Sunday, July 19, 2015

Robinson Cano Strikes Back

So yesterday, I mentioned how ex-Yankee Robinson Cano was struggling this season. I didn't mention it was because he, a lefthanded hitter, no longer had that short right-field porch at Yankee Stadium to use as a target, as Safeco Field isn't kind to hitters, especially lefties. (Ask Ken Griffey Jr.)

Me and my big mouth. (Big fingers? After all, I typed it rather than saying it out loud.)

Yesterday, Cano went 3-for-4, including 2 home runs, driving in all the Mariners' runs. The rest of the Seattle team combined got only 4 hits and 3 walks. In other words, Michael Pineda was fantastic -- for 8 of the 9 batters.

Brian McCann hit a 2-run homer in the 4th, but that was all the Yankees got until the bottom of the 9th. Trailing 4-2, Mark Teixeira led off with a double, and there was hope, as the Mariners traditionally have a problematic bullpen.

But Carson Smith struck out McCann and Chase Headley, although a wild pitch on the 3rd strike against Headley got Teix to 3rd and Headley to 1st. Now the tying runs were both on.

Garrett Jones grounded to short, getting Teix home to make it 4-3 and send Headley to 2nd. Now the tying run was a hit away, and the winning run at the plate. But Didi Gregorius grounded to 2nd to end it.

WP: Hisashi Iwakuma (2-1). SV: Smith (7). LP: Pineda (9-6).

The series concludes this afternoon, with CC Sabathia (no longer the great ace) starting against Felix Hernandez (still called "King" even though he's never thrown a pitch in the postseason).

Also, Carlos Beltran has come off the Disabled List. To make room for him, the Yankees sent Rob Refsnyder back down.

That's like dropping Jennifer Lawrence from your movie to make way for Madonna.


Days until the U.S. national soccer team plays again: 2, this Tuesday night, at 6:00, against Jamaica, in the Semifinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The U.S. men seem to be following the amazing path of the U.S. women, who didn't look great in the Group Stage of the recent Women's World Cup, but they plowed through the knockout rounds like the other teams owed them money. The U.S. slaughtered Cuba in last night's Quarterfinal in Baltimore, 6-0, with Clint Dempsey scoring a hat trick. (As far as I know, none of the Cubans have defected.)

Days until the Red Bulls play again: 2, this Tuesday afternoon, at 4:00, against the Philadelphia Union, in the Quarterfinal of the U.S. Open Cup, America's version of the FA Cup.

Days until the Red Bulls next play a "derby": See the previous answer. The next game against the New England Revolution will be on Saturday night, August 22, at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The next game against D.C. United will be on Sunday night, August 30, at Red Bull Arena.

Days until the next Yankees-Red Sox series begins: 16, on Tuesday, August 4, at 7:00 PM, at Yankee Stadium II. A little over 2 weeks.

Days until Arsenal play again (in a competitive match): 21, on Sunday afternoon (8:30 in the morning our time), home to East London club West Ham United. Just 3 weeks.

Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: 46, on Thursday night (why?), September 3, away to Woodbridge. Under 7 weeks.

Days until Rutgers plays football again: 48, on Saturday afternoon, September 5, home to Norfolk State.

Days until the Devils play again: 82, on Friday, October 9, home to the Winnipeg Jets. A little under 12 weeks.

Days until the Islanders' first home game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn: 82, also on Friday, October 9, against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. Or, to put it another way, "82 Sleeps Till Brooklyn." Until then, despite having definitively played their last competitive game in the Nassau Coliseum, even with their 4 straight long-ago Stanley Cups, they're just a Small Club In Hempstead.

Days until the Devils play another local rival: 93, on Sunday, October 18, away to the Rangers.

Days until the next North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham: 111, on Saturday, November 7, at the Emirates Stadium. Under 4 months.

Days until the next East Brunswick vs. Old Bridge Thanksgiving game: 1360 on Thursday morning, November 26, at 10:00 AM, at EB. A little over 4 months.

Days until the Copa América Centenario begins on U.S. soil: 320, on June 3, 2016. Under 11 months. The tournament will be between teams from the North American, Central American and Caribbean region (CONCACAF) and South America (CONMEBOL, which is celebrating its 100th Anniversary). Although it's a member of CONCACAF rather than CONMEBOL, the U.S. is the host nation, and thus qualifies automatically, as it does for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Days until Euro 2016 begins in France: 327, on Friday, June 10.

Days until the next Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 383, on Friday, August 5, 2016. A little over a year.

Days until Alex Rodriguez's Yankee contract runs out: Officially, at the end of the 2017 season. Game 7 of that year's World Series could turn out to be on Halloween, so, for the sake of this entry, let's say October 31, 2017, which would be 1,200 -- a little over 2 years. Of course, the Yankees could release him before then, but I don't think the House of Steinbrenner wants to take the financial hit from buying him out.

Days until the next World Cup begins in Russia: 1,420, on Friday June 8, 2018. A little over 3 years.

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