The Sports Report: Dodgers are on the brink of elimination

Gavin Lux can't believe the fly ball he hit to end the game wasn't a home run.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

Jorge Castillo on the Dodgers: All Mookie Betts could do was scream, collect his bat off the ground and chop at the air, incredulity sweeping through him and everyone else in blue.


The line drive he just smashed traveled 100.4 mph through the air. It’s a hit in nearly every conceivable situation and, in this case, would’ve tied Game 3 of the National League Division Series in the seventh inning. Steven Souza Jr., the tying run, already was halfway to third base. The Dodgers were poised to finally break through. Dodger Stadium was ready to burst. Brandon Crawford had another idea.

With a leap, the San Francisco Giants shortstop snagged the scalded baseball from the air and landed with the third out to stunned silence. The acrobatics rendered the batted ball’s .830 expected batting average moot. Crawford was precisely positioned. His timing was even better, and the Dodgers were left with nothing.

The highlight was the difference in the Dodgers’ 1-0 loss as they dropped behind their storied rivals 2-1 in the best-of-five series. They will face elimination in Game 4 at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:07 p.m.

“Our focus has to turn to tomorrow,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Whatever it takes to win tomorrow, then we’ll pick up the pieces after that.”

Roberts said the team had not yet decided on a starter for Tuesday. He didn’t rule out having Walker Buehler, the team’s Game 1 starter Friday, start on three days’ rest for the first time in his career.

“Everything is on the table,” Roberts said.

The Dodgers outhit the Giants five to three, but the Giants got the big hit when Evan Longoria somehow managed to drive a fly ball through the thick wind for a home run off Max Scherzer in the fifth inning.


The series shifted from San Francisco to Los Angeles for Game 3, but the weather didn’t budge. Strong wind blowing from left to right made for a scene more common at old Candlestick Park than Dodger Stadium. Palm trees swayed. The foul poles rocked back and forth. The light posts shook. Trash swirled, bits rising from the field to the reserve level.


Albert Pujols excels in shortened, maybe final, playoff return

Evan Longoria creates new playoff memories with decisive home run vs. Dodgers

Photos: Dodgers vs. Giants NLDS Game 3

Joc Pederson’s three-run home run powers Braves past Brewers in Game 3

ALDS: Red Sox eliminate Rays with late sac fly from Kiké Hernández

‘Let them talk’: Astros dismiss sign-stealing implications by White Sox pitcher

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Jon Gruden has resigned as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders after emails he sent before being hired in 2018 contained racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments.

Gruden released a statement Monday night, saying: “I have resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction. Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”

He stepped down after The New York Times reported that Gruden frequently used misogynistic and homophobic language directed at Commissioner Roger Goodell and others in the NFL.

It was a rapid downfall for Gruden, who is in the fourth year of a 10-year, $100-million contract he signed with the Raiders in 2018. It started on Friday when the Wall Street Journal reported that Gruden used a racist term to describe NFL union chief DeMaurice Smith in a 2011 email to former Washington executive Bruce Allen.

The emails were discovered in a workplace misconduct investigation into the Washington Football Team but ended up costing Gruden his job when they also showed Gruden denounced the drafting of a gay player and the tolerance of players protesting during the playing of the national anthem among other issues.

Gruden apologized for his “insensitive remarks” about Smith, saying they were made out of frustration over the 2011 lockout. But the latest emails sent from between 2011-18 when Gruden was an analyst for ESPN show his use of derogatory language went well beyond that.

Gruden used an anti- gay slur to insult Goodell and said he was “clueless” and “anti-football.” He also said Goodell shouldn’t have pressured the Rams to draft “queers,” a reference to Michael Sam, who was the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team.


Sam Farmer on the NFL: Pete Carroll has plenty on his plate these days. He’s got to get the Seattle Seahawks back on track without the help of star quarterback Russell Wilson, currently recovering from finger surgery.

Regardless, Carroll is still aware of the situation at USC, where he coached for nine seasons, won 97 games, seven Pac-10 titles and two national championships. He might have a philosophy about what type of coach the Trojans should hire — it would be shocking if he didn’t — yet he isn’t interested in talking about that.

But the Seahawks coach spoke at team headquarters with the Los Angeles Times recently and discussed his career at the school, the expectations created during those glory years, and what awaits the football coach who ultimately gets that job.

Click here for the Q&A with Carroll.


Gary Klein on the Rams: Rams cornerback Darious Williams is expected to sit out Sunday against the New York Giants and could be placed on injured reserve because of an ankle injury, coach Sean McVay said Monday.

Williams was injured Thursday during the Rams’ 26-17 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. If Williams goes on IR, he could return after three games.

Williams, 28, began his NFL career with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent. In 2018, the Rams claimed him off waivers, and he has started the last two seasons opposite star Jalen Ramsey.

Williams was a restricted free agent after last season. To ensure they would not lose him, the Rams put a first-round tender on Williams, costing them $4.8 million this season.


