New York Yankees: Are the Yankees done winning? Takeaways from loss to the Mets

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

This writer is running out of words to explain why the New York Yankees have this September collapse after winning 13 straight. As I reflect on the Yankee’s 7th consecutive loss, the only thing I can come up with is that they are doing everything wrong. Pitching poorly, not hitting, and committing unforgivable errors, as a manager keeps saying, we are better than this. But, unfortunately, the fact is they are not better than this. A few good games do not make a winning team. The Yankees lost to the New York Mets 10-3.

Montgomery implodes in the 3rd

Jordan Montgomery, who has been one of the more dependable pitchers for the Yankees this season, and who has been starved of run support, the Yankees would have had to be dynamos last night to save him. Instead, last night he gave up seven runs in just 3.1 innings of work while walking three.

To start the first, Brett Gardner tripled and scored for an unusual first-inning lead for the Yankees, only to have the Mets answer in the bottom. But it was Montgomery’s third inning that did the Yankees in.

Jonathan Villar singled to left field. Lindor walked. The runners moved up on a wild pitch. Conforto, with two on and no outs, walked to load the bases with no outs. Alonso walked to bring in a run to tie the game. Baez singled, bringing in Villar. McNeil got a drag bunt scoring Conforto. Pillar flew out to left, scoring Alonso. Baez was tagged out, reaching from second. McCann doubled to left, scoring McNeil. Megill stuck out, but the Mets scored five runs in the inning.

In the fourth, in a surprise to Yankee fans, Boone ushered Montgomery back onto the mound after already allowing six runs. He allowed Franciso Lindor a home run before finally being removed from the game, but the damage had been done.

Errors and gaffes mark 7th consecutive loss

Catcher Gary Sanchez has, throughout his career, appeared to have mental lapses when he forgot how to play the game or how to run the bases. Last night he seemed to have lost focus altogether. Can you imagine a catcher moving out of the way to allow an opposing team member to score? Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened last night. The fully armored catcher should have stood his ground and blocked the plate.

You must assume that any baseball player either knows their opponents or studies up on them before a game. Anyone that knows the Mets knows that Jonathan Villar is an overly aggressive base runner. With Villar at third, Javier Baez singled to left, Gallo fired in and had Villar by about twenty feet, but unexplainably Sanchez backed off home plate and attempted to tag Villar on the helmet. At first, it was called an out, but upon review was overturned as Sanchez was so far behind home plate that he didn’t make the tag. Unexplainable and inexcusable.

Sanchez also had passed balls in the game. Gio Urshela and Gleyber Torres had throwing errors in the game, as they have had many in the past few days. This type of play is not how you get to a postseason.

Has Aaron Boone forgotten how to manage?

During the 13 game winning streak on at least two occasions, I complimented Aaron Boone’s decisions. Still, during this losing streak, Boone has made several questionable moves that have cost the Yankees. Some of them are mind-boggling. I won’t hone in on all of them, but I will give an example by highlighting Boone’s decision to bring Jordan Montgomery back out to pitch the fourth inning after giving up six runs. It was obvious to even a child that Montgomery had absolutely no control over his pitches. This was not game one of the season; it was a critical game the Yankees should win to preserve their postseason hopes.

There are many other questions, like why Boone continues to have faith in Andrew Heaney, who has demonstrated that he can’t pitch. The same goes for Brooks Kriske. Also, why hasn’t the ever-steady Adam Warren, who is having a solid season in the minors, been brought up to shore up an exhausted bullpen? The questions go on and on. Meanwhile, Boone keeps saying, “we are better than this,” and has full confidence in the team. As a 70 year Yankee fan, I wish I did.

Notes: There were some bright spots in the game. Brett Gardner got his fourth triple of the season, scoring. Both Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo homered in the game. Unfortunately, these feats were overshadowed by the Yankees’ overall poor play. Tonight at 7:48 pm the Yankees will again try to right the ship with Corey Kluber on the mound at Citi Field.

