first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York What we didn’t know until much later was that since the second inning he’d been battling a blood blister on the middle finger of his right hand. He seemed to pay it no mind, hurling 86 pitches through six innings. At that point, the game was scoreless because the Braves fidgety starter Julio Teheran, a string-bean of a young man who never looked comfortable on the mound, had dominated the Mets’ line-up, giving up a couple of hits to Mets’ unsung short-stop Asdrubal Cabrera and a single to the mighty Thor himself.But it was the pitch selection of Syndergaard, the third youngest Opening Day starter in Mets history after Dwight Gooden and Tom Seaver, that made him the most dazzling on Monday.As the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner put it, Syndergaard’s “sinker—or two-seam fastball—veers sharply away from left-handed hitters at speeds few pitchers can reach with their four-seamers.” Newsday’s David Lennon described Thor’s repertoire thusly: “The 99-mph heat, the insane 94-mph slider, the drop-fade, 88-mph power change.”“I like to say it’s controlled violence,” Syndergaard has reportedly said about his velocity.The game had great pitching but also wonderful offense with a huge close play at the plate that involved arguably the Mets’ most popular utility player, Wilmer Flores, whose name echoed from fans in the stands when he came into the game. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Flores had reached on a force-out and then stole second. On first stood Jose Reyes, whose name also gets the crowd singing along whenever he’s announced. Reyes, playing third, was wearing a canary-yellow sleeve on his batting arm just like our multi-million-dollar left-fielder Yoenis Cespedes, who twice drove the ball to the warning track in deep center-field but not quite far enough to clear the yard. He will soon enough.So up came Cabrera, who stroked a single that Braves’ center fielder Ender Inciarte grabbed off the grass. He fired a bullet to his catcher, Tyler Flowers, who faced Flores racing for home. Unlike last September when Flores foolishly slid head-first and wound up on the disabled list when the Mets made their Wild Card bid against the Giants, this time Flores slid like an obedient Little Leaguer, his front right foot bouncing on the plate right before Flowers (whose Spanish name would be Flores) could apply the tag.But the umpire called out our Flores, outraging us all. Mets’ coach Terry Collins—now in his seventh season, bless him—challenged the call. As we watched the slide replayed on the giant video scoreboard, we knew he’d gotten it right and the umpire was wrong. Flores was really safe, and the Mets had established a 1-0 lead. From that humble beginning, the Mets sent five more batters to the plate—11 in all that inning.Our inspiring center-fielder Curtis Granderson drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, doubling our score. When it was his turn, right-fielder Jay Bruce, looking a lot more relaxed at the plate than last year, earned a bases-loaded walk, making it 3-0. During the off season, the Mets had unsuccessfully tried to trade the dismal but highly paid Bruce, and whenever he came up to bat Monday, the crowd made his name sound very similar to boos. The guy sitting next to me, who’d come with his 25-year-old son from the far reaches of Westchester County, cracked us up when he loudly proclaimed: “Did you miss the public address system announcement that we should please refrain from throwing bottles and cans at Bruce just yet?” After all, it was Bruce’s 30th birthday so we cut him some slack, and appreciated all three of his walks during the game.But whose bat would speak the loudest on Opening Day? That was the question. The answer proved to be another good sign of brighter days ahead—although let’s not jinx it. The big blast in the home opener came from Lukas Duda, the Mets’ quirky first baseman, who also has been known to disappoint us occasionally. He hit a double that cleared the bases.And let’s not forget Cabrera, who went 3-for-5, reportedly the first Met to record three hits on Opening Day since Mets captain David Wright battled the Nationals on March 31, 2014. On this day, sadly, Wright watched from the dugout, nursing another possible career-ending injury, a cervical disc herniation, which will force him to recuperate in Florida as the team travels without him.But we fans showered Wright with cheers when he stood with the team along the first base line for the pre-game introductions. Later we all got to greet Hall of Famer Mets catcher Mike Piazza, who looked rather snappy in a dark blue business suit as he presented a folded American flag to the veteran of the day in a ceremony by home plate. Social media circulated a nice photo of three Mets greats: Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry and John Franco sharing a laugh—proving that the so-called feud between the two D’s was over. (It had begun after Strawberry had publicly accused Gooden