Friday, June 24, 2016

Yanx Split With Rox Thanx to Castro Walx Off

As they did last week in Denver, the Yankees had a brief 2-game series with the Colorado Rockies, this time in New York. As they did last week, they split the series.

Ivan Nova started on Tuesday night, and was ineffective, allowing 6 runs (5 of them earned) in only 4 innings. Nick Goody tacked on 2 more runs to put the game out of reach. Brett Gardner, Carlos Beltran, Didi Gregorius and Rob Refsnyder each had 2 hits, to no avail.

Rockies 8, Yankees 4. WP: Chad Bettis (6-5). No save. LP: Nova (5-5).

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The situation did not call for the dreaded D-GANG, Day Game After Night Game. But that's what the Yankees had on Wednesday afternoon. CC Sabathia started, and the Yankees gave him a 4-0 cushion in the 2nd inning, thanks to a grand slam by the much-maligned Chase Headley, his 4th home run of the season.

But the Big Fella couldn't hold it. Over the next 3 innings, he and Anthony Swarzak allowed 8 runs. No Runs DMC pitched perfect ball after that -- Dellin Betances in the 7th, Andrew Miller in the 8th, and Aroldis Chapman in the 9th -- just as it was planned. But no one planned on trailing 8-4 going into the bottom of the 7th.

Except Refsnyder led off the inning by reaching base on that rare baseball play, catcher's interference. The Rockies' catcher was Nick Hundley, no relation to former Met Todd and his father, former Cub Randy, although they were also catchers.

After Jacoby Ellsbury flew out, Gardner singled, and Beltran hit a home run, his 19th of the season. 8-7 Rockies. Alex Rodriguez was robbed on a fine defensive play, but Brian McCann hit a ground-rule double down the right-field line. Starlin Castro singled, but since McCann, to borrow Reggie Jackson's line about Lou Piniella, runs like a dump truck, he had to stop at 3rd base. Didi singled McCann home.

Castro was the leadoff hitter in the bottom of the 9th, and he assured there would be no others. For the 1st time this season, the Yankees had a walkoff home run. It was Castro's 10th homer of the season.

Yankees 9, Rockies 8. WP: Chapman (1-0). No save. LP: Jason Motte (0-1).

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The Yankees are now 35-36, 6 games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Eastern Division. They are not gaining ground, but the Orioles aren't pulling away, either. As inconsistent as the Yankees have been, they are still in it. With 3 months to go, 6 games is not a big deal.

As they did last week, for 4 games in Minneapolis, the Yankees start a weekend series with the seriously struggling Minnesota Twins, this time for 3 games in The Bronx. Here are the projected pitching matchups:

* Tonight, 7:05 PM: Masahiro Tanaka vs. Tommy Milone.

* Tomorrow, 1:05 PM: Michael Pineda vs. Ervin Santana.

* Sunday, 1:05 PM: Nathan Eovaldi vs. Tyler Duffy.

*

Days until the New York Red Bulls play again: 1, tomorrow night at 7:30, away to the Columbus Crew. This comes after a shocking late loss away to Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night.

Days until the U.S. national soccer team plays again: 1, tomorrow night, at 8:00 PM Eastern Time, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, against Colombia in the 3rd place game of the Copa America Centenario. The Final will be the next day, at the Meadowlands, between Argentina and Chile. After this, the next game for the U.S. team will be on September 2, as part of CONCACAF's qualifying matches for the 2018 World Cup.

Days until the next Yankees-Red Sox series: 21, on Friday, July 15, the 1st series after the All-Star Break, at Yankee Stadium II. Just 3 weeks.

Days until the Red Bulls next play a "derby": 23, on Sunday night, July 17, against the Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium (formerly PPL Park) in Chester, Pennsylvania. The next game against New York City F.C. (a.k.a. Man City NYC, Man City III, Small Club In Da Bronx and The Homeless) is on Sunday afternoon, July 3, at Yankee Stadium II -- although after the greatest humiliation any MLS team has ever endured, that 7-0 defeat in The Bronx last weekend, I wonder if NYCFC (now 0-4 all-time against RBNY) will even want to show up. The next game against D.C. United (a.k.a. The DC Scum) is on Sunday night, August 21, at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Washington. The next game against the New England Revolution is on Sunday night, August 28, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

Days until The Arsenal play at the opponents in the 2016 Major League Soccer All-Star Game: 34, on Thursday night, July 28, at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California, home of the San Jose Earthquakes. Just 5 weeks.  Three days later, The Arsenal will play C.D. Guadalajara (a.k.a. Chivas), one of the biggest clubs in Mexico, at the StubHub Center, home of the Los Angeles Galaxy, in Carson, California. This will be just 2 years after The Arsenal came to America to play the Red Bulls in New Jersey. I was lucky enough to get a ticket and attend that match. I won't be going to either of these: Even if I could get a game ticket, paying for a plane ticket would be tough. And, because of the timing of these games, The Arsenal will not host the no preseason Emirates Cup this year. (They'd held it every year since 2007, except for 2012, canceling it due to the Olympics causing havoc with London's infrastructure.)

Days until the 2016 Olympics begin in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 42, on Friday, August 5. Just 6 weeks.

Days until The Arsenal play another competitive match: 50, on Saturday, August 13, at home to Liverpool. Just 7 weeks. This game could be delayed to Sunday the 14th, or Monday the 15th, depending on the whims of British television executives trying to get big ratings.

Days until Rutgers University plays football again: 71, on Saturday, September 3, away to the University of Washington, in Seattle. Just 10 weeks.

Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: 77, on Friday, September 9, probably away, since, while the 2016 schedule hasn't been released yet, the Big Green opened last season at home.

Days until the New Jersey Devils play again: 
111, on Thursday night, October 13, away to the Florida Panthers. Under 4 months. The home opener is 5 days later, on Tuesday night, October 18, against the Anaheim Ducks.

Days until the next East Brunswick-Old Bridge Thanksgiving game: 153, on Thursday morning, November 24, at the purple shit pit on Route 9. Exactly 5 months.

Days until the New Jersey Devils play another local rival: 170. Their 1st game this season with the New York Rangers will be on Sunday night, December 11, at Madison Square Garden. Their 1st game this season with the Philadelphia Flyers will be on Thursday night, December 22, at the Prudential Center. By a quirk in the schedule, the New York Islanders, a team they usually play several times a season, don't show up on the slate until Saturday night, February 18, 2017, at the Prudential Center.

Days until the Contract From Hell runs out, and Alex Rodriguez' alleged retirement becomes official: 494, on October 31, 2017, or at the conclusion of the 2017 World Series, if the Yankees make it, whichever comes last. A little over 16 months.

Days until the next World Cup kicks off in Russia: 720, on June 14, 2018. A little under 2 years. The U.S. team will probably qualify for it, but with Jurgen Klinsmann as manager, particularly in competitive matches rather than in friendlies, you never know.

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