 

 

WATCH: Knicks fans rain down boos on Trae Young in surprise WWE appearance

trae young, knicks, hawks

Atlanta Hawks superstar Trae Young made a surprise appearance at the WWE Smackdown event at Madison Square Garden. Clearly, New York Knicks fans are still feeling sour about Young’s performance during the postseason.

Young, who was booed relentlessly during the entire series, earned himself even more negative attention when he walked out of the tunnel at MSG during the Smackdown.

Young was the primary catalyst behind ending the Knicks’ season prematurely, a surprising place the starving franchise found themselves in despite a lack of talent at multiple spots. Having secured the 4th Seed in the Eastern conference, Young turn into a different player as the postseason rolled along, averaging 29.2 points and 9.8 assists per game, embracing the role of the villain. The series was littered with wrongful events, including one fan spitting toward Trae and another creating flyers indicating his hair loss.

However, the Knicks made it a priority to get better this off-season, injecting funds into the point guard position and signing sharpshooter Evan Fournier to help serve at guard and small forward.

With the retention of several players and the addition of quality scores, the Hawks will have a more difficult time taking on the Knicks in the future, but we can be sure of one thing, Young will continue to hear the boo’s from fans at MSG, and rightfully so.

Hilariously, Young was ejected from the SmackDown event after attacking Rey Mysterio. The fans got the last laugh at the end of the day as they watched Young somberly walk backstage and disappear until his next performance against the Knicks commences.

Yankees News, 9/11: Gary Sanchez awful gaffe helps doom Yanks, Aaron Boone details mistake

gary sanchez, yankees

The New York Yankees are currently on a six-game losing streak, falling to the New York Mets on Friday evening by a score of 3-10. Giving up double-digit runs to the Mets only confirms that the Yankees have hit rock bottom, and they will be looking to change their momentum on Saturday evening with Corey Kluber on the mound.

However, it could be too little too late, as the Yankees are only 0.5 games ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays in the Wild Card standings. Thankfully, Baltimore managed to take down Toronto on Friday, giving the Bombers a bit more life. The Boston Red Sox are only one game ahead of the Yankees in the WC, and with 21 games remaining in the regular season, it’s survival of the fittest moving forward.

However, the Yankees struggled considerably to get going against their crosstown rivals, and catcher Gary Sanchez had one unfortunate slip up during the game that aided the Mets’ offensive masterclass.

With Jonathan Villar sliding into home plate, Sanchez elevated his body too much, allowing him to sneak his feet in and cross safely. This allowed the Mets to tie the game in the first inning, which started a series of unfortunate events.

“Obviously, he’s going to be out easy,” Boone said. “It’s a great throw by Joey and I think (Sanchez) felt like (Villar), because he was so out, would pull up. Well, he got out of his crouch and athletic position. In that spot where you’ve got a guy dead to rights, you’ve got to just lower your body, maybe initiate the contact, but remain athletic in your legs.

Boone says it perfectly, the play should’ve resulted in an easy out, but Sanchez made the play far more difficult for himself. By staying low and going for his legs, Sanchez would’ve easily helped his team get out of the ending without incurring any damage.

“It’s a big play,” Boone said. “It’s an important play, but you’ve got to deal with that over the course of a season.”

This is the type of play the Yankees cannot continue to make if they want to be a postseason caliber team. Going on lengthy cold streaks significantly hurts their probability of reaching the playoffs, and at this point, unless they embark on a strong winning streak to finish the year, they will almost 100% be watching from their couches in a few weeks.

Report: Why Giants’ Andrew Thomas struggled considerably in final pre-season game

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas

The New York Giants’ final preseason game of the off-season against the New England Patriots didn’t go as planned. Second-year left tackle Andrew Thomas had a problematic outing, allowing one sack, one hit, one hurry, and three pressures over 39 snaps. His unfortunate performance drew plenty of negative responses from the fan base and media, justifiably so.

