Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Big Cats, Rats!

Tigers 4, Yankees 2. The big cats of the Michigan Mitten peninsula gained a split of the 1st 2 games of this 4-game set, and while splitting on the road is not a bad thing, even for the Yankees, I hate losing the way Republicans hate Barack Obama: I find it completely unacceptable, no matter what.

Derek Jeter led off the game with a single. He's now hitting .250, and is just 48 hits from 3,000. Just thought I'd "squawk" about those things). After a Curtis Granderson fly out, Mark Teixeira drew a walk on Brad Penny (2-3). The Yanks were in good shape, but Penny got Alex Rodriguez to fly out (squawk) and Robinson Cano to fly out (no inside joke necessary here).

CC Sabathia (2-2) allowed back-to-back doubles by Austin (ex-Yankee but no relation to Reggie) Jackson and Scott (no relation to Ted or Grady) Sizemore. You lead off an inning with back-to-back doubles, and you don't necessarily need any more hits to score them: Jackson scored on a Magglio Ordonez groundout, and Sizemore on a Miguel Cabrera sacrifice fly.

It was 2-0 Detroit, and that first inning was the game in a nutshell. A Russell Martin double scored a run in the 4th, but Brett Gardner flew into a busted sacrifice fly turned double play to end that threat. Jackson and Sizemore struck again in the 5th to make it 4-1. Teix hit one out in the 8th (his 8th homer of the season), but it wasn't enough. The 9th was frustrating: Tiger closer Jose Valverde (6th save) struck out Jorge Posada (though he did get 2 hits earlier, so his average is UP to .167), and Nick Swisher drew a walk, bringing Martin to the plate. Anything other than a double play would have been acceptable, but that's what Martin grounded into.

Lost to the big cats? Rats!

Game 3 of the series is tonight, Freddy Garcia against Max Scherzer. The finale is tomorrow afternoon, A.J. Burnett against Rick Porcello, a Morristown, New Jersey native -- sorry, Rick, but that Garden State loyalty stuff only goes so far, and tomorrow afternoon, you must go down.


Congratulations to Francisco Liriano of the Minnesota Twins. Once one of the game's rising mound stars, then a tremendous question mark because of Tommy John surgery, he pitched the 1st no-hitter of the season last night, against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.

It was the 1st Twins no-hitter since 1999, when Eric Milton threw a gem against the team then officially known as the Anaheim Angels. And before you say, "That was a stupid trade the Yankees made," let me remind you that the Yankees won the Pennant every year that Chuck Knoblauch was with them, and by no means was he "just along for the ride." There is no Yankee about whom you can say that over the course of 4 years. Well, maybe Jack Saltzgaver, and if you don't know who he was, there's a good reason for that: He was Lou Gehrig's backup.

Jeter 2952 48
Rivera 570 31
A-Rod 618 145
Magic Number 132 (to eliminate Rays, 131 for O's, 130 for Scum, 129 for Jays)


Days until the Red Bulls play again: 2, this coming Saturday night, against the Los Angeles Galaxy, at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. The Gals, of course, feature U.S. World Cup hero Landon "I'm brilliant on the pitch, but at home I'm so dumb I let Bianca Kajlich get away" Donovan and former Manchester United legend and failed England Captain David "I'm too sexy for Milan" Beckham.

Days until the next Yankees-Red Sox series begins: 9, a week from this Friday, at Yankee Stadium II. Just over a week.

Days until the Red Bulls play another "derby": 38, on Saturday, June 11, against the team that should be considered their biggest rivals, the New England Revolution, at Red Bull Arena. The next play the team that is usually considered their biggest rivals, D.C. United, on Saturday, July 9, at Red Bull Arena. And they next play their closest rivals, the Philadelphia Union, on Thursday night, October 20, at Red Bull Arena.

Days until Derek Jeter collects his 3,000th career hit: 53 (estimated to come on June 26 -- his 37th birthday). Under 2 months.

Days until the next North London Derby: As yet unknown. The 2011-12 Premier League season begins on August 13, so it can't be any earlier than that. The schedule -- sorry, forgot to speak English there, the fixture list -- is usually released in the 2nd week in June.

Days until Rutgers plays football again: 120, on Thursday, September 1, home to North Carolina Central. Just 17 weeks, under 4 months.

Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: 126, on Friday night, September 9, and the opponent and location are TBD. Just 18 weeks.

Days until the Devils play another local rival: As yet unknown. The next season's schedule hasn't been released yet, save for the season-openers at the neutral but hockey-loving site of Helsinki, Finland, games that will include the Rangers. That will be on October 7. Figure the Devils' season opener will be the next day, which is 177 days from now. Figure they'll probably play a local rival, either the Rangers, the Islanders, or the Flyers soon thereafter, maybe a week after, so, tentatively, I'm going to say the number of days is: 164. Or 23 weeks.

Days until the Rutgers-Army football game at Yankee Stadium: 192.

Days until the next East Brunswick-Old Bridge Thanksgiving clash: 204.

Days until the last Nets game in New Jersey: 354 (estimated, as the 3rd Sunday in April 2012 is the 22nd). Less than 1 year, unless new owner Mikhail Prokhorov decides he'll stay in the Prudential Center, the great new arena he's already got.

Days until the 2012 Olympics begin in London: 450 (July 27).

Days until Alex Rodriguez collects his 3,000th career hit: 761 (estimated).

Days until Alex Rodriguez hits his 700th career home run: 883 (estimated).

Days until Super Bowl XLVIII at the Meadowlands: 1,005 (tentatively scheduled for February 2, 2014, although it could end up being moved back a week or 2).

Days until Alex Rodriguez hits his 756th career home run to surpass all-time leader Hank Aaron: 1,503 (estimated).

Days until Alex Rodriguez hits his 763rd career home run to become as close to a "real" all-time leader as we are likely to have: 1,617 (estimated).

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