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The Sports Report: Dodgers fall into an 0-2 hole

The Atlanta Braves celebrate a walk-off single by Eddie Rosario to defeat the Dodgers.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
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Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

Bill Plaschke on the Dodgers: The Dodgers lost their minds, then they lost the game.

There is no other way to explain it. There is no possible way to excuse it. There is no way around it.

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Julio Urías? Instead of Blake Treinen or Kenley Jansen?

A starting pitcher in a high-leverage relief situation for the first time all year instead of two established veteran closers?

You’re really going to bring in Urías in the eighth inning with a two-run lead and the best back-end bullpen in baseball waiting to work?

Are you serious? Did this really happen? Are the Dodgers really that dumb?

Yes, yes, and, sigh, gulp, yes.

In an easily preventable late-night meltdown, the Dodgers outsmarted themselves, embarrassed themselves, and then eventually beat themselves Sunday in a 5-4 loss to the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series at Truist Park.

The Dodgers trail two games to none and they deserve it. They are on the verge of blowing their championship defense and it’s completely their fault.

An organization that considers its players to be interchangeable parts took this philosophy too far in the eighth inning and it burned them beyond belief.

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Dodgers’ World Series aspirations in peril after another walk-off loss to Braves

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RAMS

Gary Klein on the Rams: Perhaps one day, four months or a decade from now, the Rams will look back at Sunday’s victory over the New York Giants and remember.

Not necessarily any single play from their 38-11 rout of the hapless Giants at MetLife Stadium, but on an afternoon that the Giants celebrated the 10-year anniversary of their 2011 Super Bowl championship team the Rams overcame early struggles on offense and remained on track for a possible run to Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium.

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Matthew Stafford passed for four touchdowns, running back Darrell Henderson and receiver Cooper Kupp each scored two touchdowns and the defense forced four turnovers in a victory that improved the Rams record to 5-1.

Not that coach Sean McVay envisioned confetti falling just yet. Not after the Rams offense once again started slow.

“It’s not good enough,” he said. “Not pleased with it.”

Or, as Kupp summarized: “It is the result we wanted, but as an offense it’s not up to our standard.”

The game was the first in a three-game stretch that pits the Rams against struggling teams. The Giants, for example, fell to 1-5.

Next up: The 0-6 Detroit Lions, and former quarterback Jared Goff’s return to SoFi Stadium.

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What we learned from Rams’ 38-11 win over Giants: Taylor Rapp can catch

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Rams’ 38-11 victory over the New York Giants by the numbers

CHARGERS

Jeff Miller on the Chargers: The Chargers entered Sunday tied atop the AFC and among the league leaders in feel-good generated through five games.

Then, their sixth game arrived.

“Today let us know what we need to work on,” safety Derwin James Jr. said. “But being 4-2 …we’re not mad at the world. The world is not over.”

No, it’s not. But the buzz the Chargers created around the NFL with their fast start was suddenly and decidedly silenced by a 34-6 defeat to Baltimore.

They fell behind 17-0 midway through the second quarter. Their running backs rushed for 14 yards. They were unable to sustain any drives for longer than nine plays.

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What we learned from Chargers’ 34-6 road loss to Ravens: Risks don’t always pay

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Chargers’ 34-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens by the numbers

NFL Week 6 roundup: Cowboys outlast Patriots in overtime; Raiders beat Broncos

TENNIS

Bill Dwyre on tennis: The BNP Paribas Open men’s final was won Sunday by a ground-stroke machine named Cameron Norrie. He is actually a human being who lives in London and played college tennis at Texas Christian.

His opponent was Nikoloz Basilashvili of the country of Georgia, who hit long on match point and looked relieved that he wouldn’t have to do this anymore. The score was 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, and Norrie, unheralded but in his fifth final this year, became the first Brit to win this prestigious Indian Wells title.

Considering that the likes of Tim Henman and Andy Murray have been in the mix here many years, that’s saying something special.

In Basilashvili’s post-match interview after he won his semifinal match Saturday, he remarked that “Norrie is not nice to play from the baseline.”

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Paula Badosa triumphs in battle royal with Victoria Azarenka for Indian Wells title

HORSE RACING

John Cherwa on horse racing: Trainer Bob Baffert will be allowed to enter and run horses in this year’s Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar but with enhanced testing and protocols. The Breeders’ Cup made the announcement Sunday after holding a special review, although the group refused to give any details on when the review was held, all those involved or what was the vote of the board of directors to allow Baffert to run.

Under the terms of the agreement between the Breeders’ Cup and the Hall of Fame trainer, his horses will undergo additional out-of-competition testing for medications, additional tests the week of the Nov. 5-6 event, increased veterinarian and security checks, and 24-hour security surveillance. Baffert will also pay for all the added measures.

