J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets. It shouldn’t be long before this chant becomes very familiar for Brett Favre. His ongoing drama with the Green Bay Packers officially ended last night when the un-retired QB was traded to the New York Jets for a 4th round draft pick. Favre should provide the Jets with much need upgrade at the QB position. The Green Bay Packers however, will have to hope that their man Aaron Rodgers steps up, otherwise this trade will go down as the worst Packers move ever.
The trade ended weeks of controversy as the Packers and Favre continued to butt heads on the QB’s future and relationship with the Packers. After reporting to Camp on Tuesday, Favre met with head coach McCarthy. The two were unable to find any common ground as Favre admitted to McCarthy that it would be tough to play in Green Bay after all that was said about him. That conversation sealed Brett’s fate in Green Bay as coach McCarthy concluded that Brett wasn’t in the right state of mind to lead the Packers.
Only time will tell who will truly benefit from this ordeal. New York Jets fans are certainly optimistic. One thing is certain: New York Jets tickets are suddenly a hot item!
Things took a turn for the worse last night in Texas for the New York Yankees. The Yankees who just opened a 10 game road trip, lost the game to the Rangers on a 9th inning grand slam by Marlon Byrd. The loss came after starter Joba Chamberlain was forced to leave the game in the 5th inning due to shoulder tightness. Losing Joba could be a big blow to the Yankees chances in the AL East. Already without starter Chien Ming Wang the Yankees have been relying on the arms of Joba, Mussina and Pettite. Joba is headed back to New York for further tests and will likely miss at least one turn in the rotation.
The Yankees’ loss last night was also particularly frustrating considering they had battled back to tie the game at 5-5 in the 8th inning. The Yankees also missed an opportunity to pick up a game on the 1st place Rays and 2nd place Red Sox. The Yankees and Rangers will be back at it tonight with Andy Pettite facing off against Matt Harrison.
Even without Manny Ramirez in their lineup, the Florida Marlins are still making noise in the NL East and with the MLB trade deadline approaching, their 7-5 victory over the New York Mets Wednesday night pulls the division race even tighter.
On a day when the main baseball talks revolved around the Boston Red Sox left fielder, the Marlins capitalized on 11 hits and a five run fourth inning to lift them to their 24th win of the season against an NL East opponent, the most from within the division.
Josh Johnson won for the first time in almost two years pitching 6 2/3 solid innings allowing four earned runs on eight hits. The starter who had reconstructive elbow surgery in August of 2007 had not won a game since Aug. 28 2006. With the win, the Marlins are also now 4-0 on his four starts this season.
“Two years, wow,” Johnson said when a reporter told him. “Time flies, I guess.”
For the Mets, it was their first loss in a game that Mike Pelfrey started since June 11th. They had won nine consecutive times with him on the hill, and he had picked up eight wins during that span. Pelfrey was only able to throw 4 innings in this one, allowing five earned runs on eight hits before he was pulled from the game. His display equaled his shortest outing on the season.
With the loss, the Mets drop out of first place in the NL East and find themselves a half game behind the Philadelphia Phillies who beat the Washington Nationals 8-5 yesterday. The win for the Marlins pulls them only 1 game behind New York and 1 ½ games behind the Phils for the division lead.
Members of the Marlins were excited about the win but with trade talks in the air some are also uncertain about their future with the team. Josh Willingham and Jeremy Hermida, both brought up as part of a possible trade, had two hits apiece for Florida.
“You put that aside when you step between the white lines,” Hermida said. “I’ve still got a Marlins jersey on. It didn’t affect me whatsoever.”
If a trade were to take place, and under the collective bargaining agreement with the players union, Ramirez would have to approve any deal before it were to happen but with his recent comments and antics on the field, he may approve anything proposed just to get out of Boston.
The Marlins will now welcome the Colorado Rockies into town for a four game series while the Mets will travel to Houston to take on the Astros for a three game set starting tomorrow.
