Top Story

Patriots Offering Chance To Exchange Aaron Hernandez No. 81 Jersey For Another Patriots Player's Jersey

  By Brad Carroll  
The New England Patriots are taking another big step to distance themselves from former player Aaron Hernandez.

The Patriots already took immediate action in releasing the Bristol native Wednesday after his arrest, a move made before charges of first-degree murder and five other gun-related charges were read in court later that day. Now the team is hoping to eliminate as many Hernandez No. 81 jerseys from being worn by fans that they can.

The Patriots are offering a free jersey to anyone that brings in and exchanges their Hernandez No. 81 jersey next weekend.

Friday Bristol Press, Herald Sports Covers On Aaron Hernandez


Shocking Turn In Career Of Bristol Native Aaron Hernandez

  By Brad Carroll  
The sudden, and unexpected, turn in the career of Aaron Hernandez played out on national television Wednesday, with the former Bristol Central High School football star being charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd in Attleboro, Mass.

Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee.

The charges, six in all, including five dealing with weapons, could possibly end the once-promising career of one of the best, young tight ends in the NFL.

Bristol's Aaron Hernandez Charged With Murder, Five Other Counts

Police have charged Bristol's Aaron Hernandez with murder and five other counts of weapons charges Wednesday. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty. He is being charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd, whose body was found in an industrial park near Hernandez's home.

Hernandez was arrested Wednesday morning and later released by the New England Patriots. He is being held without bail.

Bristol's Aaron Hernandez Arrested, New England Patriots Release Him

  By Brad Carroll  
Bristol native and Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested Wednesday morning, taken from his home in handcuffs and driven away in a police car. Massachusetts State Police are not releasing the charges against Hernandez until it is presented in court.

Hernandez is being booked at North Attleboro Police Station and will be arraigned today. He was taken into custody around 8:45 this morning.

The New England Patriots, shortly after, released the tight end.

2013 NBA Mock Draft: Cleveland Cavaliers Will Pick Kentucky's Nerlens Noel With No. 1 Overall Pick

  By Matt Straub  

As much as I’ve always enjoyed my job and working with Brad, I admit my dream gig is to someday be the Mel Kiper of the NBA Draft. There are two things I love more than anything in sports: basketball and drafts. I’ve watched Major League Soccer’s draft before just to hear people talk about potential trades and surprises.

Put those two loves together with the fact the NBA has what I think is the most accessible draft, and you have a combination which turns me into a nutcase.

I spend an unhealthy amount of time thinking about the draft, watching college games, trying to find the right fits for teams and players. Everyone loves the NFL Draft, but the NBA Draft is actually the easiest and most fun to analyze and debate because we’ve seen so many of the players. For as much as we like talking about who the Jets should take in the second round, it’s much easier to have an educated opinion on the best college basketball players than it is good college football players. 

State Of The Yankees Week 12: Don Mattingly Returns, A-Rod Gets Closer, Zoilo Almonte Off To Historic Start & Yankees Remain In Playoff Position

  By Brad Carroll  
Yankees fans have gotten so desperate for an infusion of offense on their struggling ball club that rookie Zoilo Almonte is already being treated as a savior. Almonte is off to an amazing start, historic even, as his .583 batting average in five games is the highest in Yankees history over that time frame. But Almonte wouldn't be in the Bronx if there wasn't big problems at the major league level, and those don't appear to be ending anytime soon. There could be good news coming on the horizon, however, and it's not just the hot bat of Almonte. Alex Rodriguez is getting closer and closer to returning and Derek Jeter took on-field batting practice for the first time Wednesday afternoon. That's great news in a season full of bad.

  Opening Statement  
There's no getting around the Yankees struggles at the plate, with an offense that won't scare anyone, especially in the American League East, where every single team is over .500. But the fact is the Yankees are currently in second place in the division, just 2.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox. The Orioles are percentage points behind the Yankees  the Rays are two back and surging Blue Jays are three back. The Yankees are tied with two other teams (including the Orioles) for the two wild card spots, so a season that has turned terrible on offense is still very much on-target for making a run at a world championship. Of course, the team can't continue to put together 3-3 weeks and expect to hold off the rest of the division. Pitching has been everything for the Yankees this season, as the team has allowed a total of 294 runs, a 3.9 average. That's by far better than anyone else in the East: 31 less than the Red Sox (4.2), 52 less than the Rays (4.5), 51 fewer than the Jays (4.6) and 70 less than the Orioles (4.7). Just think of it this way, when Phil Hughes is the biggest problem on your staff, you're in a great spot to win games. On offense, however, the Yankees have scored 293 runs, a 3.9 average. That's 101 less than the Red Sox (5.1), 82 less than the Orioles (4.9), 70 fewer than the Rays (4.7) and 57 less than the Jays (4.7). This season has been all about treading water until the stars come back, and the Yankees have done that, with a 41-34 record nearing the half-way point. That's why the return of Rodriguez is so big for the lineup. He's not the same A-Rod that won MVP awards, but he is miles better than any other option at third base. With the rest of the stars having unknown return dates, Rodriguez could be the one person to put the Yankees over the top on another division crown and run to a world title. Nobody would have thought that at the beginning of the season, but that's the situation facing the Yankees offense right now. Hurry back, A-Rod.

Bubba Watson Blaming Caddie For Triple-Bogey On 16th Hole At Travelers Championship Sunday

Bubba Watson was the fan favorite at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell this weekend, but maybe he shouldn't have been. He and his caddie weren't too happy with a fan Saturday, with the caddie yelling into the crowd. And then there was this below when Watson choked a possible title away with a triple-bogey on 16 Sunday. Fan favorite? Maybe not.

Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down Week 12: Alex Rodriguez, Zoilo Almonte, Mariano Rivera Are Up, Phil Hughes, Jayson Nix, Chris Stewart Down

  By Brad Carroll  
Did you ever believe this season the New York Yankees and their fans would be clamoring for the return of Alex Rodriguez? Even over the first quarter of the year, there was no need for A-Rod on the roster, as the giant distraction he typically is would overshadow the tremendous start by the also-rans in the lineup. Of course, those also-rans, including Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay, Travis Hafner and Kevin Youkilis, have been terrible since those quick starts and the offense has become one of the worst in the American League. So, news A-Rod is getting very close to starting a rehab assignment should have the team and fans excited. And nobody would have said that two months ago.

