Mets decide to shut down their ace for the remainder of the year

The New York Mets made the logical decision of shutting down ace Jacob deGrom for the remainder of the season, after the team fell off the race for a playoff spot via the NL East crown or the second Wild Card.

DeGrom hasn’t played in an official MLB game since July 7, when he had to leave his start with right elbow discomfort that was later dubbed as inflammation. However, the team recently admitted that his UCL was partially torn at one point, but that the issue “resolved itself” and surgery was no longer an option at the moment.

The Mets decided to keep deGrom from pitching this year the same day fellow star Noah Syndergaard returned to the mound and looked impressive in an inning of work.

With less than a week remaining in the calendar, and the Mets not playing for anything, they chose not to risk further injury by bringing deGrom to pitch an inning or two before the end of the regular season.

“Everyone is fully on board,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said of the decision, according to “Jake is fully on board. It’s the right thing.”

“He would be fine to pitch, but there’s no sense to it.”

Injuries limited the Mets’ star to less than 100 innings

The Mets could only enjoy 92 innings of deGrom this season (in which he put a historic 1.08 ERA), thanks to several injuries that included right lat, side, back, shoulder, forearm issues, and elbow inflammation in mid-July.

The pitcher threw a successful bullpen on Monday, and could have returned in case of emergency. However, he hadn’t faced live hitters and there is really no point in bringing him back.

“He checked all the boxes for it, but we talked today — and with him too, and everyone — and at this point, there’s no point for him to pitch in a game,” Rojas said. “He’s just going to shut it down for the season and focus on his offseason routine. … He was fine to pitch after the side [session] yesterday, but at this point, it just doesn’t make any sense to have him go out there and compete.”

What’s next for Valentina Shevchenko after UFC 266?

This past Saturday in the co-main event of UFC 266, Valentina Shevchenko (22-3) defended her flyweight title against Lauren Murphy (15-5). Murphy was not intimidated and really believed she could give the champion troubles on Saturday night.

However, Shevchenko maintained that this defense would be like all of the rest. She said that she would win no matter what at UFC 266 and walk out of the arena with the flyweight title.

Well, she was right again. UFC 266 was another one-sided fight from Valentina Shevchenko. Shevchenko never allowed Murphy to get off any offense throughout the evening. I think you could count on both hands how many strikes Murphy landed in the fight.

Shevchenko’s speed and strength was just too much for the challenger. In the fourth round, Shevchenko really started to pour it on and hurt Murphy badly. The champion unleashed vicious combinations that ultimately wilted the challenger. Shevchenko got her hand raised and retained her title by fourth round TKO.

What’s next after UFC 266?

There is nobody in the UFC’s flyweight division that can compete with Valentina Shevchenko. It’s very clear that nobody even has a prayer against her out of the options for her.

Amanda Nunes (21-4), rightfully so, is considered to be the greatest of all time. However, she’s been pushed in fights. We’ve seen Germaine De Randamie have success against Nunes.

But the biggest challenge Nunes has ever faced is Shevchenko. These two have fought twice before the UFC started the flyweight division. Shevchenko is smaller, but that didn’t really matter in their fight.

The first fight, it was clear that Nunes won. However, the second fight generated a lot of controversy. Nunes edged Shevchenko by split decision at UFC 215, but the world has been split on that fight. 20 media members scored the fight and they were perfectly split 10-10.

Personally, I scored the fight for Shevchenko. While it’s not popular to say, I think Shevchenko is the best overall female fighter in the UFC and I believe it’s time to set up the third fight between these two.

Now, Nunes has to win her fight in December against Julianna Pena. However, let’s be real, she’s not losing to Julianna Pena. After she wins, it’s time to book the trilogy. This is the fight every one wants and it’s the fight that should happen to truly determine who’s the best in the world.

