Thursday, June 19, 2014

Whitley, Bats Chase Those Pesky Blue Jays

This season, and last, when the Yankees have allowed 3 or more runs, it has been cause for worry.

Not last night, it wasn't. The Yankees backed up their pitcher with enough runs.

Chase Whitley continued his nice start to a major league career. He went 5 innings against those pesky Toronto Blue Jays, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk. He may be a real find.

As for those runs. Brett Gardner singled to lead off the bottom of the 1st, and Derek Jeter reached on an error. Jacoby Ellsbury's fly ball advanced Gardner to 3rd. Mark Teixeira probably thought he'd singled Gardner home, but our old friend Melky Cabrera caught his line drive. So much for having a runner on 3rd with less than 2 outs. But Alfonso Soriano, miraculously, did not strike out, instead singling Gardner home. 1-0 Yankees.

The Blue Jays took a 2-1 lead in the top of the 4th, but the Yankees answered right back. Carlos Beltran led off the bottom of the 4th with a single, and Brian McCann hit his 8th home run of the year. 3-2 Yankees.

The Yankees added more runs, and, between them, Adam Warren, Jose Ramirez, Dellin Betances and David Robertson allowed 1 run on 2 hits and 1 walk over the last 4 innings.

Yankees 7, Blue Jays 3. WP: Whitley (3-0). No save. LP: Mark Buehrle (10-4). Buehrle's turnaround from a rough 2013 is the biggest reason the Jays have been in 1st place most of the season.

However, now having taken the 1st 2 games of this series, the Yankees have closed to within 2 1/2 games of the Jays -- only 1 in the loss column. The race is on.

The series concludes tonight, with David Phelps -- yeah, I know, but his last outing was all right -- pitching against Drew Hutchison. Then the Yankees begin a 3-game series against the other team threatening for the AL East, the Baltimore Orioles, before hitting the road for 3 games in Toronto. Then, it's back home, to face the Boston Red Scum.

*

Days until the U.S. national soccer team plays again: 2, this Saturday afternoon, at 3:00 PM Eastern Time, at Arena da Amazônia in Manaus, vs. Portugal. The USMNT beat Ghana 2-1 in a thrilling match this week. With a game against among-the-favorites Germany also coming up, this makes the Portugal match critical -- but we may only need a draw to advance to the knockout stage, regardless of how we do against Germany.

Days until the next Yankees-Red Sox series begins: 8, a week from this Friday night, at 7:00 PM, at Yankee Stadium II.

Days until the Red Bulls play again: 8, next Friday night, at 8:00 PM, vs. Toronto FC.

Days until the Red Bulls next play a "derby": 27, on Wednesday, July 16, at 7:00 PM, away to the Philadelphia Union, at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania.

Days until Arsenal play again: Officially, not until the new season starts in August. Unofficially, it's this, and I'm just busting about it:

Days until the Arsenal-Red Bulls match at Red Bull Arena: 37, on Saturday, July 26. A little over 5 weeks.

Days until the 2014-15 Premier League season begins: 58, on Saturday, August 16, with Arsenal at home to Southeast London club Crystal Palace. Under 2 months. The fixture list has been released.

Days until Rutgers plays football again: 70, on Thursday, August 28, away to Washington State, at CenturyLink Field, home of the NFL Champion Seattle Seahawks. (It had been listed as August 30, but was moved up.) Just 10 weeks.

Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: 77, on Thursday, September 4, home to Woodbridge. Just 11 weeks. It's on a Thursday night, rather than a Friday night, because of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

Days until Rutgers makes its Big Ten Conference debut: 86 days, on Saturday, September 13, at 8:00 PM, against old enemy Penn State.

Days until Derek Jeter's last regular-season home game (barring injury): 97, on Thursday, September 25, against the Baltimore Orioles. A little over 3 months.
Days until the next North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham: 100, on Saturday, September 27, at the Emirates Stadium. Yes, that is a little early in the season. although not as early as the season that just ended, when it was on September 1.

Days until Derek Jeter's last regular-season game (barring injury): 101, on Sunday, September 28, against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Days until the Devils play again: Unknown. I previously thought that the 2014-15 NHL schedule had been released, but I was wrong: It still hasn't. Most likely, the Devils will open the season on the 1st Friday in October, which would be October 3. That's 106 days.

Days until the Devils next play a local rival: Unknown. Most likely, it won't be the first game of the season, but it could be the second. So, at least 107 days.

Days until Game 7 of the 2014 World Series -- the absolute latest you can ever again see Derek Jeter in a competitive game: 132, on Wednesday, October 29. A little over 4 months, and no more Jeter -- not as an active player, anyway.

Days until the next East Brunswick vs. Old Bridge Thanksgiving game: 173, on Thursday morning, November 27, 10:00 AM. A little over 5 months.

Days until New York City FC make their Major League Soccer debut: Unknown, but a new MLS season usually begins on the 2nd Saturday in March, which would be March 14, 2015. That's 268 days. Under 9 months. Whether it will be a home game, and thus at the new Yankee Stadium, is yet to be determined.

Days until the New York Islanders' last game at the Nassau Coliseum: 293, on April 8, 2015, at 7:00 PM, against the Ottawa Senators. Under 10 months.

Days until the Islanders' first home game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn: Unknown, but an NHL regular season usually begins on the 1st Friday in October, which would be October 2, 2015. That's 470 days. That's under 16 months. Or, to put it another way, "481 Sleeps Till Brooklyn." Until then, even with their 4 straight long-ago Stanley Cups, they're just a Small Club In Hempstead.

Days until the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 778, on Friday, August 5, 2016. Under 26 months.

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