  3 Up  
Alex Rodriguez: General manager Brian Cashman says a newspaper report that A-Rod would start a rehab assignment July 1 is incorrect, and that he could start on that day, before it, or after it. Still, there has to be some validity to the report, as even if it isn't exactly the correct day, it means a return is slowly creeping its way to realization. The Yankees would have 20 days to work with on an A-Rod assignment, as if he isn't brought to the major league roster by then, he would have to be optioned to a minor league affiliate. That means A-Rod could return to the Yankees right after the All-Star break. While Rodriguez doesn't instill confidence in the postseason, he still can bring in 25 home runs and around 75 RBI over a full season. The Yankees aren't going to get that from a healthy Youkilis, Jayson Nix or David Adams. A-Rod's postseason failures won't matter if the Yankees aren't playing ball in October. You have to get there first. A-Rod will help the Yankees do that. He just might be the turning point of the season.

State Of The Red Sox Week 12: Boston Fails To Make Any Statements In Losing Week Against Detroit, Tampa

  By Matt Straub  
Maybe it’s because I expected so little from the 2013 Boston Red Sox, but I’ve managed to find the positive in just about every week of the season so far, which still has the Sox in first place in the AL East as we near the end of June. There have been 3-4 weeks where I’ve given Boston credit for winning big games and managing to avoid big slumps. This time, however, 3-4 didn’t cut it.

  Opening Statement  
This time, the Red Sox had a chance to stop hanging onto their lead and make some statements against some other American League powerhouses. This week, the Boston Red Sox fell short. Yes, two of their losses to the Detroit Tigers were nail-biters, and one of them might have been swayed by an umpire’s call. But losing three-of-four in Detroit in a series where the Red Sox could have emerged as the clear class of the league can only be looked at as a disappointment. A split on the road would have been OK. Winning the series would have been a statement. I’m not panicking over a series loss in June, but I can’t pretend not to be bothered by it, either.

Red Sox 3 Up & 3 Down Week 12: Jonny Gomes, Shane Victorino, Junichi Tazawa Up, Andrew Bailey, Dustin Pedroia, Daniel Nava Down

  By Matt Straub  

It was a disappointing week in Red Sox Nation. The Sox went against the Detroit Tigers with a chance to separate themselves from the pack in the American League, only to see the various playoff races tighten after a bad weekend. While there were a few bright spots, here’s a look at those who hurt the team this week, and an begrudging mention, despite my foul mood, to some players who stood tall.

  3 Up  
Jonny Gomes: It hasn’t been a good year for the slugger on the field, but he has gotten a pass because of how well he has integrated himself into the fabric of the team and the Boston community. This week, however, he did something positive on the field, hitting a walk-off homer Tuesday to give the Sox a win in the second game of a doubleheader with Tampa. Any wins against a bitter rival who looks to stay close to you in the standings is big, but a win in that fashion is especially sweet. The rest of the week was a downer, but Gomes deserves his due.

Mets 3 Up & 3 Down Week 12: Zack Wheeler, Juan Lagares, Omar Quintanilla Are Up, Shaun Marcum, Daniel Murphy, Nieuwenhuis Down

  By Jenni Mennella  
It was a pretty exciting and exhausting week for the Mets, which included three games played in under 24 hours and two series on the road against division rivals. Instead of folding under the pressure, the Mets rebounded from Monday’s marathon loss to the Braves and responded with Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler winning their respective games in Tuesday’s doubleheader. All in all, the Mets went 6-3 on the week through strong pitching, timely hitting and staying focused on the future. Just a few more pieces and the Mets will be a formidable opponent in their division. Before that can happen, let’s look at the 3 Up and 3 Down that need to continue or improve.

  3 Up  
Zack Wheeler: This kid is the real deal, folks. In his Major League debut against the Braves, Wheeler showed the type of command and discipline we’ve been hearing about since acquiring him from the Giants for Carlos Beltran in July 2011. It took him a little bit to settle down, missing the strike zone with his first six of seven pitches. That’s when a few words from David Wright put his mind at ease and allowed Wheeler to find his groove. From then on, his fastball and secondary pitches blazed on by reaching high 90s on more than a few occasions. Seven strikeouts, 6 innings, 5 walks, 4 hits, 0 runs – all in his first day at work.

State Of The Mets Week 12: Zack Wheeler's Debut And The Continued Dominance Of Matt Harvey Has Mets Fans Feeling Great About Future

  By Jenni Mennella  
Tuesday was a great day to be a Mets fan. The Mets won both games of their doubleheader against the Braves behind stellar pitching. That’s right. Pitching won two games for the Mets. Matt Harvey held the Braves to one hit over the first seven innings, striking out a career-high 13 and holding on for the 4-3 win in the opening game. Top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler’s long-awaited debut in the nightcap lived up to the hype, as he struck out seven Braves, walked five, and allowed just four hits in the 6-1 victory. "That's a formidable two arms that hopefully develop into a 1-A and a 1-B," David Wright said. "Obviously, just like every other Mets fan, I was eager to see what all the hype was about. It gives you a good glimpse of what could be in the very near future." Two top prospects pitching at the top of their game. It was a good day for Mets baseball indeed.

Rickie Fowler Talks At Travelers Championship After Shooting A Final Round 64 To Finish Tourney -6

Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson Shock Their Way To Great Rock Show, Experience At Mohegan Sun Arena

  By Brad Carroll  
It was a tale of three shows featuring two artists all rolled into one night of shock rock at Mohegan Sun Arena Friday night. There was Marilyn Manson as one headliner and Alice Cooper as the other, the final act. So where did the third show come from? Well, that would be the strangest thing that happened on an evening that had me more afraid for any other show I've ever been to.

Why so afraid? Because there are limitless expectations of shock and horror when Cooper and Manson play a show alone, let alone packaged as a nightmare pairing. So, I was expecting everything and anything to happen. For the most part, I got exactly what I was hoping for. The only difference was getting there didn't take the route I expected.

Defending Champion Marc Leishman Has Strong First Round At Travelers Championship, Plus More On Justin Rose And Bubba Watson

Justin Rose talks after his opening round. (Brad Carroll photo)
  By Brad Carroll  
CROMWELL — It’s not every day the defending champion of a tournament isn’t the main attraction, or even the biggest star in his own group. But that was the case Thursday for Marc Leishman in the first round of the Travelers Championship.

Leishman, the 2012 Travelers champion, was teamed with the ever-popular Bubba Watson, who won this tournament back in 2010, and Jason Dufner, who finished fourth at the US Open last week.

But Leishman picked up right where he left off a year ago, birdieing two of the first three holes and three of the first five to make everyone remember who the defending champ is.

