Giants Can Take Only Small Steps
The first quarter began well enough for the Giants yesterday evening; they stopped Peyton Manning and the Broncos on the first drive of the game, and little-brother Eli started his day off with a 51 yard completion to Victor Cruz. A swift reversal in field position led to a Josh Brown field goal to put New York up 3-0.
Denver stayed behind for the remainder of the first quarter, but took a 7-3 lead with a 20 yard run by Knowshon Moreno less than a minute into the second. A Giants drive which would have ended in a fumble five minutes later was salvaged by a Bronco penalty, allowing Big Blue to cut the deficit down to 1 on a second Brown field goal.
Brown put up another FG to help his team retake the lead with 6 minutes to go in the half, but Denver took it right back on a field goal of their own, going ahead 10-9 with under a minute left on the clock.
After neither Manning was able to throw a touchdown in the first half, Peyton connected with Wes Welker to send the Broncos up 17-9 on the first Denver drive of the third quarter. Brandon Jacobs, who New York resigned last week hoping to inject some life into a stagnant running game, forced in the next TD from the 1-yard line after several Bronco penalties extended the G-Men’s drive to make it 17-16. Unfortunately, a second Moreno rushing touchdown sent Denver ahead 24-16 before the quarter’s end.
Eli threw a pick to start the fourth, allowing Peyton to take a short trip back to the end zone and throw one more TD. Another Denver field goal on the ensuing Bronco drive put the elder Manning’s team up 38-16.
Under pressure and desperate to make something happen, Eli would throw two more picks before the night was over. His gun-slinging ways led to a hookup with Da’Rel Scott in the end zone, but the Giants ultimately fell 41-23.
Eli threw for 362 yards on 28/49 attempts—passing his older brother by 55 yards—but had only 1 touchdown to show for his 4 interceptions. Victor Cruz led the team in reception with 118 yards on 8 catches, followed by Hakeem Nicks’ 83 yards on 4 receptions. The running game again fell flat as Wilson, Jacobs, and Scott combined for only 23 yards on 19 carries.
The Giants will try to capitalize on a weaker opponent as they play the Carolina Panthers at 1:00 PM next Sunday.
Mets Beat Miami
After edging out the Marlins for a 4-3 win on Friday, the Mets got a strong performance out of Carlos Torres for the first half of Saturday’s doubleheader. Despite hitting two batters in the early going, Torres had enough command to notch 7 strikeouts before giving up his first run in the form of an RBI single in the top of the fourth. Torres allowed Miami to score again on a leadoff homer in the sixth, but racked an eighth strikeout before the inning was over.
Unfortunately, Torres’ showing was outshined by Marlins’ starter Henderson Alvarez, who had five strikeouts through seven shutout innings. Miami was able to score a third run after Torres left the game, but the Mets could not rally in the two innings after Alvarez’s departure, and fell 3-0.
New York was able to get its offense going early in the nightcap, beginning with a Wilmer Flores RBI single in the bottom of the first. Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda launched back-to-back homeruns in the third to send the Mets ahead 3-0.
Daisuke Matsuzaka did not allow a run until Justin Ruggiano homered off of him in the fourth, and that was the only one to get away from him over seven innings of 2-hit ball. The Ruggiano blast proved to be the last piece of offense for either team, as Daisuke earned his first win as a Met and LaTroy Hawkins picked up his 10th save to help New York along to a 3-1 victory.
The Mets and Marlins saw some sharp pitching performances over the course of their final series of the season, but none quite stacked up to Sunday’s finale. Dillon Gee went seven-and-a-third innings on 109 pitches; he gave up 6 hits but also had 8 strikeouts and did not allow a run. Tom Koehelr faired just as well against the Mets, going a full eight innings on 101 pitches with 5 strikeouts, only 3 hits, and no runs.
Both bullpens followed their starters’ lead, shutting down the other side through regulation and well into extra innings. The stalemate was not broken until, with the bases loaded and two outs in the 12th inning, Travis d’Arnaud hit a groundball single to centerfield, driving Duda home and giving the Mets a 1-0 walk-off win.
The Mets have the day off and will host the Giants for a three game set starting at 7:10 PM tomorrow night. The series continues at the same time tomorrow, and ends with a 1:10 PM game on Thursday.
Yankees Stumble in Boston
The Yankees can ill afford any loses if they hope to make it to the post season, but after blowing a comeback in Friday’s loss to the Red Sox they again fell behind Boston early Saturday afternoon. Both sides were retired in order through the first inning-and-a-half, however, CC Sabathia gave up the first run of the game in the bottom of the second on an RBI groundout.
David Ortiz knocked in the second run with a double in the third, and Jonny Gomes singled in a third before the inning was out. Robinson Cano put the Yanks on the board with a groundout to score Curtis Granderson in the top of the fourth, but CC gave the run right back in the bottom frame, then let the Red Sox jump ahead 5-1 in the fifth.
Sabathia did not allow a run in the sixth, and the bullpen patched together the rest of the game as Joba Chamberlain relieved him in the seventh, but New York’s offense could not rally. They lost 5-1 and CC fell to 13-13 on the year.
Curtis Granderson tried to do all he could to avoid a sweep on Sunday night; after being walked to lead off the game he made it all the way to third base on a failed pickoff attempt which sent the ball into right field. A-Rod grounded to short in the ensuing at-bat and Granderson came home to give the Yanks an early 1-0 lead.
The bottom half did not go nearly as well for New York, however, as David Ortiz singled in a run off Ivan Nova, then Mike Napoli hit him for a 2-run homer to put Boston up 3-1. Following the 28-pitch first inning Nova got through the second and third without any further damage, but he again struggled in the fourth, during which Xander Bogaerts stole home to send the Red Sox ahead 4-1.
After loading the bases in the fifth Nova hit Mike Carp to force in the 5th Boston run and was pulled from the game for Adam Warren. Warren got out of the fifth, but gave up a run in the sixth, and the bullpen allowed two more after his own departure. Ichuro Suzuki singled home a run in the ninth, though it was much too late to start a comeback at that point. New York lost 9-2.
Having been swept by the Red Sox, the Yankees now stand 3 games out of a wildcard spot. They will start a three game set against the Blue Jays at 7:05 PM tomorrow, and continue it at the same time Wednesday and Thursday.