Alonso Powers Mets To A 9-4 Victory Over Marlins

New York Mets, Pete Alonso

Every game for the New York Mets is a must-win at this point in the season, and their offense is starting to find its way at the right time. A two-homer game from Pete Alonso began and ended the Mets’ offensive output in their 9-4 win over the Miami Marlins.

Alonso’s first home run gave the Mets an early 2-0 lead, and it was the 100th of his career. His chase to 100 is the second-fastest of all-time behind the mercurial Ryan Howard. The rest of the team found creative ways to get their third and fourth runs as two hit-by-pitches allowed them to tack runs against Eduardo Cabrera. At one point, the Mets had four runs but just one hit in the entire game. Francisco Lindor added more with a two-run single and J.D. Davis had a pinch-hit RBI double.

The Mets pulled off the rare feat of scoring nine runs but needing six runs to get them. It was a weird night for both teams, who each committed three errors and combined to go 3-for-22 with runners in scoring position. Carlos Carrasco once again allowed a first-inning run but managed to battle through the errors behind him. Carrasco pitched five innings, allowing four runs (one earned), and did enough to give the Mets a chance to win. The Mets bullpen picked up the rest with four shutout innings to nurse the game to its conclusion.

The Mets did not gain any ground on the first-place Atlanta Braves, who defeated the Washington Nationals. They did gain on the second-place Philadelphia Phillies and have an opportunity to gain on the San Diego Padres for the second wild-card spot. On Wednesday, Rich Hill will take the mound against Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara. The first pitch is another early 6:40 p.m. ET start from LoanDepot Park.

New York Yankees Recap: Cole takes himself out of the game as Yankees lose 4th straight

yankees, gerrit cole

Tonight, the New York Yankees wanted to leave their three-game losing streak in the rearview mirror with their ace Gerrit Cole on the mound. They hoped to win game two against the Toronto Blue Jays and keep from sliding further down in the standings. The Tampa Bay Rays don’t seem to be losing many games, so the Yankees understood they had to up their game and win against the young, energetic, and talented Blue Jays. The Yankees ended up with their 4th consecutive loss and the Jays beat them 5-1.

Gerrit Cole, the Yankees’ winningest pitcher, took the mound in the first facing Corey Dickerson who struck out on a 100 mph fastball. Marcus Semien doubled to left down the line. Vlad Guerrero Jr. ground out to Velazquez at short. Bo Bichette also ground out to Velazquez to end the half. DJ LeMahieu led off against Steven Matz and chopped to short for the first out in the bottom. Aaron Judge battled against Matz but flew out to the wall in right. Anthony Rizzo ground out to end the inning. No score.

The second was led off by Teoscar Hernandez, who struck out swinging. Alejandro Kirk hit a homer to the right-field porch. Loudes Gurriel Jr. ground out. Jake Lamb lined out to Stanton in right to end the half. At the bottom, Giancarlo Stanton flew out to the far-right. Luke Voit singled. Gio Urshela went down swinging. Brett Gardner singled to left field. Kyle Higashioka flew out to right, leaving two Yankees on base. Blue Jays 1 Yankees 0.

Reese McGuire led off the third and popped out to second. Dickerson singled over the glove of LeMahieu. Semien walked. Guerrero Jr. flew out to Gardner in left. Bichette ground out to LeMahieu to end the half. At the bottom, Andrew Velazquez led off by singling up the middle and then stole second base. LeMahieu struck out swinging. Judge flew out to right, with Velazquez moving to third. Rizzo singled to right, scoring Velazquez to tie the game. Stanton reached with a single to right, moving Rizzo to third base. Voit lined out to third for the final out. New York Yankees 1 Blue Jays 1.

The fourth inning was led off by Hernandez hitting a lead-off single. Kirk singled on a hit going under the glove of LeMahieu, with Hernandez going to third. Gurriel Jr. hit a long sac fly to center, scoring Hernandez and allowed the Blue Jay lead again. Cole was called on a balk, moving Gurriel to second. Lamb walked, and Kirk went to third on a passed ball. McGuire got a sac fly to center scoring Kirk. Cole left the ballgame with an apparent hand issue. Albert Abreu replaced him facing Dickerson, who flew out to Gardner in left to end the half. At the bottom, Urshela ground out. Gardner singled up the middle. Higashioka went down on strikes. Velazquez flew out to the deep right to end the inning. Blue Jays 3 Yankees 1.