of a drug relapse.)Mets fans also showed some very impressive magnanimity—if I do say so myself—to a few former players now wearing Braves uniforms who joined their team along the third base line. A standing ovation greeted the great knuckle-ball thrower R.A. Dickey and everybody went hoarse cheering for our favorite big guy on the mound, Bartolo Colon. When he turns 44 in May, he’ll be the oldest active player in Major League Baseball. We don’t know what his earned run average will be this year, but we’ll never forget when he hit his first home run last year. Letting Colon leave Queens for a $12.5 million one-year contract with Atlanta seemed like a sensible move on the part of Mets’ ownership, given all the presumed riches on our pitching roster (not to mention the team’s record $154 million payroll).But after the season opener, the normal sense of Mets fan dread is rearing its ugly head again. Will Syndergaard’s blister heal for good? Will Long Island’s own Steve Matz overcome his elbow inflammation? What about Seth Lugo, who’s got some serious elbow issues of his own? And for that matter, will the Mets’ Dark Knight, Matt Harvey, ever return to his lights-out form?These are all valid worries, but we’ll save them for another day. After all, when you’re a Mets fan, you’re always thinking about tomorrow, if not waiting ’til next year. Embed from Getty Images Diehard Mets fans know that you take nothing for granted when you face the Atlanta Braves. So many New Yorkers’ hearts have been broken over the years by that damn Georgia team that even with a rare 6-0 lead at the top of the ninth inning on Opening Day, you just can’t afford to relax, even if you’re among 44,384 of your closest friends at Citi Field—the second-largest regular season attendance in the ballpark’s history.After all, the Braves had two men on base after Robert Gsellman came in to pitch the ninth and promptly gave up back-to-back hits to Mets’ nemesis Freddie Freeman and Matt Kemp before registering his first out. Fortunately, everybody could do the math—no matter how many beers drained on that beautiful spring afternoon—and it would take a lot more Braves on base to make the game close, but you still worry. It’s what you do.So sitting up there in the stratosphere known as the Promenade Section with my Northport comrade, I was a little concerned when suddenly Brandon Phillips made contact and put the ball into play. Then something amazing happened—okay, it’s not that amazing, all things considered—and the Mets suddenly turned a double-play because Kemp had started heading for third by mistake when he should have remained on second.Just like that, Opening Day 2017 was in the books. The players lined up on the infield and traded high-fives as they headed into the dugout. We fans dutifully headed down the stairs in jubilation, filling the stairwells with chants of “Let’s go Mets!” as we descended from our giddy heights to the ground level below.On the first day of the season the Mets’ defense had prevailed, but so had the offense, in a great balancing act that portends all kinds of odds-defying omens, prefaced by the thundering dominance of the mighty Noah Syndergaard, the 24-year-old, 6-foot-6, 242-pound righty known as Thor. It was because of him that so many grown men at Citi Field were seen sporting Viking horns and carrying around Styrofoam hammers like some would-be Norse god.On the mound Syndergaard looked like he was pitching from a mountain top in Asgard. He got seven strikeouts, gave up no walks and scattered five hits, including a triple. With command of his full repertoire, he seemed unstoppable. If a Braves hitter worked out a full-count, you knew that Thor would throw the hammer down and get the out he needed, even when runners were on the corners. Embed from Getty Imageslast_img read more

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisALPENA, Mich. — Census invitations have started arriving in Alpena.  Christine Hitch, marketing and communications director for the Community Foundation of Northeast Michigan, says it’s important to respond to the survey as results determine how billions of federal funding flows into states and communities each year.The Census survey is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and has been conducted every ten years since 1790.For more information about the 2020 census, visit www.census.gov.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious Secretary of State branch operations move to appointment-only for three weeksNext Michigan announces 20 additional positive cases of COVID-19last_img read more

