Mitch's Sports Report: England Impresses In World Cup Win Over Norway; Mets Fans Need A Hug
Team England played its best game of the women's World Cup in France yesterday, saving the performance for a knock-out round dispatch of Norway in a 3-0 win.
Jill Scott got the Lionesses on the board quickly with a strike just three minutes into the match, and Ellen White scored her fifth goal of the tournament to give England a comfortable two goal lead heading into the half. The capper was off a set play in the second half from a penalty kick that saw Lucy Bronze one-time a bullet of a shot past the Norwegian keeper and England now moves on to the semifinals to face either host country France or the United States.
The French and Americans will run against each other this afternoon at 3pm, and fear not, I have double checked that time and it is 3 o'clock eastern, and what a match that should be, with both teams undefeated to this point, although the U.S. is favored to move on in that one.
The Boston Red Sox and NY Yankees are in the thick of the excitement about England's win yesterday, both teams taking in the sights of London ahead of their brief two game series which starts tomorrow and concludes Sunday. The Red Sox will get last at -bats as the designated home team, but those are two games that would have been scheduled for their real home of Fenway Park and will instead be played on an artificial turf surface in a venue that will probably have more Yankees fans than Red Sox fans in attendance, if only because the Yankees are a slightly more recognizable brand from across the pond.
As for that venue, it's London Stadium, and it's small relative to almost any ball field you'd find in the U.S. It's only 385 feet to straightaway center field and the Yankees, who already have set the major League record this year for consecutive games with a home run, at 29 and counting, will likely launch a bunch more.
It's a nice vacation for the players and their families. There are friends and relatives making the trip, some of them never having been to England before, but this is at best a ham handed attempt by the league to showcase a game most Britons are lukewarm about and at worst a potentially season-ending slog for the Red Sox, who already trail the Yankees by nine games for first place heading into the contests, and will have to deal with the considerable jet lag and the loss of those two home games when they return to the states.
Masahiro Tanaka goes for the Yankees in game one on Saturday against Rick Porcello for the Red Sox.
The NY Mets wouldn't mind getting away to England, or just about anywhere else than a baseball field these days. The Mets are finding horrendous ways to lose, the latest an absolute gut-ripper that saw them come back from a 1-0 deficit in the top of the 9th on a home run by Todd Frazier to tie the game, then take a 3-1 lead tacking on two more to set things up for a great come from behind win with closer Edwin Diaz on the mound for the bottom of the frame.
But Diaz committed the cardinal sin for any closer by walking the first batter he faced, and then Maikel Franco made him pay with a two-run homer that tied the game at three, and the Phillies were far from done.
The Phils put two more on to set the stage for Jean Segura, who sent the Mets to their fifth straight loss when he launched a three-run, walk-off homer for a 6-3 Philadelphia win. And it should be mentioned that the Phillies themselves had been on a losing skid of multiple games when Brad Miller went out and purchased a bamboo plant to keep in the Phillies locker room for good luck and they haven't loss since. So stock up on bamboo if you're also of a superstitious nature and agree there's a correlation. Either way, the Phils completed a four game sweep of the Mets, who are free-falling through the national league east, now mired in fourth place and a full eleven games out of first place.
The Vermont Lake Monsters used a three run rally in the bottom of the seventh to come back from a 2-1 deficit and defeat the Connecticut Tigers 4-3 at Centennial Field in Burlington last night.
Kyle McCann went two for three at the plate, and the 2019 A's fourth round draft pick catcher continues to impress since joining the single A affiliate. The Lake Monsters are now a game over .500 at 7-6 following the win.
The Vermont Mountaineers had the night off. They'll take on the Ocean State Waves at Recreational Field in Montpelier tonight.
Finally, the NBA rumor mill is heating up as the free agency frenzy is set to begin, and the Boston Celtics are eyeing a point guard who could help alleviate the pending loss of Kyrie Irving. Three time all star Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets, who averaged 25 points per game last season, is said to be a front runner to come to Boston, and that would be making the best of a bad situation that was the Celtics 2019 season.