Yankees News, 9/29: One player who has brought the Bombers back to life, Judge, Taillon injuries

yankees, giancarlo stanton

The New York Yankees are making waves in the Wild Card ever since adopting a pet turtle named Bronxie. With the turtle roaming the clubhouse and sparking confidence within the Yankee players, they have been unstoppable as of late. With the post-season in mind, the Yankees have taken a healthy two-game lead over the Boston Red Sox for the first place spot in the WC. Just last week, they were sitting below the Wild Card, and now they lead with a cushion as the Red Sox fell to the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday.

The Yankees have five games left in the regular season, but they aren’t out of the woods yet as Boston or Seattle could go on a winning streak. Boston is finishing up a series against Baltimore with two more games, having lost their last four contests; Boston is playing themselves right out of the playoffs.

However, a big reason the Yankees are playing well is slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who has been an absolute menace at the plate lately. Over his last five games, Stanton has recorded 10 hits over 28 bats, including four homers and 13 RBIs. His performance hasn’t been against lowly teams either, taking on Boston, Toronto, and Texas.

“We’re playing for keeps, we’re playing for a lot, and I think G is embodying that right now,” manager Aaron Boone said.

“Like I say all the time, he’s a unicorn,” Boone said of Stanton. “We just kind of shake our heads sometimes.”

Even Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoya was taken aback by Stanton’s three-run blast in the 7-2 victory over Toronto on Tuesday.

“I don’t know how you can hit a ball like that,” Montoyo said. “That ball was almost in the dirt, and he went and hit it out.”

The Yankees have also relied on another slugger, Aaron Judge, who hosts a .287 average this season. He recorded two hits and two RBIs in the victory but has been dealing with a slight injury, dislocating his pinky over the weekend.

“I felt like it was going to be OK,” Boone said, “but to see him go out and have immediate success and hit the ball like he did, that was certainly encouraging.”

Aside from Judge, starting pitcher, Jameson Taillon re-aggravated his ankle injury after pitching just 2.1 innings on Tuesday. He was replaced by Michael King, who gave up two hits and one run over 2.2 innings pitched. The bullpen was solid, helping get the Bombers out of any trouble, but Taillon leaving the game is undoubtedly a big problem with the postseason just around the bend.

“I could tell right away that he had re-aggaravated it,” Boone said of Taillon. “It was a quick decision for me to get him out of there.”

Hopefully, the Yankees can get some of the more prominent players healthy in the coming days, as Luis Severino has been working his way back diligently from consistent injuries over the past two years. He pitched one inning in the win, striking out one batter and not allowing a hit. Severino has looked solid so far, so if he continues to impress, he could earn a start down the road.

New York Yankees 9/29: 4 takeaways from the Yankee win over the Blue Jays

The New York Yankees were in Toronto, Canada, last night for the first game of three against the Toronto Blue Jays in a three-game series that may decide if they go to the postseason or not. The Yankees miraculously swept the Red Sox in a three-game series with their rival. The Yankees have won their lasts six games in a row. Coincidentally ever since Nestor Cortes Jr. bought the Yankees a pet turtle that they named “Bonxie” the Yankees have won. Bronxie or more likely Anthony Rizzo,  Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela led the Yankees to their seventh win in a row. The score was the Yankees 7 and the Blue Jays 2.

Bad luck for Taillon, but Michael King picks him up

Jameson Taillon has been rehabbing from a strained tendon in his ankle for 22 days missing four of his normal starts. The ankle problem affected his delivery and ability to pitch effectively. But last night, he made his return off the IL to pitch game one of a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays in this crucial run for the postseason. Unfortunately, things didn’t go well for the righty. At the bottom of the third inning, Danny Jansen struck out looking. But after that out, Taillon signaled the medical staff and left the game apparently with another ankle problem. Michael King came into the game to replace him.

So far this morning, the status of that injury is unknown, other than they know he reinjured it. It’s a bad break for Taillon because this late in the season, it has probably ended his pitching for the rest of the season, and should the Yankees reach the postseason. Taillon had so been looking forward to pitching in the postseason.

