Reyes: Flashing the Leather

Logo for Flashing the Leather column. - Graphic / Spencer Reyes

Jersey Shocks the World

The Garden State is known for its turnpike, tomatoes and aggressive drivers, but you can add the first-place team in the Metro Division for the NHL to that list.

The New Jersey Devils are 6-3 in the first nine games of the season and have 12 points so far. They are currently first in the Metropolitan Division, second place in the Eastern Conference and third in the NHL overall. Devils fans are used to the team underperforming and missing the playoffs every year, but a new leaf has turned after the acquisitions of goalie Vitek Vanecek, defenseman John Marino and forward Erik Haula. 

The Devils scored seven goals on Sunday, Oct. 30, while the Columbus Blue Jackets were only able to put one puck in the net.

Rookie Fabian Zetterlund broke the scoreless tie at the 17:10 minute mark with the assist from the captain Nico Hischier. Three minutes into the second period, the captain scored a goal of his own, followed by another goal thirty seconds later from defenseman Ryan Graves.

Devils’ goalie Vanecek let up his only goal roughly six minutes into the second period of play, and newly acquired defenseman Marino squeaked in the fourth goal of the night for New Jersey with 22 seconds left in the penultimate period. The Devils defense took over the offensive zone as Jonas Siegenthaler became the third Devils defenseman to score against Columbus. The offense took back the puck in the middle of third when wingers Jesper Bratt and Miles Wood scored within two minutes of each other. New Jersey finished the game winning 7-1 at home in the Prudential Center.

New Jersey is suiting up to be a top contender in the Eastern Conference for 2022 and will continue their journey to a hopeful playoff spot.

All Tied Up

The World Series is finally upon us as the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies are all tied up at one win a piece, as they travel to Philadelphia for Games 3, 4 and 5.

In Game 1 on Friday, Oct. 28, Phillies reliever Seranthony Dominguez received the win after pitching 1.2 innings, striking out three of six batters faced and only letting up one hit. Philly’s ace Aaron Nola was hit hard in his outing, as he left after 4.1 innings. Nola let up six hits, five runs, two walks and two home runs. Justin Verlander, the Cy Young candidate from the Astros, also battled against a heavy offensive presence, allowing six hits, five runs and two walks in five innings. 

Looking at these stats, it is clear that Game 1 was an offensive war between both teams.

JT Realmuto led the offensive charge for the Phillies with his third home run of the postseason. Designated hitter Bryce Harper batted 2-4 with a run and a walk, while Kyle Schwarber, Rhys Hoskins, Nick Castellanos, Alec Bohm and Brandon Marsh each got one hit a piece.

Houston relied on the bats of Kyle Tucker, who went 3-5 with two runs, and four RBIs. Yuli Gurriel hit 2-4 on the night, scoring one run and walking once.

After a 6-5 defeat, the Astros came back to win Game 2 at home at Minute Maid Park. The Phillies started off with another poor pitching performance from their rotation.

Zack Wheeler only lasted five innings and let nine batters on base, while only striking out three. Their offense produced six hits and two runs, the last coming from a late comeback in the top of the ninth from Brandon Marsh.

Jeremy Pena and Yordan Alvarez of the Astros both hit double RBIs. The rest of the run support came from Yuli Gurriel reaching on a field error, and a homerun to left center field from Alex Bregman. 

The Astros came out on top 5-2 to even the series. Game 3 will start at 8:03 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday, Nov. 1 after being postponed due to rain on Oct. 31.

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