Saturday, June 22, 2013

Zoilo Almonte Shines in Yankees Victory
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

June 21st, 2013

Tampa Bay Rays vs New York Yankees Post Game Recap

Final Score: Rays 2 Yankees 6

The New York Yankees were able to snap their two-game skid on Friday night, with a win over the Tampa Bay Rays to even their series up at a game a piece. The win moves the Yankees to (40-33) on the season, which is 3.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox for first place in the AL East.

The offense wasted little time getting on the board against Roberto Hernandez, as in the first inning Robinson Cano hit a sac-fly to score Brett Gardner for the first run of the game. Ichiro Suzuki would knock in the Yankees next run in the third inning on a RBI ground out, which scored Austin Romine. In the fourth inning the Yankees would load the bases with none out, but Jayson Nix grounded into a double-play, as Travis Hafner scored for the third run. With two outs and Lyle Overbay on Third Base, David Adams was able to have an infield single to score Overbay, and give the Yankees a 4-2 lead. The sixth inning is where the now legend of Zolilo Almonte began, as in his first major league start he hit his first career homerun off Hernandez, and gave the Yankees a 5-2 lead. Almonte in his first start was great, and it will be hard to imagine him out of the lineup on Saturday, as he went three for four on Friday. For Hernandez it is just yet another bad start in what has been a bad season, as he now has eight losses.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Yankees Lose Series Opener to Rays
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

June 20th, 2013

Tampa Bay Rays vs New York Yankees Post Game Recap

Final Score: Rays 8 Yankees 3

The New York Yankees did not start their weekend four-game home series against the division rival Tampa Bay Rays they would have liked to, losing by a score of 8-3. The loss moves the Yankees to (39-33), and the AL East is really starting to tighten up from top to bottom.

Andy Pettitte was not very good for the Yankees on Thursday night, as his poor performance led to him getting his fifth loss of the season. The Rays got to Pettitte pretty early, as a Jose Lobaton sac-fly scored recently called up Wil Meyers for the first run of the ball game in the second inning. In the third inning the Rays would tack on two more with a Ben Zobrist RBI single which scored Desmond Jennings, and then a sac-fly from Evan Longoria scored Sean Rodriguez. Longoria would make it a 4-0 game in the sixth inning with his 15th home run of the season off Pettitte. Back to back doubles in the seventh inning from Rodriguez and Jennings would send Pettitte to the locker room. Pettitte finished going 6.2 innings allowing five runs on nine hits with one walk.

End of Season NBA Power Rankings

Derek E. Hingle/USA Today
By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

With the NBA season officially coming to end Thursday night with the Miami Heat defeating the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals here are the final power rankings for the season.

1.) Miami Heat (66-16) – NBA Champions for the second consecutive season lands the Heat in the top spot. Was Game 7 the last time we will see the Big 3 of Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh? But as long as Lebron James is on the team they will be title contenders.

2.) San Antonio Spurs (58-24) – They gave the Heat all they could handle in seven games but ultimately came up short. Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard put themselves on the NBA map and look poised to take over even more next season. Manu Ginobili’s struggles bring up the question of retirement for him as well.

3.) Indiana Pacers (49-32) – A surprising season in Indiana ended with a tough loss to the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Paul George has emerged as a legitimate star taking over for the injured Danny Granger. Finding a way to get David West back into the fold and improving the bench will improve the Pacers’ chance of besting the Heat next season.

4.) Memphis Grizzlies (56-26) – A surprising sweep at the hands of the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals does not diminish a franchise best season in Memphis. How different will they look next season though in a full campaign without Rudy Gay and with a new head coach as Lionel Hollins was not retained?

5.) New York Knicks (54-28) – Some people are disappointed with a second round exit at the hands of the Pacers but it was yet another season of improvement for the Knicks. Bringing in another point guard and infusing some youth is a must for the Knicks to improve next season. Carmelo Anthony finally taking that next step wouldn’t hurt either.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dodgers Shutout Yankees in Game 2
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

June 19, 2013

Los Angeles Dodgers vs New York Yankees Game 2 Recap

Final Score: Dodgers 6 Yankees 0

After winning Game 1 of the day/night doubleheader the New York Yankees were shutout by the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 by a score of 6-0. The Yankees are now (39-32) on the season, and still 3.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox for the AL East lead.

