Howdy everyone, it's Shanna McCarriston ready to talk sports and, specifically, the MLB postseason with you all. The Red Sox and Yankees faced off last night at Fenway Park and I'm happy to say that I now (still? 😁) have bragging rights over all of my New York friends and co-workers.
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We aren't just limited to baseball results today, though, as there is a lot more to get to. As is Wednesday tradition, I'll go over the Week 5 NFL Power Rankings and we'll also go over the absurd Jaguars-Urban Meyer situation.
Let's get to it.
📰 What you need to know
1. Red Sox eliminate Yankees from playoffs ... again ⚾
Last night, we all got to witness another chapter of possibly the greatest rivalry in all of sports: Red Sox vs. Yankees.
This time -- like nearly every time in the past 17 years -- it was the Red Sox that got the last laugh, defeating the Yankees 6-2 in the AL Wild Card Game. Boston advanced to the ALDS to face the Rays with the win. The Yankees, on the other hand, will go home until next season. Boston has now eliminated New York in their last three postseason meetings (2004 ALCS, 2018 ALDS, 2021 Wild Card Game).
The Red Sox got off to a hot start and maintained control throughout the game. Struggles from starting pitcher Gerrit Cole and questionable decisions hurt the Yankees, who were never able to gain momentum. Cole gave up two homers and three runs in just over two innings. He only pitched for two innings and two batters -- the shortest start of his career.
As far as questionable decisions go, the biggest one came from Yankees third base coach Phil Nevin in the sixth inning. With Aaron Judge on first, Giancarlo Stanton crushed a ball off of the Green Monster in left center. Nevin sent Judge home all the way from first, and he was thrown out, killing the most momentum the team would have all night.
For a deeper look at how and why the Red Sox won, lets turn to our baseball scribe Mike Axisa. Mostly, it came down to pitching:
- The Red Sox took advantage of Gerrit Cole's struggles. They set the tone early with a two-run homer from Xander Bogaerts and Kyle Schwarber also hit a solo home run off Cole
- Meanwhile, Boston's starter Nathan Eovaldi shined against his former team. He held New York to four hits and one run in 5 1/3 innings
- Ultimately, Boston played with the same intensity when they were ahead as they were when it was a scoreless game
Boston's date with Tampa begins at Tropicana Field on Thursday. The Yankees, meanwhile, now face an offseason full of questions, most notably: will they bring back manager Aaron Boone?
2. NFL Week 5 Power Rankings: Cardinals climb to the top 🏈
It is that time of week again: NFL Power Rankings time. Pete Prisco never lets us down, always giving us his rankings following a week of NFL action.
This week we have a new No. 1 team, with the Cardinals taking that spot after defeating the Rams. The Cardinals are now the only team sitting at 4-0.
The Cowboys are the team that moved up the most, jumping eight spots since last week following another victory. Each year I'm skeptical to expect too much from Dallas, but through four weeks they are proving themselves more and more. The 49ers didn't fare as well in these rankings, falling the most at nine spots down, plummeting to the No. 16 spot.
Here is a look at the top 10, along with how many spots they moved:
- No. 1: Cardinals, moved up one spot
- No. 2: Packers, moved up one spot
- No. 3: Buccaneers, moved up one spot
- No. 4: Bills, moved up one spot
- No. 5: Browns, moved up three spots
- No. 6: Rams, moved down five spots
- No. 7: Chargers, moved up seven spots
- No. 8: Cowboys, moved up eight spots
- No. 9: Chiefs, moved up three spots
- No. 10: Ravens, moved up three spots
For the full power rankings, along with commentary on each team, click here.
3. Urban Meyer situation in Jacksonville is reportedly reaching a 'crisis point' 🏈
Since you are reading this, you have an internet connection, so by now you have probably seen the viral video of Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyers dancing very close to a young woman. Meyer has since apologized for his actions, but the situation does not end with that apology.
He is currently leading an 0-4 team, and these actions, paired with his on-the-field struggles, reportedly have brought him to a critical moment. Sports Illustrated's Michael Silver says Meyer's situation reached a "crisis point," and players have expressed concern regarding the coach. One player reportedly said that Meyer has zero credibility.
Jaguars owner Shad Khan also spoke out about the situation, emphasizing that this is not something that Meyer will be forgiven for immediately.
- Khan: "I have addressed this matter with Urban. Specifics of our conversation will be held in confidence. What I will say is his conduct last weekend was inexcusable. I appreciate Urban's remorse, which I believe is sincere. Now, he must regain our trust and respect. That will require a personal commitment from Urban to everyone who support, represents or plays for our team. I am confident he will deliver."
As of right now, Meyer still has a job in Jacksonville, but it would shock no one if his time there is limited.
4. Nets bracing for Kyrie Irving's absence due to NY COVID protocols 🏀
Any Brooklyn Nets player who is not vaccinated for COVID-19 will not be able to play in home games or practice at Barclays Center this season. Kyrie Irving is still one of those players. He missed the team's first practice in Brooklyn due to COVID-19 protocols.
According to reports, the Nets are preparing for Irving not being able to play home games. The team's home opener is about two weeks away, but the team has reportedly not made a decision on whether they will accommodate Irving as a part-time player.
Head coach Steve Nash said he had no further update on Irving's status for home games and home practices yesterday while speaking to the media.
- Nash: "We support him. We are here for him. Things change. When there's a resolution, we're here for him."
The NBA does not require players to be vaccinated, but in many states there will be consequences, such as missing games, if a player does not receive the vaccine. For New York specifically, their teams need to get at least one dose of the vaccine to play or practice in the team's facilities.
Irving could lose about $381,000 per game if he cannot play at home. Along with the money, he also would not be an option to help his teams win for those games.
📝 Odds & Ends
- The New England Patriots are releasing former All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore
- Myles Garrett thinks going sleeveless against the Vikings led to a 'random' drug test
- Eddie Robinson, the oldest living former MLB player, dies at 100
📺 What to watch tonight
🏀 WNBA playoffs: No. 1 Connecticut Sun vs. No. 6 Chicago Sky, 8 p.m. | TV: ESPN
⚾ MLB playoffs: Cardinals vs. Dodgers, 8:10 p.m. | LAD -216 | TV: TBS
🏀 WNBA playoffs: No. 2 Las Vegas Aces at No. 5 Phoenix Mercury, 10 p.m. | TV: ESPN
🏅 Best thing I saw on the internet
Jerry Remy, Massachusetts native, Red Sox Hall of Famer and voice of the team, took a leave of absence from his broadcasting work in August to receive cancer treatment. Remy is a beloved Boston figure and has kept a close connection with the city even though he is not in his usual role. The legendary broadcaster returned to Fenway Park on Tuesday to throw out the ceremonial first pitch and received the warmest of welcomes. Remy pitched the ball to his former broadcast partner and former Boston teammate Dennis Eckersley.