However, Thomas was dealing with something that clearly hampered him against the Patriots, as he eyes a healthier Week 1 against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Zack Rosenblatt of NJ.com spoke with Andrew Thomas’s personal mentor, who revealed an interesting piece of information:

“You really have to know the reason why he came out looking sluggish,” said Kevin Johnson, Thomas’ mentor. “He could hardly breathe. One thing I told him was: ‘You’ve got guts, and you’ve got cajones, because most guys would fold.’ Most guys would say: ‘All right, I’m not playing.’”

Considering the fact that Thomas played sick in the game, one might come to the conclusion that he is stronger than previously advertised after the difficult performance. Last season, Thomas struggled due to an ankle injury and a rotation of offensive line coaches — queue the Marc Colombo V Joe Judge Rocky music. He allowed 10 sacks, 39 hurries, and 57 pressures over the course of the season. However, he had a few stellar outings, notably against the Cincinnati Bengals and Seattle Seahawks, where he didn’t allow any sacks or pressures on Daniel Jones.

It is clear that Thomas is capable of being a quality player but simply needs more continuity and to work on his base fundamentals, like staying square and landing jabs on opposing pass rushers. He will have a tough test in Week 1 against Von Miller and the Broncos, who have one of the more experienced and dangerous pass rushers in the game.

The Giants’ offense relies entirely on the success of the line, so Thomas taking a step forward is essential if Daniel Jones wants to develop his game and coin himself the franchise quarterback of the team moving forward.

However, it should provide some sense of optimism, knowing that Thomas played through an illness that hurt his ability to breathe and play at full speed. Of course, we would like to alleviate the excuses and have him at 100%.

Judge did indicate this week that the outside assessment on players can often be wrong, which was the case for the Georgia product:

“It’s funny, sometimes the assessments on the outside don’t really have the entire picture at hand and understanding all the other 10 pieces that go together,” Judge said. “So, you’ve got to take that with a grain of salt sometimes when you read certain things. Now look, everyone can play better. I can coach better, a player can play better. That’s why we’re here today practicing. If it was a finished product, we’d just sit on the side and just relax. We’re all here to get better today.”

NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington: Everything you need to know for Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders

Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond Raceway will be an unforgettable one. Thirty-seven of the world’s best drivers take to the track on the 20-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York City, Washington D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Many drivers will race with special 9/11 tribute paint schemes to honor the first responders and other individuals lost on that horrific day.

On the racing side of things, Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders is meaningful in the Cup Series playoffs. The event is the second of three races in the Round of 16. Denny Hamlin won last weekend’s Southern 500 and has punched the only ticket into the Round of 12 thus far. Kyle Larson sits 80 points above the cutline and needs two DNF’s to put his playoff hopes remotely in jeopardy. Martin Truex Jr. holds a 36-point advantage from the cutline and is seemingly safe to advance into the Round of 12. The other 13 drivers remaining in the playoffs are all still on the bubble.

Saturday’s race is 400 laps around the 0.75-mile oval. Stage breaks are at laps 80 and 235 with the fuel window estimated around 120 to 130 laps. Teams have four sets of tires for the 300-mile race.

Kyle Larson starts Saturday’s race from the pole position with Southern 500 winner Hamlin starting in second place. The entire starting lineup for the Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders is below.

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

 

Could the Knicks elevate Jericho Sims to the active roster during 2021-22 season?

jericho sims, knicks

The New York Knicks overhauled various positions this off-season but retained multiple players that featured during the 2020-21 campaign. The front office extended two centers: Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson over the next few seasons.

Gibson, who is 36-years-old and played in 45 games last year for the Knicks, averaged 5.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, and shot 63% from the field. Ultimately, he is well beyond his prime and offers more mentorship than actual production on the court.

During the postseason, Gibson‘s presence was essential, as he provided energy and defense off the bench. However, Gibson doesn’t offer much in the scoring department and will likely serve as a third-string option on the roster this upcoming season. However, one young rookie could take a spot. The Knicks might want to consider an alternative direction after a strong Summer League performance by Texas product, Jericho Sims.

It is important to keep in mind that the Knicks extended Gibson on a two-year, $10 million deal, with an out after the first season that will cost $4.9 million in base salary. The likelihood of Sims making the active roster is slim, but he will be one of their primary options in case of any injuries or deficiencies at the center position.