The Yankee bullpen is stellar

When Jameson Taillon left the game, apparently reinjuring his ankle Michael King was called in to replace him. King pitched the end of the third inning, the fourth and fifth allowing only an additional run. Clay Holmes, Chad Green, and Luis Severino combined for three scoreless innings. At the bottom of the ninth inning, in a non save situation, Wandy Peralta came in to close out the win.

At this point in the season, the New York Yankees need the bullpen to be good if they hope to play in the postseason. The bullpen was stellar, giving up just one run in 6.1 innings. Most encouraging was the close by Peralta. Also, it seems that in recent games, when Chapman pitched, his confidence seemed to be back, and his dominance resurrected. Yankee pitching only allowed 3 hits in the game.

Is there any stopping Giancarlo Stanton?

Obviously, Giancarlo Stanton will not keep hitting a home run in every game, but his August and September had been nothing short of amazing. His recent run can only be described as both shocking and fantastic. Stanton has now hit a home run in every one of his last four games in a row. That has seldom been done in baseball. The only Yankees to hit four or more home runs in consecutive games are Babe Ruth (1930), Lou Gehrig (1931) Joe DiMaggio (1937), Yogi Berra (1956), Roger Maris (1961), Don Mattingly (1987), and Alex Rodriguez (2007). That is some Yankee royalty to join and  Stanton may not be done; he hit 6 straight in 2017 with the Marlins.

In the top of the fifth inning, Anthony Rizzo put the New York Yankees ahead 3-2 with a single driving in Gio Urshela; it would be a lead that the Yankees would not relinquish. Then in the top of the seventh, Giancarlo Stanton came to the plate with two on and crushed one into the second deck of left field at Roger’s Center. It was his fourth homer in four games for Stanton, making him hitting .500, 8 for 16 with 13 RBIs over the span. Stanton also doubled in the game.

Aaron Judge in the third inning also homered for his 37th of the season. When both Judge and Stanton homer in the same game, the Yankees are 17-1. Gio Urshela tacked on a homer of his own at the top of the ninth.

The Yankees advance in the wild card race

With the Yankee win, the Red Sox loss last night, the Yankees are now two games ahead of the Red Sox for the coveted home-field advantage in the one-game winner takes all contest. But there is a new wrinkle to be considered. Well, not really I have been reporting on it for the last ten days. The Seattle Mariners have been creeping up in the standings. With their win last night, they are now just a half-game behind the Boston Red Sox.

While the Red Sox have gone 6-4 in their last ten games, the Mariners have gone 9-1. The Yankees in the same period have gone 8-2 and have won their last seven in a row. With the loss last night, the Toronto Blue Jays are now one half-game behind the Mariners, with two more games against the Yankees.

Notes: Tonight, Yankee ace Gerrit Cole looking for his 17th win of the season, will face Jose Berrios in game two of the Toronto series. Corey Kluber will face Toronto co-ace Robbie Ray in the finale. Tonight’s game will be televised on SNET in Canada, WPIX and its affiliates in the New York area, and ESPN out of market only.



How much longer can the New York Giants survive Jason Garrett’s putrid offense?

jason garrett, new york gianta

The New York Giants are in a peculiar position on offense, as coordinator Jason Garrett has driven the unit straight into the ground with a lack of consistency and execution. In what seems to be a different strategy and system every week, Garrett has failed to play to his player’s strengths, giving receivers like Kenny Golladay opportunities with 50/50 balls and inexcusably avoiding Kadarius Toney in the passing game.

Toney, who replaced Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton after both suffered hamstring injuries in the loss to Atlanta, received just three targets and two catches despite playing for the majority of the game. There were numerous occasions where Toney could’ve been more involved, utilizing him on screen passes and targeting him in the shallow portions of the field where he can make players miss with his elite agility.

