Sunday, April 18, 2021

N.Y. Mets: Command and Control, the Comeback, and The Closer

From the desk: HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET

After Friday Blizzard Mets Split 
Saturday Twin Bill at Coors Field

Teammates Rally Together in Support of Jacob deGrom's Near Record Effort

Making his third start of this young season, Jacob deGrom puts forth something more than just another dominating effort.  In facing 23 Colorado batters, he hurls 99 pitches with 67.6% going for strikes.  His line reads three unearned runs on three hits and just one walk with 14 strikeouts through six innings pitched.  It marks his second straight start with 14 strikeouts.  But this performance against the Rockies is so much more special than that.  

Jacob registers his first strikeout to end the first, then fans the side in the second.  He again strikes out the side in the third and yet again in the fourth, giving him nine consecutive strikeouts, eight of which are of the swing-and-miss variety.  Jacob now lay within one strikeout of matching Tom Seaver's 51-year old year record of ten consecutive strikeouts set on April 22, 1970, against the San Diego Padres.  

But Colorado third baseman Josh Fuentes has other ideas when he grounds to second leading off the fifth and reaches safely on Jeff McNeil's errant throw to first.  And wouldn't you know, Jacob strikes out the next batter he faces.  Afterwhich, trouble comes knocking at the door.  Catcher Dom Nunez triples off the right-field wall scoring Fuentes, and pinch-hitter Yonathan Daza's sacrifice fly to right field scores, Nunez.  Left fielder Raimel Tapia then homers, giving the Rockies a 3-1 lead.  Jacob finally fans second baseman Ryan McMahon to retire the side.

Pete Alonso who back in the third inning drove home Jacob deGrom with the game's first run, homers leading off the top of the sixth, cutting the Mets deficit to one.  Jacob deGrom, in his final inning of work, retires the Rockies in order with two more strikeouts.  In the top half of the seventh, runs batted in by Jonathan Villar and Francisco Lindor put Jacob deGrom back on the winning side of the game.

Edwin Diaz then slams the door shut on the Colorado Rockies, needing just 13 pitches to strike out the side, all swinging.  While earning his first save of the season, Diaz likewise locks down deGrom's first victory in three tries.  The deGrominator evens his record at 1-1 with a glistening 0.45 ERA through 20 innings pitched to date.

The results of game two at Coors Field on Saturday do not escape me.  The fact they were a mere 2 for 23 at the plate with just two walks and six strikeouts albeit against a representative German Marquez is more than I care to know.  Otherwise, Joey Lucchesi's second appearance and first start for the Mets proved troublesome as did that of reliever Jacob Barnes.  The Rockies struck for three runs in the first inning and the rest is, as they say, 

... you know, Metsian.



Battle of the Hudson: Rangers Hand Devils Fifth Straight Defeat

From the desks: RAISE GRESCHNER WITH THE GREATS & THE BRICK CITY STYX

BATTLE of the HUDSON
Rangers lead Devils; 5-2
I - NJD 4; NYR 3
II - NJD 5; NYR 2
III - NYR 6; NJD 1
IV - NYR 6; NJD 3
V - NYR 3; NJD 0
VI - NYR 4; NJD 0
VII - NYR 6; NJD 3
VIII - SUNDAY

Pavel Buchnevich Scores First Career Hat Trick on Birthday

Things are winding down to an interesting conclusion.  Not only are the Rangers a mere four points behind the Bruins with twelve games left to play, but the final two regular-season games are at Boston.  

I wonder if this is indeed the reason why the Rangers didn't trade Chris Kreider.  Of all the players purged these last few years by Jeff Gorton, I remain surprised they A)-signed him to a prohibitive contract, and B)-by the simple fact he is still here.  

Chris Kreider scored the Rangers' sixth and final goal of Saturday's match against the Devils into an empty net, that is.  It marks his first point in six games and his first goal since Mar. 28 at Washington.  Since scoring a hat trick on Mar. 4 against these very Devils, Kreider has just three points through nine games in April and just five goals in his last 23 games.

That won't jive in the playoffs.  Just saying ...

Pavel Buchnevich opened the scoring at 7:26 of the first period on feeds by Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad.  The Rangers then scored on consecutive power plays, first by Ryan Strome at 10:27 with assists from Panarin and Zibanejad, then again by Pavel Buchnevich (K'Andre Miller, Colin Blackwell) at the 11:48 mark for a 3-0 Rangers lead.

Artemi Panarin scored within a New York minute to open the second period with assists from Ryan Lindgren and Ryan Strome for a commanding 4-0 lead.  The Rangers appeared on their way towards a third straight blanking of the Devils, but Michael McLeod ended that notion at 12:37 of the second period with his seventh goal of the season.

Into the second intermission, they went. 

A little over five minutes into the third period, P.K. Subban scored his fifth of the season on feeds from Yegor Sharangovich and Jack Hughes.  One minute and four seconds later, Yegor Sharangovich made it a 4-3 game off another feed from Hughes.  But that's where Newark's comeback stops.  The Devils gambled when they pulled goalie Aaron Dell from the net, but the house won.  Pavel Buchnevich scored into an empty net at 18:39, and Kreider followed likewise one minute later.