NBA Finals Game 6 Winners & Losers: LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen, Mario Chalmer, Manu Ginobli, Greg Popovich, Danny Green, Fans

Ray Allen hits a game-tying 3-pointer against Spurs. (AP photo)
  By Danny Atkinson  
How about last night’s game? That has to be the best NBA game I’ve ever seen. Storylines and themes were being created every second, and an already unpredictable series has become even more so. I’m already salivating over Game 7, but before we look forward, let’s take a look back at the Heat’s thrilling 103-100 comeback victory.

  Winners  
LeBron James: LeBron’s fourth-quarter performance is already the stuff of legend. He carried a desperate and tired Miami team to a frantic comeback by completely taking over the game on both ends, and finished with 18 points in the fourth and overtime. He relied on his strength and speed to overwhelm defenders in the lane and provided tenacious defense on Tony Parker, who shot 6-of-23 Tuesday night. And even though James struggled on offense in overtime, he came up big when it mattered most, knocking down a short jumper with 1:43 remaining to give the Heat a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. In the end, LeBron finished with 32 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, the 11th triple-double of his playoff career. No matter what happens with Game 7, Tuesday’s game will be a lasting part of LeBron’s legacy.

Don Mattingly Returns To Yankee Stadium As Manager Of Dodgers, Which Still Hurts Since He Should Be Managing The Yankees Right Now

Don Mattingly returns to Yankee Stadium this week. (AP photo)
  By Brad Carroll  
After the 2007 season, the New York Yankees finally made the correct and long-awaited decision to get rid of manager Joe Torre. Falling more in love with becoming a celebrity rather than developing a baseball team, Torre had to go and the Yankees desperately needed a new direction.

The Yankees hierarchy, led by Hank Steinbrenner, who had taken over the lead role from his father George, and general manager Brian Cashman, opened the job to three candidates. There was former Marlins manager Joe Girardi, Yankees bench coach Tony Pena and the odds-on-favorite, former Yankees great Don Mattingly.

Mattingly was the fan's choice to be the next manager. It wasn't even close. True Yankees fans not only wanted Mattingly to be the team's manager, but couldn't imagine it not happening. There was no way the Yankees could screw this up. Of course, the Yankees went ahead and screwed it up anyway.

NBA Finals Game 5 Winners & Losers: Manu Ginobli, Tony Parker, Danny Green, Tim Duncan, Mario Chalmers, Mike Miller, Eric Spoelstra

Danny Green, Tony Park and Tim Duncan celebrate. (AP photo)
  By Danny Atkinson  
The Miami defense ran into a buzz-saw in Game 5, losing 114-104 in a contest that was nowhere near as close as the final score indicated. The Heat head home down 3-2 and are on the brink of losing in the NBA Finals for the second time in three years. Meanwhile, San Antonio is playing offense at an exceptional level, and has all the momentum as it tries to capture its fourth title in the last decade. Game 6 is sure to be a doozy.

  Winners  
Manu Ginobli: For one night, Ginobli recaptured the creativity and energy that has always made him such a joy to watch. He found great scoring opportunities in San Antonio’s imaginative offense and made the most of them, ending the game with 24 points and 10 assists. Ginobli did an excellent job attacking the basket off the dribble, especially when being defended by Miami’s bigs. Even when he was being closely defended, Ginobli found ways to score on shots that could only be described as artistic. No matter how Ginobli plays the remainder of the series, his Game 5 performance will stand as one of the most memorable of his career.

Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down Week 11: Robinson Cano, Adam Warren, CC Sabathia Are Up, Kevin Youkilis, Travis Hafner, Lyle Overbay Down

  By Brad Carroll  
Robinson Cano and the pitching staff can't do it all for the New York Yankees. That much was determined this past week, when the Yankees went 1-5 against the Athletics and Angels. The pitchers did their part in keeping the team in games during the stretch. The offense, on the other hand, did not, putting together one of the worst stretches of the entire season. Kevin Youkilis, Travis Hafner and Lyle Overbay combined for three hits - in six games, including one that went 18 innings. It's been that bad for the Yankees at the plate. It makes for a difficult job coming up with three players to highlight. But for the dimmest stars of the week, the challenge was just picking three.

  3 Up  
Robinson Cano: While everyone struggles, Cano continues to come through at the plate. It's just too bad he didn't have many chances to drive in runs. Cano went 8-for-24 (.333) with four doubles, a home run and two RBI. In the Thursday embarrassment of a loss to the Athletics, Cano went 3-for-6 with two doubles, a home run and two RBI. Hafner, Youkilis, Wells and Mark Teixeira went a combined 0-for-28 Thursday. Again, Cano can't be expected to do it all.

State Of The Yankees Week 11: Offensive Woes Only Get Worse As Yankees Finish Off Terrible Stretch Against Athletics And Angels

  By Brad Carroll  
If Mariano Rivera doesn't strike out Albert Pujols with the bases loaded in the ninth inning Sunday, this would have been the worst week of the season for the Yankees. Yes, even worse than getting swept by the lowly Mets. Having already lost the first five games, three against the Athletics and two against the Angels, the Yankees appeared on their way to an easy win Sunday. But the bullpen let a 6-0 lead slip to a 6-5 game with the bases loaded and two outs. Luckily, Rivera struck out Pujols to end the game and save what would have been a humiliating stretch of baseball. Maybe the victory sets in motion a string of wins going forward. More likely, however, is the Yankees could be coming apart before our very eyes.

  Opening Statement  
Remember when the talk of the town in the Bronx was the rejuvenation of Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay, Travis Hafner and Kevin Youkilis, players thought to have long ago passed their prime, but were hitting the stuffing out of the ball early on? Well, all of those hits, home runs and RBI have become almost non existent since. Wells hasn't homered since May 15 and has no extra base hits and just a single RBI in the month of June. He's batting just .230 overall, .109 this month, and has become the player everyone thought he would be at the start of the season. Actually, he's slightly worse now than he was with the Angels last season. And that's saying something. Overbay hasn't homered since May 25 and is batting just .167 with a double and no RBI this month. Before hitting a three-run home run Sunday, Hafner struggled just as much this month as his teammates. He was 0-for-23 before Sunday's game, including an 0-for-8 day at the plate Thursday against Oakland. Hafner is batting just .221 this season. Youkilis went 0-for-7 Thursday and then was put on the disabled list Friday, proving he was a complete waste of money. He was batting .219 with two home runs and eight RBI in 28 games before landing on the DL for the second time this season.

