New York Yankees: 3 Major takeaways from Yankees 4th consecutive loss

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

After three consecutive losses, the New York Yankees entered last night’s game with the hope of righting the ship with ace Gerrit Cole on the mound. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen as the Yankees slipped another game behind in the AL East when they lost their second game against the Toronto Blue Jays. What was even worse, Cole left the game injured. As a result, the Yankees lost the game 5-1.

Gerrit Cole leaves the game with an injury

The New York Yankees tentative pitching situation may have just gotten worse. The Yankees had had a questionable pitching outlook from the beginning of the season when they hired two pitchers for their starting rotation that hadn’t pitched in nearly two years. That has gone pretty well, except for a few bumps along the way. Jameson Taillon started slow but, as time passed, became one of the Yankee’s best pitchers. In addition, the Corey Kluber experiment didn’t go well, with him going to the IL for three months.

The bullpen started as one of the best in baseball, but as the season progressed, they lost members, and the remaining arms tired out. Nevertheless, the Yankees could count on ace Gerrit Cole, but now even that is in question. Cole pulled himself out of a game last night against the Toronto Blue Jays in the fourth inning. It was not immediately clear what the problem was. But after his removal, a few innings later, the Yankees announced that he had left the game with left hamstring tightness. So this morning should be telling with just how impactful this will be for the Yankees and their postseason race.

After the game in an interview, Cole did not give any assurances other than we will have to wait and see how this unfolds in the next 24 to 36 hours. After a pitch in the fourth inning, Cole felt something and signaled to the dugout to come out to the mound. Cole reminded questioners that this is not the first time this has happened. “it’s one of those things you go through; hopefully, I will not miss a start.” Cole stated that he took himself out of the game to avoid further injury. Manager Boone was asked if an MRI was ordered, he said no, we would have to see how he is in the morning.

If Cole only misses one start because of needing a little more rest, that will be the upside. However, if the situation is more problematic, it could be devastating for the Yankees and their hope of postseason play.

The Yankees continue the slide as division is slipping away

For a short time after a languid start to the season, things looked pretty rosy for the Yankees as they became the winningest team in baseball, even winning 13 games in a row. But after losing 4 straight, things have turned from joist to worrisome. With only 24 games to go, the Yankees have slipped to 9.5 games behind the AL East Tampa Bay Rays and only one-half game ahead of the Boston Red Sox.

So what’s the problem? The Yankees pitching hasn’t been as good, and the bullpen is horribly overworked. That would be bad enough, but the Yankees have returned to the team that before the All-Star break just not hitting the ball. During the recent skid, the Yankees have not hit an extra-base hit since Sunday. The Yankees have only scored one run in the last 21 innings. It’s the first time since 1962 that the Yankees have not hit an extra-base hit in consecutive games.

It is often said that “how Aaron Judge goes, so do the Yankees.” Judge has gone 0-4 in the Yankees last four games. For the most part, Judge has carried the team throughout the season and now needs his teammates to pick him up, but that is not happening. The Yankees are now 2-8 in their last ten games and are in danger of losing home-field advantage in a wild card game if they reach it at all.

Two big cogs missing as the train stalls

The train had left the station, but some key players were not onboard. The entire team is not hitting, but there are two glaring deficiencies. First, Joey Gallo and Gleyber Torres are missing in action and taking up space in the once-powerful lineup.

Just before the trade deadline, the New York Yankees picked up Joey Gallo from the Texas Rangers. They knew at the time they would be getting a guy that strikes out a lot but is a home run powerhouse and had a high on-base percentage. But, for the most part, that has not happened. During August, he had only 15 hits. In September, only 1 hit in 19 at-bats, a home run. Also, he has only 3 walks over the span.

After the arrival of Andrew Velazquez and his excellent defense at short, and the spark he added to the team, many Yankee fans weren’t thrilled when Gleyber Torres returned off the IL. Torres for September has only 3 hits, none for extra bases. No home runs and never walking. He also has a career-high error number. Since his return, he has had 2 errors and one bad throw that was not labeled an error but may have cost the Yankees a game.

The bottom line in all of this is that the Yankees will have to take a closer look at both of these players. Using Andrew Velazquez more at short may be part of the answer. Another move the Yankees should make is moving Gallo out of the number two or three slots in the lineup. If these two players continue as they have in the last several games, being in any postseason lineup is in question.