Pavel Buchnevich scores a hat trick on his 26th birthday!

Artemin Panarin had three assists and one goal; Ryan Strome and Mika Zibanejad score three points each.

After a tough overtime loss against the Islanders, Igor Shesterkin bounces back with back-to-back shutouts of the Devils.  In each of the first two games of this series, he stops 27 and 16 shots on goal.  On Friday, he faces an increased 33 SOGs and allows three goals even-strength (.. but that's because Coach Quinn took his foot off the pedal).

New Jersey played beyond seven periods against the Rangers before McLeod's second-period goal.  The Devils are 1-5 since trading Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac with 15 goals for and 27 goals against.  They are likewise 0-5 against the Rangers since winning the first two games of the season series.


Saturday, April 17, 2021

Brooklyn Nets: Unlikely Dynamic Duo To The Rescue

From the desk: THE HOOPS OF FLATBUSH

FRIDAY
Hornets    115
Nets         130
FINAL

Joe Harris and Landry Shamet Join Forces Against Hornets

And herein lies one of my issues: Joe Harris plays a leading role against a good Hornets team with both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on the floor.  As is presently the case with James Harden being out, the Nets need Friday's type of performance when any of the aforementioned big three are not on the court.  That being said, Joe Harris tied for the team lead in attempts and finished with a team-high 26 points in 29 minutes.  He was 8/12 from the field, including a decisive 6/9 from behind the arc.  

After proactively sitting out Wednesday to maintain a barking hamstring, Kevin Durant returned to score 25 points in an extended 30 minutes.  He also played the role of facilitator with a game-high eleven assists.  Kyrie Irving had seven assists but struggled to score twelve points in a team-high 33 minutes.

With the sudden retirement of LaMarcus Aldridge, the onus in the middle is reset upon DeAndre Jordan and young Nicolas Claxton.  Game-wise, a minus-14 by Jordan and a plus-14 by Claxton cancel each other out; individually speaking is another topic.  Jordan finished with eight points and five rebounds.  His 17 minutes were the fewest of Steve Nash's five starters.  Meanwhile, Nicolas Claxton was scoreless, attempting just one shot from the field, but secured nine rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench.

Landry Shamet played a big role in Friday's win, shooting 7/14 from the field, including 6/11 from behind the arc for 20 points and a team-high plus-25 in 21 minutes also off the bench.  Led by Shamet and Joe Harris, who joined for 12/20 from long range, the Nets posted plus-27 points from behind the arc.  

Flatbush was also plus-nine in assists, but their plus-eleven in fastbreak points were canceled out by Charlotte's plus-seven in points off turnovers.

Brooklyn could not gain ground on first-place Philadelphia who narrowly defeated the Clippers to retain their one-game conference advantage over the Nets with 16 games left in the regular season.



N.Y. Knicks: Striving and Driving to Fifth Straight Win

From the desk: KICKING CANS DOWN 33RD STREET WITH JIMMY

FRIDAY
Knicks        117
Mavericks  109
FINAL

Thibodeau's Time Bandits Corral Dallas Mavericks

Don't look now, but the Knicks are winners of a season-high five in a row.  In fact, it's their longest such streak in seven years.  The Knicks have also climbed three games above .500 for the first time this season and finish the night sixth in the Eastern Conference, a mere half-game behind Boston and 1.5 games ahead of the Miami Heat.

Julius Randle matched his season-high with 44 points; he previously scored 44 points back in mid-February against the Atlanta Hawks.  This marks the eighth time this season he's scored 30 points or more, three of which have come consecutively over the last three games.  The Knicks own a 6-3 record through nine games in April, with Julius Randle averaging 26 points per game.  Against the Mavs, Julius attempted a game-high 29 shots, converting 16 times, including 6/11 from behind the arc and 6/9 from the stripe, along with ten rebounds and seven assists in 41 minutes.  It was his 32nd double-double in 56 games played this season.

RJ Barrett was the second of three Knicks starters to exceed 40 minutes on the floor.  Reggie Bullock was the third.  Barrett scored 24 points with eight rebounds in a game-high 46 minutes, while Bullock struggled to score eleven points in 41 minutes.

Derrick Rose was the main component off the bench, adding 15 points in 25 minutes.  Taj Gibson was the only other bench player to receive significant minutes.

Playing against their former team, Kristaps Porzingis led the Mavericks with 23 points in 38 minutes, and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 16 points in 24 minutes off the bench.

The Knicks have 15 games remaining on their schedule.  They return home to host New Orleans on Sunday, which kicks off a six-game homestand.  After which, they go on the road for five games before wrapping up their final three regular-season games at Madison Square Garden.


100 YEARS AGO AT THE POLO GROUNDS 4/17/1921: Yankees Blank Visiting Red Sox

From the desk: WHEN THE POLO GROUNDS WAS THE WORLD


100 Years Ago Today at the Polo Grounds: 
New York Giants & New York Yankees 
1921 Seasons Revisited

In their last season at Hilltop Park, the now formerly known New York Highlanders lost 102 games.  Rebranded as the Yankees, in 1913, they moved just a few blocks away into the Polo Grounds as tenants of the Senior Circuit's New York Giants.  To the chagrin of Giants manager John McGraw, the Americans proceeded to lose another 94 games.  

