The Sports Report: Inside the Dodgers’ collapse

The Dodgers dugout during Game 3.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

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

From Jack Harris: Dave Roberts walked out to the mound once, then again, in the seventh inning, two lonely treks with his team’s season on the brink.

The first time, the Dodgers still had a lead. They were still nine outs away from a season-saving win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series. They still had all their October goals within reach.

By the manager’s second visit, however, the score was tied, the San Diego Padres were threatening, and the Dodgers were suddenly hanging by a thread.

That the winningest team in franchise history found itself in such a predicament was a combination of many failings: Bad luck and mistimed mistakes; absent offense and questionable pitching plans; and bad execution most of all, with the Dodgers picking the worst possible time to play some of their worst baseball of the season.


Entering the playoffs, they had been the best team in the majors — on the mound, at the plate, in high leverage situations, everywhere.

But after a week of stranded runners and booted grounders and frustratingly few answers against a division rival they’d dominated all year, the Dodgers’ found themselves on the verge of elimination.

After a remarkable 111-win regular season, their World Series dreams were about to be dashed in an autumn blink.

“October baseball,” first baseman Freddie Freeman said, “can be very brutal sometimes.”

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From Gary Klein: A week ago, the Rams envisioned running back Christian McCaffrey possibly making his Rams L.A. debut against the San Francisco 49ers at SoFi Stadium, and Cam Akers perhaps playing for another NFL team.

McCaffrey will be on the field Sunday, but he will be in a 49ers uniform.

Even if the defending Super Bowl-champion Rams are unable to find a trade partner for Akers, the estranged running back probably won’t be in the building.

But receiver Van Jefferson, center Brian Allen and cornerback Troy Hill will return from injuries and play as the 3-3 Rams begin a stretch of 11 consecutive games.


That much became clear Monday when Rams coach Sean McVay addressed reporters for the first time since Oct. 17, the day after the Rams defeated the Carolina Panthers, 24-10, a game in which McCaffrey amassed 158 total yards for the Panthers.


Off week won’t heal all these Rams injuries, but look who’s back

Road to recovery for Chargers’ J.C. Jackson could be a long and difficult one


From Jeff Miller: The Chargers lost Pro Bowl cornerback J.C. Jackson for the season Sunday when he ruptured the patellar tendon in his right knee.

For a team that has been hit hard by injury, the Chargers can replace Jackson with a player who has started plenty for them.

Veteran Michael Davis took over after Jackson left the game against Seattle and, barring any personnel changes, will return to the starting lineup when the Chargers resume practice after their off week.

The team also has time to pursue a cornerback with the NFL trade deadline approaching Nov. 1.


NFL Week 8 best bets: Games with intriguing early lines and odds


From Ben Bolch: One loss didn’t eliminate UCLA from Pac-12 title contention, and it might not have had any bearing on a new mystery objective that emerged Monday.

“We have way bigger goals than that,” quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson said when asked about competing for the conference championship, “and I personally think we can still accomplish those if we just do our jobs on a weekly basis.”

The obvious follow-up question: Does bigger goals mean the College Football Playoff semifinals?

“I won’t get into the goals, that’s more of a team, personal matter,” Thompson-Robinson said, “but yeah, it’s definitely way bigger than that, I can tell you that for sure.”

Some guesswork left a few possibilities.


1947 — In front of a capacity crowd of 35,000 at Columbia’s Baker Field in New York, the Lions end Army’s 32-game unbeaten streak in a 21-20 upset. An interception in Army’s final drive seals the win, the first over an Army team that had not surrendered a point all season until the loss to Columbia.

1964 — Cotton Davidson of the Oakland Raiders passes for 427 yards and five touchdowns in a 40-7 rout of the Denver Broncos.

1980 — Mike Weaver knocks out Gerrie Coetzee in the 13th round to retain the WBA heavyweight title in Sun City, Bophuthatswana.

1990 — Evander Holyfield knocks out Buster Douglas in Las Vegas to become the undisputed heavyweight champion.

1998 — Jerry Rice sets an NFL record for receptions in consecutive games with his 12-yard catch from Steve Young on San Francisco’s first offensive play. Rice has caught passes in 184 straight games, breaking the mark set by Art Monk from 1980-95.

1998 — Denver’s Jason Elam kicks a 63-yard field goal, tying Tom Dempsey’s 28-year-old NFL record. Elam’s kick, which came at the end of the first half, matches the record Dempsey set for the New Orleans Saints against Detroit on Nov. 8, 1970.

2003 — Trainer Richard Mandella wins a record four races at the Breeders’ Cup, capping perhaps the greatest day in racing history when Pleasantly Perfect wins the $4 million Classic at Santa Anita. Mandella wins the $1 million Juvenile Fillies with Halfbridled, the $1.5 million Juvenile with long-shot Action This Day and the $2 million Turf with Johar, who dead-heats with High Chaparral.

2003 — Florida’s Josh Beckett throws a shutout to lead the Marlins to a 2-0 victory over the New York Yankees to win the World Series. Pitching on three days rest, Beckett allows five hits in Game 6 and captures MVP honors.

2006 — Joe Sakic becomes the 11th player in NHL history to reach 1,500 career points with an assist during the first period of Colorado’s 5-3 loss to Washington.

2008 — Navy doesn’t attempt a pass in a 34-7 victory over Southern Methodist in a game played in a driving rain.

2008 — Raven’s Pass wins the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic in an upset, stunning defending champion Curlin on the new synthetic surface at Santa Anita. Raven’s Pass, ridden by Frankie Dettori and sent off at 13-1 odds, posts a 1 3/4-length victory in his first race on such a surface.

2014 — Trevone Boykin throws a school-record seven touchdown passes and No. 10 TCU scored the most points in its history in an 82-27 rout of Texas Tech.

2015 — Kirk Cousins throws three second-half touchdown passes, including the go-ahead score with 24 seconds left, to lead the Washington Redskins to the largest comeback in franchise history, a 31-30 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa Bay was up 24-0 in the second quarter, before Cousins runs for an 8-yard TD to get Washington on the board.

2017 — Houston’s George Springer hits a two-run drive in the 11th inning and the Astros win a thrilling home run derby at Dodger Stadium, beating Los Angeles 7-6 to tie the World Series at one game apiece. The teams combined for a Series record eight homers.

Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally

Evander Holyfield knocks out Buster Douglas to become the undisputed heavyweight champ. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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