first_img 20. Adam Lallana (attacking midfield) 33. Jordon Ibe (attacking midfield) 9. Christian Benteke (striker) 24. Joe Allen (central midfield) 7. James Milner (central midfield) 11 11 11 11 11 19. Steven Caulker (centre-back) 11 6. Dejan Lovren (centre-back) Liverpool host West Ham in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday evening – and you can listen to the game live on talkSPORT from 5.30pm BST.The Reds survived a scare in the previous round after eventually knocking out stubborn League Two side Exeter in a replay following a 2-2 draw at St James’ Park.The Hammers progressed a little more smoothly, edging past Wolves 1-0 at Upton Park thanks to a fine goal from Nikica Jelavic.Liverpool, albeit successfully, have the disadvantage of playing 120 minutes in midweek when they snuck past Stoke to reach the League Cup final, so some of their players may be given a rest, particularly considering they play Leicester in the Premier League on Tuesday night.So will Jurgen Klopp see the game at Anfield as an opportunity to rest a few players?Click the yellow arrow above, right, to see how we think the Reds will line up… 22. Simon Mignolet (goalkeeper) 2. Nathaniel Clyne (right-back) – click the yellow arrow above, right, to see the predicted line up in squad number order 53. Joao Teixeira (attacking midfield) 11 11 11 44. Brad Smith (left-back) 11 11last_img read more

first_imgWhat are some challenges you face both on and off the water?”I think one of the challenges is time management. I struggle with that. Rowing is a huge time commitment, but I also want to be involved in other things. So balancing that and academics can be hard and you have to pick and choose what to be involved in. If you have practice at 5:30 a.m. but also have a meeting at 9 p.m. meeting the night before, do you scratch the meeting or go to both and get less sleep? You have to choose and I think I’m getting better at doing that. Rowing is so interesting because you can learn quickly. But there are many things you can still improve on and always try and reach that perfection of movement. You feel like you are never there. The longer I row, the more frustrated I am and feel the more I’m doing wrong. You get the basics down and then it’s all the little things that make you better that take a long time.” Each month, Drake Athletics and the Principal Financial Group features one of the Bulldogs’ international student-athletes. This month, Kerstin Donat, of the rowing team is the featured international student-athlete. How did you decide on Drake?”One day, I was to meet with my high school counselor and a college counselor, who was to help us with applications and everything. I was going to the meeting and he (high school counselor) said there was someone in his office that he thought I would like to meet. It was one of the admissions counselors at Drake, Leslie Mamoorian, and she is super sweet, I love her, she is super nice. She talked about Drake and I really liked what I learned. Later she followed up with me and she knew I couldn’t visit so she made sure I could email a professor along with two current Drake students to ask about their Drake experience. Leslie was really helpful along the way and I think that is why Drake stayed on my radar for colleges.” “I am an international relations major with a minor in politics and a concentration in human resource management. My absolute dream job would be to work for the United Nations. I would also like to work in the international relations field or in politics. I don’t necessarily want to become a politician but I do want to work in politics. I see myself working more behind the scenes. Right now, I have a research position with one of my professors here and I really love researching and doing academic work. I see myself working in a think tank and trying to solve these problems that we have and then providing possible solutions to politicians.If that doesn’t work out, I love my human resource concentration so I can see myself working in that field. I want to work with people, I don’t just want to sit in front of a computer all day.” Donat is a junior and will race this weekend with the team at the 2016 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship in Princeton, N.J. What are you studying and how do you plan to use that degree in the future? What other activities are you involved in outside of rowing?”The last two years I have been on Student Senate as the Academic Affairs Senator. I am also part of the International Student Association, which is an organization for all international students and I represent Europe as a region. So if there are events and they need information on a European tradition, I assist with those questions. I also work as a student ambassador so I give tours to perspective students on campus. My friends and I founded Tedx my freshman year. What we do is organize Ted Talks, but they are live from local speakers and it is a half-day event. It’s exciting because innovative ideas are explored through the community and the club.” Why/when did you move to the States to attend school? How did your family decide to move to Taiwan?”We moved because of my dad’s work. There was an open position in Taiwan and it made sense for our whole family to move out there instead of him being away for six weeks and then back for a week. My mom didn’t like that because he wouldn’t be on vacation for that week, he would still be working. So we said we would try it for a year and if it