Known to hold a grudge, McGraw, two full decades later, still harbored much animosity not only towards Ban Johnson and his rebel circuit (unkept promises included) but more so towards the Yankees themselves who were founded at the expense of his rendered defunct Baltimore Orioles.  

For as long as the Yankees paid their rent, the tenant/landlord relationship with the Giants remained amicably strained.  Mainly because the middling Americans, except for one season in 1916, never elevated themselves above the ranks of Junior Circuit also-rans.  But that changed in 1919 when they briefly vied for the pennant but tuckered out down the stretch to finish third.  A franchise-record 619,164 fans showed up to root for the American League contenders.  However, the Yankees' burgeoning success was not yet a pressing issue, per see, for the Giants, who were coming off a second-place finish and their best season in a decade at the turnstile.

Then, in 1920, baseball's tectonic plates along the New York/New England fault shifted.  The Yankees' purchase of George Herman "Babe" Ruth from the Boston Red Sox sent seismic waves reverberating throughout the baseball world but none more intense than in Washington Heights.  Ruth's earth-shattering record of 54 home runs was something never experienced before in the history of baseball but an accomplishment for which John McGraw had little appreciation as one who believed players worked too hard and earnestly only to have their skills disrespected by some miscreant's lone swing of the bat.

Gotham's citizenry never before descended from Coogan's Bluff in such quantity and spectacle than in 1920 as the Giants would set a franchise record with 929,609 reported attendance.  However, the New York Nationals faced an economic dilemma of Ruthian proportions.  McGraw's disdain for his tenants was further heightened when the Yankees outdrew the host Giants in their own home for the first time in each franchise's history.  Headlined by Babe Ruth, the Yankees seized the city's attention, evidenced by an all-time major league record of 1,289,422 in attendance.

In 1921, over two million fans would again pack the Polo Grounds.  Babe Ruth would continue forward accomplishing the unimaginable, and if that wasn't surreal enough, he proceeds to top it - all the while with each passing day, John McGraw grows more incensed.  Lest we forget, New York City is still Little Napoleon's empire.  

Sharing a ballpark for both teams is becoming an insufferable condition.  A resolution lies not too far away ...  

In the meantime, two major league titans charge headlong into a season-ending October clash at the Polo Grounds.  It is New York City's first-ever World's Championship Subway Series.  All games are played at the Polo Grounds, making Coogan's Bluff the center of the baseball universe. 

This is my replay of that season.  I'll be exercising my creative license whenever and wherever ever possible.  More than anything, this is about having fun and celebrating New York City's baseball history.  
Enjoy the games ... PLAY BALL!

⚾      ⚾


GAME #4
Boston Red Sox @ NEW YORK YANKEES
POLO GROUNDS

Carl Mays Whitewashes Visiting Boston Red Sox in Front of 15,000 at Polo Grounds

Facing Boston's Sad Sam Jones, second baseman Chuck Fewster leads off the bottom of the first with a hit to left field.  Roger Peckinpaugh successfully bunts Chuck to second, and Babe Ruth's sacrifice fly to right field advances him to third base.  With two outs, first baseman Wally Pipp singles to center field, driving home Fewster.  New York Yankees starter Carl Mays takes care of the rest.  A former two-time 20-game winner for the Red Sox, the veteran right-hander, shuts out Boston limiting them to just four hits and three walks with three strikeouts for his second victory of the young season.  With two outs in the sixth inning, third baseman Curt Walker doubles home Wally Pipp for a 2-0 Yankees lead.  Pipp again singles with one out in the eighth and scores on Bob Meusel's triple to left field.  Center fielder Ping Bodie follows with a single, scoring Meusel for a 4-0 lead and the Yankees' final margin of victory.  Also, facing his former team again, Babe Ruth goes 0 for 3 but drew an intentional walk with one out in the third and Peckinpaugh standing on second base.  Otherwise, Wally Pipp carries the day going 3 for 4 with a double, two runs scored, and one run batted in.  Winners of three out of their first four games, the Yankees enjoy an early half-game lead over the second-place Washington Senators, who yesterday fell to these very Red Sox.
  • FINAL: BOS 0; NYY 4
  • RECORD:  3-1

New York Giants: April 17, 1921, Travel Day
Next Game: Monday, April 18, 1921, @ BOSTON BRAVES



Friday, April 16, 2021

Rain Out Theater with The Media Goon, Keith Blacknick of QBC on Another Metsian Podcast

From the desk: HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET


FEATURED GUEST

Mother Nature says no baseball for you.  One of the wackiest starts to a season continues, or not.  Out of fourteen scheduled games, the Mets have played just eight yet find themselves atop the N.L. East standings.  Helping The Metsian Podcast make sense of it all is The Media Goon, Keith Blacknick, of the Queens Baseball Convention.
ninety-five minutes



#LFGM

100 YEARS AGO AT THE POLO GROUNDS 4/16/1921: Babe Ruth Hits First Home Run; Giants Fall at Philadelphia

From the desk: WHEN THE POLO GROUNDS WAS THE WORLD


100 Years Ago Today at the Polo Grounds: 
New York Giants & New York Yankees 
1921 Seasons Revisited

In their last season at Hilltop Park, the now formerly known New York Highlanders lost 102 games.  Rebranded as the Yankees, in 1913, they moved just a few blocks away into the Polo Grounds as tenants of the Senior Circuit's New York Giants.  To the chagrin of Giants manager John McGraw, the Americans proceeded to lose another 94 games.  