WNBA

Candace Parker returned home to bring Chicago a championship. She did just that, leading the Sky to the franchise’s first title.

Allie Quigley scored 26 points and Parker added 16 points, 13 rebounds and five assists and Chicago beat the Phoenix Mercury 80-74 on Sunday in Game 4.

“This one is so sweet,” a champagne-soaked Parker said. “To do it with this group. I love this group, I love this team. And to do it here at home, it was just supposed to be.”

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

LSU and coach Ed Orgeron have agreed to part ways after this season, according to multiple media reports Sunday. The news comes 21 months after he led the Tigers to a national championship with what is considered one of the greatest teams in college football history.

Sports Illustrated was first to report that Orgeron would not return to LSU in 2022 but is expected to coach out the rest of the season for the Tigers.

The timing of the decision Sunday — the day after the Tigers (4-3) upset Florida — comes as a surprise, though the end for Coach O at LSU seemed to be approaching soon after a blowout loss to Kentucky last week.

The win over Florida at home on Saturday made LSU 9-8 since beating Clemson in New Orleans for the national championship on Jan. 13, 2020.

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AP top 25 football: Cincinnati up to No. 2; Purdue snaps poll drought

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1924 — Harold “Red” Grange accounts for six touchdowns in Illinois’ 39-14 win over Michigan. Grange returns the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown. He follows with touchdown runs of 66, 55 and 40 yards in the first 12 minutes of the game. Grange later passes for another touchdown and returns another kick for a touchdown.

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1953 — Woodley Lewis of the Rams has 120 yards in punt returns, including a 78-yard touchdown return, and 174 yards in kickoff returns in a 31-19 victory over the Detroit Lions.

1968 — Bob Beamon of the United States shatters the world record in the long jump at the Summer Olympics in Mexico City. Beamon’s leap of 29 feet and 2 1-2 inches betters the mark by one foot, 9 3-4 inches. The previous record, 27-4 3-4, was held by Soviet jumper Igor Ter-Ovanesyan and Ralph Boston.

1969 — Mike Adamle rushes for 316 yards as Northwestern beats Wisconsin 27-7.

1974 — Chicago center Nate Thurmond, in his first game with the Bulls, records the NBA’s first quadruple-double. Thurmon has 22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists and 12 blocks in the Bulls’ 120-115 overtime win over the Atlanta Hawks at Chicago Stadium.

1977 — Reggie Jackson hits three consecutive home runs, all on the first pitch, to lead the New York Yankees to the World Series championship over the Dodgers in six games.

1978 — Dave Gall becomes the first jockey to win eight races during a single program. He rides in 10 consecutive races for the day at Cahokia Downs in Alorton, Ill., finishing second and fifth in his two losing efforts.

1981 — Joe Danelo of the New York Giants kicks six field goals in a 32-0 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

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1992 — Miami and Washington are tied for No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 football poll. It’s the first tie at the top in 51 years and the third since the poll started in 1936.

1997 — Willamette’s Liz Heaston, a junior, becomes the first woman to play in a college football game when she kicks two extra points in a 27-0 win over Linfield College in the NAIA.

2002 — New Zealand’s Michael Campbell wins the longest match (43 holes) in World Match Play history in the morning, then defeats Ian Woosnam later in the day to reach the semifinals. Campbell’s 10-foot birdie putt at the seventh sudden-death hole beats Nick Faldo, the longest match in the event’s 39-year history by three holes.

2005 — Boston’s Brian Leetch becomes the seventh defenseman — and 69th player — in NHL history to reach 1,000 points with a goal and an assist in the Bruins’ 4-3 loss to Montreal.

2009 — Tom Brady, Patriots, throws six touchdown passes — five in one quarter, an NFL mark, in a 59-0 win in the snow against Tennessee.

2013 — Grambling cancels its football game against Jackson State after Grambling’s disgruntled players refuse to travel to Jackson for the game on Oct. 19.

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2015 — The Green Bay Packers stop San Diego on fourth-and-goal from the 3 with 15 seconds left and overcome a career day by Philip Rivers to hold off the Chargers 27-20. Rivers sets career highs with 43 completions, 65 attempts and 503 yards passing with two touchdowns.

2016 — Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa became the 44th NHL player to reach 500 career goals. The 37-year-old Hossa slid a power-play backhander through the legs of Philadelphia goaltender Michal Neuvirth at 5:04 of the second period, giving the Blackhawks a 4-0 lead. Chicago won 7-4.

Supplied by the Associated Press

And finally

Reggie Jackson becomes Mr. October. Watch and listen here. The story behind Bob Beamon’s long jump record. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.

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