Top 5 Games of Last Week (8/4/14 – 8/10/14)
I can’t. I can’t do it. I just can’t put preseason NFL games on here. But I also can’t abide a month straight of just MLB games, so I’m changing things up.
#5. Little League World Series: Pennsylvania vs. Delaware
At 5’4, weighing in at 105 pounds, it’sssssssss Mo’ne Davis! Without a doubt, the story of this game is Mo’ne Davis, the 13-year-old girl (yes, you read that correctly) who’s a pitching powerhouse in the otherwise male-dominated Little League World Series. Dudette can throw a 70 mph fastball. And she did just that on Sunday, pitching a three-hit complete game shutout against Delaware. Amazing.
#4. Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves
The bigger they are, the harder they fall. In this case, we’re talking about hype – specifically, how hyped up Stephen Strasburg was entering MLB, and just how far he’s fallen since his impressive rookie campaign. This is an interesting game by any measure, because the Nationals and Braves are two solid teams, but watching Strasburg get shelled for four home runs in a 6-7 loss made it captivating. At 8-10 on the season with a 3.68 ERA, Strasburg has more losses than wins and a very pedestrian ERA. The way he was talked about just three or four years ago, he should’ve already won a CY Young.
#3. Detroit Tigers at Toronto Blue Jays
Spots two and three on this list were a coin toss. Both went an astounding 19 innings. It was the longest game in Blue Jays history, and second longest in Tigers history. Down 5-0 at one point, the Blue Jays rallied, and then rallied some more, managing to tie it up at the last gasp in the ninth inning. From there? Oh, just a paltry 10 innings to go. Make no mistake, both teams wanted the win. Badly. Each team used eight pitchers, the Tigers even throwing a starter into the rotation. In the end, Toronto squeaked out a win, 6-5.
#2. Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Angels
Just the day before, the Red Sox and Angels had recorded the longest game of the season, 19 innings. It was a similar marathon event, but with a twist: both teams scored in the 14th inning. After David Ortiz helped the Red Sox score with a sacrifice fly, Mike Trout returned the favor. Both teams used nine pitchers during the six hour, 31 minute game. Would Trout, arguably the best player in baseball, step up his game once again? Or would Big Papi lead the reigning World Series Champs to victory? Albert Pujols never let them find out, stepping up to the plate in the 19th inning and crushing a home run for the W.
More impressive than his athleticism on the course, the tear he’s been on recently, or even the now four majors he has in his trophy cabinet, is what Rory McIlroy’s doing for golf: making it relevant. He’s the first player since Tiger Woods to make sports fans, but people who aren’t really golf fans, take notice and tune in. With darkness threatening to devour the 18th hole – something his two opponents complained about, actually – McIlroy cooly maneuvered his ball onto the green, and patiently two-putted for the win. It was both an impressive comeback – he trailed heading into the final round – and a signature win. If you love golf, you’ve got to at least appreciate what McIlroy’s doing for it.