If you spent the last three days unplugged from the world of sports, recharge your knowledge here:
If you strip down the Dodgers’ season to this point, Ross “Boss/Chicken Strip” Stripling might be their only thrower worthy of NL All-Star team consideration. And Max “Headroom” Muncy is making himself a candidate for the NL roster as a super utility man. Stripling, the 28-year-old wearing No. 68, tied the MLB high this season with his fifth straight victory during a 7-2 win over Atlanta at Dodger Stadium on Sunday. Muncy, the 27-year-old sporting No. 13 who admits he still pays rent on a place with some teammates at Triple-A Oklahoma City, homered in his third straight game to give him 12 (tied with Cody Bellinger for the team lead) in just 44 games and 125 at bats for a team-best 1.011 OPS. Stripling (5-1, 1.65 ERA) has 49 Ks and five walks in his seven starts and he’s third in the NL in ERA (minimum 50 innings pitched) behind Justin Verlander and Jacob deGrom. The Dodgers’ overall look: A 6-2 record in June and 33-32 overall.
Justify may never get a White House invite. He may not have the vocal chords to decline it as, say, a raging bull. But the chestnut colt has gone from “unknown to immortal in 112 days,” according to Yahoo!. How? By becoming the 13th winner of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown, and the second in three years, going wire-to-wire at the Belmont Stakes in New York on Saturday. Purchased for $500,000, Justify now appraised for breeding at some $75 million, making him the most valuable horse in racing history, writes ESPN’s Darren Rovell. More background: Justify, whose 6-0 career record includes the recent Santa Anita Derby, is just the second undefeated horse to win the Triple Crown (after Seattle Slew in 1977). He defeated 35 horses in the three Triple Crown races, more than any other horse in history. Jockey Mike Smith is also the oldest jockey, at 52, to ride a Triple Crown winner.
Cal State Fullerton, down to its last strike in the top of the ninth, tied it up at 4-4 against Washington in the decisive game of the NCAA Super Regional at Goodwin Field on Sunday night. The Titans then snatched a 5-4 lead going into the bottom of the 10th inning on Hank LoForte’s surprising home run (just his second of the year), and needed just three outs to record a win and get into the College World Series next week in Omaha, Neb. It didn’t happen. A couple of errors and an infield hit allowed the Huskies to load the bases with no outs against closer Brett Conine, and a sac fly to left pushed them to the 6-5 win and their first trip to the CWS in school history (since 1901). Three others qualified for the final eight for the World Series: Oregon State, North Carolina and Mississippi State. Monday, the winners of defending champion Florida vs. Auburn, Texas vs. Tennessee Tech, South Carolina vs. Arkansas and Duke vs. Texas Tech will move forward.
How did USC clinch the women’s NCAA track and field title? In about as crazy a finish as one can have in the 4×400 relay at Oregon, where Kendall Ellis chased down Purdue’s Jahneya Mitchell at the wire. It gave USC a one-point win. Dwight Stones, the commentator on the race, declared Purdue the winner before it was over. Kobe Bryant decided he needed to respond to the feat with a tweet that simply said: “Will power.” (Unless he was referring the recent winner of the Indianapolis 500). Just watch the video.
In the Galaxy’s last Major League Soccer match before taking a break for the World Cup, two goals by Zlatan Ibrahimovic within six minutes of each other pushes the team to a 300 win over Real Salt Lake at the StubHub Center on Saturday night. “Ibrahimovic’s aerial prowess and abilities in front of goal allow him to — on the right day — singularly transform a match. And this was definitely the right day,” according to the Galaxy website’s breakdown of what happened. What really sparked the Ibrahimovic scoring spree was a controntation with RSL midfielder Stephen Sunday, right after Ibrahimovic cleated RSL center back Justen Glad. “Don’t make me angry,” Ibrahimovic said after the game. Lesson learned. How, take a long break.