State Of The Red Sox Week 11: Boston Remains Consistent As It Continues To Lead AL East After Battling Rival Rays And Orioles This Week

  By Matt Straub  

This was an important week for the Boston Red Sox. A big road trip against division rivals Tampa Bay and Baltimore would give them a chance to show who the true beasts of the American League East were. Maybe I got overly excited looking for the Red Sox to make a statement. What I should have counted on was this team doing what is always does: hanging around and figuring out a way to barely stay in first place.

  Opening Statement  
For those of you who watch golf and enjoyed the U.S. Open this week, let me put it to you this way: There are golfers who hit 300 yard drives and win by making eagles. Then there are golfers who put the ball in the fairway all the time and give themselves a chance to make enough birdies to end up with a good score. Consistency and the ability to avoid hitting the ball into a bunker is their way to the top. The Red Sox are that second golfer. They might not do too many spectacular things, but they avoid trouble well enough to keep themselves hanging around the leaderboard. And so, while this week’s 3-4 mark isn’t what they were hoping for, the Red Sox managed to avoid letting anyone make a big run at them this week. When it ended, the Sox were still in first place because they stayed out of the bunker, which isn’t easy to do on the kind of course they faced this week.

Red Sox 3 Up & 3 Down Week 11: Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Carp, Craig Breslow Are Up, Jon Lester, Andrew Bailey, Will Middlebrooks Down

  By Matt Straub  

It certainly wasn’t a boring week in Red Sox Nation. John Lackey helped rekindle the decade-long bad blood between Boston and Tampa (which is quietly a much more heated rivalry these days than Sox-Yankees is), the Red Sox won two of the goofier games of the year, including one they gave away, and saw a few weaknesses get exposed again. There were some players who helped keep the week somewhat on track, however, which is the mark of a good team. If the Red Sox can keep things from getting out of hand each week, they can use the cushion they’ve built to put themselves in contention come the fall. Let’s look at who cost the Sox some games and who helped keep Boston in first place.

  3 Up  
Mike Carp: Soon I’ll be looking at the first half leaders for three up and three down, and I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but Mike Carp is going to be among the players who have been “up” most often. He had a hit in five of the six games he played, hit a big game-tying home run in Boston’s win in Baltimore, and his departure from Sunday’s game with a hamstring pull actually gave the Red Sox cause for concern. He has made the losses of Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli hurt less this season and has been an unsung hero for this team everywhere except in this blog.

Mets 3 Up & 3 Down Week 11: David Wright, Dillon Gee, Zack Wheeler Are Up, Ike Davis, John Buck, Bobby Parnell Are Down For Week

  By Brad Carroll  

It's too bad the New York Mets put the spotlight on their star, David Wright, for all the wrong reasons this week, especially considering the third baseman is the only hitter on the roster doing anything at the plate. Actually, Wright has been on a tear, raising his batting average 24 points over the past eight games. But the fact the Mets went to an online dating website for 'Cougars' to pick up extra votes to get Wright ahead in the All-Star Game voting leaked and took the attention away from Wright's play on the field. Luckily, if Wright does win the vote, he will do so because of what he's done actually playing the game. He's certainly doing his part in that regard.

  3 Up  
David Wright: The Mets third baseman went 10-for-21 this week with three doubles, a home run and four RBI. He's raised his season average to .297. But it may be as a leader where Wright is shining brightest right now. "Guys need to dig down deep and go one of two ways," Wright said Saturday. "Either just go through the motions and play things out or get motivated by whatever means necessary and finish this thing strong. A lot of these guys are going to be part of the future." Wright tied a career-high in Saturday's game by reaching base for the ninth consecutive time at bat.

State Of The Mets Week 11: Mets Sink To 15 Games Under For Season, Going 2-10 Since 4-Game Sweep Of Yankees

  By Brad Carroll  

Remember when the New York Mets had won five straight games, including going 4-for-4 against the hated Yankees? It seems almost unreal now that the Mets were actually playing good baseball at a time, making their way back from a bad start to begin to put together a season that could actually turn into a wild card chase. But since that sweep of the Yankees, the Mets have gone 2-10 to drop 15 games under .500 and all but end the season before it even reaches the All-Star break.

  Opening Statement  
Maybe the Mets should go to Cougar Life to sell tickets instead of solicit All-Star votes for David Wright from here on out, because any fan that chooses to attend a game at Citi Field this season is either among the most die-hard fans, or just wants to enjoy the great weather at the stadium. It's certainly not to enjoy the baseball, unless you're interested in the visitors. The Mets are a team in shambles, both on and off the field, as they embarrassed themselves by going to an online dating service for older women to get votes for their third baseman. The All-Star Game is at Citi Field this year, so the Mets are obviously pulling out all the stops trying to get one of their own players in the starting lineup. They would be better off hyping pitcher Matt Harvey for the start, which would actually make the most sense. Of course, let's stay away from dating websites with that one as well. The worst part about the swoon the last two weeks was it came against teams that are the bottom-feeders of the National League, the Marlins and Cubs. The Mets  who have the second worst record in the NL, ahead of just Miami, have to be considered the new bottom-feeder with the way things have gone recently. They are 0-7 against Miami and Chicago the last two weeks. Even Harvey lost for the first time this season, a 2-1 defeat to the Cardinals Thursday. Interestingly enough, the last two weeks have seen Dillon Gee pitch his way to both victories the Mets had. He's won three straight starts. Wright, a Cougar heartthrob apparently, is the only player on the Mets to hit over .250 this week. He's actually on fire, going 9-for-14 (.643) over the past four games. Too bad the rest of the team can't hit. Or win games.

NBA Finals Game 4 Winners & Losers: Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Heat Defense, Manu Ginobli, Tiago Splitter, Tim Duncan

Dwayne Wade and LeBron James shine in Game 4. (AP photo)
  By Danny Atkinson  

Who had Miami’s Big Three combining to score 85 points in Game 4? I certainly didn’t, and neither apparently did San Antonio. In an NBA Finals where role players have shined just as much as the stars, some semblance of order was restored Thursday. It should be fun to see if the Spurs' Big Three can respond with a memorable performance of their own in Game 5.

  Winners  
Dwayne Wade: Wade gave his best performance of the playoffs, and showed why he is considered one of the best two-guards of all time. Wade had mostly taken jump shots in the previous three games, but was unstoppable inside Thursday, going 10-for-12 in the restricted area on his way to 32 points. He constantly attacked mismatches when San Antonio went big, and was too quick and athletic for Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter and Boris Diaw to handle. Wade was every bit as good on defense as he was on offense. He did an excellent job defending Tony Parker and making him confused and hesitant about where to go with the ball, and caused havoc in the passing lanes, finishing with six steals. If Wade can continue to play at or near this level going forward, I guarantee Miami is going to win the title.