Marcus Semiem led off the fifth inning by homering to give the Jays a three-run lead. Guerrero Jr. walked. Bichette ground into a double play for two outs. Hernandez ground out to short. At the bottom, it was the top of the lineup for the Yankees. LeMahieu led off by grounding out to third. Judge flew out to right. Rizzo singled up the middle. Stanton went down on strikes to end the inning. During the inning, the Yankees announced that Gerrit Cole left the game with left hamstring tightness. Blue Jays 4 Yankees 1.

The sixth inning saw Kirk at the plate; he flew out to Judge in center. Gurriel Jr. walked, initiating a pitching change as the Yankees brought in Joely Rodriguez to face Jake Lamb, who went down swinging with one on and one out. McGuire also went down swinging to end the half. Luke Voit led off the bottom of the inning and flew out to the wall in center. Urshela went down swinging. Gardner went down looking for another scoreless inning for the Yankees. Blue Jays 4 Yankees 1.

Randal Grichuk pinch hit for Corey Dickerson leading off the seventh inning and ground out. Semien ground out. Guerrero Jr. flew out to right for the 1-2-3 half for Rodriguez. After the seventh-inning stretch, Higashioka popped out. Velazquez singled. DJ Lemahieu ground into a double play preventing the Yankees from scoring. Blue Jays 4 Yankees 1.

Clay Holmes took over pitching in the eighth inning facing Bichette, who struck out. Hernandez struck out. Kirk homered off Holmes to make it 5-1 Jays. Gurriel Jr. ground out to end the half. At the bottom, Aaron Judge led off by lining out to right field. Rizzo went down swinging. Stanton ground out to short to end another scoreless inning for the Yankees. Toronto Blue Jays 5 New York Yankees 1.

The ninth inning was led by pinch hitter Jarrod Dyson who faced new Yankee pitcher Andrew Heaney and went down on strikes. McGuire ground out to first with Heaney assisting. Grichuk ground out to short to end the half. At the bottom with last licks for the New York Yankees, Luke Voit led off and flew out on the first pitch he saw. Urshela flew out to the warning track in right. Brett Gardner went down on strikes to end the game and give the Yankees their 4th loss in a row.

The final Score was the Toronto Blue Jays 5 and the New York Yankees 1. The winning pitcher was Steven Matz, and the loser was Gerrit Cole.

 

 

 

 

 

New York Yankees Breaking: Gerrit Cole pulls himself out of Blue Jays game

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees

The New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole pulled himself out of his pitching assignment against the Toronto Blue Jays in the fourth inning. It was not immediately apparent why but he was replaced by Albert Abreu. Later in the game in the fifth inning, the Yankees announced that Cole left the game with hamstring tightness. When more information is available EmpireSportsMedia.com will have it.

NASCAR: Kyle Busch fined $50,000 following reckless garage entry in Southern 500

NASCAR has fined Kyle Busch $50,000 following his reckless actions in Sunday’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

Busch hit the wall after contact with Austin Dillon on Lap 125 and sustained severe damage. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver drove his car down pit road and through cones blocking part of the garage entrance following the crash. He sped into a crowd of crew members and team guests in the garage area and pulled up to his hauler before exiting his car and leaving for his motorhome.

According to NASCAR, Busch’s fine was due to a safety violation, actions detrimental to stock car racing, and violating the NASCAR member conduct guidelines covered in sections 12.1.a, 12.5.2.5.a, and 12.8.a of the rulebook, respectively.

Busch also had a televised interview after his trip to the infield care center in which he blamed his team for his performance and lifted the blame of the wreck off Dillon.

The No. 18 Toyota Camry now sits 14th in the NASCAR Cup Series standings, two points below the cutline with two races remaining in the Round of 16. Richmond and Bristol remain in this round of the playoffs and are both favorable tracks for Busch. He’s won a combined 14 times in the Cup Series at the two venues with over 30 combined top-5 finishes.

Busch will likely need two solid races or a win to advance to the playoffs. Fortunately for him, five of his playoff competitors finished 20th or worse to help minimize Busch’s poor Darlington race.

