Your morning roundup for August 7, the day London was burning, and we lived by the river. Screencap via eagle-eyed reader Rob, who says he "fucking hates John Elway." See anything that might interest us? Email the tips line.
What we watched: We watched something weird in Boston yesterday afternoon. The Yankees and Red Sox were playing, with New York a game up on Boston after winning the Friday night series opener. The duel: C.C. Sabathia for the Yankees, and John Lackey for the Sox. Those of you who follow baseball, particularly the free-spending ways of the Evil Empire and its northern neighbor, would recognize this as an epitome of those free-spending ways, but also an obvious mismatch. Sabathia is 56-20 as a Yankee, in his two and change years, with a 3.07 ERA and nearly eight strikeouts per nine. He's paid $23 million a year, but he's been worth it.
Lackey, on the other hand, signed his free agent deal with Boston a year later, for less money—$16.5 million per year. (Both Lackey and Sabathia sit among baseball's highest paid pitchers). And in his year and change, he's been fairly miserable: 23-19, despite excellent run support, with an ERA of 4.99 and only 6.4 strikeouts per nine. Where C.C.'s wowed, Lackey's been below average.
But a funny thing happened on the way to inevitability, evidence be damned. Sabathia got beat up: A Carl Crawford double here, a Pedroia double there, a Youk double everywhere. And that's excluding Jacoby Ellsbury's three-run homer, his 19th. (Who's this Grandy Man, anyway?) Lackey wasn't great—he shouldn't be, after all, he's John Lackey—but he held the line. He didn't allow the Yankees any extra-base hits. He didn't get tattooed.
When things were all over, three and a half hours after the first pitch (in Red Sox-Yankees fashion), the score was 10-4 and Tweedledee and Tweedledum were again tied atop the East. Adjust your Colonometer accordingly. John Lackey allowed only three runs in six innings, and the Yankees lost. God blesses us with miracles, every fifth day.
What we're watching: Apparently some kind of "labor stoppage" cost us the usual NFL Hall of Fame game tomorrow, although you would usually turn that off after a quarter once you remembered how little you cared about preseason football. So, there's a taped Packer scrimmage on NFL Net to tide you over. Except the thing ended after 20 minutes. Consider, then, Red Sox-Yankees, on Sunday Night Baseball?
Hey, that's kind of weird: "For the first time in his career, Sabathia has lost four times in one season to the same team. He's 0-4 with a 7.20 ERA against the Sox. Against everyone else, he's 16-2 with a 2.11 ERA." [Boston Herald]
Wallace Matthews, Controversial Column Generator: "Because otherwise, what Sabathia and Joe Girardi tried to portray as "just one of those days'' might in fact be just another of those days, another of those days that have cropped up periodically this season when Sabathia, the best pitcher on their roster and among the three best pitchers in the American League, simply cannot beat the Boston Red Sox. And that simply cannot be tolerated." [ESPN NY]
More Michael Martinez is never a good thing: "Even as they were running their winning streak to a season-best nine games and Cole Hamels was pitching one of his best games of the season Saturday afternoon, the Phillies were forced to deal with a season-long pest. The injury bug. All-Star third baseman Placido Polanco appeared to be in significant pain as he gingerly sat down at a table in the clubhouse to eat a snack after the Phillies' 2-1 win over the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park." [CSN Philly]
What are a Brantley and a Kipnis? "Michael Brantley hit a go-ahead RBI double and Jason Kipnis homered in Cleveland's four-run ninth inning as the Indians rallied for a 7-5 victory over the Texas Rangers in 106-degree heat Saturday night. Texas carried a 4-3 advantage into the ninth before the Indians came back against closer Neftali Feliz (1-3), who had his sixth blown save in 28 chances." [AP, via ESPN]
Freestyle whip ghost-riding interlude:
Did Deion write this? "This is a bold new day in the pantheon of sporting immortals. For the first time, a player with a significant amount of Falcons DNA will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame." [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
Suffolk County must really have some daddy issues: "The New York Islanders might still get a new arena on Long Island, but in a different county. Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy says he welcomes the idea of the hockey team moving to the eastern end of the island that he represents, as long as it's good for the team and for the community." [AP, via USA Today]
Packer weather bummer: "A crowd of 43,048 packed into Lambeau Field to watch the Packers for the first time since they won the Super Bowl in February, but the practice lasted less than 20 minutes. Even so, fans already anticipating a run to another title got to see undrafted rookie Brandian Ross intercept Aaron Rodgers and return it 24 yards for a touchdown on the first play. Rodgers redeemed himself on the last play of the night, tossing a 5-yard fade to Jordy Nelson for a touchdown." [KCRG]
We are all Dave McKenna CLXXIV: Here's your daily link to Dave McKenna's brilliant "Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder," which we'll be posting until Snyder's dumbass libel lawsuit gets shat out by a slimmer Albert Haynesworth.