Yankees Starter Phil Hughes was not good at all on Wednesday night, and got his sixth loss of the season for the poor performance. The Dodgers wasted little time getting to Hughes, as a five-hit first inning resulted in two Dodgers runs, as Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez both had RBI base hits in the first. In the third inning the Dodgers would get their third run of the game with an Andre Either RBI double, which scored Gonzalez. The Dodgers would break the game open in the fifth inning, as another RBI base hit by Ramirez, and then a sac-fly by Jerry Hairston Jr gave Los Angeles a 5-0 lead. Hughes finished up going six innings allowing five runs on 10 hits, and now has an ERA over five.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Yankees Take Game 1 Against Dodgers

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

June 19th, 2013

Los Angeles Dodgers vs New York Yankees Game 1 Recap

Final Score: Dodgers 4 Yankees 6

For the first time since 1981 the Los Angeles Dodgers were in the Bronx after a rain out on Tuesday, the Yankees were able to beat the Dodgers in Game 1 of a day/night doubleheader 6-4. The win puts the Yankees at (39-31) on the season, and are 3.5 games behind the Red Sox for first place in the AL East.

The offense for the Yankees was able to give Hiroki Kuroda a nice lead early, as in the second inning off Hyun-Jin Ryu, Lyle Overbay got the Yankees on the board with a two-run double scoring Thomas Neil and Ichiro Suzuki. In the sixth inning Suzuki would get the Yankees third run off Ryu, with a solo-home run, which was Suzuki's third of the season. Ryu pitched pretty well against the Yankees, as he finished going six innings allowing three runs on five hits, and two walks, but picked up his third loss of the season

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Youkilis Heading Back to DL to Join Granderson and Teixeira

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

The injury bug looks to be making a permanent residence in the New York Yankees clubhouse as it was announced that first baseman/third baseman Kevin Youkilis will have require surgery on a herniated disk in his back. Surgery is scheduled for Thursday and the timetable for recovery is 10-12 weeks, effectively ending his tenure as a Yankee before it really got started.

Curtis Granderson had a fractured forearm in spring training that forced him to miss the first six weeks of the season but found himself on the DL 10 days after fracturing the pinkie finger on his left hand.

Future Starts Today for Mets

Julio Cortez/AP Photo
By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

It has been a rough season thus far for everyone that has any stake in the Mets. Players are struggling to perform with regulars such as Ike Davis being sent down to the minors. Terry Collins seems to be on a countdown for his days as manger of the team with it a matter of when not if he will be fired. The fans seem to have finally had their spirit broken as Citi Field is as empty as ever since it opened in 2009. The heartbreak continued even last night as Freddie Freeman hit a walk-off homerun off Dillon Gee to give the Braves a 2-1 lead. There is reason to still tune in to the Mets as the season continues though.

There is some optimism with some of the younger players that the Mets have and there is no one they are higher on than Zack Wheeler. Combined with current ace Matt Harvey the two are supposed to give the Mets the type of one-two punch that not many teams can rival in Major League Baseball. The Wheeler and Harvey era will get underway today in Atlanta as the hot shot youngsters will both toe the rubber against the Braves in the day/night doubleheader.

Can Vigneault Get Rangers Over the Hump?

After the firing of John Tortorella just days after the Rangers were eliminated by the Boston Bruins, New Yorkers were eager to find out who would be behind the bench for the 2013 season. 

With many options to decide from, including former Ranger captains Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky, the Rangers were looking to move on from Tortorella's tough love tactics and defensive system. There is too much wasted offensive talent up front for the Blueshirts and the time for change is now. 

The Rangers ultimately decided to go with former Vancouver Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault. Vigneault is known as a players coach who allows the players to control the locker room. Vigneault's Canucks teams have been known for their offense with talented players like the Sedin twins, Ryan Kesler, and Alexandre Burrows, but have also underachieved during the playoffs. Since his first season with Vancouver in 2006, the Canucks have been past the second round once. In 2011 the Canucks reached the Stanley Cup Final where they would eventually lose to the Boston Bruins in seven games.

Now the Rangers look to Vigneault, who signed a five-year deal, to lead the Rangers back to the Stanley Cup. It has been 19 years since the Rangers played for the cup, and they have been to the conference finals twice since. The burning question in New York now is can Vigneault get the most out of his players and get the Rangers over the playoff hump? 

Vigneault will inherit a highly talented Ranger team, both offensively and defensively. John Tortorella's defense first, counter second system wore down the defense and relied heavily on Henrik Lundqvist to be a stalwart every game. With Vigneault behind the bench, the Rangers will look to become a team on the attack instead of a team on their heels. But how long will it take before we really see a change in the Rangers play? 

Don't expect the start of the 2013 season to be much different than this past season Ranger fans. It will take time before they get comfortable in a new system. It will take longer than one training camp, and recent surgeries for Carl Hagelin and Ryan Callahan will keep them out through the start of the season. Fans and players alike will need to be patient this season and not jump to drastic measures if the Blueshirts don't get off to a good start or have a tough season. The talent is there, and with the change behind the bench to Vigneault the Rangers are headed in the right direction...forward. 

