Last night, we witnessed history. San Francisco Giants starter Matt Cain threw the 22nd perfect game in MLB history in a 10-0 rout of the Houston Astros. You can argue that Cain threw one of the best games in history, striking out 14 and being locked in all night long. In Cain’s 125 pitches, 86 of them were strikes, as he was pounding the zone all night with his fastball change-up, and curveball. Whatever he needed to throw, he hit the spot Buster Posey called for him. Cain’s 14 strikeouts were the most thrown in a perfect game since Sandy Koufax did it in 1965 against the Cubs. Cain’s 125 pitches were the most thrown in a perfect game in MLB history, and of those 125 pitches, 86 of them were strikes. To say he was dialed in would be an understatement.
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Tags: Giants, Matt Cain, MLB, Perfect game
The Yankees received some awful news following their 4-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals Wednesday night. Star closer, Mariano Rivera, will miss the remainder of the 2012 season with what seems to be a Torn ACL injury. As he does before every game, Rivera was fielding fly balls during batting practice when he slipped on the warning track and immediately began clutching his leg, clearly in pain. This is an injury that the Yankees will have to overcome both physically and mentally, as they will have to find someone to take over the closer spot for the rest of the season, and will have to take their minds off of losing such a great player.
Tags: Perfect game, Phil Humber, Philip Humber, White Sox
For those of you who don’t know who Philip Humber is, he is a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox and the former number three overall pick in the 2004 MLB draft. Today he became only the 21st pitcher in MLB history to throw a perfect game when his White Sox defeated the the Seattle Mariners 4-0. It was exciting down to the last batter when his final strikeout ball got past the catcher and the runner had to be thrown out at first.
With the Detroit Tigers staring the season at 3-0, this has people thinking if they can actually win the title. The Tigers looked very hot this weekend as they swept the Boston Red Sox. The Tigers were lead this weekend by their two headed monsters Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. The two combined for a total of 5 homeruns. Miguel had 3 homers and Prince had 2. The series against the Red Sox was a surprise to some because Detroit dominated the Sox. On Saturday the Tigers dominated the Sox by a score of 10-0 in that game the Tigers had a total of 5 homeruns. On Sunday the Tigers came back not once but twice they eventually won on a Alex Avilla game winning homerun. They won by a score of 13-12. Hope this is a bright season for the Tigers as it has already started great.
Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda has been placed on the 15 Day DL with shoulder tendinitis. Pineda was fighting for a spot in the Yankees starting rotation all spring, but has been battling velocity issues with his fastball. During the 2011 season with Seattle, Pineda was averaging 95 mph on his fastball; during his first spring with the Yankees, the velocity dipped to around 91-92.
With Opening Day approaching, I decided to make my predictions for the 2012 Major League Baseball season.
AL East – New York Yankees. As biased as this sounds, I do believe the Yankees are clearly the best team in the AL East. The additions of Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda to the rotation to go with Sabathia, and Ivan Nova will only make the Yankees better. The Yankees still have a battle going on between Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes for the 5th spot in the rotation, and Andy Pettitte expected to return in May, it is clear that the Yankees have a ton of depth in the rotation. The bullpen will also be a huge factor. With the MLB’s greatest closer Mariano Rivera still going strong, and guys like David Robertson and Rafael Soriano to pitch in the set-up roles, the Yankees have the most complete pitching staff they’ve assembled in a long time. The lineup is more of the same, plenty of homeruns. Much will depend on the health of key vets like Derek Jeter, and Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod is coming off surgery, and during Spring Training, his swing seems to be back to normal. Derek Jeter ended the 2011 season red-hot. Hitting well over .300 after returning from a 2 week DL stint. Also, the numerous options off the bench will keep these two guys healthy.
