For occasional updates on author appearances, interviews, and book reviews.
For occasional updates on author appearances, interviews, and book reviews.
Once again, the NY Yankees find themselves in a 2-0 deficit following losses in Houston to start the American league Championship Series. Alex Bregman, batting eighth in the lineup, got one of the Astros’ six hits on Friday in their 2-1 win. The next day he was 0-for-2 with a walk as Houston won by the same score, this time snatching the victory in the bottom of the ninth behind the outstanding pitching of Justin Verlander, who went old school tossing a complete game five-hitter (Houston also manged just five hits) and striking out 13.
The venue changes to the Big Apple beginning tonight.
Meanwhile, the LA Dodgers added Joc Pederson to their roster following the sidelining of Cory Seeger. Pederson, who missed the NLDS, appeared as a defensive replacement in Saturday as the Dodgers beat the visiting Chicago Cubs, 5-2. Same thing the next day, only he had a chance to come to bat and produced a sacrifice in a 4-1 win thanks to a walk-off home run by Justin Turner. That series now moves to the Windy City.
In non-playoff news:
Ali Marpet played all 70 plays at center as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell to 2-3 (Last in the NCF South) following their 38-33 loss to the host St. Louis Cardinals. The Bucs scored 27 points in a valiant comeback attempt, but they couldn’t overcome a 24-0 halftime deficit. Marpet made one tackle after his quarterback threw an interception. He had been listed as questionable for the game because of “illness,” which seems like a real catch-all category.
Nate Ebner appeared in 20 plays (80 percent) for special teams as the New England Patriots won a controversial game against the host NY Jets, 24-17, to take sole possession of first place in the AFC East. Tom Brady set the NFL record for regular-season victories by a quarterback (187). From the ESPN story:
After Stephen Gostkowski’s 28-yard field goal made it 24-14 50 seconds into the fourth quarter, New York appeared to make it a one-score game again on its next possession as Austin Seferian-Jenkins took a short pass from McCown and reached over the goal line for a 4-yard touchdown .
But officials reviewed the score and said the video replay showed that Seferian-Jenkins slightly lost control of the ball when Malcolm Butler nudged it loose as the tight end was crossing the plane of the goal line. Seferian-Jenkins didn’t regain control until after he had stepped out of bounds, resulting in a touchback — despite the ball never hitting the ground. That gave the Patriots back the ball, with the Jets’ sideline irate.
Mitchell Schwartz and the KC Chiefs blew a 23-7 halftime lead and took lost their first game of the season, 42-34 to the host Houston Texans. Schwartz played all 77 offensive plays and another eight (25 percent) on special teams.
In the college ranks, QB Josh Rosen and the UCLA Bruins (3-3) lost to host Arizona 47-30. From the ESPN story:
Rosen, the nation’s leader in passing yards and total offense entering the game, threw for 219 yards but was held without a TD pass for the first time since the 2015 season. His three interceptions hurt the Bruins, the first was picked off by Jace Whittaker in the end zone early in the second quarter and the second was returned 42 yards for a touchdown by Whittaker, also in the second.
The Wildcats sacked Rosen five times in the second half, four for freshman Kylan Wilborn.
“I just didn’t play well at all,” Rosen said.
Suffice it to say, this game did not do Rosen’s Heisman Trophy chances much good.
For the sake of time, I’m combining a few sports in this round up, including baseball, hockey, and basketball.
Well, so much for the possibility of Craig Breslow being added to the roster of the Cleveland Indians in the American League Championship Series; his team was eliminated by the visiting NY Yankees on Wednesday, 5-2.
Alex Bregman and the Houston Astros host on the Yankees in Game One of the ALCS beginning tonight. No one could blame him if he’s still kvelling from his home run in the clincher.
So far, Joc Pederson is not on the roster for the LA Dodgers, who host the Chicago Cubs beginning Saturday. The Cubs won a corker over the hiost Washington Nationals last night, 9-8, overcoming a 4-1 deficit.
Jason Zucker scored his second goal and second assist of the year as the Minnesota Wild (1-1-1) scored four times in the third period to beat the host Chicago Blackhawks, 5-2, for their first win of the a season. Zucker was on the ice for 19:52, taking five shots on goal.
Jason Demers spent the second-most time on ice for the Arizona Coyotes (23:37) in their 4-2 loss to the visiting Detroit Red Wings. he took two SOG. The Coyotes have yet to put a win on the board with a record of 0-3-1.
Omri Casspi and the Golden State Warriors last played on Oct. 8. Their next game is Oct. 15. I don’t know how you can get any kind of continuity playing one a week. How much of an impact will Casspi have on the team?
Maccabi lost to the Indiana Pacers, 108-89 on Tuesday. They next face the Trail Blazers in Portland tonight. At this writing there are still 500 tickets available for as low as $2!!
