The Sports Report: Dodgers sweep Brewers, don’t win division
Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.
Jorge Castillo on the Dodgers: The Dodgers threw in the towel in their fight for the National League West title in the fifth inning of their 10-3 win Sunday over the Milwaukee Brewers, knowing they were too far behind in the cards, resigned to the fact that they were going to play in Wednesday’s wild-card game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
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The out-of-town scoreboard in right field displayed the frustrating reality: The San Francisco Giants were drubbing the lifeless, soon-to-fire-their-manager San Diego Padres 7-1 en route to ending the Dodgers’ eight-year divisional supremacy with an 11-4 rout.
Knowing that, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts chose to play for Wednesday. He pulled Walker Buehler after five innings. The big-game dealer held the Brewers to one run over five innings. He tied a season high with 11 strikeouts and threw just 79 pitches. But that didn’t matter. Saving bullets for the postseason — and possibly a relief appearance in Wednesday’s one-game playoff — was more important.
“I think it’s probably the most understanding I’ve been coming out of a game,” said Buehler, who finished the season 16-4 with a 2.47 ERA and 212 strikeouts over 207 2/3 innings.
Roberts replaced Buehler with pinch-hitter Matt Beaty in the bottom of the inning with the Dodgers trailing 1-0. Beaty reached on an infield single to load the bases, setting up an outburst that roused the Dodger Stadium crowd even if it was irrelevant in the standings.
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Gary Klein on the Rams: Stifle that Super Bowl talk. Pump the brakes on those NFL power rankings. Mute the Matthew Stafford MVP conversation.
And rethink the Sean McVay coach-of-the-year chatter too.
The Rams’ grand plan for a February appearance in Super Bowl LVI in SoFi Stadium took an ugly turn Sunday in a 37-20 home loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
A week after looking the part of a Super Bowl contender by defeating Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Rams suddenly are in danger of falling off the pace in the NFC West.
Kliff Kingsbury outcoached McVay. Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray outplayed Stafford.
With 70,003 fans at SoFi Stadium looking on — and desperately pining for another chance to provide a raucous home-field advantage — the Rams disappointed and lost their division opener after three wins to start the season.
The only bright spot? They don’t have much time to mull their mess.
The Rams play the Seattle Seahawks — and seven-time Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson — on Thursday in Seattle.
“The beauty of it is that you don’t have much time to feel sorry for yourself,” McVay said.
Jeff Miller on the Chargers: He was a wide receiver at East Tennessee State and then briefly in the Canadian Football League.
Chris Beatty is in the NFL now, an assistant with the Chargers, coaching taking him places playing never could.
As the man who oversees the team’s receivers, Beatty has experienced up close the sharp rise of Mike Williams, the physically blessed wideout off to the finest start of his career.
“If I had been anything like him,” Beatty said with a laugh, “I might not be coaching right now because I wouldn’t have to.”
Williams is on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract, an option that pays him $15.68 million for the season. That’s the highest base salary among the 2021 Chargers and, at this point, it would be difficult to argue Williams isn’t worth the money.
On Monday against Las Vegas, Williams will have a chance to showcase this updated, upgraded version of himself as the Chargers and Raiders meet in the NFL’s lone game — in prime time.
“The atmosphere is like a playoff atmosphere,” wide receiver Keenan Allen said of playing on Monday night. “Obviously, everybody’s watching. The lights is on.”
Ben Bolch on the Bruins: Chip Kelly doesn’t believe in momentum. Makes sense, since he hasn’t sustained any at UCLA.
The late-season promise the coach’s first team showed was obliterated by an 0-3 start to 2019 that included a historic loss to San Diego State.
His second team won three consecutive midseason games before going kerplunk with three consecutive losses.
The Bruins creeped above .500 in Kelly’s third season before staggering to another losing record with collapses against USC and Stanford.
The latest letdown has been the most excruciating. After finally generating national buzz by beating Louisiana State as part of a 2-0 start last month, UCLA has once again showed that its colors under Kelly might as well be blue and fool’s gold.
Ryan Kartje on the Trojans: On an offense in desperate need of new weapons, Michael Trigg’s arrival always felt imminent. Ever since USC’s fall camp, when he first dazzled with his tantalizing talent, it seemed only a matter of time before the freshman tight end had his moment.
That moment came suddenly Saturday on a second-and-five play in the second quarter of the Trojans’ 37-14 rout of Colorado. Lined up on the perimeter, with a safety over him, Trigg shot a look at quarterback Kedon Slovis, who checked out of the run. He called a fade route for his 6-foot-4 tight end and let a deep ball rip in his direction.
Before the season, USC’s coaches assured Trigg’s role would grow with his understanding of the playbook. Over the first three weeks, he received just 17 total snaps. But as the Trojans grew more desperate to find another option alongside wide receiver Drake London in the passing game, that progress was expedited. Trigg got the start against Oregon State and caught three passes, enough to prove to coaches he was deserving of more.
“We knew we were going to give him a lot more looks this week,” Slovis said.
Kevin Baxter on soccer: Landon Donovan did more than any single player to save both the Galaxy and MLS, so Sunday the club and league gathered to set those contributions in bronze, unveiling a statue of him outside Dignity Health Sports Park.
“If Landon didn’t make the decision to come back to Major League Soccer at the time that he did and come to the Galaxy in 2005 [and] tell the world that MLS was his league, the Galaxy was his club, [that] he was going to help build soccer in his country, we would not be where we are today,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said after a sunbaked 65-minute ceremony in which Garber and half a dozen other soccer executives and former teammates lauded Donovan’s impact on the league and the team.