The NASCAR Cup Series returns to action on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EST at Richmond Raceway. The Xfinity Series will race Saturday afternoon at Richmond with a start time of 2:30 p.m. EST. Both races will air on NBCSN.

New York Giants: What the tight end position would look like without Evan Engram in Week One

New York Giants, Kaden Smith

The New York Giants are preparing for the start of the regular season this week. Their season kicks off on Sunday afternoon with a home game against the Denver Broncos. Today’s injury reports have given fans encouragement on running back Saquon Barkley, however, they have also given a bleak outlook on tight end Evan Engram.

Evan Engram suffered a calf injury in the Giants’ final preseason game this year. The Pro Bowl tight end has been healing up in hopes of playing in Week One. According to Ian Rapoport, Engram has yet to be ruled out for Sunday, however, he is considered a “long-shot” to play.

What the Giants’ offense would look like without Evan Engram

Despite being doubtful to play, the Giants still listed Evan Engram as one of two starting tight ends on their unofficial depth chart ahead of Week One. The Giants like to run a lot of twelve personnel (two-tight end sets). This is why the team lists two first-string tight ends on their depth chart.

The other first-string tight end is Kyle Rudolph. The Giants signed Rudolph this offseason to be a reliable underneath receiver and a top-tier red zone threat. If Evan Engram is unable to play, Rudolph will likely stay in his original secondary role that complements Engram’s primary role. A practice squad tight end could also be promoted to the active roster.

Kaden Smith is listed as the second-string tight end for both starting positions. The Giants are surprisingly holding only three tight ends on their roster going into this season. Kaden Smith is the team’s backup tight end but he is no scrub. Smith has been with the team since 2019 and had an impressive performance in the preseason finale, hauling in a contested 23-yard touchdown reception.

Kaden Smith is a young tight end that has the ability to contribute as a receiver and as a run-blocker. The Giants’ offensive attack might be altered slightly on Sunday if Evan Engram is unable to go. However, Kaden Smith should be able to make up for most of what is lost.

New York Yankees: Anthony Volpe overtakes Jasson Dominguez as #1 prospect (video)

If we know anything about New York Yankees, baseball it’s that everything is subject to change, including having a troubling questionable season to winning 13 consecutive games then going on a losing streak. But change is not limited to the big team. Things can change ever more quickly in the minors as well. So although sensation Jasson Dominguez has been the Yankees’ number one prospect for a couple of years, that may no longer be true.

Making a new for himself, Anthony Volpe has been winning for the Hudson Valley Renegades. Last year I wrote: In a really messed up spring training caused by the coronavirus, Anthony Volpe got a taste of playing with the big guys.  When a minor leaguer tested positive for the virus, all the minor leaguers were tested.

The 18-year-old passed up on a scholarship to Vanderbilt and signed with the New York Yankees.  Last season (2019), he slashed a .215/.341/.704 line.  But for the month before his season was shortened by mono, he hit .318. Volpe got to play in one game at Gorge M. Steinbrenner Field that spring.  Disappointed by the sudden shutdown of camp, he returned to his home in New Jersey when the minor league quarantine was lifted. There was no minor league season in 2020.

This year he started with the Tampa Tarpons 302/.455/.623 with 12 home runs and 49 RBIs across 54 games. Playing so well and with the minor league re-alignment, Volpe found himself playing for the Renegades up the river from Yankee Stadium. Since there, he is challenging the Yankees to bring him up and by-pass triple-A play.

Volpe is an excellent defender at short and turning heads with hit hitting. In 43 games with the Renegades, he is hitting .286 with 12 home runs. That is an average homer in every 3.5 games. He also has 31 RBIs. As a result, MLB Pipeline’s mid-season review has named the now 20-year-old shortstop as the New York Yankees’ top prospect, overtaking outfielder Jasson Dominguez.

Born across the river from Yankee Stadium in New Jersey, the 16-year-old Volpe attended Delbarton School in Morristown. As a senior at Delbarton, he hit .488 with 7 home runs, 17 stolen bases, and 34 RBIs. He was named New Jersey High School player of the year in 2019. Upon graduation, he committed to playing college ball with Vanderbilt University. But he was selected in the first round of the 2019 draft by the New York Yankees.