 

 

 

Good news and bad news as Yankees lose Gerrit Cole and drop 4th straight game

yankees, gerrit cole

The New York Yankees dropped their fourth consecutive game on Tuesday by a score of 1-5. With ace Gerrit Cole on the mound, this was the team’s best opportunity to get back in the win column, but they continue to plummet down the AL East standings and are slipping away in the Wil Card. Currently, the Bombers are 9.5 games back from the Tampa Bay Rays in the East, and they’re only 0.5 games ahead of Boston, who lost to Tampa on Tuesday. The Toronto Blue Jays are two games behind the Seattle Mariners in three games.

If the Yankees aren’t careful, they could be in serious danger of losing their WC spot and potentially missing the postseason.

Good news and bad news for the Yankees:

Another game full of negative takeaways, as Cole removed himself from the loss with a tight hamstring. This is a fear-inducing injury for Yankee fans, and while he hasn’t been ruled out from his next start, he plans to be careful with an injury that has plagued him in the past.

Cole had been performing at an All-Star level the entire season, and losing him is a massive blow to the starting rotation. Boone seemed confident Cole with fight through any discomfort from the hamstring Injury, but Cole was far more cautious, saying he would wait until further evaluations to make any statements.

With the Yankees down 3-1, Cole left the field — there’s no timetable for his hopeful return. Despite skipper Aaron Boone benching both Joey Gallo and Gleyber Torres for their lack of offensive efficiency, the Yankees were still only capable of scoring one run.

If there’s any good news to take away from the loss, it is that reserve shortstop Andrew Velazquez had a phenomenal game, recording two hits on three at-bats and one run, scoring off an Anthony Rizzo single to left field. At this point, Velazquez might’ve earned himself more playing time with Torres struggling defensively and failing to get much going with his bat.

The only other good takeaway has nothing to do with the current Yankees team, but rather Derek Jeter being inducted into the Hall of Fame. That is something we can all celebrate while this team flounders and risks missing the postseason.

Report: NASCAR dropping Pocono Cup Series race, adding WWT Raceway in 2022

Adam Stern of Sports Business Journal reported on Tuesday evening that NASCAR anticipates announcing the 2022 Cup Series schedule next week. While the bulk of the 2022 schedule will likely remain similar to that of 2021, Stern reported one notable change on the Cup Series docket. One of Pocono Raceway’s two Cup Series races will shift to WWT Raceway (Gateway) in 2022.

WWT Raceway has hosted NASCAR sanctioned events in 21 of the last 24 seasons, beginning with the Xfinity Series in 1997 and the Camping World Truck Series in 1998. NASCAR pulled away from the track after the 2010 season; however, the Truck Series returned in 2014 and has kept an event at the Madison, Illinois-based track every year since.

The NASCAR Cup Series coming to WWT Raceway gives fans what they want most — more short-track racing. At 1.25 miles in length, WWT Raceway has low-banked corners that race similar to New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The facility can seat 65,000 spectators and will give midwest region NASCAR fans a new opportunity to catch a race.

Unfortunately, adding a Cup Series event at a new track results in the departure of a race from another track. Pocono Raceway is the victim of losing a race and will go with just one event on the Cup Series schedule for the first time since 1981.

Pocono used to have multiple weekends on the calendar each year but NASCAR condensed the two weekends into a “doubleheader weekend” beginning in 2020. Fans could not attend the event last season due to COVID-19 protocols, but the track sold out camping and nearly had a full grandstand in 2021. TV ratings fluctuated between the two races this year as significantly more people watched Sunday’s Cup Series event compared to Saturday’s.

As of now, only the first two races of the 2022 season are official. The 64th Annual Daytona 500 will run on Sunday, February 20 with the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway set for February 27. Practice and qualifying sessions are anticipated in most, if not all events in 2022.

Giants News, 9/8: Injury update per Joe Judge, why starting Nate Solder is the right move

New York Giants, Nate Solder

New York Giants head coach Joe Judge is keeping injury news and updates under wraps ahead of Week 1 against the Denver Broncos. Keeping all information a secret should give them a competitive advantage, forcing Denver to game plan for multiple players while the Giants continue to rehab some of their offensive stars, including Saquon Barkley and Kenny Golladay.

