Category: Highlights

New York Mets’ Highlight of the Week 7-3-16 Through 7-9-16

Courtesy: CBS Sports

Courtesy: CBS Sports

What started out as a week of promise for the New York Mets has ended with storm clouds. Matt Harvey is officially done for the season and Yoenis Cespedes and Noah Syndergaard are both missing the All-Star Game with what the team hopes are minor injuries. After finishing off a sweep of the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, New York took two of three from the Miami Marlins and then the first game of a four game set against the Washington Nationals. The Mets then proceeded to drop the next two games to drop to five games behind the Nats.

This week’s highlight came on Thursday night off the bat of the rejuvenated Wilmer Flores. In the bottom of the fifth inning, he stepped to the plate with the Mets down 6-4. His hot stretch continued with his fifth home run in five games putting New York in front for good, a contest they won by a score of 9-7. There was a combined eight home runs in the game, none bigger than Flores’ blast.

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New York Yankees Highlights June 12th-June 18th

We are reaching a critical point in the season for the New York Yankees. They followed up a five game losing streak with a four game losing streak that continued through the middle of last week. They then took the first three games of a series in Minnesota against the Twins. However, the team is just .500 and with the trading deadline creeping closer, management will have to decide whether or not to take a shot or sell off some assets.

Courtesy: Foxsports

Courtesy: Foxsports

But that’s a topic for a different day. Here are some Yankee highlights from the past week.

I like Ike. That’s more than just a Presidential slogan. It’s a cheesy way to introduce a highlight of Ike Davis. The newly-signed first baseman joined the team in Colorado and delivered an RBI single in a seven-run eighth inning against the Rockies. Alas, it wasn’t enough as the Rockies took the contest by a score of 13-10.

Didi Gregorius did it in the field two weeks ago. Last week, he did it with his bat. His three-run home run on Thursday night put the Yanks ahead for good in a 4-1 victory over the Twins. Do you suppose my prior affiliation with an Arizona Diamondbacks’ blog is the reason why I like watching and writing about Sir Didi?

On Saturday, the Yanks were comatose for the first six innings against Ricky Nolasco. they had been shut out by the veteran right-hander, mustering only four hits. They finally broke through in the seventh when Carlos Beltran led off with a single.  Alex Rodriguez proceeded to put the club on the board with a two-run home run. In the eighth, Beltran showed why he is the team’s MVP.

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New York Mets Highlights June 12th-June 18th

I am such a jinx. Why? Because it seems every time I give praise to the New York Mets, something goes awry. One of my five predictions for the Amazins in 2016 was that Matt Harvey was going to have a huge season. How is that working out? On Friday, I praised the team for being resilient. No sooner was that post published than the Mets went out and laid two eggs against the last place Atlanta Braves.

Courtesy: nypost.com

Courtesy: nypost.com

Perhaps I should stick to writing simple things like showing you some of the previous week’s Met highlights.

With David Wright out for the season, Wilmer Flores is going to have to elevate his game. He and Kelly Johnson will probably split time at third base in the Captain’s absence and Flores’ bat will have to help out a spotty Met offense. He had a good start to this assignment with a four RBI night on Wednesday including this two-run home run during an 11-2 win.

Bartolo Colon grabbed some headlines on Thursday with his bat and his arm in a 6-4 New York victory. However, it was Michael Conforto‘s catch in the first inning that perhaps changed the momentum of the game. With two outs and a runner on second, the Met left fielder reached out to save a run. Maybe New York still would have walked away with the “W” but this catch put turned the team in the right direction.

Since we brought up the ageless Colon, it is only right that we close out this week’s highlights with him. Whenever the big man is at the dish, no introduction is necessary.

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3 Great David Wright Moments

The New York Mets received some bad news Thursday as it was announced that David Wright will undergo neck surgery, a procedure which most likely means his season is over. The team’s captain is also dealing with spinal stenosis, a condition that will not be improving as his age advances. At this point in his career, Wright will never be the same player he was five years ago. No player usually is. However, he is now dealing with two major issues at an age when a player’s skills usually start declining.  In fact, at age 33, it may also be time for him to be thinking about retirement. As we absorb the loss for the Mets possibly for good, let’s look back at three big moments from their star third baseman’s career:

Courtesy: abc7newyork

Courtesy: abc7newyork

Getting to Mo-May 19, 2006

You have to know something special is going on when you hit one a long way against Mariano Rivera. In the first game of the 2006 clash between the Mets and crosstown rival New York Yankees, the Bombers jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning. The Mets answered with three of their own in the bottom of the frame. After five innings, the two teams were tied at six and it stayed that way until the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Paul Lo Duca doubled and after Carlos Beltran struck out, Carlos Delgado was intentionally walked. That’s when this happened:

World Series-October 30th, 2015

Game three ended up being the only contest in which New York was victorious. Noah Syndergaard was the story, his six innings of three-run ball that was highlighted by that first up-and-in pitch to Alcides Escobar. However, it was Wright who was the offensive star in the 9-3 Met victory. He had four RBI’s on the night including this two-run home run that put the Amazins out in front 2-1 in the first inning.

Final bow?-May 21, 2016

If, unfortunately, this is the end of the line for Wright, this hit against the Milwaukee Brewers will go down as his last great moment. Jacob deGrom did not have it on this day, as he gave up four runs in five innings. The Brewers built a 4-1 lead after three and a half innings before the Mets began to chip away. Yoenis Cespedes‘ two-run homer in the sixth tied the game before Wright’s heroics ended it in the ninth.

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New York Baseball Highlights June 5th-June 11th

The New York Yankees crossed the threshold of .500 this past week. Getting above the break-even mark indicates the Yanks aren’t quite dead yet and that talk of trading expiring contracts has quieted down for now. A five game winning streak makes the world a better place and with almost-but-not-quite half the season to go, the Yanks aren’t talking trade anytime soon.

Courtesy: sportsonearth

Courtesy: sportsonearth

Across the river in Queens, the New York Mets the Mets have made some deals and it is because of necessity. Injuries have put a dent in their everyday lineup so New York addressed a couple of needs by trading for James Loney in May and Kelly Johnson during this last week. Despite the continuing disabled list count, the Mets are only three and a half games behind the Washington Nationals.

Let’s check out some of the best of New York baseball over the last seven days:

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The Yankees

Welcome to the Bronx, Chris Parmelee. The Yankees desperately need first base help and assistance was found in the form the 28-year old lefty swinger. He made an immediate impact with these two home runs in during the Bombers’ 12-6 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. And just like that, Parmelee himself will miss a month with a hamstring injury.

Defense wins championships. That’s an old adage in football but it applies to the game of baseball as well. The Kansas City Royals have been in back-to-back World Series in part because of outstanding play in the field. The Yanks improved their defense with the acquisition of Didi Gregorius prior to the 2015 season. This play on Thursday helped New York to a sweep of LA.

If I had told you before the season that C.C. Sabathia would regain his ace form, you would I have said I was delusional. But here it is and the big lefty has arguably been the Yanks’ best pitcher in 2016. In his latest outing Friday night, Sabathia held the Tigers scoreless through seven innings, giving his team their fifth consecutive victory.

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The Mets

The defending National League Champions needed a boost after getting swept in a doubleheader on Tuesday. Wilmer Flores eventually won the game in the 10th inning but it was Ty Kelly who got his team on the board in the fourth inning as he clubbed his first Major League home run.

The Mets can also flash the leather. Here, Asdrubal Cabrera gobbles up this tough hop by Milwaukee shortstop Jonathan Villar and fires to first to complete the out. This was in the first inning of a 5-2 New York triumph.

The Mets were on the verge of a potentially painful loss. With the score tied in the 9th inning Friday night, the club loaded the bases with nobody out. They proceeded to go down without scoring a run. However, in the bottom of the frame, the Brewers had second and third with one out and could not score the winning run. That set the stage for this wacky play in the 11th that ultimately gave the Amazins’ the victory.

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Meet the New York First Round Picks

I am going to be honest. I am not a big MLB Draft person. It’s not that I don’t pay any attention when the actual draft is going on.  I had my television on and watched the first few selections. It’s just that these players aren’t as well known as the players are in the NFL and NBA Drafts. The fact that is now broadcast on MLB Network makes it more likely that I will tune in with greater interest in subsequent years. The other issue is that actual games are being played during the selection process as opposed to the other two sports where those drafts are conducted in the offseason.