When Donovan left Germany’s Bayer Leverkusen to join MLS and the San Jose Earthquakes in 2001, the league was on the verge of bankruptcy. It had lost an estimated $250 million in its first five seasons and was about to contract to 10 teams. Before Donovan retired with the Galaxy in 2016, MLS had 20 teams in two countries and was one of the best-attended first-division soccer leagues in the world.
John Cherwa on horse racing: Trainer Bob Baffert completed the trifecta of winning the biggest race on each of the first three days of Santa Anita’s Fall Meeting. And with it, the three winners all got expenses-paid berths into the Breeders’ Cup races at Del Mar on Nov. 5-6.
Sunday showcased the talents of Private Mission, who easily handled the eight-horse field in the Grade 2 $200,000 Zenyatta Stakes for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles. She has now qualified for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, the most prestigious race for female horses on Nov. 6. It was the fourth win in five starts.
On Friday, Baffert won the American Pharoah Stakes, for 2-year-old colts and geldings, with Corniche, who wired the field to win by 3 ¼ lengths in the Breeders’ Cup qualifying race for the Juvenile. Medina Spirit, the conditional winner of the Kentucky Derby, turned heads with an effortless five-length win in the Awesome Again Stakes on Saturday.
FERNADOMANIA @ 40
The Los Angeles Times invites you to The Montalbán Theater in Hollywood for the exclusive finale celebration of “Fernandomania @ 40,” the Times’ documentary series that examines Fernando Valenzuela’s impact on the Dodgers, Major League Baseball and the Latino community in Los Angeles. This live event will feature series highlights on the big screen. In addition, former county supervisor Gloria Molina, Culture Clash’s Richard Montoya, and longtime Valenzuela confidant Ray Lara will join Times columnist Gustavo Arellano and deputy sports editor Iliana Limón Romero to discuss the fan frenzy surrounding the pitcher’s record-setting rookie season and answer questions from the audience.
When: 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 4
Where: The Montalbán, 1615 Vine Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90028
Tickets: $30. Tickets can be bought at this link.
COVID Safety: Upon registering for the in-person event, you will receive a link in the order confirmation to fill out a required health screening form.
The Los Angeles Times’ “Fernandomania @40” Finale event will take place inside The Montalbán Theater. All guests are required to provide proof of vaccination. Masks will be required at all times when inside the theater.
THIS DATE IN SPORTS
1895 — Horace Rawlins wins the first U.S. Open. Rawlins beats Willie Dunn with 36-hole total of 173 at the Newport Golf Club in Newport, R.I.
1927 — John Longden rides the first official winner of his career, named Hugo K. Asher, in Salt Lake City.
1940 — Fritzie Zivic scores a 15-round decision over Henry Armstrong to win the world welterweight title in New York. Armstrong had 20 successful title defenses.
1964 — Mary Wills captures the LPGA championship with a two-stroke victory over Mickey Wright.
1964 — Kansas City’s Bobby Hunt ties an AFL record with four interceptions as the Chiefs post a 28-7 victory over the Houston Oilers.
1969 — Mississippi’s Archie Manning becomes the first player in college football history to throw for 300 yards and rush for 100 yards in the same game as the Rebels fall short in a 33-32 loss at Alabama. Manning passes for 436 yards and two touchdowns while adding 104 yards rushing yards and three touchdowns.
1980 — Alabama’s 45-0 win over Kentucky at Legion Field gives coach Paul “Bear” Bryant his 300th coaching victory.
1987 — The NFL continues the regular-season schedule with replacement players while the players’ assn. strikes. Average attendance is 16,947, down from 57,205 the first week and 59,824 the second week.
1991 — The San Jose Sharks surrender 52 shots and lose 4-3 to the Vancouver Canucks in their first NHL regular-season game.
1998 — Atlanta scores three touchdowns in a 48-second span of the third quarter — the quickest trio of TDs since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 — and routs Carolina 51-23.
2003 — B.J. Symons of Texas Tech tosses a Big 12-record eight touchdown passes and tops 500 yards passing for the third straight game when the Red Raiders beat Texas A&M 59-28.
2010 — The Europeans reclaim the Ryder Cup winning 14½-13½. The Americans rally from a three-point deficit to tie the score, but Graeme McDowell beats Hunter Mahan in the final singles match.
2012 — The NHL cancels the first two weeks of the regular season, the second time games had been lost because of a lockout in seven years. Unable to work out how to split $3 billion in hockey-related revenues with the players’ association, the NHL wipes out 82 games from Oct. 11-24.
2014 — Jared Goff throws for 527 yards and five touchdowns as California holds on to beat Washington State 60-59. WSU quarterback Connor Halliday breaks the NCAA passing record with 734 yards and six touchdowns for Washington State and sets the NCAA passing yardage record for all levels, breaking the mark of 716 set by David Klingler of Houston in 1990.
2015 — Drew Brees hits C.J. Spiller with a short pass that the running back turns into an 80-yard touchdown — the 400th of the Saints quarterback’s career — on the second play of overtime, and New Orleans won for the first time this season, 26-20 over the Dallas Cowboys.
2015 — Adam Vinatieri makes a 27-yard field goal in overtime to lift Indianapolis to a 16-13 victory over Jacksonville. Vinatieri converts all three field-goal attempts and one PAT to become the first player in NFL history to score at least 1,000 points with two different teams.
2017 — Sylvia Fowles scores 17 points and breaks her own WNBA Finals record by grabbing 20 rebounds to lead the Minnesota Lynx to their fourth championship in seven years with an 85-76 victory over the Sparks in Game 5.
Supplied by the Associated Press
Highlights from the Rams-Cardinals game. Watch it here.
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