It was a good day for the New York Yankees. Not only did they break their three game losing streak but the Yanks also got some major help behind the plate with the addition of Ivan (Pudge) Rodriguez. Pudge came over late today in a trade with the Detroit Tigers for reliever Kyle Farnsworth. The Yankees announced the news after handily defeating the Baltimore Orioles 13-3 in a day game at the Stadium.
The Yankees offense got the ball rolling for them in the 1st inning when walks by Jeter and Abreu led to quick runs after an Alex Rodriguez single. Abreu followed Jeter home on the play when the throw to the plate sailed over the catcher’s head. A-Rod scored the third run when he came home on a passed ball.
Abreu would go on to add 2 homeruns and 3 RBI while A-Rod added a homer of his own and finished the day with 2 RBI. Joba Chamberlain got the win for the Yankees for his first back to back wins as a starter. Joba went 6 innings, striking out 6 and giving up just 1 run.
The win was key for the Yankees who are in a tight race in the AL East with the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays. They Yankees now trail the 2nd place Red Sox by 1.5 games and the 1st place Rays by 4 games. Things won’t get any easier for the Yankees this week as the MLB’s best team, the Los Angeles Angels come to New York for a four game series.
Yankees Tickets are still available for all four games with the Angels.
The New York Yankees will have to maintain their second half surge without starting catcher Jorge Posada who opted to have season ending surgery on his ailing shoulder. Posada has only played in 51 games in this 2008 season due to the injury and has been mainly ineffective especially in throwing runners out. Posada was debating on whether or not to delay surgery and play injured for the remainder of the year either as DH or at 1st Base. The Yankees however have an abundance of 1st Base/DH help on their bench with the recent additions of Richie Sexson and OF Xavier Nady.
The surgery will sideline Posada for at least six months and may delay his Spring Training work as pitchers and catchers report to camp in February. New York catcher Jose Molina has filled in nicely for Posada and will continue to be in the starting lineup behind the plate.
Just when it seemed like the Boston Red Sox bats had gone dormant, they came to life Sunday night in a 15-hit barrage against the New York Yankees in Boston’s 9-2 win. The win prevented New York from sweeping the three game weekend series and leaves Boston two games ahead of the Bronx Bombers in the standings, and one game behind Tampa Bay for the AL East Division lead.
In Friday night’s game, New York received a near flawless pitching performance by rookie Joba Chamberlain. In seven innings of work, Chamberlin allowed only 3 hits while striking out nine Red Sox batters and surrendered no runs. Mariano Rivera worked the final five outs to preserve New York’s 1-0 win. Their lone run off of Josh Beckett came in the 4th inning on an RBI infield single from Jason Giambi.
“I’ve had quality starts against everybody,” Chamberlain said. “You understand it’s going to be a tough game. He (Beckett) is an unbelievable pitcher. He battles and claws.”
Saturday in a pitching match up between two veterans it was Andy Pettitte and the Yankees who got the upper hand of Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball in New York’s 10-3 win. Boston jumped out early and grabbed a pair of runs in the first inning on an RBI single by David Ortiz followed by a Manny Ramirez RBI ground out. After that, it was pretty much all New York.
The Yankees connected for 13 hits total, eight off of Wakefield in his 5 1/3 innings of work. Heading into the 6th inning and the score still close at 3-2 NY, Wakefield struggled to get outs, the Yanks put four more runs on the board and knocked him out of the game. The win was Pettitte’s 12th on the season and the Yankees were 8-0 in eight games after the All Star break.
“Our pitching has been really good all year,” manager Joe Girardi said. “That’s what’s kept us afloat. And now we’re starting to hit better. We’re starting to score runs. It’s a good combination to have.”
After falling twice, the Sox sent Jon Lester to the mound to try and stop the bleeding and that he did. Once again, the young southpaw was able to pick up a victory by tossing seven innings and allowing only two earned runs on nine hits while striking out eight batters along the way.
“Luckily, we get some runs early and I held it.” Lester said. “It definitely felt like a different atmosphere in the dugout tonight. Guys were laughing, having fun, seemed like they were going up to the plate more relaxed.”
