Another MarvZone Monday means it’s time for our weekly New York sports check in. Let’s take a look at our beloved professional sports teams from the area.
By: Marvin Azrak
Are these the new Mets? If so, then welcome home! Despite losing Jacob Degrom and Tajuan Walker at the beginning of the season, Max Scherzer, Tyler Megil and Carlos Carrasco have been stalwarts in the Amazins rotation, which has allowed their offense to hit their way to numerous bank statements. Fransisco Lindor has been the plausible star the Mets signed him to be, as he currently leads the team with four bombs, including notching the game-tying and game-winning walk off hits on April 19th against the potent San Francisco Giants, who the Mets would go onto take three of four(5-4, 3-1, 2-5, 6-2) from.
But it’s Jeff McNeil who’s embodied what fans have yearned for out of him for years and that’s hit for average, which he’s currently doing at .316. “Pete “Polar bear” Alonso is also off to a rollicking start, and with a team leading 16 RBI’s, to go along with his .268 batting average and improved glove at first base completes the improvement circle.
Free agent acquisitions in Eduardo Escobar(.397 OBP) and Mark Cahana(.317 BA) along with manager Buck Showalter have naturally fit in which is what has made this start to the Mets 2022 campaign truly “Amazin”.
But while the question will continuously be can they keep this up throughout the season, Monday night showed a glimpse of indeed they could, when down to their last out in ST Louis, the Mets pounced on Cardinals defensive gaffe’s, and scored five in the ninth, highlighted by Dominic Smith’s hustle to first base that saw him beat the grounder, and allowed two runs to score that gave New York the before, Brandon Nimmo’s two run flight and another Edwin Diaz save capped the 5-2 victory.
The first place Mets have yet to drop a series this season, as they are 5-0 with two coming against the woeful Arizona Diamondbacks, which illustrates while it doesn’t get any easier, Monday night’s marvelous win was a great place to start.
Fresh off a middling 3-3 road trip, the Yankees returned home and pummeled the Cleveland Guardians over the weekend, sweeping them to the tune of 4-1, 5-4, 10-2 to move to 10-6 on the season and first place in the AL East.
Aaron Judge swatted two homers in game one, Gleyber Torres walked the team off in game two, and Gerrit Cole bore down with a gem in the finale. However, the MVP of the series went to Isaiah Kiner-Falefa who sported a .363(4 for 11) batting average this series including three RBI’s which were vital to the Bombers ensuring they improved to 1-2 in “Sweep opportunities” on the year.
I hope you enjoy Cancun.
The Celtics mercifully swept the Nets out of the first round of the playoffs(115-114, 114-107, 109-103, 116-112) in four, and ended what was a tumultuous season for Brooklyn.
The team endured the Kyrie no vaccine situation, the KD injury in February, and the James Harden as well as the Ben Simmons saga who didn’t play a single minute for Brooklyn after the trade deadline deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, ultimately due to mental health and physical issues.
Despite Boston sweeping the series as clearly the better ballclub, the Nets didn’t lose a single contest by more than seven points which leaves one to wonder what could’ve been for the pre-season championship favorites if the ball bounced the other way. They lost game one on a Jayson Tatum buzzer beater and blew a 17 point advantage in game two, before dropping two tightly contested contests in front of a sold-out Barclays Center. Brooklyn had no answer for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown while the substantial Boston defense had every answer for Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, circumscribing their impact throughout the series. Bench wise, Boston wore the Nets down as there was only much the hobbled Blake Griffin could do in his limited time on the floor, and Nic Claxton shooting 3-20 didn’t positively adhere to the matters either.
Overall, Brooklyn was outclassed and outplayed which was a far cry from a year ago when they torched the Celtics in five games. Although the teams may be vastly different despite the stars staying put, what a difference a years makes right?
The Nets have to start wondering what exactly will it take to win a championship in the KD/Kyrie era because the first two seasons have been filled with the disappointment of not at least reaching the Eastern conference finals, and this year in particular… going winless in the playoffs.
RANGERS: 51-22-6 (108 points)
The team clinched home ice for round one after Thursday’s stifling 6-3 win over the Islanders at UBS arena. Andrew Copp had a natural hat trick, cashing in on three straight first period goals, Artemi Panarin had a four point night to extend his assist marker to a franchise-setting 72 on the season, and Chris Kreider found the the twine for his 52nd of the year in what was a spirited win over their city rival who won’t be in the playoffs, to split the season series at two road wins apiece.
Prior to that, the team posted three straight shutouts for the first time since 1973 in succession over the Flyers(4-0) Red Wings(4-0) and Jets(3-0) with the latter two belonging to Igor Shesterkin, and the former to Alexander Georgiev. Although a 3-1 Saturday loss in Boston hampered the Rangers chances of snatching the Metropolitan division from the Hurricanes, the fact of the matter is that the injury-riddled Penguins are slated to be New York’s first round opponent, so it may all be for the best. The other candidate are the Washington Capitals who are a point behind Pittsburg(101-100) with a game in hand and three games left. The Caps come to MSG to finish off the regular season on Friday April 29th.
Nevertheless, once the puck drops on the playoffs beginning Monday May 2nd, these youthful Rangers will be a part of history, as it will be the first time ever that all eight of the Easterns conference’s playoff teams all eclipsed the 100 point mark at some point within the regular season, which means we have an unprecedented postseason in store.
Here are those teams:
- Florida Panthers 79 GP, 120 points. Congratulations Cats fans on your franchise record 13 game winning streak and taking the lead for comeback wins in the NHL (28) over the course of it. Yes the streak was snapped on Sunday night in the 8-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, but that’s still mightily impressive. Don’t get too down, this organization is abou to clinch their first Presidents trophy before seasons end).
- Carolina Hurricanes (80GP, 112 points)
- Toronto Maple Leafs (80 GP, 111 points)
- New York Rangers (79 GP, 108 points)
- Two time defending champions Tampa Bay Lightning(79 GP, 106 points)
- Boston Bruins (79 GP, 103 points)
- Pittsburg Penguins (80GP, 101 points)
- Washington Capitals (79 GP, 100 points)
CURRENT EASTERN PLAYOFF GLANCE:
- Panthers Vs WC2 Capitals
Atlantic division (2) Maple Leafs Vs #3 Lightning
- Hurricanes Vs WC1 Bruins
Metropolitan division (2) Rangers Vs #3 Penguins.