Monthly Archives: May 2017

Justin Verlander Prevails in Pitchers’ Duel as Tigers Beat the Dodgers

Justin Verlander and Kenta Maeda took no-hitters into the sixth inning on Sunday, but only Verlander kept an outstanding performance going as the Detroit Tigers trounced the Los Angeles Dodgers, 6-1, at Comerica Park.

Verlander (9-8) allowed a home run to Curtis Granderson in the sixth. But after his no-hit bid ended, the Tigers scored four runs in the bottom of the inning against the right-hander Maeda (11-5). Maeda retired the first 15 Detroit batters before allowing five hits in the sixth.

Verlander yielded only two hits while striking out nine and walking one in eight innings.

The Tigers halted a six-game skid and ended the Dodgers’ six-game winning streak.

PIRATES TOP CARDINALS AT WILLIAMSPORT Josh Bell homered and drove in four runs to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates over the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 in the Little League Classic, the first major league game in Williamsport, Pa.

The teams played at renovated Bowman Field, a minor league ballpark five miles from where the Little League World Series is taking place. Sitting in the front rows were admiring Little Leaguers who got to mingle with the big league stars earlier in the day, part of a Major League Baseball initiative to celebrate youth baseball.

After the final out, the Pirates shook hands on the field as usual following a victory. And then — in a nod to Little League tradition — both teams lined up at home plate and shook hands with each other, throwing in some hugs and high-fives to finish off a feel-good day.

Adam Frazier homered for the second straight game, and Andrew McCutchen added an R.B.I. grounder for the Pirates, who were the “home” team and won their second in a row to split the four-game series.

AROUND THE MAJORS The Chicago Cubs scored three runs in the 10th inning to beat visiting Toronto and cap a sweep of the Blue Jays. Eddie Rosario hit a grand slam in a nine-run first inning, and host Minnesota routed the Arizona Diamondbacks, 12-5, to complete a three-game sweep. Cheslor Cuthbert homered and drove in three runs as the Kansas City Royals subdued the Cleveland Indians, 7-4, to avoid a three-game sweep at home.

UMPIRES END PROTEST Major League Baseball umpires ended their protest of what they called “abusive player behavior” after Commissioner Rob Manfred offered to meet with their union’s governing board. Most umpires wore white wristbands during Saturday’s games after Detroit second baseman Ian Kinsler was fined but not suspended over a verbal tirade aimed at the umpire Angel Hernandez.

Stop Everything for the Eclipse?

South Carolina’s football coach, Will Muschamp, was asked recently if the Gamecocks had planned their preseason camp around Monday’s solar eclipse.

It seemed to be a logical question: The Gamecocks’ hometown, Columbia, was squarely in the path of totality, one of the last stops on the continentwide diagonal trajectory that would leave entire cities and towns shrouded from sunlight for anywhere from several seconds to two and a half minutes.

But Muschamp replied with a look that made it crystal clear his preseason practice plan did not account for eclipses.

“Are you kidding?” he said, going on to ask, “What day is the eclipse going to happen?” (He appeared not to be kidding.)

“I’m not very good with that kind of stuff,” he added.

Let the record show that the team itself planned to watch, according to an athletics department spokesman, and that the speakers at Williams-Brice Stadium blasted “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” famously used in the film “2001: A Space Odyssey,” at the moment of totality.

But Muschamp’s response inadvertently pointed to a larger truth the eclipse has revealed: There may be no other job in the United States in which sheer monomania — the kind where a rather cool and potentially once-in-a-lifetime event like the continental solar eclipse does not even qualify as an afterthought — is tolerated the way it is in a football coach. For Muschamp and others, these crucial weeks of August camp are the time to get the team ready for the dozen or so games it will play this season.

To a coach like Muschamp, stopping those preparations for even a minute or two to consider an eclipse probably won’t help you beat Clemson.

“I watch the Weather Channel every day,” Alabama Coach Nick Saban said. “They’re already saying what it’s going to look like in every city in America. So what’s going to be significant?”

At least Saban seemed aware that the eclipse was a thing that existed. (The moon, in fact, was to cover as much as 90 percent of the sun in Tuscaloosa, Ala.) And other coaches and athletes eagerly soaked up the rare experience.

Odell Beckham Jr. Leaves Giants’ Game With Ankle Sprain

CLEVELAND — Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. suffered a lower leg injury after a questionable hit Monday during a 10-6 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Beckham caught an 18-yard pass from Eli Manning and was tackled by cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun, who drove his shoulder and helmet into Beckham’s left leg. Beckham was flipped over, and his head bounced off the turf.

Beckham popped up, ripped off his helmet and slammed it in frustration. After taking a knee as medical staff members ran out to assist him, he walked slowly off the field and glared at Boddy-Calhoun in Cleveland’s defensive huddle.

Beckham spent a few minutes sitting alone on the bench before heading to the locker room. Television cameras captured him dropping to his knees on the floor in the corridor outside the Giants’ locker room.

The Giants (0-2) said Beckham had sustained only a sprain, but Beckham will have further medical tests on Tuesday. One of the N.F.L.’s top playmakers, the 24-year-old Beckham caught 101 passes and scored 10 touchdowns last season and recently said he wants to be the league’s highest-paid player. He has 288 career receptions for 4,122 yards and 35 touchdowns.

When the game ended, Beckham, who spent the second half on the sideline in street clothes, jogged to the locker room.

Giants receiver Brandon Marshall also exited the game in the third quarter and underwent X-rays, but the team did not immediately announce the results.

The Best College Football Team You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

The final 1943 Associated Press college football poll had a lot of familiar names: Notre Dame, Michigan, Washington and Texas were all ranked in the Top 20.

But among the top 10 were some teams you won’t find in this season’s poll: No. 2, Iowa Pre-Flight; No. 6, Great Lakes Navy; No. 8, Del Monte Pre-Flight; and No. 10, March Field.

The world of college football was transformed for a few years during World War II, when military training camps fielded their own teams, which competed with college football’s best.

The service teams had the advantage of older players, some of them former professionals, who were preparing for military service. Dick Todd, 29, Iowa Pre-Flight’s fullback, had already played four seasons with the Washington Redskins, the team he would rejoin for four more years after the war. Perry Schwartz was an end with the Brooklyn Dodgers of the N.F.L. There were Bears, Rams and Giants alumni as well.

Having lost players to the armed forces, college teams were often shorthanded. Many dropped football altogether. The shortage allowed freshmen to play temporarily for the varsity.

Iowa Pre-Flight was based at the University of Iowa, in Iowa City. But the team was distinct from the university’s Hawkeyes.

The Seahawks, as the Iowa Pre-Flight squad was known, were mostly a traveling team in 1943, playing just two home games at Iowa Stadium (now known as Kinnick Stadium). The team was coached by the former Missouri coach Don Faurot, orginator of the Split-T formation, then a lieutenant. Bud Wilkinson, who went on to become a coaching legend at Oklahoma, was his assistant.

The Seahawks were involved in the biggest game of 1943, a battle of unbeatens with Notre Dame. Both were 8-0, although Notre Dame had played a tougher schedule that included wins over Michigan and strong Army and Navy squads.

The Seahawks were hampered by some injuries and by the last-minute transfer of six players, including their starting quarterback, Jack Williams, to other bases.

The game was played on Nov. 21, 1943. American forces had just invaded Tarawa, an atoll in the Pacific. British troops had captured the town of Archi, in Abruzzo, Italy. The Germans and Russians were battling in the Kiev bulge. And the biggest football game of the year was played in South Bend, Ind.

Anticipation was high. Notre Dame had Johnny Lujack at quarterback who, after a stint in the Navy, would go on to win the Heisman Trophy in 1947 and play for the Bears. He was replacing Angelo Bertelli, who would win the Heisman later that year despite an abbreviated season. Bertelli had been called up to the Marines after Notre Dame’s first six games and eventually fought on Iwo Jima.