The New York Giants are sticking with an offense that will never succeed:

Ultimately, Garrett’s scheme is outdated and prehistoric, as he fails to adapt to the modern-day NFL and incorporate more unique route concepts. In addition, if you look over to Kyle Shanahan‘s offense in San Francisco, one of the ways he curates a more effective unit is by utilizing pre-snap motion. Motion allows the quarterback to decipher the opposing defense’s coverage, whether it be man or zone. It also forces defenders out of position and creates movement where the offenses can capitalize. The Giants simply don’t use enough of it, playing out of their base concepts and hoping Daniel Jones can find a receiver with the minimal amount of time he has in the pocket.

Despite Garrett’s pre-historic offense, head coach Joe Judge is committed to his strategy, stating there wouldn’t be any significant changes as they’re looking for more continuity moving forward.

“We’re going to stay consistent with what we’re doing and keep improving as a team. There’s a lot of things we need to clean up coaching-wise, execution-wise, but we’re going to stay on the track with it and make sure we get those things right before making any radical changes.”

The problem is simple; most NFL offenses are incorporating a number of different strategies, including pre-stop motion and designing plays around their top playmakers. Newly signed receiver Kenny Golladay seems to be running pointless routes that aren’t giving him an opportunity to win. The frequently called slant and hook routes aren’t enough to win football games, and if you look over at Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams, they find ways to scheme open their star players, like Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. Using rub-routes and decoys, they were able to confuse some of the best defenses in football, something the Giants failed to do against a league-worst Falcons defense.

So the question is, how long can the Giants survive as Jason Garrett drags them through the early 2000s and a scheme that most dinosaurs would coin as incompetent?

At the very least, the offensive coordinator should be utilizing a hurry-up offense more strategically, as it creates confusion for defenses and is one of the only ways the Giants have experienced success, notably on the first drive against the Washington Football Team in Week 2.

If the unit continues to struggle at this rate, Judge may have to make another difficult decision, firing an experienced coach like Garrett midseason and handing over playcalling duties to Freddie Kitchens. However, the Giants likely won’t stick with Garrett beyond the 2021 campaign, as Kitchens will likely take over playcalling duties at some point if the offense is unable to crack 20 points in the coming weeks. Having playmakers like Golladay, Toney, and Saquon on the field at the same time should be enough to score more than 14 points against the worst defense in football.

Knicks’ Immanuel Quickley details his new improvements and dominant floater game

New York Knicks, Immanuel Quickley

The New York Knicks are expecting big things out of sophomore guard Immanuel Quickley, who had a surprising rookie season where he averaged 11.4 points. As a late first-round pick, the 22-year-old has added different elements to his game in just one year, including a legit floater derived from veteran Derrick Rose.

Quickley is a skinny guard who will likely feature in a shooting role this upcoming season, as the Knicks signed Kemba Walker to aid at point guard.

Last season, Quickley made 59% of his overall shots unassisted, including 39% unassisted from three-point range. He’s great at creating his own opportunities, which oftentimes signals more advanced talent. Compared to Reggie Bullock, who is a spot-up shooter, rarely creating opportunities for himself, Quickley can fill the shooting guard role with more versatility.

However, Quickley’s biggest weakness is his defense, which is something he worked diligently on this off-season.

“I dedicated a lot to my summer in terms of working on my body,” Quickley told reporters after practice on Tuesday. “Getting stronger defensively. I feel like I’ll take a step this year and that’s going to be big on this team is guarding, just to be able to stay on the floor, stay in front of key guys and things like that. And then my passing ability, I feel like got better. And then just working on my strengths – shooting, I still have my floater, and being able to shoot left side to right is something I added to my game as well. So just my overall game.”

The Knicks could view Immanuel as a long-term solution at PG after the contracts of Rose and Walker expire after two seasons. Quickley will have plenty of time to revise his game and add different qualities while working on his strengths, which remain shooting and his floater. Adding more versatility when driving to the basket would do him well, but his defensive attributes must be prioritized if he wants to get more playing time on a Tom Thibodeau lead squad.
The toughest reality for Quickley will be his playing time — when he’s on the floor, he must provide efficiency and production, proving his worth to Thibodeau. There aren’t many minutes to go around after the signings of Fournier and Walker, so when the young guard has an opportunity, he must capitalize.