Jeff Miller on the Chargers: The Chargers lost right guard Oday Aboushi for the rest of the season after he suffered a torn left anterior cruciate ligament Sunday.

Coach Brandon Staley said the veteran will have surgery.

In Aboushi’s absence, Michael Schofield III will move into the starting lineup. Schofield replaced Aboushi in the first quarter against Cleveland and finished the game.

Rookie Brenden Jaimes will serve as the backup guard. Staley suggested the Chargers also could look “elsewhere” for help.


Andrew Greif on the Clippers: The first quarter played on Monday while Reggie Jackson stayed rooted at the bottom of Section 115, signing autographs and posing for selfies inside Toyota Arena as a spontaneous line for the signature of last season’s unexpected postseason hero grew.

Jackson could afford to linger. He, Paul George and Marcus Morris had the night off during the Clippers’ preseason finale against Minnesota, a 128-100 loss.

Their workload, and the urgency of their team, will change in the coming days.

Ahead of the Clippers’ regular-season opener Oct. 21 in San Francisco, the question is not who will start that night. Coach Tyronn Lue reiterated before tipoff Monday that Jackson, George, Morris, center Ivica Zubac and guard Eric Bledsoe are his projected starting five. Instead, the unknown is whether that lineup’s inability to play a single minute together during four preseason games will hinder their rhythm when games begin counting for real.


Kenya’s Benson Kipruto won the pandemic-delayed Boston Marathon on Monday when the race returned from a 30-month absence with a smaller, socially distanced feel and moved from the spring for the first time in its 125-year history.

Although organizers put runners through COVID-19 protocols and asked spectators to keep their distance, large crowds lined the 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton to Boston as an early drizzle cleared and temperatures rose to the low 60s for a beautiful fall day.

They watched Kipruto run away from the lead pack as it turned onto Beacon Street with about three miles to go and break the tape in 2 hours 9 minutes 51 seconds. Diana Kipyogei won the women’s race to complete the eighth Kenyan sweep since 2000.

A winner in Prague and Athens who finished 10th in Boston in 2019, Kipruto waited out an early breakaway by American CJ Albertson, who led by as many as two minutes at the halfway point. Kipruto took the lead at Cleveland Circle and finished 46 seconds ahead of 2016 winner Lemi Berhanu; Albertson, who turned 28 on Monday, was 10th, 1:53 back.


1920 — In the final race of his career, 3-year-old Man o War defeats 1919 Triple Crown winner Sir Barton in a match race, the Kenilworth Park Gold Cup. Sent off at odds of 1-20, Man o War wins by seven lengths for his 14th consecutive victory.

1940 — Tennessee registers its 17th consecutive regular-season shutout with a 53-0 rout of Tennessee-Chattanooga. The record streak started on Nov. 5, 1938, also against Tennessee-Chattanooga.

1946 — The No. 2 Texas Longhorns beat No. 1 Oklahoma 28-7. It’s the eighth 1-2 matchup in AP poll history and the first time the second-ranked team wins the game.

1976 — Don Murdoch of the New York Rangers ties an NHL record for rookies with five goals in a 10-4 victory over the Minnesota North Stars.

1986 — Walter Payton becomes the first NFL player to accumulate 20,000 all-purpose yards in the Chicago Bears’ 20-7 victory over the Houston Oilers. Payton has 76 yards rushing and 30 yards receiving for a career total of 20,045.

1991 — Doug Flutie of the British Columbia Lions breaks Warren Moon’s CFL record for yards passing in a season with a 582-yard performance in a 45-38 overtime loss to Edmonton.

1997 — James Stewart of the Jacksonville Jaguars becomes the fourth player in NFL history and the first since 1963 to rush for five touchdowns. All the TDs are for less than 10 yards, and he finishes with 102 yards in 15 carries in Jacksonville’s 38-21 victory over Philadelphia.

2003 — Michael Schumacher wins a record sixth world title. He clinches the Formula One championship by two points after finishing eighth in the Japanese Grand Prix. Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello wins the season-ending race.

2007 — Philadelphia forward Jesse Boulerice is suspended 25 games by the NHL for striking Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler across the face with his stick, the longest single-season ban in league history.

2008 — Arizona becomes the first team in NFL history to block a punt to score the winning TD in overtime in their 30-24 win over Dallas.

2009 — Brent Seabrook scores 26 seconds into overtime and the Chicago Blackhawks matched the biggest comeback in NHL history, rallying from a five-goal deficit to beat the Calgary Flames 6-5. Chicago fell behind 5-0 in the first period before overtaking the Flames.

2016 — Auston Matthews takes 40 minutes to get into the NHL record book. In the highest-scoring debut in modern NHL history, Matthews scores four goals for the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 5-4 loss to Ottawa. Kyle Turris scores 37 seconds into overtime to give the Senators the season-opening victory. The 19-year-old Matthews, who was the 12th first overall pick to score in his NHL debut, gets his fourth goal with 3 seconds left in the second period.

Supplied by the Associated Press

And finally

Arizona becomes the first team in NFL history to block a punt to score the winning TD in overtime. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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