didn’t work out or the culture shock was too much we could always leave because we still had our house in Germany. But, we ended up staying there for four years so it worked out fine.” What are your favorite things about Drake?”That’s hard. Definitely the community from whatever you do. In high school, I had my academic friends and my soccer friends and I think I still have the same here. I’m so glad I have the rowing girls because I can talk about working out and rowing with them which is something my roommates who are not on rowing don’t understand. Then I have my friends that are the same major and we have classes together who I can talk about homework and classes with. The overall community is great. I think that is typical of America, having that openness. I can talk to anyone on campus if I want to and I think that is really awesome. It’s that openness that allows me too.”Giovanna Zavell, Drake Athletic Communications Student Assistant Print Friendly Version What has been the most challenging thing about this rowing season?”I’m a captain this year and this is the first year we have recruits on the team, which are girls who rowed in high school. Previously, it has always been just walk-ons. We wanted to make sure, as captains, that there is a good connection between the people who never rowed before college and the people who rowed in high school. We tried to bridge that and make sure there were no cliques or fractions within the team. I think we handled it well and its been a smooth integration of all parts of the team. Of course, it’s about coming together as a boat. Rowing is a mental sport and it’s hard to not let my performance be affected by other things going on in my life. It’s challenging to balance stress and academics with rowing but I’m learning.” When did you being rowing?”I started rowing here. I played soccer in high school and loved it so I joined the soccer club here at Drake. I was never near good enough of an athlete and just wanted to play for fun with a little competition. The spring of my freshman year was approaching and I was looking to join another sport that was year-round. My friend got an email from rowing assistant coach Katie Thurstin for prospective new members. My friends and I also wanted to be healthier so it was a perfect moment. I ended up really liking it and here I am today still on the team.” How do you think having international experience will aid you in future goals?”I am really curious. I’m originally from Germany but my international high school was in Taiwan, where my whole family moved when I was 15. I spent the last couple of years of high school in that international school. I think being forced into a different environment, you lose the fear of asking questions and you are much more open minded to different perceptions. Being in Taiwan and being here, I think, has really broadened my perception of what people think and what is right. I’m really curious about cultures now and I’m always asking questions. I think culture is the small things. I still don’t understand why Bill Nye the Science Guy (past Bucksbaum lecturer) is so hyped and I asked why everyone was so excited. I was told he was a part of their education as kids and I would have never known that if I didn’t ask.” “I came to Drake three years ago. I went to an international school for high school (Kaohsiung American School in Kaohsiung, Taiwan), which is an American school, but abroad. All my friends there knew they were going to go to an American university. I started to learn about the American college system and I liked what I found. I grew up in Germany, where college is similar to state schools here in America. They are really big and I didn’t like that because I wanted to have that intimate, personal relationship with professors and be able to have class discussions and know my classmates. I like the liberal arts aspect that colleges and universities have here. In Germany, you chose your major before you start and then you have to stick with that major the three years you are in university. If you want to change your major, you have to start over. I like the exploration you get through the liberal arts here because in Germany you are only able to take classes in your major path.” What are some differences in lifestyle between the United States and Germany?”What always comes to mind is the American perception of distance. I still have trouble with that. When we travel with the rowing team, it can be six hours to the place we are going and everyone else on the team, who are all from here, they all say that is pretty short. I think six hours is a really long time. I lived in a really small town in Germany, which is about an hour and a half outside of Munich so if my family and I go there, we make it like a day trip. We would plan to take the train to Munich, shop all day and then go home later at night. Here my friends laugh at me because here an hour and a half is nothing. I’m still baffled when people say they are driving five hours home from Drake.”last_img read more