Pimp My Wright? Mets Contact Dating Website For 'Cougars' To Boost All-Star Game Votes For David Wright

David Wright was let down by the Mets' PR department. (AP photo)
  By Jenni Mennella  
“The Mets have shown me more ways to lose than I even knew existed.” Me too, Casey. Me too.

Just when you think the Mets can’t sink any lower, think again. This time, however, it’s not about the slumping Ike Davis, useless bullpen or piss-poor decisions being made lately. This time rests solely with the one group that’s supposed to represent the Mets with the best of intentions regardless of what happens. This time it’s the marketing department who should get designated for assignment, placed on waivers or shipped off to some god-forsaken place that’s never even heard of baseball.

In what might be the worst possible idea of the century, some nimrod in the Mets marketing department contacted a dating website to boost David Wright’s chances of starting the MLB All-Star Game. Not just any dating website, mind you. They could have contacted the ever-popular Match.com or crunchy granola eHarmony, with their annoying commercials. Or maybe even Christian Mingle or J-Date to appeal to Wright’s religious fans. No, this bottom-feeding, scumbag opportunist contacted Cougar Life, known as "the cougar dating site for younger hot men to meet sexy older professional women."

Ireland Vs Spain At Yankee Stadium: An Experience, And Moment, To Remember As I Get To Watch Ireland Play In Person For First Time Ever

Sean St. Ledger "scores" against Spain Tuesday night. (AP photo)
  By Brad Carroll  
The trip to Yankee Stadium Tuesday night was different than any other time I've ventured to the Bronx. Unlike the typical Yankees games, where the large majority of fans would be hoping for the same result, a victory for the home team, this was for a completely different experience. The Stadium played host on this night to an international soccer friendly featuring the best team in the world, Spain, against the squad that holds my allegiance, Ireland.

This wasn't the first time I attended a world-class soccer match, but it was by far the most anticipated, and would ultimately prove to contain one of the most exhilarating moments in all of my live sporting event fandom experiences. It would also prove to be one of the most disappointing, incredulous and downright infuriating moments as well. And did I mention both of these emotional mood swings took place in a matter seconds?

NBA Finals Winners And Losers: Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Gary Neal, LeBron James, Miami Defense, Mario Chalmers, Eric Sproelstra

Danny Green and Gary Neal celebrate during Game 3. (AP photo)
  By Danny Atkinson  

A weird series only got weirder with San Antonio’s 113-77 beatdown of Miami in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. We saw the emergence of a new Big Three for the Spurs (Danny Green, Gary Neal and Kawhi Leonard) and LeBron James in a role he hasn’t occupied for a long time: goat. Hopefully, Game 4 will again be filled with surprises. Before we get there, let’s look back at the winners and losers of Game 3.

  Winners  
Danny Green: How long can Green keep his torrid shooting up? Who knows. But he deserves all the credit in the world for making the most of his opportunities again and again Tuesday night. Green scored 27 points and was 7-of-9 from 3 by doing an outstanding job of finding open space on the floor and being very aggressive when he got the ball. The former Tar Heel's passing also set up his teammates for similar high percentage shots. Green isn’t going to shoot at this high of a level going forward, but if he continues to be aggressive, we can expect to see more gorgeous treys throughout the rest of the series.

Tim Tebow Signs With New England Patriots, Another Way For Bill Belichick To Stick It To The Jets

Tim Tebow has signed with the Patriots. (AP photo)
  By Brad Carroll  
There was two things everyone should have known about Tim Tebow's future career in the NFL. One, he was going to be part of a team by the time training camp rolled around. Two, you just knew the team he would be playing for would be the New England Patriots. Why? Because Patriots coach Bill Belichick hates the New York Jets, plain and simple, and he wants to rub everything in their collective face.

So, signing Tebow and making him part of an already explosive offense is the latest way for Belichick to stick it to the Jets. Belichick can do that on the field rather quickly, as he will do everything in his power to have Tebow score a touchdown in Week 2 against the Jets. And knowing the rivalry the way everyone does, especially recently, the odds of that happening are pretty darn good.

Red Sox 3 Up & 3 Down Week 10: Stephen Drew, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Jose Iglesias Up, Jackie Bradley Jr, Clayton Mortensen, Franklin Morales

  By Matt Straub  

The Boston Red Sox can be a bit maddening for a fan. They’re having an incredible season, and yet there’s still a couple of guys per week I can’t wait to rip in this section of the weekly post. With so many good things to talk about, however, I’m glad I have a chance to do both. So let’s give some players their due, then tear some people to shreds as I briefly forget my team is in first place.

  3 Up  
Stephen Drew: Because I’ve been so hard on him this year, I want to give him his due when he deserves it. This is one of those weeks. He’s raised his average 17 points and is starting to look like a major league baseball player. Seven hits, four RBI and three doubles this week have me feeling like the Red Sox might not have wasted that money after all.

State Of The Red Sox 10: Boston Gets Payback By Taking Two Of Three From Rangers, Have AL's Best Record

  By Matt Straub  

Slow and steady wins the race. Sure it’s an old cliché, but it applies this week as we break down the Boston Red Sox, who ripped another week off the baseball calendar and did so while holding onto their lead in the American League East.

  Opening Statement  
After a 4-2 week which saw Boston take two of three from the team which had the best record in the American League, and then survive some pitching issues to take two more from a bad Anaheim squad, the Red Sox did exactly what they were supposed to. First, they sent a message that they truly belong with the league’s elite. Then they did what those elite teams do and won a series from a bad team. When all was said and done, another 4-2 stretch, while far from a six-game winning streak or anything spectacular like that, was good enough to have the Sox up by a game in the division and entering Monday with the best record in the American League. There’s one team in the AL who as of Monday morning has a .600 winning percentage. Sure there’s a long way to go, but the slow road has brought Boston over just one bump on the journey to the top.

Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down Week 10: Brett Gardner, David Phelps, Phil Hughes Are Up, Robinson Cano, Vernon Wells, David Adams Down

  By Brad Carroll  
He has the highest batting average on the Yankees this season. He leads the team in doubles and runs scored. He's fifth in home runs and fourth in RBI. Can you guess who the player is? Nope, it's not Robinson Cano or Travis Hafner or Lyle Overbay or Ichiro Suzuki. His name is Brett Gardner and he is the best offensive player on the Yankees right now. He's on absolute fire at the plate and could even wind up on the All-Star team this summer. He doesn't typically get the recognition on a team full of stars, but when you hit for a .520 average in a week, with a ton of extra base hits to boot, there's no stopping the praise then. Not surprisingly, Gardner leads off our 3 Up & 3 Down column.

  3 Up  
Brett Gardner: The outfielder went 13-for-25 (.520) this week with five doubles, a home run and six RBI. He's hit in seven straight games, raising his season batting average to .284, best on the team. Over the weekend, Gardner went 7-for-10 with three doubles in two victories over the Mariners. Overall, he has six home runs, already on pace to destroy his previous season high, with 14 doubles and 27 RBI. He's on pace to hit 15 home runs with 36 doubles and 69 RBI. The most he's had in any season are seven home runs, 20 doubles and 47 RBI, so Gardner is having a career year. And we're not even at the halfway point yet.

State Of The Yankees Week 10: Yanks Put Dreadful Week Behind Them By Beating Up On Indians, Mariners To Get Back Into Playoff Position

  By Brad Carroll  
The New York Yankees answered their worst week of the season with one of their best, going 6-1 after a sweep of the Indians and taking three of four from the Mariners. It was the perfect answer to the week prior, where the Yankees lost all four games to the Mets and dropped two of three to the Red Sox. The Yankees are now 11 games over .500 and just 1.5 games back of the Red Sox for first place in the AL East. Unlike the end of last week, when the Yankees were not in playoff position, they currently lead the wild card standings. What a difference a week makes.

  Opening Statement  
After a downright embarrassing week against the Mets and Red Sox, the Yankees needed to bounce back quickly to prove they are still among baseball's best teams. That 1-6 week sent the Yankees from first place in the AL East to out of postseason position altogether, and the many questions marks that surrounded the team coming into the season crept back up to the surface. Well, with some great pitching and timely hitting, the Yankees shut their critics up again. Pitching, as it was thought to be, was the main reason for the winning week. David Phelps had two great starts, winning one of them and taking a no-decision in the second, a 2-1 win over the Mariners Sunday. CC Sabathia is back to his Cy Young form, pitching a complete game to finish off a sweep of the Indians. Phil Hughes, who was terrible against the Red Sox in his last start, was stellar against the Mariners Thursday, taking a shutout into the eighth inning and winning for the first time in a month. Andy Pettitte had just about the perfect day a person could have, as he won career game No. 250 Saturday. After the game, Pettitte's oldest son, Josh, was drafted by the Yankees in the 37th round of the MLB draft. The only pitcher to be handed a loss has been the Yankees best starter this season, so there's no reason to worry about Hiroki Kuroda. And, oh yeah, the great Mariano Rivera saved four games this week. But the Yankees did damage at the plate this week as well, with Brett Gardner leading the way. Gardner, who could work his way onto the All-Star team, went 13-for-25 (.520) this week, hitting safely in all seven games. Read more about his exploits in our 3 Up & 3 Down column. Finally, Mark Teixeira is starting to heat up at the plate since returning from injury. He hit a grand slam and a three-run home run against Cleveland on back-to-back nights, and added another homer against Seattle. If the pitching staff and offense continue like this, the Yankees will challenge for another world championship. But for the here and now, this was the perfect answer to a dreadful week.

Mets 3 Up & 3 Down Week 10: 2013 Draft Picks, Triple-A, Zack Wheeler Are Up, Daniel Murphy, Bullpen, Front Office Down For Week

  By Jenni Mennella  

After a flicker of hope provided by the Yankees’ sweep last week, the Mets returned to their losing ways, getting swept by the Fish and splitting two with the Nats. By most accounts, this season was and is not expected to be a successful one, so let’s turn our attention to the future of the Mets. This week’s column highlights the good things to come and looks at what needs to change or get back on track.

  3 Up  
2013 Draft Class: The Mets found power and speed, proven workhorses, and projectable prospects, adding a versatile mix of short-term dividends and long-term investments. First round: Dominic Smith from Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., is a first baseman with a pure swing some have compared to former Mets outfielder Darryl Strawberry. Second round: Andrew Church from Basic High School in Henderson, Nevada, hit 93 mph on the radar gun late in the game of his high school playoffs, according to Mets scouts. Third round, two picks: Casey Meisner is a lanky 6-foot-7, 190-pound right-hander who has a good arsenal of pitches, including a 90 mph fastball. Ivan Wilson from Ruston High School in Louisiana, is a power-hitting outfielder with solid speed. Fourth round: UConn second baseman L.J. Mazzilli is the son of former Mets star Lee Mazzilli. Fifth round: Jared King, a left fielder from Kansas State University, hit .327 with six home runs and 51 RBI for the Wildcats this past season. Seventh round: Matthew Oberste, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound power-hitting first baseman out of Oklahoma, brings with him a .377 average with 11 home runs and 60 RBI. Oberste also had a .628 slugging percentage and a .460 on-base percentage. As the Draft progressed, the Mets continued to select plenty of pitchers, including 28th-round pick Robert Coles. The 6-foot, 180-pound right-hander from Florida State went 4-1 with a 1.16 ERA as a reliever for the Seminoles.

GameDay Live: Softball, Class LL State Tournament Championship,
No. 1 Southington Vs No. 6 Mercy

No. 1 Southington 1, No. 6 Mercy 0
FINAL
                                 123  456   7     R  H  E
Mercy                        000  000   0  -  0  5  1
Southington                010  000   0  -  1  5  0

Southington wins the Class LL State Championship!

LAST SCORING PLAY: Southington's Natalie Wadolowski singles home Lauren Zazzaro to give the Blue Knights the lead, 1-0, bottom of second.

State Of The Mets Week 10: Mets Drop Four To Marlins, Two To Rain, And Yankees Sweep Is A Distant Memory

  By Jenni Mennella  

Charles Dickens should have been a sportswriter because "A Tale of Two Cities" might as well be about the Subway Series. Instead of riding the high from sweeping the best-of-times Bronx Bombers, the boys from Flushing floundered by getting swept by the last-place Miami Marlins and splitting two games with the Washington Nationals. Let’s just be thankful for the rain that postponed two games until better weather or the Mets find a way to get Matt Harvey some run support or clone him. The worst of times, indeed.

