New York, NY: What a Sunday for the local sports teams! Today I’ll be focusing on the thrilling walk-off wins by the New York Yankees and New York Giants. Man, my toggling skills were challenged, but I was up to the task. The Yanks head back to Boston for the Wild Card game tonight.
A Giant Walk-Off
We’ve all sat down at a restaurant and couldn’t decide because there were too many options that looked good. I’ll have the right side please. Maybe that was part of the problem for Giants in their three losses – too many new weapons to integrate with the old ones.
Maybe it helped the Giants on Sunday that they had fewer, and more defined, options on offense.
They had Golladay dominating on mid-range routes, looking like a number one receiver. And hello Kadarius Toney! He was playing in the slot and showing some of the start and stop elusiveness that led to Tyreek Hill comparisons. And then there was the speedster deep threat in John Ross to keep the secondary honest. And just when the Saints thought they had it figured out, there was Saquon Barkley out of the backfield, metamorphosing back into the beautiful butterfly home run threat he is.
I’m not saying they’re better off without Sterling Shepard, but things did sort of fit better. I was yelling at the TV when the Giants first two running plays were dives behind the fourth LG they’ve started this season, fresh off the scrap heap. Yeah, maybe try to run behind someone else. But, I think Jason Garrett deserves some credit for a quality offensive game plan, and trusting his QB to win the game in OT.
And speaking of Mr. Jones, don’t look now but the QB from Duke is starting to look pretty damn competent out there. And the young left tackle is starting to looking pretty capable as well. We’re hopeful that the superlatives will improve from “competent” and “capable” as the season progresses, but for now we’ll take what we can get.
Coming down the home stretch I felt pretty good about the Yankees’ chances of getting into the playoffs, but one thing made me nervous: the Rays sitting there in the last series. The Yanks came within an eyelash of a devastating sweep that would have forced a play-in game yesterday, ahead of a potential Wild Card game Tuesday. Not ideal.
But the Yankees pulled it out. And in one game you saw the reasons for optimism and reasons to think this team is still too flawed to make a run.
The Bombers have some weapons coming out of the pen now. If they can get past the Sox, they’re gonna try to play it Rays’ style and not worry about getting length from any of the starting pitchers – except Cole. They’ll just try to get four or five and piece it together with Green, Holmes, Peralta, Severino, Loaisiga, Chapman, etc. It’s not the worst strategy.
But when Judge and Stanton aren’t bopping, the offense looks pretty limp. They really struggled vs the Rays and that will be a tough series to win if they win on Tuesday. I would imagine the Red Sox will not let Stanton beat them this time, so Joey Gallo behind him could be a big factor in the game.
Gary Sanchez continues to swing at the wrong pitches. Fastball down the middle, nah. Slider two feet off the plate, yes! My dog Chief could strike him out. And not having LeMahieu for the Wild Card game is a big blow. Whether they go with Odor at 3rd or Velazquez at short, they’re going to have two light hitters at the end of the lineup with Higgy, who always catches Cole. But I’d rather see him at the plate over Sanchez, regardless of who is on the mound.
The Yankees are coming off a big sweep in Fenway last weekend, so that should be ready. They roughed up Eovaldi in the first game of that series, so they have to feel pretty confident. But the ex-Yankee has shut them down in big spots before.
The Yankees deserve credit for not panicking and using Cole on short rest, since they couldn’t get eliminated on Sunday. And Boone deserves credit for adroitly navigating a boatload of relievers. And Sweet Jeter, that catch by Urshela.
One thing is for sure, if they get by the WC game, it’ll be tough to get past the Rays. Let’s f’in go!
If you made it past this column, it’ll be tough to get past Angry Ward, who is here tomorrow. Follow us on Twitter at @benwhit, @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.