Monday, April 24, 2017

Pirates Party Like It's 1960

Despite the Pittsburgh Pirates wearing pillbox caps, gold jerseys and black pants like their 1979 World Series-winning edition, this weekend's series between them and the Yankees was reminiscent of the 1960 World Series between the same teams: The Yankees won a game in a blowout, but the Pirates won the close games to claim the overall advantage.

1960? The President of the United States was an old Republican -- but Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower was an honest one, who had not only served in the military, but had been the leading general in a war we had to win, and did. He knew how the world worked. Also, cars were better. So was music. Civil rights, not so much.

Rookie Jordan Montgomery started the series finale yesterday, and pitched well again: 6 innings, 2 runs, 7 hits and 2 walks. He deserved a better fate.

But all that hitting the Yankees have done lately abandoned them against the Pirates' starter, former Yankee Ivan Nova. In the 3rd, Montgomery drew a walk. There's no DH in Interleague games in a National League park, and it was literally his 1st major league plate appearance. But he was stranded there.

In the 4th, with 1 out, Jacoby Ellsbury and Starlin Castro singled, but couldn't get home, because Aaron Judge picked a fine time to ground into a double play rather than hit one over 400 feet. Ellsbury led off the top of the 7th with a home run.

In the 8th, after Nova was relieved with Daniel Hudson, Chris Carter singled with 1 out. Brett Gardner's walk got him to 2nd. Pete Kozma was put in to pinch-run for Carter -- after Gardner's walk, which makes no sense, but it didn't make a difference. Chase Headley popped up. Hudson threw a wild pitch to advance Kozma, the tying run, to 3rd base. But Castro struck out.

The Yankees did threaten in the 9th. With 1 out, Judge singled, Matt Holliday walked, and Ronald Torreyes grounded to 2nd, where Josh Harrison made an error, loading the bases. But Tony Watson struck Aaron Hicks out, and got Kozma to ground into a force play to end the game.

Pirates 2, Yankees 1. WP: Nova (2-2). SV: Watson (6). LP: Montgomery (1-1).


So, 3 weeks into the 26-week regular season, the American League Eastern Division standings are as follows: The Baltimore Orioles lead the Yankees by a game and a half (2 in the loss column), the Boston Red Sox by 2 (3), the Tampa Bay Rays by 3 1/2 (5), and the Toronto Blue Jays by 7 1/2 (8).

The Yankees have today off, and then, tomorrow night, start yet another series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, all 7:00 PM or thereabout starts. Counting the postseason, these will be the 2,078th, 2,079th and 2,080th meetings between the teams. The Yankees have won 1,081 games, the Red Sox 982, and 14 have officially gone into the record books as ties.

Here are the projected starting pitchers:

* Tuesday: Luis Severino vs. Rick Porcello.

* Wednesday: Masahiro Tanaka vs. Chris Sale.

* Thursday: CC Sabathia vs. Drew Pomeranz.

Come on you Bombers! Beat The Scum!


Hours until the next Yankees-Red Sox series: 29, tomorrow night, at 7:00 PM, at Fenway Park.

Days until The Arsenal play again: 2, Wednesday afternoon, at 2:45 (7:45 in the evening, their time), home to Midlands club Leicester City. The defending Premier League Champions have fallen far from their 5,000-to-1 achievement last season. Arsenal beat Manchester City yesterday, to advance to the FA Cup Final for a record 20th time. They will face Chelsea on Saturday, May 27, hoping to win a record 13th Cup.

Days until the Red Bulls play again: 5, this Saturday night at 7:30, home to the Chicago Fire. On Saturday, they beat the Columbus Crew 2-0.

Days until the next North London Derby: 6, this Sunday, at 11:30 AM (4:30 PM, their time), at White Hart Lane, for the last time, before Spurs' old stadium us mercifully demolished to make way for the new one.

Days until the Red Bulls next play a "derby": 12, against the Philadelphia Union, on Saturday, May 6, at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania. They will next play the New England Revolution on Saturday, May 27, at Red Bull Arena. They will next play a Hudson River Derby against New York City FC on Saturday, June 24, at Red Bull Arena. And they will next play the D.C. Scum on Saturday, September 27, at Red Bull Arena.

Days until the U.S. national soccer team plays again: 45on Thursday night, June 8, in a CONCACAF World Cup Qualifier, at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in the Denver suburbs, against Trinidad & Tobago. his game is a must-win.

Days until Rutgers University plays football again:
130, on Friday, September 1, home to the University of Washington. A little over 4 months. This game had been set for the following day, but has been moved back.

Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: Unknown, as the 2017 schedule hasn't been released yet. I now know that high school football games have been scheduled in Middlesex County, New Jersey on Friday night, September 8. That's 137 days from now.

Days until the New Jersey Devils play again: We don't know, as the 2017-18 NHL schedule has yet to be released. The NHL season usually begins on the 2nd Friday in October, which, in 2017, would be... ugh... Friday the 13th. That's 172 days. Under 6 months.

Days until the New Jersey Devils next play a local rival: See the previous answer, although the 1st game isn't likely to be against either the New York Rangers, the New York Islanders or the Philadelphia Flyers.

Days until the Alex Rodriguez Contract From Hell officially runs out, and the Yankees can spend his salary on new players: 190, on October 31.

Days until the next election for Governor of New Jersey: 197, on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Under 7 months.

Days until the next Rutgers-Penn State football game: 201, on Saturday, November 11, 2017, at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.

Days until the next East Brunswick-Old Bridge Thanksgiving game: 213, on Thursday morning, November 23, 2017, at 10:00. About 7 months, and thank God it's at home at Jay Doyle's grove, rather than at the purple shit pit on Route 9.

Days until the next World Cup kicks off in Russia: 416, on June 14, 2018. A bit over a year, or a little under 14 months. Has Bruce Arena turned our chances around? Or will Trump ruin them? Maybe, with the tournament on his soil, Putin will tell Trump to tell Bruce Arena to tank the games. Maybe not. Or maybe just if we end up playing Russia. I don't think Arena will listen. I hope his life insurance is paid up, because Putin kills people.

Days until September 2018 roster call-ups, when we can finally start to expect seeing some of those wonderful "prospects" for whom Yankee general manager Brian Cashman threw away a chance at the 2016 Playoffs: 495. Of course, we could end up seeing one or more of them sooner than that, but since most of them are at Double-A Trenton now, if that, who's kidding who?

Days until the next Congressional election: 561, on November 6, 2018. Under 2 years, or a little under 19 months.

Days until the Baseball Hall of Fame vote is announced, electing Mariano Rivera: 625, on January 9, 2019. Under 2 years, or 21 months.

Days until the Baseball Hall of Fame vote is announced, electing Derek Jeter: 990, on January 8, 2020. Under 3 years, or 33 months.

Days until the next Summer Olympics begins in Tokyo, Japan: 1,184, on July 24, 2020. Under 3 1/2 years, or exactly 39 months.

Days until the next Presidential election: 1,286, on November 3, 2020. Under 4 years, or under 43 months.

Days until Liberation Day: 1,364, at noon on January 20, 2021. Under 4 years, or a little under 45 months. Note that this is liberation from the Republican Party, not Donald Trump. Mike Pence wouldn't be better, just differently bad.

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