It seems like there is no stopping the young shortstop. Where he is headed nobody knows for sure, but he is longed for the major leagues and maybe sooner than later. On August 19th, the Renegades were losing the game. Volpe in the ninth came to the plate and hit a walk-off home run to win the game for the Renegades 7-6. This past Sunday, Volpe created some perplexing excitement when he homered. He ran the bases and was immediately thrown out of the game upon reaching home plate. Apparently, he said something to the umpire as he passed third base. Apparently, Volpe feels any news is good news.

Whenever a player plays great in the minors, there is no way to know for sure how that will translate in the majors, but you can be sure the Yankees will be watching.

 

After another loss at UFC Vegas 36, what’s next for Darren Till?

This past Saturday in the headliner of UFC Vegas 36, we saw a pivotal matchup in the middleweight division. Top ten contenders and title hopefuls battled it out as Derek Brunson (23-7) took on Darren Till (18-4-1).

Till was making just his third appearance in the UFC‘s middleweight division. The Gorilla started his career in MMA and with the UFC perfect. Till was a perfect 16-0-1 when he got his first title shot back in 2018.

Many would say he was rushed, but Till was ready to challenge for UFC gold. Ultimately, Till was overwhelmed by Tyron Woodley. After that loss, he was knocked out by Jorge Masvidal which caused him to move up in weight.

Till made his debut at middleweight with a win over Kelvin Gastelum. Last year, he lost a close decision to former UFC champion Robert Whittaker to drop him to 1-1 in the class. Saturday was his chance to prove he’s one of the best at 185.

However, the story of UFC Vegas 36 was about Derek Brunson and not about Darren Till. Till only had a few moments in the fight and was ultimately submitted in the third round by the relentless Brunson.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 36?

Darren Till is in a very interesting place after UFC Vegas 36. While he was competitive with Robert Whittaker, he wasn’t very competitive with Derek Brunson who just out-muscled Till for the majority of the fight.

After the loss, Till dropped to eighth in the middleweight division. The loss leaves questions about where Till goes from here. Till is now just 1-4 in his last five UFC fights after starting his career perfect.

Now, Michael Bisping said that Till supposedly tore his ACL ten weeks before the fight. However, after multiple fights fell through, Till didn’t want to pull out of this fight. The injury definitely didn’t help his ability on Saturday night.

The big question is what weight class should Till compete in moving forward. In my opinion, I still think he fits best as a big welterweight. His power plays way up in that weight class and he doesn’t have to worry as much about strength.

Then again, he cut a ton of weight to make 170 so 185 is much healthier. I’m not even sure on an opponent, but I think Till needs to take a step back and regroup. I think the UFC needs to be smart with who they book him against next.

Mets keep failing to produce with runners in scoring position

The New York Mets lost yet another one-run game this season, this time 4-3, on Monday in the finale against the Washington Nationals. They have a mediocre 27-27 mark in one-run games, according to SNY, and that can likely be blamed, at least partially, on two things: a not-so-reliable bullpen in the late innings, and a constant failure to capitalize with runners in scoring position.

On Monday, we saw the two situations: Edwin Diaz blew a 3-2 game and turned into a 4-3 defeat in the ninth inning, and the Mets went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

For the year, the Mets are batting .240 with men on second or third, which was the the eighth-worst batting average in that scenario before Monday’s game.

“We probably could have won more games, one-run, for sure,” Mets manager Luis Rojas after losing to the Nats.

The Mets need more timely hits

The Mets are currently 69-69, four games behind the division leaders, the Atlanta Braves. They are going to need more timely hits if they want to go to the postseason.

“We went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position today, and we had chances to score more runs, and it’d probably be a different game than 3-2 in the ninth. So I think that’s why most of those games weren’t probably won for the most part. The pitching has been responsible to keep us close. I know it’s a tough loss, and we’ll talk about that ninth inning and the walks and single there, but once again, 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, you just gotta finish. You gotta deliver. You gotta score the runs that you’re setting yourself up to score. It’s happened repeatedly for us this season,” Rojas explained.

Rojas also defended the Mets’ closer after he allowed two hits, two walks, and two runs to lose the game.

 

“Edwin’s done it for us all year. We’re not making drastic changes. I think the command is something he can bounce back from. He had a little stretch in the middle of the season where he was struggling with his command a little bit, and then he bounced back and started throwing more strikes. This is the last two games where he’s done it. For sure, he can work on things like this,” Rojas said.