Known to hold a grudge, McGraw, two full decades later, still harbored much animosity not only towards Ban Johnson and his rebel circuit (unkept promises included) but more so towards the Yankees themselves who were founded at the expense of his rendered defunct Baltimore Orioles.  

For as long as the Yankees paid their rent, the tenant/landlord relationship with the Giants remained amicably strained.  Mainly because the middling Americans, except for one season in 1916, never elevated themselves above the ranks of Junior Circuit also-rans.  But that changed in 1919 when they briefly vied for the pennant but tuckered out down the stretch to finish third.  A franchise-record 619,164 fans showed up to root for the American League contenders.  However, the Yankees' burgeoning success was not yet a pressing issue, per see, for the Giants, who were coming off a second-place finish and their best season in a decade at the turnstile.

Then, in 1920, baseball's tectonic plates along the New York/New England fault shifted.  The Yankees' purchase of George Herman "Babe" Ruth from the Boston Red Sox sent seismic waves reverberating throughout the baseball world but none more intense than in Washington Heights.  Ruth's earth-shattering record of 54 home runs was something never experienced before in the history of baseball but an accomplishment for which John McGraw had little appreciation as one who believed players worked too hard and earnestly only to have their skills disrespected by some miscreant's lone swing of the bat.

Gotham's citizenry never before descended from Coogan's Bluff in such quantity and spectacle than in 1920 as the Giants would set a franchise record with 929,609 reported attendance.  However, the New York Nationals faced an economic dilemma of Ruthian proportions.  McGraw's disdain for his tenants was further heightened when the Yankees outdrew the host Giants in their own home for the first time in each franchise's history.  Headlined by Babe Ruth, the Yankees seized the city's attention, evidenced by an all-time major league record of 1,289,422 in attendance.

In 1921, over two million fans would again pack the Polo Grounds.  Babe Ruth would continue forward accomplishing the unimaginable, and if that wasn't surreal enough, he proceeds to top it - all the while with each passing day, John McGraw grows more incensed.  Lest we forget, New York City is still Little Napoleon's empire.  

Sharing a ballpark for both teams is becoming an insufferable condition.  A resolution lies not too far away ...  

In the meantime, two major league titans charge headlong into a season-ending October clash at the Polo Grounds.  It is New York City's first-ever World's Championship Subway Series.  All games are played at the Polo Grounds, making Coogan's Bluff the center of the baseball universe. 

This is my replay of that season.  I'll be exercising my creative license whenever and wherever ever possible.  More than anything, this is about having fun and celebrating New York City's baseball history.  
Enjoy the games ... PLAY BALL!



GAME #3
Philadelphia Athletics @ NEW YORK YANKEES
POLO GROUNDS

Babe Ruth Hits First Home Run; Starter Bill Piercy Hurls a Dandy

The Yankees rebound from Thursday's loss to claim their rubber game against Philadelphia.  Athletics starter Slim Harriss does himself no favors.  In fielding a game-opening bunt attempt by Chick Fewster, Harriss throws errantly to first base; Fewster advances all the way to third and scored on shortstop Roger Peckinpaugh's grounder to second.  An inning later, Harriss serves up a leadoff home run to Bob Meusel for a 2-0 Yankees lead.  Philadelphia reduces their deficit by one with a hit and a run scored by right fielder Whitey Whitt.  However, Babe Ruth in the bottom of the sixth homers to deep right field, giving the Yankees a 3-1 lead and their final margin of victory.  Winning pitcher Bill Piercy yields one lone run on just four hits and no walks with six strikeouts through nine innings complete.  Although Philadelphia sophomore Slim Harriss likewise surrenders just four hits and fans six batters, he suffers his first defeat.
The Yankees will next host the Boston Red Sox.
  • FINAL: PHI 1; NYY 3
  • RECORD:  2-1

GAME #3
New York Giants @ PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Baler Bowl

Giants Depart Philadelphia on a Losing Note

Philadelphia salvages their series finale against the Giants.  The Phillies lineup offers New York pitchers no quarter, striking eleven runs (ten earned) on 15 hits.  Starter Rosy Ryan fails to make it out of the second inning, having surrendered four runs (three earned) on three hits and two walks.  Pitching in relief of Ryan, Fred Toney yields solo home runs in the sixth by Phillies' third baseman Russ Wrightstone and catcher Frank Bruggy.  Facing Slim Sallee pitching in relief of Toney, Philadelphia erupts for five more runs in the eighth, highlighted by home runs from left fielder Irish Meusel and starting pitcher Lee Meadows.  Making his second appearance against the Giants, Meadows goes the distance but not before the Giants rally for three runs in the eighth and two in the ninth.  But it was too little too late.  First baseman High Pockets Kelly finishes 2 for 5 with his second home run of the season and three runs batted in.  Right fielder Curt Walker goes 3 for 5, including his third double of the season and a run scored, and Frankie Frisch drives in his fifth run through three games.  The Giants next travel to Boston for two games against the Braves.
  • FINAL: NYG 5; PHI 11
  • RECORD:  2-1


Thursday, April 15, 2021

Brooklyn Nets: The Showdown That Wasn't

From the desk: THE HOOPS OF FLATBUSH

WEDNESDAY
Nets   117
Sixers 123
FINAL

Nets Lose the Battle With Sights Set on the Post Season War

In one of the more odd games of the season, the fans seemed more into this game than the Nets themselves.  Playing minus the services of Kevin Durant, James Harden, Blake Griffin, and LaMarcus Aldridge, Brooklyn was still plus-six in the paint, plus-two on fast breaks, plus-seven from the stripe, and even a plus-eleven in rebounds.  