 

Photo by Ron Antonelli/MLB Photos via Getty Images Local Caption ***

Photo by Ron Antonelli/MLB Photos via Getty Images Local Caption ***

Instead of writing an opinion about a player who has never played a professional game, I have decided to take a different approach in introducing the first round selections of the New York Yankees and New York Mets. Listed below are the players taken along with a brief write up by the folks at mlb.com. Each snippet is written by Jim Callis and for more detail on each player, I will link to each team’s beat writer for mlb.com. We both will learn something together. For Callis’ complete first round analysis, click here.

18. New York Yankees: OF Blake Rutherford, Chaminade Prep (Calif.)
Callis: Signability concerns are the main reason that Rutherford lasted this long. He’s a very good value here for the Yankees. MLB Pipeline ranked him as the best high school position player coming into the year, and he’s another athletic outfielder with a chance to have solid tools across the board.

For more on Rutherford, click here for a piece written by Bryan Hoch.

19. New York Mets: RHP Justin Dunn, Boston College
Callis: Dunn had so much helium down the stretch that I thought there was a very good chance he would go No. 10 to the White Sox or No. 11 to the Mariners. So the Mets have to be pleasantly surprised to get him here. He opened the season in BC’s bullpen, but proved he could start and seemed to get better every outing down the stretch.

For more on Dunn, click here for a piece written by Anthony DiComo

31. New York Mets: LHP Anthony Kay, Connecticut (Compensation for Daniel Murphy, who signed with the Nationals. Washington forfeited its first-round pick.)
Callis: Here’s another polished left-hander towards the end of the first round. He doesn’t have a true plus pitch, but he has an effective fastball and changeup and throws a lot of strikes.

For more on Kay, read DiComo’s piece here.

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New York Baseball Highlights 5/29/16-6/4/16

It didn’t start out as the best of weeks for the New York Mets. The offense went dead against the Chicago White Sox, including the embarrassment of Wednesday’s debacle in which the team generated one run off 13 walks. Then word came that David Wright would miss extensive time because of his prevailing neck issue. However, the Amazins’ righted themselves, taking the first two games of a weekend set against the divisional rival Miami Marlins.

Courtesy: foxsports

Courtesy: foxsports

 

As for the New York Yankees, their offense went missing in Toronto, scoring only three runs in total as they were swept by the Blue Jays. However, from Thursday through Saturday, the Yanks exceeded five runs in each contest, winning two of them. A little worrisome, though is the slumping of Dellin Betances. Hopefully, this is just a funk he is in, something that only lasts short-term. If not, you might just kiss the rest of the Bombers’ season goodbye.

On to the highlights:

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The Mets

It is way too early to declare Matt Harvey as “back” However, his performance on Monday proved he wasn’t dead. His seven shutout innings gave the Mets their only victory against the White Sox.

With Wright, Lucas Duda and Travis d’Arnaud out for extensive time, New York needs to find other avenues of offense. Backup catcher Rene Rivera gave the club a boost with this two-run home run in Friday night’s 6-2 victory in Miami.

Saturday’s game belonged to newcomer James Loney. He went 3 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored. However, it was Matt Reynolds‘ pinch-hit single in the eighth inning that put the Mets ahead for good.

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The Yankees

One hit was all the Yankees needed on Sunday. Starlin Castro‘s two-run shot gave New York a 2-1 win and a series victory over the Rays in Tampa.

Castro again figures into this set of highlights as his sparkling double play with Didi Gregorius helped the Yanks to a 5-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

The stolen base is kind of a lost art. However, stealing home has been Jacoby Ellsbury‘s forte in 2016.  For the second time this season, Ellsury scored a run this way as the Yanks held on for an 8-6 win. He was on the front end of this double steal as Brett Gardner took second.

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New York Yankees’ Card of the Week: Rich Gossage

Courtesy: My collection

Courtesy: My collection

The subject of today’s Card of the Week took some heat earlier this year for some comments about today’s game. Hall of Famer Rich Gossage was upset with all of the excess celebrations that go on in baseball and he singled out Jose Bautista‘s infamous bat flip from last year’s playoffs. Whether you agree or disagree with Goose, he is still throwing fastballs, this time the verbal kind, more than 20 years after his retirement.

The card you see here is unique to the 1983 Topps set. The company took a bunch of prominent veterans at the time and juxtaposed a picture from their rookie seasons with their 1982 photos. Other notable names that were part of this set were Carl Yastrzemski, Johnny Bench and Pete Rose.  Gossage’s rookie year was 1972, two years after he was selected in the 9th round of the 1970 Draft by the Chicago White Sox. As you can see by the picture, much of Goose’s facial features had changed since his Major League debut. This was a pretty neat thing to do by Topps to recognize some tremendous, long-time stars from that era.