Islanders’ Mathew Barzal must be more disciplined this upcoming season

Islanders fans have every right to be enamored with Mathew Barzal. The star-studded ability and excitement he brings to the game is infectious. But, and Isles fans know this well, there’s one element of his game this needs to take a turn this year: discipline.

Barzal, for all the good he does, still shows he is prone to taking unnecessary penalties.

Last year, Barzal led the Islanders in penalty minutes in the regular season with 48. Yes, he LED the team in PIMs.

Imagine someone like Nathan MacKinnon or Connor McDavid doing that? Unheard of.

Barzal being at the top of that stat-line is just unacceptable from any view point. Mind you: that amount of PIMs came in a shortened 56-game season. If it were a full 82-game slate, Barzal would have been on pace for NINETY-SIX penalty minutes! (WHAT?)

In each the three years prior, his time in the sin bin has gone up. History tells us that’s not something you want from your best player, let alone the forward who is the driver on offense. So, this trend needs to change.

 

The Islanders can’t afford to have Barzal in the box nearly the amount he was the previous campaign. Barzal is too good of a player to be putting himself in those kinds of situations. But again, this is something he needs realize and show when things aren’t going his way once the season begins. The latter half for his lack of discipline has at times drawn the ire of Isles head coach Barry Trotz.

“He’s leading our team in penalties right now,” Trotz said after a game in March last year. Barzal took a bad penalty in the o-zone which led to the opponent doubling the lead and eventually a 3-1 loss. “That should be Matt Martin or Casey Cizikas or someone like that. Barzy should not lead our team in penalty minutes.”

At this point of his career, Barzal should be able to keep his emotions in check. There’s no denying he is a fiery player, but to now be in the same conversation with the McDavids, MacKinnon’s, Crosbys, Auston Matthews’ of the world, it comes with a lot of attention and responsibility. Discipline needs to become a key component of his game.

Are there still going to be cheap shots and hard checks thrown Barzal’s way? Probably. A player of his ilk, that just comes with the territory. But he must not retaliate or take the unnecessary kind of fouls he has taken in the past.

That part of Barzal’s game still needs some fine tuning and hopefully will be on display this year. The expectations for he and and the team are too high for him not have more control of himself.

 

 

 

New York Giants: Andrew Thomas responds to criticism of preseason performance

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas

This season is make or break for New York Giants tackle Andrew Thomas. While it will only be Thomas’ sophomore season in the league, his performance in year one failed to live up to the expectations of many and made it look like the Giants overdrafted him when better performing players were available. There’s not going to be much patience from the fans and media for Thomas to turn it around, and that bounce back must begin in the early season this year when the Giants face multiple tough defenses.

Despite all the pressure, Thomas is still confident in his abilities. He said as much while talking to reporters on Monday, when the matter of his preseason performance came up.

When asked if the preseason game against the Patriots was a fair indicator of where his game is right now, Thomas disagreed with the idea.

“I wouldn’t say that. I would say I had a long camp, a lot of practices, a lot of good practices. Didn’t play in the Browns game, but I’ve been working hard in training camp and I think I’m prepared for the season,” Thomas said.

Thomas did indeed make mistakes in the performance, which will surely be highlighted by the Broncos’ pass rushers in week 1. However, he also claimed that some of those mistakes have already been addressed in practice.

He described the performance as more of a learning experience than a step backwards.

“I wouldn’t say necessarily a step backwards, but definitely a learning experience. Like I said, I went back over the tape, (and) corrected some things going into the season.”

Major expectations on Thomas in week 1

Like last season, an undermanned New York Giants offensive line will have to go up against some intimidating defenses early in the season with a lot on the line. This time, the season is opening against the Broncos and the matchup at hand is particularly unforgiving for Andrew Thomas.

Thomas is faced with a Broncos pass rush including Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, posing a similar challenge to some of the tough defenses that he faced in the early run of games in his rookie season.

It seems like Thomas has more or less been unlucky throughout his career, being handed a tough schedule to start his rookie year with in 2020 and also playing with an injury. Despite that, the crucial nature of his position means that the expectations are just as high even if Thomas has understandable reasons to struggle.

While you can’t judge a season from one game, the one this weekend will definitely make an impression in one way or another that lasts for weeks after the game has happened. We won’t know until after the game on Sunday if that impression is a positive or negative one.