The Sox were able to score three runs in the first, a run in the second and third inning and then two more runs in the fourth which came on Ortiz’s first homerun since returning from his wrist injury. On the series, Ortiz went 5-12 with a HR and four RBI’s.
Manny Ramirez also had a stellar game going 3-5 at the plate with two RBI’s and two runs scored. This came after he made a few typical Manny-esk remarks before the game began that created a little buzz in the media room, but did not really surprise anyone. In the past, the eight year Sox veteran has demanded trades during the 2005 and 2006 off-season. Ramirez originally told ESPNdeportes.com on Sunday that he wouldn’t object to a trade if the Red Sox are better without him.
Later, in the clubhouse, he said, “What I said was, if the Red Sox think they can find a trade that’s going to make their team better and both sides are going to be happy, I’m going to agree. But they cannot find a trade. It’s something simple. It’s no big deal.”
Mike Lowell may have put it best when after the game he said, “Manny says a lot of things. Some of them are entertaining. Some of them make you roll your eyes and spin your head. But it seems like every time after he says something he goes 3-for-4 so maybe we should encourage him to say something like that.”
Ramirez’s RBI double in the first inning gave him 1,668 on his career and puts him in the 23rd spot for all-time, surpassing Sammy Sosa whom he had been tied with prior to the game.
Tonight, the Red Sox welcome the Los Angeles Angels to town. The Sox whom boast the best home record in baseball at 37-13 know that the Angels will be another tough test because they come in with the best road record in baseball at 33-19. Back in April the Angels took two of three from Boston so the Sox look to turn the tables on their West Coast foes.
Dice-K Matsuzaka (11-1, 2.85 ERA) looks to pick up his 12th victory on the season and will have to do so against the Angels Jered Weaver (8-8, 4.08 ERA). Weaver is 0-2 lifetime against Boston and in his only outing against them this season pitched five innings and allowed five runs on 10 hits in a game on April 22nd at Fenway.
Matsuzaka has only faced LA once in his short MLB career and allowed three earned runs in only 4 2/3 innings of work last season in Game 2 of the ALDS Playoff series, a game the Sox would win 6-3.
Tickets are still available for the remainder of the Angels series!
Saturday’s game left the New York Mets bullpen utterly depleted. The 14-inning affair lasted 5 hours, and required 9 innings from the bullpen. The Mets burned through nearly every arm they had, and essentially needed Johan Santana to throw a complete game. He delivered.
Santana threw his 7th career complete game, giving up one run on 6 hits and one walk. He struck out five, and contributed offensively with two hits and an RBI. Albert Pujols’ 7th inning home run was the only blemish on Santana’s day.
“I know what my job is,” Santana said. “I want to give us a chance to win every time, to be consistent. I think I have been. Could it be better? Maybe. But today I wanted to give us a chance to win and give the bullpen a chance to rest. I’m very happy I did that.”
The Mets offense helped out as well, scoring 9 runs on seventeen hits. Fernando Tatis had a monster day, hitting two doubles and a homer. David Wright and Ramon Castro also contributed home runs. The win put the Mets in sole possession of first place in the NL East, one game ahead of the Phillies and two ahead of the Marlins.
The Mets and the Marlins start a three game set at Dolphin Stadium on Monday night.
Facing the possibility of losing two starting players in Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui for the year, the New York Yankees sured up some offense and finally picked up a left handed reliever to help in their second half Pennant chase in the AL East. In a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates the Yankees picked up Right Fielder Xavier Nady who is having a fine offensive year with a .330 average and 13 home runs. Nady should pick up much of Matsui’s slack in left field. The Yankees also put left hander Damaso Marte in their bullpen with this trade.
The Yankees sent four minor leaguers to the Pirates including pitcher Russ Ohlendorf. The Yankees are still awaiting final word on both Posada and Matsui. Both players are mulling season ending surgery.
The Yankees are currently playing the Boston Red Sox in the first of a three game series. Game 2 of Red Sox vs Yankees will take place on Saturday July 26 at 3:55pm.