  Opening Statement  
Before we sift through this week’s rubble, let’s take a closer look at the week before which gave Mets fans the worst thing possible: Hope. The Mets limited the Yankees to seven total runs in the entire series, while scoring 16 against them. Ike Davis snapped out of his slump, albeit briefly, and somehow the Mets managed to silence the Sandman himself. Things were looking up. So can someone help me understand how this planetary alignment of factors quickly faded and sent the Mets back to their losing ways? How were they able to put together a five-game winning streak then follow it up with this week’s dismal efforts? More importantly, how can we recreate this magic again and start putting together some wins?

Jets Bring In Kellen Winslow For Tryout During Mini Camp, An Actual Smart Decision Made By The Team

Kellen Winslow gets a tryout with the Jets next week. (AP photo)
  By Brad Carroll  
This offseason for the New York Jets has been anything but successful, even though training camp is still weeks away. The signing of quarterback David Garrard went nowhere, as he had to retire because of injury. The signing of running back Mike Goodson has brought nothing but negative attention, as he was arrested and charged with gun and drug possession not long after being signed. That was on top of his already checkered past, something the Jets obviously didn't care about, or didn't bother to check out.

But the Jets and new general manager John Idzik, off to a bad start in his new position, finally made a smart decision. The Jets are bringing tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. in for a tryout during mini camp.

A tryout doesn't mean the Jets are signing Winslow, but hopefully this is just a precursor to a deal. Hey, maybe the Jets are actually doing their homework here, making the player prove himself on the field before shelling out a signing bonus. That would be smart, something the Jets haven't been in recent years.

GameDay Live: Baseball, Class LL State Tournament Championship,
No. 4 Southington Vs No. 6 Amity

No. 6 Amity 4, No. 4 Southington 0
FINAL
                                 123  456   7     R  H  E
Amity                         102  010   0  -  4  8  1
Southington                000  000   0  -  0  2  2

Amity wins the Class LL state baseball championship

LAST SCORING PLAY: Amity's Mike Concato singles home Jake Russo for his third RBI of the game, 4-0 Amity, top of fifth.

GameDay Live: Softball, Class LL
State Tournament Semifinals,
No. 2 Bristol Central Vs No. 6 Mercy

No. 6 Mercy 9, No. 2 Bristol Central 2
FINAL
                                 123  456   7     R  H  E
Mercy                        003  024   0  -  9  13  1
Bristol Central             000  200   0  -  2  8  3

LAST SCORING PLAY: Mercy starts to pull away, scoring four more runs in top of sixth, leads 9-2.

GameDay Live: Softball, Class LL
State Tournament Semifinals,
No. 1 Southington Vs No. 5 Stamford

No. 1 Southington 3, No. 5 Stamford 2
FINAL
                                 123  456   7     R  H  E
Stamford                    000  002   0  -  2  7  0
Southington                200  001   0  -  3  5  1


LAST SCORING PLAY: Southington's Rachel Harvey scores Caitlin Downes with a single that hit the umpire. After a conference, the run stands and Southington leads 3-2, bottom of sixth.

Southington advances to the Class LL state championship game, where it will play against No. 6 Mercy Friday at 7 p.m. at DeLuca Field in Stratford.

GameDay Live: Volleyball, Class L State Tournament Semifinals, No. 4 Southington Vs No. 1 Glastonbury

No. 1 Glastonbury 3, No. 4 Southington 2
FINAL
Game 1: Glastonbury, 25-17
Game 2: Southington, 25-22
Game 3: Southington, 25-23
Game 4: Glastonbury, 25-19
Game 5: Glastonbury, 17-15

GameDay Live: Softball, Class L
State Tournament Semifinals,
No. 6 Berlin Vs No. 2 Masuk

No. 2 Masuk 2, No. 6 Berlin 1
FINAL
                                 123  456   7     R  H  E
Berlin                         010  000   0  -  1  4  1
Masuk                        000  200   0  -  2  7  0

LAST SCORING PLAY: Masuk takes the lead after Berlin first baseman loses ball in sun, on a good throw to first, allowing a run to score. Masuk leads 2-1, bottom fourth.

GameDay Live: Baseball, Class LL State Tournament Semifinals,
No. 4 Southington Vs No. 8 Trumbull

No. 4 Southington 4, No. 8 Trumbull 2
FINAL
                                 123  456   7     R  H  E
Trumbull                     100  001   0  -  2  6  1
Southington                200  200   0  -  4  7  1

LAST SCORING PLAY: Trumbull's James DeNomme grounds out to shortstop, scoring Willy Velez, to cut Southington lead to 4-2, top sixth.

Southington advances to the Class LL state championship game, which will be played either Friday or Saturday, against No. 6 Amity, which defeated No. 10 Fairfield Prep 3-2 Tuesday.

State Of The Yankees Week 9: Embarrassing Week Sends Yankees From First Place In AL East To Out Of Playoff Position Altogether

  By Brad Carroll  
The only saving grace this week for the New York Yankees was pitcher CC Sabathia rediscovering his lost velocity and being the ace everyone hoped he still would be this season. As for the rest, this was a depressing and downright embarrassing set of games, with the Yankees getting swept in four games by the Mets and then losing two of three to the Red Sox. The Yankees have lost seven of eight games and are suddenly in crisis mode for the first time since the opening week of the season.

  Opening Statement  
With all of that written, the season isn't in jeopardy of spiraling out of control, at least we hope it's not. The Yankees are still six games over .500 and three games back in the AL East. Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda are two of the best pitchers in baseball. Andy Pettitte, Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis are all back from injuries. And the struggling offense is due to break this long stretch of ineffectiveness. But 1-6 weeks hurt, and if the season ended today, the Yankees would miss the postseason altogether, as they trail both the Athletics and Orioles by a half-game in the wild card race. It proves how quickly a bad week can send you from first place in the AL East to out of the playoffs in short order. While the team got some horrific starts this week from David Phelps and Phil Hughes, the rest of the staff pitched well enough to win every game. That blame rests solely on the offense, which combined for eight runs in six losses this week. In the four losses not pitched by Phelps or Hughes, Yankees pitchers allowed a combined 10 runs. Those are all winnable games. Of the players with at least nine at-bats this week, nine batted under .250, with the high being .231 among that group. Only Ichiro Suzuki, Jayson Nix and Robinson Cano have contributed at the plate, and that won't win many games. The Yankees have said they're not worried about the offense, but another week like this and the they could seriously put a dent in their quest for an AL East title.