They trailed by eight at halftime, and at one point, were down by as many as 22-points and still put themselves in a position to win.  Down by ten entering the fourth quarter, Brooklyn pulled to within three points of the Sixers with 1:16 left on the clock but ultimately lose by six. 

  • NOTE: LaMarcus Aldridge has announced his retirement.  After playing against the Lakers last Saturday, he has been determined to experience an irregular heartbeat.  I bid him health, peace, and calm during this time.  Chris Chiozza is also likely out for the season with a fractured hand.

Joining Kyrie Irving in the starting five were Jeff Green, Joe Harris, DeAndre Jordan, and Landry Shamet.

Irving led the Nets with 37 points and tied (with Ben Simmons) for game-high with nine assists in 33 minutes.  However, he was offset by Joel Embiid's 39 points in 33 minutes.  Otherwise, the Nets shot a mere 4/21 from behind the arc, whereas Philadelphia was 13/28, and therein lies the Sixers' margin of victory.

Landry Shamet was second in with 17 points in 36 minutes, and DeAndre Jordan went double-double with twelve points and 14 rebounds.  However, Joe Harris again was nowhere to be found.  Attempting only the team's fifth-most shots, he finished with a mere six points in 26 minutes.  On the other hand, Bruce Brown scored 14 points with five rebounds in 31 minutes off the bench.

Philadelphia wins the season series against Flatbush, two games to one.


Bedford and Sullivan Podcast: Celebrating Jackie Robinson Day 2021 with Negro League Historian Phil S. Dixon

From the desk: A SAM MAXWELL PRODUCTION

BEDFORD & SULLIVAN 
Meets BROOKLYN TROLLEY BLOGGER

JACKIE ROBINSON DAY
April 14, 1947


FEATURED GUEST
Negro Leagues Historian, Writer, Speaker


ninety-eight minutes






 

Jackie Robinson Day 2021

From the desk of:  FINGERPRINTS OF THE BUMS


Jackie Robinson School
McKeever Place, Brooklyn


*
UNITED STATES ARMY
Second Lieutenant
1942 ~ 1944

1945 - Kansas City Monarchs
24 for 58 (.414/.460/.569)

1946 - Montreal Royals
.349/.468/.462, 113 runs, 40 stolen bases

*


*

Tuesday, April 15, 1947
Jackie Robinson starts at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers 
at Ebbets Field finally breaking baseball's color line.


1947 - N.L. Rookie of the Year
.297/.383/.427, 12 Home Runs, 48 RBI 
Leads N.L. with 29 stolen bases

1949 - N.L. MVP
.342/.432/.528, 16 Home Runs, 124 RBI
Leads N.L. with 37 stolen bases
N.L. Batting Title

6x All-Star
6x National League Champion
1955 - World Series Champion

*


*



*


*

October 27, 1972
Jack Roosevelt Robinson passes away 
upon suffering a heart attack at his home.  He was just 53-years old.

Cypress Hills Cemetery, Brooklyn



April 15, 1997
Jackie Robinson's #42 is retired by Major League Baseball



* Brooklyn Historical Society


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

N.Y. Rangers: Igor Shesterkin Blanks Devils at the Rock

From the desks: RAISE GRESCHNER WITH THE GREATS & THE BRICK CITY STYX

BATTLE OF THE HUDSON
Rangers lead Devils; 3-2
I - NJD 4; NYR 3
II - NJD 5; NYR 2
III - NYR 6; NJD 1
IV - NYR 6; NJD 3
V - NYR 3; NJD 0

Fists Fly in the Battle Between Two Rebuilding Locals

Igor Shesterkin earns his first career NHL shutout as the Rangers blanked the punchless Devils at Prudential Center.  Newark was both plus-seven in faceoffs and shots on goal and even the beneficiaries of two power-play opportunities.  But the Rangers' 25-year old goalie faced 27 shots and stopped them all, including four on special teams.

It's worth noting the Devils were playing without Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac's services - traded to the Isles - and centerman and team Captain Nico Hischier finally made his reappearance on the ice.

Mika Zibanejad opened the scoring at 7:02 of the first period on a breakaway set up by Pavel Buchnevich and Adam Fox feeds.  After a scoreless second session, Artemi Panarin scored at 7:50 of the third on Filip Chytil and Fox assists.  Pavel Buchnevich then closed out the scoring on an unassisted short-handed goal into an empty net with just 0:28 seconds left in regulation.   

Mackenzie Blackwood has enjoyed better days.  His defensemen offered zero help on Zibanejad's goal.  Otherwise, he faced just 19 shots, stopping all but two.