Josh Ho-Sang took one shot on goal in 13:41 of ice time as the NY Islanders (1-1-1) fell to the visiting St. Louis Blues, 3-2, in a shootout.
Zach Hyman took one SOG in 14:20 as the Toronto Maple Leafs (30-0-0) beat the visiting Chicago Blackhawks, 4-2, in overtime. Hyman served a two-minute penalty for holding.
In a game played in China on Oct. 8, Omri Casspi and the Golden State Warriors beat the “visiting” Minnesota Timberwolves, 142-110. Omri Casspi scored four points in 12 minutes of the bench along with four assists (one offensive, three defensive), four assists, two steals, two blocked shots, three turnovers but four personal fouls.
Tonight, Maccabi Haifa is making their semi-regular visit to the U.S., taking on the Pacers in Indiana. Maccabi lost to the Utah Jazz on Oct. 4, 117-78.
Mitchell Schwartz and the KC Chiefs improved to 5-0 (first place, AFC West) after beating the host Houston Texas in a 42-34 barn-burner. Schwartz, starting at center, was on the field for all 77 offensive plays plus another eight (25 percent) on special teams.
Nate Ebner combined on two tackles as the New England Patriots (3-2, tied for first in the AFC East with the Buffalo Bills and NY Jets) beat Ali Marpet and the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2, tied for third in the NFC South), 19-14. Sorry, I don’t have the play breakdown for this one so can’t report how much time each spent on the field.
Adam Bisnowaty is technically not on the NY Giants roster — he’s on the practice squad — but he was one of three members of the team
According to an AP story:
A group of New York Giants football players who have protested during the national anthem have visited with Newark police officers and high school students.
On the college scene, Josh Rosen threw for 372 yards and one touchdown as UCLA beat visiting Colorado on Saturday, 27-23. UCLA is 3-2, second in the Pac 12 – South. Could he really be in the running for the Heisman Trophy??? Either way, where does he stand for an upcoming NFL draft?
(“Onward and upward” for those of you who never too Latin…or read a comic book.)
Alex Bregman hit his second home run of the ALDS to help Houston beat the Boston Red Sox, three games to one. Bregman’s shot in the top of the eighth of Chris Sale tied the score at 3-3 in what was an eventual 5-4 win.
He also made two nice plays in the field: this one to double up a runner in the third
And this one to get the first out in the bottom of the ninth after Raphael Devers led off the inning with an inside-the-park home run to bring the Sox within one.
Bregman batted just .222 for the ALDS, but two of his four hits (in 18 at-bats) went yard, or as Red Sox Nation might say, “yaaaad.”
Houston now awaits the winner of the series between the NY Yankees and Cleveland Indians, which is knotted at two after the Yankees tied things up last night. The Indians — who left reliever Craig Breslow off their post-season roster — won the first two games at home but couldn’t put the Yankees once the venue moved to the Bronx.
Meanwhile, the LA Dodgers — operating without the services of Joc Pederson — won their NLDS set against the Arizona Diamondbacks, three games to one. he was a member of the teams “taxi squad,” kept nearby just in case of emergency.
(“Jews” + “ice” = Jice, in case you were wondering. Game info prior to games of October 9.)
How in heck did the NHL season begin already? Always thought basketball and hockey started at the same time. The NBA season doesn’t get under way for another week. So, let’s catch up.
By my count, there are six MOTs in the NHL.
Michael Cammalleri returns to the Los Angeles Kings — where he made his league debut in 2002 — signing a one-year deal worth a reported $1 million. “Cams” who missed a good chunk of last season with the NJ Devils due to injury, may seem like a little guy for a pro athlete, standing 5’9″ and weighing in at 180 pounds, but the 35-year-old left-winger (not a political description) is the all-time scorer among Jewish skaters with 287 goals and 326 assists for a total of 613 points in his 16 seasons (613: the same number of commandments/mitzvot; is that a coincidence or what?). So far this year he’s appeared in both games for the Kings, who are 2-0-0 in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference. He hasn’t scored or assisted yet but you know ESPN’s projections are wrong when they say he won’t have any this season based on those two games so far.
Jason Demers also traded jerseys, moving from the Florida Panthers to the Arizona Coyotes in a trade back in . Demers, 29, made his debut in 2009 with the San Jose Sharks. He’s appeared in 506 games, with 37 goals and 134 assists. This year, he’s “pointless” in two games for the Coyotes (0-1-1).
Jason Zucker, 25, begins his seventh season with the Minnesota Wild (250 games, 65 goals/45 assists). He has one goal and one assist in two games for the Wild (0-1-1).
Zach Hyman, also 25, begins season #3 with the improving Toronto Maple Leafs (again, why are they not “Leaves?”). The center already has two goals for Toronto (2-0-0) and so is projected for 82 for the season. But since he hasn’t contributed an assist yet, they have him down for zero. Of course, both scenarios are highly unlikely. Lifetime, Hyman has 16 goals and 20 assists in 100 games.