It may not be this season, but the Rangers will be back in the Stanley Cup Finals in the next two or three years. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Week in Review with Kenny and Nick: June 16th, 2013

This week on the Week in Review with Kenny (@teapester725) and Nick (@ziggy26x) on the Bob Sullivan Show (@BobSullivanShow) there was a lot to discuss from the past week in sports. The show starts off with the news that Jason Kidd will be named the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets after retiring only 10 days beforehand. After that they discuss some trade rumors between the Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics as Doc Rivers looks to be on his move to the West Coast to coach the Clippers with multiple players and draft picks being involved. They then delve into the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs, discussing the two games last week and what to look for in Game 5 Sunday night and the remaining games of the series. After basketball talk they move onto the NFL with Tim Tebow being signed by the New England Patriots last week before minicamp. The tandem then goes on to talk a little about their favorite teams, the New York Giants and Jets, and some things that stood out from their week of minicamp practices. MLB talk comes next as they discuss how the some teams have done this past week and they discuss the bench clearing incidents during the week. Nick will also preview his Power Rankings as well while the hosts talk about some big performances this week from rookies that have come up and will be coming up with the Super-2 date passing in baseball. Finally they discuss the US Open and how it ended, where the big names ended and who took home the trophy. Follow the link below to listen in to the whole, jam-packed show.

MLB Power Rankings: Week 11
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

MLB Power Rankings Week 11

1.) St Louis Cardinals (44-25) – The Cardinals are once again in the top spot for the Power Rankings, as they have established themselves as the best team in baseball with a run differential of a plus 102. Their hitting has been great and their pitching has been great, and they look like the most complete team in baseball.

2.) Cincinnati Reds (42-28) – The Reds would be in first place in any other division in baseball, but unfortunately for them they have the Cardinals in theirs. Jay Bruce is getting hot, which may help the Reds get closer to first place in the NL Central.

3.) Pittsburgh Pirates (41-28) – Gerrit Cole made his much anticipated debut this week, and is (2-0) now this season, but A.J. Burnett torn his calf muscle, so the Pirates will need Cole to continue pitching well if they want to be in the mix in the NL Central.

4.) Oakland Athletics (42-29) – Josh Donaldson continues his awesome start to the season, as he is leading the Athletics in batting average and RBIs. Bartolo Colon is looking like a Cy Young pitcher this season, with nine wins, and a 2.89 ERA.

5.) Boston Red Sox (42-29) – The Red Sox are still in first place in what is probably the toughest division in baseball, but the hot start from Jon Lester has ended it seems, as his ERA is now over four, and he hasn’t won a game in six starts.

Yankees Avoid Sweep with Victory Over Angels
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

June 16th, 2013

New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels Post Game Recap 

Final Score: Yankees 6 Angels 5

The New York Yankees were able to avoid a second straight sweep on the West Coast with a 6-5 win on Sunday afternoon against the Los Angeles Angels. The Yankees finished their West Coast swing going (4-6), and are now (38-31) on the season, and three games behind the Boston Red Sox for first place in the AL East.

The offense for the Yankees finally woke up a bit against Jered Weaver, who was handed his third loss of the season. Travis Hafner hit a three-run homerun in the third inning to get the Yankees an early lead, as it was Hafner’s 11th homerun of the season. The Yankees wouldn’t be done in the third inning, as Lyle Overbay getting the start at First Base for the injured Mark Teixeira had a RBI double to score Vernon Wells, and then Overbay was knocked in by a base hit from Jayson Nix, in what was a five-run third inning for the Yankees.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Yankees Lose Fifth Straight Game on West Coast
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

June 15th, 2013

New York Yankees vs Los Angeles Angels Post Game Recap

Final Score: Yankees 2 Angels 6

The back end of the New York Yankees West Coast trip continues to give them a lot of problems, as they lost again to the Angels on Saturday night 6-2. The loss moves the Yankees to (37-31) on the season, and are now four games behind the Boston Red Sox for first place in the AL East.

Yankees Starter David Phelps had a tough start on Saturday night against a very good Angels lineup, and picked up his fourth loss of the season. Eric Aybar got the Angels offense started in the second inning with a solo home run of Phelps, which was his second home run of the season. Albert Pujols would knock in the Angels second run of the game with a base hit scoring Mike Trout in the third inning. Aybar would get the best of Phelps again in the sixth inning with a RBI base hit to score Mark Trumbo. The last run charged to Phelps was given up by Shawn Kelley after a single from Peter Bourjos led to the end of the day for Phelps.