With two more assists, Adam Fox has 34 points in 41 games.  Mike Zibanejad now has four goals and six points in his last seven games and 30 points in his last 27 games.

Damon Severson and Chris Kreider wasted little time exchanging pleasantries and punches just 1:27 into the game.  Later in the second period, Brendan Smith and Michael McCleod also decided a tussle was in order.

Hostilities resume Thursday.  The Rangers and Devils play three more times over the next five days.


100 YEARS AGO AT THE POLO GROUNDS 4/14/1921: Yankees Tripped Up By Athletics; Giants Win Second Straight at Philadelphia

From the desk: WHEN THE POLO GROUNDS WAS THE WORLD


100 Years Ago Today: The New York Giants and New York Yankees 1921 Seasons Revisited

In their last season at Hilltop Park, the now formerly known New York Highlanders lost 102 games.  Rebranded as the Yankees, in 1913, they moved just a few blocks away into the Polo Grounds as tenants of the Senior Circuit's New York Giants.  To the chagrin of Giants manager John McGraw, the Americans proceeded to lose another 94 games.  

Known to hold a grudge, McGraw, two full decades later, still harbored much animosity not only towards Ban Johnson and his rebel circuit (unkept promises included) but more so towards the Yankees themselves who were founded at the expense of his rendered defunct Baltimore Orioles.  

For as long as the Yankees paid their rent, the tenant/landlord relationship with the Giants remained amicably strained.  Mainly because the middling Americans, except for one season in 1916, never elevated themselves above the ranks of Junior Circuit also-rans.  But that changed in 1919 when they briefly vied for the pennant but tuckered out down the stretch to finish third.  A franchise-record 619,164 fans showed up to root for the American League contenders.  However, the Yankees' burgeoning success was not yet a pressing issue, per see, for the Giants, who were coming off a second-place finish and their best season in a decade at the turnstile.

Then, in 1920, baseball's tectonic plates along the New York/New England fault shifted.  The Yankees' purchase of George Herman "Babe" Ruth from the Boston Red Sox sent seismic waves reverberating throughout the baseball world but none more intense than in Washington Heights.  Ruth's earth-shattering record of 54 home runs was something never experienced before in the history of baseball but an accomplishment for which John McGraw had little appreciation as one who believed players worked too hard and earnestly only to have their skills disrespected by some miscreant's lone swing of the bat.

Gotham's citizenry never before descended from Coogan's Bluff in such quantity and spectacle than in 1920 as the Giants would set a franchise record with 929,609 reported attendance.  However, the New York Nationals faced an economic dilemma of Ruthian proportions.  McGraw's disdain for his tenants was further heightened when the Yankees outdrew the host Giants in their own home for the first time in each franchise's history.  Headlined by Babe Ruth, the Yankees seized the city's attention, evidenced by an all-time major league record of 1,289,422 in attendance.

In 1921, over two million fans would again pack the Polo Grounds.  Babe Ruth would continue forward accomplishing the unimaginable, and if that wasn't surreal enough, he proceeds to top it - all the while with each passing day John McGraw grows more incensed.  Lest we forget, New York City is still Little Napoleon's empire.  

Sharing a ballpark for both teams is becoming an insufferable condition.  A resolution lies not too far away ...  

In the meantime, two major league titans charge headlong into a season-ending October clash at the Polo Grounds.  It is New York City's first-ever World's Championship Subway Series.  All games are played at the Polo Grounds, making Coogan's Bluff the center of the baseball universe. 

This is my replay of that season.  I'll be exercising my creative license whenever and wherever ever possible.  More than anything, this is about having fun and celebrating New York City's baseball history.  
Enjoy the games and PLAY BALL!!


GAME #2
Philadelphia Athletics @ NEW YORK YANKEES
POLO GROUNDS

Brooklyn-born Waite Hoyt starts for the Yankees and is opposed by Philadelphia's sophomore right-hander Eddie Rommel.  After three scoreless frames, Athletics first baseman Frank Brazil leads off the top of the fourth with a triple to left field.  With two outs and center fielder Frank Welch at the plate, Brazil steals home.  Welch then follows with a triple of his own and scores on a hit through the left side by shortstop Chick Galloway.  First baseman Wally Pipp gets the Yankees on the board in the bottom half of the frame with an inside-the-park home run into the left/center field gap.  Pinch-hitting for Waite Hoyt in the seventh, Chicken Hawks singles home Aaron Ward with the tying run.  Facing Jack Quinn pitching in Hoyt's relief, catcher Cy Perkins leads off the top of the ninth with a triple to right field.  Frank Welch drives him home and later scores on a hit from second baseman Jimmy Dykes for a 4-2 lead and the final victory margin.  Waite Hoyt escapes with a no-decision while Jack Quinn suffers the loss.  Eddie Rommel yields three runs, two earned, on eight hits and two walks with two strikeouts through nine innings for the victory.
  • FINAL: PHI 4; NYY 2
  • RECORD:  1-1


GAME #2
New York Giants @ PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Baker Bowl

