Sunday, April 9, 2017

Yanks Salvage Baltimore Finale With 4-Run 9th

The Yankees really needed to snap out of it in the finale of their 3-game series with the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards. And, for 8 innings, it looked like that would not be the case.

I was all set to write, "Don't blame the pitching staff." CC Sabathia pitched 6 decent innings, allowing 3 runs (only 2 earned) on 6 hits and 4 walks. Tyler Clippard recovered from his dumpster fire of the night before with a perfect 7th inning, and Dellin Betances -- as is his job, or so we've been told -- pitched a perfect 8th.

But after 5 innings, the Yankees trailed 3-0. Ronald Torreyes tripled home 2 runs in the 6th, and Aaron Judge tied it with a home run in the 8th, his 1st of the season.

But you know the Yankees, or at least the 2010s Yankees: If it goes to extra innings, Joe Girardi will have to go deep into the bullpen, and they'll be doomed. So they had to win it in the top of the 9th.

Oriole (and former Yankee) manager Buck Showalter brought Darren O'Day in to pitch the 9th. It turned out to be as dumb a bullpen move as Girardi usually makes. Cliche alert: "Leadoff walks will kill you." Matt Holliday led off the 9th by drawing a walk. Girardi made a good substitution, sending Jacoby Ellsbury in to pinch-run for him and steal 2nd base. Great move, although it was rendered pointless when Chris Carter also drew a walk. Girardi pinch-ran for him, too, with Pete Kozma.

Girardi probably would have replaced O'Day by this point, to face Starlin Castro. Or maybe not, since Castro is righthanded, not lefthanded. Anyway, Castro singled, scoring Ellsbury with the go-ahead run. Then O'Day walked Chase Headley to load the bases with nobody out. Judge grounded to 1st, and Oriole 1st baseman Chris Davis had only the play at his own base, scoring Kozma.

Austin Romine flew out to right, and Castro tried to score. Jonathan Schoop acted as the cutoff man, and tried to throw home, but he threw it away, enabling not only Castro but Headley to score. Then Torreyes singled. Only then did Showalter relieve O'Day, with former Yankee Vidal Nuno, who got the last out.

Aroldis Chapman came on to pitch the bottom of the 9th, even though, with a 4-run lead, it was not a save situation. He got the last 3 outs, with Judge making a great catch of Caleb Joseph's sinking liner to end it. Yankees 7, Orioles 3. WP: Betances (1-1). No save. LP: O'Day (0-1).

*

So, at the conclusion of the 1st of the Major League Baseball regular season's 26 weeks, the standings in the American League Eastern Division look like this:

AL East
W
L
PCT
GB
HOME
AWAY
L10
4
1
.800
-
4-1
0-0
4-1
5
2
.714
-
5-2
0-0
5-2
3
2
.600
1.0
2-0
1-2
3-2
2
4
.333
2.5
0-0
2-4
2-4
1
5
.167
3.5
0-0
1-5
1-5

Not good for the Yankees, but, as the Toronto Blue Jays -- and the 1-5 Atlanta Braves, and the 1-6 Seattle Mariners -- can tell us, it could be worse. Come to think of it, the Mets aren't doing much better: They're 2-3, while currently playing the ESPN Sunday night game against the Miami Marlins, although they are winning as I type this.

Tomorrow is the Yankees' home opener, against the Tampa Bay Rays. Joe Torre is set to throw out the ceremonial first ball. Here are the projected pitching matchups: 

* Tomorrow, 1:05 PM: Michael Pineda vs. Alex Cobb.
* Wednesday, 1:05 PM, after a day off on Tuesday (a failsafe against an Opening Day rainout): Luis Severino vs. Blake Snell.
* Thursday, 7:05 PM: Masahiro Tanaka vs. Matt Andriese.

Come on you Pinstripes!

*

Elsewhere, the New Jersey Devils lost their regular-season finale today, to the Detroit Red Wings, 4-1.  The Mulberry Street Marauders miss the Playoffs for the 5th consecutive season.

Head coach John Hynes getting fired would be the first step toward recovery, but not the last step.

The Wings, on the other hand, missed the Playoffs for the 1st time in 27 years. So this was the last game at Joe Louis Arena. They, and the Detroit Pistons, move into the Little Caesars Arena this coming Autumn.

The 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs will be as follows:


First RoundSecond RoundConference FinalsStanley Cup Finals
A1 Montreal0
WC NY Rangers0
A2 Ottawa0
A3 Boston0
Eastern Conference
M1 Washington0
WC Toronto0
M2 Pittsburgh0
M3 Columbus0
C1 Chicago0
WC Nashville0
C2 Minnesota0
C3 St. Louis0
Western Conference
P1 Anaheim
WC Calgary0
P2 Edmonton
P3 San Jose
The New Jersey Devils do more than any other sports team to drive me crazy.

And the New York Red Bulls say, "Hold my beer... " They lost 1-0 to Orlando City tonight.

Tomorrow, the Yankees' home opener, and Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace. Speaking of teams that drive me crazy... (The Arsenal, not Palace.)

*

Hours until the Yankees' 2017 season opener: 15, tomorrow afternoon, at 1:05 PM, vs. the Tampa Bay Rays.

Hours until The Arsenal play again: 17, tomorrow afternoon, at 3:00 (8:00 in the evening, their time), away to South London club Crystal Palace.

Days until the Red Bulls play again: 6, this Saturday night at 7:30, home to D.C. United. Beat The Scum!

Days until the Red Bulls next play a "derby": See the previous answer. They will next play 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. And they will next play a Hudson River Derby against New York City FC on Saturday, June 24, at Red Bull Arena.

Days until the next Yankees-Red Sox series: 16on Tuesday, April 25, at 7:00 PM, at Fenway Park.

Days until the next North London Derby: 21on Sunday, April 30, at White Hart Lane, for the last time, before Spurs' old stadium us mercifully demolished to make way for the new one. This game was moved from the 29th to accommodate the TV networks. It is also possible that Arsenal could face Tottenham again this season, in the FA Cup Final -- the result of which would absolutely be treated as a referendum on Arsène Wenger's last season as manager. Well, maybe not if he wins it.

Days until the U.S. national soccer team plays again: 60on Thursday night, June 8, in a CONCACAF World Cup Qualifier, at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in the Denver suburbs, against Trinidad & Tobago. That's 2 months. This game is a must-win. The women's team just swept a pair of games in Texas (the Dallas area and Houston) against Russia.


Days until Rutgers University plays football again: 146, on Saturday, September 2, 2017, home to the University of Washington. A little over 4 months.

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 152 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 187 days.


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 next election for Governor of New Jersey: 212, on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Under 7 months.

Days until the next Rutgers-Penn State football game: 216, on Saturday, November 11, 2017, at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.

Days until the next East Brunswick-Old Bridge Thanksgiving game: 228, on Thursday morning, November 23, 2017, at 10:00. About 7 1/2 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: 431, on June 14, 2018. Under a year and a half, or a little over 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 the next Congressional election: 576, 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: 640, on January 9, 2019. Under 2 years, or 21 months.

Days until the Baseball Hall of Fame vote is announced, electing Derek Jeter: 1,005, on January 8, 2020. Under 3 years, or 33 months.

Days until the next Summer Olympics begins in Tokyo, Japan: 1,203, on July 24, 2020. Under 3 1/2 years, or a little over 39 months.

Days until the next Presidential election: 1,305, on November 3, 2020. Under 4 years, or under 43 months.

Days until Liberation Day: 1,386, at noon on January 20, 2021. Under 4 years, or a little over 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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