As for Gossage, 1983 was his final year in his first tour of duty with the Yankees. He had enough of the Bronx Zoo and was anxious to return to a more serene place. The Goose along with another Yankee castoff, Graig Nettles ended up with the San Diego Padres in 1984 and led them to their first World Series appearance. He saved 25 games that year and was named to his eighth All-Star team. Gossage returned to the Bronx in 1989, appearing in 11 games for the Bombers. He did not hang up his spikes until after the 1994 season, pitching a total of 22 years in the Majors.

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New York Baseball Highlights May 23-May 29

Let’s start with the lowlight of the week. In Saturday’s game, between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers, Noah Syndergaard was tossed from the game in the third inning for throwing behind Met killer Chase Utley. The fact that Syndergaard was ejected without so much as a warning has to be one of the dumbest decisions ever made on a baseball field. The ball didn’t even hit Utley; a warning would have been fair. I don’t believe Syndergaard will be suspended perhaps because the powers that be will realize the sheer lunacy of the situation.

Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

On to the highlights of the Mets and New York Yankees for this past week.

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Backup catchers usually do not make highlight reels. So let’s give some love to Austin Romine who delivered a key RBI double on Tuesday night to help the Yankees to their only victory this week against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Nathan Eovaldi has emerged as quite a complement to staff ace Masahiro Tanka. He has posted a 2.16 ERA over his last four starts. On Tuesday, he delivered six scoreless innings against the Blue Jays.

He hasn’t had the best of seasons, hitting a paltry .176.  But Alex Rodriguez has six home runs, including this one that came in his second game since coming of the disabled list. It helped the Yankees to emerge victorious by a score of 4-1 to halt a brief two game skid.

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The Mets

Normally, I try not to include a highlight from a game that the good guys eventually lost. However, this gem by Asdrubal Cabrera could not go unnoticed. this is a play the best shortstops in the game can make.  I’m not saying Cabrera is but for this one play, he belongs with the best.

Who doesn’t want to see a piece of history. Matt Reynolds made some during Wednesday’s game against the Washington Nationals. It wasn’t anything special, just his first-ever Major League hit. He later scored in the 7th inning as the Mets took the rubber game of the three game series in Washington by a score of 2-0.

Finally, one of my favorite players of all time wins one for the Mets. Here’s to you, Curtis Granderson.

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New York Mets Card of the Week: Dwight Gooden

This weekend, the New York Mets are celebrating the 30-year anniversary of their last World Series Championship team. The surviving and able members of that magical club will be honored prior to Saturday night’s contest. One of those guys, at age 21 back then, owned this town. Every one of his starts was an event, something we haven’t seen since. Of course, the man I am talking about is the subject of today’s card of the week: Dr. K, Dwight Gooden.

Courtesy: my collection

Courtesy: my collection

This card is a 1985 Topps, at that time one of the most sought-after cards on the market. It was considered Gooden’s rookie card to most folks back then if not for the fact that there was a 1984 Topps traded card of Gooden. For the uninitiated, a Topps traded (or Fleer update) was a card that features a player that was not part of that same year’s set or was on a different team. Long explanation short, Gooden was not part of the original Topps 1984 set because he did not play for the Mets in 1983 but as Topps came out with their Traded edition later in 1984, Gooden was included because he actually played in 1984. So the 1985 Topps card can be considered his “first” card while the Traded card is considered his “rookie” one. In any event, the 1985 Gooden was special because in that year, he had one of the most remarkable seasons by any pitcher. He won 24 games against only four losses with an astoundingly low 1.53 ERA and unheard of (at least by today’s standards) 16 complete games. It is a shame that drugs curtailed what would have been a Hall of Fame career.

As far as the card itself, I like it. There is nothing fancy about the 1985 set and there is nothing wrong with that. I like the green backs of each card and the team name in the actual team colors looks good with the player uniforms. However, one knock on this edition is that this was the first year with no “team cards”, meaning no picture of the entire team or later, no picture of the pitching and hitting leader with the checklist on the back. All things being equal, while not my favorite set compared to 1977 or 1979 but definitely much better than other sets from the ’80’s.

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