Rather than wait for extra innings as they did one day ago, the visiting New York Giants this time scored early and often en route to a second straight victory at Philadelphia.  New York's first five batters promptly knocked Phillies starter Lee Meadows, out of the box, striking four hits and a walk for four runs.  Not yet done, the Giants press reliever George Smith for two more runs and a 6-0 first-inning lead.  With two outs in the fourth, High Pockets Kelly drives home, Dave Bancroft.  Afterwhich, the Giants plate three more runs in the seventh for a 10-0 lead.  Philadelphia ruins the shutout with single runs in the eighth and ninth innings.  Last season's 21-game winner, Art Nehf, limits the Phillies to a pair of late runs on eight hits and just one walk with a strikeout.  Right fielder Curt Walker, High Pockets Kelly, and catcher Frank Snyder each drive in two runs apiece.  Walker and Snyder account for six of the Giants' 15 hits.
  • FINAL: NYG 10; PHI 2
  • RECORD:  2-0


Brooklyn Nets: Tuesday Tune-Up Before Conference Showdown at Philadelphia

From the desk: THE HOOPS OF FLATBUSH

TUESDAY
Nets    127
T'Wolves 97
FINAL

Flatbush Simply Does What Needed To Get Done

Let's first keep Tuesday's game at Minnesota in context, shall we?

The game marks the tenth time this season the Nets held their opponent under one hundred points which, considering the Timberwolves are the worst team in the league, is no great achievement.  Minnesota had just two players score in double-digits led by Anthony Edwards' team-high 27 points and the familiar D'Angelo Russell's 15 points in 20 minutes off the bench. 

Despite the competition, Coach Nash's starting lineup was no less intriguing.  Nicolas Claxton, Jeff Green, and Chris Chiozza were teamed up with Kevin Durant and Joe Harris.  Nash also distributed at least 20 minutes to eight different players on the front end of back-to-back nights.

Jeff Green quietly scored seven points in 19 minutes, while Chris Chiozza scored four points in a near-silent 14 minutes.  Nicolas Claxton got the start in the middle, scoring six points with seven rebounds in 21 minutes.  However, the real center of attention was DeAndre Jordan making his first reappearance since LaMarcus Aldridge's acquisition.  Jordan scored 13 points with seven rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench.  LaMarcus Aldridge did not play.

In only his third game back, Kevin Durant was 11/15 from the field, including 4/6 from behind the arc and 5/6 from the stripe for a game-high 31 points in just 27 managed minutes.  Durant has now participated in just 22 (40%) of Brooklyn's 54 games to date.  Playing minus James Harden and Kyrie Irving, the three have played together this season a mere seven times.

Enter Joe Harris, who tied for third-most attempts on the team with twelve.  He converted eight times, including 5/8 from long range and 2/2 from the line for 23 points, the second-most on the team behind Durant.  It's the first time he's eclipsed 20 points this month and the tenth time this season.  He is currently averaging 14.1 ppg through 54 games which rates slightly behind last year's 14.5 ppg mark.

Landry Shamet gave Brooklyn four scorers in double-digits.  He was 7/12 from the field and 5/9 from three-range for 19 points in 26 minutes.  Shamet and Chiozza also tied for the team lead with five assists each.

Blake Griffin struggled, shooting 0/6 from the field with only four points from the stripe in 24 minutes.

Otherwise, Flatbush finished plus-13 in rebounds, plus-15 in assists, and doubled up the T'Wolves by a 48-24 margin in the paint.  

Flatbush reestablishes a first-place tie with the idle Philadelphia Sixers atop the Eastern Conference standings with the victory.  It just so happens the two teams square off Wednesday night at the City of Brotherly Love.  The season series is knotted at one game apiece, with each team winning at home.



Tuesday, April 13, 2021

N.Y. Knicks: Julius Randle Sends Ripples Through the Lakers

From the desk: KICKING CANS DOWN 33RD STREET WITH JIMMY

MONDAY
Lakers   96
Knicks  111
FINAL

Third Straight Victory Keeps Knicks in Top Eight

The Knicks do what the Brooklyn Nets could not just a few days ago: defeat the depleted Los Angeles Lakers.  They limited the Lakers, who were coming off a 25-point victory over Brooklyn, to 96 points; it's the 19th time this season the Knicks have held the opposition below one hundred points.  

They held Los Angeles to 80 possession, posted a plus-14 in rebounds, a plus-nine in steals, and instigated 25 turnovers while putting up a plus-eight at the stripe and outscoring the Lakers 54-38 in the paint.

Julius Randle scored at least 30 points for the third time since the All-Star break and the first time this month.  He led the floor with 34 points and tied with a game-high with ten rebounds in 39 minutes.  Elfrid Payton was second to Randle with twelve attempts and 20 points in 27 minutes.  Derrick Rose added 14 points in 20 minutes off the bench.

Their three-game homestand is a rousing success.  The Knicks win three in a row (Memphis, Toronto, Los Angeles) to get a game back over .500 and improve to 17-10 at home.


100 YEARS AGO AT THE POLO GROUNDS 4/13/1921: New York Yankees Trounce Athletics in Home Opener

From the desk: WHEN THE POLO GROUNDS WAS THE WORLD


100 Years Ago Today: The New York Giants and New York Yankees 1921 Seasons Revisited

In their last season at Hilltop Park, the now formerly known New York Highlanders lost 102 games.  Rebranded as the Yankees, in 1913, they moved just a few blocks away into the Polo Grounds as tenants of the Senior Circuit's New York Giants.  To the chagrin of Giants manager John McGraw, the Americans proceeded to lose another 94 games.  