On Monday, Judge was a bit more honest regarding his injured players, hinting that the majority of them will be ready for the regular season.

“I’d say a number of these guys coming back right now, we’re optimistic about all of them, to be honest with you. We’ll see how they do throughout this week in practice,” Judge told reporters. “Saw a lot of guys make a lot of gains last week. There are a lot of guys that are getting reintroduced to the team that missed some time in training camp.”

If Big Blue has Golladay, Barkley, Kyle Rudolph, and Kadarius Toney available against the Broncos, their scheme should be far different than what we saw against the New England Patriots in the final preseason game. Ultimately, the utilization of pre-snap motion, vertical route concepts, and more creative playcalling should contribute toward a more explosive offense. Coordinator Jason Garrett has admitted that his unit needs to take a step forward in curating chunk plays and being more “explosive.”

However, the playcalling will only take the Giants so far, as the offensive line holds the keys to Daniel Jones being an effective quarterback and throwing the ball downfield. Allowing route concepts to develop, especially vertical ones heavily relies on the quarterback being safe in the pocket and having time to spare.

The Giants released their unofficial depth chart on Tuesday, and surprisingly, veteran Nate Solder was listed ahead of second-year player Matt Peart. Solder, who hasn’t played right tackle since his rookie season back in 2011, is expected to start at the spot against Denver. Ultimately, the Giants must consider Jones’s health and his future, which is why going with a more experienced player who can adapt appropriately makes sense.

Despite Solder being listed ahead of Peart, I do expect the Connecticut product to be rotated in, as the Giants try to force development for both players. It will take a few weeks for them to gain their footing, but in the meantime, protecting Jones needs to be the coaching staff’s top priority.

How can Knicks’ rookie Quentin Grimes make any impact during his rookie season?

quentin grimes, knicks

New York Knicks rookie guard Quentin Grimes will have a tough time getting on the floor this upcoming season, with players like RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, and Alec Burks ahead of him on the depth chart. However, Grimes is exactly the type of player that head coach Tom Thibodeau likes to deploy. He’s a defensive maestro with solid spot shooting who can connect from range frequently.

Grimes impressed during the NBA Combine, which catapulted his draft stock into the first round. Last season with the University of Houston, Grimes averaged 17.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.4 steals, and shot 40.3% from three-point range. At 6’5″ and 210-pounds, Grimes continuously showed growth throughout the summer, finishing the Summer League in solid form.

Houston coach, Kelvin Sampson, is a defensive-centric strategist, which is why Thibodeau fell in love with Grimes as a potential first-round selection. Despite the team having their eyes on Chris Duarte out of Oregon, Grimes fits a similar mold with the ability to create shots for himself but also play adequate defense in his rookie season.

During Summer League play, Grimes average 32.8 minutes per game over six contests. He posted 15.3 points, shooting 41.6% from the field and 40% from three-point range, showcasing his shooting prowess and success rate. He also contributed 3.0 assists, and 6.3 rebounds to go with 0.5 steals.

Overall, Grimes is breaking out of the mold the coins him a 3-and-D player. He’s capable of playing the pick-and-roll and making plays for himself and others, which provides him with an immediate impact at the NBA level. He prides himself on defense, which will force Thibodeau to get him on the floor on occasion.

Ultimately, injuries show up during a tough 82 game schedule, so Grimes will have to play solid minutes at some point, but he can provide a weapon off the bench in specific scenarios. For example, if the Knicks have a double-digit lead and are looking to break away even further, he’s a solid player to call upon to offer immediate offense while continuing his development.

I wouldn’t expect to see Grimes on the floor during high-intensity moments, but if he continues to perform well and translate his shooting abilities to game day, there’s no doubt he will make an impact.

As a fantastic perimeter defender with active hands in the passing lanes, he could quickly develop during his rookie season, which is what the Knicks are hoping for despite signing Burks to a three-year deal and expecting Quickley to take a step forward in his growth.

Quentin is the type of player that desperately needs live-action to gain ground, and I don’t think Thibodeau will refrain from playing him if he feels he can contribute more than a veteran. Ultimately, the Houston product can be a solid role player, while he will be fighting hard for minutes during his rookie campaign, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make an impact one way or another off the bench.