While Sims might not be an immediate impact player, he could very well play a part this upcoming year, especially after Mitchell Robinson suffered multiple injuries that forced him out for the majority of last season. In that scenario, Sims could find himself on the bench, picking up minutes over Gibson, who is athleticism is degrading with age.

During Summer League play, Sims averaged 28 minutes per game over five contests. He posted 8.2 points, shooting 81% from the field, including 8.2 rebounds, with 2.2 of them being offensive. He showed unparalleled athleticism getting above the rim and succeeding off the pick-and-roll. With solid point guard play, which Immanuel Quickley provided during his dominance stretch, Sims has the potential to be a great player in the future.

The Knicks signed Sims to a two-way contract as the 58th pick in the draft. At 6’10” and 245-pounds, he seems to be a far different talent compared to the previous players selected at that same spot. Aside from his solid scoring abilities, Sims also seems to be a quality defender, blocking the interior with physicality and anticipation. He only trailed Obi Toppin in rebounds, who finished with 8.3 this summer.

Expect Jericho to be a G-League regular this upcoming year, but with Gibson on a one-year contract essentially, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sims take on a bigger role during the 2022-23 season. In the meantime, focusing on his development and how we can translate his skills for the NBA is a priority.

New York Jets 2021 opponent report: Indianapolis Colts

The New York Jets’ lone scheduled prime time game for the 2021 season comes in Thursday night fashion against Indianapolis.

The Opponent: Indianapolis Colts
The Date:
Week 8, November 4, 8:20 p.m. ET, Fox/NFL Network (@ IND)
The Series: 
Colts lead 43-32 (last meeting: 2020, 36-7 IND)

Much like the original cast of another metropolitan staple, Saturday Night Live, the modern New York Jets could well be described as “Not Ready for Prime Time Players”.

The Jets’ only prime time game of the 2021 season (discounting a morning game against Atlanta in London) is a Thursday night contest against the Indianapolis Colts. Former division rivals will square off for the second straight season: the Jets will be seeking revenge for a 36-7 shellacking they endured at Lucas Oil Stadium, one that showed how far they had fallen since the 2018 trade that put Sam Darnold on a green path.

Both the Jets and Colts have made changes at quarterback since last season’s showdown: no trade was necessary for the Jets to choose Sam Wilson second overall in April while the Colts have opted for another veteran in Carson Wentz after Phillip Rivers’ retirement.

The Skinny On the Colts

The Colts have managed to make the most out of meandering in franchise quarterback purgatory after Andrew Luck’s infamous abrupt retirement. That’s been made possible by a reliable offensive line anchored by Quinton Nelson, one that has protected its stopgap throwers like Rivers and Jacoby Brissett. Running back Jonathan Taylor has likewise flourished, as the rookie broke through for 1,169 yards last season. A fearsome defense is headline by three-time All-Pro Darius Leonard.

Indianapolis has built its consistency through the draft, an endeavor that partly started through its fateful deal with the Jets. The picks sent to the Colts eventually yielded horseshoes for several vital contributors, including primary blockers Nelson and Braden Smith, defenders Kemoko Turay and Rock Ya-Sin. Rusher Jordan Wilkins, the final portion, has also proven to be a reliable depth option, working with Taylor, Nyheim Hines, and Marlon Mack (who missed nearly all of last season with a torn Achilles).

Eight Indianapolis starters have been acquired over the last three drafts prior to 2021. At least one more should be added to that tally with Michigan pass rusher Kwity Paye arriving at 21st overall last spring. NFL agents recently named Colts general manager Chris Ballard the best talent evaluator and in a poll conducted by Ben Standig of The Athletic. Both Ballard and head coach Frank Reich were recently granted contract extensions that will keep them in Indianapolis through the 2026 season, high honors for the first-time GM and lead headset man.

Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay was proud to keep continuity in Indianapolis in addition to the sense of consistent stability that could’ve been lost in the wake of Luck’s franchise-altering departure.