Known to hold a grudge, McGraw, two full decades later, still harbored much animosity not only towards Ban Johnson and his rebel circuit (unkept promises included) but more so towards the Yankees themselves who were founded at the expense of his rendered defunct Baltimore Orioles.  

For as long as the Yankees paid their rent, the tenant/landlord relationship with the Giants remained amicably strained.  Mainly because the middling Americans, except for one season in 1916, never elevated themselves above the ranks of Junior Circuit also-rans.  But that changed in 1919 when they briefly vied for the pennant but tuckered out down the stretch to finish third.  A franchise-record 619,164 fans showed up to root for the American League contenders.  However, the Yankees' burgeoning success was not yet a pressing issue, per see, for the Giants, who were coming off a second-place finish and their best season in a decade at the turnstile.

Then, in 1920, baseball's tectonic plates along the New York/New England fault shifted.  The Yankees' purchase of George Herman "Babe" Ruth from the Boston Red Sox sent seismic waves reverberating throughout the baseball world but none more intense than in Washington Heights.  Ruth's earth-shattering record of 54 home runs was something never experienced before in the history of baseball but an accomplishment for which John McGraw had little appreciation as one who believed players worked too hard and earnestly only to have their skills disrespected by some miscreant's lone swing of the bat.

Gotham's citizenry never before descended from Coogan's Bluff in such quantity and spectacle than in 1920 as the Giants would set a franchise record with 929,609 reported attendance.  However, the New York Nationals faced an economic dilemma of Ruthian proportions.  McGraw's disdain for his tenants was further heightened when the Yankees outdrew the host Giants in their own home for the first time in each franchise's history.  Headlined by Babe Ruth, the Yankees seized the city's attention, evidenced by an all-time major league record of 1,289,422 in attendance.

In 1921, over two million fans would again pack the Polo Grounds.  Babe Ruth would continue forward accomplishing the unimaginable, and if that wasn't surreal enough, he proceeds to top it - all the while with each passing day John McGraw grows more incensed.  Lest we forget, New York City is still Little Napoleon's empire.  

Sharing a ballpark for both teams is becoming an insufferable condition.  A resolution lies not too far away ...  

In the meantime, two major league titans charge headlong into a season-ending October clash at the Polo Grounds.  It is New York City's first-ever World's Championship Subway Series.  All games are played at the Polo Grounds, making Coogan's Bluff the center of the baseball universe. 


Enjoy the games and PLAY BALL!!



GAME #1
Philadelphia Athletics @ NEW YORK YANKEES
POLO GROUNDS

Yankees Trounce Athletics in Home Opener

Upwards of 37,000 fans packed the Polo Grounds for Wednesday's season opener against the Philadelphia Athletics.  New York promptly opened the scoring in the second.  Leading off, center fielder Ping Bodie doubled against A's starter Scott Perry, and third baseman Aaron Ward followed with a home run to deep left field.  Perry and Yankees starter Carl Mays continued dueling through the sixth.  The home crowd's nail-biting began in the seventh when with two outs, third baseman Joe Dugan tripled home Philadelphia's first run of the game.  But the Yankees quickly alleviated any crowd anxiety with three runs on a walk and four hits in the bottom half of the seventh.  Afterwhich, a fielding error by substitute catcher Glenn Myatt in the bottom of the eighth cleared the way for another six runs (four unearned) en route to an 11-1 Opening Day Yankees victory.  Carl Mays yielded a lone run on just three hits and one walk with two strikeouts in a complete-game effort.  Left fielder Babe Ruth was 5 for 5 with two doubles and two runs batted in.  Ping Bodie drove in two runs, as did second baseman Chick Fewster.  In addition to earning the victory, Carl Mays went 3 for 4 at the plate.
  • FINAL: NYY 11; PHI 1
  • RECORD:  1-0


GAME #1
New York Giants @ PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Baker Bowl

Giants Outlast Phillies in Extra Innings at Baker Bowl Season Opener

The visiting New York Giants scratched back from a four-run deficit with two runs in the sixth and four more in the seventh for a 7-5 lead.  But similarly to the fifth inning, reliever Jesse Barnes and the Giants infield failed to keep the Phillies at bay, yielding two unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh, prompting a seven-all tie.  That's the way things stayed until the eleventh inning.  New York scored three times in the top of the frame on pinch-hitter Lee King's sacrifice fly, scoring George Burns and High Pockets Kelly's two-run inside-the-park home run to straightaway center field.  Reliever Fred Toney surrendered one run during the bottom of the ninth but successfully closed New York's 10-8 victory at Philadelphia.  Starter Phil Douglas escaped with a no-decision after yielding four runs in four innings pitched.  Fred Toney earned the victory in relief.  Frankie Frisch also led the charge with three hits, a stolen base, and three runs batted in.  Leadoff batter George Burns was 3/6 with three runs scored and one run batted in.
  • FINAL: NYG 10; PHI 8 (13 innings)
  • RECORD:  1-0