Jon Fazio's Sports and Thoughts Blog
Today in Sports

MLB: Interleague play continued across the Major League’s Friday as the Houston Astros visited the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the first game of a three-game series in the Bronx. Andy Pettitte took the mound for the Yankees and accomplished only two other Yankees’ have done: win over 200 games as a pitcher. Pettitte hurled 7 1/3 innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits while striking out four en-route to his 200th win as a Yankee by a final score of 4-3. Pettitte joins a very excusive club, joining Whitey Ford and Red Ruffing as the only other starters on the Yankees who have won more than 200 games. They both have won 231 games each for the pinstripes during their pitching careers. Pettitte didn’t need much offensive support in his outing, but in the first inning Francisco Cervelli hit a two-out, two-run single in the Yankees’ three-run inning to give Pettitte enough padding for him to work. Mark Teixera added an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to ultimately give them the edge to win. Houston cracked into Pettitte in the second inning, as Tommy Manzella connected for a two-run double down the left-field line, but Pettitte settled in and wasn’t touched again until the eighth, when Derek Jeter bobbled a double-play ball and helped set up Jeff Keppinger’s sacrifice fly. Chamberlain struck out Lance Berkman swinging in an even more key at-bat to end the threat, helping preserve the lead for Pettitte. Then in the ninth, “Enter Sandman” to pitch a 1-2-3 inning to collect his 15th save and preserve Pettitte’s 200th win for the Yankees. Interleague play continues Saturday as the series continues between the Astros and the Yankees. Wandy Rodriguez (3-8, 4.95 ERA) takes the hill for the Astros as he faces Yankees’ starter Javier Vazquez (5-5, 5.63 ERA) at 1:05 p.m. on YES.

The Mets traveled to Baltimore to take on the Orioles for a three-game series at Camden Yards. R.A. Dickey baffled the O’s with his knuckleball for seven innings, giving up one run and seven hits to earn his fourth straight win by a final score of 5-1. The right-hander had a career-high eight strikeouts which included Corey Patterson three times and Adam Jones twice. Chris Carter hit his first career home run in the fourth inning, a three-run shot to give the Mets a 4-0 lead at the time. David Wright added three hits and two RBIs for the Mets, who won for the sixth time in seven games and improved their road record to 9-18. New York has not yet captured a road series and hasn’t recorded consecutive wins on the road since July 25-26 in Houston. Baltimore went 3 for 17 with runners in scoring position and struck out a season-high 12 times. The Orioles’ lone run came when Patterson scored on a wild pitch by Dickey in the seventh. Orioles’ starter Jeremy Guthrie allowed four runs and seven hits in seven innings in his loss. The Mets send out Hisanori Takahashi (4-2, 3.80 ERA) to face Orioles’ starter Brian Matusz (2-6, 5.10 ERA) beginning at 7:05 p.m. on SNY.

Soccer: The Fifa World Cup has officially kicked in as Mexico faced South Africa and Uruguay took on France. I was looking forward to watching these games, and when I did, I didn’t seem to have as much interest as I thought I would have. Mexico and South Africa tied at one and Uruguay and France squared at zero after the first day of the World Cup, and I think that is why I didn’t have much interest. Now, I know soccer has a rich tradition around the world, probably more-so than baseball in America. However, I still think that soccer needs to adopt a shootout in all games so a team can be declared a winner. Two reasons:

1. It is so much more exciting. When a team ties, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. You feel indifferent about the situation. If you enforce the shootout rule, it is so much more compelling to watch to see who actually wins the game.

2. It makes the advancement of teams into further rounds easier. Pretty simple concept, more wins and less losses=advancing to the next round. More losses and less wins=you’re out of the tournament.

I know this may seem crazy to soccer fans, but my only and effective defense is this: hockey does it, so why doesn’t soccer?

The U.S. faces off against England at 2:30 p.m. on ABC along with the Korea Republic versus Greece at 7:30 a.m. and Argentina taking on Nigeria at 10 a.m. with those two games on ESPN.

NHL: The Chicago Blackhawks returned home after their Stanley Cup win to a crowd of over two million people cheering on their home team as they celebrated their trophy win in a parade the city held for them. Before the rally, the Blackhawks rode through the streets of Chicago in double-decker buses as fans roared and confetti spilled from the rooftops. It’s been 49 years since the Blackhawks won a Stanley Cup Final so the fans were more than deserving to finally have a parade to celebrate the team’s accomplishments this season. Hats off to the Blackhawks for a wonderful season.

College Football: Nebraska has reported that they are moving out of the Big 12 and entering the Big Ten Conference. Nebraska is the Big Ten’s first addition since 1990, when Penn State joined, and it comes just six months after the league announced that it was looking at expansion. Nebraska’s departure is a potentially crippling blow to the Big 12 and the biggest move yet in an offseason overhaul that will leave college sports looking much different by this time next year.