers to finish off the string of games.

Here’s a look at the full schedule the team is preparing to endure come to the start of the season in late October.

The first game of the season comes against the Boston Celtics, who allowed Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier to depart this off-season. Both players evidently signed with New York, as they will face off against their former team at MSG. The Knicks will then take on the Orlando Magic twice, Philadelphia, Chicago, and New Orleans before making their way into November.

It is quite incredible that just one winning season for the Knicks thrust them into the national spotlight. The league was ready for the organization to finally take a step forward, and with an injection of talent this off-season, the expectation is that they will be a more well-rounded team with better scoring production.

Overall, they will make 22 appearances on national television, with 12 games on ESPN, seven on TNT, and three on ABC. They will also take on the Atlanta Hawks on Christmas day, a rematch of the postseason showdown after the Knicks secured the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference.

Last year, the Knicks only enjoyed six nationally televised games, nearly multiplying their appearances by four this upcoming year. Luckily, they have three home games in the first four games of the season, giving them a competitive advantage. The first match-up of the year will be nationally televised on ESPN at 7:30 PM on October 20.

This is shaping up to be an exciting season for a team that desperately needs a bit more positivity and reward after remaining loyal to some of their free agents this off-season. The Knicks retained Nerlens Noel, Derrick Rose, and Alec Burks on three-year contracts. They also signed Fournier to a four-year deal and Kemba Walker to a two-year contract. With the rookies looking strong during Summer League play, all signs point toward positive growth.

Yankees News, 8/21: Gardner injury, Nestor Cortes a shining star, Luke Voit demands attention

yankees

The New York Yankees have won eight consecutive games, plastering the Minnesota Twins with 10 runs on Friday evening. With Nestor Cortes Jr. starting on the mound, he lasted 7.0 innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs while striking out seven batters. On the season, Cortes hosts a 2.56 ERA, displaying one of the most surprising performances of the season. The Yankees have desperately needed more starting pitching talent with several players working their way back from injury, and Cortes offered that and much more.

However, outfielder Brett Gardner picked up an elbow injury after being plunked with a pitch late in the game. While skipper Aaron Boone doesn’t believe it is anything serious, they will be cautious with a veteran.

“It stiffened up on him pretty good,” manager Aaron Boone said. “We’ll see how he’s doing overnight into the morning.”

“Just wanted to get him out of there, get some treatment, get some ice going,” Boone said. “Hopefully it’s something that he’s back quickly.”

Gardner has struggled this season, hitting .215, but did pick up two hits before leaving the game. Luckily, the offense was on fire. DJ LeMahieu recorded two hits, and Luke Voit contributed four. They combined for six RBIs, helping inch the Bombers closer in the AL East.

Voit, who recently demanded he stay with the top team despite the existence of Anthony Rizzo, has been on a massive hitting streak lately. Over his last seven days, Voit has 11 hits over 26 at-bats, including 11 RBIs and three homers. On the season, he’s hitting .260 with seven homers and 26 RBIs, playing in just 41 games. The reemergence of Voit has helped spark the Yankees’ offense, and he has proved his worth, which will ultimately force Boone to keep him in the lineup one way or another.

The Yankees currently sit 4.0 games back of the AL East, as they quickly gain ground on the Tampa Bay Rays. They have built a nice 1.5 game cushion in the Wild Card over the Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox. Tampa Bay has a tough series against the Chicago White Sox, losing their first 7–5 on Friday.

New York Yankees: 4 Takeaways from the Yankees eighth win in a row

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees

New York Yankees now just 4 games out

The New York Yankees have been playing great ball since the All-Star Break. Since July 17, they have gone 25 and 8 during the period.  The Yankees had won their last seven series culminating with a sweep of the Boston Red Sox when they overtook them for a playoff berth. However, last night the Yankees won their eighth game in a row, and the Tampa Bay Rays lost to the White Sox, moving the Yankees just four games short of a tie in the AL East.

“Nasty” Nestor does it again

Nasty Nestor was nasty again last night. Nestor Cortes had another great performance yesterday, pitching seven innings of 2 run ball while walking two and striking out seven. His ERA is now 2.56 after winning his longest and 2nd win of the season. He had an excellent command of his pitches with a great life.

Nestor Cortes Jr. was primarily a reliever pitching in 15 games since he was brought up on May 30 from the Scranton Wilkes/Barre Rail Riders. With the loss of Corey Kluber, he made his first start on July 9th against the Houston Astros; he pitched 4.1 innings of scoreless ball, impressing the Yankees. Unfortunately, in his next several starts, he, like other Yankees pitchers, didn’t get much run support. During the period, he has been stretched out, pitching seven full innings last night. Nevertheless, he has won his last two games against the White Sox and last night against the Minnesota Twins. His excellent pitching will likely keep him around even when the rotation is back to full force.

Home run again king

Even though the New York Yankees are now winning games without hitting home runs, the team is built around the home run ball. Again last night, the home run was king in the win. Last night slugger Aaron Judge led it off with a 2 run home run in the second inning off Twin’s starter Charlie Barnes. In the seventh inning, Luke Voit contributed his own home run, and in the eighth inning, DJ LeMahieu hit his eighth of the season.

Brett Gardner and Gleyber Torres injury news

The Yankee’s veteran and iron man Brett Gardner was hit in the elbow by a pitch in the fifth inning. Although visibly painful, Gardner stayed in the game until he was relieved by Tyler Wade in the seventh. Manager Boone said Gardner indicated that it really stiffened up, and Boone wanted to get some ice on it and start treatment. However, Boone also said he didn’t expect tests to be done and see how he was today.

Gleyber Torres is on the way back from his jammed finger suffered on August 8th against Seattle. Torres has begun his rehab with an important first step. Yesterday before the game, he took dry swings and fielded ground balls at the Stadium. Boone said that he still had some pain but that the swelling and gone down in this thumb, allowing him to get started on the rehab process. However, Boone declined to give a date for his return into the lineup.

Note:

Tonight Yankee ace Gerrit Cole will take the mound facing the Minnesota Twins’ Kenta Maeda in a 1:05 pm matinee at Yankee Stadium. The game will be televised nationally on FS1.