Despite loss, it was “giant” fun

JULIO URIAS pitched well in the Dodgers’ sole win in the series against the Giants. He worked 5.2 innings, struck out eight batters and yielded just one run as the Dodgers won 6-1 on Saturday (Wikipedia)

It was a great weekend for sports fans in the Southern California area Even though the results were not as favorable as most would prefer, there was plenty of excitement with the Dodgers and Giants in a classic battle for the NL West pennant, and UCLA stunning 16th-ranked LSU.

The Giants won two of three and recaptured the lead in the division, but the race is far from over. The turning point might have come in the first game.

With two out in the 11th inning, the Giants had the bases loaded. Buster Posey knocked a ground ball to the right side of the infield and Trea Turner made a good play to glove it. But his momentum carried him onto the grass and that made for a difficult throw to first.

Trea’s toss was high and pulled Will Smith off the bag. Posey was safe at first and Brandon Belt raced home to score the winning run.

To be fair to Trea, he made a very good play to field the ball, and it would have taken a great effort to stop, turn and fire a solid throw to Smith in time to nip the baserunner.

But in the big leagues, good vs. great play is sometimes the difference between winning and losing.

The Dodgers are back in action today (Monday), starting a four-game series in St. Louis. Friday through Sunday will be home games hosting the San Diego Padres.

Angels and their scramble to get even

With four games against the worst team in the division – the Texas Rangers – the Angels had a chance to really get fat and climb over the .500 mark.  Not so far, but the Halos have a chance to at least break even today (Monday).

SHOHEI OHTANI (Angels photo).

After winning Friday and Saturday to get to 68-68, the boys from Anaheim lost 7-3 on Sunday. They can make up for that today (Monday) when they take on the Rangers in a 6:07 p.m. game at the Big A.

That struggle for statistical respectability is sometimes overshadowed by the historic season being spun by Shohei Ohtani. He leads MLB with 43 home runs and has driven in 93 more. He’s scored 89 times and stolen 23 bases.

But – as they say in TV infomercials – there’s more! He’s posted a 9-1 record on the mound and struck out 135 batters. It looks like Ohtani will once again give the Angels the league’s Most Valuable Player despite what’s certain to be a fourth-place finish.

After Monday’s game with the Rangers, the Halos head down the freeway for two games in San Diego (Tuesday and Wednesday). Thursday is an off-day, and then the team will fly to Texas to play the Houston Astros Friday through Sunday.

At last! The NFL regular season starts

America’s favorite sport returns in earnest this Sunday as the real National Football League season starts.

There’s excitement for both area teams. The Rams will take the wraps off a new offense built around Matthew Stafford when they host the Chicago Bears in a 5:20 p.m. game at SoFi Stadium. They are 7.5-point favorites.

The success of Justin Hebert is the last closing weeks of the 2020 season is giving Chargers fans plenty of hope for this season. In a 10 a.m. game in Washington, the Chargers are one-point underdogs.

Final Out:  Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly is taking some heat for what he said after his team’s narrow 41-38 win over Florida State. When asked about how he felt about his team’s execution, he said, “I’m in favor of execution. Maybe our entire team needs to be executed after tonight. They just didn’t execute very well.”

Kelly’s response to the criticism was, “I was kidding. It was tongue-in-cheek. It was taken serious? Are you people crazy?”

Yes, pretty much. In these days of PC and cancel culture, a lot of people are.

“Sports Monday” is written by Pete Zarustica.




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