With next weeks trade deadline rapidly approaching, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees come into this weekend’s three game series with some needs. For the Yankees, both Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada are sidelined with injuries so New York may be looking to add a left-handed bat to their lineup. The Sox, on the other hand, are getting a left-handed bat without having to do anything.
David Ortiz will rejoin Boston’s lineup tonight after missing 47 games with a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist. He was placed on the DL on June 3rd and over the course of his absence the Sox did not lost any ground in the division compiling a 26-19 overall record. Ortiz completed a six game rehab assignment this past week in which he went 5-for-18 (.278) with three home runs, six RBIs and five runs scored.
“I’m not going to lie to you. I’m not 100 percent, but I’m close to it,” said Ortiz, whose 53 extra-base hits versus the Yankees since the start of 2003 lead the majors. “I think I am where I would like to be.”
He’s right where manager Terry Francona and his teammates want him to be as well, back in the lineup.
“Getting him back is going to be huge,” Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia told the team’s official Web site. “His personality, his presence in the lineup—he changes the game just being in the lineup. We’ve tried to weather the storm long enough. It’s time to get David back and get ready for our final stretch run.”
The Yankees will look to add a left-handed slugger to make up for the two injuries and talks have begun to stir about the addition of the homerun king, Barry Bonds, who has been a free-agent all season.
“I’ll mention it. We’ll cover everything,” Yankees co-owner Hank Steinbrenner said Thursday before club officials began high-level meetings. “No stone will be left unturned.”
In tonight’s match up, the Red Sox will send Josh Beckett (9-6, 3.98 ERA) to the mound to face the Yankees for the fourth time this season. Beckett boasts a 3-0 record vs. the division rivals beating them at home on April 12 and twice at Yankee Stadium on April 17th and July 4th.
New York will counter will rookie Joba Chamberlin (2-3, 2.52 ERA). Since entering the rotation, Chamberlin has started nine games and is 1-1 with a 2.64 ERA. In his July 6th start against Boston he allowed three earned runs on four hits in six innings of work at Yankee Stadium.
Saturday afternoon’s game will kick off around 4:00pm and featuring a veteran pitching match up. Tim Wakefield (6-7, 3.69 ERA) will face Andy Pettitte (11-7, 3.86 ERA) in a game that will showcase two pitchers who combined have won 386 games and thrown 5,411 innings in 30 total years of MLB service.
In the series finale, Jon Lester (8-3, 3.20 ERA) will face Sidney Ponson (6-1, 4.02 ERA). Over his past nine starts, Lester has been very impressive boasting a 5-0 record. Since being picked up on waivers by New York, Ponson has pitched very well holding a 2-0 record and a 4.36 ERA.
The Yankees are currently three games behind the Sox and Rays for the AL East lead so this series could make or break their run for the division. The Sox enter the series with the best home record in baseball (36-11) and have hope that this series can propel them to a division lead that they can hold onto for good.
It’s going to be a fun weekend at Fenway Park, so don’t miss the opportunity to see baseball hottest rivalry in action. Tickets are still available to Saturday and Sunday’s games!
Pedro Martinez will be spending some time away from the New York Mets after the passing of his father in the Dominican Republic. Among the candidates to fill-in for him on Saturday were Ruddy Lugo, Brian Stokes, Jon Niese, Nelson Figueroa, and Claudio Vargas. All of those players either did not have adequate rest or Major League experience. Chosen instead was journeyman right-hander Brandon Knight. Knight appeared in 11 games for the Yankees in 2001-2002, and spent time since then in the Pirates system, as well as independent leagues.
Knight was close to retirement earlier this year, but encouragement from his wife helped him choose to return to baseball.
“My wife, Brooke, convinced me to go for it and in my heart, I felt I needed to give myself one more chance,” he said.
Since Knight joined the Mets AAA affiliate New Orleans Zephyrs in May this season, he has a 5-1 record and an era of 1.60, with 49 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings. His performance helped earn him an invite to the US Olympic Team in Beijing, as well as Pacific Coast League player of the week award after a 6-inning 12 K performance.
Martinez is only expected to miss one start, but Knight’s performance will decide if he will stay with the NL East leading Mets for longer.