Josh Ho-Sang, right, is the baby of the bunch at 21, having made his NHL debut with the NY Islanders last year. He has appeared in one of the team’s three games so far (1-1-1) with one point in their loss to the St. Louis Blues last night. As you can imagine, his is not your routine story.
Brendan Leipsic, 23, is playing for the expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights, who are tied for the Pacific lead with a record of 2-0-0. He made his NHL debut with the Leafs in 2015, appearing in six games with one goal and two assists. He’s been in two games for the Knights without a point.
Alex Bregman homered in his first at-bat of the ALDS — his post-season debut — against the visiting Boston Red Sox’s Chris Sale to get the ball rolling, so to speak. The Houston Astros took Game One, 8-2, thanks mostly to Jose Altuve’s three home runs. Bregman also singled hard back to the box, the ball ricocheting off of Sale’s glove.
In Game Two –just completed — Bregman doubled in five at-bats and scored run in the bottom of the third as the Astros once again put up an 8-2 win to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series).
Craig Breslow was not included on the Cleveland Indians’ post-season roster. They beat the visiting NY Yankees, 4-0. Same for Joc Pederson for the LA Dodgers, who take on the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks tonight. That could change, however, in the days and weeks ahead. Doubt it, though.
That’s a combo of “Jews” and “hoops” for those of you just tuning in…
Omri Casspi joined the world champion Golden State Warriors during the off-season. He immediately made headlines when he decided not to play in their preseason opener on Yom Kippur, which they lost to the Denver Nuggets, 108-102. Omri received an official okey-dokey from his team:
“Whatever each person needs to do, obviously we afford them that right,” [Warriors coach Steve] Kerr said. “It’s an important holiday for people of the Jewish faith. Obviously, Omri has our full support, and we’ll see him tomorrow.”
T.J. Leaf, a 6’10” power forward born, like Casspi, in Israel, was drafted by the Indiana Pacers. Whether he sticks is another story. According to ESPN,
Leaf has been battling an undisclosed injury for about a month but returned to practice last Tuesday. Since the Pacers are currently in a rebuilding phase, Leaf, Indiana’s first round pick of the 2017 draft, will get opportunities to jump into the rotation during the regular season, although he’ll be splitting time with Bojan Bogdanovic and Domantas Sabonis behind Thaddeus Young.
Indiana’s first preseason game takes place tomorrow against the Milwaukee Bucks.
As of this writing, those are the only two Jewish players on NBA rosters. Unless I missed somebody?
The Kansas City Chiefs remain unbeaten (4-0) after field goal with four seconds left on the clock sealed the deal in a 23-20 win over the visiting Washington Redskins. Mitchell Schwartz was the starting right tackle and played on all 76 offensive downs plus another six on special teams. The Chiefs have the highest score differential with +43 and a large part of the credit has to go to the offensive line.
Ali Marpet was the starting center for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and appeared on all 64 offensive downs as the Bucs (2-1) beat the struggling and visiting NY Giants, 23-20 in overtime. With the Giants at 0-4, largely in part to a sluggish offense, why not promote Adam Bisnowaty from the practice squad? What could it hurt?
Nate Ebner made another tackle as part of the New England Patriots’ special teams unit, but it didn’t prevent them from losing 33-30 to the visiting Carolina Panthers. Ebner was on the field for 22 plays, 79 percent of the Pats’ defensive time.
As mentioned in previous entries, I don’t really follow the college gridiron but I make an exception for the exceptional QB Josh Rosen, who beat visiting Colorado on Yom Kippur, 27-23. Rosen threw for 372 yards and one touchdown as UCLA broke a two-game losing streak to move to a 3-2 record. Did Rosen fast, as some other Jewish college players have in the past? Don’t know. But Noah Seligman post this piece about former Wisconsin Badger fullback Matt Bernstein, who had a career day while recovering from his fast in 2004. Gabe Carimi did that, too
Of course, it’s probably harder for football players to take off for the Day of Atonement than any other sport. I can’t do the math, but between the college and pro ranks, most games take place Friday, Saturday, or Sunday (yes, I know about Monday Night Football — which are played on both Mondays and Thursdays now), so there’s only a few days it could actually be a conflict. On the other hand, since there are much fewer games than other sports, each one can have a major impact on the outcome of the season. Where you play on the field can make a difference, too. I did a story for the NJ Jewish News several years ago about a Jewish punter who said he felt pressure to play on Yom Kippur because there were no real substitutes for his position.
Not a football issue, but Omri Casspi choose to sit out of the pre-season opener for his new NBA team, the Golden State Warriors, because it fell on the holy day. Not exactly taking as dramatic a stand like Koufax (first game of 1965 World Series) and Greenberg (during a tight pennant race in 1934), but it’s better than all the Jewish Major Leaguers did as their season wound to a close.