“When you bring in two people like Frank and Chris who had never been general manager-head coach before, you invest in their growth,” Irsay said, per team reporter JJ Stankevitz. “You invest in the fact they’re going to mature and become better than they were when they started…that’s what continuity does, it brings the day where you can read the growth of a person’s professional track as they grow.”

“They’re outstanding men in our community, they’re the type of men that our players can look up to and truly see as mentors where they know their feet go where their words go. That means a lot to me.”

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

What’s New In Indianapolis?

The new hope for the Colts is Wentz, who’s seeking to reclaim the narrative on his NFL career after the good times in Philadelphia fizzled out. Indianapolis was perhaps the best place for him to land: the Colts have let up only 52 sacks over the last two seasons…in comparison, Wentz was sacked 50 times alone in 2020, and he missed four games after he was benched for Jalen Hurts.

Indianapolis lost of one of its blocking staples this offseason through Anthony Costanzo. The Colts made up for the loss through the signing of Eric Fisher, Kansas City’s top overall pick from 2013, but he’ll be out for the team’s Sunday opener against Seattle (1 p.m. ET, Fox). Paulsboro, NJ native and recent signee from Houston Julien Davenport is scheduled to take over. The rest of the group is otherwise the same. Both Nelson had late foot issues that were addressed, but each is scheduled to be a full-go for Week 1.

Right guard Mark Glowinski once against spoke about how important Colts chemistry and continuity was in another report from Stankevitz. It’s exactly what Wentz needs to gain some long-sought protection and for Taylor to keep up the momentum from his freshman campaign.

“We still find ways to learn from one another and make it interesting,” Glowinski said. “We’re still able to use the same jokes and still laugh and stuff like that. It’s kind of funny being able to be together for this long but we’re just working. Like I would say every year, you’re working on the same blocks and everything. You just find another way to get better at those and you can keep developing new ways to do your job. It’s pretty cool to be able to be with all those guys for that long though.”

While Reich was made a staple on the Colts’ staff, several assistants departed, some joining former offensive coordinator and new Philadelphia boss Nick Sirianni. Quarterbacks coach and three-time CFL champion Marcus Brady takes over in Sirianni’s wake, while the Colts were able to keep defensive boss and popular head coach interviewee Matt Eberflus. The arrival of Paye partly settles pass-rushing quandary: the departures of Denico Autry and Justin Houston cost the Colts 15.5 sacks from last season.

How To Beat Them

-Corral the Pass Rush

Indianapolis’ pass rush was hit or miss even with Autry and Houston in tow. DeForest Buckner fulfilled expectations in his first season in blue while inside man Grover Stewart played his way into an expensive extension. Mekhi Becton will likely get first dibs at the legendary Leonard. The group will have to step it up in the early going, as Rutgers alum Kemoko Turay will miss Sunday’s opener.

But even with the Costanzo-sized on the offensive line, the Colts felt that needed to address the area through the selection of Paye out of Michigan. Thus, it’ll be up to the Jets’ blockers to keep sowing doubt when they meet up for their nationally televised matchup.

“Kwity pops off the tape, one, with his athleticism and his speed, but also with his effort,” Ballard said of the choice to draft Paye over a lineman, per Joel A. Erickson of the Indianapolis Star. “This kid, he already plays the way we want to play. He’s going to fit in pretty quickly.”

-Wentz Turnovers Cometh

Part of the reason why Philadelphia moved on from Wentz was his increasingly troubling turnover issues: his 15 interceptions were a league-worst in 2020 and he fumbled 10 times…the latter mark was an improvement after putting 16 on the grass last season.

As with so many other areas of their horrid 2020 season, the Jets struggled to force turnovers, picking up only 19. Upping the pressure on Wentz could lead to those struggles resurfacing and the Jets have the front seven to do so, even with the oft-cited red flag of Carl Lawson forced out for the year.

This time around, Wentz’s turnover issues could be partially cast aside by the idea that the Colts have the additional weaponry to get by, namely the multi-pronged run game. The Colts were 1-3 when Taylor, Hines, and Wilkins were held to under 100 yards rushing

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags