13) What are the odds of a guy hitting a home run in a playoff game two nights in a row, have both homers go into his team’s bullpen, and have the same relief pitcher catch the baseballs on the fly? It happened this week.
Atlanta’s Ozzie Albies homered twice and closer Mark Melancon caught both balls, once when he was warming up to close the game out.
Later that night, Dr Tom House tweeted this out:
“It’s very fun to catch a teammate’s HR in the bullpen. Trust me.”
Tom House was a reliever for the Braves in 1974; he was in the Atlanta bullpen and caught Hank Aaron’s 715th home run that broke Babe Ruth’s record.
12) Sunday in Baltimore, the Bengals kicked a field goal in the last minute when they trailed 27-0, making them only the second NFL team in the last 25 years to kick a field goal in the last minute, just to avoid being shut out.
In 2006, Jon Gruden’s Buccaneers kicked a last-minute FG when they trailed Pittsburgh 20-0.
11) Coastal Carolina 30, Louisiana 27:
— Sun Belt is good football; ESPN needs to show more of their games.
— Total yardage was 414-413, that’s how good a game this was.
— Chanticleers kicked a 40-yard FG with 0:04 left for the win.
— Both teams ran the ball for 200+ yards.
10) Quick story, with the joke on me:
October 2009, I’m sitting in the sportsbook at Planet Hollywood; love the place, great 24-hour coffee shop (generous video poker machine right near that coffee shop), lot of good places to eat and people-watch, and lot of TV’s.
Anyway, I’m watching the Texas-Oklahoma game and Sooners’ QB Sam Bradford is getting pummeled by the Longhorns; he looks like he’s about to fall apart and I’m thinking to myself, “Which NFL team will be stupid enough to draft this guy? He can’t stay healthy in college ball, how will he ever last in the NFL?”
So of course, six months later, the Rams draft him in the first round; no bueno. He went 18-30-1 starting for the Rams, got hurt a lot, made a boatload of money. What a disaster.
9) Want to win a bar bet? Micheal Williams of the Timberwolves holds the NBA record for consecutive free throws made; he knocked down 97 in a row, back in 1993.
8) Tuesday was the anniversary of a couple of interesting sports days:
— In 1960, Bill Mazeroski hit a walk-off homer for the Pirates in Game 7 of the World Series.
— In 1967, the ABA started its first season, with an Oakland-Anaheim game.
7) These days, I’m re-reading a 1990 book called Loose Balls, the history of the ABA, which was a fun league that made basketball a lot better. If things get slow again this winter like they did last winter, I could spend a week in this space telling stories from this book.
6) I’m usually in Las Vegas this week, relaxing and watching the baseball playoffs, football and resting up before college basketball prep begins, but because 2020 sucks, I’m reading books and eating PopTarts at 3am, which ain’t bad, but it ain’t Vegas.
5) Five weeks into the NFL season, and the Rams have already played/beaten all four teams in the NFC East, which is actually fortunate scheduling, seeing how three of those teams have new coaches this season. Rough season to be breaking in a new program.
4) NBA commissioner Adam Silver was apparently very happy with how the NBA bubble went; all NBA employees got a $1,000 bonus, and four extra days off this fall.
3) Get well soon to Alabama football coach Nick Saban and AD Greg Byrne, both of whom tested positive for COVID.
2) Astros 4, Rays 3 (Tampa Bay leads 3-1)
— Houston stays alive; Rays had tying run on 3rd in last inning.
— This was first AL playoff game this year where both starting pitchers went 6+ innings.
— Altuve homered in first inning in 3 of 4 games in this series.
1) Dodgers 15, Braves 3 (Atlanta leads 2-1):
— Dodgers scored 11 runs in top of the 1st, the most runs scored in an inning in any playoff game, ever.
— Game started with a ground out to 3B that was overturned by replay; then all hell broke loose.
— Seager scored in three runs, knocked in three more.
— Braves are now 7-1 in the playoffs.