Yankees 3 Up & 3 Down Week 9: CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Jayson Nix Are Up, David Phelps, Phil Hughes, Mariano Rivera On Down List

  By Brad Carroll  
Coming into this week, one of the few things the New York Yankees had to worry about was the reduced velocity by their struggling ace, CC Sabathia. A week later, Sabathia is the least of the team's worries. The Yankees were swept in four games by the Mets, a humiliating result, and followed that by dropping two of three games to the Red Sox at the Stadium. The Yankees went 1-6 this week, with the one victory coming after a vintage performance by Sabathia. Much like the Yankees struggled to win this week, we'll struggle to find three players to highlight in a positive light. The only struggle on the negative side will be limiting it to just three players.

  3 Up  
CC Sabathia: After the Yankees lost four straight games to the Mets, they needed a big performance Friday night against the Red Sox to put that bad taste out of their mouths right away. Sabathia answered the call in a big way, allowing one run on six hits over 7.1 innings in a 4-1 victory. He struck out 10 and walked none. In his previous five starts in May, Sabathia was 0-2 with a 4.86 ERA, so this start was big in a number of ways, both individually and team-wise. Sabathia is now 5-4 on the season with a 3.71 ERA. Better yet, the ace is back in top form.

State Of The Red Sox Week 9: Sox Take Two Of Three From Yankees, Sit Comfortably In First Place In AL East

  By Matt Straub  

On paper, it’s another 4-3 week for the Boston Red Sox. That’s good enough on its own since, as we’ve covered here before, doing that every week would give you more than 90 wins. This week in particular, however, was more than just a winning week.

  Opening Statement  
I know Yankee fans don’t need to be told about fighting through injuries, but the Red Sox are starting to have their own laundry list of bumps and bruises. That, however, wasn’t enough to keep the team down this week. Two tough losses to their “natural rival” didn’t shake the Sox, who bounced right back and earned a big split with the Phillies. Then came a series against their real rival, the hated Yankees, who themselves needed some victories to salvage a bad week. Two wins later, the Red Sox were comfortably in first place and had sealed a great week.

Red Sox 3 Up & 3 Down Week 9: Clay Buchholz, Mike Napoli, Daniel Nava Are Up, Jacoby Ellsbury, John Lackey, Andrew Miller On Down List

  By Matt Straub  

It gets harder and harder to pick players for these lists as the Red Sox keep losing players, but there were some distinct performances, both good and bad, which stood out. A good week provided several players worthy of praise, but, as only the Red Sox can do, also gave us a couple of players to rip.

  3 Up  
Clay Buchholz: Yes it was only five innings, and no I don’t get why two or three games were held up until 3 a.m. last week, but the Red Sox were handed a win after 5 ½ innings Sunday. Buchholz put together the kind of effort the Red Sox would need from him if they see the Yankees in some big games in September or, dare I say, October.

State Of The Mets Week 9: Ultimate High Of Sweeping The Yankees, To Ultimate Low Of Two Straight Losses To Miami, The Mets' Week Had It All

  By Brad Carroll  

The New York Mets went through the best and worst of emotions this week. From the ultimate feeling of euphoria after sweeping four games from the rival Yankees, to the depressing state of the team after losing two straight to the terrible Marlins, the Mets hit both extremes. In just two days, the Mets went from the toast of the city, with a ton of momentum, to the same-old struggling team that can't buy a victory that doesn't involve the Yankees.

  Opening Statement  
This will most likely be the toughest column to write all season long because of the aforementioned extremes. After sweeping the Yankees, this State of the Mets edition should have been easy, with nothing but great things to say about the team's best stretch of baseball this season. We might actually be discussing a possible return to playoff contention after the season-saving victories. But, ultimately, there is a negative spin on the week as the Mets answered that amazing stretch with two straight losses to the terrible Marlins, scoring just one run in each game. We'll break it into two parts. First, the four-game sweep over the Yankees was exactly what the franchise needed. The Yankees have owned New York baseball for years now, a couple of decades actually, but the Mets and their fans finally had the chance to put them in their place. It gave the team and, more importantly, the fans reason to gloat and hold it over their Yankees fans counterparts. The Mets pitched great, got timely hits, beat the great Mariano Rivera, and simply found ways to win games. Second, unfortunately, the Mets reverted back to their losing ways when they left New York. All the momentum gained from the Subway Series sweep was lost with two straight losses to the Marlins, losing 5-1 Friday and 8-1 Saturday. The team showed no life, both at the plate and on the mound, leaving fans with more questions than answers about the team. How in the world can this team follow an epic sweep of the Yankees with two uninspired efforts in a row? It's the reason why the Mets are 22-31, 10 games behind the Braves in the NL East and 10.5 out of the wild card. Things will certainly get even worse if Matt Harvey and the Mets don't win the series finale Sunday. Luckily, Harvey is the perfect person to stop the bleeding.

Mets 3 Up & 3 Down Week 9: Matt Harvey, Dillon Gee, Lucas Duda Are Up, Shaun Marcum, David Wright, Ruben Tejada Down For Week

  By Brad Carroll  

This could have been the perfect week for the New York Mets. After beating the Braves Sunday, the Mets swept all four games from the rival Yankees, including a ninth-inning comeback against Mariano Rivera. Everything was suddenly going right and fans had reason to gloat. The Mets had won five games in a row and the struggling Marlins were on tap next. But this has been the season of disappointment, and the Mets kept that trend going, giving all the momentum right back by dropping the first two games to Miami, scoring just two total runs in the process. It makes for a bittersweet 3 Up & 3 Down column.

  3 Up  
Matt Harvey: His performance against the Yankees Tuesday might have been his finest of the season. And that is saying something. Harvey allowed just one run on six hits in eight innings of work, leaving with a no-decision with the game knotted at one. He struck out 10, walked none, and lowered his season ERA to 1.85. Not only was it a bounce-back performance, as he allowed four runs in 6.1 innings in his last start, his worst of the year, but he came up huge in the biggest series for the Mets  Harvey has just one win in his last seven starts, with the other six ending with no-decisions, but he's 5-0. His performance against the Yankees, more than any other this season, proves Harvey's the real deal.

GameDay Live: Class LL Baseball Tournament Quarterfinals, No. 10 Fairfield Prep At No. 2 Bristol Central

No. 10 Fairfield Prep 6, No. 2 Bristol Central 2
FINAL
                                    123  456  7     R  H  E
Fairfield Prep                111  300  0  -   6  7  1
Bristol Central               101  000  0  -   2  3  3

LAST SCORING PLAY: Fairfield Prep scores three runs on no hits in the top of fourth, takes a 6-2 lead.