AL Central – Detroit Tigers. The Tigers are the clear front-runners in the Central this season. After coming just 1 series short of a World Series appearance, the Tigers added Prince Fielder to a lineup that already features Miguel Cabrera, Delmon Young, Brennan Boesch, Johnny Peralta, Austin Jackson and Ryan Raburn. The Tigers could have the best power duo in all of baseball with Miguel Cabrera and Prince hitting back to back. Expect these two to account for most of the Tigers’ run production. Leadoff hitter Austin Jackson seems to have limited his strikeouts this spring, and if that carries into the regular season, the Tigers lineup will be a force. Then there is the pitching staff, anchored by the 2011 AL MVP and CY Young winner, Justin Verlander. Doug Fister, Max Scherzer, and Rick Porcello give the Tigers are very strong front 4 in the rotation, with the 5th spot still being fought for in the Spring. The bullpen got a nice added boost with the addition of durable veteran, Octavio Dotel. Dotel has played for a bunch of teams in the MLB but proved last season he can still be a reliable option, helping the Cardinals win a World Series title. Add him into a bullpen with Phil Coke, Daniel Schlereth, Joaquin Benoit, and Jose Valverde, who went 49/49 in saves last season, and the Tigers have one heck of a pitching staff. (more…)
Everyone has their opinions on what is the best rivalry in sports. Here is what we each believe is the best rivalry in sports.
Shawn: Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers. The best rivalry in all of sports has to be the Celtics and the Lakers. The two have met in the in the NBA Finals Twelve times (Celtics have won 9, Lakers 3). They have a rivalry going back to the late 50’s and arguably the biggest player-player rivalry in all sports as well (Larry Bird-Magic Johnson). The Celtics and Lakers, unlike most rivalries, have been competitive in almost every decade since the beginning of it. Combined they have 33 championships, Celtics 17 and Lakers 16, and the rest of the NBA has 65, which means that just these two teams have over half of all the championships in the NBA. In closing these two teams represented more than just a sports rivalry, it is also blue-collar men (Bostonians) vs. the rich, upper-class (whatever you call people from Los Angeles).
Rob: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox. To me, the greatest sports rivalry is the Yankees and the Red Sox. Whenever you have a rivalry that is over a century long, you know it is something special. Of course, the rivalry really became something special on December 26th, 1919, on that date, Babe Ruth was officially sold from the Red Sox to the Yankees. That began what would be an 86 yearlong championship drought known as “The Curse of the Bambino.” This rivalry has had its share of heated moments. Like the Pedro Martinez/Don Zimmerman incident and, the A-Rod/Varitek fight. With 100 yearlong rivalries, comes the historical moments. One moment that the Yankees will always remember, and the Red Sox will want to always forget is Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. Aaron Boone’s name will forever live in Yanks/Sox lore with his series winning homerun in the bottom of the 11th inning against Tim Wakefield. The main thing the Red Sox will always remember and the Yankees want to forget happened in the 2004 ALCS. The Red Sox became the only team in sports history to come back from a 3-0 series deficit to win the series. As expected, their opponent was the Yankees. Now the Yanks and Sox are two of the highest spending teams in the MLB. Both teams are always in the running for a star player, and it is those star studded rosters that make each meeting something to see. Every time these 2 teams meet, you can expect some fireworks to ensue, nothing less should be expected in this classic rivalry this season, and for the years ahead. (more…)
With all the buzz around the Yankees involving the return of Andy Pettitte, one thing that has been left out is exactly that, who gets left out of the rotation battle once Pettitte is ready to pitch?
With questions still on the arm strength of Phil Hughes, Freddy Garcia could wind up winning the fifth and final rotation spot coming out of Spring Training. This leaves the Yankees with a very interesting decision to make when Pettitte returns to Major League action. Most reports have Pettitte being ready around May, so he can have what would be a full Spring Training to get him back to strength. That would leave the Yankees around a month to evaluate their rotation.
Who knows, Garcia could end up being one of the Yankees more consistent starters during the month of April. That would make things even more complicated. But, what if Ivan Nova or even Michael Pineda have a tough start to the season? Would the Yankees consider knocking one of them down to the minors to work on their mechanics?
Most people have brought up the possibility of trading Garcia once Pettitte is back. But the thing is, the Yankees would need Garcia’s permission on any trade before June 16th. We know CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda would be safe from being demoted.
If Garcia gets off to a strong start in 2012 would that make the Yankees decisions to trade him easier or even more tough? Plenty of teams could be searching for a quality starting pitcher, and if Garcia does in fact prove he can still pitch well, Brian Cashman can expect some phone calls.
There are obviously a ton of questions on this topic, and there is plenty of time to see what the Yankees decide to do. But one thing is for sure, I will be following this very closely.